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! 🙂
March 3, 2021 at 3:22 pm
I love that you use “old” technology! If it works, why not? I also love podcasts and have recently been immersed in some Ted Talks, too. As far as the tidy room situation goes, I have three kids of my own at home so my school room is the only thing I have control over keeping clean, lol!!
March 4, 2021 at 7:47 am
Having the empty nest does have it’s advantages, one of them being the mess two daughters created is gone. 🙂
And I’d agree, until the iPod is showing signs of distress, we’ll keep using it!
March 3, 2021 at 3:37 pm
There’s so much to love about this post. One thing is that many of us have been converted to introvertedness during this pandemic. Another is, THANK YOU for all of your great recommendations!
My music sanctuary – Radio Paradise!
March 4, 2021 at 7:45 am
Radio Paradise? Another thing to check out! I need to write about music more often! 🙂
March 3, 2021 at 4:18 pm
I love podcasts and music too. This year I’ve been walking during one of my lunch breaks and I often have a podcast going to keep me company.
I often get comments about my messy desk, but it’s who I am! I need my stuff visible. I used to have a filing cabinet that was empty but had full boxes of stuff on top. For 20 years I’ve been vowing that this is the year for a clean desk. Now I’m resigned to the fact that it is never going to be my year to have a clean desk. 🙂
March 4, 2021 at 7:44 am
Do you have a podcast you’d recommend? 🙂
I always start with good intentions, always! But, it never seems to work that way, so I’m like you, it will never be my year! 🙂
March 3, 2021 at 4:18 pm
Darin, I don’t believe you are boring. In fact, I think the only way to get “boring” is to compare life to another standard, but that wouldn’t be you. You enjoy life the way you live it, and that’s all that matters. As for music, we have everything from the old 1970s stereo with components to the boom box of the 1980s to today’s Google Home – which is what we mostly use, streaming Pandora. “Hey Google, play the Eagles……Hey Google, play Atlanta Rhythm Section…..Hey Google, play the 1970s…” Those are the things we say around here when we want good music. The next thing the Google spies hear us say is, “They just don’t make good music like they used to.” And that is what our own parents said……(we have become them).
March 4, 2021 at 7:42 am
>And that is what our own parents said……(we have become them).<
This made me chuckle! We have SO become that which we said we'd never become! 🙂 The Atlantic Rhythm Section? Another band to check out! Thank you! 🙂
March 3, 2021 at 4:25 pm
Darin, we love Pandora streamed through Google Home. The Eagles, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Rod Stewart……those are our favorites! You’re not boring….you’re original.
March 3, 2021 at 4:32 pm
I LOVE Spotify! I use it all the time during SSR & indoor recess. Like you I still use an iPod that was gifted to me in 2012. I didn’t realize that they were no longer made until two years ago when I pulled it out and one of my students asked what it was. The way I see messy desks are a sign of an organized teacher. It may not look organized to me but I bet $1000 that you would be able to walk over there and find exactly what you need in a snap.
March 3, 2021 at 5:04 pm
You are exactly right about finding things fairly quickly! If I know which pile, bang, we are golden! My kids look at my iPod (which by the way is in a pink and yellow case) and are totally confused because “why is your phone so small??”. 😂😂
March 3, 2021 at 4:42 pm
I know what you mean about music being a sanctuary. I have all sorts of playlists (thank you Spotify premium) on my phone and iPad so that I can play just the right thing for the mood I’m in. 🙂
March 3, 2021 at 5:01 pm
I think about the cassettes that I broke and the CDs that I scratched and now, music pretty much where ever I want? I’m too young to feel this old! 😁😂
March 3, 2021 at 7:48 pm
Oh man, where to start? I love music! I’m new to Spotify too but I managed to get on my brother’s premium account. I use it mostly for Arab pop stations (I know, random, but so good!), French “bistro” music, and yoga playlists. Pandora is my workday app. I have classical mixes, fiddle mixes, Motown, old school country, 90’s grunge, DMB, and Soca. My tastes vary a wee bit. Love that you still have an iPod! hahaha 🙂 And yes, welcome to Sirius. We get ours for $5 a month by calling and saying we’re going to cancel. Magically, they find a new deal! 😉
March 4, 2021 at 7:39 am
Arab pop? Well, that’s something new to check out! The French bistro sounds lovely as well! I’ve not decided on the Sirius yet. I just can’t get past paying for radio when their is so much free stuff out there, yet, I was jamming on my way to work! Oh the first world problems we have! 🙂