INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. - Preparing to leave for a conference in Philadelphia this week, my calendar is swamped with last-minute requests for meetings. Such is likely true for everyone in my situation. What strikes me, however, is less the business of this particular day and more the notion that pretty much all days - for all of us - are crammed. Full of good things, mind you, but not laid back. In most of our lives, there is rarely a dull moment.
Ironically, the perception of Lake Tahoe Life is that we are surrounded by the Great Outdoors and that all of us are able to avail ourselves of those resources whenever we wish. There are many and varied opportunities for such ventures, if one considers the word "opportunity" loosely.
I am frequently invited to join parents who are setting off on morning hikes or bike rides. I appreciate the invitations and would happily accept, were it not for the students and faculty in my care. School folk have lots of time when we are able to explore. Days when school is in session are not among us.
I love what I do. I love the energy level that exists within the halls and classrooms of Lake Tahoe School every day. I love the curiosity exhibited by the children, the fact that they want to share with me what they are learning and doing any time I see them.
I love the artwork on the walls, the music emanating from the music room. I love the sounds of children learning to read and reading aloud with confidence and the explanations by second graders of why some numbers are not divisible by 3. I actually love sitting with parents to talk through challenges for their children and with faculty as they explore new strategies for delivering old messages and data. I love it when parents or teachers or other administrators stop by my office just to chat about something.
They always bring me something from which I can learn, even if their purpose is to ask questions.
I believe that those of us who live in Incline Village are mostly busy, and that is a very good thing. We are a productive community, whether we are paid for the work we do or we volunteer. While we are a "vacation" or "destination" community for many, those of us who live here are the life's blood that keeps the heart of our little town beating.
Truth is, I am writing this column with just an hour to go until I leave for the airport. While there is absolutely nothing on my calendar that suggests Things to Do and People to See, likely I could use a revolving door between now and then. I will leave feeling that I've left things untended, regardless of how well-prepared and scheduled I thought I would be.
Philadelphia is the site of the annual National Association of Independent Schools conference. There I will have to make difficult choices, daily, among sessions and keynote speakers of merit and appeal. At night I will have the pleasure of gathering with old friends with whom I have worked in school across the country. I will go to bed late and get up early. Between now and then, I'm looking for a dull moment.
- Ruth Glass is headmaster at Lake Tahoe School. She can be reached for comment through her blog at www.laketahoeschool.org.