Posted by: Marie | October 15, 2011

(603) Bridges across time

Post #603
[Private journal entry written on Monday, April 18, 2011]

At this weekend’s Achievement Day, I introduced my most advanced student to another piano teacher whose studio is near mine. I told my student that, once he outgrows my teaching skills, I’d like for him to work with her.

I had a lesson with him this evening at their home. His mom pulled me aside and thanked me for introducing them to the other teacher – that it reminded them I am more concerned about what is best for my student than what is best for my checking account – and that causes them to love me all the more . . .

Photo by Martin Chen

She also stated that her son has never had a teacher that inspired him the way I have inspired him – that, due to my influence, he has “come to life” with his music. She said that his former teacher was holding him back but that my passion for creating music has started a fire in him, that I have opened up a whole new world for him of composing and recitals and competitions, that I’m teaching him how to weave emotion into his music. She said she wanted me to know that their whole family loves me and she thanked me for loving them . . .

And, she wanted me to know that they (including my student) want to continue with me for the forsee-able future . . . oh, and, they didn’t like the teacher to whom I introduced them because she seemed snooty and cold and angry. So, if it ever does become necessary for him to move on to another teacher, he for sure doesn’t want to go to her . . .

(By the way, I don’t really like her either, but she is a technically estute teacher and could help him with his technical skills more than I could.)

Of course, I got emotional . . . I cried . . . pulled myself together . . . struggled to finish the lesson because I was so touched. Phew!

—–

This evening, I traveled to the home of another student – a seven-year-old girl. After she and I finished the lesson, she walked with me to the front door. As we got to the door, she noticed a book sitting on the entryway table. It had the word “heaven” in the title. She tried to read the title but needed help in pronouncing “heaven”.

After she figured out the pronunciation, she asked me, “What is heaven?”

Hmmm . . . I didn’t know what religious beliefs the family did or did not embrace, so I wasn’t sure of the best way to answer her questions.

So, I answered, “Well, some people believe it is the place where God lives and where humans can go after they die.” That seemed to sufficiently address her question.

I started to turn away from the table when I noticed the author’s name . . . the same as the name of a college boyfriend . . . oh, surely not . . . it surely isn’t the same guy . . . but, the name is so unusual . . .

I picked up the book and flipped through it to the “about the author” page . . . to my great surprise, it was the same guy! Oh, my goodness! It turns out that it is a non-fiction book about the guy’s four-year-old son who had a near-death experience during emergency surgery.

I turned to the student’s grandmother and laughingly announced that I had dated the author twenty+ years ago when we were attending the same tiny, private college . . . that I “knew him when”. We all had a good laugh . . . and I left.

As I was preparing for bed this evening, I found myself feeling sad about seeing the book . . . but why?

I think it is because I saw how someone from my own small world has moved into a “normal” life with a wife and kids and other strong relationships . . . there was a time I had imagined he was going to build that life with me . . . and I’m now being reminded that I got left behind. And that makes me sad.

—————————————

[Private journal entry written on Thursday, April 21, 2011]

I got a call yesterday from my former boss at the bus barn . . . there is a month left of school and he is short on staff. He asked if I could/would help him out by working as many hours as I could as a bus aide and sub driver during this last month . . . and, could I start in the morning?

I made some phone calls and rearranged some lessons, and was able to sign on for 75% of the shifts. That means about 12-14 work hours per week have been added to my schedule for the next month. I’m so busy . . . so many piano students . . . but, I want to keep that relationship healthy in case I need a job with him again in the future. I’ll make it work, somehow. It will be tough, but I’ll do it.

When I showed up at the bus barn this morning, everyone seemed so glad to have me back. It is good to have so many people say they are glad I’m back, even if it is only for a month. That’s a good feeling!


Responses

  1. Great to hear your teaching is going so well. I hope the extra work wasn’t too stressful.

    • Thank you, Evan, for the good thoughts!


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