Transitions Are Tough

I graduate from college in six days.  

I graduate from college in six days! 

How the heck did that happen?

It’s just so surreal and I can’t believe it’s finally here!  It has been such a long, crazy journey.  From  my first year at Grove City College, to deciding to transfer, to coming to IUP, to going to basic training, to student teaching…it’s really been a wild ride.  How am I feeling?  

Well, first off, I am feeling so, so happy.  I have worked very hard to get where I am now, and I am  overjoyed to be finally at this point.  Following shortly behind happiness is sweet relief.  I know adulthood is no picnic, but at least for the near future, I’m going to enjoy my summer and celebrate!  I feel like I can breathe a sigh of relief, at least momentarily, knowing that I have the college degree in the bag.  Then, of course, I am quite sad.  My life will never be the same as it is right now, surrounded by all my friends and great musical experiences in one place.  I am going to miss those people in my life so much, and I know I am going to have to make an effort to stay in touch with them.  I’m also going to miss making music with all of them.  

I started packing up my apartment a lot this weekend, which is really making all of these feelings sink in.  I’ve lived in the same place for two years, and it has really become a nice home.  It’s familiar and comforting and I’ve loved living with my roommate and friend Caitlyn.  Now, all my posters and pictures are gone from the walls, and it’s beginning to look rather bare in here.  

Transitions are just so hard sometimes.  Especially this transition, because I have no idea what I’m going to be doing a few months from now.  That just adds a whole other layer of fear to this time in my life.  I know it’ll all work out the way it’s supposed to, but I can’t help but feel anxious about what’s to come, because I don’t know what that’ll be yet.  I applied for a bunch of jobs this past week, so maybe I’ll be hearing about an interview or two in the near future?  I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

One thing I am loving about this whole thing is this: I can go anywhere, and do anything I want.  I have no ties to one place (except my National Guard commitments once a month, so I can’t go too far) and I have no significant other to factor into my decision.  I am absolutely free to move where I want.  The world is such a huge place, and I can’t wait to explore a new part of it.  Right now, the possibilities seem endless and I am so excited for what’s to come…whatever it is.

This past week went pretty well!  I went to my first placement’s band banquet, and it was really nice.  I got lots of hugs from the students I taught there, and hung out with Meg, who is currently student teaching there.  It was also bittersweet, because seeing these kids again made me realize how much I will miss them.  But I know they will become great people and do good things in the world.  



I went a little crazy with sewing this week.  I had quite a bit of free time, since I finished my last set of lesson plans last week and didn’t really have much to do when I came home in the evenings besides those job applications.  I made an infinity scarf, which I really love!


I also finished another dress!  I used the same measurements as the first time with a couple improvements because I actually knew what I was doing this time.  I wore it to school on Friday, and for a recital on Saturday!  I love it, especially the color.


I feel like I’m getting really comfortable with teaching elementary school.  I took a while for me to figure out how things worked and the different ability levels of the kids, but it feels pretty easy now!  Whenever I’m teaching, the time seems to just fly by!  I recently did a two week unit on the instruments of the orchestra.  The first week I brought in all the woodwind and brass instruments that I can play, and did demos for the kids as well as some other listening activities for them.  The second week, we learned about Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, and we acted out the story and played listening bingo.  The kids really loved it and I loved teaching it!  Using Peter and the Wolf really helped them remember the sounds of each instrument.  I found some great resources online when I was planning: a shortened version of the story with music clips, and the bingo cards from  I saved myself about 12 hours of work just by paying a couple of dollars!  I gave the kids macaroni noodles to cover their spaces.  

In honor of my upcoming trip to Jamaica to teach music, I began a new unit on Thursday with fifth grade about Jamaican music.  We learned Mango Walk and Linstead Market, two Jamaican folk songs.  I showed them a steel drum, and we learned a reggae dance to go with the Mango Walk.  I showed them a video of a Jamaican man singing and speaking about the second song, and we learned about their language, Patois.  It’s similar to English but some of it is quite different, and it’s fun trying to translate the words of the song with the kids.  They loved this lesson!  

I had a two-fold purpose for teaching these songs: one, it’s great music for the students to learn.  Two, I have to learn a lot of Jamaican music before I go on my trip and I wanted to become more familiar with the songs.  Linstead Market is one of the songs I have to learn, so I can check that one off as being learned from my list!  And speaking of my trip, it’s in 31 days!!  I am getting so excited.  My friend Ali and I are going together.  it’s going to be an amazing trip!  

Yesterday I performed for the last time as an IUP student.  I played for my friend Caitlin’s harp recital!  I had such a good time playing and listening to her.  It was a rainy afternoon, and hearing the harp was so beautiful and soothing.  It was a perfect combination.  For the last piece, there was a small ensemble that played Pachelbel’s Canon, dedicated to her mom.  It was very meaningful and awesome.  

Yesterday, a member of our IUP music family was killed in a car accident.  I didn’t know him, but I know he was an amazing musician and he will be missed greatly in the world.  He was just about to graduate with his master’s degree in music.  Even though we were playing Pachelbel’s Canon for Caitlin’s mom, I’d like to think that Tyler was listening to it as he entered his new home in heaven.  Rest in peace, Tyler.  


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