I’m a squad leader for the clarinet section. I don’t think I mentioned that before. This means that I’m responsible for making sure that the 11 clarinets on my side of the field (B SIDEE REPRESENT) learn their drill and are in the right spots. As a general rule, if anyone on the field is wrong, their squad leader gets yelled at.
Most of the time, this is fine. It’s my fault if the clarinets didn’t learn something the right way. But the other day, I got yelled at for the saxes. That seemed a little ridiculous to me. Who likes getting yelled at for something that’s not their fault?
It reminds me of this one time at band summer day camp. I was in fourth grade, and my group–The Rockers–was getting changed out of our bathing suits after a tough Instructional Swim.
Changing into dry clothes after swimming was always the most painful part of the day. All 20 of us had to go to our “bunk”, find our duffel bags, hang up our wet towels, put on a new layer of sun tan lotion, and geez, can a nine-year-old get any privacy to change out of her neon Speedo one-piece?
This process always took forever, and it was a guarantee that we’d all be late to our next scheduled activity. As we combed the tangles out of our golden locks, our counselors would try all the methods to get our skinny little butts out of that bunk: counting down, “I’m going to leave without you!”, and deep sighs were some of my personal favorites.
There was a legitimate reason as to why we were always late, though. They would only schedule us to have five minutes to change. And come on, I’ve been practicing this whole getting-dressed thing for years and I still manage to leave just enough time in the morning to sprint to class.
This whole tug-of-war between campers and counselors continued throughout the summer–until one fateful day. That morning, the lifeguards decided that we had accomplished enough for the day, and let us out a few minutes early. It was like a snow day in August. The Rockers ran out of the pool area, ecstatic to be free from the front stroke. We even all had just enough time to get changed before our next activity. We started jumping up and down outside our bunk, babbling and yelling like we had just seen the Backstreet Boys doing cannonballs next to us.
That was, until our counselor used a tactic she had never used before. “SHUT YOUR MOUTHS!” she screamed.
Suddenly there was silence. I was taken aback. Like I said about band: I don’t like getting yelled at for things that are not my fault. We were just excited because we weren’t doing laps, and had extra time to chat instead of being rushed.
And so, I did something almost never do. Did I talk back? No. Instead, I scrunched up my nine-year-old face…and started flapping my lips silently.
And that, dear readers, is how Lisa lost swimming privileges for a week.