I have just come home from the school's winter concert, a thing that always astonishes me not only because of it's just so damn good, but because of all the other things I know those young musicians are doing with their time. In addition to all that homework, I mean. And, believe me, there's a lot of homework. The nature of my job is that I know only a few of our students, but I can tell you that:
The boy on the vibes who did some swing dance moves with the girl on the flute? They're both playwrights. He's also going to India on a school trip tomorrow. She was in Midsummer Night's Dream in the fall.
Trombone soloist, harpist, and two singers? Playwrights. The tall, smiling blonde in the middle of the chorus? Headed to India in the morning.
That remarkable girl who sang a song originated by Mahalia Jackson and then finished the piece by soloing on the alto sax is in my playwriting class too, but is also a fierce basketball player.
The the very sweet boy who just got accepted to Brown and was first violin in the chamber orchestra tonight is also headed to India in the morning. "I wish you were coming with us," he told me, which might be the nicest thing anyone's ever said.
Sometimes I lose track of why I have been in the same job for nearly fifteen years, and sometimes I know exactly why.