I missed choir due to migraines…

… and now my choir teacher feels like I let him down.

Focus on the things you can change, says our elder, and have an honest conversation.

Dear EWC

My choir teacher is a tough, blunt, passive-aggressive man, but he really looks out for his students. I am in the top music program, the audition-only jazz choir, and am involved with many other things within the music department. I also, unfortunately, suffer from chronic migraines, but more on that. It is the end of the semester, and due to a number of things (recurrent illness, car issues, the passing of a family member, and plain procrastination), I am extraordinarily behind in my other classes. Today, I made the decision to skip an extra choir rehearsal to make up a quiz for my biology class. I did not tell my choir teacher. This is not my first offense. A month ago, I had completely misunderstood something he said to me, which I interpreted as a joke and responded in kind, which was disrespectful. I apologized then, and was met with a simple “fair” and that was that. Our jazz choirs are early in the morning, which are when my migraines are the worst, and I have missed four rehearsals, which I know irritates him. I also know that he specifically wants to know when we need to leave rehearsal, and I’m not sure why I didn’t tell him, as he would have surely understood. Given my past offenses and that he no longer favors me as much as he did, what should I do?

June-Bug replies

I’m sorry to hear about all the challenges you have been facing. It seems that your life has become unmanageable as a result. There are things in life that we can control and there are things that we cannot. I suggest as an initial step, you take an inventory and determine what you can change and what you can’t. Let go of things that you can’t change, such as a death in the family. Make a commitment to change the things that are within your control.

I understand that migraines are painful and debilitating. It must be extremely difficult trying to meet obligations while suffering from this disease. There may be things that you can do to minimize the frequency and severity of your migraines. I recommend you talk with your doctor about strategies. There are new medications on the market and there are lifestyle changes that have been shown to help, such as diet and meditation. It’s certainly worth a try. While there may not be a cure, there are changes you can make to help manage the disease.

One thing over which you have complete control is procrastination. Make study time a priority and push yourself to do assignments on time. I recommend that you make a commitment to yourself to do better on this issue. Develop a plan for success, such as keeping an assignment calendar, and stick to it. Get organized so things don’t slip.

Add communication to the list of things that you can change. I recommend that you have a talk with your choir teacher to let him know that you have a plan to do better going forward. Tell him how much the music program means to you. Then show him with your actions. Be present, communicate, and work hard to earn back his trust. It will take time. But you’ll get there.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. When we know better, we do better. Let go of the past and move forward with confidence. I wish you all the best.

Letter #: 452097
Category: School

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