“Shine your light. The jealous criticize, the curious watch, but the inspired will be your tribe.”
I stuck my neck out today for something that I truly believe is not right…although I know what I did it was not an “expected reaction”, and I’m sure the words “that motherfucker is crazy” has crossed the minds of a few people, but you know what? I did it knowing that these things would probably happen, and that I’m strong in my belief and conviction. Honestly, I’ve missed this part of my personality a little bit, because of a fear of backlash….today, I’m not worried about it….in fact, I stopped worrying about a lot of things this week.
My alma mater made a decision that I don’t agree with….at all. There was a lack of transparency, and they’ve put the School of Music in a very precarious position. I made it known that as an alum, I’m very upset about the decision and that I won’t be a vocal supporter alum for a while….my way of communicating my feelings was unorthodox (but not offensive or profane), and my hope is that it will open up a dialogue, so that I can feel like the supportive alum that I’ve been for over 30 years. I feel like my single voice would have been ignored or viewed as not as important if I’d just written a letter. Besides my family, I consider my time at Ithaca as one of the most important things in my life, from the lifelong friendships I’ve made, to the exceptional education that I received. I hate knowing that financial decisions (or lack thereof) are the root of the issue, and I hope that a better resolution is found. And I truly hope that my out-of-the-box message is heard by the right people.
I can’t help but think back to my teenage years, when Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon (“the Punky QB”) took America by storm with his unorthodox ways of getting his message across, and how he got his message right to the top. In the ‘85 NFC Divisional playoff game against the Giants, he was fined for wearing an Adidas headband during the game by then-commissioner Pete Rozelle. The following week in the NFC Championship game, he still wore a headband, but a white headband with the word “ROZELLE” on it in Sharpie ink. Defiant? Yes. Harmless? Definitely. Even the commissioner thought it was brilliant, especially as McMahon wore different headbands during the Bears’ Super Bowl win, drawing attention and funding to the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and support for POW/MIA’s.
I don’t expect anyone to completely understand my different ways of thinking, just as Jim McMahon didn’t expect his team, the NFL, or the country to completely understand his mindset. I like marching to the beat of my own drum sometimes….one of the main reasons I enjoy doing this blog. I have no expectations that anyone will know everything about me from reading my posts, as there are things I share, and a lot of things that I don’t share….it’s what I feel about sharing on certain days, and for nobody’s approval but my own. (Sorry to disappoint, Miss Karenator.) Today was a day that I felt like I needed to get a message across, and I found a very different way of doing so in hopes for positive change.
And with that, I’m definitely not your average “punky musician.”