April 23rd, 2003
|12:58 pm - Backstory|
The time: Summer, 1993.
The events: Boys' State, Governor's Honors Academy (GHA), and FBLA National Conference
This was the summer between my Junior and Senior years of high school. My high school got to send three boys to Boys' State, which is a week-long camp. I'm not sure what the point of it really was, other than for political indoctrination: the camp is run by a veteran's group. So lots of marching around in formation, and other silly things.
They wanted a band for Boys' State, so of course I signed up. I loved being in band, and it was just a natural extension for me. I met Smokey in the Boys' State band, as well as another guy whose name escapes me at this moment. They're important, because I would run into them again at GHA. Not that I knew that at this time.
I had applied for GHA, but I had not received an acceptance letter; two other students at my high school had received acceptance letters. There was a bunch of essay writing for GHA admission, so I just assumed that my lack of writing skill had doomed me. It didn't bother me that much, as at the FBLA state conference, I had been a "ringer". I was a math whiz, who was entered in the Business Math competition. Metric 1: highest score, metric 2: fastest time. Hard to beat first done, 100% correct. (Number two in the state was another guy I knew from Math Field Day, so this appears to be a common practice.)
Quick digression: It sucked, winning the FBLA competition, because I had to leave before the awards ceremony because... of band. Hah! Things overlapped, and there were enough band members in FBLA that we arranged separate "early" transportation back from the state conference. Oh well...
Anyway, while I was at Boys' State, I called home and found out that GHA had called, and I had been accepted. Of course, this now conflicted with FBLA nationals. Grrrr... but I decided GHA was more important to me (which the business teachers who ran FBLA didn't quite understand) and skipped out of the FBLA national.
Back in Boys' State, not only was there the band, but also "the choir." Every time we ate a meal, we had to sing this silly little song "Men Of Tomorrow." And they needed song leaders. Well, actually, they needed a pianist, and I was the only one who admitted to the skill in the band, so I got the job. (It saved me from standing outside in formation before eating, and got me at a smaller table for dining.) The other two people in the choir were... Smokey and the other kid. Hah!
So Boys' State came and went, and then GHA rolled around three weeks later. GHA also had a band, and who did I meet there but... Smokey and the other kid! Woohoo! We were experienced comrades taking over the Academy. (In other words... we already knew each other which made it easier to hang out together.)
Smokey caught the eye of a lady by the name of Emma. Yup, the Emma that I dated in college. (Told ya the connection was important.)
GHA was cool. It was a month-long program. Lots of activities to do (band ate a lot of time, though). It was great, because I found a small (generally "outcast") group that I fit into. I believe that I really enjoyed that month. And then I went back to high school. Which sucked.
After I was accepted at Virginia Tech, the West Virginia alumni chapter put on a little picnic for all the new students. At that point, I recognized quite a few people from GHA, including Emma. It wasn't until we arrived at school that fall that we found out that we had a class together: Linear Algebra, 8am Tuesday/Thursday. So we ate breakfast together et al. And there goes that story... but the connection started at GHA.
Not that there's really anything that important here. Oh, except for making a fool of myself at Boys' State.
We were all separated into cabins, and there was a talent show. Each cabin was expected to have at least one entry in the talent show. Since I was the only person in my cabin who was in the band, I was nominated. Oh lord.
So... it's a vague recollection, but it's something that's haunted me for the longest time. I made a massive fool of myself in that talent show, I believe. I had sat down at the piano for a while, and tried to sound-out some recognizable tunes that I didn't really know. I came up with the Brady Bunch theme, and I'm not sure if there was anything else involved. From there, I grabbed a snare drum and started playing drum riffs.
I dunno... I don't really remember what happened. I don't know why I did it. I figure everyone thought I was crazy. Stupid. An idiot. *sigh*
I don't like the feelings I get when I think back to that day. I just wanna go hide. Even if I know that I'll never see any of those people again... I just wanna go hide.
Another thing I remember is asking the audience if they could play a drum. No one raised there hand, really, so I just tapped out quick little simple notes tap tap tap tap and said "you can't do this?" *sigh* I feel like such an idiot. I don't know what was wrong with me that day. There had to have been something slipped into my food.
Anyway. Argh. I hate that memory. I've never told it to anyone, really, except in little bits and pieces to Dee before. And now you know.
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