It was past midnight, and I sat at the kitchen table, stack of papers before me, hair a mess. I had been at some point listening on repeat to our upcoming choir anthem on YouTube, except that at some point I had neglected to it repeat and it had continue to auto play some choral pieces. At some point I paused in recognition that Mozart’s Requiem was playing. In that moment I had an out of body experience, and recalled to mind the scene in Amedeus when Mozart, worn out, and dogged by Saliere composes feverishly through duress, exhaustion and a wine-induced stupor.The very requiem mass he was composing in the scene plays dramatically throughout the montage. The requiem mass playing, the stack of papers, the duress, the hot mess, feverishly clutching a pen; all familiar, all of which applicable to both me and Mozart. In the moment of realization, I had a good laugh at my own expense and called it a night.
I don’t ever start out in this state. When the fall brings a new school year, I sharpen a bouquet of pencils, claim sweater-weather way too early, and actively try to channel some mixture of Mary Poppins and Doris Day. Somehow Doris as morphed into this. And yet, returning to the Amadeus analogy, Mozart created beautiful music from these messy and ragged moments. Surely the analogy extends to pre-spring break teachers deep in the bleak mid-winter. And over time spring becomes summer and after a flurry of exams and grading and heartfelt good-byes, and thank you notes and handshakes and “have a good summers”, the perspective transforms into thankfulness. My heart is full.
This summer brings a particular excitement, as I will be returning to Europe on a research grant to study medieval art, architecture and artifacts. This project will help me integrate more visual components into my humanities curriculum next year. Medieval language and literature was the focus of both undergrad and grad school and now I look forward to expanding my understanding of the visual elements and cultural context. Stay tuned for updates and pics!