I was the kid in the class who was looking for the angles to question things or make wise-ass remarks, not knowing enough to be afraid of being myself or showing intelligence. But I wasn't the only kid like that in my classes because of where I grew up. I'm really thankful I grew up in a town where there were a lot of other mutant kids. I'm from Boulder, Colorado, which went through a lot of dramatic changes when I was growing up.
Before I had kids, I thought you should never lie to a kid. But now I've had them, I realize you almost lie to them by definition, because if you're trying to summarize something for your 1-year-old, you put it in very simple terms. You only gradually complicate the explanation as they get older.
White people couldn't do black music back in the day because they weren't funky or bad enough. They weren't from the ghettoes, but hip-hop and R&B changed all of that because white kids want to be down with it. They wanted to learn it so they studied the culture. It's kind of a cool thing because we shouldn't be so separate.
The object of this competition is not to be mean to the losers but to find a winner. The process makes you mean because you get frustrated. Kids turn up unrehearsed, wearing the wrong clothes, singing out of tune and you can either say, "Good job" and patronize them or tell them the truth, and sometimes the truth is perceived as mean.