Saturday, August 6, 2011

In Heat

I was responding to an email and figured out - the response would be a good enough blug.

As all should know, we are having 100 +  degree weather here in north Texas.   I have lost count, but it is nearing 30 days in a row.   Now major rain for months.

Some lakes are down more than ours.  Richland-Chambers Lake is down about 5 ft. This gives us less than 4 ft of water under the boat on the dock. Our 100+ degree temps are continuing.   Read in the paper that El Nina is striking up again which normally gives us drier weather.   It might have been El Nino - but I would bet it was El Nina.

Our main prayer is for a couple of major hurricanes to come ashore around Galveston to Corpus. Then, we would get water and more water. Now, the ethical question - water for my lake and yard vs. the mayhem along the Gulf coast. The answer of course is simple...Katrina where are you when we really need you?

We are getting up in the morning in 85 degree heat.  Then, it gets hot.  I feel sorry for the band directors having to fight through this.  Athletes don't have my sympathy - working out in the heat is just the price THEY pay for becoming millionaires in the future.    Most band kids don't make it in the big time money pit.  All h.s. athletes do - or will - or just ask them....better yet, ask their parents.

Yes, as I sit here in the morning heat watching the sun rise, I can be thankful I am not herding 100 some kids back and forth across unwatered grass...keeping my eyes open for that kid who begins to sway funny in the LITTLE or NO breeze...they with their little flasks of water; I with my Super Big Gulp...trying to balance the upperclassmen power and knowledge   versus  the Freshman syndrome of klutz and childish-like behavior.  Then, lest we forget, the power struggles with twirlers and flags and  more seniors and drum majors and asst. drum majors -- and, not in my ex-world --  but asst directors who get in the way more than help.  I was lucky in Manor to be blessed with nice helpers.

Another thing that drove me crazy - I had to design a marching show around the number of students that I BELIEVED would show up the first day of class.   Let's say for arugument here that I have exactly 150 warm bodies expected for the fall.  Now I subtract the drum majors, flags, twirlers from the total.   Then, one must calculate a percentage of students who will fail some class during the first 6 weeks - your marching show at contest cannot use these.  Sure you have a general idea how many will fail = but are you right. 

So let's say you believe  you will have exactly 100 marchers ( + front line) for UIL contest.  You design a show - get music etc.   It doesn't matter what you think, you are always wrong.   Sure, some schools have 200 to 300 band students.  They have a different problem.   the guy with the 50 piece band, how does he plan for failures.   I had my plan.  Sometimes I got it  right - other times I was re-writing the show when the grades came out.

In Gainesville, many a year past,  I could count on 50% of all band students to fail at least one class EVERY 6 weeks  all year.  50%.   One year I lost BOTH drum majors and half the drums.   I was starting to get a little better group of band students in there when it became apparent, I had no future in Gainesville.  That, my dear, is another long bluggy which will go unstated here at this time.

enough - heat bad - retirement in the air conditioning good

1 comment:

  1. Oh yes, I remember those days. Not always fondly. The only thing worse than practicing in unbearable heat was marching in unbearable cold and snow. Even in my youth I couldn't function well in sub-freezing temps. That is why, upon graduation fro HS, I promised myself I would NEVER attend another football game in freezing weather. And I have kept that promise. I am glad I didn't have a son, if he had played football I might have had to break that promise.