I’ve been working on a documentary recap, but until that’s done, I only have the pandemic to talk about. I think everybody is tired of reading about that.
So, for today, I have an update from 2006 I wrote when I also didn’t have anything to write about. This is about the time I was forced to take a month of Music class in elementary school. If you’re new here, I’m deaf.
September 11, 2006
Today, I did some banking and bought a box of Q-Tips. After the completion of those two exhausting tasks, I passed out on the living room couch in the middle of the day.
Since that wasn’t much of an adventure, I shall take a stroll down memory lane and see if I can come up with a more exciting story to share.
Alright, I’ve got one! In 1995, my elementary school decided to set up a Fine Arts program for the seventh graders that would put them through a rotation of different subjects, each lasting about a month long. I can only recall four of them: pottery, woodworking, drawing, and music class. Coincidentally, I was a seventh-grader the year the program was implemented.
For woodworking, a block of pine measuring of 3x2x1″ and a box cutter was distributed to each student. Every Friday, my classmates and I would sit at our desks, whittling away at the block of pine, hoping to transform it into a heart in time for Valentine’s Day! It was quite the learning experience: I learned how to use the blade lock on a box cutter, and learned how it’s not a good idea to extend the blade too far out, lest it snaps off and flies into somebody’s eye.
Come February 14th, I gave my wooden heart to my parents. They pretended to be impressed. A few months later, I found this heart in Mom’s vase of decorative pinecones. Dad had defaced it by scribbling the whole family’s initials all over it. I was LKVY without the K.
Oh, the outrage!
Next, there was music class. I’d just be sent to the library to do some reading, I figured, as it would be absurd to make their two deaf students sit through music class once a week.
Wrong. I was shoved in music class with the rest of the kids, and among other things, we had to watch a ridiculous educational cartoon featuring cavemen playing musical instruments (Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom). My parents called the school up to try and pull me out of this class but were told that there weren’t any actual playing of instruments involved and that I would be just fine.
While the teacher didn’t try to stick a recorder in my mouth, the final assignment had us create our own musical instrument. I went home that night grumbling to Dad, “The teacher wants us to come back next week with a musical instrument that we made ourselves! What am I supposed to do?”
Dad guided me down to the garage and started scavenging through our recycling bin. “Here, this makes noise!” he said as he handed me the cap from a Snapple bottle. “Daaaaaaaaaaaad!” I whined, “I’m supposed to make it! I’m not going to stand in front of the class popping a bottle cap.” It even said so on the cap, “reject if button is up“!
My final grades were important to me; after all, this was my last year of elementary school. If I failed, I was going to find myself among eraser eaters in the special placement classes at Mountain Secondary. After a very adult discussion (“YOU GOTTA LET ME DO SOMETHING ELSE! MY DAD GAVE ME A BOTTLE CAP FOR CHRISSAKES!”) between the teacher and myself, it was agreed that I could do a report on a musical instrument instead.
I chose the trumpet and made use of my parent’s Funk & Wagnalls from the 70s for my research. I mentioned the inner workings of the trumpet (with excessive use of the word valve) and drew a nice colour-coded cross-section diagram of the magnificent instrument.
This earned me a B, which I would have been satisfied with if it weren’t for my fellow deaf classmate acing the project by STRETCHING A COUPLE OF ELASTICS OVER A LOAF PAN.
Oh, the injustice!