The new semester began yesterday with such promise; I popped out of bed at 5am, kickboxed in my gym, took care of the animals, did some house chores, and was in my office by 7:15 to prepare for my 8am class. I wish that I had counted how many student issues I took care of, how many registration blocks I removed, how many smiling faces of new and returning students I greeted. This began my thirty-third year of teaching, and I still get so excited when it all starts anew.
This Tuesday morning began with the same promise as I got up early to let Marley out before heading up to my gym to exercise. It has been storming, and everything is wet and uber soggy…and Marley hates the wet. I stood on the deck at the top of the stairs and kept encouraging her to do her business as she looked back at me like I was asking her to step into molten lava. I stepped down a couple of steps and encouraged her again, and then one more step. At that point, my sandal suddenly slipped on the mossy step and I went flying, desperately grabbing at the railings, my leg bent backwards. I knew if I went down that my leg would break. Time seemed to stop; I managed to grab the newel post as an anchor and hung there for what felt like forever until I could gradually sink to the step, shaking like a leaf. Oh, and by the way, Marley never did go.
I finally collected myself enough to assess the damages; my thumbnails had bent back while digging into the railing, my foot felt like it was possibly sprained, my back and hip were painful, I was scraped and bruised. I hobbled into the house, Marley happily in tow, and went into our bedroom to tell Dan what had happened. He felt terrible, as he’d been meaning to pressure wash the decks and stairs, but several home projects have delayed it. It’s so not his fault- and for once it’s not me being klutzy…I just happened to step at the wrong place at the wrong time.
I was determined to cobble myself together and get to school. I had a lesson, an advising session, and an entire afternoon of clarinet auditions to do for the band program. I hate not being able to do my job and never want to let my students down…but, I was in a lot of pain. Dan, my best friend, and my Chair encouraged me to stay home and take care of myself, and so I finally agreed that they were right. I needed a day at home to rest and heal – even though it was only the second day of classes.
And so, today was a throw-away day. Oh, I did lots of school work via computer, but I missed the excitement and the thrill of being in the music building as our new semester gets underway. I missed teaching, interacting with students, and hearing my students play auditions. Instead, I iced, I stretched, I used my heating pad, I rested, I read, and I admit to having a few medicinal cookies.
Here is to a better day tomorrow; one filled with care, joy, laughter, gratitude, and a good full day of doing what I love.