I remember Michael

Watch the always fabulous PS 22 Chorus sing Michael Jackson’s “Man In The Mirror”.

My last year public school (I.S. 171, what what), I was in what was supposedly the “smart” classroom in sixth grade. I don’t remember if we what we were taught was really that different from what the kids in “regular” classrooms got. I’m pretty sure we all got the same lessons in music, and by “lessons” I mean we listened to the Dirty Dancing soundtrack all year and sang along to the music.

This must have prepared us for our end of the year gig singing at the eighth graduation ceremony. We were taught to sing Michael Jackson’s “Man In The Mirror”. I enjoyed singing, always have and always will, though I didn’t know what to make of the “choreography” our music teacher taught us.

Instead of letting our voices fade out, we were to chant “CHANGE! CHANGE! CHANGE!” as one, pointing our fingers at the graduating eighth graders as they sat, bored and fidgeting in the hot auditorium. I’m sure it was a message from the adults at school, meant to implore them to change for the better as they got older. My only wish was that the eighth graders would not return to school the following year on Halloween to throw rotten eggs and rocks and D batteries at the smaller kids trying not to get jacked on their way home.

But what the fuck did I care? I was off to private school (on scholar-sheeeeip, no less) and wouldn’t have to fool with these suckers anymore.

My other Michael Jackson memory from childhood is that when “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” was released as a single, at school we’d sing slightly different lyrics:

I just can’t stop sniffing gluuuuuuuuue
I just can’t stop sniffing gluuuuuuuuue
And if I stop
Then tell me just what can I dooooo
I just can’t stop sniffing gluuuuuuuuue

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