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Time grabs you by the wrist

May 19, 2011

The work is getting behinder and behinder. Let us not speak of it.

Instead, let me tell you about the girl I saw driving home from Studio 2 last night. She was maybe 9 years old, with brown hair pulled into a pony tail and glasses. She was wearing jeans and a sweatshirt and an enormous pair of bright yellow rubber boots. She stomped down the street walking her dog with her eyes closed and her hands held out in front of her, pretending she was blind. Out the window of my car I could see her lips were moving. She appeared to be playing the starring role in a story of her own devising. I smiled as I drove past her and for a minute kind of wished I was her.

It’s recital time again at studio 2. I have 6 students there now (one of my students recently moved away), plus I’m playing custodian to three more for the other violin teacher who can’t make the recitals. So far I’ve only got students at the first three (of four) recitals. I’m hoping it stays that way – then it would only be a six hour day. All my students are performing solos. Two are also performing in bands, one doing Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life),” the other Aerosmith’s “Dream On.” After working up the violin part for “GoodRiddance,” I am seriously thinking of arranging it for string quartet, because I think it would sound great. Also, it’s really fun to play.

One of my high school students keeps surprising me by the amount of work she puts in. I threw a piece at her last week that was challenging for her in a whole lot of ways and she played it so well this week, that I almost hugged her. Have I mentioned how much I’m enjoying working with teens? I think I have. It is not something I expected.

Still ahead this week: a meeting with my advisor on Friday morning and a quick sprint home afterwards. Why? Because AJ and I are going camping with the Cub Scouts for the weekend. It is currently looking like it is going to rain all weekend. Of course it is! Why should it be any different from any other day? But at least the temperature is supposed to warm up into the 70s. The last several days have topped out in the 40s or 50s. We are still wearing jackets and hats. It’s ridiculous. Still, AJ and I have been looking forward to this for some time. Hopefully we will not be too miserable. I’m currently trying to decide if my guitar is coming with us. The rain may have a say in the matter.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. May 19, 2011 7:42 am

    Teens can be great to work with. Just don’t try to live with ’em.

  2. freshhell permalink
    May 19, 2011 7:50 am

    I think that girl was Red in the future. She also likes to walk around the house with her eyes closed pretending to be blind.

    Dusty’s going to be camping this weekend with the scouts. Fortunately, I do not have to go with her. Instead, Red and I will be enjoying a day together – movies, birthday party shopping,etc.

  3. May 19, 2011 7:56 am

    That is advice that I respect and believe to be absolutely true, but don’t plan to keep, the alternative being far more dire. But I am waiting on Mr. Spy to finish new book on parenting teens written by a good friend of ours. Advanced preparation is your friend. But one of the things I enjoy so much about working with the teens is my ability to be neither parent nor friend, but something in between those two roles. I’m hoping, though, I can learn from it so that when my own kid gets to that age, I’ll have some tools in the toolbox.

  4. May 19, 2011 9:23 am

    I thought I had some tools. This is my second teenager, you know. But all I really need right now is a BIG PLASTIC HAMMER TO USE ON THE HEAD of the fifteen-year-old.

    More seriously, the best preparation for teenagers I had was watching the movie Thirteen when Eleanor was 13. It’s a terrible movie; I hated it. I spent the whole time thinking to myself “what a horrible mother–it’s not all about her.” And now I have really, deeply understood what a bad thing it is when the mother of a teen thinks any of it is about her.

  5. freshhell permalink
    May 19, 2011 9:25 am

    Harriet, let me know if that book is helpful. I’ve gotten a recommendation for a book to assist me with Red but that one might be good too. For the other kid.

  6. May 19, 2011 10:35 am

    Freshhell, I’ll tell you what I think of it, too; I ordered it. I will do almost anything, at this point.
    Harriet, doesn’t this make you want to see me and Walker when we come to the Chicago Open next weekend?!

  7. May 19, 2011 10:56 am

    Is it next weekend already? I have so not got a grip on my schedule. I thought it was two weeks! And yes, despite that, we’d still like to see you — let me know when you know your schedule so I can iron things out with baseball (which stops for no holiday) and Mr. Spy. I will indeed let you know what I think of the book. I think very highly of the author — as a person, as a parent, and as a psychologist. He’s both thoughtful and compassionate — an excellent combination, I think. And I’ve enjoyed reading some of the excerpts from his book. It’s not a genre I inherently enjoy, but he writes engagingly.

  8. May 19, 2011 10:57 am

    Also, Jeanne? Somewhere around here I think I have a plastic hammer. We were using it as a float for fishing line for a while before someone gave us tools for that particular purpose. If I can find it, it’s all yours for those “in case of emergency, break glass” moments.

  9. May 19, 2011 11:34 am

    Ha! I am 9 months away from not being the parent of any teens! I think Jeanne’s advice is absolutely the right advice. It really is not about you at all at all at all. But I am enjoying reading about the violin lessons — it’s very encouraging somehow.

  10. May 19, 2011 6:01 pm

    I will send you a message about the Chicago Open on Memorial Day weekend. As far as the plastic hammer goes, it gave me great visceral enjoyment to imagine that and type it IN CAPS, but the literal object would make too much of the situation–it would be about me and really, except for those moments of venting to friends, it really is not!

  11. May 20, 2011 12:42 pm

    Not to mistake the trees for the forest, but isn’t “Dream On” by Aerosmith?

  12. May 20, 2011 2:14 pm

    Yes indeed, Hugh. We were doing another Journey song and changed it and now I keep swapping the names around for some reason. Jeanne, the plastic hammer in question is very small, a former part of a preschooler’s toolbox. It is unlikely to do any damage. But it makes a lovely sound if you bang it on the table. Readersguide, should we offer you congratulations or condolences?

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