Tuesday, October 19, 2010


On Saturday I received an email from a woman whose daughter I used to teach. It's been five-six years since I last heard from her. I taught her daughter for two or three years (to the end of Book 1), and they ended their time with me by 'trying out' another teacher, asking for a Sunday morning lesson time and generally being the kind of nightmare student you dream of losing.

Her email mentions her now four-year-old twins and requests a lesson time, tells me that the older child still plays and attends a private school on a scholarship. I don't think this family is a good fit for Suzuki, and I can't in good conscience take on another student - I won't be able to continue their lessons when they begin school and there is no way in hell that I will teach Sunday morning, given that the other six days of the week are all working ones.

My dilemma is this: Do I refer her to a colleague beginning her Suzuki studio or simply give a polite refusal? Do I brief my colleague or stay quiet and let her deal with the parent on her own terms? I realise a lot can change in five years, and Mum may be seeking a Suzuki teacher because her older child has progressed so slowly through the traditional system (she's up to AMEB Grade three). Dilemma.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Today is the type of day for crawling into bed and watching old black-and-white movies. Or drinking tea from my teapot for one, book in front and notepad beside. I'm stuck in a creative hiatus; ideas but inadequate time to execute; desire without the means to reach out and take. I have the feeling next year will be about paring back and (ohgod, how indulgent) making space. A little more saying no and perhaps, instead of yes, sure, absolutely.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not unhappy withe the current state of my life, but I am feeling a lot of time is spent doing instead of being. When a white space of time suddenly opens up I hurry to fill it because I've forgotten how to spend it. I'm a little addicted to the adrenalin rushes of my life instead of a slow endorphin burn. (Pleasure junkie, hand up.)

I read the other day that the accepted response to "how are you?" is an apologetic, slightly flustered "So busy!" and that we seem to equate stress to success. I'd like to become more successful at balance. So I can choose to say yes and reply "So busy!" knowing damn well my busy will end in a week, or that next month is much calmer - and that I will not accept more impositions on my time simply because it's not yet assigned to another purpose. How to start saying no?