Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My Life Story (Part 1)

I've been sitting here for about 15 minutes trying to think of what I could possibly write that would be of interest to anyone, coming up with absolutely nothing. The only idea that I've had pop into my head is to tell my story. So I think I'll go with that until I can come up with something different and get the hang of this whole blog thing.

I was born in Garland, Tx on August 17, 1979 to Michael and Cathy Baugh. Shortly after my birth, my parents divorced and both remarried a few years later. When my mom remarried, our family of four suddenly went to a family of eight; nine when my little brother Patrick was born. I'm sure that there were some good times growing up in a large step-family, but I mostly remember it being very loud, difficult, and depressing. Let's just say that our two families never really learned to assimilate, and from that sprung much heartache. However, I do love my mother, my two sisters and my brother very much. Oftentimes, I have thought to myself that I wish my mom and step-dad had never married and it could have just been us girls toughing it together. Aside from these thoughts being completely selfish, I realize that I would not have my little brother in my life had this been the case.

There was a time, long ago, when Patrick and I hung out all of the time and did everything together. Do you remember, Patrick? We would swim together, play together, rough-house together, etc. As we got older, we grew apart a little, but we still hung out. When I was home from school for the summers, you would come to my room and lay across my bed while we just chatted and joked around. We would see movies together, I would take you to your friend's houses, and I was even your chaparone for your first few "dates". I know that we've grown apart since our lives have taken different directions, but I just wanted you to know that I cherish you and those times very much. I'm glad that you are part of our family and I wouldn't trade you for anything!

Sorry for the sidetrack. On with the story!

When I was in middle school, I started playing the string bass in orchestra. I still remember the first time I picked up my instrument thinking "This is so big! Cool!" Yes, I picked string bass because it was the biggest instrument, but also because I fell in love with the low, mellow tones that fell from its strings when our music teachers showed off each one. I immediately went home and begged my parents to let me play the bass. I remember having to work them for several days (we didn't have alot of money and I'm sure they were concerned that it would be too expensive). Finally, they gave in! Thank you mom and dad! I continued to play the bass through college until 2002, when I transferred to UNT (but that story comes later!) I love playing bass and I miss it very much. I've already told John that someday (after he gets a piano, of course) that I would like to buy a bass so that I can start playing again.

That was in 6th grade. In seventh grade, the band teachers started going around and touting the band program and all of its different instruments, trying to recruit kids into the band. Again, I was dying to be a part of it. What instrument did I go home and beg my parents to let me play? The drums!!! (Notice a pattern here? Do you think I was trying to get some attention, or what!?!) While I was a great drummer and had a knack for rhythm, I never did progress into a true percussionist. Because of my one year of reading bass cleff in orchestra, I simply could never adjust to treble cleff for the keyboard instruments. Timpani was alway my favorite, and I do have to brag that I played a really awesome timpani concerto for my scholarship audition to NSU. I continued to play drums through my sophmore year of college, when I decided that I really didn't want to major in music ed anymore.

So I was a major orch dork and band nerd, but I really did love sports as well. I always wanted to play soccer, and even tried out for the JV team in high school. But when I went home and told my parents, they told me that they couldn't afford to pay for sports and that I needed to stay in music so that I could get scholarships for college. That was the end of my soccer career, until I played a few seasons of indoor soccer with my soon-to-be brother-in-law and his then-wife just before John and I were married. Not my brightest moment, let me tell you.

I did end up getting music scholarships to Northwestern State University of Louisiana for percussion and bass. Alot of people have asked me over the years, "Why Louisiana?" Well, NSU had an awesome drumline and drumline instructor, and our highschool drumline instructor also happened to graduate from there. So he would always invite them to come and give us clinicals during summer drumline camp. That's how I was introduced to NSU. During my senior year of highschool, I wasn't really very serious about applying to many colleges (much to my mother's chagrin, I'm sure). Then, one evening while I was doing my calculus homework, the drumline instructor from NSU, Ken Green, called to tell me that George Adams, the orchestra director was in dire need of basses and would love to have an audition with me. During the phone call, he also said that he would like me to come to NSU and join the drumline and that he could guarantee some sort of scholarship. So I suddenly decided to pursue NSU very aggresively, received scholarships for bass and percussion, and that's how I ended up in Louisiana!

When I showed up to NSU two weeks before classes for drumline camp and band camp, I felt like a lost little puppy. I didn't know anyone, the school was huge, and everything was so different. After going to drumline camp for a few days, I remember thinking "What am I doing here? There's no way that I can hang with these guys!" I was the only girl trying out for tenors (if you've ever seen a marching band, they're the ones that have the 5 or 6 drums in front of them and they're always crossing their sticks and doing really flamboyant stuff... you know, attention getters), which was what I had played in high school drumline. Sure enough, I got shoved in the pit and hated every minute of marching season. Concert season was great, though b/c we were required to take a percussion ensemble class, which I had alot of fun in, and we gave lots of concerts. I still remember the big keyboard concert that we gave. 5 of the pieces that we played were solely on the different keyboard instruments. The soloist/melody would be on the bells, then someone would be on the xylophone, vibes, and two people were on marimbas. I just about died when I was assigned to play bells for one of the pieces. I still remember the title "Rainbow Ripples". As I've mentioned before, I never really got the hang of the keyboard instruments because of the treble cleff, so I had to practice that piece like crazy. I spent many late hours upon hours playing the same riffs over and over until I could play them somewhat comfortably. In the end, the concert was a great success and I pulled it off.

Orchestra was also a challenge my freshman year. Even though I was a much better bassist than I was percussionist, I still felt like I was way out of my league and wondered what I was doing there. It didn't take me quite as long to find my groove, however, and soon I was enjoying playing real music for once (as opposed to the silly stuff we tended to play in high school. Not that Vivaldi is silly, but that's about as 'classical' as we got, and let's face it, Vivaldi's not really all that challenging.)

Drumline camp for my sophmore year was fast approaching and I was way bummed. I really didn't want to end up in the pit again, but I really didn't think that I could hang with the two vets that had been playing tenors there for years. However, I stuck it out and went all the way through drumline camp. Although I knew that my audtions were much better than the year before, I could tell that I was on the brink of my abilities and that if I made it to the tenor line, I would only be a hindrance because those guys were wicked fast and I was barely hanging on just to keep up with them. After the camp, I decided that I just wanted to focus on bass, since that's what I was better at, and withdrew from the percussion/band program. I wish I had done it differently, but I didn't even consult Mr. Green about it. I just had my schedule changed and didn't say anything to anybody. Come to find out, I HAD made it onto the tenor line and Mr. Green was way bummed that I had quit. But I really felt that I had made the right decision.

All of a sudden, I had so much free time on my hands that wasn't taken up with percussion private lessons, percussion ensemble, band practice, marching practice, Saturday football games and just practicing on my own. I wasn't used to so much free time, so I decided that I had to fill it with something! That's when I decided to join the rowing team.

Stay tuned for a continuation of my life story and how I became the girls varsity captain and my decision to start taking karate!


Anonymous said...

When do we get Part 2?