Some of our musician friends might be smiling at this statement – it’s the fourth rule of conducting by Richard Strauss. Of course the reasoning is sound . . . if the conductor looks in the direction of the brass -- with a smile, a glimmer of hope, or even a slight nod of permission – those brass players will definitely open up, let loose, and deliver the goods. Give an inch and the brass will absolutely take a mile! But, hey, that’s what we love about them!
I recently laughed and referenced this statement when I was having dinner with my friend Cheryl Grasmoen of the Lutheran Community Foundation in the Twin Cities, and Ted Peters, professor of systematic theology at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, and his guest Karen. Ted turned to me and said “so tell me about your Namibia project, I am interested in what you’re doing there.”
Cheryl, alas, just smiled, refilled her wine glass, and sat back in her chair. I immediately felt the maestro had looked at me with a twinkle in his eye . . . my dear dinner guests . . . “they got the whole load of hay” as my mother would say about over-eager presenters! But now I am mixing my metaphors, forgive me.
Ethan in his last entry said beware of relatives . . . perhaps I should say “beware inviting a development officer to tell you about one of her favorite charitable endeavors.”
I will admit that through these two years I have gotten much better about splicing together the story of Empowering Learners in an efficient time-and-place-need-to-know-manner. Now I tend to ask my listeners what version they would like to hear. The short, the medium, or the full-forte multi-movement rendition!
God bless our dear family and friends who continue to be genuinely interested in our work and progress and who share consistent words of encouragement. And on this Easter Weekend 2012 as we celebrate the good news of the resurrection in words and music, I’ll smile again when I hear the brass.
Play on good colleagues! And we here at Empowering Learners will continue to tell our story too. Wishing you and yours a very Happy Easter!