Thursday, April 22, 2010

End of the Year Thoughts

It is absolutely amazing how quickly each school year comes and goes.  I tell students the first day of school "Before you know it, it'll be May and you'll be finishing up your instruments".  I don't suspect that is believable at the time but each year someone brings it up in the final weeks as being true.

We are education for employment and the people hiring our students not only expect our graduates to have the technical skills that are required to work in this industry but also effective communication skills, the ability to get along well with others in the workplace and be able to manage their time.

Which brings to mind the final two weeks of the year.  During this time a lot still needs to happen and every year there are situations where the final day, just an hour or less until "show time" some students are caught by surprise their guitar won't be ready for our annual guitar show.  We try all year long to stress the importance of time management, have students track their time 1 day a week in the fall semester and also track all of the work they do in the repair class in spring.  Still, some seem content to wander or "drift" through their days thinking all is fine.  I want so much to help them because I know as a graduate from this program how intense things can get at the end but somehow I haven't found the way to get through to those few.

Even though it doesn't sink in for everyone, we'll never stop trying to emphasize the importance of managing ones time.  It is critical to student success and when a person is charging money for their repair work or instruments they build it's of the utmost importance in todays market.  Employers are equally stressing the importance of a person showing up on time, ready to work, working well with others as they are having the necessary technical skills.

Next week begins the application of finishes after many hours of careful sanding.  The guitar show is always a day bursting with pride and it is what makes it all worth it.  It's my favorite day of the year not because vacation is soon to arrive but because you see and feel how proud the students are of what they've accomplished.  We want everyone to have the feeling and take part hearing their instrument played by some outstanding professional musicians.

Sadly a few may end up wondering how things didn't get done or wishing they had some of the time missed throughout the semester back so they had a few more hours to get their guitar done and strung to pitch.....

Before we know it, I'll be giving the little speech again on the first day of school.