Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Quad city

May 10, 2011

I arrived home from work yesterday to find CJ a little melancholy.  I don't think he knew he was melancholy, he thought he was just sad.  Mensa refunded their admission dues.  CJ was not chosen to run in today's final track meet. 

His Spring schedule has been loaded with homework, drum line tryouts, and track.  Weather has not helped the track season at all.  He has only run in a couple meets this Spring and missed some practices.  Couple that with the large amount of participants on the track team and the fact that you can only enter two participants in each event per school; and you have a lot of kids being left out.  CJ was their third best miler and third best discus thrower.  He was especially disappointed by not being able to throw discus as he has not gotten to do it in a meet yet this year.  When it rains, the discus circle you throw from, and the field you throw into, often get too wet to allow for competition.  I had encouraged him to join track mostly for the opportunity to throw the discus.  He is a big kid with quick feet and I thought these two things would meld him into a competitive hurler.  No such luck, at least this year.

So I thought of something to cheer him up.  I had run into a father/son combo at The Target Saturday who were doing their last minute Mother's Day shopping.  The son and CJ had been on the same soccer team a couple times, so we chatted for a few minutes.  The son, Kevin, is a year ahead of CJ and is also in the marching band at the high school, so I asked how that was going.  He said well and asked how CJ was doing.  I explained how he had been working out with the percussionists this past month.

 This is something they do at the end of each year to get ready for the following year, and to hold tryouts for drum line.  Since CJ is our oldest, we were not aware of the significance of these practices and how the drum line tryouts work.  We gradually learned that there are not unlimited percussionists on the drum line ( I may have seen that movie too many times).  There are only two snares, two tenors, and three base drums.  That is why not everyone makes the drum line. 

So, Kevin asked if CJ made the drum line.  I said that he had and was going to be a tenor.  Tenors are also called quads and are a set of four drums you carry over your shoulders like continental soldiers.  Kevin raised his eyebrows and said "wow!"  That was weird to me as you do not get a look of interest from a 15 year-old that often.  Or was it surprise?  Or was he impressed?  I could not be sure.

I told this story to Beth and CJ last night, which led Beth to tell her story.  She works at the high school as an aide and looks 18, which allows her to walk the halls and hear the gossip.  She also keeps it quiet that she is CJ's mom so that she can possibly hear things.  The thing of interest she heard this week was, "Did you hear a freshman made tenors??!!"  Oh, is that a big deal?  I guess it is.  Apparently, it is no given that freshmen make the drum line at all. They sometimes have to spend the first year in orchestra band and then tryout again the following year.  And if they make the line, they are almost always a base drummer.  You know, the big drum you carry in front of you and pound the sides of.  It is cool, but chicks dig the snare drummer.  There are a couple upper classmen who have snared the snare drum positions, and the chicks, but here is an incoming freshman that is gonna play the tenors.  Woot!

CJ, I am very proud of you.  I know you are not always happy about taking extra lessons and having to practice, and all the nagging; but it seems to have paid off.  You have a talent kiddo and your mom and I are busting with glee that you have shown that hard work and talent can pay off. 

There is a band camp the last two weeks of July for the marching band.  One of the traditions at the end of the two weeks,  is toilet papering the trees at the houses of the incoming freshman.  While, I do not look forward to pulling tp out of this big tree in our front yard, I guarantee you, I will be smiling the whole time.

1 comment:

  1. You better be smiling that whole time. I know it'll be hard not to while threatening those kids with an AK-47.

    I'm happy to hear of CJ's success. I played the flute for a year when I went to a Christian school in 5th grade, and when I moved back to public school the next year, the band teachers had talked and my previous teacher told the new one that I was the best flutist he had. I realized within the first practice that there were a ton of notes that I didn't know how to play. I had never been taught how to play sharps or flats. I was really embarrassed, faked a cough for a couple days, and quit band.

    So, I'm glad to hear that CJ is doing well even after all the hard practices. I don't think I would have lasted very long in band anyway (I was much more of a choir person) but I do sometimes wonder what changes there would have been had I stuck with it.