Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Beethovens Bust- reprised

The story about Beethoven's Bust the other day has gotten me thinking about that last year of teaching, and the many blessings I keep tucked in my heart - the faces and voices and actions of former students.

I taught at a combined junior/senior high school, which was a great arrangement as far as I was concerned. I could watch my middle level students grow and change, and shake their hands at graduation. The graduation cards I sent usually included photos of students from their time in my classes, and were great fun to revisit as we chatted about the future before them.

Another great perk to this teaching situation was directing some of them in the high school musicals. It was another level of modeling and nurturing these students, and further bonded us I think.

The last post I wrote was about my director's gift the last time I directed at the high school, and an extra special group of students. The Music Man is a very energetic production, with a large cast. Sometimes a large class is a blessing, and sometimes it's a headache. In the fall of 2002 it was a fabulous cast, an extremely talented group of young people. I'd also had a large number of them as students in middle school.

I explained in Beethoven's Bust that I had retired in the spring of 2002, but was still directing that fall. The robbery was a huge deal in the community and everyone was talking about it. The bust of Beethoven became a symbol of the robbery, but to my students it was a symbol of "me." I loved music, I played the piano a bit, I sang, and they all knew I listened to classical music because we played it in class a lot. So, to them this bust was important, and seemed like an extension of who I was.

From what I hear, this was a very important gift and it took lots of work to find Beethoven in an affordable price range. My co-director helped them with their search, and I wouldn't be surprised to know parents may have also been in on the act. I also heard about their excitement when they were finally able to find a bust which was in a price range which would work ( thanks to all who made this happen).

I may not have loved that first Beethoven, which had stood on my piano for years. But I absolutely adore Beethoven II. He is in his place of honor on my piano, watching over all the grandchildren who are now pounding on my keys. I had been extremely surprised by the gift, and profoundly touched by the thoughtfulness of a fine group of young people.

I am still in touch with some of these students, and a few may even read my blog - at least, those who are my "friends" on Facebook. Revisiting this story makes me feel as if I've traveled a journey, and found my way home again.

All this because I "owed" my readers a story about one of my blessings. You never know where your story will lead, do you?


julie king said...

you are blessed with life, friends and wonderful memories! and best of all, you know it!

joyce said...

I think it takes a special person to connect with high school students...I know I couldn't, I'm way to self-conscious & shy. But good for you, I wish all my sons' teachers had that special something. I have to add a memory that I had forgotton about a Beethoven bust.....when I was a teenager I had one of him & one of Mozart that my mother had made in a ceramic class. I was going through a bad, obnoxious teenage r phase, and I didn't like her boyfriend, because he wasn't my dad. I threw Beethoven, or Mozart, don't know which, out my bedroom window at his car, where both it and the windshield shattered. I had totally forgotten about it until I saw your picture of the piano today.