A few days ago--and I can't remember the context in which it came up--one of my choir students, a freshman boy, looked directly at me and said, "You ruined Idina Menzel for me."
"Awesome!" I replied, then thought better of it. "Okay, maybe not awesome..."
"Ever since you told us that she gasps when she breathes..."
"You can't un-hear it?"
"I'm sorry, hon. I don't want to ruin musicians for you. And I actually love Idina...she just needs to work on that whole gasping-for-breath thing."
Fast forward to Friday, as we rehearsed carols for a small caroling gig we had later in the day:
"I know you're over the carols, guys, but let's make them sound really great so we can show off how awesome we are this afternoon."
"I am SO over these carols. All carols." This from the front row, a freshman girl.
"I love Christmas music!" I chirped in response, prompting that classic "of course you do, you're a grown-up and weird by default" look that teenagers are so good at. "My holiday playlist on iTunes is epic. EPIC. Seriously."
By this time, my choir was just looking at me, obviously thinking, "Oh, this poor old woman..." so I went on, digging an even deeper hole. (I do this on purpose.)
"I have N'Sync's holiday album, okay? So much awesome."
This prompted a huge laugh from one of my baritones. "Ummm, okay, Ms. Cooper."
"Hey, now," I said. "I loved them back in the day."
"Look, college was stressful! And I'd just gone through a breakup. And there they were, all cute and singing catchy songs."
By now, we were all laughing, as had been my intention all along. It woke up some tired teens and got them singing with a little more spirit and energy.
I love my job.