Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ok Now I'm Pumped

I just came from a dinner meeting with the other two secondary choir teachers in the Auburn City School system. We discussed next year, music, concerts, possibilities, etc. I'm really starting to get excited about the coming school year. In the past two years, I have struggled to really feel like a choir director. I mean sure, I had choirs, but I didn't really feel like a choir director. Not like the choir directors I know and call colleagues. So, what's so different about next year that is making me shift my mood? Two things really: 1) numbers. I'm going up from 86 kids, to over 100. That's great, but numbers aren't everything. 2) I will have boys and girls split in different classes! Three classes of girls and one class of boys! Ask any middle school choir director and he or she will tell you, separate your boys and girls! Not only will the distractions of adolescenthood not be nearly as present, but this situation will allow me to have three different choirs. I will have a boys choir, a girls choir, and a mixed choir. I have to (get to) select music for not one, but three choirs. I also made the decision not to offer a choir I used to call Drake Singers. This was an "auditioned" choir for sixth and seventh graders. In two years, I couldn't get the students to take that choir seriously, so, it is no more. Life is so much more enjoyable when you have things to look forward to!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Potter Perserverance

I'm in need of some serious perserverance at this point in my Harry Potter adventure. I've been reading Order of the Phoenix all day (it seems like) and it is wearing me down! The end of the last book was so huge and pivitol, in terms of good versus evil, that going back to chapters and chapters about the classes Harry is taking is frustratingly mundane. I want to see some fighting, some explosions, SOMETHING. Luckily, the last bit that I read involved a little bit of both of those, so here's to hoping it picks up from here. I can't read anymore for now though. My eyes hurt.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I love My...

Welcome to another edition of "I Love My Mondays". The post where I, your host, provide a short list of things that I love in an attempt to make this Monday a little brighter.

1. I love... Harry Potter. That's right, I said it. I decided that one of my goals for the summer was to read the Harry Potter series. I read the first book and was hooked. I'm now well into the fifth book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. And no, I won't be caught up in time to see the movie that comes out this week.

2. I love... Summer. This past week, I actually lost track of the days. That's how you know you're in the thick of the summer. You wake up thinking it's Wednesday, only to find out hours later that it's actually Thursday.

3. I love... Taylor guitars. Like most things that many other people put on a pedestal, Taylor gets a bad rap for being the guitar that everyone wants. You know why everyone wants one? Because it's a damn good guitar! I've been saving up for one for many months now and am ready to begin the purchasing journey. I've spent some time this past week looking around. In fact, I'm going to another shop this afternoon to see what they've got.

4. I love... Music and Arts Week. It came and went in the blink of an eye. It was tons of fun and I already can't wait for next year.

5. I love... the teachers that inspired me to do what I do. This past weekend was ACDA Summer Celebration. At one point in the workshop, we paused to give an award. My middle school choir teacher stepped up in front of everyone and introduced the man whose name is on the award: Dr. Thomas R. Smith. Dr. Smith was my choir director in college. Then, the Dr. Thomas R. Smith award for excellence in choral music education for the state of Alabama was given to Diana Mayhall, my high school choir director! My entire choral education in one room. It was a cool feeling. They are all very important people in my life and I love them!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Where Have You Been?

Where have you been? Where have I been? It's been a crazy few weeks, but I'll catch you up quicker than you can say "subterranean wonderland". I think my last transmission was between camp weeks one and two. These two weeks could not have been more different. The first week of engineering camp was blissful compared to the sh*tstorm that was the second week. A severely emotionally disturbed camper, an incident involving serious misconduct, my co-counselor having to leave due to a death in the family. These are just a few things that made my second week of engineering camp a total failure. In fact, I received a phone call from my boss's boss yesterday while guitar shopping. He needed further information on the (aforementioned) incident of serious misconduct among a few of my campers. Really? I even took a week off, away from cell service and internet access and this crap is STILL going on? I won't go into details. Just know that I've taught middle school choir for two years and NOTHING like this has ever come up. I can't wait until it actually is over. Regardless, the following week, I was able to head north to the foothills of the Appalachian mountains for some much needed separation from life. This was MAW: Music and Arts Week. It's one of my favorite weeks of the year. This is a week long camp held at Camp Sumatanga that focuses on Music and Worship Arts. In recent years, I have served as a camp counselor as well as the tenor section leader (we rehearse all week and present a choral concert at the end of the week). It was so good to see my MAW family again. They really are like distant cousins that you are really close with and as soon as you see them again it's like you never left. This year was especially enjoyable because I wasn't wheelchair bound like last year. The biggest surprise came at the Fellowship (The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts) meeting on Thursday afternoon where I was elected to be Dean of the Youth division in 2011! I know. I laughed at first too, it's ok. The dean is responsible for, well, just about everything. I was entirely content on being a counselor for the forseeable future. However, the current youth dean, as well as the elected youth dean for next year approached me throughout the week and asked if I would consider being dean-elect! My mind immediately flashed to the scene in "Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone" where Professor McGonagall asks Harry to become Gryffindor's seeker in his first year! He is the youngest seeker in 100 years! I will be the youngest youth dean of Music and Arts week in quite some time. It is quite a responsibility, but I received a peace from God about it during rehearsal on Wednesday evening. I'm pumped.
So now I'm in Birmingham at my parents house, taking it easy and reading Harry Potter. Oh, I guess that's another big event in my life right now. I decided to begin the Harry Potter book series. It's so stinkin' awesome. I also picked up the harmonica, or blues harp. Practice makes perfect they say. I know it's been forever since a blog post. I've been busy. Get over it. I'm back now.