I have not been watching college football this year, since I don’t like that the NCAA and TV networks get rich through unpaid college kids who are suffering lifelong brain injuries while less than half of them graduate and they spend more time on the football field than the classroom (exploitation). But I did watch the Pac 12 championship on Friday since daugther H is playing in the band. Every time they showed a close up we would crane to see if we could see her, and it was fun.
Drove Son R to his band today. Usually he busses, but sometimes on Saturday mornings he asks for a ride, and since traffic is light early on Saturdays and since it gives me 20 minutes to hang out with him, I don’t mind and in many ways enjoy it. Today, in the car ride, I asked, “What is something that someone like me who has never been in marching band wouldn’t know about marching band? Give me some inside scoop on something that is interesting that I wouldn’t know.”
He said each instrument group tends to have a particular personality type. He said that is true in all marching bands he has been in, so it seems to be universal. For example, trombone players tend to be a little crazy (as in class clown crazy). And trumpet players have strong egos. And drummers tend to be wild and noisy. And flute players are introverted. And many horn players (e.g. French horn, melophone) are easygoing. He said its funny because often the type of person you’d think being in an instrument group is often true. It is not completely universal (i.e. exceptions) but that is a general trend he has noticed…
That reminds me of when I was teaching, and how different class periods and classes and class groups would have distinct personalites. I always thought that Debate classes were (surprise!) boisterous, English classes (assigned general requirements classes) were bored/apathetic, and Film Study had the students hoping for an easier credit 🙂 For high schoolers, first period tended to be a little more quiet and sixth period a little more distracted. I had to take into account time of day, and class personalities (i.e. each class had a separate personality, often influenced by just one or two students, so if they were gone the classs was vastly different) when I planned out my lessons, which I generally did a week in advance. I also tried to keep an ear out, so if I was planning a major project for the students and overheard that they had other major projects in other classes, I’d postpone or adjust the proejct so as not to overload them. That was a lesson I learned (the hard way) my first year teaching, to not overburden students – I got more loyalty and better results when I took into account what their overall workload was…
Although we didn’t attend the college football game so did not see Son R march in the half-time show, the university posted the show up on YouTube, and he and I watched it together this morning over my morning coffee. It was awesome! THere were dozens of band members but he pointed out about where he was, but then at one point the on-field camera zoomed in on him and we got a close up of him! It was awesome, and I think he was very proud although he probably would probably not admit it to me. He did smile when I gave him a fist bump. I forwarded it to wife M, the grandparents and my sister 🙂
It is game day. All across the country college football players are dressing in their uniforms. But other types of players are dressing today too — for example, the band members (and cheerleaders, etc.). Today son R appeared in his snappy band uniform. He is tall (6’1″) and lean, and looks sharp in his uniform. I hate to say the word proud, but I am happy for him. And I am excited for me. I am as happy — in fact happier, since it is safer — if he were playing on the football team. I was more of the jock, so always thought of sports from the player perspective, and it is fun to see the excitement from the band perspective, too. For him, it is opening day as much as for the players.
Son R made his college marching band today. He will be playing at NCAA sporting events and even travel with the team a few times. I am so excited. I feel like I did when he scored his first point in basketball, caught his first fly ball in baseball, got a 4.0 his freshman year and did so well in the school play! I an so happy for him!
During the month of August, Edinburgh Castle hosts the Military Tattoo, which we were fortunate to attend (thanks to dad purchasing the family tickets). Like visiting the Hermitage, it is honestly one of those once-in-a-lifetime and indescribably-awesome experiences I will never forget so long as I have a healthy brain…
To get there, we meandered through the legendary Bow street in Edinburgh, following a sea of people who were making their way to the castle. Outside the castle was like attending a professional ball game in the states, where 1000s of people stand in line with their bags filled with jackets, vendors cry out that they have official programs, and scalpers stand with signs offering to buy tickets. A small temporary stadium of metal grandstands has been created just outside the castle, surrounding the castle gates and creating an open marching area. We arrived as the sun was setting, and the stands filled gradually then rapidly. In the center of the stands were the main box seats, where the ‘honored guests” sat. As darkness started to settle in and the stadium was filled to capacity, a small motorcade escorted by motorcycle police arrived – we wondered if this might be the prince, but it appeared to only be random nobles dressed in gowns and tuxes and the “honored guest,” a random lieutenant general from the US military; we laughed over the fact we were taking pictures of randoms in the hope it was the king to have it turn out to be more dime-a-dozen random nobles and military dudes. 🙂
An honored emcee hosts the event, and introduces each of the performers. Before attending, I thought the event was primarily the Scottish guard, but it was soooooo much more than that. The castle was brightly lit and served as a backdrop for various light shows during the performances. Meanwhile, we had honor guards from Jordan, Norway, and various other military bands, as well as Irish Dancers, Drill teams and more over the course of two hours.
The events that stood out to me:
- THere is nothing like awe that is inspired by the sight of the Scottish marching band, complete with their kilts, boots and towering fur hats marching in rhythm to bagpipes, pounding drums and horns.
- The Scottish DRill team, comprised of youjng women, was breathtaking. They marched an elaborate march and intermixed their moves with singing and chants. I can see why they’ve wone 35 national championships.
- The Norwegian Royal Guard’s marching was amazing.
- I love the way the drummers drum, in exact timing and with disciplined moves.
- I loved the finale, complete with all the performers in the rink, playing and singing and dancing in unison complete with fireworks. It gave me goosebumps.
The show was better than I hoped it would be and gave me goosebumps. Amazing.