A year ago today, my band director, Bruce Dinkins, died suddenly. I vividly remember getting the phone call, being in total and complete shock at the news. I remember the funeral, listening to the music he so loved fill the halls and seeing all the students he impacted crying salty tears. His death was a shock to everyone, and I still think it's weird that I can't go up to my old band hall and strike up a conversation with him about life.
I am forever changed thanks to the many lessons Mr. Dinkins taught me. He had many quirky sayings he would say, like"Why walk when you can run?" Although hearing this saying got old really fast, and I wanted to walk back to my spot on the marching field because I was so tired, I learned perseverance and dedication. He wanted to convey that we should always give our best to everything and never waste a second. I have been able to take these skills into every aspect of my life, not just marching band. Another Dinkinism was, "The capital of Texas is Austin." He said this to imply that you shouldn't have to be told the same basic information over and over and over again, like telling people who live in Austin that the city is Texas' capital. He would say "Use your B-R-A-N-E", telling us to always think clearly and properly, not just trusting what others say but actually processing information. The most important lesson Mr. Dinkins taught me, however, was the importance of confidence in myself. He believed in my abilities and had a keen ability to see my potential, even when I struggled to see it in myself. I became a better leader thanks to his direction and advice. I grew confident in my gifts and abilities and continue to grow and mature. I have been so blessed by knowing Mr. Dinkins.
"To all those who enter, you are subject to the relentless, refining process of music of music through uncompromising standards."