Never a Dull Moment

The past two days have been crazy.  My life is usually a little crazy (completely brought by my own doing), but this weekend takes the prize for the semester, I believe.  It was the most fun I’ve had all week, but I’m beat and I’ve got another busy week ahead.  But, I wanted to take the time to recap quick, so here’s a summary of my recent life events….

This wasn’t in the last two days, but is worth mentioning.  I had my last day of student teaching at the high school!  It was such a bittersweet day.  I got a ton of hugs and “I’ll miss you”s from my wonderful kids.  They are really a great group and I’m going to miss working with them.  BUT I am excited to start elementary school tomorrow!  I haven’t even really had time to process all of it yet because it’s all happened so fast.  Thankfully, I’ll still get to see some of the kids for musical practices for the next few weeks while I’m doing elementary too.  

On Friday after Region Band (our bass clarinet made it to states!  Yay!), I drove to my parent’s house to spend the evening before Saturday’s drill.  I ended up spending less than 12 hours at home so it was barely any time at all but it’s always nice to snuggle with my dog, catch up with my parents, and do a quick load of laundry.  I usually pick up Ali but I didn’t have to this month because she was at her house on spring break.  My parents kept saying, “Where’s our second daughter?  We miss Ali!”  She literally spends more time at my house than hers!  It was such a quick visit but good like always.  

Saturday was drill at the base.  It was a pretty normal kind of day, except we were scrambling around trying to make sure we had proper uniform parts for the following day.  We had some rehearsal time which was nice – I’m so rusty!  My tone is decent, but I didn’t realize how much my technique has suffered from not practicing often!  It was kind of a wake-up call that I need to find more time to play, despite how much I’ve got going on with student teaching.  And this is exactly why I joined the guard band in the first place – to keep playing despite a career in teaching!  It has proved itself time and time again that it was the right thing to do.

After the duty day, Ali and I went for a run.  She’s training for a race later this year, but I haven’t been exercising a whole lot unfortunately due to being at a school 10 or more hours a day.  So, I was planning on just running a few miles with her and then turning around so I didn’t overdo it.  But we both felt awesome and we ended up running 7 miles!  She actually went even a little further.  It was the perfect run.  Good hills, the sun was shining, great company.  I was proud of myself for going that far, after only running at most two miles at a time occasionally the past few weeks.  It felt wonderful.  I actually got a little sunburned!  But I don’t even care – my body was desperate for Vitamin D so I’m glad I was able to soak up some rays and now I feel totally re-energized despite winter still sucking.  I totally believe that Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real thing and that it affects me to a degree.  

Instead of driving back to my parent’s house on Saturday to spend the night, we stayed at a little inn to save on gas money and time.  I was worried it would be a shady little place, but it was really cute and clean and I would definitely stay there again.  That evening, we met some other people from our unit at a restaurant right in Hershey.  It was great!  Ali and I shared this delicious pulled pork wrap with lime and vegetables.  I’m not normally a pork person at all, like I haven’t eaten it in probably five or more years.  But after that long run my body was craving some protein like crazy and it was so good.  Here’s us actually wearing normal clothes!  We usually take pictures of ourselves in uniform but we got a cute one this month!  When we’re not in uniform during drill weekends, we’re usually wearing sweatpants and eating ice cream with my parents on the couch, so it was fun to switch it up for this evening.  You can also see some of the people from our unit in the background!  I really enjoy spending time with all of them.  

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Sunday drill was very busy.  We got our photos taken for various things, in two different locations, with some people changing uniforms up to the three times!  Thankfully I only needed two uniform changes.  This next picture is of Ali and I with Katie, our friend who just returned from basic and active duty training!  It is so good to have her back.  I wish this picture wasn’t blurry but I like it anyways!  This uniform is called the “mess dress” and is typically worn as evening formal wear.  

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When the duty day was over, we dashed away from the base to get to a church in Harrisburg, where the Langley Winds was performing, the woodwind quintet from the active duty band in Virginia!  It’s actually where I did my active duty training after basic, and I knew all the people in the group and Ali and I both wanted to go hear them.  I even had the privilege of playing a few gigs with them.  They sounded absolutely wonderful and they played some great repertoire.  It is always so refreshing to hear a professional group live.  It totally recharges my musical batteries and reminds me of how important music is in my life, because I feel like I lose sight of that sometimes – why I love it.  This performance certainly reminded me!

This is when the day really starts to get crazy.  I realized about 45 minutes into our trip back to our respective colleges, that I left my entire wallet at the church where the performance was!  Complete with my license, SS card, my credit card, and all my cash.  I left it in the front of the pew, wedged between two hymnals where I thought I would remember to grab it before we left.  But of course I didn’t.  I was so mad at myself!  I hardly ever misplace things or am disorganized so when stuff like this happens I get pretty worked up.  We were at Sheetz getting dinner, so I decided to call my dad and ask him about canceling my credit card, etc.  Well, he said, “text me the name and address of the church, and where you left your wallet.”  I wasn’t expecting him to offer to go look for it!  Harrisburg is fairly close to where my parents live, but it’s still a good 30-40 minutes away.  But he insisted, so Ali paid for my dinner and gave me some extra cash to hold me over for a few days and we continued on our way while I waited for a phone call.  She is such a good friend!  I owe her big time.  

Just when I thought my dad was about to call and say that he couldn’t get in the church, my phone rings…and he said he found it!  He said the church was locked but a maintenance man let him in and my wallet was sitting exactly where I left it.  I was so incredibly grateful for my dad tonight.  I am blessed to have two wonderful parents, who support me even when I do crazy stuff like this.  He is the best dad ever.  I can’t think of hardly anyone who would drop everything to drive over an hour to go take care of a mistake someone else made.  God was definitely looking out for me this evening.  I was so relieved I started to cry.  What a blessing that disaster turned out to be. 

I’m finally back at school, and it’s past 11 o’clock.  I really need to go to bed because of my big day tomorrow!  I haven’t picked out my clothes, packed my lunch, or even cleaned out my student teaching binders/bag from the high school placement.  I should probably go take care of all that!  I just wanted to quick share a little of what my weekend was like!  There’s never a dull moment, is there?  I love it though and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  

Now for elementary mode!  I can’t wait!  Stay tuned.  🙂

 

“It’s a beautiful thing when a passion and a career come together.”

Hello!  It’s been quite a while since I’ve done this.  Quite a lot has happened in the past few weeks.  I finished all three of my graded observations with my supervisor, and they all went really well.  As excited as I am to start something new at the next placement, I am so sad about leaving this school behind.  I’ve gotten to know and love these kids and I wish I could stick around longer!  Before I switch, I’ve still got quite a bit to do in the next five days.  I have an article review to do, as well as decorate a bulletin board in the band room, and do a mock interview with the superindendent.  (Eek!  Guess it’s better to do it now than wait until a real one.)  I also get to teach everything this coming Thursday when my co-operating teacher is at Region band with our bass clarinet player.  Keeping our fingers crossed she makes it to states!  

 This past week was really, really long.  I just felt so tired and beat up.  It’s one thing to be tired as a college student.  You can just sit in the back of most of your classes and wear sweatpants.  But with teaching, I have to be as energetic and happy and talkative as I always am, when all I’d really like to do is stay home and watch Grey’s Anatomy wrapped up in a blanket.  Teaching really is exhausting sometimes.  Despite the tired part, it keeps getting easier and easier though which I know sounds weird.  I just have to think less about what I’m doing now.    But, in addition to the full school day, I’m playing piano for 2+ hours every evening for their musical rehearsal and every Saturday until the show, and let me tell you, that is tough work.  The kids are working really hard though and the show is starting to pull together.  On top of that, almost every night this past week I had rehearsals for my friend Savvas’s recital, which was on Saturday.  

Enough of me complaining!  I love what I’m doing and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  Well, except maybe the occasional hour of down time to watch said Grey’s Anatomy episode.  The recital on Saturday was awesome.  I had so much fun and Savvas sounded great.  I miss playing my flute, so it’s even better when I get to play with a wonderful musician and friend!  

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But, like with every recital, I’m relived when it’s over!  Caitlyn and I had a little celebration at our apartment with marching band sax section afterwards.  For weeks, we worked on making shirts for the people who have marched for two or more years.  

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I love these guys.  It was a great way to end a long week.  I’m not very social these days, but when I do spend time with friends I always get lots of hugs and great conversations with them!  I think our letters turned out great.  

Here’s a project I worked on a while ago for my co-op.  We made a makeshift timpani for the elementary band since he doesn’t have two sets of timpani but he wanted to get them used to what a high and low-pitched drum would sound like.  We got these two old bass drums that had been in storage for over a decade, if not more, and it was my job to clean them up.  Let me tell you, I was quite dusty by the time I was finished!  But now they look brand new, and we have a nice little stand to put them on.  My co-op know that I sew, and he asked me to sew a cover!  I didn’t have any pattern or anything, I just measured the drums and guessed as well as I could.  I’m very happy with the way the whole thing turned out!

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This past week, I made an announcement in high school band about how I was playing in a recital, just in case anyone would be interested in attending.  I wasn’t expecting really anyone to show up, but five of my students came!  I was completely overjoyed and so happy they were there.  Not only because it means a lot to me, but because it gave them a chance to hear really good live music.  I introduced myself to the mom of two of my students, brother and sister, and she said, “Oh, I know, I’ve heard a lot about you!”  I couldn’t stop grinning when she told me that.  I love that I’m having a positive impact on these kids!  I think about teaching all the time, about how I can better teach a concept or conduct something better, or demonstrate something on a horn, but I lately have lost sight of the fact that these kids are unique and wonderful individuals.  Her comment reminded me of how special they are!  And how much I need to realize that I can influence these kids in a big way, for better or for worse.  

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Left to right: Pauline, Parker, Isabelle, me, Hayley, and Rachel.  I’m going to miss them all.  I know, without a doubt, that teaching is the right profession for me.

So I’ve only got one more week at this school district left!  I can’t believe how fast it’s flown by.  Then I have drill coming up again soon, and will be reunited once more with my lovely friend Ali.  I think we have the coolest friendship ever.  We basically live parallel lives and we have so much in common, and yet we’re quite different in some ways!  And it sucks we only get to see each other once a month, but when the time comes, we don’t stop talking from the time I pick her up at school Friday, to the time I drop her back off Sunday evening!  Despite the fact that we text constantly, there’s still so much to say!  She is like a sister to me.  Here’s a picture of us from last drill when there was real sunshine outside and we went for a glorious 4 mile run!  She’s training for a half marathon in May, so this weekend she’ll probably outrun me since I don’t do it much these days!  Even when I’m not excited to go to drill, I’m always excited to see her!

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Have a wonderful week my fellow humans!  I think you should go listen to Yo-Yo Ma playing his Appalachian Waltz album right now because it’s pretty darn awesome.