Music education always & always looking forward.

A Day in the Life

Here it is.  With that caveat that we're fairly close to the end of the school year.


  • 6:30am - Awake.  Husband says, "You're up early."  This is factual.  Many of my teacher friends are jealous of me because this is early for me.  But many of my teacher friends are also currently on Spring Break, and I'm wishing mine had been longer, so it evens out.  Husband brings me coffee and I get to drink it while it's hot.  He is the best.  And I need the coffee, because I'm still tired from the performance/fundraising event we did last night at the bookstore.  
  • 7:00am - Kid is awake and yelling, "Help!  Help!" from her crib.  This typically translates to "Mommy, please help me do something that is either not feasible or that will result in my injury."  We play "Where's Mommy?!" while I hide under a blanket.  She delights.  Daddy hangs out in her room while I take a shower.  It's a weird Thursday and she's going to daycare today, so I end up getting her there early.  
  • 8:00am - Kid drop-off.  It's an aforementioned weird day, so there's a computer glitch, but it's fine.  Her teacher is amazing and she is among friends, whose names she repeats frequently at home.  I know a lot of parents who hate having to take their kids to daycare, but holy macaroni am I grateful for it.  Then it's off to Publix, picking up my lunch, Gatorades to peddle during the school day, and maybe a pre-packaged caffeinated beverage to supplement my prior caffeine intake.  I contemplate the number of Def Leppard songs that feature a key change (all of them?) as "Let's Get Rocked" is featured on Publix radio.
  • 9:00am - I got to school a little before this, battled the behind-my-building parking lot wars, took three trips to get all my stuff out of my car, and met joyful students who came in to practice their clarinets.  That last item is the best part of my job.  
  • 10:00am - After a theory review & a discussion of our testing rooms for Monday, I have my Chorus leadership start to warm up the group.  They lead the stretches, the "sirens" and the kinesthetic warm-ups.  I have my phone set to about seven alarms during the day to make sure I wrap things up in class on time.
  • 11:00am - Kids are starting to dribble into band class as they complete testing, and kids are getting called out of class for surveys.  Thank goodness my brass instructor is here, as he's a great reinforcement, especially for my beginners, seeing that I'm still feeling a little wiped today.  It's also nice to hear a great player in the midst of two hours of beginning band.
  • 12:00pm - I have to yet again make corrections to a trumpet part I wrote for a piece for our end-of-year concert.  It's getting too close.  Other arrangements need to be finished.  Ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh.  Again, very grateful for my brass instructor.  It may have been worth a month of paperwork back & forth so we could get him cleared & properly pay him.
  • 1:00pm - Kids having lunch in my room, an end-of-week tradition (we have Friday, or tomorrow off, so they get lunch in here today).  To my delight, my hugely diverse kids are scattered about the room, interacting in very encouraging ways.  However, I do manage to hear one student say, "Just because I'm brown doesn't mean [I'm in] a cartel!"  Which he repeated, loudly.  I then overhear some other things and have to remind students that there is a permanent moratorium on using profanity in my room.  Gotta love lunch time (especially with middle schoolers).  It's definitely the last quarter of the school year.  When they leave in a few minutes, I get the next hour "off" to make copies & phone calls.
  • 2:00pm - Briefly covering my nextdoor neighbor teacher's classroom (she is the Pre-Teacher Academy educator).  She'll be out on maternity leave in mid-May or so.  I made calls during my planning but didn't finish my copies.  Or my arrangements.  But my end-of-planning period sandwich and sparkling lemonade revives me a bit.  I haven't eaten lunch with a group of people since my first year of teaching (2007-2008).  I miss those folks.
  • 3:00pm - My 5th period is making continual progress.  My plan for my 6th period, my top class, is set, and there's a lot of little loose ends that need to be tied up (as well as their parts that need to be cleaned up).  I sort of wish I had changed my rehearsal plan, because I genuinely look forward to making music with this group.  In truth, that can be a rare thing in middle school.  But I think I've loved making music with this particular group more than any in the past.  That part helps a lot, too.
  • 4:00pm - Another teacher stopped by with my official 8th grade class shirt!  This year's 8th graders will graduate high school the same year as my 20th reunion.  Oh boy.  I understand that I am okay with sight-transposing, but I am having a hard time explaining pentatonic scales with trumpet transposition included.  Must be brain dead today.  Man, I wish we'd had our low brass instructor before our assessment performance.  What are you going to do.  Time to go rouse them from their practice rooms and tell them to go home.  I get about five minutes go drop something off in the front office before I have to go clock in for Rock Band.  
  • 5:00pm - These kids are doing a great job, and we're getting some feedback today.  I am taking them to a recording studio tomorrow, on what is on my employee calendar a day off, but I think it'll be a worthwhile experience.  I am very excited for them, and I think they're going to learn a lot.  One thing I've learned this year is that the rehearsal guidelines for a popular music ensemble are so much more akin to a concert band rehearsal than I'd ever dreamed, including: don't waste time.  Don't talk over other people.  Don't play while someone is giving you instructions (producer, director, etc.).  Playing it stronger doesn't mean playing it louder.  It's all related.  TRANSFER!!
  • 5:31pm - Rock Band has gone home and has readied their materials for tomorrow.  Transportation is arranged.  I get a phone call from Egypt.  Like, the country.  (I don't know anyone in Egypt.)  I decline the call.
  • 6:00pm - Driving home.  At a red light I see the email from kid's daycare, stating that she actually took a nap today.  This is a good thing.  When I get home, husband (who is amazing) is making a supremely unhealthy dinner and the kid is hooked on Word Party.  These things happen.  My mom then heads out on errands with my car.  Circumstances for the moment.  (I got to go home at this time today, because I didn't have a rehearsal/concert/meeting/audition to supervise, and amazingly we don't have any sort of festival or assessment this weekend.  That part is good.)
  • 7:00pm - Eating dinner.  Hearing shocking things and trying to balance actual conversation with my husband (over poutine, a favorite from our honeymoon in Montreal) with paying attention to the kiddo.  I sneak some Easter candy from the table after dinner and kiddo eats some M&Ms without any digestive problems. 
  • 8:00pm - After she's been changed and has tried to whip her toothbrush into my mouth, we read our fourth and fifth books for the evening, I turn on her humidifier (with the "moon & tars" projection), sing her "Goodnight Ladies", and put her down for sleep.  Following this process and the preceding day, I have very little will to stand upright.  I catch up on social media and the likes.  I try not to worry too much about the world.  Tonight I have a couple more calls to make about tomorrow's Rock Band trip.
  • 9:00pm - Still can't seem to drag myself out of premature bed lying down state.  I need to read the books I've been buying myself.
  • 10:00pm - I go downstairs to eat a smidgen of ice cream, watch my favorite episode of 30 Rock (for the 400th time), and complete this entry.  

And now what admittedly feels like a guilty pleasure, but a song I loved in my sophomore year of college.  

A Year in the Life

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