This recent photo of me, now featured on my personal Facebook profile, says a lot: I’m about to embark on an overnight choir retreat in the San Bernardino mountains with 35 high school students. I’m already tired. It’s 2pm – the very worst time to leave due to rush-hour traffic. What should’ve been a 2-hour drive lasts for 4 hours. I’m uncomfortable, as this bus was obviously designed for elementary-aged kids, not grown folks. The bus is noisy. The two young men who end up sitting next to me manage to talk excitedly for the whole four-hour ride about gaming, coding, and computer science stuff. Aren’t their mouths dry? But it’s good that they are bonding, I guess.
I love my job. I love these kids. I know this retreat is worth it. But in this moment, I am just trying to get by.
In the end, the retreat was a great success. My students were delightful, warm-hearted, and perfectly nerdy! They inspired me by sharing a few fun “choir truisms” with me during our trip. In honor of my students, here are a few personal favorites I’ve collected over the years from various books, journals, choir bulletin boards, conference handouts, and websites like Brainyquote.com, Pinterest, and Enkiquotes.com.
With songs of sadness and of mirth
That they might touch the hearts of men
And bring them back to heaven again.