“Please, young people … Elvis has left the building. He has gotten in his car and driven away … Please take your seats.”
Many of us are probably familiar with only five words in that statement: “Elvis has left the building.” Indeed, you’ve probably uttered it at some point to indicate that something had ended or that someone of note had made an exit.
Curiously, the first time this phrase was uttered, it was meant to keep an Elvis-hostile audience from leaving a concert, according to The Phrase Finder.
The phrase was first uttered in 1956 by Horace Logan, the announcer at the Louisiana Hayride show where Elvis performed often as a minor musical act. At first he wasn’t popular. One night after Elvis played an encore, the audience began to leave, so Logan urged them to stay by exclaiming the above phrase, which meant that Elvis had done his bit and that there would be no more of his heinous Hillbilly music.
According to The Phrase Finder, the saying wasn’t made famous until the 1970s when Al Dvorin, then a regular stage announcer for Elvis, uttered it. His version, which was meant to tell excited fans that the show was over and that it was time to go home, is now on many live recordings:
“Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building. Thank you and goodnight.”
Why am I telling you this account? After all, I’m certainly no Elvis Presley, not even in the teaching world. And I don’t imagine that I ever will be. But I feel like I worked as hard as Elvis this year and with just as much ardour in my classrooms and in preparing some of my experiences for students.
I’ve never put so much passion and skill (acquired through furious study) into my lessons than I have this past semester. It was my best semester ever and I believe a lot of magic happened.
I worked harder than I’ve ever worked in my life (seven days a week and often 70 hours) as I tried to balance part-time teaching, my freelance writing and editing consultancy, pursuit of my M.Ad.Ed., and fatherhood.
I just finished several days of marking final papers and my fall teaching contract with the college ended today and doesn’t resume for another three weeks.I’m exhausted. And now that I’ve shifted one big task off my plate, I’m taking a break from all things scholastic (except my own studies). I won’t be checking my college email till January or answering student texts until then. All student questions of any nature can wait for three weeks.
Indeed, please don’t stay in your seats. My show is indeed over until January 9.
This Elvis has left the building…