365 Days of Earrings

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Speechless, and Priceless

When I got home tonight, after a full day of end-of-the-year faculty meetings and dinner with some colleagues, my sister-in-law had already arrived at my house. Her computer rested on my ottoman, along with her iPod and headphones. What a joy it was to chat with her for a while, about schools and teaching, our family and the summer ahead.

Beth was offered and has accepted a retirement package, after teaching music in a public school system in Pennsylvania for over 20 years. She, like her brother, my husband, is a brilliant musician and a gifted teacher. If that were why her school system is terminating her position, I might understand. No one could replace Beth. But budget cuts... taking music instruction out of the lives of children is short-sighted and demonstrates such ignorance that I am left speechless.

Beth drove the 250 miles from her home so that she could drive another 250+ miles with my husband to see the play, The Lost Colony, that our son is performing in this summer in North Carolina.

My son's babysitter gave me these earrings when Will was three. This year he will turn 23. In those 20 years, my sister-in-law Beth taught music to hundreds of children. With her they have explored the joy of singing and playing instruments, the challenge of performing, and the comradery of working together to create beauty. What she has brought to their lives is priceless.

Speechless. I am. And so glad that she is here tonight, and that my son will see her tomorrow. Priceless.


M. Kasch said...

lovely. Thanks, Aunt Amy.

K├Ąthe said...

Wonderful ode to a great woman :)

Anonymous said...

Okay, Amy. I'm sitting in a hotel room getting ready to drive back to VA. (I actually wrote "Home" first :) And I have tears in my eyes. I find myself waking up with lesson plans in my head. Yesterday, we went into a gift shop in Manteo and I first went to the puppet section to see what they had for school. I wonder when this will stop. I hope not for a long time. Thank you. I really loved that you came down, sat on the edge of the bed and talked :)

J-ROK said...

The children are better for having had her as their teacher! How nice that she has you to talk with, someone who is so passionate about teaching!