Saturday, August 22, 2009


I am in the scheduling phase of Fall Planning. Each August, families send me their fall time preferences and I lay out the requests and fit them into a Monday through Friday schedule. Many of my colleagues keep a student on the same day and time every year. When I was growing up, I had my lesson Wednesday at 5:30, and some of my students also have always been on the same day and time. It's "their" spot. One of the benefits of taking summer lessons is that you are first in line for your choice. This has served me well when two students may want the same time.

The layout of the schedule is a fun puzzle. How will it look this year? Which day will be my busiest? One year after I had taken on some Wed. night music rehearsals, this day was by far the longest day of the week. Last year, Mondays, I taught from 2:30-10 p.m. and this was too long! So this year, I'm trying to get a mix of new and returning students each day, with no one day being exhausting. I may teach one or two students Friday after school so that I can breathe on Mondays. This year, my two senior students can also come during the day! This will be immensely helpful! Many of my colleagues do not take time off in the summer and run the same schedule year-round. Right now, that way of organizing is enviable. But I really appreciate my studio's philosophy of flexibility so I continue to do it this way. When I have presentations or recording sessions, I have had to call and reschedule at the last minute. I'm glad they are understanding to me in return.

In this day and age of spectacular sporting practices and schedules, many families can not bear that consistency in my neighborhood. Sometimes they have asked to change their lesson schedule mid-year to accommodate a new sport. I work them in the best I can.

As I walked the hospital the last two weeks, I noticed that they are a model of efficiency and scheduling, despite all the emergencies they get. I looked in amazement at the signs here that have check-ins for surgery at 5:30, 5:45 and 6:00 a.m. These lines were smooth, orderly and by the time 5:45 came, the 5:30 line was empty. The admissions desk ran like a well-oiled machine, had wheelchairs and assistants for those who needed them, and lots of sitting areas for patients and families. I will share a few more pictures of this experience in the next few days too.

Perhaps it was the patience of the first nuns who ran St. Mary's Hospital who established a calm DNA in the very air of this building. The nuns are still here, but they do not wear their habits anymore that I saw. When my children saw the oils, they were surprised at first. They went up close to look them over because they looked so lifelike, yet they weren't photographs. After walking by them several days, I began to realize that these beautiful souls are part of the legacy of this hospital and appreciated the way the painters let them continue to oversee the admission process.

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