USA in the Morning

Mr Mike's Musings

Teenagers’ Sense of Humor

As Mr. Mike, I love directing the band. The students are at that age when they respond to you and sometimes there is even a bond that forms over time. This happens when some kids are part of the band year after year until graduation. We are joined by the music and by the experiences we encounter over the school year. I enjoy the group activities, and sometimes they get out of hand; but overall the kids are a good group and behave appropriately as needed. They don’t give me a rough time. That is not the nature of a school band. Most of all, they enjoy practice and participating as agreed. I rarely have a no show or a bad attitude.

We all understand our roles and perform them to perfection. Meanwhile, I get some ribbing from the students as they feel comfortable with me. They tell me their favorite family stories and share personal experiences. It is very healthy to have an outlet at this age—at a time when parents don’t often listen. And then there are those times when our relationship spills over into the realm of jokes and tricks. They hide things from me just to get my goat. They whisper among themselves knowing that I want in on the information. If they don’t get a reaction, they will continue on until I beg to be told. I would describe band practice and performance as a wonderful time for everyone without exception. Kids tend to stay with it as a result and they get better and learn to hone their skills.

Sometimes the joking is rather benign. In fact, most times it is and it is never meant to hurt anyone’s feelings—mine or other students. Sometimes it is playful and just lets me know that they are paying attention to my presence. They like to tease or mess up the field formations now and then for a little harmless fun. For another example, they have named my tactical LED flashlight that I found at, Tacki. Not too imaginative, but I get the point. This tells me that they have noticed its frequent presence, especially early in the morning during practice when it is still a bit dark out. They associate it with me. I also use it late in the afternoon as the light grows dim—as the sun sets on the field. It is a beautiful time of day but we all need a bit of illumination to find our way around.

I am sure that I will have other stories to tell, but for now the existence of Tacki amuses me and tickles my funny bone. I can’t say enough about how I enjoy the band and each and every member. Each student has his own talent and personality. In the future, I am sure you will hear more. Individual emerge as they grow more comfortable with me and the mentor relationship. Then groups also form as friendships blossom.