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I am having a blast!!!   I am team teaching 6th 7th and 8th grades chorus classes at Phillips Middle School with longtime friend and fellow music teacher, Joy Douglass.  We have a project.  A friend has written music for children (adults love the songs too).  We would like these songs to be known in this area.  The composer was from Boston.  So far the kids are really buying into the songs.  I just wonder if they know how old we are.  I bet we are older than their grandparents.  There are mature trees in the school yard younger than we are.  The school building is younger than we are. That said….

I am pondering Morrie Schwartz’ (Tuesdays with Morrie) concern about being forgotten.  It has been 20 years since I have been in the classroom in Chapel Hill.  When I was introduced the teacher told the class both Joy and I had taught in the Chapel Hill system but they really perked up when she told them my son teaches PE at this school.  I am Coach Beyle’s mother.  Wow!!!

Morrie is more well-known now than he was in his lifetime.  His book is on reading lists for high school and college students. I think Morrie has it made for many generations   Grandparents and some parents remember us.  A few teachers who are still hanging on, speak in the hall.

Morrie was concerned that his family would forget him.  Not his wife or his children.  The concern goes down several generations.  Joy and I are probably making a small come-back.  But I really think we are part of an awakening for the composer of these songs.  That is the purpose. Aline Shader has been gone 15 years.  Now Mozart has made it through the ages but we are pushing for a here and now.  Our time projections aren’t quite that ambitious.

I have to tell you that stepping in front of the kids was like riding a bicycle.  You just don’t forget.  The juices start flowing.  Joy and I were an instant team.  We were even a team making up the lesson plans.  You can bet we made lesson plans.  This was not a wing-it project.  We were so pumped after each class we just could hardly take deep breaths.  The music teacher had trained those voices and we reaped the reward.

Mitch Albom, the author, said, ‘I believe Morrie would have most wanted to remain vibrant in the hearts and minds of his family and friends.’  I believe that Joy and I have done this on 2 levels.  I think we have surprised our families and friends with this project and our teaching. We haven’t lost it!!   We have also brought Aline Shader and her songs into another generation and maybe several generations.  The songs are that good.  We are that good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pat Beyle