Sunday, September 28, 2008

Extended Weekend/ Energy

It is Extended Weekend at NCSSM. These are weekends that are built into the NCSSM calendar that permit students to get home for an extra day over the weekend to rest up, see family, visit with friends, and generally reconnect with home. I noticed that my classes on Friday were particularly distant and clearly, the students were already letting their minds wander to the events of the weekend, rather than the tasks at hand. I understand that. It is normal to anticipate a long weekend a little early.

The thing is, I have noticed a large number of unresponsive students this year. Don't get me wrong. They are not disrespectful, unprepared, disruptive, or unwilling to work. Quite the contrary. They couldn't be nicer. But, in many ways, there is a wave of unresponsive students. I am really not sure why. But, here is my best guess. I think they are tired. Actually, we are all tired. I am convinced that we are all just exhausted in many ways. We are physiclaly exhaused from lack of sleep and busy schedules. We are mentally tired from working hard and thinking hard from the time we wake up to the minute we go to bed at night. We are emotionally exhaused from trying to do our best in all that we do. We all want to achieve and it takes energy. It takes physical, emotional, and mental energy.

So here is my thought for the day. Even when we are tired, we have to find the energy for every activity of the day. We have to approach everything as if we are rested and ready to go. Even if we aren't. After all, if we don't give it our best, with our best effort, what will we really get out of the activity. There are many days that I get going and just feel like I need another hour of sleep. But, by the time I get to work and my first class, I give it all that I have. I find the energy. I approach the class with the same energy that I expect to receive in return from my students. this doesn't happen without effort. One must make a conscious effort to be energetic.

I see it in orchestra the most. In order to make a wonderful sound, the musician must play with energy. It can be seen in theri posture, bow use, left hand, and can be heard in their tone and facility. Even if the players don't feel energetic, they must still play with energy. They must still rehearse with physical, mental, and emotional energy.

So, as you return to school on Tuesday, or to work on Monday, find your energy. Prepare yourself to give it everything. Give it your physical energy, mental energy, and emotional energy. Without it, you are short-changing yourself. And, trust me, your teachers, coworkers, and family will appreciate the effort.

Have a great week! May you find your energy.


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