Come together

There is one topic of conversation that humans have always and will always resort to when there is nothing else to talk about: the weather.  Whether it’s with that acquaintance who you waited way past the appropriate period to ask them their name again, or with that person sitting next to you on the bus that you desperately want to break an awkward silence with, the state of the weather outside is always a clincher.  I’m pretty sure even cavemen discussed it.


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I’m not saying  I don’t have anything to talk about with you guys, of course.  We’re all friends here.  It’s just that weather really does affect this blog post.

Last week I was complaining about how hot our football game was.  This week was the total opposite.  There was so much rain in College Park that we literally had no outdoor practices.

But aside from the Mighty Sound of Maryland, other campus organizations were affected, too.  Maryland Images, the campus tour guide organization, for instance.

I am an Imager (yes, that is now a word), and this whole week, we’ve been judging tryout tours for all of our 171 applicants.  These tour guide hopefuls sign up for a time slot, get put with a random person in their time slot, and then the pair has to give a small group of current Imagers a mini, 10-minute practice tour.

Judging these potential tour guides was really interesting for me.  First of all, to reference my first topic, the majority of the tours I saw occurred on a scale from drizzle to torrential downpour.  We all know–or should know–how to march backwards, but do you know how go backwards while yelling, steering through an obstacle course that includes random posts, crosswalks, sidewalks, and random people not paying attention?  (OK, maybe yes to the last one.)  But these kids were also doing it in the rain, too, and like I said, we barely even had practice this week because of the rain.

The second reason why judging these tours was interesting was because two random strangers had to learn how to work together.  Some people who tried out would quickly try to spurt out ALL the facts about each landmark before their partner could even have a chance to take a breath.  Did they really think this would make them look good?

We turned down a lot of people because they couldn’t work well with others.  But working well with others is something you have to do in band all the time.  If you don’t get along with someone in your section, you have to suck it up, because they are just as important as you are.  (People who play second part are just as important to the music as the first part players, I swear!)  Working well together is especially important on the field, because if you don’t do what everyone else is doing, you will “stick out like a sore thumb” as our director says, and 60,000 people, not just 5 tour guides, will think badly of you.  Band is so rewarding for me at least, because I know that my friends and I all worked together to make something awesome.

So the moral of the story is be nice to people you work with.  Or else you might be embarrassed on national television…

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