(This is how I imagine a parent & band student conversation going during the first week of band camp.)
Son, sit down and have a seat.
Listen, I was in your room last night looking through your music collection. Why? Because I am your father and its my job to meddle. We need to talk about what I found. Frankly, I am a little disappointed in you. Who is this John Mackey? Does he bite off the heads of bats? Is he in a cult? I looked him up and I didn't see anything related to drugs, sex, or rock and roll… not a trace.
BTW...I found your magazine stash under your bed. Clarinet Journal? Is that one of those how to manuals on how to turn your instrument into one of those hookah pipes we’ve been hearing about?
Your mother and I know about the liquor cabinet, too. We know the old tricks of drinking the booze and replacing it with water and food coloring. Listen kid, I invented that stuff. We know when the booze is missing, and it wasn’t.
Remember last weekend when you promised to be home with my car by midnight? Your mother and I were worried SICK about you only to find you asleep, at home, before curfew!
Something crazy is going on and frankly, we're concerned. You leave early and come home late. What are you doing all day? Why are you always so tired? Normal stuff?! No, I don’t think so! Normal kids sleep until noon and are out all night, but not you. Your brothers and sisters were normal, and by normal, we mean horrible! What’s going on with you? Are you 16 or not?
What’s going on with you? Where is the little boy that we loved and couldn’t trust? What’s the deal with that? Are you 16 or not?
As you begin band camp, I thought this might be a fun way to remind ourselves that despite their shortcomings and mistakes, your students really are a cut above the average teenager.