And another one of these…

… just for good measure.

Sometimes, when my high school choir has exasperated me to the point of utter despair, I tell them, “You’re doing this on purpose, aren’t you. Please tell me you’re doing this to me on purpose.” I get blank stares, revealing nothing. And life goes on, inside my little Hitchcock movie.

Since high school students are on exam schedules this week, I don’t see them. But hey, I still have grades 5-8. They have apparently assured the high school students that they’ve got the insanity quotient covered in their absence. They are on my everlast nerve.

What is it about “Bring a pencil to choir every day” that makes kids give me a worried look and a non-answer when I ask about it? In a class with no homework, no tests, and no midterm or final exams, they can’t quite wrap their brains around the “bring a pencil” concept. And these are smart kids, fiends. As most music teachers know, secondary performance ensembles usually get a large section of the more successful, “together” students. They can solve multi-level math problems, write research papers, and spew the scientific names for every muscle and tendon on a dead cat’s butt — yet they can’t circle a half rest when I ask them to. What gives? Am I mental for expecting more than this?

At first glance, it’s a little thing. Multiplied by 250 kids — not so little. And to be fair, not everyone forgets a pencil or chooses not to engage his/her brain. It just seems like the ones who do forget disengage the loudest.

This is usually the place in a rant post where I say, “But I have lots of good things happening in my life, too…” Mehhhhh I’m not sayin’ it. Although I do not plan to take out my anger on anyone today, sometimes it’s good to feel the burn in your brain, ya know? Exercise the “get fired up” muscle. That’s gotta be good for something.

And the guy who keeps sending emails out with the signature line, “You win with people.” — Woody Hayes, gets a boot to the head. What does that even mean? It’s bad enough that Woody Hayes said it, but cripes…

Personally, I’d rather win with pickle beets. Or perhaps blast furnaces, rocker arms, hoary bats, or knights who say Ni.


10 thoughts on “And another one of these…

  1. Kristen

    The irony being that Woody Hayes got fired for punching a student in the face. Not exactly the best role model out there.

  2. PKPudlin

    The ‘Deer in the Headlights’ look extends into adult choirs too, when mentioning marking music. I got it all the time. *sigh*

    Then I put up a sign: “Friends don’t let Friends rehearse without a pencil.”

    It got a few chuckles and worked to a certain point. I did meet them halfway with a coffee-can of sharpened pencils on the piano. Make them distinguishable pencils, though, and make the penalties severe if they walk out of the room.

    PK. I don’t have all the answers, but like to think I do. *SnOrT*

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      I can imagine it’s just as infuriating with adults, if not moreso! And I own Laddie pencils — the great big yellow ones that elementary kids use. If I see a student with one, I know it’s mine. Cripes, I wouldn’t even take it away from them if they’d just bring it to choir!

  3. Meg

    I’m sorry to hear you are having a rough start to your day BUT this made me laugh out loud which is always a good way to start MY day. Ha :) Hope the day looks up for ya! *hugs*

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      Well good! Glad I could give you a little chuckle this morning, Mags. The day went a bit better as time wore (dragged) on. But now it’s the weekend, yay!

  4. Greg

    I keep two cans of pencils in my church choir area at all times and they get used! A former member objected to writing things in the score as “he was an adult and didn’t need to be treated like a child.” He’s no longer in the group! My own scores are marked up with pencil marks, highlighter slashes and occasionally sticky labels. Sometimes I have trouble finding the notes amidst all the markings!


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