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"American Sign Language in the Big Red Marching Band"

as told to Rose '10 in 2008 by Kunjal "I LOVE YOU B*" Patel '10

Once Upon a Time, way back when we were eager eyed, ambitious, innocent, soft spoken and very impressionable young freshmen on BRB (clearly a LOT has changed since that time), there was a drum major, who loved the big red band from the very bottom of his blood pumping heart. Now here you may say, “Ok, well who doesn't LOVE band?” To this I say, “touché”, but this particular drum major loved us so much that he could not resist the temptation of telling us of his deep love for band at every opportune moment that presented itself. (He took Cap'n Jack Sparrow's advice to heart [Rose '10's note: that year we marched Pirates of the Caribbean.]). The manner in which he portrayed his constant love was very peculiar indeed. See, this drum major (who I shall name now because you may as well all know that our very own Matt Tucker '07 is the one who loves band the most.).
Ok where was I? Oh right, so Matt Tucker was a very eccentric soul and his favorite hand gesture was a “rock on” symbol. For those of you who do not know what I am referring to, see Figure 1. Only Figure 1 shows the correct way to position your hands when referring to “Rock on”. Matt Tucker on the other hand would always position his hands in the manner of Figure 2 (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, which you shouldn't unless you know this story already, see Figure 2). The symbol shown in Figure 2, is the symbol for “I love you” in sign language.

Figure 1 - “Rock on” hand symbol

Figure 2 - “I love you” in sign language/ Matt Tucker's version of “Rock on”

Now we have some very smart people in the flute section, one of who pointed out the fact that Matt Tucker was mixing up his hand gestures and was telling us that he loved us! This smart cookie was none other than Carolyn Richards. And even though Carolyn was a very smart cookie indeed, she was still very soft spoken (as all freshmen initially are) and therefore she relayed this fact only to the flute section (probably during an amoeba or during drill). Therefore, I took it upon myself to spread Carolyn's wise words out to the world and let all of band know that Matt Tucker really loved us all a lot (it was epic, almost Paul Revere-esque, almost.) So together, Carolyn and I created the facebook group (because it's not official until it's on facebook), “I Love You, butIdon'tknowthatI'mconstantlytellingyouthisallthetime...” Yes we had to take out some spaces because apparently there was a limit to how many characters we could use in the title. Regardless, the awareness of Matt Tucker's love for BRB grew. People in all sections were beginning to feel all warm and fuzzy once they learned that Matt Tucker loved them. But we did not just stop at a facebook group, oh no! We continued on Matt Tucker's loving path by replacing our own “Rock on” hand gestures, with the “I love you” in sign language hand gestures. So now a number of songs, such as Rockford Files and Paradise City (which is a pep band song that has on occaision crossed over), include the entire flute section sending our love back to Matt Tucker and all the drum majors who followed in his footsteps.

Now, thinking back to Fall '06 Band, one cannot be saddened by the thought of Matt Tucker yelling at us to be in line or Matt Tucker yelling at us for being awesome or Matt Tucker yelling out of sheer excitement. Since really, the entire time, Matt Tucker was not saying “BAND put some pep in that step, ROCK ON !” or “BAND you guys are awesome, ROCK ON!” or “BAND, I just wanted to yell band, ROCK ON !” but instead he was really just saying, “BAND, put some pep in that step, I LOVE YOU!” and “BAND, you guys are awesome, I LOVE YOU!” and “BAND, I just wanted to yell band because, I LOVE YOU!”. Therefore, as a tribute to our wonderful drum major Matt Tucker, I urge you all to continue to rocking on by “I LOVE YOU”-ing instead! Because the world is a much better since Matt Tucker loves you. Don't ever forget that.

[Rose '10: to date, we still rock out with "I Love You," in honor of Matt Tucker, and Kunjal and Carolyn's contribution to the BRMB's American Sign Language literacy.]

Kunjal “I Love You B*” Patel '10