Thursday, September 11, 2008


Yesterday was my first day of flute lessons for the new semester at APU. I got to school in plenty of time. Parking? No problem. I got re-settled into my studio, dug up some more music for the Flute Choir rehearsal later that day, and took care of paperwork in the Music Office.

I let my first student into the studio 5 minutes early while I sorted through things and checked my email one last time before the teaching day began. That's when I got the news. A dear friend of ours had passed away very unexpectedly but peacefully the night before.

By now the big hand was pointing to the teaching time, the first student of the semester was waiting expectantly for flute wisdom to flow forth, and I had major news to digest and set aside in .005 seconds.

I explained to my student, with tears in my eyes, what I had just learned. She asked me if I wanted a minute to myself. "No," I said. I told her that I knew Lourdes was dancing on the streets that are golden and that I would see her again. It's just that, for now, I would be missing her very much. Then it was on to the teaching day.

Fast forward to this afternoon. Just before the last student of the week I checked my email and was stunned to learn of the sudden death of Patrick Flynn, conductor of the Riverside Philharmonic. I had played for him many, many times over the years. This was truly shocking news.

3 minutes later my student entered the room. No time to process now.

It has been an interesting first teaching week of school, bookended with sudden, unexpected loss.

I think I'll stop checking my email for awhile.

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