A new semester

August 18 came and went and life is good again. 

I had returned from Germany late Saturday evening which gave me a wonderfully relaxed Sunday with Mark, a Monday with nothing on the calendar, a Tuesday full of interviews, so by Wednesday the 18th I had had a couple days to come home and get organized, ready to start teaching. 

While I don’t believe in jet lag = the assumption that for a couple days after transatlantic travel my body is still operating in a different time zone, I do acknowledge that spending a day that begins at 5:30 a.m. in Germany and ends some 24 hours later at 10:30 p.m. in Manhattan, KS – a day that is spent sitting and trying to sleep in a taxi, airplane seats, waiting areas and a car – takes its toll on a body that is closer to age 50 than 40.   I was dragging for a few days, taking delicious naps and generally taking it a easy.   It helped that the terrible heatwave which had gripped Manhattan the previous weeks had finally broken right before I arrived back in Kansas. 

My schedule this semester is very full, and it is still evolving:  since I started the piano semester six days before students went back to (public) school, some students were still on vacation which necessitated rescheduling their lessons.  Now that we have started and students are back in school, the reality of how realistic the piano schedule is for my students is starting to sink in.  I have already had requests to move lessons to a slightly different time to accommodate other family obligations during the school year.   Back-to-school nights temporarily mess with the schedule.  So far, I’ve been able to accommodate these requests.  

Other changes that are coming up:  I have particularly many transfer students this semester, and all transfer students start with twice-weekly 30-minute lessons until I am confident I can leave them alone with their assignment for an entire week and we switch to once-a-week 45-minute lessons.  There is no time limit on this transition: for some students it takes a few weeks, for some many months.  So there’ll be changes to my schedule throughout the semester, depending on how fast students transition.  I have future students waiting for a time slot to open so they can start lessons.  I have current students whom I am watching particularly carefully because they are not doing as well as they could and should because I may not be the best teacher for them.  If I determine that I in fact am not what they need I will approach the parents and suggest a change. 

But all in all, the semester is off to a good start and I have a pretty good idea of what my schedule will look like for the rest of the semester.  Busy.