Anyone on the other side of fifty knows this is not the case. "This, too, shall pass." Often, the result of unexpected change is an even better pathway on that road to the horizon. So as I listened to my daughter tell me about the unexpected results of her Sophomore Barrier, I knew what was coming. She never dreamed she would not pass. Unfortunately, despite hundreds of hours of study and practice, her voice and technique are not where her music school requires them to be at this point in time. She cannot continue on her path to obtaining a Vocal Performance Degree as an undergraduate. At least, not at this school. She is sifting through all the feedback she was given. She's trying valiantly, God Bless Her, to hold it all together until she knows what her options are. But this is incredibly hard for her. She feels as if her entire life's work has just been taken away from her. Singing is one of the only parts of life that makes her genuinely happy. If she cannot sing, she will not live. I know this. Some students would dig in their heels and find another way. Others would be only too glad to give up the program and have time for a "normal" college life. Not this kid. So I am whispering to myself, "This, too, shall pass. This, too, shall pass. This, too, shall pass." I am hoping that by some miracle (not so minor) she will still, somehow, be able to continue as a vocal performance major in addition to her secondary degree in musicology. It isn't that she cannot sing. She's amazing. It will take her longer, as has been the case with everything else in her developmental life, to reach the same milestone that Sophomores are apparently supposed to at exactly this point in time. I wish I could call the music department and ask why this expectation even exists. We all learn at different rates. Why the cut-off? Of course, I can't do anything. She's an adult who must muddle through life's challenges, including this one. But I can fret. And I am.
Whenever I experience difficulties with my own kids, I immediately think about the other 70+ that I teach every day. I am incredibly patient with their frustrations and anxieties BECAUSE I have raised my daughter. I know what these kids are feeling. I know they wish they could control their emotions, but they can't. I know this. I also know that they will have other teachers who are not as empathetic and compassionate as I am. Those teachers have never had to calm a kid on the Spectrum day in and day out. Those teachers think, "What is the deal with you? Just calm down!" Believe me, if they could, they would. This parent sends out to the universe a small request on behalf of all the Whos in Whoville. Please, be kind to that kid. His or her parent feels a tiny stab of pain when you ask the student to, "Deal with it." Every time she hears that, a tiny little light is extinguished in her soul. Eventually, the room will be dark. Please...light the way.