Monday, May 31, 2010

Amusement parks, good and bad music, and religion.

Today we took a bunch of physics and calculus students to Canada's Wonderland to do some experiments on roller coasters, and to generally goof around.

Missions: accomplished.

The kids look forward to this all year — I get the feeling a few people in the past have taken the course solely so they could go on this trip — and everyone had a lot of fun (except the one kid who slept in and missed it; he's the guy who, if you'd have asked me yesterday, "Who do you think would sleep in and miss this trip?", his name would've been amongst the first three to spring to mind).

I don't know who's picking out the background music that's played on speakers located in discrete areas around the park, but I must say it's more obscure than I'd expected and, frankly, better than I'd have expected... such as:
  • The Raspberries — Go All The Way*
    Killer power-pop from the '70s, contemporaries of Big Star; remember the song "Hungry Eyes" from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, by Eric Carmen? He fronted The Raspberries. True story.
    * not the canonical studio track, but this live-from-the-studio cut may even be superior
  • Steely Dan — Josie
    If you know me, and you probably do, you know I totally dig the Dan. So, to hear this played in an amusement park ostensibly aimed at people born in the mid-1990s and beyond, I was beyond tickled-pink (and not just because of the sunburn-in-progress).
  • Cheap Trick — Surrender
    I've never been a huge fan of Cheap Trick, although (a.) they do make some catchy tunes, (b.) they apparently put on a fantastic show, and (c.) they were one of the first bands, if not the first, to obtain the "Big in Japan" label.
(On the flip side, tonight I heard what could be the worst rock song made in the past decade or so. I could describe what I dislike about it, but I have work in the morning. Triumph only has three guys, and they kick fourteen times more ass than these clowns.)

As I was checking students off my list this morning before we departed, I came across a group of three girls clustered together; I recognized two of them, but the third had a bucket-cap pulled down low. She waved at me, and I completely mistook her for another person... because in the nearly-two years I've known her, this is the first time I've seen her without a hijab. She doesn't wear one of those ones where you only see their eyes (although I've taught a couple of girls who did) — but you sure can't see any hair sticking out of it. Shoot, some girls wear ones so loose they fall off now and again, and barely cover any hair even at the best of times.

I asked one of my Muslim friends** about this tonight, and the response was something along the lines of, "Well, she probably knew she wasn't going to see any family members at the park, so she left it off. You'll see it back on tomorrow at school."
** I'm not sure how many I have, but I think it's in the low-single-digits.

I've been thinking about this, and I'm not sure what to take away from it. All I have so far is that, given the choice, she wouldn't wear one, but only wears it because someone will rat her out to her parents if she doesn't — but I could very well be wrong. But, who knows? Maybe she did something over the weekend, in an act of rebellion, and from now on she won't wear anything on her head. We'll see tomorrow.


ecb said...

I was watchined TV yesterday - I believe How I Met Your Mother and there was a discussion about how bad Steely Dan is. Thought of you ;)

Give us the update on the hijab!

PeterC said...

Well, I remember the boys and girls in high school who used to slip out of the house prim and proper and "slut it up" before getting to school. Either with gang colours or other clothing...

Just because it is a hijab I don't know that this is any different.

JTL said...

Hijab Update (June 1):
She was absent today. Expect report tomorrow. JTL out.

Eve said...

A girl in my lab wore a hijab for quite a while, which I found to be strange because she was also very feminist. One day she showed up without her hijab on and I never saw it again. Made me pretty happy :)

JTL said...

Hijab Update (June 2):
Back in class. Hijab present. JTL out.