May 22 Day 440: Something Different

I noticed a real change today. It was not the same thing, day after day, living my life in the same space in the same repetitive way.

I went to a live concert. My husband and I had to wear masks and show proof of vaccination to gain entry. But we got to experience our youngest son’s final concert with the Tacoma Youth Symphony (TYS). I was surprisingly emotional. Zachary is a HS senior and this marked the last TYS concert with a Martin boy performing. Our family has been involved with this wonderful organization for more than 8 years. It was also the first time we have been out to a live performance since December 2019. There is something special about experiencing live music with others that I have missed.

TYS rehearsed remotely for more than a year. The students had two 1-hour in-person practices before today’s performance. It was remarkable what they achieved. The performance was different than anything we have been to in the past. Strings were spread out on the stage with their backs to the audience. Wind woods and brass were spread out in the mezzanine. The audience was underneath. We positioned ourselves on the left side of the room so we could see our flautist above us. (I played the livestream of the event to my phone with no sound to be able to see the faces of the performers.)

Afterwards we met friends for a food adventure. First Jake’s Burgers, a new food truck at Sterino Farms in Puyallup, followed by the I ❤ Elote truck on Center Ave in Tacoma. We are all vaccinated, and I actually hugged someone not from my own household. Something different to be sure.

We finished the evening with drinks at our favorite bar, Devils Reef. While there we learned masks are optional for those who are vaccinated. I had seen signs to that effect at Starbucks yesterday but didn’t (or couldn’t?) incorporate the meaning into my reality. Tonight, I left the bar without putting on my mask. Truthfully, it felt wrong—like I was being a scofflaw. It was a first step towards a much desired normalcy. And definitely something different.

I feel like the kid in the back of the station wagon. Are we there yet?

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President of the Mathematical Association of America.

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