Thursday, May 26, 2011

Book 'em, Wicko!

Over the 6 years that I've been teaching piano, I've collected a lot of teaching books, new and old (some with prices like 60 cents written on the cover, they're so old), with all the greatest intentions that I would use every one to become the most thorough piano teacher in the world.  Psssshhht!
            Each spring, my company offers $25 gas cards to teachers and clients who want to clean out their piano benches (in my case, bookcases) of old, unwanted books.  25 books = $25, which is a pretty crummy investment, it turns out.  But, it's better than nothing.  So tomorrow, I'm driving to my company's office and turning in 75 piano books.  Don't worry, I've got some left over, just in case this whole architecture thing doesn't work out for me and I have to go back to my original career.  I estimate that I've got about 100 books that I collected just for teaching.  That doesn't even begin to compare to the number of piano books that I have for playing.  Maybe I'll count them one of these days, if I'm so bored.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mother's Day Mail Call

This morning I woke up bright and early-enough to send out some correspondence.  I've been putting off sending out mother's day cards, but the Thursday before Mother's Day is probably the latest I can wait.  After sending out the traditional cards to my own mom and step-mother, I decided to send one more, to my friend Ly, because even though she's half way through her pregnancy I have yet to congratulate her.
            Ly and I went to a boarding school for high school, and met because we were roommates our freshman year.  During school vacations and summers, my friends and I would send each other letters, which I used to be so good at and do so rarely anymore.  Ly's letter were some of the best because she writes letters almost like she talks, so that when I read them now I feel like we've just spoken on the phone.
            We were also a little obsessed with stickers, back in the day (and I continue to keep a collection).  We would send letters in envelopes that were covered in stickers.  I'm putting up a picture of one of Jess's old envelopes.  My favorite thing about the stickers was that we would usually put up a bunch of stickers that had nothing to do with each other but often write a comment about one or two of them.
            So this morning, after sealing Ly's future-mother's day card, I got out my old books of stickers (with a few new ones here and there) and went to work.  Here is the finished product.  I think it's only slightly classier than what we used to send out in the mail.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Teaching Revelation:

Sometimes "not right now" really does mean "not right now."

If you are a piano teacher (or something comparable), you've probably had some students quit for the summer or something and say "we can't really do lessons right now but we'll call you when we're ready to start up again."  This is usually a nice way of saying "we don't want to have piano lessons anymore."  I should know, I've said it to guy or two after less-than-amazing dates.  I think it's a valid brush-off.
            So usually when I hang up the phone or close the email after getting a message like that, I think "I'll never see them again."  Almost always this is true.
            But, amazingly, I've just gotten an email from a family who wanted to start up lessons again with me (and only me they said).  Also amazingly, this is not the first time that's happened.  Unfortunately I can't accommodate this family now, since I'm going to stop teaching at the end of June to get ready to go back to school.  I'm going to try to do what I can to get this family to try another teacher.  Hopefully they aren't as serious about having "only me" as a teacher as they were about actually getting in touch with me when they were ready to start lessons again.