The Show Must Go On! “Where My Backup Singers?”

“The show must go on!” may have never been better illustrated than by Patti LaBelle at the 1996 Christmas Tree Lighting in Washington, DC as seen in the video below.

Watch the video, then continue reading.

Throughout the song she brought attention to the problems by mentioning them, rolling her eyes and making faces, humming rather than signing, and complaining. But, … She. Kept. Going.

Question: Was it better for Ms. LaBelle to continue on even though she didn’t have her backup singers, didn’t know the song, and had the wrong cue cards? Or, should she have taken a moment to get organized?

A couple questions should guide us to an answer.

1. What did she intend to accomplish?
2. Did she, in fact, accomplish her goal by continuing on with the show?

Although I don’t know Ms. LaBelle’s goal for that performance, I can’t imagine that the product was anywhere near what she had hoped. Thus, it seams reasonable to conclude that she might have benefited by taking a moment to reorganize. Of course for public presenters – whether in song or spoken word – it is embarrassing to stop when things don’t go as planned. That’s understandable. But, could stopping for a moment to better organize be more embarrassing than the outcome of Ms. LaBelle’s performance? There is a reason it’s on YouTube.

Would I Be A Bad Professor If . . .

Would I be a bad professor if the following exchange took place via text message:

Student: “What’s the lowest I can make on my final exam and pass your class?”

Me: “I don’t help students do the least they can. You can look on the student portal to see your average and figure it out yourself. Better yet, prepare for the exam and do well!”

To all my students (present and future): Aim for something higher than the least you can do. Don’t just get by. Forever repudiate the mantra, “D’s get degrees.”

New Use for Tongue Depressors

I saw this new use for tongue depressors at the minor emergency center in Jerusalem. They had recently relocated and all the new equipment didn’t quite fit. Never mind; a tongue depressor can have a variety of good functions.

In this case, the pedestal was about 10 tongue depressors low. No problem the emergency center has tons of those.

It has been our experience here, that the attitude in construction and finish work is, “That’s good enough.”