Actually watched two students fall in love.
I was a class tutor for one semester at my university, which is basically the pity job they give you if you’re carrying on your education and are too poor to eat every day. Music and Popular Culture, which sounds more exciting than it was, but it was still a fun little unit to do.
I only had about 17 people in my tute, most younger but some older than me. They were great, knew I’d never done it before and we each made sure everyone got through it. The discussions were lively and nice, and everyone chipped in. One guy, I’ll call Jim, was pretty musical and outspoken, and he always seemed to be particular about arguing with another guy in the class, I’ll call him Joe. Joe was also musical, but one of the quiet and shy types. Dragging a strong opinion out of Joe could be difficult, but Jim always seemed to be able to press the right buttons and fire him up. Thank god for Jim. There’s nothing worse than a dead quiet discussion.
Student presentations come around and Jim is doing his on how relevant music theory is to the average musician. It’s all about tacit knowledge and the mystique of being able to claim you can’t read music while delivering a stellar performance and whatnot. Class discussion opens up and finally, Jim and Joe are agreed on something. It was a bit of a laugh around the room, life went on.
A few classes later, and I can’t remember how it even came up, but we were talking about representation in music. Mostly about Paul Simon and his world music phase, was world music a good way to categorise music, blah blah. The topic of gay musicians come up and we’re talking about that, how ambiguity reigns in a lot of musicians and how image feeds into that. Jim pipes up and says image isn’t a great indicator, because people are always surprised to find out he’s gay when he doesn’t come across that way. Everyone waits for Joe to fire back, but he laughs and says, ‘yeah, same for me.’ (It was a bit of a surprise, not that it matters. I’m gay myself and only suspected Jim, definitely not Joe).
The next class, Joe and Jim are sitting together, and arguing as much as ever. I ran into them in the uni coffee shop sitting together and chatting. By the end of the semester they were holding hands as they left the tute. I imagine they’re still together, trying to make a living off their music, but that’s just the romantic in me.
When I look back on it, it was so obvious from the very first lesson. Sickly how cute they were together, but still. I was only 23 at the time and not quite so jaded and bitter as I am now, so it was a nice thing to have happen. I never did any more tutoring after that, I pulled out of the honours course altogether, so it is my only story.
Band in high school is a funny place. Since kids are around each other a lot more of the time than the average student, they tend to get “band goggles”. It’s pretty obvious to see relationships blossoming. More often than not it is a good thing but every now and then you get the older upperclassmen boys going after naive freshman girls. And boy oh boy does it turn ugly quick. The drama can be outrageous.
Most shocking moment: A girl who is an awesome student has been dating a true player on-and-off for the last year. She went so far to tell me that she got back together with him after he cheated on her.
I’m sitting in the band hall watching kids practice. This sweet girl comes in the hall and is walking with a sense of purpose. As she passes me, she says something under her breath that I didn’t quite get the first time. Confused by what she said, I watch her walk up to said guy. She grabs him by the shoulders and spins him around. She says something to which he responds with a short answer but had that look on his face that he got caught doing something he wasn’t supposed to be doing.
She then balls up her fist and socks the guy 4-5 times and storms off. At that point, I realized what she said. “You are going to have to write me an office referral.”
Best referral ever.