Chapter 22

32 0 0

"Alright, who can tell me what we learnt about in the last class? It seems with all the antidepressants they've been plyin me with, my brain's gone numb! Campbell asked just to test his noisy class, chuckling nervously, before pointing out to random students. His class had grown due to positive word of mouth and even students who hadn't opted to learn about media studies were frequenting the vacant benches at the back of the room to listen to him and see what weird costume he'd turn up in next. Thankfully, his voice was loud enough to echo across the entire classroom. They'd turned more sympathetic towards him too, no longer mocking him behind his back or tossing paper balls/ paper planes with hurtful comments scribbled on em. "Microphones an' loudspeakers, sir!" a shrill voiced student answered. "Ouch...! Quite the loudspeaker yerself, Remy! Ironically, we'll be learnin bout maintainin the volume in the next class! Also, don't address me as sir, lad. Makes me feel ol! Before we start, who ere can tell me the correct way to address this cool hip fella standin before ya? Ya, on the last bench?" he requested, appearing rather cool and hip in his blue tee with the Superman insignia on the front, denims and plain white converse with bright neon shoelaces. He'd worn a red cape too to complete the look. It'd earned him a lotta stares from the other teachers as he twirled around in it jokingly and it was draped over his chair now. He pointed to his faithful student, Kris, for the answer.  "Why, yer Mr. B...only the hippest coolest teacher EVAR!" Kris obliged, feeding his ego with a wide grin. "That's right! Try an' remember it, folks. Now, who can tell me what the different types o' consoles are? How bout ya, lass?" he exclaimed, satisfied with her reply before he continued his lesson. " "Analog an' digital, sir...I mean, Mr. B." a girl with red highlights in her hair replied from the front bench. "Correct-a-mundo! Brilliant Brita's been doin er homework, eh?" Campbell praised, applauding encouragingly and flashing her a toothy smile. "Now, I'd like ya all to follow me to the bus. I've planned a lil trip for y'all to reward yer good discipline." he revealed, much to their surprise and delight!
"Now, for starters, ya can't talk bout somethin an' not be exposed to the real thing. Not everyone can see stuff that's not there...An' it's no fun tryin to picture it in our minds either. Too much o' a strain on yer young, impressionable minds. So, we have ere, a real mixin console!" he introduced them to his trusty mixing console. They found themselves huddled in the radio station, having moved from the classroom at Campbell's insistence. It was probably against the rules to take the students anywhere without consent, but being the risk taker that he was, he'd ushered them into the radio station in the hopes that'd it'd encourage them further to take radio jockeying seriously as a profession and also to give them an insight into his job.  "This is a lil piece o' my heart. She's been with me since my days at St. Jude's. This is where the magic started." he began his lesson, patting his precious console as they gathered around to examine it with their curious eyes. 
"Ahem! What's happenin in ere, Campbell?" Ivy interrupted, having had seen the school bus pull up at the doorstep of the hospital. She peeked in, raising an eyebrow at the scene. "Just thought I'd bring the kids on a field trip to see the station." Campbell replied, like it was no big deal. "Campbell, they're not allowed ere. Did ya even ask for a permission slip from the principal before decidin to embark on yer lil field trip?" Ivy enquired, wondering whether she'd made an error in letting him use the hospital premises and afraid she might lose her job if anyone got whiff of it. "We're learnin, Ivy. Learnin the basics o' boogy, to be precise! Now, don't tell me we need a permission slip to boogy...! Do we need a permission slip to boogy, kids?!" he retorted, attempting to rile up the students who were more than happy to not have to sit in a boring classroom for this. They were quite fed up of staring at the same four walls and white board and welcomed this change in venue.  "No,we don't! We're ere to boogy an' we shall not be moved!" came the reply, along with a couple of cheers and applause. "See?" he grinned cockily, having made his point.  "Alright, hush, the lot o' ya! Now, you'd better wrap up this special class o' yers an' try to be quiet as church mice. D'you promise?" she requested, gesturing with her hand for them to lower their volume. "I've always wondered what church mice are, ya know? Like, are they any different from regular mice...or are they fancier...holier, even?" Campbell rambled, veering off topic. "Campbell, promise?!" she cut in, sternly. "Aye, aye, I promise! Now, go back to yer patients, love."  Campbell promised, ordering her out so he could resume class.
"First things first, a lil history bout this beauty. Jason, dim the lights,mate!" Campbell ordered and Jason obliged. "It was nighttime at St. Jude's. A couple o' months after they'd shut us down. We weren't allowed in any longer. We'd been discharged an' sent home. Fergus was fit as a fiddle an' already workin. I was stuck at home doin nothin an' since me dad couldn't afford anyone therapy, I'd to cope with prescription drugs. Of course, that was before I met Ivy or got a job at BBC. I was' I kept longin for the feel o' that mixer at St. Jude's. That gorgeous console that I'd held in my hands, touched and tweaked with me fingers. It'd made me feel complete, like a real professional! We hadn't been allowed a single souvenir ever since our relocation. So, that night, screwdrivers an' spanners in hand, Fergus an' I hatched a plan to climb into the asylum, sneak into the radio station an' steal it' so we did! Almost got caught by the guards too...But, we made it...All three o' us! An' they haven't been able to charge us with theft ever since!" Campbell recounted with gusto, and quite boisterously! Then, he motioned for the lights to be switched on again.
"Movin on, who can tell me what a channel fader does? Stephen, how bout ya?" the lesson went on, till everyone had a clear idea about the parts of a mixing console. Then, it was on to practicals.
"Now that we know bout the parts, my assistant, Jason is gonna teach ya the fun stuff. C'mon, lad, ya can do it." Campbell introduced them to Jason, egging him on to share his knowledge. "I'm an beans! Listen up! We is gonna learn bout faders an' mix downs an' gropin..." Jason began, ecstatic about his new position as assistant teacher!  "Groupin, Jason. It's groupin, not gropin." Campbell corrected. "Aye, right! Anyways, I knows it sounds all hi-tech or what not, but ya just gotta get into the groove. Ya just gotta turn the right knobs ere an' there...raise the volume a tad ere an'' soon we'll be blowin the roof o' this place! See, music's all bout findin an' playin the right song...It's bout findin yer groove. An' by findin an' playin that right song, we gets to spreads happiness, we gets to put everyone in the the mood to boogy, which's equally...errr...empowerin an' inviguh...invigoratin! Aye, invigoratin! That's what music does, it creates vigour!" Jason explained, demonstrating as he spoke, trying to use big words just to sound like a teacher. Unbeknownst to him, Campbell had switched on the On Air sign and the lesson was being broadcast over the intercom. He'd known full well that the young man turned into a poet when it came to talking about things he was passionate about.
"An' that was DJ Chase McCluck, everyone...comin to ya from today's special masterclass show. I hope ya enjoyed learnin bout what we do in ere. He's quite the teacher, isn't he? An' I hope yer ready for more songs comin yer way, especially from, that's right, DJ Chase McCluck!" Campbell took over for awhile, praising him over the microphone, while the students applauded, pleased with the masterclass. Jason blushed, brimming with more confidence about his abilities now.  "Ya mean, we was live the whole time, Mr. B?" he asked, in awe. "Right, we still are. An' yer doin great, by the way. Do continue." Campbell urged, building up his confidence- an important quality in a radio jockey. It was an evening of sharing as Campbell shared the knowledge he'd been imparted with by Eddie and that was now being imparted to his students by Jason.  "Who's ready for some more music?!" Jason cried out, eliciting cheers all around. "Alright...Groovy, baby!" he announced, before playing the next song and demonstrating how to go about it to the eager students. They even requested songs and pointed out albums for him to play for them- mostly the new age stuff, although now an' then, you'd hear one of the millenials shout out for a Frank Sinatra song or some other classic. That, however, was a rare occurrence!

Takin Over the Asylum once more! Where stories live. Discover now