The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Perseverance Pays Off

     A couple of years ago I took violin lessons right next to my third grade students. I did it because--year after year--I tried to encourage them to keep practicing, to not give up... I talked the talk, telling them they would learn so much in less than a year, that it would get easier.

     It was incredibly hard when I walked the walk. My fat, uncoordinated fingers strained to produce close approximations of the notes. The violin teacher cheated--I think--and passed me on some songs simply because she didn't want to hear any more of the caterwauling my bow created.

      Most of my students learned 8-12 songs that year. I learned 3 (and at least one of those "passes" was a gift from the violin instructor)...and I sweated bullets each time I had to perform as I was tested on each song.  

      Today one of my kids reluctantly went to violin class. Last week she had a tough time during the lesson. I'm hoping she sticks with it. She'll be really proud of herself in a few months if she doesn't give up.

       What did your family teach you about persistence and perseverance? What have been some of the toughest tasks--or the funniest--to slog through? Non-musical minds want to know... 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Could I Have Cheese With That Whine?

       I just finished Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken. The woman really does her research, that's for sure. (She also wrote Seabiscuit, and although I adore the movie, I've never read the book.)  If you haven't read it, do so before you watch the movie. I know the film couldn't cover everything in the book, and it's worth the anguish you'll experience as you read Louie Zamperini's account of getting shot down, surviving for over forty days on a raft with no food and little water, getting captured by the Japanese troops and surviving unbelievably bad treatment in a Japanese POW camp.

         In my mind, most people are either whiners or sloggers. There are people who complain about what they don't have. They grouse about their job. They whine about their lot in life. At least they are alive, they have a job and there is always someone who was born into a worse situation.

        Sloggers keep plugging along. They might be moving at a slow pace. They might have trouble sometimes just putting one foot in front of the other. But they keep moving forward.

        What do you do when you're stuck with a whiner or you encounter one? Impatient minds want to know...