Wednesday, February 14, 2007

"Old Home Week" Begins

SAN ANTONIO--The trip here was quick, easy and without incident. Tomorrow will be a very relaxing day (as in there's nothing I want to see until 3:30 in the afternoon), so I'll just kick back and enjoy the Old Home Week aspect of this convention.

Sure, I come here because there are always at least a few cool clinics or concerts. The exhibit hall is overwhelmingly large, and there's a lot of interesting stuff there (for example, I always like trying out the new horns). Lately, I've come in support of the college students who've made the all-state group. Any of these things alone would get me down here every February (the last of the three in a literal sense).

But my favorite part of this week is getting to see everyone I went to school with, as well as some people I used to teach with and don't anymore. In the short time I was downtown tonight, I saw one person I teach with now, two I taught with about eight years ago, and two fraternity brothers from other places, all in short order. These occurrences will only increase as the week goes on.

Music educators are a busy type. "Nine to five" is only an old country song to us. If we're not working together on a weekly basis (and sometimes even if we are), way too much time goes by before we see each other again. This week gives us an opportunity to get together, recharge our batteries a bit, and remind ourselves why we do what we do. As I look out my hotel window, it pales in comparison to my Manhattan view of a month ago. The program isn't nearly as full for me this week. But I still wouldn't trade this week for anything.

Happy Singles' Awareness Day: Since I'm single at the moment, today has been just another day for me...but some people hate Valentine's Day with a passion. The greeting card companies have taken note of this phenomenon. (I should mention that my brother-in-law's company continues to take notice as well.)

Animal stories, part 1: A New Jersey homeowner was quite startled to look out her kitchen window and see a 210-pound bear staring back at her.

Animal stories, part 2: A Maine farmer has been trying for three weeks to corral his runaway donkey, but she's having none of it.

Animal stories, part 3: Investigators searching a California house for drugs found a mysterious slothlike, snouted animal in the house. (The mystery was later solved.)

Blowing out the candles: Happy birthday to Kirk from Combo PM and my fraternity brother Javi.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Are you on drugs??"--the streetcar driver on my way back tonight, to a passenger who was asking weird questions and pulled the "stop" cord about 2.5 seconds after the driver had taken off from a stop.

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