You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know


What you don’t know you don’t know

While teaching Humanities Honors II I realized we’d be covering the Baroque and Classical periods.

It brought back a flood of early life memories of learning humanities as a core part of our European History classes in high school.

I also remember the cello. My brothers lettered in football. I lettered in music. I have the emblem somewhere but I cannot find it today.

But I did find the desire to try again baroque and classical music. I wanted to share the love of classical music with students who have no exposure to orchestral symphony.

So I practiced, played, played and practiced with the students. At first they were simply disdainful of the idea. When possible mocking as let’s face it the mocking was possible given the 40 years in-between the last session and now. As a teen I can see the opportunity as too good to pass up!

But I don’t stop.

We had a ‘study free day’ one day. The rules are you can study or work on any school work but no iPad videos and no chatter. School work or serve detention is the rule.

‘Can we listen to music on our ear buds?’

‘No, I’ll provide’.

So I practiced, they studied. Yes, it takes 10 minutes to get everyone working and shrugging off the nervous energy. They studied.

I practiced. Since I was practicing evenings as well so much former glory returned. OK, some did but this is my version of the story.

I played Bach’s Suite #1 Prelude For Unaccompanied Cello. They were patient.

#2 Allemande – they were attentive.

#3 Courante – they were surprised how much they loved the music. Not the technical aspect which was lacking. The genius of the composer touched them through a course rendition.

I didn’t get further as it is too much for tired hands.

Yes, they were quite happy to clap and show appreciation in a genuine way. Most of all they began to imagine their poverty of music and of creativity and excellence in creativity.

Attention Grabbing

Some things grab your attention such as the spectacular, shiny, and the blusterous and bombastically exaggerated promises with a noisy prognostication.

Then there is the cello’s confident soulful sound.

Played to accompany the violin in her music or function as the bass to the melody. But uniquely by itself can carry the heart to peaceful places, a healthy response to melancholy and invoking hopeful dispositions. Bach was the beginning of an entire revolution in music.

You don’t know what you don’t know.

Noise or Soulful Sounds

Each person has a decision to make. Will we even continue to subject ourselves to noise? Do we even know something else?

The noise is the tornado. We are in the vortex now.

When they sow the wind, they shall reap the whirlwind; The stalk of grain that forms no ear can yield no flour; Even if it could, strangers would swallow it. (Hos 8:7)

You don’t know what you don’t know.

Maybe it’s time you tried to hear the difference.

May God have mercy on us.


Deacon Gerry

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