That strange quiet kid
But they do their work. They get on well enough with others. They coast through the year, and by the end of the following year you’ve already forgotten them.
This here is a story of what I would consider one of those kids. She even describes her highschool years as “very dedicated, very studious, very disciplined” but also “a bit insecure” as she told in an interview, “I used to get made fun of for being either too provocative or too eccentric, so I started to tone it down. I didn’t fit in, and I felt like a freak.”
Fast forward to 2016, and this eccentric, provocative, insecure girl has just performed the most loud, proud, and magnificent performance on a world stage.
As the 50th Super Bowl kicks off, the voice of Lady Gaga, accompanied beautifully by the soft chimes of a piano, rings out around Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara as she sings the National Anthem of her country. There is no bravado. No arrogance. No ego. No overperforming. No bizarre meat dress. Nothing weird. Just a simple, humble voice piercing the aura of the occasion, and reaching in and touching hearts around the stadium and the world.
As tears roll down her cheeks, you can see that this isn’t just about singing the National Anthem. This isn’t just the sense of occasion on the world’s biggest stage. This isn’t a show, or even a performance. This is much more than that. This is that small, quiet, insecure, weird kid in the class making it.
And making it big.
Not a single note falls out of place. Not a note out of time, or a word unfinished. Not a miscued start, not a preempted moment. She conducts herself, and works seamlessly with her accompaniment throughout the stops, pauses, pianissimo, forte, and crescendos. She softens her tone and draws everyone in, then belts out the strongest line flawlessly. She connects with everyone in the stadium. The players forget about singing, and even the reason they are there. Their coach’s hearts melted, and tears appear in the eyes of the toughest of men on the field.
As the middle of the anthem hits home, you get the feeling that the glamour and glitz of her career are now forgotten. The 28 million albums she has sold are incredibly insignificant, as are her 6 Grammy Awards.
No. This is Lady Gaga making it on the world stage.
So, I implore you, as a teacher; never ignore the weird kid. Never underestimate the quiet, insecure kid. Don’t quash the creative kid, just because they aren’t “academic”.
Here is a determined, powerful woman showing the world how it’s done. She has embraced her individuality, enhanced her creativity, mastered her skills, and blown the world away with her passion, her drive, her voice, and her ability to make the most of the once in a lifetime opportunity.