Tuesday, February 24, 2009

marionette class.

most days we have at least a few families who take a tour of Rolling Hills (the cool school i teach at). often times i have the priviledge to meet them. today was one of those days. and, wow. i mean, i have met some very interesting people in my days but i'd say this mother and her children are in the top. i don't mean that to be rude, they were very nice, blunt people...just interesting.

one of the perks (or not so) of being a teacher is having parents give you suggestions - what you should be teaching, how you should be teaching, if you should be teaching at all, etc. prior to this afternoon, i would have said i had heard them all...

persistent parent obsessed with woodwinds because he played the clarinet in high school: "Mrs. Henbest, have you thought about starting a woodwinds ensemble?"
me: "i'll see what I can do, sir."
me thinking: "i asked my Jr. High classes last week, again, how many would be interested in a ensemble of woodwind sorts, and i had one interested - just one. your daughter. hmmmm... i guess i could give her private clarinet lessons but that would require me learning to play the clarinet. not on your life, mister."

Mom who loves to give me suggestions but isn't musical even one little bit:
"Mrs. Henbest, when are you going to start an orchestra for Jr. High kids?"
me: "well, i will see what the interest level is and get back to you."
me thinking: "an orchestra?! sure, let me learn those lovely string instruments as poorly as i can, and then try to teach like i know what i'm doing. i have some incredible violin/cello players in the Jr. High - do you want me to make them worse?!

Ex-Cheerleader Mom:
"Mrs. Henbest, is there any way you would consider doing a dance class?"
me: "No."

those are only a few. and don't get me wrong, i do love suggestions...just not ridiculous ones like - start a Rolling Hills Philharmonic or dance squad.

ok, back to my story of thee best/worst (best only because i will laugh about it for ages) suggestion ever. so the blunt but kind family waltz into my class today and mom immediately asks, "so, what are you doing with the 7th and 8th grade for music?" a bit taken back, i gathered myself and explained to her all that is going on until the end of the school year. i finished and she just watched me for a bit with a "hmmmm" look on her face. i'm not quite sure what that look meant...hmmmm...

she then stood up from her chair and boldy asked: "are you going to start a marionette class?" i tried not to choke on the water i had just drank but it was too late. surely this mom was joking, right? nope, no smile there. so we talked it out...
me: "marionette class? i've never thought of that before. well, those dolls are pretty expensive and i don't think the school could..."
interrupting mom: "they have this big sale on marionettes right after Christmas time...but darn, we already missed it. my family bought a whole bunch this last Christmas for $12.00 a piece. we could shoot for next year. and my son is really good at building things and he could make some marionette stages and wouldn't that be fun?"
me thinking: "little marionettes in my music room sounds more like a horror film!...wait, am i having a nightmare?"
me: "well, that is a good idea. i just don't think we have the budget or time to start a marionette class."
mom: "i'm sure you could find a way."
me: "um, ok, well it was nice to meet you guys and i hope you choose Rolling Hills."
me thinking: "if i am greeted by scary little marionettes in my classroom tomorrow..."

phew. i know, i'm a bit of an over.reacter (and the people laugh)...and i do know that there isn't anything wrong with puppets or marionettes...in fact, i think they are quite fun....but, marionette class?! hmmmm...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Raising Sand.

i have been enjoying this album for quite some time now so this is by no means a belated cd review. i think you all know i would only have good things to say about it anyway. rock god and folk goddess join forces to form smoky harmonies and relaxed midtempo rockabilly. what could be more grand? oh ya, add T Bone Burnett. but, as i said, this isn't a cd review (just a little plug)...

The Grammys a few weeks back...enjoyment for the most part. those of you who watched saw Robert Plant and Alison Krauss win Album of the Year. i believe i let out a yell or two of pure joy when this happened...and i also believe i was thee only one in the house to do so - it's cool. yes, i do understand who they were up against - Radiohead and Coldplay to name two. yes, i love both of those bands, quite intimately actually - but you know, i was really happy Raising Sand won. some would say they just won because of who they are and not the quality of their album. nah. i say to them, give the album a good listen and you might fall in love, as i did. and i refuse to comment on the reaction of the crowd - i was ashamed that people could be that rude.

phew. i got that out.

cheers to Robert Plant and Alison Krauss!