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Long live all maidens

easy and beautiful !

Long live mature women also,

Tender and loveable and full of good labor. 

Gaudeamus Igitur

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Don't be jealous!

Hi Sarah,

Yes, irony indeed! That is absolutely crazy, this sun and warmth and now it's back to work. 

So wow! Such belligerence and it's just your first week. I can't say that I have personally experienced this kind of behaviour. I know that at my private school any sort of incident is handled immediately and in the senior school it can even mean expulsion.

 At this point in my life I've adopted the attitude of going along with whatever it is the administration wants. I know my place, which is to wait for regular academic classes to be established before we, the annually contracted, itinerant, instrumental music teachers are called in for the first meeting of the year. At that point we will be handed the names of those students who want to study with us, in my case, piano students. Sometimes that pile of applications is thinner for some teachers than for others, and quick, imperceptible glances at each other’s pile occurs on cue, every year. Armed with printouts of each student's unique timetable, we then set off to put together our weekly teaching schedules, organized into half hour slots. I always keep my fingers crossed that any conflict with extra curricular activities such as field trips, track meets, ballet or mandarin clubs will be minimal. 

Just thinking about this weeklong ordeal gives me a bonking headache. The calling of each parent to get this set in stone is like a game of chess.

But I’m ready! Enough stewing. When I visited the school last week, I passed my favourite plane tree. It’s still there (you never know these days, with the constantly changing landscape of the grounds). I noticed the proliferation of new ivy growth that drapes itself between the stained glass windows along the chapel walls. In the reception area, always the picture of class and substance. First impressions are important. 

The receptionist was holding two phones to her ears and sat in her niche adorned by the perennial rose garden of the courtyard quadrangle just beyond her. This orderly oasis is my view as well, as my studio window looks out onto this bit of English country charm. Needless to say, such a calming view is a comforting escape when dealing with the frustrations of poor note readers. But the parents always have high hopes that their sweeties will be able to play at least a song or two by Happy Holiday season.

I tried to be nonchalant, carefully signed in, slapped on the required ID sticker, manoeuvred the drop sheets (lots of cosmetic work going on before the actual arrival of students) and made my way from the front hall to the music office on the second floor. 

I felt like an interloper (the teachers were focused on computer screens, backs rounded like beetles) and had to break the spell by asking my questions about possibly borrowing music books, the times of our meeting and other (to them) trivia. I sensed a slight bit of envy. After all, I was feeling exuberant (still) and not hunched over a computer besieged by an administrative shitload. They have chosen pensions (they hope) and their dose of seven am band and choir rehearsals, foregoing even their lunch at times, to catch an impromptu meeting.

As always, my visit reinforced my complete love of that place with all the memories that take me back to the earliest years when I could blush at just being spoken to by executive fathers and high society mothers. The only disheartening thing that I found difficult to stomach this time was that feeling of being at the bottom of the pile.

Yes, I've been practising after a well-deserved temporary lull and was really excited to get a feel for some of the new repertoire. I found Sakura in one of the early grade books-- so wistful and exotic -- you have to picture geishas in their colourful kimonos, covering their faces with opened fans. Echoes of November is a little more advanced and in the challenging key of D flat major, deeply romantic and reminiscent of a movie score. I'm standing on a cliff somewhere with my little harp, the waves lapping against granite.

Choir was great. I love it! It's my personal meditation time where I lose myself once a week. Warmed up in the car, the lip trills, the glissandos (turned up my windows at intersections so pedestrians wouldn't hear me) Brahms Requiem lifted my spirits. That is entirely a different realm. Ahh!

Let's have a beer at our usual place and must tell you about my precocious student who had a lesson with me last week in her home. Clue word: phlox.

Hope week two will be more positive. We'll support each other along the way.


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I've only just started reading this blog and I'm loving it already! I plan to read some more of it everyday. Ferd

October 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterferdinanda van gennip

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