Archive for band

A Letter to Myself

Posted in Personal with tags , , , , , , on December 6, 2008 by Joe

(The idea for this post was entirely ripped from this guy.)

You grew frustrated today — frustrated with people, school, work, and yourself. You snapped at people, offering sarcastic responses to legitimate questions and inquires. You let yourself grow unjustifiably pompous. And you let your anger bottle up.

It started in the morning. You woke up late, and started your day with a bad attitude. When you got to school and saw people standing in front of your locker, you should have asked them to move politely. But instead, you asked them to have some “f*cking courtesy”. How were they to know you wanted to access your locker? In what context could they have foreseen your irregularly late arrival?

At band class, a friend of yours wanted to speak to you, and this made you even angrier. You threw at him more expletives, forcing him to leave you with your self-pity. You did this because you consider his discussions to be meaningless — trivial even — but you must consider, too, how he perceives your conversations. He misinterprets your smiles, thinking that you actually enjoy his sexually obscene and assaultive humor. You should explain to him how you do not enjoy his humor, and tell him your feelings toward his general discussion topics.

Later at band class, the director asked to speak to you privately. Just yesterday, you wrote a sappy letter explaining why you could not perform at a church service you promised you could perform at. This discussion exemplified the misinterpretation you lead people off to; for he believed that you were afraid of him, that you wrote the letter in that fluffy sort-of-way not because you were deeply sorry (which you were), but because you were genuinely afraid of what he might do in response. Confused and bewildered, you offered a five-word response and ran off. Next time, clearly explain what your intended meaning is, and perhaps his perception of your character may become more accurate. You fail to realize how important your reputation is — how vital is their perception of you.

After school, you ran to the nearby Elementary School to tutor. You knew you were going to tutor a new kid, James, and this excited you. So at the school, you found your new student, and began to instruct. But you instructed him poorly. You saw that he did not understand the basic concepts even after much repetition; and in response, you started speaking quicker and started using more advanced vocabulary, subsequently confusing your new student even further. You grew frustrated, you increased the volume to your voice, and you may have very well frightened him.

Joe: The main problems in your life are social. They regard the way you carry yourself, and the way you respond and act towards other people. You must be more open, and you must believe in the value of perception. Ask yourself: “If the words I speak were spoken to me by someone else, would I be hurt by them, or possibly misdirected”?

You live under a cloud, as if your pleasure is all that matters. But if you really wanted to be objective about it all, you would realize that closing yourself into the egotistical, self-loathing box you’ve gotten yourself into prevents the very pleasure you so seek.

It is time for you to change your personality, your essence. Do it now.


Magic Moments Manifested in Music

Posted in Music, Personal with tags , , , on October 11, 2008 by Joe

[Drawing of a Bear Playing a Trumpet]

“I wanna be the very best / Like no one ever was / To catch them is my real test / To train them is my cause / I will travel across the land / Searching far and wide / Teach Pokémon to understand / The power that’s inside / Pokémon! / Gotta catch ’em all / It’s you and me / I know it’s my destiny / Pokémon!” – Original Pokémon Theme Song

The precedent ameliorated our joy. Our football team sucks, and the band, having to watch defeat after defeat, began to detect a pattern. As we sat in the stands trying to amuse the crowd with our music, we felt a bit shamed in our hearts. They just didn’t win, and after a devastating three-loss-streak, we feared becoming apathetic.

As could be imagined, when we finally won, even against a pansy private school, we were content. We desperately needed an excuse to be proud, and this win was the very catalyst we needed. It didn’t matter, really; we needed something, and in hindsight, I can see no difference between any other happiness, contrived as it may be.

On the ride back home, Jay brought out his iPod-speaker set, and played, very loudly, “We Are the Champions” by Queen. The entire bus fumed with glee. We sang vociferously, “We are the champions. No time for losers, ‘cuz we are the champions of the world,” and it made us proud. Some of us sang out of tune, and most did not know the lyrics to the verses, but it did not matter.

And that is the reason that makes band the best drug. It is social, but it is accepting. We understand that we all love music, and we avoid judging each other because of it. So we sang, proudly, without any worry at all.

“Hey There Delilah”, “I’m Yours”, “Yellow Submarine”, and a few other pop standards continued the sing-along. What culminated our excitement, though, was the final song of the day: The Original Pokémon Theme Song. The band’s strong bond was exemplified in our knowing of the song, in our complete knowledge of all the lyrics.

There are moments of magic. It is when the world stops, and fixation on the joy of life overwhelms. It is when existence conveys pure color and blind happiness. It is when everything is perfect, and perfect encompasses all that is perceptible. It is when the daunting struggles of life fade, and the ecstasy of excitement illuminates the air. It is the momentary stopping of the world when pure happiness becomes the solitary perspective, and when joy and existence fuse.

These were magic moments — moments I will forever remember band for.