It is funny how certain situations remind us of moments we had almost forgotten. Years ago, when I was in junior high, students created an “Odyssey,” i.e. a large book about our lives—past, present, and future. One of the things we included were song lyrics, and my Odyssey contained lyrics from my favorite band, Tool. One day, I was unexpectedly called to the principle’s office. When I walked in, the principle was holding my Odyssey. Not knowing why, I had an immediate moment of panic (was she mad about the lyrics—were they too “inappropriate” for school?). However, I was surprised when she said she really liked my book, and at the time, I thought that was really cool of her.
That moment in the principle’s office reminded me of another related story from that same time period. I was in the newspaper class, and one week, I included lyrics from another favorite band, @aperfectcircle
(also, for those who don’t know, APC has the same lead singer from Tool). I made sure that the language and content of the song was appropriate for school, didn’t think much of it, and published it that week. Well, later on, I found out from my teacher, that a parent had called into the school complained because he or she thought the band was anti-religious and therefore shouldn’t be allowed in the paper. Luckily, my teacher was a strong woman and stood up for the piece and my freedom of speech. No apologies were made, and no restrictions were created for future articles.
As I approach 30, I now realize how awesome those two women, my principle and newspaper teacher, were, and I thank them for encouraging my freedom of speech and creativity. 🖤
I was reminded of these scenarios earlier this week when I saw Tool in concert (an amazing show like usual) for the second time. It was an interesting reflection but a nice one.