Friday, March 27, 2009

Gems from the music room, part two.

One of my 5th graders celebrated her birthday today, and in the afternoon she and a friend went around school to share her birthday treat: a big ole homemade chocolate chip cookie decorated with chocolate frosting. You know, like the ones you can get at the mall, except 348 726% better.

They came into my room, and the birthday girl asked if I'd like a piece (as IF!). When I of course said yes, the friend replied, "Right here (points), the piece with all the frosting. That's for you."

I have the best kids in the world.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I am still swimming...mostly afloat...but now we're in up to our shoulders. I doubt I'll go in over my head, but you never can tell. It's actually not the house stuff that's on my mind the most; that's a waiting game and is out of my hands. I just keep packing, and wondering who the hell snuck all this crap into my tiny apartment.

It's the musical at school.

This always happens. They're 4th and 5th graders, so trying to convince them of the passage of time and the speed thereof is not an easy task. UNTIL...the week before the show goes on! NOW they want to rehearse more! NOW they're worried about knowing their lines. NOW they want to know what color t-shirt they need! This is why I drive myself nuts early on. NOW I can say, "Didn't you read that when I sent it home in February?" NOW I can schedule rehearsals as many mornings as I want with nary a whimper from the masses.

NOW it occurs to them that they'll be in public next week, both for their classmates and their parents. Just goes to prove that old saw: if it wasn't for the last minute, nothing would get done.

(Except by the producer/music teacher.)

I probably won't be able to post pictures of the kids for confidentiality reasons, but know that they will be the cutest damn thing you've seen in several years. Two words can sum it all up: Monkey Hats. Use your imaginations.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Just keep swimming...

I'm halfway through two weeks of self-inflicted scheduling madness. I'm taking an afterschool class that totals four, three-hour sessions between last week and this. (Sounded like a good idea when I signed up...) It's a good class, and I'll have a website for my little music program up and running by Thursday. But three hours after a whole day at school makes for a very long day. At least I'm not teaching it, and it's still light out when I get home.

Taking this class means I had to reschedule my Thursday lessons, which makes Wendesday longer, and two lessons on Friday. I NEVER teach privately on Fridays. Until now, obviously, and while I do love the two kids who come then, it mostly reminds me why I NEVER teach privately on Fridays.

I did manage to have some fun, too; one of our high schools staged the musical "Titanic" this weekend. Have to admit, it isn't my favorite show. First of all, everyone knows how it ends. It isn't a stage adaptation of the blockbuster movie. (That's not necessarily a bad thing.) But it also doesn't have A Story, it seems. There are several little stories threading through the impending disaster, but until the ship begins to sink, they are fully independent of each other. That could be the point, I imagine-pointing out the class differences we impose on each other, ones that disappear when Reality rears its ugly head. But I didn't like it; in a musical, I don't particularly care to puzzle out the intentions of the writers. It also doesn't have A Song that you would remember. Even Les Miserables, dark and difficult as that one is, has memorable tunes.

But several past students, many of them seniors, were in the cast, and it's always a joy to see just how many of them have continued on with some sort of musical/dramatic efforts. I of course had to remind two of my favorites that they got their starts at our elementary school, in the epic production of "The Granny Awards." I have to admit, getting a double hug from two guys who remember their little music teacher so fondly rather made my night. Another young lady was so surprised and pleased when I told her how proud I was of her (I'm sure she didn't think I'd remember her), and a fourth stole the show. Yet another was sort of the diva she was even when I had her, but that's OK. I can see her going on in theatre, and you need a fair amount of attitude to make it in the business.

Last night another bunch of friends and I went to see Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul. Oh. My. Goodness. Hands down, one of the best concerts I've been to. Eileen Ivers is a genius, her band mates are geniuses, and they all so obviously love what they're doing that it's infectious. And you feel like if you invited her over to your place for a beer on the porch after the show, she'd do her best to be there. I think I have to check out their tour schedule and start following them around.

I've managed to pack four whole boxes, take a bunch of stuff to the Salvo, the book sale, and the consignment store. I'm working my way through the freezer and the dry goods. Even if I wasn't moving, these would be good things to do. I like knowing that my stuff is being used as it was intended, whether I'm the one making cookies with it, or someone else gets a new spring outfit from what I donated. Maybe someone will find one of my books at the library sale and it'll be just the one he was looking for. I have very few things in my possession that are just for show, and I don't collect for the sake of collecting. Yet somehow in the last year, I managed to accumulate a bunch of Stuff, and now it's time to move it along.

So until next week, as Dory said in that delightful little movie, we just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming swimming...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Short and sweet

Still here. Since my last post, it's been wild and doesn't look to be easing up anytime soon. But it's good stuff, so I'm not going to complain.

OK, of course I will, but not in this post.

All the various things for the house are continuing apace-mortgage, inspection, paint-color-fantasizing. I have yet to actually pack anything into a box, but I did take a load of clothes to the consignment store, and another bag to the Salvo, and found some books that can go to the library sale. I've even been going through the kitchen cabinets, wondering why I need a bottle and a half of rice wine vinegar. (Answer: I don't. I only have one bottle now, and zero bottles of Thai fish sauce. I don't think that stuff spoils but the bottle leaks and I'm not moving it.) I almost feel like I want to know that the mortgage is 100% in the bag before I jinx anything with real-live packing, even though my mortgage guy has reassured me that everything is fine, and more than fine. So for the meantime, I'll sort out what's to go in the boxes when then time comes.

Things are looking better for the school district too. I think there will still be cuts, but not nearly the blood-letting that was in the works. Perhaps in the fall I'll be in six schools instead of two, but then again, perhaps my fellow music, art and library teachers and I will still be colleagues. I sure hope so.

Facebook continues to entertain me more than it probably should. I was on the receiving end of some attempted drama, but I don't think you can RRRRRREEEEEEAAAAAAALLLLLYYYYYY say you're on FB until you're involved in some nonsense. As anyone who actually knows me already understands, I don't seek out Teh Drama, but also don't back down from it when it is thrust upon me. Especially if the thrust is lame. I mean, if you're trying to get some scoop or dirt or tearful confession, just come out and say it, OK? Don't foist your insecurities upon me. I shall foist them right back.

I still have a somewhat-less smelly fleece in the washing process; right now, it's been through several soaks in nothing but cold water, which takes care of an AMAZING amount of yuck without boiling water or detergent. It's not exactly clean, but once I put it in the hot bubble bath, I think it will take far fewer rotations through it than the first batch I tried. I also have too many other works-in-progress lying around here. Shameful, except for the socks. Socks don't count in the WIP roundup. Ever. (If they did, the shame would be unbearable. Gotta give myself an out somewhere!)

Thus, blogging will probably be even less frequent than I seem to be achieving these days. But I'll be back, and maybe I'll even remember to bring my camera on these adventures...yeah, you're right, not likely. But a girl can dream, and it's a tactic that seems to be working well for me lately.