By ◆ Juppie on Thursday, March 18, 2010 @ 9:41 PM

When I was on my school trip to Yosemite National Park, I spent quite a bit of time with a classmate from 7th grade. We had been friendly then, but not particularly close - we don't eat lunch together or have any of the same classes, so the most we really did during this school year was wave when we saw each other. However, on the Yosemite trip, I was in the same hiking group as her, and since that made her in the same rotation as me, I stuck with her whenever I could. (After all, I couldn't really stay with my cabinmates what with them being in a different rotation.)

Well, one day, she asked me a question out of the blue, which she had thought up spontaneously, "Do you know what the difference between a main friend and a best friend is?" It was one of the oddest questions I'd ever been asked. I'd never heard the term "main friend" before.

The girl considered main friends to be people who you spend time with on a regular basis - your usual group of friends - while she thought of best friends to be people who you were with practically all the time. She said that she hadn't really ever had a best friend. She asked another girl the same question that she'd asked me and got pretty much the same interpretation.

I, however, had a different opinion. I agreed with what "main friends" are, but I thought "best friends" were not necessarily the people always by your side. I thought best friends were people who you could really trust, who you really felt in tune with. People who you feel you can always be yourself around and they'll still like you for it. (Which begs the question: If you put on a mask when you're around your friends, are they really your friends at all?) The girl who asked me the question says she thinks that the two people who were my cabinmates were my best friends. Are they? I hold them in high esteem and I am with them every day (well, besides the weekend). In her definition of a best friend, they are my best friends. I would like to call them my best friends in my definition too, but I'm still considering which of the friends I have had are really, really best friends.

Anyhow, something interesting went on at school the other day. There were assemblies during the day because the son of one of the teachers was visiting California for a performance. He is part of a group of musicians called the 5th House Ensemble. There are a total of 10 musicians, but we only saw 3 of them since 7 were not available to come to our school. The teacher's son plays the piano, while the two other people who came played the cello and flute. They talked about how music is connected to imagery, and they played us some pieces. Then they asked us to pick the picture that we thought best suited the music out of four options.

The options were:
- A picture of nighttime and two people dancing
- A picture of a dog wearing a little costume
- A picture of a cafe at nighttime (it was a painting by Vincent Van Gogh)
- A picture of...Well...It was rather abstract.

Unfortunately, many students thought it would be funny to pick the picture of the dog, even though it really had little relation to the music (the music was dark and brooding and intense, and perhaps the fourth option would have suited it best). But I suppose the kids should have their fun while they're young and have more chances to.

The last piece played by the 5th House Ensemble was a song that is supposed to make you feel like you're underwater. (Sadly, I don't remember the name of the composer, though I believe the part of the music we heard was called The Sea Nocturne or something along those lines) Performers of this set of music put on black masks, shine blue light on themselves (today's performers just showed an animated image of the ocean), and use their instruments in odd ways. The cello can produce a sound that is somewhat like the sound seagulls make. Glass can be placed inside of a piano and a chisel can be used to hit it, but we didn't get to see the fancy stuff with the piano because it only works with a grand piano and the school only has a stand-up kind. I'd like to try it at home, but the piano player said it wasn't a good idea, and you'd have to do it a special way anyhow to avoid damaging your piano.

Their profession is great. They can do what they love and make money off it. While I was at Yosemite, the chaperone and hiking group leader encouraged us to follow our dreams, and not take on a job that we feel like we have to, such as for money's sake. And they said that if you can get a job that you love and that pays you a lot, then that's great. (But of course there's a lot of cases in which you can't have both.)

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