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.
What a busy day! I volunteered for concession stand duty at the annual Marching Band Festival that Koa’s high school hosts which was so hectic, but fun. I didn’t have time to take my daily photo with my Fujifilm X100T as normal, but I did manage to take a snapshot of Koa and two of his friends who were volunteering as well. Koa helped lead the visiting bands’ front ensemble units to their proper locations in the stadium, which I think is perfect for him, and he’s so social I’m sure he met a lot of people he follows on Instagram.
Anyways, I’m happy with the photo I took – just a simple snapshot of smiling, happy kiddos! Life is good. 😊
Koa’s high school marching band took part in their first competition of the season, and they did great, finishing 4th place out of 26 bands. Their show this year is pretty good, and of course they spend so much time practicing every day. Mariko and I watched all the finalists’ performances, and they were all awesome! I’m not really very competitive so I don’t get too caught up in the results (at least I try not to) but it’s great to hear and see all the different shows.
Each and every one of these student musicians is really dedicated in order to perform at this level, and it’s really cool to see them all cheering the other bands on. It’s really like a big family, and in this age of social media, they know a lot of the students of the other schools. Band is like one humongous family! Very cool!
It’s true that high school football is a big deal in Texas (just look how big the stadium is), but also true is that high school marching band is huge. Koa’s high school goes all-in on the band, with long hours of practice to give them a great chance to do well in the competitions. Last year, they won the UIL state championship, which was the first time ever for the school! This year’s show is another high-concept piece, and I’m hoping they do great. Not sure if they can top last year, but I’m just hoping Koa enjoys this season as much as last.
On a related note, the football team has started the season undefeated at 2-0 which is a pleasant surprise. Last season they won only two games the whole year, so I’m sure these kids are pretty stoked.
Today we drove down to Rice University in Houston to drop Bay off at his new school. It was an amazing experience, not only for Bay, but also for Mariko and I. When we arrived at Martel College (Rice has 11 residential colleges), a group of “Martelians” were there to greet Bay and help take all his luggage and stuff up to his room. It was so cool!
Martel is a really nice residential college, with a great courtyard and an awesome sundeck. It looks like it’s an ideal place for college kids to hang out (and party). Below the sundeck is the lounge area with a piano and it connects to the “servery” or cafeteria. It’s a really convenient set-up.
This was my first time to visit the campus, and I was super-impressed. It’s so clean and beautiful, but not huge and spread out. I’m kind of jealous that Bay gets to go to such a great university. But not jealous enough that I’d want to go back to school. 😄
After lunch, we said our goodbyes to Bay, and he went off with the other students to begin “O-Week”, while the parents all went to the fieldhouse (indoor arena) for a greeting from the school president, and to hear speeches from alumni and current students. It was fun, funny, and informative. A+
After some shopping at the student store and some refreshments, Mariko and I joined the other Architecture students’ parents at the Architecture school for a meet and greet with the Dean of Architecture. I think all the kids are in great hands there… the Dean and the Advisor are both very approachable, smart, and dedicated. I have no worries!
But soon, it was time to leave Rice University and head back home. We’re so proud of Bay and hope he makes the most of his collegiate career. Such a great kid! 😌