Wow, I must be running on Caribbean time because I didn’t even attempt to start this post on time. Sorry guys. I feel like in the spirit of Black History Month, the month into which I try to pack in the most slavery and back-of-the-bus jokes, I should be forgiven just this once.
Earlier this year I decided I to take a course on Latin American and Caribbean music as an elective. I was pretty excited about it because it was my first-ever university music class and music is my passion. It was also really interesting to learn about cultural practices that are not mainstream in North America (in a totally non I-am-a-snobby-ass-pretentious-hipster-who-needs-to-get-thrown-under-a-bus kind of way). On top of it, my professor was passionate and really knew his stuff; awesome traits to have in someone who controls your grade.
The lectures eventually hit the topic of Trinidad and Tobago. I was fucking loving this unit because I got to listen to steel pan. It was basically a party. But in the morning. And sitting down (a big fuck you to those who go to parties and drink sitting alone in the corner; that is hen shit and everyone is having a good time without you… make friends). Naturally, the professor touched on the social implications of Soca music to Trinidadian culture. The elite were very abrasive to it at first; it was seen as “whinin‘ music”.
This is where the professor paused. “Can anyone tell me what whinin‘ is? Does everyone know what it means?”
I looked around and saw the few Caribbean-descended students in the class shift uncomfortably in their seats, like they just sat in some homeless man piss.
We all knew exactly what the fuck it meant but you can’t just blurt that shit out. You don’t talk about that sort of thing at school. There seemed to be a general fear shared among us that whoever answered the question would instantly have a letter addressed to their parents sent from the university explaining our class participation, and then promptly have a wooden spoon being broken over our ass. Or worse, a Hot Wheels track. Batteries not included.
One confident individual who was not part of the shitting-your-pants club eagerly raised his hand. Lord Jesus Christ, I thought. The professor called on him and the guy immediately started rubbing his hands together like it was his job.
“It’s the passionate merging of two bodies on the dance floor; a sensual dance involving much gyration of the hips.” With each definition he gave, he rubbed his hands more intensely. His words flew out of his mouth at rapid-fire speed, building in shrillness. It seemed like this motherfucker used Hannah Montana music videos as his personal porn stash.
“The connection of groins beneath clothes; the –”
The professor cut him off. “Yeah I was just looking for the word grinding.”
To be fair, our instructor had asked us for the definition of the word. That is his own damn fault for the amount of awkward experienced. I mean, how do you get a fucking job as a professor at a top university and not understand that, statistically speaking, it’s real likely that some perverted twit is enrolled in the class and wants to make his masturbation session public. I ought to have slapped the man upside his head for getting my brain violated. That memory is going to remain up in my hippocampus until I get freaking dementia.
What a dumb shit.