Monday, August 19, 2013

Happy Monday!

When I lost my job in Stockton, there was an initial hopefulness, this feeling that I would find a job somehow. Unemployment would be unnecessary, or only for a few months...and then, two years went by and I couldn't seem to land a job. Mondays came and passed with all of the usual "'s Monday" posts on Facebook, and people joking about needing more weekend, etc. I settled into a routine that included a Monday morning jaunt to the gym, and it suited me fine while I waited for my career to come back.

When Petite School hired me, it was for Fridays only, so Mondays remained a non-working day. Choir met on Monday nights, but otherwise, the day was mine to work out, do some stuff around the house, and otherwise do what I wanted.

Today was my second Monday working at GB, and the first "real" Monday. Last week was all excitement and nerves and first day of school madness. Today, a routine is being established, and as my phone chirped at me at 5:30 this morning, of course I thought to myself, "Oh, just fifteen more minutes!!"

It doesn't last long. I am an insufferable morning person, so by 6:00 I was up and cooking breakfast, feeding the cats, waiting for my tea water to boil. Once I get that first shot of tea, I perk up. This morning, I realized something:

I don't mind at all that it's Monday.

Yes, a busy week faces me, full of teaching at GB, meetings, private music lessons, lesson planning, getting organized, and working out. But when you've gone three years without a job, or with partial employment, suddenly, getting up to face a busy week at a job you're really digging isn't something to be endured--it's a gift.

Sure, this job is not full-time. It's 33% (meaning I work 33% of a full-time teacher, and get 33% of the pay)--but I can make it grow. If I work really hard, and make the effort to get the classes I want put in the schedule, I can make this job become full-time, within a couple of years. I hope for at least 50% next year, and I will do cartwheels across the quad at lunchtime if it means getting kids to sign up.

And here's the best part: I really, truly, know I can do this. If I've learned nothing else in the last decade, it's that:

  1. I can sing, and
  2. I'm creative.
The singing part helps in that I can help others learn how to sing. The creativity means that I can come up with--at last minute--a warm-up exercise that teaches my students to hear and feel the difference between a major third and a minor third, a concept they've been struggling with in one of their songs. I watched, today, as some faces lit up when they realized just what I was doing with them, and I even heard a few excited exclamations of, "Oh!" 

It's this creativity that had me jotting down ideas as surreptitiously as possible in a new teacher meeting held by the school district today--as they spoke of teaching not just for recall, but for higher-level learning skills, I had an epiphany about just how I could use solfege in a warm-up tomorrow to help my kids understand intervals, but then, also, to take that exercise and apply it to learning their parts in a new song we'll be starting. Now, instead of just saying, "Okay, baritones, here's your part!" and pounding it out on the keyboard, I can teach the class the chords they are singing, based on scale notes and pitch relationships.

I can hardly wait.

So here I am, one week in--certainly not halfway through the school year, when cold/flu season and winter doldrums settle in, but also, perhaps, already a bit tired because of the endless summer heat and the terrible air quality. Like anyone, I jolt awake as Keane blares out of my iPhone at oh-dark-thirty...but as consciousness takes hold, all Monday blues fade away because I am excited by my job, and so very fortunate to have it.

With this attitude, I can have a fantastic year.

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