Day 9:December  2010

When faced with the decision of what instrument I was going to play in 5th grade, my mom talked me out of the trumpet and into the cello. I believe she did this because of her love of the movie Truly, Madly, Deeply. A 90s dark romantic comedy in which Alan Rickman, a recently deceased cellist, haunts his widow as she grieves his death.


Starting in 6th grade, I began a rather snarky relationship with my orchestra teacher. A man that could easily be a Bob’s Burgers character, and was ultimately just doing his best, but rubbed me the wrong way for whatever reason.


There were three students in the orchestra that were decent cellists. There was Elliot who was naturally gifted and practiced, there was Anna Sophia, who was naturally gifted and practiced, and there was me, who took lessons and didn’t practice that much but was invested…like…80%? Probably less.

 I was the student that would whisper things under my breath to my classmates to make them laugh. It often interrupted practice, and when Mr. Stotts didn't find it funny himself, he would throw dirty looks in my direction without addressing my misbehavior head on.  

It was fine until 8th grade when it came to a head and Mr. Stotts retaliated by calling me Blondie in front of the entire class. This was not a nick name that was related to Debbie Harry. I was loud and proud and being a "dumb blonde to impress people". In an attempt to belittle me and halt my antics he just pissed me off.


So the rest of the year was dedicated to inching my way around the rules that he set: by practicing in the hallway instead of in the orchestra room, by asking why we had to play certain pieces when he passed them out, and finally by not giving him the Christmas biscotti I baked for my teachers every year before the holidays.


I think my parents were recognizing a bratty shift. I wasn’t at my best, but I was pushing against a system, indicative of the types of things I would become passionate about later. The refusal to give him biscotti was my message to The Man.