Is that ok? Just to get in the car and start driving, keep going until the gas runs out? Forget school, forget obligations, forget trying to do the jobs of 2 or 3 people and failing miserably?
2 straws have broken the proverbial "camel's back" this morning. First, I find out that I"m going to be running a dress rehearsal with 40 students after school on Thursday BY MYSELF! No piano accompanist, no help of any kind, just me. The groups sound like crap too, for the most part. No one practices, no one seems to put much time or effort into any of it, but yet they expect miraculous things to happen just by freaking osmosis?!?!?!?!? Right, sure.
And then there's this......K and I are supposed to both attend an ALL DAY Band event in January, on a Saturday. We've done it every January for the last 15 years, as long as we've taught Band. When the kids came along, it got harder to manage, but somehow we've always done it. It's an audition day for students, and if a school has students involved then the director must serve as a judge. The audition site is nearly 2 hours away, and we're there from (I'm not kidding) 7:30 am until at least 5 pm, usually later.
In years past, I've driven cross-state to get my mother and bring her down here (she won't/can't drive here herself) so that she can stay at my house and be the all day babysitter. Then, the next day, I drive her back home. That means a total of 12 hours of driving, not to mention the 4 we drive to and from the audition. But with my increased teaching schedule this year, I really don't see a way to do this (drive to get Mom), so we're in quite a pickle. K emailed the very-single-uber-Band-nerd-jock supervisor of this audition, to ask respectfully if I could be excused from judging this year. Rules say that if you don't judge, your kids don't play.
The response? "I can't excuse anyone for personal reasons." WTF? What kind of reasons DO you excuse people for? Seems like personal reasons are the ONLY ones that would merit an excuse. I have a grand total of 2 (TWO) students auditioning.
Get the point? He's going to make us find a babysitter (nearly impossible) and then pay them some exorbitant amount for a 12 hour day just so I can come up there and listen to a day full of incorrectly played scales just because I have 2 students involved in this event. This man is such an idiot, so out of touch with real life. No kids of his own, never married, lives and breathes Band and has no concept of anything else, including tact (I know this from past dealings with him).
Guess what, dude? Life does not revolve around Band. It just doesn't. There is more to life, and sometimes grownups (i.e. me and K) have other responsibilities, other priorities beyond stupid Band competitions. If you had a life, you might realize that and have some compassion or flexibility when real life intersects with the all-powerful rules of the band director's association. Please, give me a freaking break. This just makes me want to yank my 2 students out and say "screw you". Then what would you do for a judge? Oh yeah, you'd make do with the people you have, many of which come to that audition every year and sit on their butt all day because they're your cronies. So couldn't you just do that anyway? Oh, but that would mean showing something resembling a heart, and I've yet to be convinced that you have one.
Oh, and did I mention that I already go (as a volunteer) to help at a second Band audition every year? It's not required, but they ask me and I enjoy it. And I go because K can keep the kids, and it works out well. K reminded the supervisor of this, my going "above and beyond", and wondered if this could somehow be counted for my obligation. You can guess the answer for yourself. Jerk. What an absolute jerk. Hope you never need anyone to make an exception for you, to show understanding of a difficult situation. If you do need that, don't come looking to me for it.