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Tuesday’s my long day this semester, especially if I go in early to catch up on grading papers or for meetings, advising, or other work that must be done on campus before my late afternoon class and my even later evening class. All the same, the evening class is a highlight of the week, because it’s an honors class on “faith and pop culture” that I’m team-teaching with a colleague from another department. We not only get to teach and talk about ideas, movies, and television that we both enjoy, but we also have a class of mostly engaged and above-average students.

Tonight we started the music section of the course with a guest lecture by one of our religion professors who is also a great fan of Bruce Springsteen. We believe it’s important to start with the classics—last time we taught this course, we had a lecture on U2. Only one student in the group admitted (proudly) having attended a Springsteen concert, so we’re looking forward to the response-papers from this evening, and even more to the students’ music presentations next week.

In addition to presenting some concert videos and interpreting several key songs, Professor J. recounted how he became a fan. As it happens, his second Springsteen concert and my first took place during the “Born in the USA” tour in different cities. My brother is a longtime Springsteen fan as well, so I was wishing he could have been with us tonight.