Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Little Less than According to Plan

So, one thing that I believe in really strongly is flexibility.  I don't mean weird yoga, fold yourself up and fit inside a shoebox type of thing.  I mean the ability to not let crazy, unexpected situations ruin your day.  Now I'm not going to claim that I am perfect with this.  I'm not saying that I don't have the occasional mini-tantrum (usually in my head) when something just isn't working out the way I want.  However, on the whole, I would say that I am pretty good at not letting weird complications bug me.  And, I kind of have to be, because nothing I ever do goes the way it is supposed to.  Part of that, is because I have literally the worst sense of direction of anyone, anywhere.  If I am going somewhere I plan on getting lost at least once.  Sometimes it's really not my fault.  Parma Circle, if you haven't been there, is not a circle at all, it is a mess of tangled streets that form an evil hell dimension.  Anyway, my point is that I'm pretty used to plans going terribly, terribly wrong.

So here's some of my experiences with the less than according to plan:

When I was in the eighth grade I participated in my first Greater Cleveland Solo and Ensemble Contest.  In this contest, young musicians prepare solo's, duets, trios, quartets ect. so that they can be judged and given a rating 1-5.  1 meaning really, really awesome and 5 meaning maybe you should switch to a different instrument.  It's a pretty terrifying experience, especially when you are 13 and super nervous about playing in front of people.  With the help of my band director, I prepared a flute duet with one of my friends.  During our warm up time, exactly 5 minutes on the clock from when we would have to go to our performance room and play, I suddenly felt the keys slip on my flute.  I looked down and the bottom four keys were suddenly no longer attached.  And I can assure you, it is impossible to play without them.  Amazingly, my middle school self actually did have some maturity deep inside, and instead of breaking down into hysterical tears like I wanted to, I went out on a mission to find someone who could fix my flute so that we could compete.  There was a random guy in a suit talking to a group of students in the hall.  Usually I would be very terrified about interrupting a random group of people, but I was a little desperate.  The guy in the suit, who luckily turned out to be a music teacher, took pity on me as I approached looking like a deer in headlights as I clutched the broken pieces of my flute.  For the record, anonymous suited man, you are my hero.  This guy put my flute back together with a mechanical pencil.  A mechanical pencil.  And it worked perfectly.  I wish I would have had the time to ask him how he did it, but I was kind of on a time crunch.  So I thanked him, bolted for my performance room and actually did pretty well.  Not only did we get a 2 which is pretty good for my first performance, but the first comment on our score sheet was, copes with pressure well.  Not too bad.  

There was also my AP Physics test.  Now in my school district, AP Tests are taken in a nearby town's rec center.  This meant that we needed to somehow get from school to the rec center in order to take the test.  If you are me, that means barely making it to the test.  Why? I'll give you a hint, it has to do with my complete lack of an internal compass.  So, the day started off according to plan.  We reviewed for most of the morning, which didn't exactly leave me in the most positive state of mind.  I was pretty sure I was about to fail on a pretty epic scale, but I was prepared to give it a shot.  The problem arose when I tried to drive to the rec center with my best friend.  So, in my mind, I knew exactly where I was going.  Of course, that really means that I was going the complete wrong direction.  So, somehow, I ended up in this development with street names that all had to do with Robin Hood.  Which, was cool, but considering those streets formed a labyrinth that seemed bent on keeping me from getting to a main road, I was a little less than enthused.  Every time I thought I had found a way out  something made me have to turn around.  Dead ends, construction, it was ridiculous.  Eventually, of course, we did find our way out.  I have never been so happy to see a main road in my life.  Something which every car driving past realized when we started to scream and celebrate.  Either that or they thought we were insane.  Who cares, the moment called for some joy.  We even made it to the rec center in time for the test!  The crazy part though was that before we got lost, I was completely freaking out and feeling pretty negative. But after we got lost, it was as if we had already gotten through the hard part.  The joy from finding a main road carried over into taking the test and I didn't do too bad.  In fact, I would bet that if our journey had been completely uneventful, I would have done significantly worse. 

These are only two examples of times where it looked like total disaster had struck.  However, I am incredibly grateful that things turned out the way that they did.  If nothing else, it gave me two great stories.

That's it for now,

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