Today I drove down to Houston to pick up my son from college. As with most schools, Rice is closing the dormitories and is moving all of its classes to an online format. We are fortunate that Bay’s school is close enough to reach by car (3 hours) so we could move all his things back home. For the students who need to fly home, it’s very complicated. Many had already flown home for Spring Break, and will now have to fly back to move out. In order to make it easier, the university has PODS set up by the dorms for the students to store the thing they will not take back home.
Bay’s stuff fit into the back of my car (with no room to spare!) and the trip was uneventful. But being on-campus was an eerie experience. There were only a couple of other people moving out at the same time, and they were somber and quiet. Of course we have to practice social distancing as well, so it’s a forced, awkward situation all around. Still, a college campus should be full of life and excitement, but instead was kind of a ghost town.😞
Here are a couple of more photos from the drive. Today was kind of like entering into a new kind of reality, which I suppose is the way it truly is. Take care, everyone!
Koa and the other members of his high school’s percussion ensemble competed today, and they celebrated afterwards with a little movie party at our house. I didn’t know how many kids would be over, but it turned out to be a total of 10. I’m still marveling at how they all could gather around the TV, seemingly comfortably. Oh to be young again!
I’m always amazed at people who can perform in front of an audience, and these kids can really bring the house down! It’s always a wonderful show, but also bittersweet because the seniors will be moving on soon. Many of the students, including Koa, have had the same percussion instructor since the 6th grade, so it’s always an emotional final percussion concert for them, and many tears are shed. 😭
So after yesterday’s bus debacle, Koa’s high school band performed at 9:30 am in the preliminary competition, and scored third in their class, which meant they earned a position in the finals, which are held in the evening. It’s pretty impressive that they did so well after waking up super-early (I dropped him off at the high school at 4 am).
But what is even more amazing, is that in the finals, which started at 7:30 pm, they came in third place, which is the highest they’ve ever achieved at Bands of America! They have a fantastic show this year, but honestly, we kind of knew two other bands would capture the top spots. It was just a question of where Koa’s band would end up. All the bands in the finals are really terrific, so when they kept announcing the bands (in order from 14th on up) and Koa’s band wasn’t mentioned, Mariko and I were very excited. And when they announced 4th place, and it wasn’t Koa’s band, I was very happy – a third place finish (out of a total of 64 in all) is awesome!
This is the last marching competition that they will participate in this year and what a finale! Next weekend the drumline goes up to Dallas to compete, and of course there are a few more football games to perform at, but I think the pressure is off for the band kids. Another fun season (for the band parents too) is in the books.
Koa’s band traveled to Midland, Texas, to participate in a competition today and Mariko and I decided to purchase the live-streaming service so we could watch the performances and the awards ceremony.
It was pretty cool to have the all-day event on our TV (using Chromecast) so we could “keep in touch” with Koa. Midland is over five hours away by car which made going to watch in person a little out-of-reach for us so the live-stream service was nice, even though the quality wasn’t great.