It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you all that it is officially¬†fall. Still, it should not be 66 degrees this early in September. I have no idea how we got from multiple days of more than 90 degrees last week to this rainy insult of a temperature. But in any case, we at Bay High School are all back together, mourning the loss of our more memorable seniors and welcoming the freshmen who have learned to walk on the right side of the hallway (good job, freshmen! It took me at least a few months to figure out which hand was my right to navigate). So far, my sleep schedule has remained somewhat intact, although already, a combination of AP Lang essays (thank you, Jonathan Edwards) and Jazz Band (thank you, Darren Allen) threatens to turn me nocturnal. Marching band has, once again, become both the light of my life and the bane of my existence, especially with the few Thursday games this year that quite literally will keep me up all night, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. The feeling of triumph that I have after the last note of a perfect song, the sound of laughter coming from the back of the band bus when everyone is half-asleep and slap-happy, the times in class where someone starts singing their part of a show and the band kids slowly join in to the confusion of everyone not simultaneously cursed and blessed with band-it’s what I live for. I never played any sports or had any siblings, so until I stepped into the high school band room for the first time, I never felt the magical bond between members of a family who would do anything for each other, inside of band or out, serious or silly. That bond (and a couple of really good Earth, Wind, and Fire jams) constitute the basis of my fall, and at the end of it all, I don’t mind the grueling heat of what I call Heck Week in the summer or the evening practices throughout the entire fall or huddling around cups of hot chocolate when it’s below freezing during the playoff games and our lips freeze to our mouthpieces. It’s a labor of love for the people I couldn’t live without and the instrument I can’t imagine giving up, and to me, it’s perfection.