Mail update:Can you believe that, for the first time in... forever, that I actually got to a point where every single letter that needed a response was answered? I have never really had no "reply" pile. Lately the mail has started coming in again and I have this pile to respond to.
I have also gotten some cool postcards lately. They are from Russia, US (from my friend Jessie), China, US, Taiwan. Germany and The Netherlands :
Work:Work has been busy, as always. It has been a mix of super rewarding and super aggravating. At the beginning of the month, my students performed in the Junior District Festival. (If you want to know more about the festival, I have written about them in previous blog posts.) Since my schedule is insane, I have been eating my lunch with the students who were preparing for the festival everyday for about 2 months. It was slightly stressful to not have any free time during the day, but I enjoyed this chance to work with 6 of them on a more individual level. I was very proud of them all. They all grew a lot musically over the past few months. I also really enjoyed getting to know them all a little better, though some of them feel like additional children to me by this point. I was also managing the boys choir at this festival. All of the boys were great. It was a great experience for me (again!).
Flowers my students gave me (Rather, flowers 1 family gave me and were gracious enough to say they were from everybody! Unnecessary, but appreciated):
One thing I have really valued over the past few weeks is the connection that I have with many of my students. I appreciate that they are willing to be vulnerable and try all the things I ask them to, despite the fact that their voice "can't do that," or so they think. I feel honored that many of their families respect me and get to know me. I am glad I have a place of influence with many of these kids in a time when they need it.
Personal:There have been lots of changes here too. Matt's job has changed a bit. He used to manage a candy store during the nights and weekends. He had been asked if he would have interest apprenticing to be a candy maker a while ago. He was very interested. Unfortunately, the man he was learning from died unexpectedly. Matt has taken on the responsibility of this new position during their busiest season, right before Easter. Fortunately for us, he loves it and it has changed his schedule so that he is home more at night and on the weekends. It has been quite the adjustment but it's pretty cool. (Not to mention, chocolate!!!)
The boys are good. They are both doing very well in school. Baseball season is starting up. David had his first practice last night and Timmy has his first scrimmage tonight. We took a few nights and went to my parents' house in Maine. On the way up we stopped on the beach and looked at some tidepools in York, Maine. The next day we went to visit my cousin, Tom, in New Hampshire. We had not seen his family in a few years so we were really happy that they were around. I hope we get together more often. Other than that, we just relaxed and spent a lot of time hanging out and reading.
Speaking of relaxing, today is the nicest day of the year so far. It's 73 here in Ma. Matt is working. The boys and I decided to go for a walk on our local rail trail. We went to a playground and then walked about 2 miles. I love the rail trail in the fall and was surprised that it looked a little less alive in the spring. (I think I was expecting more green!) Beautiful day though!
Upcoming:The next few weeks are pretty tame but things will get busy soon. As I mentioned earlier, Timmy has his first scrimmage tonight. I'm looking forward to getting to know his new team. He is really enjoying playing with them so far.
I have a concert to play for on 4/30 and then 2 graduations to play in. I'm conducting 3 concerts between now and the end of the school year.
We are also considering going to Canada for a vacation this summer. We're trying to decide between visiting Quebec or Nova Scotia? If you have been to Canada, or live there, we would be glad to get some recommendations about where we should stay or what we should try to do. Where are some of your favorite places?