One week to go

by Jeffrey Carter

The new school year commences in one week’s time.

I’ve been seeing the excitement building on Facebook, and the emails I’ve been receiving are indication that folks are in the move back to a school-year-mentality.

At Webster, we have seen a great deal of facelift on campus this summer.  Our own Thompson House has had a solid paint job on two of our four floors.  Practice rooms are freshened.  We have new treads on the stairs in our 100-year-old home.  The campus itself is lush and green and flowery, thanks in no small part to the rain we’ve been receiving.

Our new-student class is both smart and extra-talented.  This may be the strongest class in the last six years.  I’m excited for what they will bring to the table, and for how they will raise the bar for others too.  They will soon discover the truth in something I read today: “Music is not just a fluffy, fun subject.  It is a discipline that has the advantage of being fun — to those who accept its challenges.”  So said Michael Blakeslee, the chief operating officer of the National Association for Music Education.

And so do I agree.

We’ve hired some new adjunct faculty this summer.  The constant renewal that is academia is certainly taking place at Webster.

I am hard at work on being ready to depart, since I am on leave this semester.  So much of the before-school work is key to a smooth beginning, and I’m doing that diligently.  The next eight days will each include at least four hours at school (and some of them will be 12!).

And then I’m gone.

Just like that!

The sabbatical projects have piled up.  I’ll take weekends and one day each week off, which leaves 16 weeks of four-day discipline.  This all sounds simple enough, but we shall see.

Meanwhile, I am enjoying today my last day off for eight days, and have dealt with the garden and the kitchen with joy.