It comes out, the sound echoing and registering in the ears of the audience scarcely before I can hear it myself, and there it is, hanging in the air like a nose booger. And, once it's out, everyone knows just how bad you really are. Couldn't I just take a kneaded eraser and blot out that last line of music? It was just too harsh and inappropriate, obscene. No one should have to witness such a line of music. It doesn't fully and legitimately represent all those hours I spent mastering the skills to perfect it, going through it over and over, making sure it was just right every single time. And I cannot explain that it was a simple mistake, brought about by the intimidation of the silence that preceded it. The sourness of the phrase lingers like a cloud of gas, and the audience sniffs, squints, and looks away, embarrassed.
I would stick to writing, or art, and hide away my true self, so that no one will know the real me. I edit that out in the first draft.
Somehow, I get the distinct feeling that, rather than me being the teacher, I am actually the student, and it is the parents who are teaching me. They think I don't know, but I'm onto their conspiracy. My next objective will be to find the ringleader and take him down. Here's the theory.
My parents have organized weekly meetings to plan out their next lesson for the teacher. Two weeks ago, it was cancellation policy. Last week, they teamed up to see how good my babysitting skills were. I spent about an hour and a half unpaid time watching kids who were both dropped off early and picked up late. What am I going to do, pick them up by their scruffs and toss them into a sub-zero snow bank and let the wolves chew on their purple toes?
This week, they decided to place more emphasis on the sick student policy. They discussed effective loophole strategies, perfected the timing of their calls to coincide with other scheduled lesson times in order to leave a message on the machine (vs. speaking to me personally), and then polished up their best stories, sealed with waterproof smiles. One at a time, they cast their lines to see if the fish would bite. And what was I armed with? Nothing. Sick absences form a gaping hole in my existing policy. Combine that with the coincidental fact that this is the first week of the month and checks are due, and I have little chance at gleaning any pay this week.
During my second-to-last lesson today, I heard the answering machine: "This is [enter fibbing name here], and my daughter is sick, so we won't be making the lesson this week." Her lesson is fifteen minutes from now. Wow, they had so much consideration to call me in advance. I know, she must have come down with a sudden bout of food poisoning and was perfectly healthy up until now. I should give them the benefit of the doubt, shouldn't I?
Heck no. I finished the lesson and beelined it to the phone.
"[voice of sibling]Hello?"
"Hi, this is Emily Grossman."
"Oh, you want to speak to [Food-Poison Annie]?"
"Oh, and how is she?"
"Fine, here she is..."
"Hi, is your mother there?"
"I just wanted to let her know that the lesson will not be refunded, and wanted to offer a reschedule."
"We'll just come next week."
It was obvious that the girl didn't even know her role in the plot, she forgot to even sniffle or cough. I should focus her next week's lesson on how to make a more convincing story.
Who wants to guess what the objective of my own lesson will be next week? Injuries and spiritual healing? (Oh, wait, already done that.) Mass migration? UFO abductions?
I put too much stock into what people say.
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