Blase (okay, I know it should be spelled with an accent over the "e," but I can't figure out how to do that in html). This last Thursday and Friday was the Junior High (for these purposes, classified as 7th-9th grades) Fine Arts, Bible, and Acadmeic (FABA) competition, hosted by our Christian school. We had about 17 other schools coming from around the state to compete in things like music, speech, art, science fair, and academic testing. We've had Elementary FABA and ISSMA in February, run-offs for Jr. and Sr. High FABA, Sr. High FABA in March, and last weekend I judged for a different music festival in the area. I guess I felt kind of competitioned-out. I guess it's kind of like that old cliche (yes, another accent missing): "You can have too much of a good thing." I went into Thursday feeling rather blase about the whole competition, which I don't think was a good thing. I mean, part of the reason for competitions is for students to get nervous performing for an audience/judges, to help with that nerve practice, but when you've done it so many times that you just don't care how you do anymore , it's probably time to reevaluate your focus. I guess part of my apathy came from confidence in knowing what was expected of me, which is not necessarily a bad thing. And I'm not saying that's how the students felt, but it was what I was struggling with. I guess I just missed that adrenaline rush that usually comes at a performance when you are a little anxious and excited about the performance. And usually I still get it, even after years of "performing." This time around I found that I hardly even remembered to prepare for the performances. In fact, I realized at 7:00 Wednesday night that I had assigned someone to play an organ solo and he was playing at 10:00 the next morning and I had never even heard his piece to see if he was ready yet! The bad thing was that it barely even crossed my mind! Usually the week leading up to a performance I spend frantically practicing my accompaniments (well, at least I usually play through them once or twice). Not this time around. But I was thankful that the violin student I was accompanying called me to come over to her house to practice Thursday night because she didn't feel ready--so perhaps I was the only one that had the "blase bug." Maybe my mind had already begun to focus on the Spring Programs coming up this week and next and I was past the competition season in my mind. But I don't like that feeling. That apathy...blase. Ah, "too much of a good thing."
By the way, our participants did VERY well in the competition. We had competitors place first in categories such as classical piano duet, sacred piano solo, handbell ensemble, band, choir, reader's theater, choric speaking, string solo, brass solo, large and small vocal ensembles, and other things. Our school also got the first place plaques in Science, Academics, Speech, and Music.