Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Each Day a Name


The schedule. A way to bring form and clarity into a life, a way to give each day a name and a face and a character. Today is Tuesday and when I wake up, I’m already playing blues with the 8th graders and dancing around with the 5-year olds. My day already has a certain color and shape and form and all of it enticing. Tomorrow is a different story altogether. And so the week rolls along, a different dance every 24 hours and the combined effect is a whole piece of music. A Suite.

Like the English and French ones I keep playing by Bach. Each section is named for a dance—Allemande, Courante, Gavotte, Sarabande, Gigue (related to, but also distinct from the more commonly known Irish Jig). Each a different tempo, a different meter, a different feeling. United by the key (which to carry the metaphor further would be the school, the common ground where the dancing happens for four or five days) and the signature style of the composer (my way of teaching kids). So just as music gives pleasure partly because it is so coherently tied together, each note part of a pattern, each pattern connected to larger patterns, just as this sense of everything making sense gives a meaning to things ordinarily experienced as random or chaotic, so does a well-crafted schedule give the same feeling. Enough variation to keep things interesting and surprising, enough repetition to keep things dependable and solid and comforting. To play music while living is one thing, but to live musically is yet greater.

Tuesday, here I come!

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