Wednesday, May 26, 2004

School is almost out

Only one more day after today. Maybe by next week the schedule will slow down a bit. Maybe.

It's been one thing after another for the past couple of weeks. Two weeks ago it was a talent show - the YAC sang Jessica Andrew's "Who I Am" - quite well from what I hear (I couldn't be there), but then again, "And when the day is done my Momma's still my biggest fan" isn't in that song for nothing. Later that week was the one-act play competition that the YAC was involved in (backstage this time) and then the YAC's band concert. And I think I've forgotten something.

Last week was the public performance of the one-act play, the EAC's band concert, the EAC's jazz band concert (she played piano), the EAC's birthday dinner, and a friend's high school graduation and the corresponding graduation party.

This week was the talent show for the EAC (I couldn't be there either). She played a medley of songs from Pirates of the Caribbean on the piano. Of course, she insisted on dressing up like Captain Jack Sparrow (don't dare to forget the Captain part...or you'll hear about it for sure), so much of the weekend was spent getting the costume together. We rented most of it (Gah! What have we become?), but the vest was made by a friend and much of Sunday evening was spent getting the front of her hair braided with the appropriate beadage. She got third place and was pleased with that.

Last night was the piano recital. Sunday afternoon, the YAC balked at practicing her recital piece. And heaven forbid, we make her play it TWICE!

Uh!

Pout. Pout.

Recital pieces must be memorized. So she finally gets her attitude under control enough to play (which hasn't always been the case) and proceeds to play as if she has two extra thumbs on each hand. I tell her, "You play like that at the recital and not only will YOU be embarrassed, I'll be embarrassed too." More practicing with much improvement (which is also noted).

She did pretty well, only needing three tries to find an elusive note. Nothing to be ashamed of.

And then there's the EAC. She is the oldest of her piano teacher's students and so she gets to go last. And of course, as the senior student, she also plays the most difficult pieces. I don't know for sure, but I think the piece she played last night was about eight pages long. She did well until she got to the last transition before the end. And then she just went blank. What do you do when you're playing in front of an audience with no music and you forget what comes next? You stop. Stand. Nod towards the audience and then walk off stage, that's what. And then you cry.

So she did.

I actually think that this kind of experience is good for her. She will learn more as a result of this setback. She'll learn that even though things come easily to her, she still has to work hard if she wants to excel. That you can't let failure incapacitate you. That you have to learn to not take yourself too seriously and that it's ok to not always be perfect. The part of the song she did play was beautiful and everyone enjoyed it. Relax. Breath. Smile.

Everyone was sympathetic to her plight, but being a perfectionist, she demands a higher standard of herself than she expects in others. (I wonder where she picked that up from?) She was better by the time we left the reception, and the ice cream we had later certainly didn't hurt.

On Saturday we have another friend's high school graduation in the afternoon and our high school graduation ceremony that evening. The EAC has to go because she's in the band and she found out Monday, she's accompanying the choir. On Monday, we travel to San Marcos (I think) for the state ensemble competition. The EAC is part of a French Horn trio that made it to state. I'll let you know how that turns out.

UPDATE: Oh yeah, and I forgot all about the Youth Lock-In at church on Friday night that Mrs. A and I have somehow gotten ourselves entangled in...Saturday's going to be a loooooooooong day.

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