“Look at All the People You Helped Make Happy”

I had intended for my first post to be an introduction so that any readers could understand what I participate in and what they can expect to see represented here. But I can’t do that at the moment. You see, I just had a great experience and want to share it as soon as I can.

Do you see those words up there? The title of this post? “Look at all of the people you helped to make happy tonight.” That’s what I couldn’t wait to tell you about.

I have a job at school as the Cultural Events Programmer for the Associated Students of the University of Puget Sound (ASUPS). I find, book, and promote performers that come to campus that fit into the label of Cultural Events. I also basically get to define what cultural events mean, so that’s pretty great.

Between finding a venue, setting a price, officially signing the artist, hiring sound, promotion, and other small pieces there were hiccups, but one stood out. We had partnered with professors from the Spanish and Music departments to provide classroom visits the day before the show, so Friday at 6:30 AM our Programs Office Assistant and I left Tacoma to pick up the artists in Seattle. For those of you not familiar with the area, the drive should be somewhere between 40-60 minutes. It took us two and a half hours. There was an accident and rush hour starts even earlier than I had anticipated. Luckily we built in time and made it back to campus with the artists just before their first classroom visit. I spent the next two hours being reminded how little Spanish I remember from high school before attending my one class of the day in which I am enrolled before their next classroom session and driving them back. All in all I was in a class that I was registered for one hour of the day, in classes in which I am not a student for two hours, and six hours driving a 15 passenger van. It was an interesting day.

An event like this is a lot of work. And a lot of the work is just grunt work that doesn’t require anything but time. And it sometimes feels tedious and you wonder why you are spending so much time on something like this when you have been forced to just skim readings for classes that you are paying to attend. It doesn’t make sense sometimes. But it’s a wonderful thing when you get to participate in something like this. When you look around at everyone dancing in the aisles, look back at what had to happen to allow for this moment and are brought back into the moment in order to witness the organic standing ovation. You know the kind where the clapping hands grow out of the music and act as an accent to the last note instead of an obligation and half the audience is already standing when the music ends so this is the only logical next step, the only way to show more appreciation for the music. When that moment happens, and you realize that you contributed in any small way to the experience in that room, when you see “all of the people that you helped make happy,” you feel like you can do anything. It’s a wonderful feeling.