Monthly Archives: April 2012

So shines (another) good deed…

… in a weary world. Just when you think all hope is lost.

I had my (only) pit band rehearsal yesterday afternoon, mostly to make sure the guitar player, whom I’d neither met nor heard play, was going to be OK with everything. I mean, Grease without a guitar is like, well, Grease without a guitar player.

I should have figured it out when I got no response from the reminder email or the two texts I sent before the rehearsal. The rest of us were there, but…yeah. No guitar player. Bam. Fired. Now what? With son Lars unavailable for that time period, I didn’t know where to turn. Good guitar players always seem to be in glut-like supply, until you actually need one.

Seamus and I discussed an alternative, but I decided to fling out my net as a desperation move and ask a former student (who now lives in a town 75 miles from the school and works for Best Buy) to rescue us.

He said yes.

I am in a state of both total disbelief and indescribable gratitude. So that is one glacier-sized worry off my plate, making room for the 326 other things. You know how that is.

Twenty-seven days. Yes, I am now officially one of those loozer teachers who’s counting — along with every student. :-)


Hey, I’m still here

Wow, it’s been a few days since I visited with you. Too long, in fact.


This could be a long day, followed by about 28 more. Twenty-eight. That’s my magic number. Count down from 28 to 1 and I’m done. Hey, thanks to my fiends for the cool suggestions from a couple of posts back. I really do appreciate them. The next two weeks will reveal much, about us and them. It’s going to be a good show — now the job at hand is to make it a great one.

And speaking of shows…time to get back to some work before I leave for my rehearsal at noon today. Thanks for hanging in with me through the lacy posts as well as the meaty ones. I’m savin’ it all up, you know. After this show closes, you’ll need an hour and three cappus to get through this place.


Valuable lesson

Had a 3.5-hour meeting yesterday with some cool people. Much was learned and shared, but you know what was the biggest thing? The power of forgiveness — both giving and receiving — is bigger than any of us can imagine. It’s bigger than any job, any boss, any issue, any personal pride, and being right.

That is all.

The bright, elusive butterfly

in·spire, vb.  to exert a stimulating or beneficial effect upon a person; to animate or invigorate

I know some people who need a little invigoration today (myself included), and my partner in crime Stoney and I are running out of ways to provide it. We are three weeks out and things look a little on the ho-hum side. Grease is such a popular musical, one would think it’d be hard to screw it up. “People will love it anyway!”

Um, nope. That don’t play in Peoria. Or Greenwich, Ohio, either.

How does one inspire a group of students, most of whom are so incredibly overextended they can barely keep up with homework and sleep? I mean, I’m all for trying new things while in school. I’ve often told my students that this will likely be the only time in their lives when they can do fun stuff and not worry about paying the mortgage or working a 10-hour day after the fun stuff is over. So do it now, while you can. But for some students, it’s become an obsession: do not only as much as you can humanly fit into 24 hours, but also be involved in absolutely everything so as to not truly excel at any of it. I can’t imagine the stress these kids put on themselves.

How times have changed. My parents would have never allowed me to be away from home from 7:30 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., no matter what I was involved in. It seems now that if you’re 17 years old and not stressed to the hilt, pounding down Monsters or coffee like there’s no tomorrow, you’re somehow not pulling your weight. Being beyond busy = cool. People…there’s a limit, seriously. What happened to perspective and balance? I’ve known busy students; I know some now, too. They make it work. But they’re not so overburdened that they can’t handle it and end up sucking at everything. I’m seeing more and more of this phenomenon, and it’s troubling. But excellence is still expected, as evidenced by the sale of 350 tickets in a 2-hour span at the box office last night…

So how does one inspire these young people, who come to rehearsal after everything else in their day is exhausted? We get them when they’re tired, hungry, sore, mad at the coach, behind on their homework, and sometimes after having lost a heartbreaker of a game. Think of that mental state. Then we expect them to be brilliant onstage. And sometimes, they are brilliant.

This ain’t one of those times, trust me.

So, most esteemed and insightful fiends: how do we inspire them today? What do we say? How do we add to their load and lighten it at the same time? Maybe it’s a problem with Stoney and me. Maybe it’s never good enough for us. Oh, boo hoo, stop whinin’. It’s Wemsday, which means it’s almost Finkday. Yay! (Still, I covet your articulate and compendious thoughts on this subject.)

Another awesome start

Remember the first awesome start? The one that happened the day we left on the National Parks Odyssey? Yeah, it’s that again. Only this time, I’ve avoided an ER visit. So far.

When I got up at 12:30 this morning, not quite to the “crawling around on the floor to try to escape the pain” stage, I thought I’d research home remedies on kidney stones. I quickly found one that didn’t make me want to barf up everything from the past two days: hot lemonade and ibuprofen. Furreal! Lemonade. I love lemonade, hot and cold, and I just happened to have an almost-full bottle of ReaLemon in the fridge. Have you heard of this remedy? I was initially skeptical, but felt it was either A) try this, or B) wake up the Thriller and get in the car. I didn’t want B.

Several sites I researched recommended lemonade mixed with olive oil. Thanks, but I believe the point is to hold the cure in one’s stomach long enough for it to do some good, and that ain’t happenin’ with olive or any other kind of oil. I will not drink olive oil. I didn’t have any anyway, so…  I read that lemons have the highest concentration of citrate — the stuff that erodes kidney stones — of any fruit. I saw on some forums that people experienced significant relief from their pain by flushing their kidneys with strong lemonade, and ibuprofen on the side. I must admit, it sounded too good to be true.

And then it came true. I was actually able to go back to bed at 2:45 and rest/sleep until 5:00. Success!

I’ve made a somewhat controversial decision to go to school anyway today. [Controversial only because it’s 20 minutes in any direction to the nearest hospital if all the wheels fall off.] But I’m taking my lemonade with me and I have every intention of it helping me get through today, and tonight’s rehearsal.

And I’m extra-happy because a home remedy actually worked for me. I mean, I know I’m probably not out of the woods yet, but people get rid of these things at home all the time, without lying in a hospital bed with an IV stuck in their arm. I can do this. Thanks for any and all positive energy and thoughts, though. Ready, steady…………….