The Test of Rock

26 Mar

This semester, I am teaching United States: 1941 to the Present, and we cover the stuff that you would probably expect – presidents, the Cold War, the hot wars, Civil Rights, space. Heck, you name it, and we talk about it. However, I decided to mix in something else this semester as a prelude to something that I would like to do in the future. Amidst all of the topics of the 20th Century, we are interweaving Rock n’ Roll.

That’s right. I am the Jack Black of our university. I think that’s pretty good for someone who can only play the radio.

As we made our way through the 1950s, we went over the beginnings of Rock n’ Roll and some of the people who got it started. We haven’t talked much about it since, but the students have been reading a book, Rock: Music, Culture and Business, that covers the genre through seven decades. Tomorrow, they get to take a test. The Test of Rock.

Joan Jett - The Crush of my High School Existence

Joan Jett – The Crush of my High School Existence

It has been tougher to make out than I thought it would be. There’s just too much stuff that I want to put in the test. Each time I turn a page I find something else that would make a great question. In case the students are reading this, I won’t write about the questions I came up with. Just know that it could have been the biggest test that I have ever made.

Part of this inspiration comes from this past Friday night when I saw Eric Clapton in concert.

Slow Hand

Slow Hand

I have seen him before and written about that in “Listeria – Guitar Gods Edition“. This show was better than that show. Wait, this performance was better than that performance. The last show was better because I was on the 20th row. This time I had to watch the screens to get a good view.

Anyway, Clapton was at the top of his game. He played songs that everyone wanted to hear along with Blues numbers. He also played a pre-Rock song called “Good Night, Irene” that is covered in the book that the class is reading. The bad part about the concert? He didn’t play “Layla“, which disappointed everyone, and he didn’t play “Badge” which disappointed me.

So, it seems that I have surrounded myself with Rock music, and there is nothing wrong with that. I wonder if there will be a question about Eric Clapton on the test.

10 Responses to “The Test of Rock”

  1. frontrangescribbles March 26, 2013 at 12:36 #

    I want to take your class.

    • Rick March 26, 2013 at 14:30 #

      Thanks. This class is good. The next one will be better I hope.

  2. virtuallynomadic March 26, 2013 at 15:07 #

    liked your post, Jack 🙂

    • Rick March 26, 2013 at 15:10 #

      Thanks. Now, I just have to unleash my inner rock star.

  3. John S March 27, 2013 at 23:45 #

    So I hope you are taking inspiration from “School of Rock”!

    • Rick March 28, 2013 at 19:12 #

      Jack Black is my acacemic hero.

  4. DyingNote March 30, 2013 at 10:05 #

    This sounds fun. Online test please?

    • Rick March 30, 2013 at 14:03 #

      Now that I have given the test in class, putting it on here is a great idea.

      • DyingNote March 30, 2013 at 19:31 #

        Super. Looking forward to it


  1. Take the Test of Rock | Surrounded By Imbeciles - April 2, 2013

    […] A few posts ago, I wrote about a class that I am teaching called United States History: 1941 to the Present and how I am spending some time on the history of Rock n’ Roll. We talked the beginnings of the genre when we covered the 1950s, but the students received most of their information from Rock: Music, Culture and Business, a book that I thought would be interesting. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: