Question #1: Who taught you how to work hard?
I’ll first off tell a story about how my friend John helped teach me what it means to have a work ethic. From the time I was 15 years old, in the summer and after school, I worked at Branson’s Auto Service. I was the tire guy/stock-room organizer. The auto shop had a small split level warehouse built onto the back of it, full of new tires. It was my responsibility to resupply inventory when a new shipment of tires came in. We would stack the tires about 8-10 tires high and often times they would lean because they were poorly stacked or unorganized.
One day, my dad told my friend John (who worked with me at the shop) and I to organize a messy area of about 12 stacks of tires (roughly 100 tires). I tried to think of a short-cut to complete this task in a short amount of time. In contrast, John said "We should knock all the stacks down and roll them outside. Then restack them and organize them." I knew this would take at least an hour. I wanted to spend 20 minutes max doing this task. Without any other plan, I just went along with John’s plan of knocking the tire stacks over, sorting them out and then restacking.
His idea took a long time, but in the end, the tires were ordered, uniform and consistent. We had to make a mess in order to make order. I remember my dad being impressed. I always remembered John seeing that if you were going to the job right, it often takes 30 minutes to an hour longer in contrast to conveniently cutting corners. This memory stands out to me as formative in what it means to work hard because of John’s different approach.
As a teacher today, I am think about what it means to work hard on a regular basis. I hope that some of my students learn how to “work hard” when they are in my class as writers. But it seems the norm is that students who walk into my class the first day either have a strong work ethic or weak work ethic. How do people learn this? One study focused on teaching students “grit” gave some instruction on how to do this in the classroom.
However I am curious-------how did you learn how to work hard? Who taught you what a “work ethic” is? How does a person get a “work ethic?”
Question #2: Who decides what is played on the radio(since 2001)?
In 2000 a band named the Anniversary released an album called “Designing a Nervous Breakdown.” I would have never known about this album if I had not seen the band play a show in the Spring of 2002 in Raleigh, NC opening for Dashboard Confessional. I liked their performance so much that I got their album and have listened to it for years. In the fall of 2001 Nickelback released their album “Silver Side Up.” I heard one of their songs on the radio and got a copy their album as well. I liked their song “This is How I Remind You” but their album wasn’t interesting. I haven’t listened to it since, except once trying to understand why they are still around.
The rest is history. Nickelback went on be the band that was played repetitively on the radio starting in 2001. They went on to sell many records. I remember hearing them when I lived in Slovakia in 2007 at the grocery store (followed by a Beyonce song). Their music is mediocre at best. Their music isn’t completely terrible. I liked their first single. However the fact that they went on to be played so much over a 10-12 year period seemed absurd despite the presence of “unknown” albums by better rock and indie bands. Why was Nickelback on the radio so much? Why did I never hear a song by the Anniversary on the local radio station?
In 2002 I remember reading an interview in Alternative Press magazine with the Anniversary. They said in the interview that the people who are music critics, the media and radio stations decide the fate of bands. The band members suggested that they were doing their job as a band, but a large deciding factor on whether they “made it” as a rock band did not depend on their performance as much, but more on the ability of magazines and radio stations to “hype” the band.
My question is-------what forces are behind what radio stations play? Who chooses to play Nickelback instead of the Anniversary? Is there any listener input in this process? And has the radio station had so much power or is this a more recent development?