I teach seventh-grade English, which means I’m up at 5 a.m. and out the door by 6. While grading papers at my desk—with Duke or Pops playing softly on my portable CD player—I’m mentally (and physically, and emotionally) preparing myself for my 104 students. On most days I feel like Yul Brynner before his 3,267th performance of The King and I: confident, a tad tired, yet ready (and willing) to dive into the maelstrom once again.
That’s why Saturday mornings are so precious: no center stage, no mental (or physical, or emotional) preparation—just relaxation. Sounds perfect, doesn’t it? Well, perfection doesn’t arrive until I switch on Sirius/XM radio to hear Riverwalk Jazz, featuring the Jim Cullum Jazz Band.