Today is the last day of classes at NCSSM before spring break. This morning we had midterm recitals in my Piano and Guitar classes and this afternoon I will give a lecture in my Music History course on sonata-allegro form and the Viennese era. It has been a wonderful academic year so far and the beginning of third trimester has been eventful and pleasurable. My Orchestra has been preparing for our annual Concerto Concert on May 18 and we just hosted a wildly successful ECU Four Seasons Next Gen Chamber Music Festival at our school last weekend. My students had the wonderful opportunity of working with the ECU string faculty and performed a movement of the Tchaikovsky Serenade and Holst's Holberg Suite. Life is good at NCSSM and it has been a wonderful year.
Yet, with all of that being said, I am truly stumbling into spring break. My nerves are definitely frazzled. I find myself to be overly sensitive to student actions and reactions. I have been coming to work the last few days with the simple goal of not making others mad and not getting mad at others. The fact is, I need a break. My students need a break. The academic rigors of NCSSM are definitely catching up with everyone and we all need to step away for a few days.
This doesn't always happen to me at spring break. Some years, frankly, I would rather continue classes. But, for whatever reason, this year is different.
It has been cold outside and we really are just beginning to sense the onset of spring in North Carolina. I have spent a number of recent evenings freezing on the risers of the baseball field at my sons' high school watching JV and varsity games. The sun really hasn't been out very much and I think that has had some impact on my overall disposition. I could use some warm weather.
Also, I have simply been really busy this winter. I've been on the road a great deal with conducting appearances, conferences, and performance opportunities. All of these opportunities do impact me when they come at such a close proximity.
Here is the good news! We will all come back refreshed in 10 days or so. It will be great to have a little break from each other and come back to finish out the year in wonderful form.
I'm really looking forward to all of the spring concerts and celebrating the magnificent accomplishments of the class of 2018. I have so many seniors who have given so much to the music program over the past two years. It will be great to celebrate their accomplishments with them as we move towards commencement. I also look forward to what lies ahead next year. Our junior class is extraordinary and I know we will have a magnificent ensemble next year with rock-solid student leadership. There is much to celebrate and much to look forward to.
But for now, I must admit I'm feeling a little bit guilty about my general disposition. That said, I'm willing to give myself a bit of grace and understand that this, too, is a natural part of the academic year and the seasons that we encounter with our students.
So, if you are a teacher and feeling this way, just know that you are not alone. It happens to all of us sometimes. It's happening to me this year. I am really looking forward to this time away. I'm looking forward to spending time with my wife and kids. And, frankly I'm looking forward to spending some time alone as well. I think folks like me who love to be around people need a break every once in awhile. Mine is coming at a perfect time. I need a bit of a reboot.
If you are approaching spring break and have a few days off in the coming week, I wish you all the best. I hope that you (and I) will come back rejuvenated and refreshed. I know that I will do my best to be ready to encounter my students with love, respect, and grace as we move towards the end of the school year. I wish the same for you.