Adventures in Ethics and Science

An open letter

… to the elder Free-Ride offspring’s trumpet teacher.

While I am generally accepting of your choices as far as the pieces you are having my child learn how to play, I have a small bone to pick with you this evening.

You see, May is what we in the college education biz call “grading season”. It is when the calendar tells us we are rapidly running out of time to get the assignments we’ve collected read, commented, scored, and returned to our students so they can use this feedback to prepare for their final exams.

Grading is not the most enjoyable part of my job. And when the stacks of papers are as high as an elephant’s eye, my brain naturally shifts into self-preservation mode. The mind starts wandering. The temptations start presenting themselves.

The piece you have the elder Free-Ride offspring working on, that “Russian Sailor’s Dance” from “The Red Poppy”, is a pleasing piece of music to be sure.

It is also the music from Tetris.

If I have to go into rehab because my video game “problem” flares up, I’m sending you the bill. Plus a stack of papers to grade.


Dr. Free-Ride


  1. #1 Arancaytar
    May 8, 2010

    Dum dada dum, da da dum dum dum dada dum, dada dum da DUM DUM DUM… 😀

    I like to hum that when I need to annoy the hell out of everybody nearby!

  2. #2 Joel
    May 9, 2010

    You can’t just go around saying stuff like that! I just spent my whole afternoon playing Tetris!

  3. #3 Comrade PhysioProf
    May 9, 2010


  4. #4 Katherine
    May 9, 2010


  5. #5 Craig M
    May 10, 2010

    Just be thankful it wasn’t the tune from Lemmings…

  6. #6 Uncle Fishy
    May 10, 2010

    Practice mute? Garage? Practice mute in car parked in garage? Surely there are solutions to this.

  7. #7 Rob Monkey
    May 10, 2010
  8. #8 Pat Cahalan
    May 10, 2010

    Risking a perma-ban here:

    Try “night mode”.

  9. #9 Arancaytar
    May 11, 2010

    By the way, isn’t the traditional Tetris theme actually a different Russian folk song called “Korobeiniki” / “Peddlers”? That’s the melody I thought of earlier, but it doesn’t seem to be from the ballet.

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