I set out from work this afternoon in Carrollton, heading to Atlanta to hear John Tibbetts II sing in GSU’s production of Massenet’s Werther. It turned out to be a bit more of a journey than I had anticipated.
I was not long on I-20 before I realized that I was heading straight past exit 44, Thornton Rd in Mabelton. In a perfect world—where naturally neither you nor I live—I would not be driving from Carrollton to Atlanta, but from Atlanta to exit 44: tomorrow is the first weekend of GHP state interviews.
I was not unaware of this, of course. Despite my silence on the matter since August I have been going through the various stages of grief, and the big dates did not pass unnoticed by me: deadlines for nominations, forms, etc.
And the interviews always loomed large, because they’re huge. Three thousand students and their parents/entourages descend on two high school campuses over two weekends to be interviewed and auditioned by hundreds of volunteer interviewers. It’s a massive undertaking even in a good year, and this, if I may be pardoned for being blunt, is not a good year.
So my realization as I sped towards downtown was that I had in no way been thinking about/gnawing over all the preparation in which I would have been engaged over the last week or so. In a perfect world (vid. sup.) I would have been printing out boatloads of schedules, team score sheets, score sheets, instructions—cases and cases of forms and paperwork, all of which would now be in my car as I traveled from Luella High School in Henry County to Pebblebrook High School in Cobb. I would have been coordinating with the great subject area folk down in Curriculum on the 17th floor. I would have been rounding up last minute interviewers. I would have been calming nervous parents and coordinators. I would have been lurking in the Facebook GHP Nominee Support group, quashing rumors and directing kids to appropriate sources of info.
OK, so I’ve been lurking. But I have not thought once about the rest of any of that until I found myself heading towards my annual pilgrimage spot. Well, I thought, that is odd and interesting.
And I approached the exit, Pandora began to play a track called “The Kiss,” from the movie Last of the Mohicans, a sweeping piece of sad music that Joe Searle used to play at Convocation, the last morning assembly at GHP. Joe had this fabulous playlist of all this beautiful, sad movie music to play as our kids entered Whitehead Auditorium for the last time, just get them well on their way to weeping. Genius!
So there was that.
I realized that while I had been paying attention to the looming day of the interviews themselves, I had given no thought to all the other crap that I did in preparation, crap that I did well and with joy. That struck me. Perhaps I should try to assign meaning to that. Perhaps.