Wednesday, April 16, 2008


'Tis a busy, busy time of the semester for my dear husband. This is what I like to call crunch time. There is always lots to get done, lots of pressure and usually a physical break down. My good husband is really an amazing student and teacher and I don't know how he does everything that is required of him...he is completely and totally awesome.

Just in case there is any confusion, let me digress from this lovely narrative at this point to review what it is that my husband is doing at this time. My husband is a musician. He is a violinist...this is both his profession and his passion. His Bachelors degree (unfortunately abbreviated, BM, or the nicer looking BMus - Bachelor of Music) was in Music Education, a Masters degree (much nicer to say MM - Master of Music) was in Orchestral Conducting. He has taught high school, middle school and most recently, he was a professor of violin at BYU-Idaho). You might think that working at a University at such a young age would make him feel that he didn't need to go on to pursue a Doctorate - many musicians who teach in universities do not. This, however, would never do for my darling husband. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate (DMA - Doctor of Musical Arts) in Violin Performance. If you are a musician, you may well wonder at his ability to pursue a performance degree at the doctoral level when none of his other degrees were in performance...all I can say to that is...yes, he is that good and he just keeps getting better.

Now you know...we are on the final leg (presumably) of my husband's career as a student. He is on leave from his job at BYU-I. His leave is for 2 years. Most people need 3 to complete the DMA degree. Maybe this explains why the end of semester is such a full and heavy time for my husband. He is pushing 3 years of work into 2 and just in case you are wondering if he can take classes in the summer...the answer is, "No." That means...he has to do 6 semesters worth of work in 4.

But this is not what my little story is all about...that is merely background...the backdrop for what I intend to write (actually now that I think about's much more then you need for this story, but it is now written and I don't want to erase it all). My story is about a little experience we had last night at a concert in which my husband was performing.

I had taken the liberty of getting a friend to consent to watch my kids so that I could go and see the concert. It was a chamber music completion concert, which just means that were were going to be a lot of groups playing and not too much of my husband playing, but I still wanted to go. You show him my support. And hear him play with the trio I have been hearing about all semester.

As we arrived at the building, he asked me to accompany him to his office where he would leave his violin until he was ready to warm up and do his bit. Of course, I was happy to olbige his heartfelt desire and slipped my arm through his. We made it to the office without incident. Upon our returning to the concert hall, we happened upon a little bird ( did not "splat" us - see last post). It was a pigeon and it looked very wounded. It seemed to be struggling to move and it fethers were in a wretched state. If the sight of the wounded bird wasn't enough, it then looked up at us. It seemed to begging for our help. What could we do? There was nothing to be done. I certainly wasn't willing to "put it out of its misery" and neither of us wanted to watch it die. We walked on and went to the concert.

Hubby did an amazing job. I honestly thought his trio was the best and that their performance was superior to the other players that night. When I met him afterwards, he confided that on his way back to his office he saw that the pigeon had "expired." We talked about why this should have made us feel sad. What could we have done to help the bird in its plight?

Now you are certainly wondering what all this has to do with "crunch time" and my husband's stressful end of the semester. I admit, I am wondering a bit too...but here's the material point. Even though he is swamped, frazzled and at the end of his rope...he is still worried about a little bird, still kind and thoughtful. I know a lot of people ( who are not like this when they are stressed. Often stress seems to bring out the worst in people. But for this amazing man to whom I am blessed enough to be married, no matter how awful things feel, he is still himself...wonderful, sweet, kind and gentle.

I am in total awe of my good husband and am so, so grateful to be his wife.


Cheryl said...

I loved this post for many reasons. First, I had no idea your hubby was a musician! I love learning these things about your life, and your comment about 19th century chamber music on my post about Emma now makes a whole lot more sense (I was tempted to challenge your husband's thoughts on it, and decided against it. He would have swept the floor with me musically, for sure!).

Also, I love the story of the bird and your husband's concern. Brandon, the animal lover he can be, once brought home a large pigeon that had hurt itself in his parking lot at work. We totally nursed it back to health for a few days...and I must have been pregnant at the time, because I cannot remember what happened to it or if it lived. Anyway, so thank you for that story! And what a sweet tribute to your husband.

And you're going to go back to Idaho, then?! That's wonderful! Way to go, Idaho!

Summer said...

Wow, what your husband does is so cool!

Richelle said...

What a great hubby! :)

I don't know if my relation to him makes me any more like that, though. I get pretty frazzled when I'm stressed.

Andrea said...

Ahhhh. Thanks for sharing this Leslie. I wish I could have listened to Dallin play! I agree, that most people could have cared less about the bird. . .guys like that are hard to come by!!!

Amanda said...

What a beautiful tribute to your hard-working hubby. What's really amazing to me is that he's cramming 6 semesters into 4--yet still has a relationship with you and his kids. Here's to those wonderful husband-students we're lucky to share life with!

Chelan said...

Awwww :-) You know, I don't really know Dallin all that well but your story doesn't surprise me. He's always seemed to be such a gentle and caring person.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

I love all that goes into marriage and relationships. Not only is he amazing for still seeing the pain of a little bird, but you are still in love enough to notice it. I hope we get a chance to hear him perform someday. HAve any videos you could share?

Mom2My6Kids said...

What a great story! He sounds like a keeper. Okay, so when you get nack to Idaho, let's get together. My brother and two sisters are at BYU-I. Now, for the big question. Now that I know your Hubby is a musician, I need to pick your brain on the violin. BTW, so cool that he does that for a living and a passion.