The size of an envelope

I cried on Tuesday afternoon when I arrived home from work. All because of the size of an envelope. I shall explain.

When you enter students into music exams in the AMEB they do their exam and then you have to wait for about a week and half for the AMEB to process the results in Brisbane, put their certificates together and send them back to you in the post with the comments sheet. On Monday afternoon I arrived home from work to see the great big A4 envelope stuffed into my letterbox. This was it. The results. I had 10 students sit exams and one of them sat for her AMus.A diploma which unlike all the other exams is basically a Pass/Fail exam. It is a recognised Diploma examination and requires a very high level of technical ability and musicality. So when I saw the big white envelope my heart started to race as I got out of the car. I didn’t even wait to get inside. I stood on the footpath, ripped it open and madly flicked through all the reports looking for the AMus. report. It wasn’t there. What a let down. It must still be on its way. Maybe they do something special and magic with that one I told myself. Maybe she didn’t pass. Who knows what the hell happened. WHY WASN’T IT THERE? Anyway, all my other students passed so I dutifully went inside and read their reports and then phoned their parents. They were all happy. Another restless night. I went to work on Tuesday and tried to forget about the postman until I got home. I drove in the driveway and immediately noticed that there was no big white envelope. Phew. I was off the hook for another day. I didn’t have to open anything with trepidation and worry. But, wait a minute. What’s this? A small, ordinary sized envelope from the AMEB sitting in my letterbox. What the hell was this? Where is the big A4 envelope with the certificate inside. That’s it then. She failed. I was a failure. The previous year of endless lessons, discussions about Bach, Mozart, Chopin, the history of the piano, etc etc etc, the extra lessons, the worrying about musical maturity, the questions about whether I had chosen a suitable program of pieces washed over me. I walked towards the front door feeling sad and opened the envelope. I looked at the section where the examiners wrote the result. It said “AWARD”. Sorry? I looked again. “AWARD”. Not “NO AWARD”. She passed. I burst into tears in my lounge room and stood there for a good five minutes sobbing. No wussy little tears running down my face. This was full on crying the like of which I have not experienced for many a year. I rang my mother and was unable to speak. “What does the report say?” she asked me. “I don’t know…I can’t see to read it”. It’s a wonder she understood what I said.

Why was the envelope so small? Because they don’t send out the certificate for the AMus.A. You get invited to a graduation ceremony to receive it. How was I to know that? I haven’t had a student sit for an AMus. exam before. The opportunities for this in a regional area are few and far between. Usually by the time students get to this level they are ready to leave town and go to university. It might not happen again for many years.


2 Responses to “The size of an envelope”

  1. 2paw says:

    Oh you poor thing. What fabulous news for all your students though. Well done!!! We can talk ourselves into a corner sometimes. I hope you’ll be at the ceremony???

  2. Wendy says:

    probably not…it’s in Brisbane…and not sure on the date yet. we shall see 🙂

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