Friday, March 29, 2013

My Ten Favorite Moments In High School So Far...

I'm just going to say that picking my top ten moments in high school (so far) is no easy task. I've had more than my fair share of amazing experiences, but I'll give it my best shot.

I present, in no particular order, my ten favorite moments I had in high school:

10. Opening day at the Kauffman Center - Fall 2011 - Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts: Youth Symphony was like... one of the first groups to play in Hellzberg Hall, which is easily one of the best concert halls in the nation.We sounded awesome. And by the end of my final season in KCYS, I'll have played in there five times. It gets my heart racing every time I think about it. 

9. Youth Symphony of Kansas City Fall concert - Fall 2012 - UMKC: This was my second concert as the principal violist in the top group for KCYS. We played Brahm's Academic Festival Overture and Elgar's Enigma Variations. And the Elgar had a viola solo. Sweet Jesus. The solo wasn't even that hard, and it was a few measures long... but it was probably the single most frightening musical experience I've ever had. 

8. Mission Trip - Summer 2012 - DeSoto, MO: This was easily one of the most introspective experiences I've ever had. I had just tried my hand at church, and I figured "Eh? Why not go on a mission trip?" I can't even begin to express what a good decision that was. I think that by going and learning more about God and getting some "hands on experience" I was able to learn more about myself. As the week progressed I really got the chance to reflect on my life and my values, and decide who and what meant something to me. Oh, and I got to go to City Museum... so there's the cherry on top of the sundae. 

7. All-State Orchestra - Winter 2013 - Tan-Tar-A Resort: This was my second year in all-state. I finished my high school music career as 8th in the state on viola. Hooray! I'm not going to lie, I actually really hate the idea of all-state. That makes me sound like a bit of a prick, I know. But the idea of spending a week doing like 3 or 4 two hour rehearsals every day (and having to put up with some super weird room mates) isn't really what I'd call "fun." What made all-state 2013 earn a spot on the list was the times I got to spend with friends outside of rehearsal. Whether we were bowling, playing in an arcade, or having a potluck with a really weird assortment of foods (I had pizza wrapped in bacon and a tortilla shell, if that tells you anything), we were usually always laughing. Oh, and the conductor called us hot mamas and papas. That was an added bonus. 

6. Float Trip - Summer 2012 - Elk River, MO... ish: This was just a really nice relaxing weekend. I got to bring two of my best friends with me on a float trip, and we had fun. And when we were done floating it started to rain and we watched a movie that I don't even remember the plot of anymore. It was a good way to end the summer with some of my favorite people. Simple as that.

5. Student Council Northwest District Convention - Fall 2012 - Chillicothe High School... I think: This was my first year going to StuCo districts and actually knowing people. I got to reunite with some camp friends (and I seize every opportunity I get to spend time with them, because the chances are rare) and spend a good chunk of the day having a dance party with my home council. The energy at any MASC event is incredible. In 8th grade I was the kid who awkwardly sat in the corner and didn't participate in the dance at all. This year I was shamelessly doing Gangnam Style surrounded by hundreds of strangers. Hey, that's what MASC does to you in five years. 

4. MASC State Convention - Spring 2012 - Truman High School: This is where my love for StuCo was truly awakened. I will never forget the MASC State Convention for as long as I shall live. State is the reason I became absolute determined to go to StuCo camp. I learned so much about what it means to be a leader at state.

3. Winter Energizer - Winter 2013 - Jefferson City, MO: Being away from my MASC family for months at a time is excruciatingly painful. Being away from the joy and harmony of MASC itself for any given amount of time is also painful. That's why you have Energizer. It's a chance to go back and see your friends from summer camp, and have the weekend of your life. That's not an exaggeration. Winter Energizer was the single best weekend of my life so far. I got to spend time with some of my Family K and see other MASC friends as well as make MORE MASC friends (one can never have too many MASC friends). Winter Energizer is the reason why I find pink lemonade to be one of the funniest things in the world, and I wish I could explain why that is... but that'd be an awkward conversation that nobody except my friends in Cabin 2 would understand. Sorry. 

2. ASTA Convention- Winter/Spring 2013 -  Boston, MA and Providence, RI - I've never had the opportunity to bond with an orchestra like I did in Boston. I got to know people that I never thought I would ever take the chance to become friends with, and that week my name was changed to Alex. Sometimes you just have to roll with things, ya know? Whether we were running through the mall where everything was way too expensive, we were building a teddy bear in Build-A-Bear-Workship, or we were getting matching polos for the ASTA banquet, I was having the time of my life. If I could go back and relive Boston, I would do it in a heartbeat. 

1. MASC Summer Leadership Workshop - Summer 2012 - Fulton, MO: I've said pretty much all there is to say about camp. It's the single best week of my life I've ever had. I got to be a part of Family K and experience the magic of Fulton, and I think it's made me a different (and better) person. There will always be a special place in my heart for MASC and my MASC family. We started the week as total strangers, and by the end of camp we were close enough that to outsiders it would have seemed awkward.

There. My ten favorite moments during high school. Granted, I still have two more performances left in the Kauffman Center, graduation, prom, and I'm determined to see my Family K again before I graduate. So this is all subject to change. But for the time being, this is what has made my life pretty much awesome for the last 2 years. 

Stay awesome, everyone!

-- The Jewish looking kid with German heritage (that's me)

Thursday, March 28, 2013


I guess it's inevitable that my life is going to start changing now that I'm reaching the final stretch of my high school career. It still seems incredibly surreal that in a few months I'm probably going to be living in a dorm room with a total stranger and I'll practically be on my own when it's not the summer, a major holiday, a break, or a weekend when I decided I'm too poor and need to collect my dues from my parents.

In the past month alone the amount of change I've seen in my life is ridiculous. People that I had pretty much severed connections with (and had absolutely no hope of being close to ever again) are making an effort to reconnect (and you won't hear me complaining). People are starting to realize that time is both precious and also the enemy.

Speaking of time, it seems I have really poor timing. I have come to realize that, unlike what seems to be the status quo attitude, I actually am quite fond of a decent amount of the underclassmen at Liberty High School. What sucks is the fact that 1) they're underclassmen and wont' be graduating with me. 2) I waited until my last semester of high school to get to know most of them. Oops...

Needless to say my whole world is slowly but surely being flipped onto its head, and there's a lot of evidence to suggest that the class of 2013 is starting to realize that the little bubble called "high school" that we've been living in for the past three years is about to burst whether we like it or not. On more than one occasion the paralyzing and somewhat overwhelming fear of my uncertain future has driven me to almost pee my pants.

This is all happening so fast.

What do you mean I need to pick a career path?

What do you mean I need to find a way to pay for college?

What do you mean I'm pretty much living away from Liberty for months at a time?

This is all happening so fast.

Can I get pregnant from this?

Who's going to pay child support?

Who's going to put me back on track when I get distracted like I just did ten seconds ago?

Who is going to answer all of these questions? I don't have a magic eight ball anymore!

I'm one part excited and one part nervous to start a new chapter in my life. I'm confident that if I follow my gut everything will work out, though. Here's hoping that college leads to a life that I love (preferably with a steady and comfortable income... talk about musician problems).


-- The sarcastic kid with the Jewish hair...