August 30th, 2005


Personal: Mail

After a first day of a new school year, meeting new students, conspiring with my professor, being shanghaied for impromptu advisory sessions by former students, a long, long, blessedly long phone call from Mark Lang tonight, my reading that had to be done, and an absurdly late spaghetti dinner at 10:30, I finally got to tackling my overdue mail pile. Now, at 2am, I've handled all of two emails. The first, from Mark and Dina, was a request to write promotional copy for their new gigging press kit. So that took a good hour of listening to their music and trying to write sentences that somehow accomplished the impossible task of describing music. I'm not enthusiastic about making musical comparisons to other artists, even though I suppose that that's the most logical or even honest approach, in a basic, "tastes like chicken!" kind of way. I like trying to describe moods and textures to music instead, but the struggle is to keep it from becoming empty prose, and to avoid going "over the top." So I'll have to see if they like what I came up with....

Now, just before bed, I had the pleasure of opening the following, from someone whose email address I didn't recognize and who I actually didn't know well at all:
Dear Mr. Novak

I was your student freshman and sophomore year
at St. Joe High. I just wanted to say that your
classes taught me a lot and impacted my life very
strongly. You'll always be one of my favorite teachers
and I hope school is going well for you. I pray you
are in good health - as I last remember, shortly after
your surgery you flung yourself from a wheelchair into
the hallway to chase some class-cutting students. When
you returned you informed the class that, "Oh yeah, I
can walk now.", great times. - Anyway, God Bless, drop
me a line sometime at this e-mail.

[Name supressed for the Google-bashful]
That kind of thing, of course, is just the thing to make a [former!] teacher's day, so I think I'll quit while I'm ahead and save the normal death-threats and mailbombs for later. "Tunisian Blue" just spun its way onto my iTunes and there's nothing like your own prettiest song to cap a good mood and lull you off to bed. Chalk this day up as a victory.