This past weekend was the Ohio Music Educators Association Professional Development Conference (or, as we oldbies have called it forever: Convention). I really enjoyed seeing and chatting with people I only see once a year. Too bad it was likely my last convention. Behold, I climb into the confessional:
JECO has been the biggest reason I’ve attended convention over the last six years. Putting jazz ed out there where everyone has access to it has been a passion of mine for a couple of decades now, and I’ve enjoyed my 6-year run on the exec board, and functioning as JECO webmaster. But truthfully…I’m weary, luvs. The old gray mare, she ain’t what she used to be. I’ll admit it.
It’s not that I don’t have energy and passion for teaching jazz. I still do that part of my life every day with my select v-jazz ensemble. Love it. But with choirs and Broadway musicals & revues every year taking up more and more of my brain and body time, I have to draw the line somewhere. I only have so much “passion space” where my career is concerned, and it’s pretty much taken up by those events. I don’t feel guilty about that.
Nor do I feel guilty about “not learning new things” by not going to convention. Sorry, but I don’t. Should I? Probably, although new learning isn’t confined to two days in February at a convention center. Everyone needs to stay fresh and current in their profession, but I will likely glean those nuggets from other sources. It’s a great huge hassle to leave school for two days during an incredibly busy rehearsal run for Dinner Theatre. I can be of better use to my students by staying home.
Of course, by the time December rolls around, I might change my mind. But for the time being, my remaining nine or so years in public education will be spent how *I* think best benefits my kids. How’s that for old battle-ax thinking? Heh, s’ok mate. I’ll wear it like a badge, and fight the machine until they grind me into submission. Then I’ll work as a baker, or a secretary, or a travel agent, and have some more time for grandsons. I like that idea, too.
Do you believe I have a rehearsal scheduled on a Sunday? I petitioned for, and received, papal dispensation to meet 25 students for three hours of rehearsal, because the weather has made a complete mockery of preparations for my show. Now there’s more snow coming down, with three inches expected today. We’ll see around noon how those back-country roads are shaping up (or not). What kind of odds are you giving us today? Oy.
Happy Sumday, fiends! Relax if you can.