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08 February 2006

District Band Reflections

This post is a bit overdue, but you know why.

PMEA District 2 Band 2006 was held 18-21 January in Saegertown; I went with two of my friends and, of course, Mr. Dearbeck (good old Dearbeck). I got fourth chair trumpet, placing high enough to advance to Region II Band in Punxsutawney, 01-04 March, as did both my classmates. But that’s not what this post is about; this post is about revenge, sweet revenge!

Well, not quite.

The culmination of each PMEA festival (which the exception of the obvious concert) is the banquet on Saturday afternoon, where we eat “PMEA Chicken” (what else?). At this particular festival, the banquet was served cafeteria style: the people at each table got up and, in turn, went through the school’s cafeteria line to get their plate (and the PMEA Chicken, of course). Obviously, the various band directors were seated at the front of the room, and obviously they went through the lines first.

I was sitting with my schoolmates at a table in the second row, just behind the directors’ tables, and because the students were instructed to go through the line starting from the back, we were to be the last table served. Sitting at the table directly in front of us were Mr. Dearbeck and his friend and colleague from our neighboring school district, Mr. Wheeler (who actually commented on this blog once because I asked him to).

Anyways, the two directors were at the table right next to the door, the first table to be served besides the head table. When they got up and left to get their food, we took advantage of the situation by stealing Dearbeck’s silverware. He came back, and realized he had no silverware, so he went back into the line to get some, leaving the other directors to their food.

While he was gone, we put his original silverware back, thus bringing Mr. Wheeler in on the prank. He soon realized what had transpired, and he just looked over at us and smiled. We rationalized this by saying that “we didn’t have any food, and [he] didn’t have any silverware.” What a coincidence!

Finally, after about another ten minutes of waiting for our turn, we got a bit impatient. It was technically another table’s turn to go up for their food, but they weren’t going, so we did. I knew that Dearbeck and Wheeler we going to retaliate in some way...I just didn’t know how. I indicated my premonition by signing to Dearbeck that I was watching him.

Apparently I didn’t watch closely enough.

There must have been a window of less than thirty seconds when we were all looking away, but at some point I turned around and saw Mr. Wheeler going out the door with a chair in each arm. I knew they had stolen our chairs. When my friends got back to our table, they knew just what to do: they stole the chairs from the table next to us. When they came back, they were totally clueless, so they stole chairs from the next able, and so on. I think it ended somewhere around the fourth table.

We thought this was the end of it, but no. They had to “one-up” us. After all the speeches, presentations, and awards, the host director had one final announcement before the students were dismissed: the students from Girard had graciously volunteered to help clean up the banquet. As everyone got up, Dearbeck left the room, laughing.

We actually did do a little bit of cleaning, but then we left; we weren’t about to stay there all day.

Ah, the escalation of harmless pranks!


Lexi Elizabeth said...

sounds fun.

Laurel said...

Wow, that is great, i wish stuff like that happened to me...well wait no I wish I could do that sort of thing to other people! lol

Luv ya all!

Anonymous said...

My band director my sophmore year was Dearbeck's age,(Doc Kuntz) but I don't think any of us had that much fun with him. :)

Grandpa B.

Stephen Lewis said...

ah yes, pmea chicken. i think the best pmea chicken was way back when in junior districts days, we had chicken cordon bleu. good stuff. i suppose i liked this year's chicken-cheese-broccoli pockets (chicken divan bleu?), but last year district choir... come and get your half chicken!!! crazy.

sometimes i wish i did pranks like that. i don't think i'd ever have the guts to pull something like that, especially with other teachers watching. maybe i'd do it if i knew i could get away with it. but otherwise, i'd sit patiently and wait for chicken. maybe pull out a deck of cards.

Anonymous said...

Your silverware prank was pretty funny and also very original! However, it's easier to eat with one's fingers while sitting in a chair than to eat sitting on the floor while maintaining the use of one's silverware... not to mention, slightly less embarrassing! (for those still with chairs) Keep an eye on the master(s) and you might learn smoe more tricks of the trade! Enjoy your time at Regional Band and hang on to your cafeteria furniture!


PS - Rabid groundhogs ahead!

Tim Parenti said...

After Mr. Wheeler's comment, I must add that most of this prank was not my idea. I simply like telling about it.

As for keeping an eye on the masters, I don't know. I really haven't seen that much, aside from taking our chairs. Didn't we give Dearbeck enough chairs?

And I'm not even going to ask about the rabid groundhog part...

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