Singing: Raising the happiness quota

Last Tuesday was probably my favorite day in Silver Club.

This in itself was surprising, since we were short on both staff members and students that day. The collage project planned required lots of cut out pieces of paper, and getting the correct colors and objects to members made things a tad hectic at the beginning. But in no time at all, everyone was settled down plotting out designs for their landscapes and having a grand old time. And that’s when the fun started.

First off, let me say that I have found a kindred spirit in my Silver Club partner. He has a wondrous sense of humor that shines through the art projects, and between the two of us we’re often getting in trouble of some sort. Last Tuesday it started when he heard singing. My roommate Sarah was singing to her partner on the other side of the room, and when the room quieted down we were all able to hear it.

“Whose singing?” said my member.

“Sarah and her partner across the room,” I said.

He contemplated this for a second and said, “We should sing. Louder.”

The other folks at my table and I laughed, thinking he was kidding. I know that he used to enjoy folk festivals with his wife, and was trying to think of some song that we could sing back with, when he broke out into a chorus of ‘I’ve been Working on the Railroad’. Every member joined in, singing it as loud as they could as the students frantically scrambled for words they hadn’t sung since elementary school. Sarah’s Silver Club partner found it hilarious, making the train’s whistle noises when the song called for it.

Singing together in that moment brought the happiness quota already present in the room up several notches, leaving my partner wreathed in smiles. It’s not often that outreach allows us to do things collectively as a group, and it was nice to share that moment with all in the room.  Club Members also thought it funny that students had issues remembering the words.

Afterwards, my member and I talked about the South and the railroads while we worked. Every Tuesday his art astounds me, and this time was no exception. If I could use watercolors like he does, I wouldn’t need art school.

I hope that sometime in the future, we can all sing together again. And I hope I remember more of the words….

~ Meggie Ramm, UM Art & Design Student



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