Monday, February 27, 2012

This one time, at band camp

One Monday in August, a week before classes started, my dad & my sister drove me to Purdue and helped me move into my dorm room.  Because I was checking in a week early, I had to pay fees for that extra week.  Also, all members of a residence hall are enrolled in a club, which has its own mandatory dues.

Purdue has a variety of options for living on or off campus.  Things have changed considerably since I lived there, I see that most of the dorms have become "co-ed."  However, it is worth checking what Purdue means by "co-ed."  When I lived in Owen Hall, at the time it was the only co-ed H-hall, and by co-ed it meant that one wing was for women, one wing was for men, and the common areas (the bar of the "H") were shared.

Owen Hall was... not very accessible.  The side doors led to a landing much like a split-level house.  Stairs down to the first floor, up to the second floor, or on up to the third.  I was on the 2nd floor, and moving my things up to my room was an adventure.

For many years, Earhart hall has had a specific floor for women in engineering to live together, if they request it.  I believe they also have a floor for women in science.  Obviously I chose not to live there.  In high school, most of my friends... well, most of them did end up joining the Science Club after I had left, but most of them wanted/planned careers in the arts.  I figured that in college, I'd probably still find most of my friends outside my major.
(In our Junior year, Mercy's Science Club began a partnership with Creighton Prep's Science Club.  Much dating ensued.  Alas, I had already moved away.)

So I got moved in to my room at Owen, then my dad drove me over toward the Engineering Mall where he dropped me off.   I probably had business at the Bursar's and/or the Registrar's office.  Then a meeting for new members of the marching band.  We met our section leaders, picked up our music.  Doc told us a little about what the week would be like.  That was probably when we did our music auditions.

I did practice over the summer, tried to work on remembering fingerings.  It had been two years since I last seriously played, and I had no money for lessons.  But I did what I could.

Tuesday morning, we newbies met on the drill field for marching lessons, while the returning members met at the Hall of Music.  Late in the practice, they returning members marched to the drill field.  Something like this.

Followed, most likely, by the band cheer and fall-out:

"Sudler, Alamo, Fiss" were added while I was at Purdue.  I don't know the later words.

Then we gathered in our sections, and everybody introduced themselves.

Tuesday, I knew I wanted to be part of this.  When we broke for lunch, I ate as fast as I could and was back at the drill field long before our report time, working on fingerings.  The clarinet parts involve a lot of 8th and 16th-note runs, very fast and tricky.  I worked on it every chance I had, that week.  Since classes hadn't started yet, I had a LOT of chances.  That was the part I always loved about band camp - we could focus.

P.S.  It's true what they say about band camp, it's very educational... up to a point.