On the whole, I would call my first Oboe Reed Boot Camp a smashing success. On Friday, the last day, we did time trials, and the first playable reed emerged in fourteen minutes. That’s from soaked, shaped cane to a functioning reed, by a person who had never made one before that Monday. The slowest took about 28 minutes, which still seemed pretty great.
On Tuesday, Day Two, we had worked with bars of Ivory soap, to simulate the feeling of carving out the tip. It’s not exactly like a scrape, more like a cut, and the soap is soft enough to make it easy, so we worked for a while to get the feel of that slicing gesture before we went back to our cane.
Today, after the long week of ORBC and four intense days of IDRS I was unpacking my bags of equipment. I came up with six bars of extremely beat-up Ivory, and decided to move them into the bathtub for use, because I am frugal like that. Steve saw me transporting my load, and inquired.
Me: Well, it’s soap that we used for the Oboe Reed Boot Camp.
He: [pause] You used soap at your Reed Camp?
Me: Yes, it helped with some of the early lessons.
He: [pause] Hygiene? As in, Lesson One: High school students can be stinky? Please bathe before entering the room? Here is some soap…