I’ve worked 4 days a week just about my whole teaching life, with Monday as a sacred time to do as I will. In the early days, I’d stick a book of poetry in my pocket, set out the door and just started walking where my legs would take me, following my nose and exploring one neighborhood after another in San Francisco. It was a glorious way to get to know the city and just the right way to get exercise, savor some solitude and balance the busy workaday life.
Later, Mondays would be the time I’d write an article about teaching, develop a rigorous habit of reflection that explored the why behind the what of my chosen path. Some of these articles found their way into music education journals, many sat unread on my desk and at some point, I made a few Kinko’s spiral-bound books of collected articles that maybe ten people would read if I passed them on. Still later, many of those articles were reborn in a new life in my books, especially Play, Sing and Dance, The ABC’s of Education and Teach Like It’s Music, my most recent one.
In the latter part of my career, Monday was simply catch-up time—answering e-mails, planning workshop travel, doing errands, sprinkled with some piano playing.
So last night, amidst the rich assortment of jet-lagged dreams (still with me 3 days later), I dreamt of my upcoming retirement and said out loud a plan to return to the beginning, to earmark one day a week (Monday?) to once again take off with no particular plan other than chose a neighborhood and walk through it noticing the details never noticed while biking or driving or on the way to an errand. It was a lovely feeling in the dream and the first sign from my deep-down psyche that leaving school was real and it was the time for a new life and gloriously so. Isn’t that interesting?
Meanwhile, off to teach here a full, long day, driven by taxi to the school site, no time to wander through Singapore as I did on Sunday. And that’s just fine too.