Saturday, September 29, 2012

Book, Teenagers, Chaperon, Audition, Colds, Football, Java, Mac, Windows And Missing Steve Jobs








Book - hopefully a book on How Not To Drape Yourself With A Curtain. At a very young age I learned, never to wear clothes with floral patterns, lest I look like a bed sheet or curtain. To this day, I only have one blazer with abstract floral-like patterns. I only wore it once.




In Texas, we do everything in a big and grand style, no messing around. Yesterday I woke up at 4:30AM and got ready for the day. My husband gave my daughter and me a ride to the high school where everyone had gathered to ride a bus to another high school campus thirty minutes away. I spent over twelve hours as a chaperon to thirty-seven high school choir members auditioning for a spot on the state high school choir. There were about one thousand competitors from all the high schools in the county, vying for one hundred twenty spots. This was the area level competition, next is regional level and then the state semi finals and finals. 

The competition was intense and nerve wreaking for the students but they managed to be teenagers without cell phones or any electronic device for more than twelve hours!!! Amazing! We actually collected their cell phones and kept them secured, otherwise, any competitor with a cell phone or any electronic device would be disqualified. I proudly witnessed a group of multi-culturally diverse well behaved, engaged and dedicated but cheerful and seemingly normal American teenagers for more than twelve hours and did not go insane. They were very respectful. Oh my goodness. The coordinator did not mess around. She was disqualifying anyone even for excessive public display of affection. The students, in turn, behaved. These were teenagers with a purpose. How wonderful was that. The competition was divided into several categories: base, tenor1 and 2, alto 1 and 2 and soprano 1 and 2. They were given a music sheet they had never seen before. The boys practiced their cuts in a separate auditorium. I stayed with the girls in the main auditorium as they waited for their audition calls in groups of ten. When the girls practiced their cuts, the auditorium was filled with the most beautiful angelic and melodious collective voice, and that was just the warm up!!! I had goose bumps!!! 

That was the only practice. The singers were prohibited from singing or practicing anymore. If they were caught singing or practicing in the bathrooms or halls, they were disqualified. Thus, the reason for no cell phones or iPods, mp3 players and other devices. If a student needed to call a parent for a ride using their cell phone, they had to be accompanied by an adult outside. The call had to take place in front of the adult.   The individual audition took place in a room where the judges were hidden from view by a curtain or black wall paper.  My daughter who has been having a cold and bronchitis cough was gutsy enough to compete. 

After the competition we waited for the choir teachers who tallied the scores for over three hours. Imagine a gym filled with teenagers without cell phones waiting...waiting... The scholarly ones brought their homework. Some rested their heads on the table and took naps. One girl set up a hair-dressing shop in the bathroom. Several students gathered in groups and played games, blew bubbles, played cards and visited. The other parent asked me if I am willing to chaperon again. I did not commit but am leaving my options open. It was raining when the school bus got back to the high school at around six in the evening. When my daughter and I arrived home, we immediately went to bed.

So what did I do all that time since there was not much to do? I drew the above image for Illustration Friday's prompt - Book. 

Today is Sunday. I hear nothing but football, football, football...

I am tired. I woke up at 12:30 thinking it was 7AM. I checked my email and discovered that Apple's Mountain Lion yet again screwed up with Java preferences. My mail settings reverted to the old classic settings without the integrated messenger feature. I could not reset it to the new setup because java was disabled. So I read forums and how to pages - easy- just enable Java 6 from the utilities folder. When I opened the java preferences folder, Mountain Lion totally removed the enable option box! Sigh. I had to use my Dell laptop to fix my email settings, save the settings and then open my email on Mac. My settings remained and Mac allowed  me to keep it, it just won't let me fix it on the Mac! Duh! I miss Steve Jobs. Oh, Java 7, I read, makes your Mac vulnerable to security breaches. Apple needs to learn to play with everyone else. Such expensive devices I cannot even use for my work anymore because I upgraded!!! It should not be called an upgrade, more like "Make your Mac more useless".