Thursday morning, I was at work, happily instilling a love of Shakespeare in my Drama students, expanding the minds of my English Fundamentals students by introducing them to Fahrenheit 451, and trying to convince freshmen that diagramming sentences can be fun. I got an email from a good friend of mine asking if my sis and I could use tickets to the Knox-Galesburg Symphony Saturday night. He had won the tickets on the radio but could not use them because of a previous engagement. I jumped at the tickets -- even though it meant missing the annual male beauty pageant we host at our school each year, a pageant I had convinced the Belgian exchange student on the speech team to try. The symphony, though, was a far more appealing option, particularly since tonight's featured soloist was a former student of mine, an incredibly talented young woman named Anne Suda.
When I was in college, I went to the symphony a couple times, but it had been quite some time since I'd had the opportunity to go. The symphony is made up of area musicians and is conducted by Bruce Polay, who is a professor at Knox College. The fact that he's an educator was obvious during the first selection, Hovhaness’ Concerto Nr. 7. He gave what was essentially a brief mini-lecture explaining the background of the composer as well as the structure and key in which it was written. Once the symphony launched into this incredible selection, I was transported into the sheer exhilaration of live music. I sat there thinking how nice it was to dip my toes in some serious culture and how incredibly lucky I am to live in a town with such a rich and varied cultural landscape.
And then I made the mistake of taking my eyes off the stage, distracted by motion near the front of the stage. I turned just in time to see a man standing up . . . with his pants nearly completely off his ass as he struggled to pull them up. I was stunned, sure that I was not seeing what I thought I was. So then I made my next mistake -- I nudged my sis. She looked over to witness the same thing I had, we made eye contact, and well, we spent the next several minutes convulsing and trying NOT to laugh out loud. Sitting one row behind us was another former student of mine and sitting two rows behind us was the Associate Dean of the Humanities and Performing Arts at the local community college, a woman my sis and I have worked with on a couple different theatre productions. We both managed to keep it together and NOT disrupt the symphony with our guffaws and embarrass ourselves. After the concerto, my student leaned forward and giggled softly, "Did you see that man??!" Seconds later, the husband of the Dean leaned forward and called out to us and said, "Did you see that man's ass crack??" Apparently, our whole section witnessed the nightmare that was the full moon.
The rest of the program was outstanding, albeit crack-free. Anne's performance on Dvorak's Cello Concerto was absolutely breathtaking. And the selections from "Carmen" that closed out the program was the perfect way to end the evening. I can't wait to go again -- just hopefully without the moon.
(PS -- I received a text message from one of my speech team kids when I returned home that told me that not only had Julien, our exchange student, done well but that he had WON!)