I wake up to the sound of amateur mariachi trumpeters creating musical chaos outside my window. My window is broken, and it has been for months. The fifty dollars that it would take to buy a new window doesn't fit into my student budget, so cardboard and duct tape will have to suffice for now.
The consequence: every morning, the elementary school trumpet squad across the street from my house wakes me up with their rendition of the "Death of the Bumble Bee," at 9 a.m. every blessed morning.
Besides cursing at them between spoonfuls of Cheerios, I do nothing about it, and I wouldn't do anything if I could. I support musical education in schools, and I respect their zeal for practice no matter how painful the sound may be. There is a sound on campus, however, that I do want to do something about.
Instead of 12 lovely tolls of a bell to inform of us of the hour, someone has decided to play the school anthem, "Bear Down," everyday at noon. It resonates over the Mall and can be heard as far away as Park Avenue. It echoes between buildings and in our heads, and students find themselves involuntarily humming and whistling it the rest of the day. I find it rather scary.
Who decided to do this?
Finding out wasn't easy. The girl at the University Activities Board office thought that it came from the kettle corn guy next to McDonald's. She was wrong. Some students have never heard it, and others swear that the band is playing behind the union.
I asked the Dean of Students, and they said that I should call the Bear Down Gym. I thought that was rather unlikely, so I went straight to the source, the band. They recorded the damn thing, so they must know who plays it.
The lady that answered the phone wasn't quite sure, but she could swear on a clarinet that Peter Likins ordered the song to be played. She was also convinced that the song was coming from a speaker on top of the Administration building. There was nowhere left to call except the president's office.
The very pleasant lady that answered the phone, Winona Ettrick, wasn't sure whether Likins approved it, or ordered it, but she had some things to say about the tune. For the record, Winona thinks it's super, and when she hears it, she is filled with school spirit, and along with the rest of the campus she "bears down" for the rest of the day. Rock on, Winona.
The mystery sadly came to an end at the Senior Events Coordinator's office. In fact, the Campaign Arizona committee decided to play it. They thought it would be a good idea to rally school spirit before the big Campaign Arizona party, to which most of us weren't invited. No hard feelings - I'm not in a fraternity, and I am used to being excluded from parties. I guess they forgot that if you play a song repeatedly, people get sick of it. Remember what happened to "Ice Ice Baby?"
When will it end? Well, the gentleman at the coordinator's office said that he would continue playing it until someone told him to turn it off.
Hark! I am that person.
I don't lack school spirit, and I don't particularly dislike the song, but enough is enough. It's wearing me down. I need some variety. The "Bear Down" song is our school anthem, but more accurately it represents our athletics department. We do not need a reminder that athletics is given the highest priority at the UA.
The song is played at athletics events, by the band that plays for athletic events, danced to by the pom-pom girls that shamelessly flaunt themselves at the athletic events. This may surprise many of you but our university is so much more than an athletics department. We are scholars, artists, scientists and writers, and I believe we could raise the intellectual level of this campus by playing something else at noon.
How about Mozart? He isn't everyone's favorite, but he was a genius. Maybe a little jazz, would anyone have a problem with a little John Coltrane soaking the campus with his mellow saxophone? Maybe a committee should be formed. Hey, maybe I'll be the chair. Anyone interested?