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A Short Introduction

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J. Turner

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Greetings everyone! I would like to take this time to give all of you a short overview of who I am and where I came from. Hopefully this will give you better idea of my personality and character when you see my posts on the message board while also giving my opinion about contests etc in future blog posts.

 

Past:

I was born during the worst ice storm to hit this state on December 26th, 1989 and raised here in the Central Kentucky region. I grew up in the countrysides where the grass was always green and the knobs dominated the skyline. At night, stars would be as bright as fireflys and the crickets chirped a song to soothe you to sleep. I grew up in a divided house when my parents divorced my Freshman year of High School in 2004 which coincidentally is the same year I joined Boyle County's Marching Band. I joined the marching band because they had won the Class 1A State Championship for 3 years in a row and, being a member of band since my 5th grade year, I loved the idea of competing. If marching band wasn't competitive then I would probably have never joined and got in with a really bad crowd of hoodlums. The only thing that kept me back from joining my 7th grade year was my self-esteem was really low about my playing abilities and I didn't want to ruin their chances at another title because I "sucked" too bad.

 

My first year of marching band was a swift kick in the mouth, so to speak. I never expected all the hard work and dedication it took to get at the level that they were at before I joined. I thought multiple of times about quitting but was talked out of it each time by my father.

 

"If you quit think about how much everyone else depends on you. They depend on you being there in your drill. They depend on you to play your notes in the drumline. This isn't no sports team where you have alternates or benchwarmers. When you joined' date=' a lot of people put their trust in you to be there for them."[/quote']

 

After that speech I made it a point to be there for all those that depend on me. To be there and help out the team. To help this band make it State Finals. We finished that year in 3rd place in class 1A.

 

By my Sophomore and Junior years I had grown accustomed to our band traditions and values. Becoming Bass Section Leader my Junior year I had to learn how to lead more and not follow as much. I held Bass Line sectionals at my house to work on parts that weren't quite right. I organized "friendship" meetings where we would build our trust in each other and become closer as a section so that each and every one of us knew that anybody could go to anyone for support and advice.

 

My senior year I was no longer a rookie section leader. With no new additions to the bass line we were as close as family can be. My best friend, and self-proclaimed "co-section leader", and I were two of the five seniors out of a eight person drumline. That year we went on to win the highest honor in KMEA Percussion Scores at the Madison Central Competition, the coveted "Golden Snare". We went on an almost undefeated season that year as a percussion section only losing to Taylor County at one competition late in the season. Upon reaching KMEA SMBC in 2008 we finished our High School Marching Band careers in 4th place in Class 3A. All four years of High School and all four years had a State Championship appearance. Not too shabby.

 

I decided late into my senior year to attend college at the University of Kentucky, mainly because that's where a lot of my friends were going. While I was there I went through so many different majors and learned the hard way that only I know what I want to do with my life. I changed majors based on what other people were doing and learned that I didn't really like UK at all. The classes were too big, I hated being taught from a textbook by a person with a P.H.D in the subject they were teaching. Why do you depend on a book to teach me what I need to know? Teach me from what YOU know, not some other group of people that write and charge out the ass for me to read. I moved into an apartment with the best friend mentioned earlier my second year at UK and quickly learned that people are not all who they make out to be. False accusations against me, being put down, and betrayed by someone you once considered to be your best man at your wedding is not a good experience to have in your life and I hope nobody has to go through that. I treat all my friends as family and that event just strengthened that belief even more.

 

A whole year before the betrayal, I was an instructor at East Jessamine High School Marching Band as a Percussion Coordinator with...you guessed it, the "best friend". There I met a lot of good young people and through my talks with them I became not only an instructor but somebody they can come to and know that I actually cared about them; it wasn't just a job. The kids came to me with school problems, questions about college, typical teenage problems, you name it. The start of the 2009 band camp season changed everything. One of the students had thrown a party at his house while his parents were away visiting family in West Virgina. Long story short, he acquired alcohol and lost control of his little shindig. He called me up and is basically yelling that he can't control anyone and that he needs somebody to come help him calm everybody down and get some order. I drive from Lexington to Nicholasville, go to his house, get everyone under control, and even got some of the kids that were there to lay down and sleep the effects off. Upon helping the kid out, I told him to make sure to clean up the house and that everyone stays there until the morning. We were all in high school once and made mistakes so I didn't call any parents and tell them what happened; I'm pretty sure he learned his lesson anyway.

 

The next day I went to camp as usual and met in the directors office to have our morning staff meeting when the director at the time told everyone but me to leave the office. A band mother had drove by while I was at the kids house and accused me of supplying the alcohol to the kids, taking advantage of the girls there, and drinking with them. None of these accusations were true, I was called late in the evening by a student of mine that was in trouble and I got out of bed and did what I could to help. I was told to leave the school for the day and to come back after they had their lunch break at noon. Upon my arrival I was told by the band director that I was to be relieved of my duties and that my final paycheck would be given to me via my co-worker and roommate. When I walked out of the directors office, there was all my students sitting at the door listening to what just happened. Tears filled their eyes and I was ambushed by hugs as the water streamed down their cheeks onto my shoulders. They felt as if they didn't lose just an instructor, but a friend and counsler. Against what I told them about staying for their fellow bandmates, most of them refused to stay and told the director that they were going to leave if I left. Even after threats of kicking them out of band, they stood by me. They all knew about the injustice and that I didn't deserve the sentence handed to me. As much as they cried, I bet I cried twice as much. I loved these kids, they were such great learners and had so much potential! As I got in my car, the band mothers and fathers of the kids that stood by me came to practice to tell me that they believed me and wanted me to stay (along with other explicits about the director). The parents picked up their kids and we all went to the mall and my apartment and one of the kids' house to get over the emotional shock and to give my final speech to them:

 

Guys' date=' you all are great musicians. You have a lot of potential. During my short time with you all I've learned as much if not more from you as you've learned from me. Life is what you make of it. As you all sit here right now, united and together, so you should for the rest of your band career. If there's drama and bickery between you, nothing will get done. This season, as you go out and play, know that I'll be with you guys in your hearts and possibly in the stands. Play for yourselves, not just me. Play because you love music. You're all family to each other. And know this, if you ever need anything: you can still come to me. I'm going to miss you guys. I love you guys.[/quote']

 

That was the saddest day of my entire life. After my official "firing" I attended the next band booster meeting to clear my name and tell everybody what exactly happened and possibly earn my job back. I told them that unlike other instructors, I cared for their kids. When they didn't do well, I felt like I had failed them. I told them about what really happened that night and that all things aside, I just want to leave this organization on a good note, and a clean name.

 

I haven't really told many people the story of my time as instructor at East Jessamine, but it feels good to put it in writing, as well as bring back old pains and sorrows.

 

When the practice was over I approached my ex-coworker and friend how he could just sit there and not defend my name. How could a friend not stand up for his fellow friend? His answer: "It's just business." That was the start of the downfall of our friendship and as the months went by I got kicked out of the apartment because he told his mother (who was the one leasing the apartment for us as co-signer) I was having wild parties, never cleaned, and was irresponsible of other housework duties. Now let me tell you a few things:

 

  • I never held a party there. I've had a friend or two over but thats the maximum.
  • I was the one that was constantly cleaning dishes, taking out the trash, and I stopped doing it because I was tired of being the only one doing it. I would let the place get extremely filthy to see if he would take the iniative and he never did.
  • I was working for minimum wage at KMart. I barely made the 500/month for rent let alone buy supplies for the house.

 

Luckily towards the end of my time in that apartment I made friends with Jake Brumfield and Kyle Hayes (Kyleypoo on the boards). I had discussed moving out and moving into a cheaper place with Jake literally two days before being abruptly thrown out of bed and into the streets (literally). While I was houseless I stayed with one of the kids from East Jessamine, same one I helped that led to my dismissal. His family loved/loves me and saw me as family as much as I saw them as family. I eventually moved in with Jake for a year until financial reasons caused us to once again go our seperate ways.

 

Present:

Since then I have dropped out of UK for personal reasons, dropped out of National College because while I went there, there was no respect for the professors and, literally, drug deals were going on in the back of the classroom. It was worse than High School. I'm currently working at Office Depot as a Computer Technician and since working there have discovered what I may want to go back to school to be. As soon as I can figure it out I plan on applying for EKU to major in Computer Science and move up in the world. I miss school and hate living with my mother as a 21 year old working for minimum wage helping the most technological illiterate people. Kyle Hayes and I are basically as close as you can get. I've seen him at his best and at his worst. We've been through a lot and we consider each other to be brothers of one another. I honestly can say that I think we'll be friends until the end of times. During my off time I like to play on the computer, post on KMN, and during fall you can find me at a T.V near you whenever the best NFL team ever plays: THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS! No, I'm not a bandwagon jumper. I was a fan of them when they were the 'Aints. I remember the exact reason why I started liking them: they have balls. 4th and 1? We'll rush for it! That's what I like in a team.

 

I follow Boyle County to as many competitions as I can and have been timekeeper at their homeshow last year and also this year. I always take a notebook with me to write down band names, shows, and short snippets of information so that I may come here to post what I thought of the show. When you read my opinions, keep these things in mind:

 

  • I don't sugar coat things. If something just outright sucked, I'll tell you.
  • If you would like to request an in-depth review of what I thought, shoot me a PM so that I may take more notes or write a review during the show as it progresses with my thoughts.
  • I generally try to leave a good note at the end, if none is there then you better work your butt off for one next time I see your group! :)

 

I'm generally a pretty optimistic person and love to help people out and be there when somebody needs a shoulder to lean/cry/hoist up on. My friends are my family and I would never do anything to lose their trust.

 

In closing I'd like to say that in case you couldn't tell by the title of this blog post, I'm very sarcastic and have a pretty awesome sense of humor. I didn't expect to write this much but I think I'm going to like blogging pretty well. Future blogs will include progress reports, some of my views on various things that are happening to me and those around me, and of course the band reviews! Feel free to add me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jturnerpercussion and follow me on Twitter at @Jonnypoopers.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

"And friends are friends forever

If the Lord's the Lord of them

And a friend will not say never

'Cause the welcome will not end

Though it's hard to let you go

In the Father's hands we know

That a lifetime's not too long

To live as friends"

-Michael W. Smith, "Friends are Friends Forever"

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