Thursday, April 14, 2016

Toughen up Princess: Turn the Page

A while back Jon English died. I liked him. He did some good songs and he covered one of the "toughen up princess" songs I have used when it's time to get to work.

These songs have been:

  • Jackson Browne: The load out after late nights on a job
  • Van Morrison: The Philosopher's Stone as I'd burn up the roads between Adelaide and Bordertown
  • Bob Seger: Turn the Page

That last one is about how you just have to put on a mask and play the part. Most time I can manage it. Late last year, the mask slipped and some classes of students saw the face behind. At the time that face was exhausted, exasperated and I felt unappreciated. The students weren't kind, and it's a fair cop. We all have shit to deal with - you deal with yours and I'll deal with my own. It'll take me a few years to rebuild some of the professional damage I did over that six months. Maybe never.

But most time I'm up to the task, I have always enjoyed the thrill of just getting the stuff done whether it's:

  • Cracking a sales deal with factory managers then walking out onto the factory floor to make the practicalities work with the floor staff.
  • Climbing off a commercial flight in a foreign country and walking into a classroom where nobody trusts you, then finishing the course with them singing your praises
  • Taking the fear of a student who needs to write a research minor thesis and converting it to productive action
  • Briefing up a student on how to make a skydive then jumping out of the plane with them

The world's a stage and it's my job to man up and make a success of what I said I'd do. And every day is a new type of challenge.

Turn the page...




On a long and lonesome highway
East of Omaha
You can listen to the engine
Moanin' out his one note song
You can think about the woman
Or the girl you knew the night before
But your thoughts will soon be wandering
The way they always do
When you're ridin' sixteen hours
And there's nothin' much to do
And you don't feel much like ridin',
You just wish the trip was through

Here I am
On the road again
There I am
Up on the stage
Here I go
Playin' star again
There I go
Turn the page

Well you walk into a restaurant,
Strung out from the road
And you feel the eyes upon you
As you're shakin' off the cold
You pretend it doesn't bother you
But you just want to explode

Most times you can't hear 'em talk,
Other times you can
All the same old cliches,
"Is that a woman or a man?"
And you always seem outnumbered,
You don't dare make a stand

Here I am
On the road again
There I am
Up on the stage
Here I go
Playin' star again
There I go
Turn the page

Out there in the spotlight
You're a million miles away
Every ounce of energy
You try to give away
As the sweat pours out your body
Like the music that you play

Later in the evening
As you lie awake in bed
With the echoes from the amplifiers
Ringin' in your head
You smoke the day's last cigarette,
Rememberin' what she said

Here I am
On the road again
There I am
Up on the stage
Here I go
Playin' star again
There I go
Turn the page
Here I am
On the road again
There I am
Up on the stage
Here I go
Playin' star again
There I go
Turn the page
There I go
There I go

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