I'm happy to say that yes, my week most definitely did improve. The Pac Mate training went well, and we headed down for the reunion from there.
On Friday, Snowflake, her mom Snowmom, voyagerjc and I spent the afternoon helping to get one of the dorms ready. We set out sheets and towels on the beds and put up name signs on the doors. Poor Snowflake had to run all over campus I think to find sheets and blankets because there weren't too many to go around, so between the four of us we managed to get things ready to go. Jim wanted to stay in the dorm, so we got him set in his room and then went up to registration. I on the other hand, have had way too much of dorm living even for a couple of days, and the idea of institutional mattresses, public showers, and roommates just didn't appeal to me so I stayed with Snowflake in her new house. I don't regret that decision at all.
So we got registered, and then I hung around the auditorium for a while to see if I could find anybody that we knew. We chose not to pay for any of the meals that were being offered other than the banquet, so Jim went out in search of a McDonalds or something. I continued to sit in the auditorium looking for people until he got back. After eating I had my first fast-paced rehearsal with the orchestra for the variety show that was held this afternoon. I had gotten my music in advance, but admittedly I really didn't have as much time to work with it as I would have liked, and after the first frustrating night I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get things figured out, especially since I'd be missing the Saturday morning rehearsal because of other commitments. I'll get to all that later though.
So after rehearsal I was all ready starting to suffer from a bit of sensory overload. As a kid the size of the campus and the fact that several areas still don't have air conditioning never bothered me, but it's amazing how eleven years can change things for me. SMILE! So, by about 8:00 I was getting really warm, tired, and overwhelmed by the noise. Did I ever mention that I'm not a big fan of crowds? SMILE!
Well, we left a while later and I pretty much went to bed right away. We were back at the school by about 7:30 AM the next morning, and I started working on getting things ready for the exhibits that we were going to be showing. I'm glad I started working on that early because there were a couple of really minor problems that were easily resolved, but I'm glad we had time to work things out. So from 9:00 to noon I, along with others from Freedom and three other organizations demonstrated different high and low-tech products. We ended up getting quite a lot of traffic, which I think surprised a few people. During these exhibits Jim went out again to get us our lunch which we ate in Snowflake's classroom. Sorry, Snow if you smelled A&W food during the afternoon. 1:00 was a brief, (and I mean seriously brief), private session to work on my music. This ended up being rescheduled because of lack of time, but the intent was good, right? Then we had the business meeting. During the meeting we elect new board members to office by written ballot, elect delegates to the Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired and do any other business that needs doing. This time it included some bylaws changes. We started off though with a roll call. I really like this because they go down the list of everyone who registered, and if you're in the meeting you answer with the year you graduated. It's really interesting to see how far back people were there, and the age range is amazing. So the meeting ended at about 4:15, and the first bus to the banquet was supposed to leave at 4:30. Now, I really wanted to be on this bus, and I didn't want to wait around for the second one so I went into one of the bathrooms and changed my clothes. That's one thing that I typically don't like doing either because there's something about changing in those cramped little stalls that just doesn't do it for me but it all worked out.
The banquet turned out to be one of the highlights of my weekend. Pretty much by virtue of who we were with on the bus and by mutual consent, our table of 8 included Jim and myself, another Jim that I've known since I was in first grade, Snowflake, a guy I graduated with and his girlfriend, and two other more recent graduates of the school. We were a pretty lively group, and it got even more lively as the night progressed.
Before I continue though I need to back up a bit. On Friday afternoon Jim and I decided to purchase a strip of 6 raffle tickets. The strip I got was numbers 0025 through 0032. I wasn't exactly thrilled about such low numbers because from my experience the people who bought later always seemed to be the ones who won. So I figured that it would be a donation to the association and I left it at that, although I decided I would buy another strip of tickets at the banquet, which I did. Unfortunately, I was even more unhappy with those numbers, 0007 through 0012. Apparently they weren't handing out the tickets in any particular order. Okay, so it was another donation; I've never been lucky with these kinds of things anyway.
So we got our food. I had ordered chicken cordon Bleu. when it came, I was a bit surprised to see that it was covered in gravy. I'd never heard of that before. In addition to the meet I also had green beans and some sort of rice. Oh, and I had half a strawberry too which was awesome. Despite the fact that the chicken wasn't what I had expected, I thought it was still quite good, and everything else was really good. And, unlike many banquets I've been to, they didn't skimp on the food either. I was sitting between the two Jims, and they had both ordered steak. Unfortunately, one of the people at our table got up at the wrong time and they took his ticket without giving him a plate. He managed to get another ticket somehow, but unfortunately, there was some sort of problem with the meals and he didn't actually get his food until the rest of us were done. There were one or two other tables in the same position though so he wasn't alone. At least he did get to eat, but it was definitely later.
One of the events held in the morning while I was doing the exhibits was a back-to-school thing. A few of the teachers came in and made short speeches about themselves, and the people who attended were told that there would be a pop quiz later in the day. So, this happened during the banquet. One of the questions just happened to be about Snowflake though, so I knew the answer, and was the first one to get my hand up. I won $5.00 for getting the answer to the question.
Finally, just before the bus was supposed to start taking people back to the school they did the drawing for the raffle. It was a 50-50 raffle that brought in $600. They decided to divide the $300 up into three prizes of 50, 30, and 20 percent of the remainder of the money, which came out to $150, $90, and $60 prizes. They decided to start with the $60 prize and work their way up. They read the number and it was nowhere near any of my numbers. Then they went for the $90 prize. Again, the number was nowhere close, and my theory that the higher numbers always win was holding true. Then came the $150 prize. I was sitting there reading my numbers and I heard 025. I think it took a couple of seconds to register that they'd called my number, but when it did I yelled. I was completely shocked! So, a couple of us decided to celebrate and we waited for the second bus to take us back to school.
When I got back I went for the final individual work for our orchestra piece. I wasn't completely comfortable with it by the end of the night, but I felt a heck of a lot better about it than I did on Friday. I decided to go up to the radio station that they had set up at that point, and I actually got to say some things on the air. The guy who was doing the live work asked me some questions about a commercial that my class did back in 1994 that I still had. We have kind of an audio newsletter-type thing that gets handed out every three years at the reunion, and I gave them that commercial and information about it so that they could include it. So, he was asking me some questions about that and about the process that was used to create it. At that point it was after 10:00, and I was getting pretty tired. Not too long after I came back downstairs though, Snowflake was ready to go so we went home for the night.
This morning we were back on campus a little after 7:00. It was raining, which was kind of a bummer, but it did seem to cool things down a little. It's been a really warm and humid weekend, so it was kind of nice not to have the blasting heat, even if it was only for a little while. We had our final orchestra rehearsal and then I had a board meeting where we elected officers for the next three years. I chose to take the next hour or so and just sort of mellow out.
Finally it was time for the variety show, and then we headed for home. I love to go on trips, see other people, and just have a good time, but as much as I like that, I always enjoy getting back home too. The cats were happy to see us, and I spent part of the afternoon snuggling with them before I decided to come in here and write up this entry. I'm tired, and would absolutely love to go lay down, but if I do I know I won't sleep tonight and I really want to get my brain back on schedule, so I've got to wait another 2 hours. I'll figure out something to do in the mean time. Hey, how about checking email? No, I've got a better idea. How about playing blog catch-up? I like that better. I haven't had any way to read email or blogs since Thursday morning, so I think I'm going to spend some time reading through those. Of course, a few of the blogs I read probably won't be updated either since they were in the same place I was in. That's about it for now though.