MyAmericanFuture

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MyAmericanFuture

Monday, February 12, 2018

February 12, 2018: Songs I Love: Dar Williams’ “After All”



[For this year’s Valentine’s Day series, I wanted to share and briefly discuss a handful of my favorite songs, leading up to a special weekend post on a legendary singer/songwriter on whom my perspective has significantly and happily evolved. I’d love to hear about your favorite songs or artists in comments!]
On the difficult and crucial skill this favorite song models.
Each of the prior times I’ve taught our English Studies Capstone, I’ve brought in a few favorite texts of mine for the last class. (I imagine I’ll do the same this semester, but it’s too early for me to be thinking about May quite yet!). Partly that’s because the class is very individualized, and so I like to end by sharing a bit more of me after having learned so much about all of the students in the class. But it’s also and especially because each of these texts helps me highlight particular skills that I think English Studies features and that will serve the students well as they move into their future professional, educational, and personal settings and stages.
One of those favorite texts is Dar Williams’ “After All” (2001). There’s a lot that I love about Dar’s beautiful song, including the most pitch-perfect and moving final verse I’ve ever encountered. But I’m particularly impressed with it as a model of both self-analysis and of wedding such self-reflections to evolving perspectives on our family and heritage, our relationships, and our place in the world. Asking such questions about ourselves is a lifelong process, I believe, and one that greatly benefits from examples and guides. I know of few that are more beautiful or more inspiring than “After All.”
Next favorite song tomorrow,
Ben
PS. What do you think? Favorite songs or artists you’d share?

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