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Year Two, Day 308: Noch Einmal

My fruit of the spirit today was "joy".  Perfect. Thursday is one of my favorite days!

Every Thursday afternoon I teach a whole neighborhood of boys, living on the same street.  Including one dad.  He is from Germany.  He was working very diligently on a piece he is preparing for my upcoming student recital in June.

I love the fact that I have an adult student that performs.  Most of them shake their heads in horror when I offer them the opportunity.

Can't say that I blame them. I suffered horrendous stage fright as a kid.
But I outgrew it. By performing often.  Well, I mostly outgrew it. I still get a little nervous. But then, I get nervous about many things.

Anyway, today I was working with my adult student.  One passage was giving him grief. So, I asked him to repeat it.  Again and again. Then, suddenly the German phrase "Noch Einmal!" just came out of my mouth!

He looked at me, startled. And then laughed.

"Is that how you say 'once again' in German?", I asked.

"Ja!", he said.

So the rest of the lesson, when I wanted him to repeat a phrase, I said, "Noch einmal!"

Some things just sound better in German. Like commands!

I studied German in high school and college.  My dad lived in Germany and Austria as a child. His dad, my grandfather was a bandleader in the Army.

So, we had a bit of German spoken in the house growing up.

When my kids were little, I threw a few German words in for fun.

Even now, when I want to check in with my adult children I text the word, "Wo?"

Which means "where".

But I was thinking about the concept of repeating after our lesson.  I told him that the old school, yet somewhat boring technique of repetition really is a good tool for learning.

And I have found this works in all areas of life, even in building relationships.  Especially work relationships.

Now that I am working in an office again, specifically a church, I am being challenged by interpersonal relationships.

I am particularly sensitive to criticism. Especially when it comes from an older, dominant male. In particularly when a certain "tone" of voice is used.  Condescending comes to mind.

There have been a few incidences.  But today, I am proud of myself. I did not repeat old patterns of feel wounded, retreating, justifying and feeling sorry for myself.

I rose above! And in so doing, the man in question seemed to cheer up. Remarkable!  I heard his criticism, admitted he had a good point, remedied the situation and smiling proudly, produced the results. I admitted to him that I this job was humbling me. But that I was learning. I was careful with my own tone of voice, to stay authentic, yet kind and light.

I am fortunate in my teaching. I am in charge, no boss. And it has always been important to me to show mutual respect.  I keep my tone kind and light. I am supportive.  Yes, I am teaching music, but there is a relationship we are building.

And I truly care about all my students and their families.  I cannot remember a recent time when any of us has spoken harshly or condescendingly.

Good life lessons here.

And I hope to keep repeating them.

Noch Einmal!

P.S. Speaking of repetition, I am proud to say, even though I am still dragging and snuffly, I have started my morning on the elliptical machine for the last two days!

For only about 10 minutes, but as I tell my students, consistency is key.  Need to get back to putting exercise as a priority in my day.  I know I will feel better, but getting there...argg!

I hope to report back tomorrow, that I actually made it to the gym! But foremost on my agenda is a trip to my storage unit to organize and find a library book. Eh-hem. Most embarrassing. I have a book due in a week and I cannot find it anywhere. I fear it was packed and put in storage. But it is all good. I got a little frantic with my packing and did not organize as well as I had planned.  My friend and piano student lent me the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.

Most inspired am I!  Organizing my life, cleaning out my email box, and purging negative thoughts.  I will be a new woman soon. In time for Easter!  Perfect timing. And maybe soon we shall have some sunshine for more than a day.  One can only hope!

Happy Thursday!



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