Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I am a juggler.

Not literally. But things are happening so fast I don't have time to write about them.

Josh has strep throat. Fortunately, he went to the doctor and is taking antibiotics and is on the mend. Casey is also sick and stayed home from classes today. Nathan doesn't feel well, either, but he went to school anyway.

Several of my piano students have been sick, too. I am insisting that everyone use antibacterial gel at the beginning of their lessons, and then I wipe down the piano keys at the end.

Otherwise, my students seem happier than they have ever been. I am working with a great group of children and adults, enthusiastic and motivated, and everyone seems to really like the music they are playing right now. Because of this, they are willing to tolerate the scales and chords and corresponding music theory I am gently forcing on them. Last week, when I introduced this material, I proclaimed that if all my students at the mid-elementary level and above cannot identify all twelve major key signatures--and play their corresponding scales--by the end of the year, I am going to retire as a piano teacher and get a job at Wal-Mart or McDonald's. My hope was that this would motivate everyone to insure my future as their instructor. I realize now, though, that there are a couple of people out there who view this as an opportunity to end the "torture" they face every week. The war is raging.

Seriously, though, so far, so good. And the online lessons are going well. I am working with a family who used to be neighbors but now live in Kansas City. We are having our weekly lessons via Skype. I am delighted to be able "see" them once again.

I am doing a pretty good job of meeting the daily goals I set for myself this new academic year. I haven't been getting up as early as I had planned, but I'm not getting to bed as early, either, and a girl can't burn her candle at BOTH ends for long. Besides, rising at 7AM isn't exactly sleeping in. One thing I should have put on the original schedule is algebra. Nathan is really struggling with eighth grade algebra, and since public school doesn't provide for individualized instruction, I have no choice but to help him with his homework. That hour we are spending together every morning (and we typically spend another hour every night) is the time I had scheduled for piano practice. The best laid plans of mice and men. Eventually, I hope I will be able to do it ALL, but in the meantime I am taking care of what's most important, and trying not to beat myself up too hard.

Because I am really doing a darn good job of prioritizing. Writing my "morning pages." Exercising. Taking care of the house. Doing a bit of cooking and baking. This morning I took advantage of the unseasonably cool weather we are having here in metro Atlanta and turned on the oven and baked two loaves of banana bread. It was delicious--arguably, the best banana bread I have ever made. I have three bananas left, just enough for another loaf. Tomorrow morning, I will bake it, take a picture, and post the recipe.

Most exciting, I am really working on my novel. I turned in my outline last Wednesday and, now that I have decided the basic structure for the story, I can hardly wait to start writing every morning. My goal is to complete 1000 words--approximately two pages, requiring approximately two hours--every day, five days a week. Right now, my word count for this week is only 2300; I had a bit of a personal crisis to deal with this morning, and it put me behind. That's reality. I'm sure there will be other interruptions as time goes by. So whatever I am unable to finish during the week, I will make up over the week-end. I am determined.

Finally, I found a kitten--or, more accurately, a kitten found me. His name is Panzer. Here is Panzer getting acquainted with my dog, Karma.

Unfortunately, Casey is severely allergic to cats, so until I figure out how to manage that situation, Panzer is staying elsewhere. But I am going to bring him home just as soon as I can. I miss my kitty!



1 comment:

felineperson said...

Panzer is so adorable! I hope you get it worked out so he is with you all the time soon. I enjoy your blogs & updates & as I told you I can't wait to read your draft of your novel. I love you and am so proud of having such a talented & industrious daughter!