Published: Feb 22, 2012 02:00 AM
Modified: Feb 20, 2012 07:31 PM
A request to drop the mandatory marching requirement for band at Carrboro and Chapel Hill High Schools is under consideration. The concern is that the marching requirement discourages some students from taking band classes. Dropping the requirement is a greater concern to many more students.
Most families are wary at first of what will be required of them in terms of time commitment and money. They realize a vast return on that investment, but students will tell you that without the mandatory marching requirement, they probably wouldn't have given it the first try. There's no marching requirement at East. Marching band isn't offered there.
Why is marching band important to a school community? Social barriers that exist in hallways disappear when students spend time together in a different context, like band camp and competitions. Everybody looks geeky in a band uniform. When assembled on a field, in formation, in tune and in step, suddenly everybody looks really cool.
Our youngest child's experience with the Marching Tiger Band and our eldest child's experience with CHHS athletics were equal in terms of demands on time and in terms of expense. What they learned from their experiences was worth every minute on the field, every bus ride to a competition, every hour spent raising money working at the PTA Thrift Shop or a UNC ball game and every dime that came out of pocket.
Marching band deserves administration's full endorsement. To thrive, it demands continued support of the marching requirement.Cindy ParksChapel HillSuspicious indeed
On a Tuesday earlier this month, I was fortunate to have been (sort of) arrested by three policemen. I was so relieved as they patted me down, and invited me to sit in the back seat of their squad car.
Minutes before, someone had reported a suspicious looking male, dressed in black, carrying a backpack, and limping as though he was drunk. Yes, it was me. I confess!
This story began, while I attempted to go for a run in order to confirm that my knee injury was gone. Half way through my run, something gave, and I can now confirm that my knee is worse than ever.
I did manage to hobble part way home, that was, until Chapel Hill's finest, the police officers, were kind enough to stop and offer me a much needed lift home. It was pretty cool sitting in the back of a police car with the lights flashing, but not something I would want to do again.
I apologize to the person or persons I spooked, and I am grateful to the police for responding. Is this police department great, or what?Rene' de la VarreChapel HillAudacious admiration
I am disappointed that the Chapel Hill News, which gives excellent coverage to the economic and social challenges facing our community, decided to give a raspberry (CHN, Feb. 15) to the group of audacious folks calling themselves the Carrboro Commune who staged the theatrical takeover of the WCOM building on Saturday, Feb. 4.
Serving food, playing music, cleaning up the building, setting up for a dance party and making plans to create another community-controlled and -centered space in Carrboro (please remember the Weaver Street Market lawn is private property where dancing outside of prescribed times is forbidden) they welcomed passersby like myself to question authority and do something positive. Given the recent terrifying overreaction of the Chapel Hill police and civilian authorities to the similar Yates building action and the brutal violence enacted on nonviolent protesters (like Iraq veteran Scott Olsen) in other "progressive" places like Berkeley and Oakland, it was a very brave thing to do.
To call it childish is to ignore their courage and to erase the fact that every step towards justice in our country's history - as I was recently reminded by PlayMakers' "The Parchman Hour" - has been made by young people taking risks to improve things for the rest of us. To me, being grown-up (as you suggest they should act) usually means having adjusted to the status quo. but we're facing an increasingly dysfunctional status quo that excludes more and more people.
Questioning the transformation of a small homey corner of a North Carolina town into another box store and parking lot may not, on its own, fix that. But it's asking the right questions and doing something creative about it. I'd give them bread and roses.Diane M. NelsonCarrboroWhat else Frost said
In your otherwise commendable "raspberry" (CHN, Feb. 15) to the various actors at the expected new CVS site in Carrboro, you referred to Robert Frost's poem "The Mending Wall." But you left the inference that Frost himself supported the wisdom in the statement "good fences make good neighbors."
Frost himself had put that statement in the mouth of another protagonist, himself taking the position that "Before I built a wall I'd ask to know / What I was walling in or walling out / And to whom I was like to give offense." Frost advocated caution in walling oneself off from the world."
And perhaps that is the message to be considered going forward in this particular situation, as well.Richard PerryCarrboro
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