A bright Tuesday afternoon is what I see through the window at the student center. A nice fountain drink from the student center cafeteria is being sipped as I am writing this. John is in classes until 7ish. This is the life of a musician, writer, and a man of talents like myself. It is what I like to do, unlike others that would rather party instead of doing something productive with their life (I say that, but I get lazy too).
Yup, I said it. This is the life I have as a new college student. It is not hard. Wait a minute- retract that statement. Let us face it: what do we REALLY do after all? After 12 years of playing professionally in the music business, I still hear the same thing from my fellow musicians. After teaching various topics in a discipline for over 3 years, I still hear the same thing from my fellow colleagues. After 2 years of being a published writer, I still hear the same thing from other writers: “You are a musician?” “You are a writer?” You are a teacher?” Of course, that is what is asked year after year, because face it; a kid doing stuff like this is not the norm for an 18 year old. Hence the reason why I hear the saying, “Drewski, you are an 18 year old kid going on 53!”
So, a ton of people in this world know I play music, and I write. However, what do I lecture and teach? Let me see what list I can create, so people know what I do. Well, I teach:
“But Drewski, how do you have time to teach, and lecture on this?” That is what I have to hear. Some people then say, “You have school work and exams!” Well of course, I do. However, if you stay busy, you learn to manage time for everything, which (not to brag), has made me successful in my life, and made me different from the rest of the guys. Think outside the box, people! Just because one does not want to party, and drink, and all that stupid stuff, does not mean they are a “nerd,” or “someone who does not have a life,” or whatever name and expression is similar to those two lines. Not only am I busy, rather, I am someone who is taking the time to enjoy what life has to offer me. I am trying to cherish what I am doing in this world. That is what we are suppose to do.
Each, and every day I require my friends, family, students, fellow musicians and colleagues, and myself, to do better than the day before. Maybe that means coming to rehearsal having memorized more music. Maybe that means a person has developed a wider range of dynamic control on their instrument. Maybe that means a person made an extra effort, and arrived 5 minutes early to help ANOTHER student “get better” with something. Maybe that means having 2 rough drafts ready for editing. Maybe that means having more than one lesson plan, in case something happens.
Pursuing the word ‘excellence’ is a journey. You never arrive at excellence. “Hey look gang! We made it! We are now excellent!” Yeah right! If only it were so. The journey to pursue the word ‘excellence’ is a continuous process; one for the individual, and another one for the total group. Today will continue pursuing the word ‘excellence’ for the band (and myself) using all the skill sets mentioned above. Today will be the time I tell the band (and myself) whether we made the correct choices toward further excellence, and also what we need to do to prepare well for the next rehearsal or show. Today will be the time I tell my students I teach, and people I have lectured that constantly improving on each mistake is how you better yourself as a writer and a student of whatever it is. Today is the time I, and others, start to pursue the word, ‘excellence.’
Music is entertainment. Writing is entertainment. Teaching, and lecturing is entertainment. Sure. I get that. However, you know what? Entertainers, musicians, writers, teachers, lecturers, and any profession work just as hard as anyone else in this world; and, their contributions to the beauty of life is just as important as the next major technological breakthrough.
Time for me to chase the dream and pursue the word ‘excellence’ …. again!