Fairleigh Dickinson University, April 6, 2000

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What the Fans Said

We know them as our professors. Bits of their personalities are sometimes revealed to us in their classroom lectures. Slowly, we piece together their hobbies, their passions, their talents, their philosophies, and their dreams. We can imagine what they might be like on the weekends, during their free time, when they are not assuming the exterior persona of college professor. But we rarely have the opportunity to actually catch a glimpse of our professors' true, inner selves.

On Thursday, April 6, the English and Communications professors gave their students a chance to learn something more of their alter egos when they stepped out from behind the podium and into the limelight. In a two-hour variety show, the professors revealed their secret talents as they sang, strummed, and recited to their hearts content. The highlights of the evening included J's pop-y rendition of "American Pie," Radford's rocking guitar licks, and Acting Dean Green's stirring, though somewhat lengthy, rendition of Beowulf in its native tongue.

Students of J, Radford, and Green were probably not too surprised at their performance choices. J's classes are already accustomed to her high-energy, exuberant personality. In her informal introduction sessions at the beginning of each semester, J has shared with her students her love for skiing, aerobics, mountain biking, and even extreme sports like rock climbing. Her numerous in-class references to modern-day culture, including TV shows like "Friends" and "Will and Grace," revealed her personal interest in pop entertainment. Her rendition of "American Pie" and Jewel favorites seemed to perfectly fit with her youthful and outgoing profile.

Radford's students have always loved their professor's philosophic and even psychedelic style. His in-class boastings of having seen Pink Floyd live duing the band's peak have awed his self-styled hippie students. Students know him as a profound thinker with a definite cool, sixties streak. His bohemian rock riffs, therefore, were a perfect compliment to the vision that students have of Radford.

It's always interesting to see what the older generation is up to. They've weathered society's fast-forward surge into the millennium along with their fitness-crazed, guitar worshipping sucessors. Who would think that between stock investments, retirement planning, and baby-sitting grandchildren they'd be writing poetry and song lyrics? Yeah, it's true. And this is no out-dated, Honeymooner-rerun, Beowolf type of listening. It's some pretty happening stuff. Dressed in all black with the M.C. sporting some "sheiky" shades, they just might give the Smashing Pumpkins a run for their money.

Perhaps the delight of the evening was the musical performance by "The Professors." Two funky guitars, a capable songstress, and one wicked harmonica tore the roof off with their finger-poppin' originals. With a Grateful Dead-esque folk sound, "The Professors" had the crowd in a toe-tapping universal sway. It gets better. Joan Osborne and Alanis Morissette were reincarnated on stage via the slim blonde songbird. With the help of a Grade A sound section, the lyrics of "One of Us" and "You Oughta Know" came alive. Yup, and she said the "f" word too, loudly. So, bye-bye miss American pie, there are some new fishes in town.

The performance held at the Pub on Thursday, April 6th, was great. The English Departmen set this performance up, and they didn't disappoint the audience. This performance was a combination of music and poetry. Faculty of the English Department were the main performers. Some of the professors who performed are my professors, and so I was pretty excited to see them perform. Professors J and Radford did a fantastic job with the music. They performed all sorts of songs. The poetry was pretty good also, but the highlight of the evening was clearly the music.

Professors Radford and J did a fantastic job performing the music. I had heard them perform on tape once, but I never had the opportunity to see them perform live before this event. Two other professors were in the band as well, and they too did a fantastic job. The professor with the harmonica sounded like Billy Joel in the song "Piano Man." His performance was absolutely stunning. The band covered a few great songs during the night. They performed big hits like "American Pie," "You Oughta Know," and "What if God was One of Us." They also performed some new songs that were great. Professor J has a great voice and she showed why on this night. Her perfomance of Alanis Morissette's "You Oughta Know" was absolutely incredible. Professor Radford's performance on the guitar was reminiscent of Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page.

This page last updated October 1, 2015 by Gary Radford.
Many thanks to Kurt Wagner, Marie Radford, and Jon Oliver.