I taught private guitar lessons for a long time, with up to sixty students of all ages coming through the door every week. Some of these students would stick around for years and after enough regular half-hour musical therapy sessions I’d get to know some of these people pretty well.
(It’s amazing how few of their names I recall, but I always remember their guitars and the music we worked on together. I can’t tell you how many times I have run into former students and for the life of me I can’t pull anything from my memory beyond “sunburst Epiphone Les Paul, lots of Alice Cooper and Iron Maiden”. Luckily that generally suffices.)
For some reason I had a no-socializing rule when it came to students, and it was a policy I almost entirely adhered to. One of the few exceptions was when I accepted an offer to accompany a student (Fender Strat, really into a PEI band called Two Hours Traffic) to a game between the Ottawa Senators and the New York Rangers on September 20th, 2008.
On teaching days I was somewhat discriminatory when it came to my t-shirt selection; my Ottawa Folklore Centre shirt was the clear choice if it was clean, otherwise I would always favour a tour shirt over bar or beer-themed shirts, but on days when our local NHL team was playing I would always make a point of wearing one of my Senators t-shirts.
Not that I was much of a fan back then (or much of a fashionista, clearly), but hey, I like to support the local whatever-it-is with a little hometown solidarity when I can.
I assume it was these Sens t-shirts that led Tim (I actually do remember his name) to believe that I was a pretty knowledgable fan but as soon as we settled into our seats he started talking about players and farm teams I had barely heard of and I was immediately exposed as the logo-brandishing pedestrian wannabe hockey fan that I was. He seemed both surprised and disappointed, though amicable about it. I hit the bar to soften the blow and when I returned I made all the comedic observations I could muster until the game finally ended 3-2 for the Sens.
I don’t think Tim and I ever hung out again. As a matter of fact, I can’t remember ever intentionally hanging out with a student again. I’m starting to think that maybe I wasn’t the one with the no-socializing rule.