Greetings from the Central District of ACDA-MN. Isn’t it funny how time seems to pass differently depending on what you are doing at the time? I know we’ve all experienced it. How the end of football games can seemingly take hours and a good movie can fly by in the blink of an eye. I remember holding our middle child, Isla, in the middle of the night waltzing in our living room trying to get her to fall asleep. I swear I was putting in a permanent path in the carpet for at least an hour. I’d look over at the clock on the TV and only 25 minutes had passed. Ugh!
This is my 11th year of teaching in Annandale, MN. It seems like a few moments ago, when I walked through these doors for the first time. Hopefully your teaching positions are fulfilling and rewarding for you.
One of the more heartstring pulling events that I’ve been a part of while teaching in Annandale is an event called 4 Score and More. It is a luncheon that is held in October for Annandale High School graduates that are at least 80 years old. This will be their 13th year getting together. For the upcoming event, attendees would need to be born in 1939 or EARLIER! I’m amazed and moved by how many of them show up. Some come from many miles away to reminisce with fellow Annandale Cardinals from years past. The pride they show in their alma mater is inspiring. Most years there are close to 100 people that attend the event.
For many of these “mature” graduates, they remember their high school days as if they had just happened yesterday. The last 62 or so years have flown by for them. The stories of the antics that they pulled many years back are hilarious. I’m amazed that they got away with so much stuff. I remember a few years back sitting next to a gentleman who was 96 at the time. He was pretty sharp and had a great sense of humor. He quipped to me that he didn’t know many people here anymore because when he graduated, as he put it, “most of these whippersnappers were in elementary school!”
My part in the event is small. We’ll have a few students sing some solos or duets for entertainment. One year I brought a barbershop quartet and that was a hit. There is one aspect of the day that ties in to our choral community theme for this issue. Towards the end of the program, one of the men gets up and leads them all in the school fight song. He even puts on his letterman sweater that still fits! I help them along on the piano and sing. To see so many of these men and women stand up and voraciously sing, always gets me a little teary. Some can barely stand, but they do it. Some are on oxygen and they belt away. The pride they have for their school and how they show it by singing together is encouraging and uplifting.
The students that I bring to the event, comment every year. “I can’t believe they still know the words!” “That old guy next to me had a really great voice!” For my students, it instills in them a little pride in their school. They also earn a little humility after watching all these alumni proudly sing their school song. I know many of our current students don’t see the singing of our school song as a sense of pride. They kind of mumble through it because they don’t know the words or are embarrassed to sing in front of their classmates. I’ve made it a point after taking part in the 4 Score and More day to make sure all my choirs know and have memorized our school song. I’m hoping their leadership can instill some pride in singing our school song with their friends during sporting events.
The day is not a big flashy event. It might get a little paragraph of press in our local paper. But for those that come, it is good for the soul and spirit. Hopefully you’ve found something that does the same at your school or community. Here’s to a great start of the school year and fall season!