It is starting to kick in, that little sadness that creeps up on me this time of year. Both high schools have now had their senior concerts and basically seniors are done as they don't have to take finals if they have A's in their classes (wish that policy would have been around back in the day....) So for some of them I may not see them again or if I do who knows when it will be.
First let me talk about the concerts, NCHS concert was perfect length, well-prepared and as a special treat Killian was my date. My private student, Kiki, performed the first movement of the Elgar Concerto and I am not sure who was more nervous, her or I. I didn't open my eyes the entire time! She did a great job, she has a bright future ahead of her, she is headed off to Luther College next year to major in music, education or possibly composition (Molly, maybe a future client for you.)
The West concert was of course wonderful as well, unfortunately I had to miss most of it due to Awards night at PJHS, but I ran in at the very last second to hear my wonderful cellists perform "Nothing Else Matters" visit my school blog to see the video: www.pjhsorchestra.blogspot.com I can't help but get a little choked up at the slide show which this year they accompanied with "The Ludlows" from Legends of the Fall, the big finish though was a fun Irish piece which featured two violinists and one violist with amplification, very difficult but definitely worth the hard work.
Hopefully I haven't lost you yet, but here is the kicker of why I feel that extra tug this year, this graduating class was my FIRST set of beginners in Unit 5 when I started in 2001. When I started teaching them I was only 23 years old and married for 1 month. Killian and Cohen weren't even a thought at that point in time. Since then look at everything that has happened, they have been with me through 2 houses, 2 pets, 2 kids, almost 2 Master's Degrees, job changes, student teachers, several friends weddings and babies, and unfortunately losing some dear friends and family members. They were in front of my baton as it was announced the first plane hit the twin towers and they were kind to me during my "all-day" sickness with my pregnancies. These students after 8 years are no longer students, they are like family. I will miss them immensely.
This fall I was reading a book by Kidder that included this quote, thus I close:
She belonged among schoolchildren. They made her confront sorrow and injustice. They made her feel useful. Again, this year, some had needed more help than she could provide. There were many problems that she hadn't solved. But it wasn't for lack of trying. She hadn't given up. She had run out of time.
Congratulations Class of 2009!