Last year, my roommate made the
insane admirable pledge to not drink for all of 2011. This is a guy who I’ve shared many a beer with, over birthdays and Michigan State games. Somebody who was always up for a casual Friday night game of “Let’s pick up a couple of fancy-sounding brews and clink glasses.”
He stuck to his resolution for 365 days of torture and temptation. It’s something that I admire, because it would have been very easy for him to plop down on the couch after a long day at work and cave in for 15 minutes of sweet, hoppy refreshment. He kept his resolve for an entire year, and is a better person for it. While I won’t be replicating his resolution exactly, I would like to draw upon that dedication in the coming year.
- Love the sinner, hate the sin. I teach middle schoolers. Middle schoolers can often…do things that you and I would not consider smart. I was speaking with my assistant principal during my first month on the job last year, and he casually mentioned having to suspend a couple of kids for peeing on each other in the bathroom. Yeah. In the coming year, I’d like to show more patience toward my students, even when their decisions don’t make a ton of sense.
- Get back to school. This is my third year out of college already. I haven’t exactly been eager to start shoveling money into another college, but it’s high time to start putting some serious thought toward a Master’s program. The VanderCook MECA program looks like a promising way to ease back into the student role after a few years. Plus I could lazily bum around during the week, between sessions. That’s definitely attractive.
- Play more trombone. In college, I was a passable-to-decent trombonist. I was never going to be at the top of the studio, but I could tell the difference between alto and tenor clef, and play in tune about 60 percent of the time. I don’t have the time to dedicate four hours a day to practicing, but I’d at least like to get back some of my past trombonability.
- Play more…everything else. When I pick up a clarinet, babies cry. Benny Goodman rolls over in his grave. If there’s a French horn in my hand, even the profoundly tone deaf are diving for cover. It’s time to work on my secondary instrument “abilities”.
- Incorporate something new. I’m still a quite green teacher, lots to learn. Every time I go to a conference, I come back energized and excited to work some of the new concepts into my teaching. In the fall, I attended a jazz workshop and learned a great deal about listening activities. My jazz band has been keeping listening journals (and enjoying it!) ever since. The Michigan Music Conference is just around the corner, and I’m excited to bring some new knowledge back to my classroom.
What are your plans for 2012?
The Trombonist's Mouthpiece by Joe Guarr is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License