There are days where I truly wonder, why do I leave my room? I’m an introvert trapped in an extrovert’s job and somedays, it’s just painful to get out and be social. And that’s not to say that I don’t enjoy my co-workers, far from it. The personalities we have around our middle school are a riot, from the pollyannas to those with the whip sharp tongues, we do good work around here. I will say, the only thing I see missing here is that sense of being more that co-workers. That has quietly drifted off, even before Covid, with new teachers and a newly consolidated district where we are considerable more spread out.
That being said, my room is my sanctuary. I had a friend answer some tough questions for me, and one of her things was she wished my room was a little bit more tidy. Believe me, so does my wife! 🙂 However, I’ve gotten better as I’ve gotten older. My teacher desk is gone, replaced by more a teacher area where the things I truly need are located. Due to Covid, I got rid of a huge armoire kind of thing and am using the space I have in my room more efficiently. There have been changes made, good changes, that have helped me to become more organized and just better with my stuff. Now, I’ll always have piles, I am my father’s son, who himself was the son of antique (“junk” according to my father) dealer, so it’s in my DNA to collect stuff. But, it’s better.
Anyway, when I need that space in my room to decompress from the “outside” world, I have several options:
- My i-Pod 4: Yes, OLD technology, but it’s got much of my all ready purchased music on it, so it stays hooked up the charger and is close to my speakers. Right now, it’s Gaelic Storm’s Chicken Boxer that is playing, but it could range from Metallica or Rage Against the Machine to Eyna or Frank Sinatra to Sister Hazel or A Tribe Called Quest. My favorite Afro-Cuban group, The Afro-Cuban All-Stars are on my playlist too, when I need a dose of absolute joy in musically form.
- Podcast: I love podcasts and am always looking for new ones, musically or otherwise! Right now, I might be listening to a Groovelectric (deep house, funky music), Fonk Radio (“funk-infused house music”), Club Life (electronic dance music by Tiesto), Deep House Cat (deep house, go figure!), or Purified Radio (“organic and funky, chunky elements which may lead to the uncontrollable urge to dance). If I’m in a learning mood, I’ll listen to Darknet Diaries (darker side of the Internet – tech based), NPR’s Fresh Air, TED Talks Daily and Radio Hour, and Dan Anderson’s Ten Percent Happier (“explores happiness from all angles”). I’ve written about them before, but the Washed Up Walkons, a group of former Iowa football players, pump out quality content every week having former players on, but also talking about news of the day as well, in their own 20-something sort of way! 🙂
- Pandora: Any number streams bring me joy included Caro Emerald, Jazz Guitar, Guardians of the Galaxy, New Orleans Jazz, and Carbon Leaf.
- Spotify: This is a relatively new step for me, but a good one. Streaming radio, so similar to Pandora, but with the ability to create playlists (random play with the free version), but such a selection of music! Great for those old 80’s rap groups (Dr. Dre, Salt and Pepper, Snoopy Dogg, Ice Cube, Naughy by Nature), screaming guitars (Slash, Dio, Cindrella, and Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators), and a multitude of other songs from all eras.
So much joy, so much passion, so much energy in all of these artists and that doesn’t count the varieties of music that I happen across and think, “Damn, this is really good!” We recently purchased a “new to me” truck with a complimentary 3 month subscription to Sirius Radio. It’s their premium package ($13 a month, what the heck), but as I’ve checked it out, I came across a station that would make it worth the cost (not really, but it’s still really awesome): Phish Radio! A radio station dedicated to all the live shows the musical group Phish has recorded! What?? As a nerd, this is SO COOL because not only are there the sets, but the stories by the hosts about the different places they’ve seen the group play. I found out, I’ve lived a very BORING life compared to many people, but that ok. The world needs sane people too! 🙂
What music is your santuary? Where do you go to find that quiet place among the music notes and lyrics? What are your favorite podcasts? I love to hear more!
Because the more we share, the more we know, and the more we know, we can better understand each other! 🙂