Cold Hands, Warm Heart

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Nome, Alaska, United States
After getting burned out teaching high school in a tiny Alaskan town, I have moved on to being a child advocate in a small Alaskan town. The struggles are similar, but now I can buy milk at the store.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Piano Lessons

School has started again, meaning it's time to pick back up on the piano lessons that I let slide last spring. Okay, so my last lesson was in January. It just kept not working out, either I'd be out of town, or busy, or at work, or Lindsay would be. And, as we all know, I only do things when there is a deadline hanging over my head. Because of this, my poor piano sat abandoned all summer. Poor piano.

Lessons are on Saturdays, and I do most of my practicing for my lessons on Friday night and Saturday morning. Yes, I know, shame on me. This week, in an effort to not waste this opportunity I have, I actually practiced today, Monday. I also printed off a set of flashcards, because I should be able to recognize notes at this point, and I can't. It's really embarrassing when I hit a wrong note, Lindsay just looks at me, and I try to figure out which one it is without counting up from middle C.

Last year, when I was taking lessons, I'd sneak off to the coffee shop to practice a couple of times a week. When I moved into my current house, I was able to pick up a piano for free, because it needs some work. The piano tuner only comes out once or twice a year, and all she could really do is figure out how many keys were broken, and what parts she needed. There was no point in tuning the piano at that point, since it would need to be tuned again once the new parts were put in anyway.

For right now, I'm only playing in C and G position, so none of the broken keys are within my range. Unfortunately, some of the keys that are within my reach are horribly out of tune. Like, don't-practice-when-others-are-in-the-house out of tune. On more than one occasion, I've gone in for my lesson, played a piece on Lindsay's nice piano, and realized I recognized it once it was played correctly.

I'm not very good at what I'm doing. Like all art, I prefer to appreciate it as opposed to create it. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of the "and crafts" part of "arts and crafts." It's a trait I've picked up living with my family. I can mass produce almost anything once I can take it apart. I think my past seniors and the 800 Valentines Day cookies we used to make are a testament to that.

I may never be a concert pianist. I may never even be good enough to play for sacrament meeting, but I'm glad I'm learning, if for no other reason than to entertain myself on the long Alaskan nights that are coming up.

We're past the equinox now, and are back under 12 hours of light a day. Here in Nome we lose about 6 minutes of daylight a day, so we can get down to the three hours we get on December 21st. It's already getting colder. I'm sure Daphne wishes I'd turn the heat up. I just can't bring myself to give up on the idea of summer yet. Not just yet.

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