Now that you've heard my story and thought about what I was thinking (that's a lot of thinking about thought) we are going to listen and analyze "My Adidas" for ourselves.
Being a strong and smart thinker is about forming good routines and habits that maximize our ability to learn and understand what we are studying. Once we learn some of these routines we can apply them to anything from becoming excellent athletes to courtroom lawyers to well-paid electricians. In order to have a strong mind and get what you want in life, whatever that is, you need to learn steps and processes to become superior thinkers.
STEP 1: First Impressions
The first thing we want to do when we need to evaluate anything new is get a first impression of it. This can be an initial look, a quick listen, or a short conversation with someone about what you're going to soon learn. During this phase, our brain takes brief pictures of the new material-- we aren't so much focused on specific details yet, more just the rough edges of what we are looking at, reading, listening to, etc in order to get a first impression.
Remember, at this stage, your job is to only get a general idea of what we are evaluating. Mastery will come in the proceeding steps.
As you listen to "My Adidas" write down keywords, phrases, and ideas that come to you on first impression in the text box below.(Some good questions to ask are: "What is the mood of the song?" "What can we tell about the speaker?" "Why are these Adidas so important?" etc)
STEP 2: Contextualize
Yep, that's right a five-syllable word. Whether you're stuck in the classroom or you're out in the world, you must adopt this mantra: CONTEXT IS EVERYTHING. Think about it, if you walked around telling people "I hope you enjoy your summer!!" IN FEBRUARY you would not be taking context into consideration. Then again, if you lived in a part of the world where summer season started in February, then that would be perfectly acceptable. See how context can quickly change the meaning of something!!
"I HATE TO SEE STUDENTS NOT LEARN."
- every teacher
Not taking context into consideration has serious consequences in the real-world. As the internet continues to grow and social media becomes a vital part of so many people's lives, your job as a human being will be to sift through the constant barrage of what you're seeing online in order to decide for yourself what to make of it. Contextualization will be the key weapon in your pursuit of truth and your best defense in protecting yourself from lies, manipulation and failure. (No, this isn't hyperbole)
Let's put "My Adidas" into context by watching the video for the song. As you watch, continue to listen along and see if the lyrics make more sense now that you have a visual to help contextualize the song.
STEP 3: DEEP UNDERSTANDING
Now it may seem daunting to spend so much time on a silly song about a pair of sneakers that aren't really that awesome. But hang with me here, what we are really doing is learning to adopt a habit, not become experts on RUN-DMC. In step 3, we bridge the gap between what we think we know and what we know. What does that mean?? Let me try to be clear by breaking down what happened in each step so far:
In Step 1 you used your initial impression to get a sense of what was going on in the song. What you were in fact doing was developing a thesis. You might not know it, but we are developing thesis statements all day long. We look out the window and think it's raining. How do we support this claim?
Step 2 helped us support any claim we had during our initial listen to "My Adidas." Maybe we thought the guys in the group were using Adidas as a fashion statement, or a way to show they had some cool kicks. Well, using the secondary source of the video, we are able to support the claims we devised during step 1.
In Step 3 we will continue finding support for our claims by using text evidence-- in this case they lyrics from the song itself.
Write down one claim about the song that you developed during previous two steps and use the lyrics to support your thesis. (FYI: It doesn't matter what your claim is. It can be that this is the worst song in the entire world. What matters is that you can back your claim using text evidence!!!)