Chris Uggen's Blog: teachers, students, and the smokin'-est cat

Saturday, December 10, 2005

teachers, students, and the smokin'-est cat

every teacher wants to make a difference. at semester's end i often wonder whether and how i'm reaching people. were they inspired the way that my teachers inspired me? sometimes they tell you, sometimes they don't. one of my favorite odes to a teacher is from duane allman, the guitar virtuoso who died on his motorcycle at 24. here's allman on his first guitar teacher:

The cat that taught me to play guitar ... Jim Sheppley, Ol' Lightnin' Fingers. The first number one, taking care-of-business man in Daytona Beach, Florida; The cat that had it all together if you wanted to learn anything. If you wanted to play something right, you'd go to him and learn it. The baddest cat. A very influential cat in my life, also. He's dynamite. The smokin'-est cat. I can't even talk about him, he's so hip. He glows in the dark. He hung the moon and tells the sun when to come up. Shepp is smokin'.

dang. i've gotten some decent teaching evaluations, but nobody ever said i was so hip that i hung the moon. i've never heard jim sheppley play, but the quote reflects as well on mr. allman as it does on "ol' lightnin' fingers." i was lucky to have some very influential cats in my life too. one can only hope to pay it forward.


At 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you've definately reached me this semester, Uggen. I've never had a prof nearly as hip.

I mean, cmon', the hair!

-a student

At 4:12 PM, Anonymous sarah said...

Did you post this yourself????
Ha ha!

At 7:06 PM, Anonymous chris said...

nah, i'm strictly lower-case, but i do appreciate the sentiment.

At 10:28 PM, Anonymous sarah said...

Of course I was kidding, but even I noted the aberrent capital "U" as the evidence against the accusation. At some point, I really would like a lower-caser (I've known a few) to explain the appeal. Is it an identity thing? A convenience thing? Perhaps my nuptial allegience to a writing teacher subconciously constrains me to (attempting) "proper" grammar. I don't know, but I've toyed with being a lower-caser and it hasn't stuck. I just can't keep the pinky off that shift key!

At 2:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to shed some light on your question sarah; I believe the "lower caser" syndrome (i wont speak for Uggen, however) is largely a function of the instant messenger generation. Punctuation, grammar, these are things my generation apparently needs not.

-same kid

P.S. You'll have to forgive my trolling, but reading the blogs as well as the responses makes me feel smarter.
free the pinky.

At 8:11 AM, Anonymous ee cummings said...

i'm closer to the ee (cummings) generation than the im generation, but i'm trying to avoid wearing a wrist brace (even though they look very cool, of course). it just hurts less to type when i'm not reaching back for the shift key.

At 2:45 PM, Anonymous oh captain, my captain! said...

same kid- That was my intuition in terms of the broader phenomena - im, email, blogging, etc. And I agree with you about feeling smarter, except everytime I post a comment, I feel just a little bit dumber!

ee - got nothin' but love for you, as you are my husband's favorite poet. I'm a bit more of a Walt Whitman and Langston Huges kind of gal.

Do you think that maybe it's really all about pinky flexibility? 'Cause I done some typin' in my days and have never had any carpel tunnel issues.

At 6:47 PM, Anonymous sarah said...

Speaking of smokin' cats, you might want to send a get well card, chris.


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