Low-rent cheerleaders in less sexy outfits.
October 27, 2011 10:40 AM   Subscribe

This post was deleted for the following reason: Poster's request -- restless_nomad

Wow, I'm also a marching band dropout but I really couldn't disagree with her more and I imagine that's true for most mefite band geeks. It's unfortunate that she had such a miserable experience but damn:

Band was probably a savior to many who welcomed a community of like individuals who salivated over belonging to a group. I preferred to clutch new vocabulary words close to me: sovereignty and autonomy and iconoclasm.

I hate to see people reach adulthood without learning to respect that other people have different perspectives on things and your point of view is not the one true way. Hardly deserving to be called "The Smart Set".
posted by ghharr at 10:57 AM on October 27, 2011 [3 favorites]

Band camp was a formative experience. It was the first time I starved myself, the first time I was caught smoking. It included my first pitiful suicide attempt, my first big breakup.

Band was both a microcosm and a nichey subset of high school; for a weirdo like me, it was possibly the worst place to be.

Takeaway: camps and high school can be bad experiences if you choose activities that are inappropriate for you or happen to experience them at your personal nadir.

Aside from the militaristic aspect of marching band, members become young capitalists, raising money for the various Bowl performances.

Takeaway: it would be great if you didn't have to raise money for school activities.

My one year in band included some of the most explosive drama I’ve ever experienced. There were lies and subterfuge, crushes, theft, suicide attempts. I realized early on that my instrument made a good weapon against those who commented on my supposed fondness for the black arts.

Somewhere along the way, my foot got fucked up. I had been wearing the same shoes and not bathing, so my toes became infected. After camp, I had outpatient surgery on my foot, though at the time the camp nurse determined my foot to be well enough to march.

Takeaway: see first takeaway.

To willingly join a marching band is to allow oneself to be treated like a criminal. This is pre-CCTV and Homeland Security, but the feeling of surveillance was strong. To violate the dress code — by writing “SLUT” on your stomach in red lipstick, say — is to welcome harassment.

Takeaway: see first takeaway, again. Also, note that writing SLUT on your stomach is rarely in accordance with dress codes.

After my parents realized how awful marching band was, they insisted I join something else. I chose crew, a fledgling sport at our school with no tryouts, no public humiliation, and an abundance of pothead hacky sackers who could somehow lope for miles and climb cracked outdoor urban staircases with ease. The one race I attended, I stayed alone in a hotel room watching Roseanne and eating pretzels.

Takeaway: Sigh. Consider subtitle, "Confessions of Another Unhappy High Schooler, With Incidental Reference to Band."
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 11:25 AM on October 27, 2011 [4 favorites]

Badly written, no insight, puzzling complaints, not even a good rant. Why is this here?
posted by sageleaf at 11:36 AM on October 27, 2011

This thing actually seems to be written by a high schooler.

FWIW I was a band dork until I hit high school and it just became too much hassle (for me personally) as I lived in Bellevue, Nebraska and we had (at the time, this being 89-92) the biggest king badass marching band in America or something. The teacher/bandleader's name escapes me at the moment but he was a very very very driven man.
The band practice room was a massive space filled chockablock with trophies and pennants and banners and awards.
The man certainly knew what he was doing and he had a two decade record of really bringing home the awards with his band.

It was too much for me personally though. Too many early mornings marching in a parking lot, too many after school practices, too much work for the glory of a man who frankly wasnt too terribly pleasant to be around whether you won or lost.
In fact, legend has it that a few years after I graduated, the band lost some national competition that they had won for like 18 consecutive years and they dude had a kookoo bananas meltdown and disappeared from the school for like 3 weeks.

All to play "R.O.C.K. in the USA" for a bunch of people chatting and getting concessions. Tragic.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:36 AM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

This person has much bigger problems than the role marching band plays in peoples' lives.
posted by rhizome at 11:51 AM on October 27, 2011

I hate to see people reach adulthood without learning to respect that other people have different perspectives on things and your point of view is not the one true way.

Then again: no comment section for that post.
posted by rhizome at 11:53 AM on October 27, 2011

Wow. It is not possible for me to read anything that is more opposite my own experience in band, but you know, whatever happened to her is whatever happened to her.

also: what rhizome said.
posted by Medieval Maven at 12:00 PM on October 27, 2011

I'm reminded of the subversive message from Drumline: Independent loner joins a group full of stodgy conformists. He teaches them to think differently and enjoy life! He gets his shit straight and learns to fucking conform.
posted by charred husk at 12:07 PM on October 27, 2011

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