Do you remember back in the day when your teacher would ask you to write a paper on what you had done that summer? I used to hate those assignments. What had seemed like wondrous moments of freedom, boundless joy, rest and relaxation always looked like a total waste of time when spelled out in plain black and white text. "I paddled my canoe around the cove"? Really? What a loser!
Well, this summer was not a waste of time. Last year I began working with the Christian band Newsboys as a marketing consultant. Back in October of 2011 they released a new album called "God's Not Dead". I fully expected we would be wrapped up by the summer of 2012--but that has not been the case.
"God's Not Dead" has turned out to be the fastest selling album in the rather extensive Newsboy's history. And, momentum from the title song, which reached number one on Christian radio, has now led to a book and a movie--both of which I will be helping to market. Crazy times they are a' comin'.
It is always a hard thing to try to find the balance between my commitment to being the best teacher I can be and my desire to stay involved in an industry to which I have given so much of my professional life.
On the one hand I want to make sure I stay focused and am the best teacher possible. On the other hand, staying involved in the music industry is probably the single most important thing I can do to towards being a good teacher.
The music industry is changing so much--you have to stay in it or you end up teaching "the history of the music industry" before you know it.
I have to constantly remind myself that I "consult" in order to "teach"...not the other way around. And, during the summer it is hard to keep that in mind. I get tempted to grab up as much consulting work while I can--after all, how long can you stay viable in this business as you near 50?
Nevertheless, there are moments that happen throughout the break--a note from a rising senior with a question about their schedule--a request from a recent graduate to put in a good word with a former colleague--little reminders that, appearances to the contrary, I am still very much a teacher at heart.
And so we reach the end of summer, classes are in session and life is back to normal. My client's are blowing up my cell phone even as I type, but, I am at peace.
I am at peace because Matt G needs a schedule change...again.
I am at peace because Jonathan R. just got a job with a major booking agency.
I am at peace because my Syllabi are due and I'm still trying to figure out Connect. And in a few moments I'll be late for my next meeting.
I'm at peace not because my life is free from chaos and pressure. I'm at peace because the God who made me also gifted me for this...I'm at peace because who I am and what I do are wonderfully and beautifully aligned.
I am a teacher...and I love it!