Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Moving On From Furbulia (or Do I Have To?)

Sometimes you don't have a choice. Sometimes you have to do something, whether you want to or not. That's a lesson that everyone eventually learns, some earlier than others. 

Having to do something that you don't want to do can be really depressing. What's more depressing is doing something that you love to do, and then having those around you almost ruin it for you because they're being forced to do it. This was my experience with junior high choir and band.

Music has always been something that I excelled at, and in turn, something that I have truly loved. No matter how bad of a day I might have been having during my classes (or between classes) at school, that hour out of the day I spent in either band or choir would bring a smile to my face. And then the rest of the class would arrive.

Don't misunderstand, I wasn't the only one who legitimately wanted to be there. There were a number of us that actually enjoyed making music. But, there was a vocal minority of students that had to be there, didn't want to be there, and wanted to make sure everyone knew it. Some days the teacher spent more time trying to get people to stop talking between singing or playing than making music. And forget about time spent learning about things like keys and dynamics. Fortunately, the music teachers did offer a few of us who were interested in such things more personal learning opportunities. 

As such, I am of mixed feelings on the subject of required choir/band classes in junior high. On one hand, some of these kids might not ever think to explore music beyond what they learned in elementary school had they not been forced to sit though it, and they may find a new passion. On the other hand, it becomes a major challenge for both the students that want to be there, and the teachers, trying to wrangle kids who are only there because they are made to be. Given the choice, I would rather the students be exposed to music, then be allowed to decide whether it's something they want to continue to explore in high school.

How does this relate to this week's Furble strips? I shall explain:

Strip 46/166 - BOOM! There it is!

Furble and FC, who have been visiting their home world of Furbulia these past few weeks, are out stargazing with Furble's mother. Suddenly *BOOM* something appears in the sky, knocking everyone back. Looking like something out of the Wizard of Oz, it becomes (absurdly) obvious that this is a way for the duo to make it back to Earth. But, Furble and FC have only been home a short while, and haven't even discussed wanting to go back to Earth. So we just ignore it, right?

Strip 47/166 - A cyclone in space?

Well, there's no discussion. No thought of "maybe we can stay at home", "do we really want to head back to an alien planet?", or "hey, is it safe getting sucked up in a cyclone in space?". Apparently, this is one of those things that you need to do, no choice in the matter. If there had been a series of strips dealing with Furble trying to get back to Earth the same way he tried to get back home, or even brought the subject up in casual conversation, it would feel more natural. But, I decided to send them back to Earth. So, they say their brief good-byes and *POOF* they're gone. And, while they won't make it back to Furbulia again, they will travel the universe, and the readers will revisit the planet in the end.

Strip 48/166 - Same as it ever was

And, just like that, we're back on Earth. Seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Now, the only thing that Furble and FC have to do is survive Earth, once again.

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