Tag Archives: Getting older

Next act

So, with the announcement that I’m stepping down as Chair of the Webster University Department of Music on May 31, 2020, I am thinking about the next act in my life.

(Well, I’ve been thinking about this for several years, and more fully for the last few months.)

God willing, I’ll have another ten years on the faculty at Webster, since I do not expect to retire until I’m 70.  Sixteen months hence, my teaching load will of course shift a bit (although I’m already teaching a full-time load each semester), but the hours of administration each day will no longer occupy so much of my week.  I’ll not be doing email at 11 p.m. to catch up from the day, which means time to read and write and watch and listen.

Questions on my mind right now:

How will this act in my life differ from the previous?

Be summative?

Be valedictory?

Engage the community?

Meet people where they are?

Secure a solid financial retirement?

Secure a legacy, if I am to be granted one?

Give to others?

Grow in connection with others?


I have some clear thoughts about all of this, but I’d love to hear from my readers.  Your comments are welcome!

 

#TBT: college days

This is a photo from 1981, most likely, given who is in the photo.  Some of the gents from Landen Hall were prepping for a ‘shirttail serenade’ outside one or two of the ladies’ dorms at Southwest Baptist University.  Notice that we all have hymnals in our hands.

Thanks to my old roommate, Stevie Davis, for this memory!

Oh yes . . . very left of the photo is a 120-lb. Jeff.

Falling

So some days one is quite chuffed, and makes his way home in the ice, stopping even at Aldi and trying to get some Thai food, only to find the restaurant is closed because of inclement weather.

And then one clambers up the back steps with Circus harmony music bag, a grocery bag, and a packed briefcase from work.

And then one opens the front door, takes a look at the concrete steps, and sees no issues . . . only to find that the last two steps are ice covered.  Of course one might also have broken two bones in the same leg in two consecutive years, and be terrified of falling on stairs, and always hold onto the railing.

Taking that penultimate step, one might conceivably go down on one’s buttocks, landing hard on the os sacrum against the leading edge of a concrete step.  One might conceivably also be in quite a bit of discomfort.

After taking to bed for two hours, then struggling to stand up, one might lounge in his chair, seated on a coccyx pillow, a massage pillow perched against his lower back, with the heat on.  And one might feel a bit of relief.

One might also decide to make sausage rolls.  And watch basketball.

Posting for a friend.

First day of school

Today I begin my 32nd year of university teaching.

Here’s what I looked like 31 years ago:

I was music director for Brigadoon at Blue Springs City Theatre. Someone took this photo of me, sitting on the edge of the stage. I had a cold — that I remember well!

And today:

Older.  Wiser.  With more training. And significantly less hair and more gray.  And more weight.

What do the eyes say?

#Reminiscences: 1997

A portion of a letter to my parents in Argentina, written in June 1997:

The letter was sent by email, then printed in Argentina by my parents.  They used tractor-fed paper and a dot-matrix printer.

Follow-up:

  • I did have a hernia, and it required surgery a few months later.
  • I continue to marvel that I get to do what I do, and get paid for it.
  • I am not any younger now, and finding that even more aches and pains are real.  And so is hearing loss.