Friday, March 9, 2007

Jonah Day

I had a bit of a Jonah day a few weeks ago when I went to teach L. and M. their piano lessons. I've been teaching them for several months, and no progress had been made whatsoever. Lessons were painful exercises in patience and endurance for me and probably for them too. They never practiced, except perhaps to stumble through a song right before their lessons. I spoke with their mother repeatedly about my expectations, and two weeks ago, I was really ready to drop them. I mentally rehearsed what I would say, fully prepared to tell them they should look elsewhere for a teacher. And wouldn't you know it, that one week, those kids practiced. They played their pieces perfectly for me, from memory. (These are kids who had barely been able to stumble through two consecutive measures during any of the previous weeks of lessons.) They had even both put valiant effort into solving their unique and bizarre habit of depressing, say, a note to be held for two beats, and after pressing the key down chanting "One-Two" quite rapidly and in no semblance of rhythm whatsoever (a trick they somehow developed while studying with their former teacher).

I felt like Jonah, ready and waiting for God to punish the Ninevites and finding that instead they were to be spared. Sigh.

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