Of course all of this comes only 24 hours after surgery on my toe, meaning I have a completely numb and bandaged left foot. I don't think I've ever been as sensitive to people's feet until now. Though no pain has set in yet, I'm constantly on guard that someone plans to step on one. "Shh, don't touch" echoes through my head as each passing attendee gets close.
And yet, I can't take credit for that expression as it's actually the title and theme of BW's color guard show this year. Taken from an old poem, their show takes a more serious tone than past performances as they tell a modernized version of the old Pandora's box story through choreography, music, and spoken word. It's part of what makes these color guard shows interesting; it's not cheerleading, nor dance, nor musical, nor chorus, nor gymnastics, nor even ballet. They have swords and guns, and flags and flowers. They have costumes and acting, narrative and spectacle. They are simultaneously all of these things and none of them. Even if you're not a self-described winter guard fan, you have to stop and take note at the talent and art in these performances; it's completely unique expression. Not only does Baldwin seem to dominate the Atlantic region (imagine if any of our other sports did) but it's nothing you'll find elsewhere.
Before I make myself appear to be a noble lover of the guard, I should clarify that the real reason I'm here is for the students. I've taught several of these color guard members back in 10th grade, and a couple in 12th grade for the first time. Others I've gotten to know peripherally through community service and other band activities. There are two students, however, who have sat in my classroom everyday for the past 520 school days who, much like the sport of Winter Guard itself, began as quite unknown to me. They spent a year sitting silently in the back of my 10th grade classroom, but over time have become a unique and essential presence each day. This show, their final one as high school students, is a reminder of how quickly the past few years have gone, and how the class of 2015 is soon approaching its end. The Winter Guard 2015 team is prepared to go out with a bang, and as this specific group will disband forever, so will the class of 2015 soon move on to better things. It's a great day for all of them, but bittersweet for those staying behind. Watching students leave is like walking on my post-surgical foot; It's great to be moving, but "'each time it bumps it's really very sore..."
I've included some pictures from the show below, in case you couldn't make it. Great show to Hannah, Maddie, Bethany, and especially Jess and Katie. This chapter ends, though the best is yet to come.