Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

‘There She Goes’ to a disappointing acoustic gig

March 13th, 2010 · 3 Comments

Pete Lee

I know what you did last Friday: you went to the Black Horse pub on Earlham Road for March Madness. What’s March Madness? It’s not really that mad, it’s actually just live music every Friday. This past Friday, my flatmates and I attended this ‘live music’ that we saw advertised in the Outline Magazine. What went wrong?

To start with, there was no band. Instead, there was some guy’s 40-something birthday party. Then, there was his drunk friend who happened to know how to play acoustic guitar. That was this past Friday’s live music. After waiting for about an hour for the ‘performance’ to start, the birthday boy finally mounted ‘the stage’ to announce that his friends, Pete Lee, would be performing The La’s self titled album in its entirety. This wouldn’t have been so bad, since the album is a classic by the band which formed in 1983. However, good ol’ Pete sang too close to the microphone, blasting scratchy loud music across the otherwise calm atmosphere of the non-student pub. He also temporarily forgot how to play the most famous song, There She Goes. After watching him struggle with the opening chords of this song a few times, he finally got it right. The crowd clapped, sang, and drank along with Pete, raising the general mood. Even my flatmates and I, save the one who doesn’t sing along with other people’s songs, were able to enjoy this song.

Overall, I am sure that on other Fridays, when it is not a birthday gathering, the live music must be quite nice, since the Black Horse atmosphere suits an acoustic performance. It is littered with comfy chairs with a bookshelf (complete with old-looking books) lining one wall. Seems I just picked the wrong day to go!

Hours: 2

Total: 10

Tags: Megan

A Complete 180

March 13th, 2010 · 2 Comments

Not exactly knowing what to expect after last week’s experience, I headed over to New Hope Christian Centre for another few hours of rowdy 13 and 14 year-old boys and girls. When I arrived at 18:00, I helped Duane and crew set up for the night’s activities. Considering how all attempts at organized activity failed miserably last week, I thought to myself that it might be more effective to load up tranquilizer rifles instead of inflating balloons. But hey, I’m not in charge.

I had the option to help out with the younger and generally better behaved kids. But since the only two volunteers for the older ones were Clare and the 22-or-so year-old Katie, I thought my services might be better appreciated with them. We discussed my suggestion last week for an elected youth council of sorts. We decided to focus on group activities and bring the subject up next week.

Around 18:45 the kids started funnelling into the church. As usual, they were rowdy and loud, so I immediately started dreading a repeat of last week. Fortunately, many of the especially problematic children didn’t show up, leaving us with a manageably small group of fifteen or so. Some of the boys went outside to play manhunt with Duane, their favourite game. I stayed inside and taught three boys how to play the card game of the gods, Egyptian Rat Screw. I introduced the game as follows:

Me: “Hey do you guys want to learn a card game?”
Boys: “Nah, learning is boring.”
Me: “It involves slapping each other.”
Boys: “Teach me your ways, Sensei.”

OK, so the last part didn’t go precisely like that, but you get the idea. Needless to say, the boys loved the game and wanted to teach it to everybody. During the debriefing later, Duane asked how the older group went. Clare told him that “Andrew had them eating out of his hand.” Hearing that was pleasant, especially considering how helpless I felt the previous week.

Overall, the children were much better behaved this week. Violence was kept at a minimum and I was actually able to hold a reasonable conversation with some of them. I believe the more experienced volunteers are starting to see my potential and have been taking many of my suggestions to heart. I am honestly looking forward to next week’s Thursday club.

Hours logged: 2.5
Total Hours: 5.5

Tags: Andrew B