Confusion

CONFUSION 

Confusion can happen at any moment.  

Confusion is just that…confusing.  

Confusion can be frustrating, especially when it comes with the caveat of a needed decision.

  • What do you do when you know what you want and you can’t have what you want so you have to find something new?
  • What do you do when you think you know what you want and you are told it’s not possible so you have you look in a new direction?
  • What do you do when you have what you think you want but are told it has to change?
  • What do you do when you’ve done the work to look somewhere else and you found, not just one but two valid possibilities?

YOU MAKE A DECISION

Decisions can be just as frustrating.  It’s hard enough to make a decision when you don’t see any options or when there are two options presented.  It’s worse when there are three.  Because then you can take those three options and make SO MANY MORE.

All of this reminds me of Cinderella’s lament from Into the Woods.

“You think, what do you want?
You think, make a decision…It’s my first big decision,
The choice isn’t easy to make.”
https://www.allmusicals.com/lyrics/intothewoods/onthestepsofthepalace.htm

Too often people decide not to decide.  They put off the decision. They leave it until it’s too late and they lose out on a better life or at least the opportunity of one.  They might even hurt the ones they profess to care for through their indecision.

Decisions may be hard and even sometimes painful, but you have to make them.  Life does not go on without decisions.

How do you make the right decision? 

Well, I can’t tell you the RIGHT way for you or even for every situation.

I can only tell you what I do.  

Start with the pros and cons of the situation.  Are the pros and cons equal? Are there more pros than cons or vice versa? Are the pros and cons equivalent? Can they even be compared? Does your list contain feelings or logic or both?

I would tell you to eliminate the feelings, at least initially.  To me, if you are going to do a Pros & Cons list, feelings can’t be there.  This is supposed to be the logical part.  Feelings and intuition will come into play later.

Once the list is done, look at it. Does it make sense? Do you get any sense there is a distinct way to go? YES? Great, you probably made your decision and it was rather quick.  NO? Unsure? Yep, you’re like me.  You probably somehow, intentionally or unintentionally, made sure the lists were equal in length.  Yep…you and I have a problem.  Our need to have things even made it so the list isn’t as helpful as it is intended to be.

So what next?

I say…look at that list again.  Is there anything on the list that when push comes to shove you would say it’s not really important?  Is there anything on one side or the other on that list that you simply dismiss because you really have already made your decision, you are just prolonging the potential joy or agony?

For me, sometimes the list tells me everything I need to know.  Sometimes it tells me what I already knew.  Sometimes, it doesn’t seem to really help at all.

So…I ask again…what next?

If you have faith of any kind, this is the time to use it.  If your faith is a huge part of who you are, I would recommend praying since that is one of the inherent qualities of having any kind of faith. If not, keep trying with different logical situations and deeply ponder it. Talk to friends, etc.  Either way, process completely yet don’t take too long.  You don’t want something to pass you by that would benefit you, your family and/or others you are intending to help or work with. You may also have to process quickly because you are given a time limit.  We all know that adds to the stress but is sometimes a necessary requirement of an organization.

Confusion?…Process and make a Decision.

Choreographed Progress

Today, most of the choir classes got at least half of a song choreographed.  Some even got all the way through to the end of the song. YAHOO!  Such progress! I am so please that the students are grasping onto the concept of choreography and performance in this way.  The students are beginning to really let go and make it happen.  I can’t even tell you how exciting this is.

What even excites me even more is how open they are to possibilities and how willing they are to make suggestions.  Sometimes I have to tell them their suggestions won’t work or don’t fit the piece. But a lot of times I can use the idea or modify it slightly to make it work.  Another student choice day…what a wonderful thing.

Tomorrow marks three weeks until our final concert for the school year.  If the students keep working as hard as they are, they will be so ready and polished for the performance that it will be a joy to all who witness it.  I am so grateful for their perseverance, tenacity and willingness to do what needs to be done.

Tuesday Afternoon

Tuesday

Somehow, Tuesday is always harder on my students than Monday was.  Those that were wide awake yesterday are exhausted today.  I’m sure why that happens.  It just seems to work out that way.  Thankfully, most were excited to come into our classroom and work to learn right away.  Those that needed more time, took a few more minutes to regroup and quickly joined in.

Today…Tuesday, was our first day with staging our pieces for our upcoming concert.  This is always a challenge because some students don’t feel comfortable “dancing” in front of an audience.  With the help and support of the other students, we find ways  to help alleviate most stresses.  Through this process, we realize that if we all work together, the show will be a success.  If someone doesn’t give their all, it will be that person the audience looks at…sometimes with a critical eye, sometimes with confusion, sometimes with pity.  If they do their best, no one will know they don’t feel comfortable.  The students are also reminded that we have about three weeks to practice and accomplish all of this…ample time to help each of us become more practiced and at ease with what we are going to do.

I haven’t told most of the classes yet that I will be singing with one of the groups.  The group I will be singing with knows, just not the others. I haven’t ever sung with my students at any of our concerts thus far. When we practice and I demonstrate what I want from them, many of my students have asked me to sing to them.  Some have even asked me to sing with them on occasion.  However, I have always felt it was their show…not mine.

Earlier this year, I went to a music training where the presenter talked about ways to enhance our choir performances.  Many of those ways are in the works for this concert.  But one stuck out to me…the presenter asked us why we weren’t singing with our students.  The responses given were very much like my thoughts.  He then went on to say…If you aren’t sharing your talents with your students, what are doing teaching them? Wow, that made me think.

So, I went to my advanced group and asked them what they wanted.  Did they want me to sing with them?  Would they rather have it be solos from the students? Although there are always students that want to sing solos, I was really surprised by the number of students that wrote on a silent/anonymous ballot that they wanted me to sing with them.  I was honored.

I still want them to shine more than me so I gave into their requests for me starting the song with a black stage and spotlight, them slowly joining me on stage singing as they enter but then I will back off so my voice blends rather than stands out.  It will be an interesting evening as this piece is our closing number.  It will be interesting because many decisions should have been made by then.  It will be interesting to see what some of the parents say about me performing with their students.

For now, I worry not about those things.

For now, I care much more about getting the students ready and finding my groove with how we want to perform it.

For now, I will continue to look for Tuesday afternoons:

I’m just beginning to see
Now I’m on my way
It doesn’t matter to me
Chasing the clouds away

 

Monday, Monday

 

Everyone knows that Monday can be an awful day.  It can be drudgery coming off of an amazing weekend.  It can be the day we dread for any number of reasons.

However, my Monday was really good.  My students came to school tired but excited to be there.  This made it so much easier to work with students I already care a lot about.  It made is easier because my Sunday didn’t end the same way it began.

Sunday was a hard day to get through.  I made it through because of my wonderful children that rode the horrible ride with me.  I made it through because of a whole lot of faith that I could.  I made it through because some wonderful people stopped by just when I needed them to.  They brought laughter and joy and celebration.  I couldn’t return to my previous thoughts and stresses with that kind of reception. I made it through because I couldn’t worry any more.

This made it easier for me to show up to school with the hope that my students and I would make beautiful music together…And WE DID!  They are making so much progress each day that I just can’t believe it.  They are literally taking everything I can give them and making it even better.  A teacher can’t ask for more than that.

Well…I could only hope for one other thing.  A possibility that started last Tuesday, manifested itself in all of its glory on Friday and came closer to reality today. It is a dream I have never shared with anyone.  It is not reality yet but I am hopeful that it can be.

Monday ended up being unlike most.  It didn’t contain any drudgery.  It left a lot of questions that can’t be answered right now, but it definitely left me feeling as though “it was all I hoped it could be”.

Blessings

I hope no one begrudged me the day off yesterday as it was Sunday.  I tell my students, I take one day off every week from doing ANY work even including their emails or Remind texts to me, and now I will include this blog as I see it as work albeit quite enjoyable work.  So this post was written Saturday evening.

I want to say THANK YOU.  I say thank you for a number of reasons.  First, This past week* has been an amazing ride!  *I’ve already written about my ‘bumpy’ ride since January but you can read that post later.

 

It was amazing because I am an introvert.  Once people get to know me and I feel comfortable around you, you forget how introverted I really am…because I can talk nonstop:0 However, I went so far out of my comfort zone this week in starting a blog that I’m almost surprised I did.  I will admit that when A.J. Juliani, in one of the videos from Innovative Teaching Academy, said one of our assignments was to start a blog, I almost did what I complain about others doing…I started to blub, to mutter, to come up with reasons I couldn’t do it and on and on.  I can’t really say why I stopped myself but something within me said to just suck it up and do it.  So I did.  

For me, this road has been almost cathartic.  It’s been an emotional roller coaster in a number of ways and for a number of reasons.  However, as much as I have worried about what to write and what to add to the website (there is still a lot I want to add) and have learned much through trial and error about putting together a website, I can say I have learned most about myself.

Despite being told by different people over the years, many who were family members, that I couldn’t do this or that because of this or that, I realized I can do just about anything if I put in the time and the effort and I truly believe in myself.  I tell my students to do this all the time.  However, I can’t say I completely believed it for myself.  My students are young, with endless possibilities and opportunities ahead of them. But I often feel I am limited.  Limited by my age, my size, my education (I’m not smart enough for some, too smart for others) and other numberless ideas I can think of.

However, there is really good song that truly sums up what it feels like to let go, do something new and even scary, and almost feel free for the first time…Defying Gravity.  I know, you though I would “Let it Go”.  That one is definitely good.  However, Defying Gravity is a song that I share a love of with many of my students.  Many have not been through, although too many might have too close a glimpse through their own experiences, what I have been through but I still think we can share the wonderful knowledge that we too can change and take charge of our own destinies.

“Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I’m through with playing by the rules
Of someone else’s game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It’s time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes and leap!”

Read more: Wicked – Defying Gravity Lyrics | MetroLyrics