After the sumptuous banquets in China, my pants aren’t fitting quite so well. But the metaphorical Old Pants of returning to school feel as comfortable and cozy as ever. I’m severely out of shape with biking and other exercise, with piano playing and Zen meditation, but I’m still in my rhythmic groove with teaching and it’s a supreme pleasure to do it in my own room with kids who have been shaped by the program and fit perfectly to our way of unleashing musicality. Had a group hug at my knees from my 5-year-olds when they saw me, a nice contrast to the cool “Oh, hey Doug” of the 8th graders, who then resumed their fascinating conversations with their peers. Wonderful to sing again with the 100 elementary students, to work with some of the grades I don’t normally teach while my colleague James is off in Romania and great to hear the sounds of our particular instrument collection, like returning to your perfect piano after having played out some tinny out-of-tune ones.
And San Francisco is looking good. Magnolias still in bloom, daffodils are up and the last two afternoons have been warm and sunny. The lovely park a nice relief after the big Asian cities and though I’m still furious with the arrogant domineering Sales Force Tower, most of San Francisco has a properly proportioned city skyline. And so nice to cook again, shop again, recycle again, not drink water from petroleum-based plastic bottles.
In a short few days, we watched the Oscars, went to a talk by Arlie Hochschild, the author of Strangers in Their Own Land and alum school parent and went to our local Andronico’s supermarket to sit in on banjo with on old-timey group that casually plays there twice a month while my wife was sketching them. That was fun and nobody asked me for my card for the next bluegrass gig, but I held my own with my three chords in the key of G and led a few songs as well. Tonight off to the men’s group, same guys I’ve been meeting with for 28 years and always the thought, “Will we learn something new about each other tonight?”
Between re-entering school and jet-lag and such, a few blogs behind myself, but no matter. Nobody’s waiting on the edge of their seat. But would like to note a few more things about China before it gets too far away. Maybe after I get my taxes done.
Home sweet home.