Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Busy Evening

This is a busy week in the school realm.

Yesterday, for example:

Nate's school had their annual Science Fair.

Kelly's school had their annual Spring Concert, where she was performing, and two of the choirs that i have been accompanying this year were singing.  I was slated to accompany one of the choirs, while a paid accompanist had been contracted earlier in the year to play as well.

And then Skip.  His school scheduled their Math Awards Ceremony for last night, too.

Three kids.
Two parents.
Someone's gonna get left out.

Well, first of all, it was pretty much a no-brainer that a kid that didn't WANT to do something that was OPTIONAL was going to get his way.  Therefore, the science fair got kicked to the curb pretty early on.  Too bad, too.  Nate wanted to make fireworks... it could have been a good day of chemistry... and missing eyebrows!

But then I realized that I really wanted to see Skip (potentially) get a math award, so I started talking with the choir director.  He said it was no problem.  The group that I was going to play for?  He'd just schedule that first thing, and I could play, then jet off to the high school.  I'd probably only  miss out on the freshmen awards, and maybe the 'A+ student certificates".

Then, on Monday, when I went in to rehearse one last time with the group, the kids were all whining about "What time do we need to arrive?" and he said "Oh right.  We had to re-arrange the schedule.  You don't need to be here until 730, because you're not performing until after the intermission."


That put my playing right smack in the middle of where Skip might be receiving "Top Sophomore" award (assuming he'd kept his act together, and actually earned it.)

So I had a brief conference with the (very capable) paid accompanist, and showed her the music that I'd basically re-written for the one song that I was working on with the kids, and she said that she'd heard me play it, and could probably struggle through, and that I should have a good time watching my son get honored.

Suddenly, I was down to ONE commitment for last night.

Wonder of wonders.

I decided I needed a better low-light lens, so I went off to borrowlenses to rent a f/1.8 lens.  I was hoping for the 85mm, and was pleased that it was still in stock (they're getting slammed with Memorial Day rentals).   But when I went in to pick up my order (I'd ordered online, and arranged to pick up in store), they couldn't find the lens.  Waah!  THey offered me a 50mm (sorry, I already have one), and a 35mm f/1.4 (a hot lens, for sure, but I'd be in the back of a theater, and that would give me shots where the kids on stage looked like ants).  I was just getting ready to say "I guess I should've rented earlier.  I'll just use what I've got", when the guy said "Oh, wait a second... how about an upgrade?" and put this GIANT behemoth of a lens on the counter in front of me.

It was an amazing upgrade.  200mm f/2.0 VRII lens.  The thing weighs six and a half pounds!  And when I said "Oh, I can't afford to upgrade" (knowing that it's a $6000 lens), he said "We can work that out.  Same price as the 85mm" (a $500 lens)

So I headed out on Tuesday to test drive the lens before the awards ceremony.
Went out to the wetlands at sunset.

I think I'm in love!

Anyways.  Last night.

First, it was the Math Awards.

What I didn't realize is that the 200mm lens made it possible to see nose hairs on the guys on stage, but I couldn't get long shots of kids walking across the stage.  So I went to the far back corner of the theater.  And then I was told that i couldn't use a tripod or monopod because of fire regulations.  Argh.  So my biceps got a good workout.

First, he got the Math Honor Certificate (for all students earning better than 95% in a math class, and who also participate in other math activities - Skip's in the Math Club)

Then he got one of the Math Competitions Medals.

Then he went back on stage for the Top Sophomore award.

I realized that they'd been really racing the kids through on stage, and I looked at my watch.  I could still make Kelly's concert!

(oh, for the chance to have a do-over, and take a brush to her hair before she went on stage!)

I even got to see my choir perform, and the director asked me from the stage if I'd like to just put down my camera and come on up to accompany them.

Um, no?  I'll just sit here and take photos.

Like when Kelly played the piccolo when she wasn't supposed to...

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