Over the years, I have many posts that are some of my favorites, but the single post that has brought in the oddest assortment of far-flung readers who are supremely grateful for finding Capital District Post is a post that doesn’t have anything to do with local happenings or being a mom. It’s this post about a song I learned in elementary school.
Our teacher Mr. Kahn wrote a song to help us remember all of the United States presidents, and twenty, thirty, forty years later, former students go on a hunt trying to remember the song. At one point there was a Facebook group devoted to it, and I captured what I found there as well as what I remembered myself, and I casually threw it into a post that wasn’t even wholly devoted to it — there’s a link to a pretty good kale recipe as well. Over the years, people have reached out: to thank me for putting the song somewhere they could find it, to offer up the sheet music, to share anecdotes, and to alert me to a recording of the teacher singing it himself. Most recently someone reached out via Twitter with a picture of one of the old photocopies that we’d sing from in music class. It is all very random and all very delightful.
This is the first year in many, many long years that I don’t have a child heading off to school in the mornings with their backpack, which is a little bittersweet. And these days seem worse than ever for teachers, with massive post-pandemic-shutdown challenges as well as all sorts of random people accusing teachers of grooming and other nefarious activities. So it is a lovely little testament to the lasting educational impact of teachers when I hear from so many people who feel a common bond over a small cultural phenomenon that was the Presidents Song at Increase Miller Elementary School.