Monday, March 22, 2010

The Quiet Time

This week marks the beginning of a slightly less hectic period in the year. This weekend, my daughter performed in both a dance recital and an all-district chorus concert. Which means that she no longer has rehearsal for either of those activities during the week. They weren't what I'd call a major inconvenience - certainly nothing to compare to those "soccer moms" (and dads) who run themselves ragged getting one kid to dance and another to scouting and a third to football then the first to gymnastics and the second to hockey and the third to pottery, etc., etc. I know there are a lot of families like that out there. I do not envy them and could not emulate them.

But as much as these two activities added a little extra hustle to our weeknights they are over. A couple of thoughts.

My daughter's been in this same dance program for three years, I think. Prior to that they had had a different program running out of her school, but that one disappeared and the kids who were interested had to go to a nearby school in the same district if they wanted to dance. It was a little uncomfortable at times being the kids/families from the "other school," but since the alternative was to have no program at all...

I have to imagine that getting a dozen or so elementary-age girls to do anything in unison is effectively impossible. This year's dance program was a couple of months shorter than in past years, but one thing my wife and I both noticed was that the dancers weren't any less adept for the lack of rehearsal time. They lacked energy, seemed to have no clue what they were supposed to be doing, and no doubt had just as much fun. Attending the two-hour recital was interminable, but everything happened on time and they did a great job moving it along. The playbill (we actually got one this year) was thick, full-color, and exceptionally well-made. I'm very glad that my daughter was able to participate in the program - I know she really enjoyed herself as she never once complained about having to rehearse. The dance director and all the other adults who ran the program did a great job.

The choral program was equally exceptional (and 75% shorter!!). It was an assemblage of upper-elementary-age kids from across our (very large) school district. There appeared to be around 50 in all. They performed four or five songs in 3 and 4-part harmony and they sounded really good. The program was run by the music teachers from every school and they definitely knew their stuff.

So now that we're so unburdened what will we do with the extra time, you may wonder? Well, we got an email from one of our karate instructors that he wants to see us to discuss "goals" and "next steps." I presume that this will involve, at least in part, selling us on the idea of upgrading our membership to the "Black Belt Club," which changes your gi from black to white and lets you go to class a third time each week. There may be other benefits, but I don't know what they are. So if we sign up for that, it would take the place of one of those weekly rehearsals.

Otherwise, I'm kind of looking forward to an extra night to actually talk to my wife a little bit. You can always tell when things get busy, because we don't get to talk and we fall behind on TV shows. TiVo makes it really easy to pick shows to watch, but it doesn't guarantee time to actually watch them. We've had the first disc of Shogun waiting for us from Netflix for nearly two full months, so that's an indicator of how busy we've been. Now that Spring is officially here, maybe we'll get caught up. Wait, doesn't V start again in a week? Ugh!

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