Fading accomplishments and staying happy

During college, I ended up changing my primary instrument from flute to trombone, taking two extra years to complete my degree because I needed to be proficient enough on the trombone to pass a jury or a recital. With all of the metaphorical sweat equity that went into becoming competent, there was no way I … Read more

It’s not just about the weather

We have a serious game of one-up-manship going on. It’s everywhere and completely lacks empathy. An easy example, one that likely isn’t triggering to most people, is weather. Right now, Texas is just starting to thaw a bit. People went for days without electricity and/or running water. It’s killing people. Homes are flooding. Drinking water … Read more

Inspiration, hope, and being on display

For a few years now, I’ve received “Notes from the Universe” in my email. Sometimes I read them and hit delete and that’s that. Sometimes I read them and smile and hit delete and that’s that. Sometimes I read them and they hit me just the right way. Or the wrong way. Or both. Here’s … Read more

Is awkward defined by the subject or the observer?

As an introverted child, I did a lot of people-watching. I noticed people who were boorish and didn’t notice others’ fake smiles and “oh look at the time!” exits. I saw people who droned on about disinteresting things and didn’t notice others’ eyes glazing over. I was so scared about being one of those people, … Read more

Distance, leverage, growth

Tempe Town Lake is a man-made lake not far from here where you can use a paddleboat or a kayak or go fishing. It’s also a popular location for triathlons.  The water is not crystalline. When I swam in Tempe Town Lake, I couldn’t see my hand at the end of my completely outstretched arm. … Read more

Take the opportunity: band teacher edition

What a fantastic opportunity we have been forced into! I know that could be interpreted sarcastically; I mean it completely sincerely. I am a teacher. Sometimes, I am a phenomenal teacher. Sometimes, I am a mediocre teacher. We all know teachers who have been teaching for a long time, teaching the same thing, plugging along … Read more

Political ads—a long series of teachable moments

Like everyone (I assume) in the US, we’ve been inundated with political ads. We don’t watch TV, so that helps. But the volume of postcards has been ridiculous. In particular, we received a postcard most days for several weeks, telling us the evils of one specific (not presidential) candidate. If I didn’t know the state-level … Read more

Black lives matter, toothpaste, shaving cream

This post passed through my Facebook memories and it helped me to synthesize some of what’s going on. Maybe it will help you, too. This activity has circulated for a while in parenting and teaching circles in the hope of teaching children to understand the power of words. In case you can’t read the text … Read more

School. Virus. Sadness. Self-care. Hope.

Here in Arizona, the governor recently announced that public school buildings are closed for the rest of this school year. (Schools aren’t closed; the buildings are closed.) Teachers and principals are still working. I’m sad for all of the kids and teachers and parents who had something in the fourth quarter to look forward to. … Read more