Thursday, November 06, 2008

Shuffle. Play. Repeat.

Another Thursday done which means another week done which means another week closer to doneness. Yes, I know that maybe none of that made any sense at all. It's alright. It's Thursday.

I measure all my weeks in Tuesdays and Thursdays. Those are the days that I drive north and teach and teach and teach and teach and teach until my back hurts, my eyes are blurry, and I cannot speak a single sentence without having to repeat it and try to make sense of my somewhat jumbled thoughts. By the time Thursday night rolls around, I'm in WOOT weekend mode, even though I have to work all day Friday and half the day on Saturday. When I finally make it to Sunday, I get the Sunday blues like everyone else. Not because the next day is Monday, but because the next day is Monday and the day after that is Tuesday...and for me, Tuesday starts it all again.

What's surprising about this lifestyle of voluntary insanity is that for the most part, I'm not complaining. I'm really not. But not complaining doesn't mean that I'm not ten thousands ways of tired. Not complaining doesn't mean I have cleanliness and order, because at this point I really don't have a house; I merely have strategically arranged mountains of clutter that I pray will not fall over and crush the cats. Not complaining doesn't mean that I have any clean plates (nope), or silverware. No, at this point my choices are a vegetable peeler, an ice cream scoop, a grapefruit knife and a slotted spoon. Although it makes for limiting (albeit interesting) dinner options, if I were going on "Let's Make a Deal" I'd be golden.

What makes all the clutter and exhaustion and "who am I and where am I?" palatable is that every Tuesday and Thursday I am surrounded by a bunch of cool students who love to sing and who want to study. Over the years I've always had a student or two every semester that tests the limits of my patience. Not this year. My students are engaged and active. They are thoughtful and questioning. They are funny and challenging. Best of all -- they are passionate. And that is a quality that I can hope to inspire or awaken in others, but really it cannot be taught. This year my students are better prepared from week to week than I have ever seen before. And on the odd occasion that someone has a lousy lesson, they don't come back the next week defeated or surly or confrontational. Quite the contrary. They come back prepared and anxious to prove that the previous week was an anomaly. What more could I ask?

So at the end of a long Thursday, which marks the end of a long Tuesday and Thursday and the beginning of the easy part of the week(-end), I may be so tired that I'm not sure of my name, but I'm not too tired to pop in my iPod, hit "shuffle" and sing, sing, sing all the way home.

That's what it means to be passionate. And honestly, it's just the way life goes around here. My life may look like a bit of chaos wrapped in exhaustion, but I wouldn't trade my personal soundtrack for anything.

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