Wednesday, December 19, 2012
What I Miss
On Sunday, I had breakfast with one of my former clarinet students and her mother. This particular family is the ideal band family - both kids and parents are fully invested in the program, and she (the student) is graduating this year to pursue music therapy in college. Later that afternoon, I had a nice conversation with D, a longtime friend and colleague. We spoke about the big differences between my office job and teaching, because the state of education in New Jersey is dismal and deterioriating. He said that there were many days where he had thought about finding outside-of-education work. I like my job - can't call it a new job, because I've been an official employee for 11 months and was a temp for four months prior to that. I like my coworkers. I like the customers and associates. I wish I could get up and walk around a little bit more, and there are a few outside-of-my-control things that drive me crazy, but that's true for any job. Fact of the matter, I can very easily see myself staying in this corporation for a long, long time, and I hope to do so. Having said that, there's things that I miss about teaching that can't be replicated anywhere else. The number one thing is the relationship with students and their families. I've been fortunate that so many of my former students keep in touch with me, even if it's just as Facebook friends. I even have a number with whom I speak on a regular basis. Banking is great, but I don't think many of my customers would track me down on Facebook (at least, I hope they don't). As strange as it sounds, I miss football games. I miss The Boy sitting with the band, climbing up and down the stairs, and chatting with the students. I miss baby on bass drum time. I miss the sheer amount of music that surrounded my life. I miss the chats on the bus rides to competitions, and I miss (a little bit) hounding my students to avoid hot chocolate on white uniforms. Having said that, I do NOT miss the extraneous bullcrap that teaching entails. I'm not going to go through that now, because I'm awash in nostalgia and don't want to ruin it. Besides, I'm in a new job and a new career. I'm good at what I do, and there is significant growth potential in my job. I'm not going back to teaching, but I sure do enjoy the memories of the good parts. It was nice to see E & P. That was a real highlight of my trip, and that particular visit inspired much thought and discussion.