Cassette Tape Psychoanalysis

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Photo by Maria Valdez

Photo by Maria Valdez

Welcome to the new Voice feature, Cassette Tape Psychoanalysis, where our certified and highly trained on-staff psychoanalysts examine the high school music tastes of three Pres teachers from three different generations. Get ready to take an accurate look back in time!


Mr. Garrett (the 2000s)

Back in his high school days, Mr. Garrett was listening to The Offspring, Blink 182, Fall Out Boy, Sum-41, The Postal Service, Ma$e and Ludacris. No doubt Mr. Garrett was blasting Blink 182, The Offspring and Sum-41 while he was shredding at the skatepark. It’s very probable he perfected his kickflip and axle stall while listening to the music of these skate punk bands.


One can also imagine the future speech and debate director trying to psych himself up on school mornings with the hip hop music of Ma$e and Ludacris. Nothing like rapping to yourself in the mirror to get yourself ready to face another day of school.


No matter how pumped up Mr. Garrett got in the mornings, he couldn’t always be ready to tackle what the day threw at him. It was at the end of these difficult days that he sought comfort in the music of his two favorite high school bands, Fall Out Boy and The Postal Service.


With lyrics like, “Stop burning bridges and drive off of them. So I can forget about you,” Fall Out Boy was the kind of music high school Mr. Garrett needed to hear in the aftermath of friendships and relationships gone awry.


And, speaking of high school romances, you have to figure there was that one relationship Mr. Garrett was not ready to see end. That’s when he listened to “Nothing Better” by The Postal Service, a duet between a couple about to break up.


Mr. Garrett considers it to be one of his favorite songs in high school and, with the lines,“Tell me am I right to think that there could be nothing better, than making you my bride and slowly growing old together,” we can guess that the tissue box was never far when he listened to this heartbreaking song.


High school Mr. Garrett might have looked like a tough skateboarder on the outside, but on the inside he was a sensitive soul who suffered his fair share of heartbreak.


Ms. Ford (the 80s)

High School Ms. Ford had an eclectic music taste. She listened to the Grateful Dead, Duran Duran, B.B. King and the Eagles.


As a fan of the Grateful Dead, Ms. Ford has the honor of being a Deadhead. She is just one of the notable Deadheads, along with Whoopi Goldberg, Nancy Pelosi and Mario Batali. Quite the group, huh?


Back in the band’s heyday, their hardcore fans would travel city to city with the rock band. One can picture a high school Ms. Ford jumping in a friend’s VW bus, wearing tie dye from head to toe, and dancing the night away at Grateful Dead shows night after night. And just when you thought she couldn’t get any cooler.


But Ms. Ford doesn’t only have the distinction of being a Deadhead — she was also a Duranie. Duran Duran, an English band known for their catchy, upbeat pop songs, was the music Ms. Ford listened to while getting ready for a night out with girlfriends or before a party.


The dance inducing music spread throughout Ms. Ford’s bedroom as she put on her leg warmers and teased her hair with an excessive amount of hairspray. Basically, if Duran Duran was on, Ms. Ford was having a good time.


When Ms. Ford tired of Duran Duran and wanted to listen to something totally different, she turned to B.B. King, “The King of Blues.” Considering, B.B.’s been around since the 1950s, high school Ms. Ford was a bit of an old soul. Yeah,  she enjoyed herself a good party every now and then, but a night in listening to B.B. while sipping on tea and knitting was just as good, if not better.


Ms. Ford’s favorite song in high school though, was “Take it Easy” by the Eagles. All you need to hear is the opening chords of this song and already you’re in a good mood.


The song is upbeat, fast, and fun but also calming at the same time. Lead singer Glenn Frey sings, “Don’t let the sound of your own wheels, drive you crazy” so convincingly that there’s no way Ms. Ford was stressed after hearing this song. If she had to write a CRP the night before it was due, you better believe this song was on.


High school Ms. Ford took it easy and had fun in whatever she was doing. Whether she was at a Grateful Dead concert, in her room jamming out to Duran Duran, having a quiet night in with B.B. King, or rocking out to the Eagles while writing her CRP, she was always having a good time.


Mrs. Ponikvar (Late 60s, early 70s)

It was the singer-songwriters of the 60s and 70s who attracted the attention of Mrs. Ponikvar in her high school days. Back then, she listened to John Denver, Carole King, James Taylor, Jim Croce, and Simon and Garfunkel.


Teenage Mrs. Ponikvar had to have been a nature lover if she was listening to John Denver: a musician who often wrote about his affection for the great outdoors. One can imagine a high school Mrs. Ponikvar reading a book of poetry on a bright spring day as John Denver sang, “Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy” on the radio. Sounds like Mrs. Ponikvar could have easily been a park ranger instead of a teacher.


Unfortunately, sunshine can’t last forever; winter has to come sometime. While dreaming of warmer days to come, Mrs. Ponikvar listened to Carole King and James Taylor, two artists whose music defined 1970s California. Thanks to these singer songwriters, Mrs. Ponikvar probably got the California bug and wanted to move here ASAP. Spoiler alert: she did. Whatever high school Mrs. Ponikvar dreamed of, she achieved.


Mrs. Ponikvar may be an English teacher now but that doesn’t mean she always was good with words. That’s when she turned to folk singer/songwriter Jim Croce to say what she could not. When trying to tell one of her early loves how she was feeling, she probably put on Croce’s “I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song.” Not only did she avoid getting tongue-tied, but she was also got to listen to a great song. Smart move; readers, take note.


Mrs. Ponikvar’s favorite band in high school was Simon and Garfunkel and considering that this duo put poetry to music, it’s not hard to see why this English teacher continues to love them. In fact, one of Mrs. Ponikvar’s favorite songs in high school was “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”


Simon wrote the song in hopes of providing comfort to a person in need, so there’s no doubt Mrs. Ponikvar listened to this song after finding out a book she wanted from the library wasn’t available or when she had to stay home sick from school and miss English class.


High school Mrs. Ponikvar was determined and smart as a whip. When she wasn’t busy achieving whatever she set her mind to, you could find her enjoying nature or seeking comfort in the music of Simon and Garfunkel.


And there you have it, a completely error free music psychoanalysis of high school Mr. Garrett, Ms. Ford, and Mrs. Ponikvar!