Most folks don’t know this, but I actually possess a small amount of musical ability. I played in the high school band and can even sing a little bit in a rough and untutored baritone.
It is slowly dawning on me (I’m rather slow) that not everyone is so gifted. Some people simply don’t have an ear for pitch or rhythm and while it is unfortunate if they insist on singing near you, it’s not exactly the end of the world.
However even if you are not among the musically inclined, I’m willing to bet that you are not quite as tone deaf as the unfortunate woman who sent me an email today. In the interest of brevity I’ll paraphrase:
“My son, Johnny, is in your AP class this semester. However, he’s not going to be in your class tomorrow as he has a swim meet. If you could email me the work and assignments that he’s going to miss so that I can make sure he completes them that would be great, thanks.”
If you wanted to make a good first impression on someone with whom you were going to be working closely for the next 18 weeks, would you have your mother write that email? Is this really the tone for an AP class you want to set? Can you imagine a scenario where this is going to be successful?
Even if this student shows up tomorrow to ask for his work like he’s supposed to, all I’m going to be able to think is, “Oh, you’re the kid who’s mom still checks on him…” And if you ARE that kid then why are you taking an AP class?!
How do people who are that tone deaf manage to get through life? Do they just blunder around completely oblivious? How do they get away with it? They get away with it because the rest of us are too nice. Yes, even me. Did I blast this Helicopter Parent into the deepest recesses of the Shame Zone for being so ridiculously pompous, overbearing, and inappropriate? No, instead I explained politely how Little Johnny could get his materials.
So now these people are going to continue on to the next hapless soul and abuse them with their ridiculous behavior without having learned absolutely anything.
I guess that even if you are the choir member asked to sing pianissimo no matter what the hymn is, you can take comfort in that there are worse ways to be tone deaf.