News

Odessa – The New York Instances


annie brown

In the event you’d ever heard of Odessa, Texas, earlier than this, it’s in all probability due to one story.

“friday night time lights” clip 1

I count on you boys to execute.

“friday night time lights” clip 2

Sure, sir.

“friday night time lights” clip 3

Count on you boys to play soccer.

“friday night time lights” clip 4

Sure, sir. [MUSIC]

“friday night time lights” clip 5

Exit of bounds on the 35-yard line! [INAUDIBLE]

annie brown

“Friday Night time Lights” was written a couple of highschool soccer crew in Odessa, Texas, within the late ‘80s —

“friday night time lights” clip

And that’s a mojo landing!

annie brown

— a time when town was reeling from an enormous oil bust, when unemployment charges had been hovering. And nonetheless, each Friday night time, town would collect to cheer on their profitable crew, the Permian Panthers.

“friday night time lights” (coach)

Clear eyes, full hearts.

“friday night time lights” (gamers)

Can’t lose.

“friday night time lights” (coach)

Let’s hear it, gents. Clear eyes, full hearts.

“friday night time lights” (gamers)

Can’t lose.

“friday night time lights” (coach)

Let’s go play some soccer! Let’s go play!

annie brown

Within the ebook, one Odessan tells the creator, “Life actually wouldn’t be value dwelling for those who didn’t have a highschool soccer crew to assist.”

“friday night time lights” clip

Third down.

annie brown

The city continues to be so in love with the game that common adults, not simply fanatical mother and father, have been recognized to camp out in line, ready for tickets to the highschool sport.

When life in Odessa is tied to the unsettling ups and downs of oil, soccer is regular.

So maybe it ought to come as no shock that simply as Texas was among the many first to reopen their lecture rooms —

archived recording (scott muri)

Good night, and welcome to ECISD Stay. My title is Scott Muri, and I’m the superintendent. And it’s a pleasure to welcome every of you this night. Now we have a fairly thrilling lineup as our fundamental matter tonight is “Friday Night time Lights.”

annie brown

— it was additionally determined that in the course of the pandemic —

archived recording (scott muri)

And what extra of an vital matter might there be in West Texas proper now aside from “Friday Night time Lights“?

annie brown

— the soccer season would go on. [MUSIC]

From the New York Instances, I’m Annie Brown. That is Odessa. With town’s Covid positivity charge within the double digits, there have been apparent dangers to resuming a contact sport that attracts crowds within the hundreds. However for the varsity district, there wasn’t actually a debate.

scott muri

We’re seeing some information that could be a bit disturbing. The educational shouldn’t be occurring in a method that it ought to.

annie brown

That they had been watching as their distant college students particularly grew more and more remoted and adrift, with college students lacking the same old factors of connection that had stored them tethered to high school.

scott muri

The motivator is a instructor within the constructing, or it’s the social interplay that they’ve within the constructing, or is the extracurricular that they interact with within the constructing. And for a few of these children which are in danger, that doesn’t exist.

annie brown

So even earlier than it was clear that Texas would enable highschool soccer to proceed, the district started prepping for a season. And the superintendent was hopeful —

scott muri

We all know, statistically, that college students that take part in extracurriculars, whether or not it’s athletics, or the band, or cheerleading, et cetera, they do higher academically.

annie brown

— that reopening soccer might assist with what was turning into a disaster of motivation within the metropolis’s already struggling faculties.

scott muri

And so something that we might do to positively hold our children engaged within the studying course of, we’re going to do.

archived recording

[CHEERING]

annie brown

So the query was, might bringing again one thing so important to town’s identification assist re-engage college students in class?

archived recording

[CHEERING]

annie brown

And would no matter advantages it introduced outweigh the prices? At present: Partially two, the season begins in Odessa. [MUSIC]

annie brown

I’ve a query for you. How vital is soccer to you, Joanna?

joanna lopez

It’s not vital in any respect to me. [LAUGHS] Like, the game, it’s not vital to me in any respect. I don’t perceive it.

annie brown

The factor about the highschool that Joanna Lopez goes to, the highschool that we selected to comply with — Odessa Excessive — is that it’s not the highschool from “Friday Night time Lights.” That’s the highschool throughout city. And it seems that Odessa excessive’s soccer crew —

joanna lopez

Truthfully, I’m not going to lie, O.H.S. soccer type of — they’re not nice.

annie brown

— may be very dangerous.

joanna lopez

We by no means win a soccer sport.

archived recording

That’s proper. Time for a battle over at Ratlif Stadium. Odessa Excessive in search of its first win of the season.

joanna lopez

So we type of simply go for the leisure. We all know we’re not going to win.

archived recording

Odessa Excessive again to punt, can’t deal with the snap. [WHISTLE] And it might be down on the second quarter. How’s that for a brief area? A penalty — O.H.S. with unfavorable 78 dashing yards in accordance with the stats.

annie brown

And so the soccer crew isn’t significantly uplifting for the scholars at Odessa Excessive.

joanna lopez

They’re working, however the soccer slips. I’m like, how can that occur? You actually have it in your fingers.

archived recording 1

— beating Odessa 49-0.

archived recording 2

45 to 7.

archived recording 3

62 to 17.

archived recording 4

I used to be so shut.

archived recording 5

I used to be actually pulling for them tonight. Man, Odessa Excessive had a halftime lead. Now we have a couple of Odessa Excessive Broncos in our newsroom. They had been so pumped, however man, [INAUDIBLE].

joanna lopez

And it simply makes me mad, so I simply don’t even watch it in any respect.

archived recording 6

Robust loss for Odessa Excessive proper there. [MUSIC]

annie brown

Once you’re there, does it really feel just like the band is type of, like — how does the band evaluate to the soccer crew?

joanna lopez

Effectively, the soccer crew type of doesn’t like us, as a result of we type of steal their consideration. I’ve seen a number of tweets, or one thing like that, like, I simply go for the band, or I simply go for the drum line.

annie brown

What Odessa Excessive does have is a killer marching band, a marching band which will or could not upstage the soccer crew.

joanna lopez

As a result of we get extra wins than they do. Now we have a number of trophies, extra trophies than they do. [LAUGHS] I’m bashing my very own faculty, but it surely’s OK.

archived recording

[MUSIC] On the subject of a profitable band packages within the basin, there’s one title you may’t omit, the Odessa Excessive Broncos. And after final night time’s UIL competitors, they made certain you knew why.

annie brown

Yearly the band spends the season getting ready for the massive regional competitors.

archived recording

The primary band in convention [INAUDIBLE] is the Odessa Excessive College band.

annie brown

And yearly —

archived recording

Odessa Excessive College, division I. [CHEERING]

annie brown

— for the final 81 years —

archived recording

Odessa Excessive College, division I. [CHEERING]

annie brown

— they’ve gotten the very best rating potential.

archived recording

Odessa Excessive College, division I. [CHEERING]

annie brown

No different band in Texas has that legacy, not even the Permian Panthers. At the highschool with the district’s lowest commencement charge, the very best dropout charge and the poorest performing soccer crew, the marching band is one thing everybody may be happy with.

archived recording

[MUSIC PLAYING]

annie brown

And this yr, it’s the one cause that Joanna is exhibiting up at Odessa Excessive College. Bear in mind, again within the spring of 2020, Joanna’s dad misplaced his job when the oil business in Odessa acquired slammed by the financial fallout of the pandemic.

joanna lopez

I used to be listening to that persons are shedding their jobs. And so I didn’t assume it might occur to us, but it surely did.

annie brown

Joanna had began working at an area smoothie store to assist pay for her automotive payments and selected to do faculty remotely, which means she was calling in to lessons from work.

joanna lopez

Yeah, generally I might neglect that I might have faculty, so I must go to the toilet and attempt to check in and every part fast as potential, after which rush again exterior to work.

annie brown

Now, six weeks into the varsity yr, Joanna is feeling overwhelmed. She determined to stop her job. However like so many distant college students at O.H.S., she’s nonetheless falling behind on assignments in school. And but each morning, Joanna will get up early —

marching band

[PLAYING MUSIC]

speaker

Please have your music out. I do know you’re nonetheless studying.

annie brown

— and drives to Odessa Excessive College in time for an 8:30 AM follow.

speaker

One, two, three, 4. The place are we going? [INAUDIBLE] And it’s Monday morning. The place are we going?

marching band

[INAUDIBLE] [MUSIC]

annie brown

She meets the band on a car parking zone on the Southwest nook of campus —

speaker

Hear and lock in, snares. Obtained to pay attention.

annie brown

— with soccer yard strains painted over the parking spots.

speaker

4, three, two, one.

annie brown

As a result of whereas Joanna selected to be distant for every part else —

joanna lopez

Yeah, on-line faculty may be very, very anxious. However I like band a lot.

annie brown

— she couldn’t think about not returning for band. It’s the one constant time she sees her associates.

speaker

You bought to let that soccer crew know you’re out right here similar to they’re.

annie brown

And it’s the one time she interacts in a significant method with a instructor in particular person.

speaker

Have them say to one another, God bless, I’ve missed our band. I don’t assume they’re saying that proper now.

joanna lopez

Effectively, Mr. Olague, he’s the best particular person you’ll ever meet.

jimmy olague

[INAUDIBLE] you’re not terrified of anymore. Good for you, sweetheart.

joanna lopez

He’s actually humorous —

archived recording

Diggity-diggity, bop, growth, cease.

joanna lopez

He jokes round loads.

jimmy olague

Thomas is aware of the place it’s at.

joanna lopez

So he’s type of made an influence on all people, particularly on me.

jimmy olague

One, two, three!

annie brown

Jimmy?

jimmy olague

Hello, how are you?

annie brown

Hey, good, we’re doing good.

jimmy olague

Superior. Sorry about my hair, I want a haircut, women.

annie brown

You type of have a fake hawk factor happening.

jimmy olague

[LAUGHS] Yeah, it appears higher when it’s lower proper. Yeah.

annie brown

Mr. Olague, or Jimmy, has been instructing on the band for the final 25 years. He runs the a part of the crew that’s type of just like the beating coronary heart of any marching band —

jimmy olague

Like, you bought snares going — [SCATTING] And bass drums. [SCATTING] And tenor [SCATTING]

annie brown

— the drum line.

jimmy olague

You recognize, these guys, boy, they put that drum on they usually assume they’re God’s reward to this earth.

annie brown

Not like different academics this yr who’re struggling to get to know their college students over Google Hangouts with patchy connections, Jimmy has recognized his drum line for years.

thomas chavez

Thomas Chavez.

jimmy olague

Thomas Chavez.

thomas chavez

And I’m recognized for doing silly stuff.

jimmy olague

This child is my clown.

annie brown

Typically he’s been serving to them prepare for the drum line since center faculty.

zachary bode

My title is Zachary.

jimmy olague

Zachary Bode is my senior.

zachary bode

I’m recognized for being the one which’s all the time messing round.

jimmy olague

When he speaks, he speaks so darn loud.

speaker

Yeah, I do know, I heard him.

jimmy olague

So we’re all the time going, Zach, why are you yelling, man, why are you yelling. And, oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t know [INAUDIBLE]. Zach, any concept the place Braulio’s (sp) at?

annie brown

He is aware of their households and their again tales —

jimmy olague

John Alex may be very gentle spoken, very quiet younger man.

john alex

I’m often called the shy man within the band, principally.

annie brown

— their vulnerabilities, and what they should get higher.

jimmy olague

When he performs, he appears down loads. So I’m all the time on him to get his head up, to look out on the crowd, and so forth. We had been all excited a few years in the past when he lastly acquired a girlfriend. We had been like, oh my gosh, yay, good for you. You recognize, hopefully that’ll open you up, and get you speaking extra, and so forth.

john alex

I’m a person of few phrases.

annie brown

Jimmy sees band as a method to present children what they’re able to, even when the remainder of life is difficult.

jimmy olague

I would like them to learn to work laborious and proceed striving and pushing themselves in order that they may have a greater life than what possibly they’ve now.

annie brown

And his college students can really feel it. This yr, whereas half of the scholars at Odessa Excessive College selected to not come again in particular person, and almost a 3rd of the band took the season off, each single member of the drum line determined to return to the band in particular person.

scholar 1

I simply I actually benefit from the household that we now have made right here.

scholar 2

We spend a number of time collectively, and largely everybody’s your loved ones.

[chatter]
jimmy olague

It’s time to go dwelling, And man. I’m uninterested in seeing these children. Put your stuff up, please, and stand.

annie brown

These had been the sorts of connections the district hoped to keep up when it introduced again extracurriculars.

jimmy olague

We met with our college, and our directors had been like, look, can you determine one thing to take action that the children are nonetheless taking part, and now have a bit of one thing to current at a soccer sport?

annie brown

However the plan they got here up with was a shell of a typical season. There can be no regional competitors to sit up for, No division I trophy to assert. All that was left had been the halftime performances on the soccer video games. And as a Covid precaution, it was determined that the band would solely play on the dwelling video games.

jimmy olague

In order that’s once we knew, OK, taking a look at our schedule, wow, we solely have 4 dwelling video games.

annie brown

Why is that well worth the threat? Like, with solely 4 video games to arrange for and to play at, why is it value having the marching band in any respect?

jimmy olague

Effectively, we nonetheless have a job to do. There’s a number of children right here who actually love this. A few of them actually need this. We knew we needed to hold them concerned, and we needed to plan one thing to work in direction of. I imply, a few of these children, that is all they’ve. [MUSIC]

joanna lopez

So I’ve by no means had associates rising up. Women had been imply to me in elementary. All people had their very own teams, and I used to be simply type of on my own.

annie brown

When Joanna was 13 or 14, she would experience alongside together with her older brother on that very same early morning drive she now takes to that very same car parking zone on the Southwest nook of campus with the yard strains painted over parking spots.

joanna lopez

My brother was in band, and so I might go to the rehearsals within the mornings, as a result of I didn’t have a experience as a result of my mother and father must go to work. And so he would take me with him. And it might be 7:00 within the morning, and I used to be nonetheless half asleep sitting exterior and simply watching them, you recognize, goof round and simply have a very good time. And I suppose simply the entire setting was simply — I simply needed to be in that sort of setting the place your folks are principally your loved ones. And that’s what I type of noticed.

annie brown

So when she acquired to O.H.S. as a freshman, and he or she was decided to be on the drum line, it didn’t even have that a lot to do with the music.

joanna lopez

I’m unsure if I’m allowed to say this as a result of I don’t know if Olague’s going to listen to this, however I don’t actually know find out how to learn music. [LAUGHS] I type of simply have a look at the music and I’ve an concept. After which as soon as I begin enjoying it, I type of simply get a sense on the way it’s alleged to sound like.

annie brown

Which is possibly why her audition for the bass drum didn’t go as she hoped.

joanna lopez

I bear in mind hitting some notes, however many of the notes I type of missed. And in order that’s once I was like, I blew it, so I’m not going to make it. In order that’s once I missed much more notes, and yeah.

jimmy olague

I bear in mind, yeah, she didn’t make it. So she was very involved and upset. She needed to be on a kind of drum positions.

annie brown

However there was one place on the drum line that yr that didn’t require auditioning: the cymbals. And Jimmy inspired Joanna to go for it.

joanna lopez

Effectively I needed to cry, as a result of I used to be embarrassed. No, I assumed it was a nasty instrument. You recognize, it’s type of embarrassing to be in cymbals.

annie brown

However he nudged her in direction of fascinated by it in a different way. ^JIMMY OLAGUE^: I left my workplace open. I mentioned, all proper, right here’s my pc. Scan all these YouTube movies, discover completely different cymbal strains, see what you want, see what you see.

archived recording

[CYMBAL LINES]

jimmy olague

I mentioned, and let’s be taught these visuals. You recognize, let’s borrow from these teams.

joanna lopez

I by no means thought you may flip them and do all these loopy methods with them.

archived recording

[BAND PLAYING]

jimmy olague

And certain sufficient, they’d a listing of various movies that they noticed that they loved. And they also had been exhibiting me. I mentioned, OK, so did you perceive what they’re doing? What sort of — I consider that transfer known as this, let’s look this up.

archived recording

The beginning of this visible could have you provoke motion out of your proper shoulder and elbow simply as for those who had been —

annie brown

And over time, Joanna completely embraced it.

joanna lopez

It’s all within the wrists. And so that you type of often hit your self, so that you pinch your self, and so that you get a number of bruises. But it surely’s value it.

jimmy olague

They grew to become the flash and the colour of the drum line.

joanna lopez

I simply fell in love with cymbals.

annie brown

And she or he discovered her spot on the band.

joanna lopez

My first yr in drum line, when it was our first drum line get-together, I suppose I had the group chat on mute as a result of it might get fairly annoying. They’d begin blowing up. And so I acquired a non-public message from Mario, and he was simply texting me like, hey, are you coming to the occasion, we’re all going, and also you’re not answering. So we’re simply all questioning for those who’re going. In order that type of made me, you recognize — it felt nice to lastly really feel like individuals really need me there.

jimmy olague

So the subsequent yr, it was time for auditions, and I mentioned, Joanna, what are you going to check out on. She says, I need to stick on cymbals, I need to keep on cymbals. I’m like, OK. In order that, in flip, has turn into — you recognize, that is the third yr now — it’s what they’ve been doing. So guess what, Joanna? You’ve simply made one thing that’s going to turn into custom for us.

joanna lopez

So it taught me loads, not nearly music and band, nearly life. And Olague’s been actually good about that. He’s given me a number of life classes and yeah.

annie brown

What do you assume he taught you?

joanna lopez

He taught me about self — self-worth. Is that the way you say it?

annie brown

Yeah.

joanna lopez

Yeah. [MUSIC]

annie brown

I’ve thought loads about this model of Joanna that Jimmy described who, after not making her audition, re-imagined a job for herself and carved out a complete new area on the band. Within the conversations I’ve been having together with her this yr, I didn’t actually acknowledge that particular person.

band enjoying
annie brown

Band wasn’t simply the one time Joanna went to high school. It was one of many solely issues she left the home for, one of many solely issues she acquired dressed for, one of many solely issues she appeared ahead to.

band enjoying
annie brown

And it wasn’t clear that these 4 video games would have the ability to carry all the load of years previous.

jimmy olague

That first row, guys.

Get your fingers up. I want to listen to the drum.

annie brown

It was the tip of September, only a week earlier than their first sport of the season. And so they had solely been practising for a few weeks.

band enjoying
speaker

Yeah, that baritone continues to be late for a few of you.

annie brown

However this didn’t sound like an award-winning band.

jimmy olague

I can’t consider that you could’t hear and play in time, buddy. I don’t perceive.

annie brown

The freshmen had no concept what they had been doing, the trumpets had been dragging, the drum line was dashing.

drum line
joanna lopez

I’m very nervous, yeah. I feel we’re all stressing.

drum line
annie brown

Certainly, that entire week main as much as the primary sport Jimmy appears very pressured.

jimmy olague

You recognize why you missed it? Since you had been out of step. I instructed you. I don’t know find out how to let you know how — that it’s worthwhile to get this discovered.

I’m yelling at him as a result of I do know that they’re not giving me their all, that they’re not making an attempt their finest, that they’re simply going by the motions. That’s what I’m specializing in. In the event that they carry out properly, it’s going to make them really feel higher. And once we’re collectively, we solely have a sure period of time to get it there. And once they begin not giving us their finest, that’s once I get actually irritable.

band enjoying
jimmy olague

One word on the finish.

annie brown

However the drum line nonetheless wasn’t prepared. So a particular follow was referred to as only for the drum line the night time earlier than the primary sport.

joanna lopez

What’s this track referred to as? The one we’re enjoying?

speaker

Oh, “Lose My Breath?”

joanna lopez

“Lose My Breath.”

jimmy olague

Who made this track in style?

speaker

You?

jimmy olague

No. That is from an precise track. Ever heard of a feminine singer named Beyonce?

OK, she was in a gaggle earlier than she was Beyonce. What was the title of that group?

college students

Future’s Youngster.

jimmy olague

Joanna, say it louder.

joanna lopez

Future’s Youngster. There you go, Future’s Youngster, OK?

annie brown

This can be a follow contained in the band corridor.

There are a bit of over 20 college students within the room clustered into their sections, their backpacks lining the entrance wall behind Jimmy. The children are instructed to put on their masks whereas enjoying, however some neglect to. Some pull them off to drink water and neglect to place them again on. Jimmy throws his off briefly at one level in a match of frustration with it.

jimmy olague

I hate these frickin’ masks.

annie brown

However as they begin to follow, the children fall into their rhythm collectively.

band enjoying
annie brown

They giggle, they flirt, they speak incessantly till the very second they’ve to start out enjoying.

band enjoying
jimmy olague

It’s like you may have music in entrance of you, however you’re not studying it. Do you may have it the other way up, or what? Did you flip it inside out? You’re not that good.

annie brown

And because the night time goes on —

drum line
annie brown

— they get higher.

drum line
annie brown

Simply yards away from the place these college students are practising, the lights are off within the classroom of Naomi Fuentes, the faculty prep instructor we’ve been following, whose first few weeks of faculty have consisted of a small handful of scholars sitting quietly in entrance of her, with others signing in remotely from their bedrooms or their jobs.

What’s occurring right here, that is what she’s been lacking.

drum line
jimmy olague

At present went so significantly better. We had been in a position to cease and really clear now. OK, let’s work on this part as a result of it’s not sounding superb but. So we acquired to spend time to wash sure sections of versus. All proper, go to the subsequent transfer. Go to the subsequent transfer. And it’s gotten loads higher. Thanks to your time. Decide every part up. Don’t go away something right here. Sure, sir. [INAUDIBLE] tomorrow morning.

annie brown

Again at dwelling that night time after follow, Joanna continues to be buzzing.

annie brown

How do you are feeling about the truth that tomorrow is the primary sport?

joanna lopez

I’m excited. I’m prepared for it. I don’t need the night time to finish.

annie brown

As excited as she is for the sport, she appears virtually equally enthusiastic about this very specific factor that’s going to occur on the sport.

joanna lopez

There’s this one custom that we now have. We really cover gummy worms, bitter gummy worms, in our hats.

annie brown

It’s a practice the place the drum line hides bitter gummy worms of their costumes. After which, proper earlier than their large halftime present, they every put a gummy worm of their mouths, solely they’re not allowed to chew it the entire time they’re enjoying.

joanna lopez

We needed to undergo the entire present with out consuming it. [LAUGHS] And so after the present, it’s all soggy and type of simply in these small items.

annie brown

You must be there, I suppose.

joanna lopez

And so I’m very excited for that half. [LAUGHS]

annie brown

These are the type of particulars we heard from so many children once they described what they’d been lacking about faculty this yr. That they had virtually nothing to do with precise faculty. One lady acquired a brand new haircut and picked out an outfit for the primary day of faculty solely to appreciate that none of her girlfriends had been there to see her. One senior instructed us that what she actually had been wanting ahead to senior yr was going off campus for lunch. And when that was canceled as a result of Covid, she determined simply to remain dwelling. The issues that hold children enthusiastic about faculty, and as soon as they’re there studying, had been so sorely absent this yr. However as a result of the band was nonetheless on, it nonetheless supplied a bit of of that.

annie brown

OK, good luck.

joanna lopez

Thanks.

annie brown

We will’t wait to listen to it.

joanna lopez

Bye.

annie brown

The following day, Joanna acquired some information.

archived recording

Ratliff Stadium in Odessa will probably be empty tonight. In the event you had been headed out for Odessa Excessive’s sport, we now have some dangerous information. The sport in opposition to Lubbock Monterey is canceled, and that’s after a Bronchos soccer participant examined constructive for Covid-19.

annie brown

Sport one in every of 4 canceled as a result of Covid.

joanna lopez

No really, individuals would possibly name me dramatic. However I type of did tear up, primarily as a result of I thought of — we already don’t have a lot of a marching season, our competitions. I used to be simply considering of how a lot has been taken away from us. After which yet one more factor. I used to be very excited, so —

annie brown

I’m so sorry about that, Joanna.

joanna lopez

Yeah, I used to be unhappy as a result of we really purchased the gummy worms for later within the sport. And so we had already purchased every part, so —

annie brown

When Joanna heard the information that the primary soccer sport had been canceled, and with it, their first efficiency, she was driving dwelling from an interview for a brand new job at Finest Purchase.

joanna lopez

Effectively, on the smoothie store, I might receives a commission $8.50. And so Finest Purchase, they begin you off at $15 an hour. So if I get good hours, I might make fairly good paychecks.

annie brown

Her household’s monetary scenario had improved. However not by a lot.

joanna lopez

My dad, he was making an attempt to get his unemployment. However he had a number of hassle with it.

annie brown

And when he did settle right into a job, it paid a bit of greater than half of what he’d been making within the oil fields. So Joanna hoped that she’d have the ability to handle a job at Finest Purchase higher with faculty than she had on the smoothie place. But it surely wasn’t that her grades had improved.

joanna lopez

Effectively, my grades aren’t wanting good proper now. My mother acquired within the mail at the moment. And I acquired in hassle.

However —

annie brown

What do you imply she acquired within the mail at the moment? What did she get?

joanna lopez

One in all my academics despatched out my grades. So he type of instructed on me. However that’s OK. [LAUGHS]

annie brown

Joanna instructed us that her plan had initially been to go to a four-year faculty and examine psychology. The plan was all the time a little bit of a dream. She wasn’t nice in school. And cash had been tight earlier than. However these issues had by no means been extra true than they had been this yr. And now, she was discovering it tough to even think about.

joanna lopez

I really feel like I haven’t discovered something in class. And I really feel like it might be laborious for me to enter one thing that I don’t actually have an concept what’s happening. And so I type of simply need to have a straightforward path and examine cosmetology. That’s all the time been my plan B. So I really feel like that’s type of turning into my plan A.

annie brown

Over the previous couple of months, we’ve checked in with Joanna’s steering counselor and the faculty counselor liable for seniors. And so they each agreed that social isolation, monetary stress and a scarcity of motivation have left many seniors struggling to hold on and unsure about their futures. The school counselor estimated that solely about half as many college students have utilized to school this yr as in earlier years.

joanna lopez

Effectively, I suppose I type of began wanting on the actuality of how laborious it’s to get into good schools and the way costly it’s. That’s one other factor. I do know I wouldn’t have the ability to pay for my faculty all on my own. And I would wish assist from my mother and father. And I don’t need to ask that from them as a result of they’re already struggling sufficient.

annie brown

Final yr, do you assume that you’d have thought possibly they may assist me?

joanna lopez

Sure, I did assume that. [LAUGHS]

annie brown

It was all the time asking a number of marching band to make up for therefore lots of the stresses of this yr, particularly a marching season whose ambitions had been shrunk down to simply 4 video games and now, three.

After which, simply 4 days after that first sport was canceled, Jimmy gave us some extra information. One thing had simply occurred at an early morning follow.

annie brown

Hey, we’re all right here.

jimmy olague

Good morning, women.

annie brown

Inform us what occurred.

jimmy olague

Effectively, we had been including some completely different choreography to the present simply to spice it up and so forth. And we’re rehearsing proper now. The truth is, I’m sitting within the truck taking a look at them undergo completely different units with music and so forth. And so yeah, I imply we had been in the course of rehearsal. I don’t know if I can hear the band enjoying in entrance of me.

annie brown

No, we will’t hear.

jimmy olague

OK.

annie brown

Are you able to maintain up your cellphone?

jimmy olague

Yeah, I’ll roll down the window a bit of bit.

annie brown

That they had been in the course of engaged on one thing when a college police automotive drove into their car parking zone follow area.

jimmy olague

So once I flip round, I see that it’s the ECISD police. And she or he rapidly grabs my consideration and waves me to her automotive. So I mentioned, sure ma’am. And she or he says, the nurse is making an attempt to get ahold of you guys. Y’all have to name the nurse. I’m like, OK, so rapidly, mentally, you’re like, all proper. I feel I do know what that is about. And you then’re like, rattling it.

annie brown

And what he feared was right.

jimmy olague

We had a scholar who examined constructive for Covid within the band and was in rehearsal final week.

annie brown

At this level, there had been a few dozen constructive instances among the many college students and employees on the faculty. However so far as Jimmy knew, this was the primary constructive check on the band, a band of 160 children.

jimmy olague

After which she requested me questions. Do you assume this particular person has been in shut quarters or shut in spacing? And I mentioned, no. Our drill author wrote six ft or extra for every child so each time we transfer, they’re retaining a protected distance.

annie brown

Do the children know something about what simply occurred?

jimmy olague

No, they don’t know something.

annie brown

And so what occurs subsequent?

jimmy olague

Now, we launch them. If they’ll faculty on campus at the moment, then they go to the primary constructing, to the band corridor, put up their stuff, and prepare for his or her second interval class. And in the event that they’re going dwelling, then they wait for his or her mother and father or whoever’s selecting them as much as take them dwelling. A few of these children drive on their very own. Now, you’re simply crossing your fingers hoping that it’s simply this one particular person and never a gaggle within the band.

annie brown

So that you don’t know who precisely this band member who has examined constructive has been in touch with, however —

jimmy olague

No.

annie brown

— nonetheless children are going to class? I’m simply questioning with that in thoughts, why not simply inform the entire band, do distant faculty for the subsequent two weeks?

jimmy olague

For the subsequent two weeks? Yeah, properly, I imply, that’s the factor. In the event that they do distant faculty, then they wouldn’t have the ability to come to rehearsal as properly. So I perceive your query.

annie brown

Yeah.

jimmy olague

However the nurse has or will contact these children being uncovered. They’ll go forward and them dwelling or no matter and do what they have to be doing.

annie brown

Proper. Thanks, Jimmy. Good luck.

jimmy olague

You’re very welcome. Thanks. All proper, women. Y’all have an important day.

annie brown

All proper.

jimmy olague

OK.

annie brown

Bye-bye.

jimmy olague

All proper.

annie brown

Bye.

annie brown

We reached out to the nurses who mentioned that they’d adopted their protocol, the protocol that they’d been skilled on. What we didn’t know once we talked to Jimmy was that that coaching consisted of a three-hour on-line course on contact tracing, and that there have been simply two nurses liable for contact tracing for round 4,000 college students and 300 employees at Odessa Excessive College. However following that protocol, on this case, the nurses decided that nobody else on the band had been uncovered. Practices might proceed. And the long run video games had been nonetheless on.

speaker

Welcome, Bronchos! [CHEERING]

annie brown

Which is how, lastly, three weeks later, on a crisp October Friday, the Odessa Excessive Bronchos marching band had their first sport day.

speaker

[INAUDIBLE] of the yr. Let’s go! [CHEERING]

Now, let’s hear from our Broncho band. Right here we go. [CHEERING]

annie brown

Within the morning, there was a pep rally the place the band performed the battle track to a largely empty viewers.

The friends of honor, the soccer crew, sat on the sector in chairs spaced six ft aside —

speaker

(SINGING) Oh say, are you able to see —

annie brown

— whereas somebody sang the nationwide anthem.

The showgirls danced their routine, and the soccer coach gave some ultimate notes of pleading encouragement.

speaker

Good morning. We simply ask that you just present up tonight, you be loud, costume heat. Let’s go kick some bulldog butt. [CHEERING]

annie brown

And with that, the pep rally was over, and the scholars went about their regular Covid faculty day. Because the afternoon rolled round, band members signed out of their Google School rooms, placed on their uniforms, and piled into buses to drive to Ratliff Stadium for the sport. This was the identical stadium Friday Night time Lights was filmed in, the place that night time, the Odessa Excessive Bronchos would play the Midland Bulldogs.

The sport had began by the point the band arrived. And so they made their method into the stadium and took their spot within the stands on the 20-yard line.

They set themselves as much as play songs to cheer on the soccer crew as they performed.

Everybody was excited when Odessa Excessive made the primary landing of the night time —

announcer

Bronchos 6, Bulldogs 0.

annie brown

A 20-yard run into the tip zone by the quarterback.

announcer

[INAUDIBLE] finish zone for the Bulldogs landing.

annie brown

However the Bulldogs caught up rapidly. And by the tip of the primary half —

speaker

Effectively, we’re shedding. [LAUGHS]

annie brown

It wasn’t wanting good.

announcer

Bulldogs, 14. Bronchos, six.

annie brown

After which it was time for what the band had been getting ready for — their very first marching efficiency at halftime.

speaker

Move the gummy worms, bro.

annie brown

However first, as custom referred to as for —

speaker

Don’t chunk it. Don’t chew it. Simply [INAUDIBLE]. Preserve it in your mouth the complete sport.

annie brown

They every acquired a gummy worm to carry of their mouth —

speaker

There’s actually no objective, however I don’t know. It’s enjoyable. [LAUGHS]

annie brown

— then took to the sector.

announcer

Girls and gents. the Ector County Impartial College District and Odessa Excessive College are proud to current the award-winning Odessa Excessive College Broncho Marching Band.

annie brown

Jimmy is on the 45-yard line, dealing with the band, watching as they get into place.

jimmy olague

They begin transferring their first motion. And we had been like, OK, all people bear in mind to maneuver. No person stood nonetheless, so thank God. To this point so good.

The drum line begins sounding good. OK, they’re collectively. And the band’s sounding actually good. They’re enjoying good and loud. After which the soloists begin arising and begin enjoying. And so they’re getting a very good crowd response after every soloist. So I’m like, OK. They’re doing it. They’re doing what we’ve been engaged on.

Seeing the drum line transfer to their formations after which line up in the course of the sector. And I’m like, OK, they’re about to maneuver up ahead, which suggests right here comes the drum break. In order that’s once I get excited as a result of that’s my child proper there.

So the snare drums do their little factor and play. After which the bass drums do their factor and play. And whereas that’s occurring, the cymbals are again there doing twirls and visuals and so forth.

Once you’re down there in entrance of it, proper there within the center, and it’s simply hitting your face, you’re like, oh that is — life is nice proper now on Friday night time in Odessa, Texas.

was a number of good issues, man. I’m happy with you. Good job. It’s nice to play for individuals [INAUDIBLE]

annie brown

As they left the sector and headed again to their seats, Jimmy was there to fulfill them.

jimmy olague

And so they did nice, did nice. For the primary one, it’s actually neat. That they had an important response, man. That’s what we’ve been ready for, for them. So that they really feel good.

annie brown

From there, the remainder of the sport went as they typically do.

announcer

And cease. They only scored. Keep watch over the [INAUDIBLE]

annie brown

The opposite crew scored time and again.

speaker

It appears like we’re going to lose this one.

annie brown

The Bronchos misplaced.

speaker

It’s the spirit that counts. That’s all that issues.

announcer

[INAUDIBLE] tonight’s sport. On behalf town of Odessa —

annie brown

And for one temporary second, life at Odessa Excessive College felt regular.

Subsequent time on Odessa, behind that sense of normalcy, the varsity nurses who’ve been liable for contact tracing are feeling very overwhelmed and discover themselves dealing with the most important quarantine of the semester, which simply occurred to be on the band.

Odessa was produced and reported by Sindhu Gnanasambandan, Soraya Shockley and me, Annie Brown with assist from Mitch Borden and Diana Nguyen. Edited by Liz O. Bayliin and Lisa Tobin. Engineering by Brad Fisher. Reality-checking by Ben Phelan. Authentic composition by Dan Powell and Marion Lozano. Particular due to Larissa Anderson, Alix Spiegel, Cliff Levy, Dana Goldstein, Kate Taylor, Clifford Krauss, Apoorva Mandavilli, Ken Belson, Laura Kim, Nora Keller and Lauren Jackson.

michael barbaro

Right here’s what else you want know at the moment.

archived recording (president joe biden)

Good night, my fellow Individuals. Tonight, I’d like to speak to you about the place we’re as we mark one yr since every part stopped due to this pandemic.

michael barbaro

Throughout a televised handle to the nation, President Joe Biden directed governors to make all adults eligible to obtain the coronavirus vaccine by Might 1.

archived recording (president joe biden)

Let me be clear. That doesn’t imply everybody goes to have that shot instantly. But it surely means you’ll have the ability to get in line starting Might 1. Each grownup will probably be eligible to get their shot.

michael barbaro

Within the speech, delivered shortly after Biden signed the Stimulus Invoice into regulation, the president mentioned that life in the USA might return to a type of normalcy by the 4th of July.

archived recording (president joe biden)

After this lengthy, laborious yr, that may make this Independence Day one thing actually particular, the place we not solely mark our independence as a nation however we start to our independence from this virus.

michael barbaro

That’s it for The Day by day. I’m Michael Barbaro. See you on Monday.



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