company changes, orchestra music, Joanna’s speech, planning a day with Hazel

The place where I teach on Thursdays was bought by an east coast company a few months ago. They said nothing would change for current teachers, but then required us to sign a contract. They promised not to raise studio rates, (which had been quickly raised several times in the months leading up to the sale, probably to make the company more attractive to potential buyers) but are instituting their east coast policies for new teachers. Most of the other teachers, many of whom have been teaching there for many years, as have I, left. There’s only one other teacher the evening that I am there. I have quite a few students there, and live in a different part of town, so I wanted to stay to keep my studio intact. But it’s like a ghost town in there now. I wonder what luck they’re going to have attracting new people.


Two of my students are now in the same orchestra. One of them brought the music last night, and I fingered half of it for him and asked if he’d copy it for my other student. I’ll finger the other half for the other student next week and have him copy it for my first student, thereby sharing the burden, so to speak. I don’t want to do it twice, and I also don’t like using up a whole lesson for the purpose. So it’s convenient that they got into the same level.


Joanna said, “yellow” quite clearly a couple of days ago, referring to the lion jacket she wanted to wear. That was really exciting. She still doesn’t talk a whole lot, uses body language and her name to communicate. But she understands vastly more than she says, and I love hearing a very distinct word from her when she says it. It’s also amazing to me how much I do understand of what she says, just from being around her so much.

I walked Hazel to school yesterday morning. It still feels so surreal to me that she’s going to school. We spent a bit of time together on the playground and then I said goodbye and went home so Ted could go to work. I asked her what she’d like to do during our time together tomorrow. We had a very fun conversation about going to the pool in which she proposed alternating between the pool and the hot tub, “until we’re done!” with a huge smile on her face the whole time. I am looking forward to that.


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