Thanksgiving (Monday Before)

Oh the joy of having the house ALL to myself, ALL day; to cook, and clean, and sing, and organize and create and write at the computer without interruption.  I am off for Thanksgiving already and “they” are not. 

Oh the secure thankfulness of knowing “they” will all be home again tonight and I will be a more gracious member of the family for having luxuriated in solitude in my own way in their absence. 

Young mothers, I do not record this to make you envious; but to give you hope.  Your day of solitude will come, so go ahead and roll with the chaos for the present (smile). Nor do I feel guilty about expressing my joy and thankfulness at the solitude.

When one wishes to be alone; one does not want to be alone forever; just for a little space of time, to enjoy a bit of tranquility and soul nourishment.   Let us enjoy and be thankful for all the simple things in life:  sunshine, rain, warm fires, watching children grow, and……having a few hours to oneself! 

I Don’t Baby-sit. I Raise Future Presidents

I teach music; in a Core Knowledge Charter School.  From time to time I am accosted or confronted by angry parents who think I am picking on their child, or just too plain strict in general.I have heard parents say such things as, “Why should the kids have to be quiet in the halls?  That’s only for the teacher’s convenience.”  “Why should the kids have to keep their eyes on the director?”  “Music should be fun.  Why are there any rules at all?” 

I don’t baby-sit.  I raise future presidents. 

I don’t GIVE students a grade.  The student EARNS a grade. 

If the ability to sing is a natural, genetic gift; then I would be wholly in error to GIVE a grade based on singing ability. 

The ability to perform music correctly is a learned behavior; therefore any one can earn a good grade through giving one’s best effort. 

About those rules:  I raise future presidents! Eight years ago I was saying, “Of course the students have to stand up straight.  I raise future presidents, no one is ever going to call one of my former students, ‘slouch Bush,’ when (s)he is debating for the presidency. 

Today I am saying, “Of course they have to assume the correct stance when singing the National Anthem, of course they must learn to sing The Star Spangled Banner.”  Just last week I reminded the fourth grade that one’s hand goes over the heart; we don’t salute unless in full / authentic military uniform.  Obama is a fine young man.  I should have been his music teacher. 

Not as Old as I Used to Be

Well, I thought I would hike down to the mailbox today before Doug and I left for ballroom dance lessons at the community center.  Philip slid down the hill with me on his BMX bike (on the pine needles which are so slippery I nearly upended on my converse tennies),  When I got to the bottom of the hill I realized I had come without the mailbox key so Philip walked his bike back up to get it while I made like a gargoyle on the side of the hill.  He came back on the go-cart and gave me a lift to the bottom of the hill; then all the way back to the cabin.  Not bad for a woman half a century old.  I stood on the back rail and wrapped my body over the roll bars.