Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Karaoke to Rihanna

Recently I've gotten pretty used to living in Turkey and many things that used to catch my attention now seem quite ordinary. But this afternoon I was reminded that either I'm in a foreign country or I've been away from American teenagers so long that I don't know their musical tastes or dance preferences...

To set the scene, this afternoon is club day at school. I'm kind of the "helper" adviser for the Model United Nations club so I'm not really responsible for lesson plans, thank goodness, but I do help with writing, speaking, comprehension, research, etc. of difficult United Nations topics. It can be pretty heavy stuff, so when the "real" adviser suggested we use this afternoon for team building and fun, I didn't object. I even offered to give up one cup of my Jiffy peanut butter to make "American" peanut butter cookies. (The students love it when I make cookies...probably because they taste different -hummm- better ----with brown sugar and real vanilla --- the impossible-to-find-over-here-secret ingredients---- unless, of course, I have connections with NATO, which I don't so I carefully dole out bits from my stash)

Besides eating cookies and drinking fruity drinks, the club adviser also asked one of the responsible male students to download Youtube videos of Gangnam Style, the top 10 versions of the Harlem Shake, lyrics and music to Rihanna's "Shine Bright Like a Diamond" and a Taylor Swift song...I don't remember which one. Today we were going to dance and sing karaoke. I was fine with all of it. I like to sing and dance. The students were having fun dancing Gangnam style,The Turkish girls added their own flair with belly dancing to it. Those girls CAN dance. The boys joined in with the Gangnam arms and the more reserved jumping from foot to foot style minus the belly dancing. Watching the Harlem Shake brought lots of laughs although I cringed at some of the dance moves especially when the unicorn was dancing with what looks like imitation Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders...(I know there's a hidden message with this whole unicorn thing but I never wanted to get the details.) I just kept quiet as I'm the "helper' adviser.

The part that shook me out of my reverie was that all the boys and girls were singing Rihanna's Shine Bright Like a Diamond and Taylor Swift. It's kind of like when all the boys and girls were  singing Justin Bieber.  It just felt like I was in a foreign country.

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