Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Sarah Marie The Busy Bee: Time Flies

Time passes quickly, and I'm realizing how soon January 6 will be here -- whether I'm ready for it or not. Last week as I was driving home from Gloucester, I realized that almost all the trees have changed into beautiful autumnal colors, and I barely noticed it happening. Over the weekend, I took Cara to the mall to pick up a few things, and most of the stores are already decorated for Christmas. I love Christmas, and seeing the decorations everywhere made me sorely tempted to begin listening to Christmas music way ahead of schedule, but I'm disciplining myself to wait until December.

I feel the passing of time in my own life, and it feels both fast and slow at the same time. The wedding seems both near and far away at once. Life seems fast-paced because of how many different things I've done since graduation, how many changes I've made, and how many things and people have come and gone. I worked as an intern in the Admissions office through May and June, worked as a proofreader in Charlestown for July and August, started getting more and more violin and piano students, picked up two babysitting jobs to occupy my mornings, and began teaching after-school group violin lessons to 4th and 5th graders in Gloucester.

I've subsequently dropped one of the babysitting jobs -- after a month of spending 20 hours a week with 2-year-old Tegan, I knew that it wasn't a good fit for me. Suffice it to say that she was the worst behaved child I have ever encountered... or ever hope to encounter. I even caught some of her wretchedness on video with my digital camera. It's funny to watch the clips. Even the way she says my name belies her brattyness: "SaRAH? SARah! SARAH! Watch Barney NOW!" She was bossy, rude, and generally horrid. Everything was a demand, and nothing was a request. She was used to getting her own way, all the time. Cookies at 9 am? Sure, why not? Watching Barney videos all day? Of course. Smearing her food all over the house? Perfectly acceptable. She had truly never been taught to say "please" or "thank you" before I began sitting for her. When I asked her to say "please" after a request, she would shout it in a shrill, bossy voice: "PLEASE!" By the end of my time with her, I had taught her to "say please -- with a smile!" She was actually showing general improvement. However, I really couldn't work with her and combat all the lack of teaching her parents gave her. When I wasn't there, Tegan would draw on the carpet and walls. Her mother's response? "Good. I've been trying to make my husband buy me new carpet for years." At the end of a six-hour stint of attempting to teach Teagan to not throw toys, to help pick up messes, and to ask for things politely, her brother would come home from school and torment her, taking her toys and holding them just out of her reach. Tegan, of course, would scream, and I would calm her and assure her (with a glare at her brother) that he would return the toy to her as soon as she asked nicely. She would actually do so... but he wouldn't comply. Obviously, it was hard to reinforce good behavior without the help of her family!

Interestingly enough, Tegan's 10-year-old brother is just as horrid, bossy, and obnoxious as she is. Honestly, you'd think parents would learn. Their mother is completely out of control (she makes empty threats to attempt to get her children to behave, such as threatening to throw away all of her son's video games, etc.), and her children sense it and know that they can behave however they want.

So, a month of that was more than enough. I realized that I make enough money teaching, playing gigs, and taking a few more pleasant babysitting jobs to pay my bills and live comfortably, and I decided to stop making myself feel as if I weren't doing enough if I weren't working full-time. I'm very happy to have the extra hours in my week to devote to wedding things, home-improvement things, and practicing my violin again. I'm also a much happier person for FavoriteBoy to come have dinner with at the end of the day, and probably a much better teacher, too; I have more time to devote to planning each student's lesson and thinking about the kind of teacher I want to be. To sum up: I'm a much happier girl right now than I was two weeks ago!

Yesterday I bought ribbon to affix to our invitations, and subsequently spent a good portion of the day tying tiny bows. After more of the same this morning, the end is finally in sight! I should be done by tomorrow. Then, it's just attaching the bows and addressing the envelopes, and I'll have these things in the mail right on schedule!

FavoriteBoy is playing Shostakovich's 2nd piano concerto with the Gordon orchestra in just a few weeks, and last night was his first rehearsal with the orchestra. It was so exciting to listen to him play -- he's going to be fantastic! Cara's recital is this coming weekend, and next Monday I get to perform some duos with Melissa. I feel blessed to have so much music in my life. When you're in school, surrounded by it all the time, it's easy to take it for granted. Now, as a lot of my friends are in jobs they don't care for -- and I'm very aware that I only just escaped such a fate myself! -- I'm very grateful that I've been blessed with opportunities to teach and play music. I love my students, and they seem to like me. I still get giddy when I hear that the kids talk about me at school, and say they like me. I also get compliments from parents on what a good job I do, and that's so encouraging! Life is peachy.


  1. Ah, Shostakovich! I played that with the California Wind Orchestra a few years ago (of all orchestras...). The 2nd mvmt is glorious. Can't believe you're getting married. Fabulous! I'm convinced it'll never happen for me. Hello old maidhood.

  2. Anyssa, I was at that concert to hear you play! I remember that. Fun times. The Wind Orchestra, indeed... weird. ;) You won't be an old maid. Exotically beautiful musicians like yourself ought to get snapped up right away!

  3. It sounds like things are going well! I definitely think that ditching the Teagan baby-sitting was the way to go - talk about an uphill battle! (And who names their kid Teagan, anyways??) Watching someone else's child(ren) is always a challenge (way more so than watching your own, I think!), and watching children who are poorly raised is ever so much more difficult... so much more so that I don't even think it is generally worth it.

    That empty threat thing that some parents do - man, that just drives me nuts! It seems like every library story-time there's some kid who is misbehaving and the mother says "if you keep acting like this, we'll leave". Then the kid kicks it up a notch and the mom just tries to settle the child down and continues to disrupt the entire group rather than follow through on her threat. Talk about ineffective parenting!

    Anyways, I'm glad to read that you've found some more students and that the group violin lessons are going well. That's all very exciting!

  4. You were at that concert? Hahaha, did I even know that? This sounds terrible - I forgot! Thanks for coming (six years ago already!)!!! How nice to have an audience that remembers.

    Here in Germany it's a little hard to strike up a conversation with cute guys because one never knows if they speak English or not - and my German is terrible. However, I can say something sexy in French (pretty much the only thing I can say in French):

    J'ai une violent envie de t'embrassier maintenant.

    That may be spelled horrendously wrong. It means "I have a violent desire to kiss you right now."

    Try it on your boy. :)