Friday, December 20, 2013

And Just Like That...

A semester flies by.

And what a semester!

The last two days have been finals days, so I saw my class yesterday, first thing in the morning. We haven't been singing this week, but yesterday, I warmed them up, then we walked up to the office, crammed into the reception area, and sang a few quick carols. People stopped to enjoy, and there were smiles on all the faces I could see. The ladies who work the front lines at our school love it when the kids come to sing, and I received a lot of thank-yous and, the kids enjoyed showing off their skills and bringing a little joy to the hectic front office.

Today, I had no contact time, but I spent several hours at school anyway. No one would have cared if I'd stayed home, but I had a plan. I finished a huge choral library project I've been working on all week, updated my syllabus for the spring semester, picked some songs from the choral library to do (I've been working on ideas for songs for a while now but today was the time to dig them out so they're ready to pass out when we come back), and did other housekeeping duties as needed. Grades aren't due until after the break, but I wanted them done and submitted. I ordered a few new songs, so those will be delivered at some point over the next couple of weeks and we'll be able to start them right away. It felt good to clean off a very messy desk and see my office become even more organized, even more...mine.

In the mid-afternoon, I headed to a student's house, as I was invited to come hang with the choir kids at their Christmas party. I stopped in for a bit to eat, chat, and make gingerbread houses (genius idea by the mom who hosted!! The kids were cracking up the whole time and yes, even the boys happily did it). A few kids won't take choir in the Spring because of other classes they have to take, but a large majority will return, and I'll be getting some new kids, as well. I'm excited to meet the new ones, sad to lose those few awesome ones I already know, and hopeful that as the program continues to grow, I'll have even more fantastic students.

What a semester? More like what a year. From the day in mid-May when I donned an interview outfit--again--and left the house for a job interview--again--and wondered if this time something great would come of it--again--to now, so many changes, so many adventures, so many good things. I feel so thankful.

This was taken minutes before I left for the interview.
Mom, if you ask her, still gushes about how cute, how
professional, I looked, how she knew, as I left that day,
that I could reach out and grab this one. I will forever love
that polka dot blouse with the Peter Pan collar...from Target.
I'm pretty much ready to start the next semester. I brought some music home to do some score study, and I'll sit at the piano (in my pajamas, yay!) to record parts so I can send them out right away when the semester starts. I want to write some lesson plans while I sip tea and watch movies. This coming week doesn't have a lot of stuff planned--just my usual gym trips and some leisurely runs, a few lessons on Monday, but then a lot of time for myself. When I'm not relaxing, it will be nice to have a purpose, and time to really dig into the music I want to do.

While I'll certainly enjoy the break, and I'm excited about my San Diego trip for New Year's, I know when I go back, I'll be happy to be there, rested, refreshed, ready to tackle even bigger and better things. I've got great colleagues, and a Mom I ran into as I left the little choir shindig today told me she's really sad her daughter can't fit choir into her schedule for the Spring. "She just loves your class so much. She'll definitely be back at some point!" It's this kind of reception from the school and community that make doing a bit of lesson planning and score study on my Winter Break worth it--I don't mind doing it, because I want to be prepared to give these students even better instruction as we roll forward.

For tonight, however, I rest. Tomorrow I'm running a Santa 5K--in a Santa suit, no less--and attending a piano recital. I have a couple of coffee dates lined up with new guys, a busy Monday of piano lessons, and then two glorious weeks of time. I'll go to the gym, I'll run, etc. But mostly I'll relax, take some time for myself (my nails are a mess and I have a deep-cleansing face mask calling my name in the bathroom). There's time enough to be awesome in the new year. ; )

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