Editorial License

Rob Hammerton, music educator etc.

So, That Happened

I don’t know whether this brands me as a type-A person or a borderline obsessive-compulsive person or a visual learner or what … but I keep ongoing records of what happens to me every day.

It’s not, as has been chronicled previously, a diary. Apparently (no – genuinely), I stink at keeping a diary. But I make little notes at the end of a day (or, sometimes at the end of a few days, thus disproving the obsessive-compulsive theory) about what was accomplished. Anywhere from “supermarket run $$” to “Cantata Sunday”, it gets noted.

This can be helpful when the New Year’s Eve question inevitably arises: “what was 2012 all about?” Which I did ask myself this morning, and couldn’t right away come up with a detailed answer. Other than Gangnam Style and the 112th Congress, neither of which I will admit to fully appreciating.

This is, frankly, absurd. Don’t I read my own blog?

So okay, fine. I’ve done a couple of year-end summaries on this blog that have commented mightily on those years’ current events. Honestly, all you have to do is turn on CNN or equivalent to get that. Instead, I offer this: A Self-Absorbed, Incomplete Year In Review 2012 (Featuring Many Events, Only Some Of Which Have Been Blogged About Previously)!

 

Winter, early 2012:

[] Unpacked my sax for use at The Big Schnozzola, the annual gathering of UMass Hoop Band current and former members. Current members played; alumni (or at least this alumnus) survived, just about. Chops? Hello? I’m sorry for abusing you, chops… (Can’t febeel mah fabace!)

[] Presented a talk on the history of the military band for my church’s men’s breakfast group. As much fun as it was to conduct the presentation, it was at least as much fun to prepare the Powerpoint visuals on my Mac. Slightly less fun to observe the thing only partly working on the PC that the men’s group leader brought. Really guys! It was slick and cool! Honest!

Early spring 2012:

[] Attended a welcome-home gathering for a college band friend who returned from Afghanistan. No, he wasn’t in the line of fire all the time – he was more of a JAG guy than a grunt on the ground – but in my book, if you go there and come back in one piece, with your sense of humor (and everything else) intact, it counts.

[] Bought a car. Bought a car before my running my previous one into the ground (formerly a tradition). Bought a car from my trusty mechanic. Bought a car whose winter-weather performance has turned out to top my previous ride’s. While test-driving the soon-to-be-new car, I wondered whether my previous car, sitting in my mechanic’s parking lot, was feeling just a bit betrayed.

Late spring 2012:

[] Served as music director for the Bellingham HS production of “Charlotte’s Web”. The show was written by a justly-famous Broadway composer, but let’s just say it wasn’t his strongest work. Therefore: I had fun using merely the technology I can find around my house to “adjust” a number of the songs. Creativity in the service of necessity!

[] Bought a camera. I thought I wanted a camera that actually looks like my ancient idea of a (35mm) camera, rather than one of those little dinky deck-of-cards things. I stand corrected (by my good friend in the camera sellin’ business): the deck of cards hasn’t taken a bad picture yet. And oh lookie!– turns out, the reason I haven’t been a camera hound since college? I haven’t owned a camera since college. Snap snap snap snap snap snap snap snap snap snap…

Summer 2012:

[] Bid farewell to the most effective arts administrator I’ve ever known. Safe to say I wouldn’t have gotten into any of the trouble (or most of the jobs) that have come my way, had she not come up with this weird little idea for a summer arts camp all those years ago…

[] Shot my first nine holes of golf ever. Accompanied by a very understanding friend. By hole number eight, I was thinking maybe another nine holes sometime in my life might be conceivable. I also started thinking that neon-yellow golf balls were going to be a wise investment…

[] Was a first-time solo turista. Lots of research (and a few bucks!) later, I pretty much catalogued the National Mall. Mere hundred-degree temperatures can not keep this fella from standing in lines, waiting to get into DC attractions! I’m a pro at this now.

[] Ate DMA birthday cupcakes. It’s a long story, beyond the fact that it was my birthday. Confection ambush!

[] Watched just the right amount of Olympic coverage. Read: a lot. Enough to decide that my favorite new sports discovery was: The Challenge Brick.

[] Acquired another college marching band to root for. Very easy to root for this bunch, actually: their new director had them looking and sounding really really good, really really fast. Feels like home.

Fall 2012:

[] For the very first time in my teaching career, I set up a classroom which was my very own. No one else taught in this room. Just me. I could decorate it however I wanted. Cheapskate that I am, I printed up a whole lotta music quotations off my computer. Hands down, my students’ most-noted quote: “Opera: a kind of music where a guy gets stabbed, and instead of dying, he sings.”

[] Had an actual houseguest. In preparation for this occurrence, I cleaned mightily, in spite of the allegation from my houseguest that I needn’t have done so. Oh yes I needed. I should do this houseguest thing more often.

[] Made my annual pilgrimage to the marching fields of Newark, DE. Ordinarily, this trip is at least a tiny nod to my past; this time around, “the years just fell away”. Silverado!

[] Attended what one of my friends termed “Faux-coming”, which meant UMass Homecoming Day at Gillette Stadium, as the football program has gone Division I-A and therefore the stadium in Amherst is just not large enough anymore, or some such logic. More on that issue sometime soon … but for the moment, suffice it to say: [1] the last time I threw a mace in Foxboro was my senior year of college; [2] they’ve got artificial turf now so I can’t spike the thing anymore (boooo) … and [3] it occurred to me that the two alumni drum majors who were throwing sticks all over the place each had red hair and beards. We did not plan that. That was not our goal. … But it was okay.

Late fall / early winter 2012:

[] Played a one-tune gig with my six-year-old, drumset-smackin’ nephew. He’s well on his way to being a better drummer than I am. Steady beats ‘n’ everything! Just wait’ll he’s as big as the drumset … then he’ll really be dangerous.

[] Voted FOR two people (and, admittedly, firmly AGAINST their opponents, but still, it counts). In a statistically unlikely occurrence, everyone I voted for was successful, and the way I voted was the way all the referendum questions turned out. Fear me!

[] Whatever that month-plus-long upper respiratory thing was … I got it. Yes, you CAN have two colds at once.

[] Conducted the second of my brother-in-law’s Major Works for church choir and various instruments. His compositions are the ones that force me to do the most serious score study. (During the presentation of this most recent work, I had my socks knocked off by my ten-year-old, violin-playin’ niece. Kid knows her way around a fiddle.)

[] After thirteen and a half years teaching in the same town … I prepared to go teach in a different one. My apologies to the people for whom this is a news flash. It’s a relatively recent current event, and one which was my decision, not anyone else’s (lest ye wonder). Updates to follow. Promise.

 

So, yes, I guess, 2012 had stuff in it. And then some. Wonder what 2013 will bring (besides a year whose name doesn’t roll off the tongue that easily)? I’m curious… prosperity, happiness, good health and peace? Well, the negotiating rule is, shoot for the moon. If you don’t ask for ten, you may not get five.

May we all get ten.

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December 31, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

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