09 October 2010

Day 8: Someone who treated you poorly

After quite a bit of consideration, I actually thought of someone. I subbed at my old high school yesterday (odd, very odd indeed) and wandering through it's halls nostalgia reminded me of some drama from my freshman year in band.
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Some background: my high school was/is small - consequently the band was/is too. In this setting, you don't have to be an amazing musician to be the best. You pretty much just have to practice - and practice is something the perfectionist in me insisted upon. Also, my freshman year was when Mr. W (pronounced Dub-ya) came. He was fresh out of college and full of ideals and enthusiasm. He was completely different from our previous director. Before him, we sat according to age - presumably the older band members would be the better players. But Mr. W had the crazy idea that we should have chair placements - determined by quick auditions. He arranged us according to (gasp) our skill level.

What I am trying to say, was I sat first chair as a freshman. As we know, flutists can occasionally be petty (though not nearly so much as the those who play the clarinet) so the demoted seniors and juniors didn't appreciate the new seating arrangement. Instead, however, of blaming their lack of practice, they directed their scorn at me. For two months I was confused by their glares and snide remarks. I'm a nice person. I smile a lot. I go out of my way to make people happy. But nothing seemed to work.

One day I overheard a conversation in the bathroom (apparently they didn't think to check the stalls before gossiping) and like a scene from the Disney Channel they started making fun of me. They said all these cruel, untrue, and exaggerated things that I would roll my eyes at now, but as a freshman it was hard to hold back crying until they left. After regaining my composure, I went back to the band room where a friend of mine noticed a rare tinge of sadness on my face. Caving under her pressure, I told her what had transpired. She reassured me that they were the horrible flutists, that they were stupid, and that it was just pathetic jealousy.

I realize now that jealousy was the obvious reason for their actions and it shouldn't have taken so long for me to figure it out. But as a freshman, I was completely oblivious to these kinds of things (I still tend to be a bit oblivious). The two seniors quit band the next semester and I haven't thought about them for a long time.

Looking back I understand their insecurity (because we all know jealousy is just insecurity directed at someone else). They had waited 3 years to be on the top, only to have the rug pulled out from under them by a new director and some freshman kid with ridiculous looking bangs. I hold no grudges; in fact, I'm tempted to find them and thank them for the revelation.


  1. how sad...for those seniors! lol

    and ummm i played clarinet and i was NOT petty tyvm -__-

    do you still play flute?

  2. Sorry about the clarinet comment sssdawna - old habits die hard - are you telling me you never make fun of us? :) Yes, I still play the flute although not nearly so much, perhaps I will find a way to talk more about that later - thanks so much for your comments!