Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I Have Not Always Been a Towering Giant of Self-Confidence

Last night, as I sat knitting and drinking and mourning and watching Legally Blonde, I started thinking about high school. Admittedly, I wasn't the most popular person in school. Hell, I wasn't even in the top 1000 of popular people (my school had about 1600 students). However, I had enough good friends to keep me happy.

At the end of my sophomore year, I decided to try out for Drum Major. For you non-Band Geeks, this would be the person who leads the marching band on the field. My main reason for trying out: I had a major crush on the current Drum Major, and rumor had it that the band director wanted 2 Drum Majors for next year. *woot*

So, I tried out. And, by some weird quirk of fate, I was chosen. Yay.

During the summer, I practiced. I went to band camp. And, then, started rehearsals in August with our marching band. The director decided I should direct the final number, Whitney Houston's Greatest Love of All. *shriek* I loved me some pre-crack-addicted Whitney. Yet, I was having some trouble properly directing the end of the song.

The director decided to give a closing of Summer Rehearsal pre-performance. And, well, I screwed up the ending of the song. Oops. I felt bad.

I felt really really bad when the director started yelling at me. I felt even worse as he continued berating me in front of the band, parents (not mine), other teachers, random spectators and continued screaming for many, many, many uncomfortable minutes.

The yelling was so bad and so intense that some of my friends started crying. I just stood there. And took it. I remember the idea of quitting flitted across my mind as he screamed purple-faced at me. But I didn't [Did I mention I had a crush on the other Drum Major?].

After he finished, I quietly walked to the other Drum Major's car and waited for him to drive me home. Another teacher, who worked with the Flag Corps, came by to ask if I was all right. I told her I was. I lied.

It hurt. And, even now, I wish I had had the self-confidence to have stood up to that director and quit. And that's what I was thinking about last night: How I would have quit and how my life would have been different.



  1. probably the question now is: can you quit now if you have to? and how will you do it.

  2. also, this guy was a JERK.. he was older, he was your teacher, he had authority and power and abused them both. walking away is as good as quitting-- it's a sign of protest. so you did well then. you are under-estimating what you did.

  3. I agree with bala wala shi بلا ولاشي. The guy clearly had some sort of mental problems. It was just high school band. I mean, when you are 16, it is the most important thing in the world. When you are over 25 (probably even older than that), it's just not that deep. Why did he have so much of himself invested in it to have that type of reaction? Loser.

    Though it does remind me of a similar story when I was in middle school band (I quit long before HS). The band teacher had a similar freak-out on one of the drummers, who did start crying. Even at 12, we thought the teacher had lost his mind.

    In the end, if you got to drive around with the hunky Drum Major, who cares? Goal accomplished.

  4. oooh, you should find this guy and tell him how he made you gay!!!

  5. damn, diablo beat me to it :P not only that, but that you're a gay vegetarian and that if it weren't for that display of hysterics, you might have become a meat eating neandrothol who wears wife-beater shirts and has 14 children, all of whom would be in band.

    then again...maybe not :)

  6. As a footnote, my parents did eventually find out about the director's outburst [another student's parent told them]. They weren't happy, but I asked them not to do anything.

    A few years after I graduated, the director was diagnosed with some sort of weird brain cancer and he died a few years after that diagnosis.

    My parents think that it may have been the effects of the cancer which caused him to lose control of his temper so readily.

    I don't.

  7. Having been in a lot of performing groups - choirs, theatre - I can attest that a lot of public school teachers get damn intense about performance. My theory is that their long-standing budgetary wars with the sports department gives them Small Cock Syndrome, and they try to overcome it by being way too fucking intense about stuff that is ultimately just Not That Big A Deal.