Friday, August 25, 2006

High School Marching Bands

Yesterday was one the most insanely quick-paced day ever. I arrived at work at 8 knowing I had to get gone no later than 1:15 to get home in time for Haley and Anna's Open House at their new school. I had meetings scheduled for 9, 10 and 11. The 10:00 am promptly cancelled but even so, I never spent more than 5 consecutive minutes at my desk. I actually did manage to accomplish a good bit, though, so that makes it a fairly odd day. Usually days like that I'm just running telling people what they need to know so they can get *their* work done.

Doesn't mean I didn't leave the office "for the weekend" without a couple of assignments to wrap up before Monday am, though.

Open House at new Elementary School
The girls new school looks nice enough. Its designated a "green" school by the Green Building Council, the first one in our state to earn the LEED designation. Its also been designated as a technology in education demonstration site. Its an interesting combination of objectives. It was our first walk through the building; it looks much like any other school except maybe less architectural panache; I don't know enough about the tenets of solid green design so I'll accept that what I saw is very good.

Man, there are cool computers everywhere you look. On the very directed route we took to visit just the two girls' classrooms, I saw two pc labs, each with about 30 workstations; all Dells, lots of media accessories, nice 19" flat panel monitors. In both of the girls' classrooms there were three "common use" workstations with printers in addition to the one on the teacher's desk. Doesn't sound like a lot but in the school they attended last year, two classrooms (very large classrooms, in fact), would share about 4 machines in a flex space between the two rooms. The whole building is WiFi'd. The library, I'm certain, will also have pcs in it but so far nothing has been unpacked in the library.

Haley and Anna both drew class assignments with their best friend from their classes last year. I suspect that this was done deliberately to help the kids with the transition since a good 1/2 of their peer group won't be making the switch. Small details like this are very reassuring. Better still, there was a young girl in Anna's Kindergarten that was difficult for Anna; they had a real love/hate thing going and it was not pleasant. The teacher and I agreed that perhaps it would be best if they weren't in the same class this year and she assured me she would make that recommendation. So even though Anna thinks she feels sad about not having that child in her class, we're all quite relieved.

Drop and Run
Neither Rob nor I had an opportunity to fit eating into our whirlwind mornings at the office so we dropped the kids at home with their grandmother and then had a couple of hours to have something to eat and do a little shopping. Just a word of warning: if Rob and I ever tell you were going to a bookstore together, never, never, never let us take any of your money with us. Our first trip through the checkout came to about 85 bucks and as we were wrapping up I realized I had meant to pick up the latest book by Reza Aslan No god but God. Mr. Aslan appeared on the Daily Show earlier this week and I was very impressed with his broad understanding of the historical, religious circumstances playing out in today's geopolitical difficulties in the East. He was bright, articulate and relevant. I love how the Jon Steawart production team is so adept at identifying young, bright thinkers to present to their viewership. So although its satire, I think he does a better job at keeping me (at least) engaged in current political discourse than any other news outlet---with the possible exception of NPR. And isn't it nice that Donna now knows what NPR is??? So anyway, while I ran back for that book, Rob managed to find a few more he'd missed and let's just say it wasn't a cheap trip to the bookstore.

End of the Evening
I spent a couple of hours at Stitch-n-Bitch at Woolwinders . It was the first time I'd actually done that even though I've sat around and chatted as I knit with some of those guys in the shop at other times. I knew only two of the eight people there when I sat down but we all had a great time, a couple glasses of wine, and just knit for a while. The shop is owned and operated by a really great couple, jacqui and Lew; both of whom I find very appealing socially. Both are really bright, quick witted and affable. Jacqui shares a lot of my personality traits: very quick on the uptake (ok, that's not modest; sorry), happy to help but prefers to help people who are similarly quick studies. It can be fairly amusing to watch her in action. So that was a very good time. While there I cast off baby Cara's sweater, picked out the adorable little duckie buttons for it, and began to work on my Krista tee in Sierra Quattro. I'll be updating my knit page sometime soon. Cara's sweater is the sweetest damn thing you've ever seen. OH! One of the two folks there was a young costume designer that works in the shop that I really like. She told me she's 8 weeks pregnant with her first---very exciting news. So in February and March, I've got about 5 new babies to excited about.

Finally, as I was driving home after a late evening grocery run, I found the local HS Marching Band rehearsing. Its one of the things that I love about where I live: when we hear the band we can walk right up there and watch them practice. Haley and I sat in the car and watched for about 30 minutes. This band program has grown so nicely since their first year 7 years ago when there were maybe 30 folks trying to cover that football field. I'm impressed by their musicianship and by the quality of their marching routines. I can't imagine that my neices and nephews have learned to play music in a school that has NO marching band. I'm so glad for my band experience in high school, all of it. But marching and pep bands were probably the best social outlets of all those years. I was also reminded of a late summer evening about 14 years ago watching Lyman's marching band at Ben Davis. Damn show offs.


Drew said...

Julie and I have the same problem with Best Buy. If we make it out of the store without buying something, we feel like we have achieved something substantial for the day.

Sounds like a cool school.

Don't start playa hatin' on the BD marching band. Just because our class left without ever finishing less than 3rd place, there is no need to be bitter about it. :-)

You are right about the "Invincible" song! Not even paying attention to the lyrics, it just has a good feel to it. I haven't been able to place what song it reminds of with the first five seconds though. There is something else that has the same feel, but I can't place it.

Kathy said...

It has a very Beck-ish feel to me but that's mostly just from the vocal.

Lyman said...

how did I miss the marching band post?!


Kathy said...

Yeah, well, I have to admit that's true. As for me and the Marching Rams, we were always too busy figuring out who was least likely to get carded for the post-game party purchases.

Doesn't mean you're not a bunch of damn show offs.

Doesn't mean I wouldn't be too....