I recently came back from the Michigan Music Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I drove three hours, arriving around 5pm. As I got out of my car to get my backpack, I realized that it was quite light, and looked inside – I FORGOT MY LAPTOP. Now, anyone that knows me, I would cut off a body part before parting with my laptop. After the freakout, complete meltdown, two phone calls to my best friend, a fellow presenter and art teacher, she convinced me not to drive back to Chicago, but just wing it. Before I travel, I always back up my entire laptop. All I needed was a computer. I knew only one person coming to convention, Sandi MacLeod, from Vermont, and she was to arrive after my first presentation. I would have to find a computer. I finally called my husband, we discussed the possibility of meeting half-way, but the snow was falling hard, and the realization of no laptop was real.
I quietly had dinner and as I was walking out, I saw a friendly face. There was Marj Haber, a Michigan Technology Organizer and Barton Polot, a wonderful professor from Schoolcraft College. Super music techies. They invited me over to talk, and the connection was immediate. I explained my lack of a laptop, but they were PC people. However, she had a bigger crisis than mine. Through a mess up of dates, the PC lab of computers, keyboards, and software will not arrive until 7am the next day. The first session was 9am. I assured her I would be in the lab early to help.
I got 45 minutes of sleep realizing I had no computer and all the “what if’s” I quickly ate breakfast and headed down to the convention hall. There were many people running around getting things in order. I talked to some people about the need of a Mac, with iWork 8 installed. Within five minutes, without hesitation, a Brian Roelandt, of the Communication Arts Academy handed over his computer and said – take it. Whatever you need.
As I write this it comes to mind how cool we are as music teachers. We have the skill of performing and creating music, along with the empathy of others. We all have been in the same situations of lost music, mouthpieces, tech supplies and costumes. Without thinking we jump to help of others and realize that is the important issue – to connect and make things happen. We are the YES people on staff.
Well, the story is not over. As I was driving back home, I had a small car accident at the tollbooth. Large enough to file a report, small enough to drive to the police station to file it. Yes, you guessed it, although a businessman, he was a musician, and his wife was a teacher.
So, here it goes:
Use of a Laptop: $3000
Car Accident: $1000
Being a music teacher: PRICELESS
This is spirit of Mary Hoffman, a wonderful music professor at University of Illinois, that believes in a total music program, is a community of caring talented individuals that make the world better. We do make a difference, for our students and each other. Thank you for all you do.