You know, I feel kind of bad for complaining about winter. I LOVE WINTER, but this year it’s just kind of getting me down. I think I know why, too. The people that live in this state don’t know how to drive in the winter weather. Where I grew up people actually understood what the physics of driving on ice and snow meant. You know, pretty much just slow down works most of the time. However, even worse than the reckless drivers are those that are far too careful. They make it less safe for the rest of us who actually know how to handle and automobile on ice and snow. Right now the non-major streets have a few inches of ice/compacted snow built up on them. Where I grew up the temperature never even came close to melting weather until closer to May so we had lots of packed snow to drive on. People here just sit and spin their tires, oblivious to the fact that the spinning actually makes the road more slippery for the next person.

Ok, the driving sucks and also my profession is tied to the weather in a sucky way. Basically, when the weather is bad I lose money. “Act of god”=I lose money. I still have to pay my studio rent whether the lesson happens or not. I say my students should be the ones to lose money, but there’s no way to get some of these people to realize that music teachers should be treated with respect, too. I have (almost) a doctorate in music performance and pedagogy. But, I still had a parent last week tell me she was suspicious of having paid too much tuition. She was “suspicious of me” as if I had tried to cheat her out of money or something. I have a well laid out policy on missed lessons and she violates it often and in rude ways. I have bent the rules in the past to avoid dealing with her (she’s a law professor….bitch) because that was just easier. Now I am considering dismissing her daughters as my students. I’m just afraid of the confrontation that might cause. Plus, her kids are pretty nice….well one is – the other is just like her mother (this kid thinks I look like I’m 60 and argues with me when I correct her).

Don’t get me wrong – I’m actually in a bit of a better mood today. Just feeling a little disrespected because of what happened to me at my college job this morning. I walk in and there’s a student practicing in my teaching space. She leaves when she realizes I’m faculty and not another student (see? I don’t look 60!). Then just as I finish setting everything up to teach (table, chair, music stand, instrument out of case, etc.), another professor walks in and asks me if I need to use the room. I reply that I have been assigned to teach in that room all school year and that I’ll be using the room until 3:00. He says, “well I have arranged for a piano technician to come and work on the pianos in this room all day today.” I’m floored that I can just be treated like this. I know I’m still the newest faculty member, but come on! He half-assed tried to find another room for me to use, but I had to take care of it myself. This greatly reduced the length of all of my lessons because I spent a lot of my day searching for a place to teach. By the end of the afternoon I was exhausted and checked my mailbox as I was leaving. The music secretary asked how my day went and I told her about the room snafu. She got indignant on my behalf and told me she’d take care of it. I got an email later in the day saying that she’d sent out a memo to the rest of the faculty reminding them to check the scheduling book before they just commandeer a room for any purpose. So, lesson learned – demand respect and it will follow. Sounds trite, but I think it’s true. Just so hard to figure out how to demand respect without losing it altogether….