Saturday, September 8, 2012

Present, Past, Future

The Present

First Day as a Student Teacher
Life has been good-- almost too good. Everything that was set in place months ago is now in action. Recently, I started student teaching in a rural school district near Topeka, KS where I teach 13 classes a day. I mostly teach vocal music but some would label the experience as "general music". I have just finished my fourth week and have another 8 to go in my first placement before I move on to older kids (which I'm not sure I want to do at this point). I absolutely love the student teaching so far. My cooperating teacher is great, the kids inspire me, I feel like I am decent at what I am doing, and going to school/work every day is just as easy or easier than it was to attend my favorite classes at KU where all I had to do was sit and listen. Most of the blogs in the near future will probably have much to do with this experience.

 I loved college but I can't say I miss it as much as I thought I would. My experiences with going back on campus mostly involve laughing at freshmen and greek life, wishing I had spent more time in the downtown areas of Lawrence with more people, missing the food, and feeling super old. I'm not old-- that's the crazy thing! And I am technically still a student but I certainly don't feel as though I fit in with the culture on campus or even in my own  beloved Murphy Hall. Life is just ticking on... whether I am ready for it or not. I assume that's why I have a sudden urge to blog more. Both arriving at college and leaving college seem to have been the most interesting stages of personal development and require the most introspection. More on that to come in further posts.

The Past (This Summer)

The AWESOME equipment they let me use for my program this summer.
I graduated college! That was pretty sweet. Quite surreal to walk across the stage and look at all of my classmates that I watched grow from freshman to some pretty quality future music teachers and therapists. Needless to say, there were quite a few emotions and even more pictures taken. I had the honor of speaking for my class in the School of Music Convocation which was definitely one of my proudest moments that I can remember. I wasn't even really nervous I was so excited. Is that really an event of the past now?

In other news since last postings, I had one of the most amazing jobs this summer. I worked as the Music Program Instructor at a rec therapy camp in Indiana. Not only was Indiana and the people in it interesting and totally refreshing after four years of college in Kansas, but the job was easily one of the most rewarding and educational things I have ever done. I spent half my time developing programs and facilitating the most fun and varied musical experiences I could dream of and the other half of the time hanging out with kids-- whether just by playing with them or providing care-giving in the cabin. Having said that, it was one of the hardest jobs ever-- I was a nurse, a counselor, a musician, and program instructor, a therapist/teacher, etc. Each week brought a new population of campers, new musical experiences and challenges, and new learning about myself and my strengths and weaknesses. If I could do it all over again.. I definitely would. But I would do it closer to home if at ALL possible. I missed the people in Kansas terribly and felt like I was leaving those I love most at a pretty crucial time. This hit home when I landed in Kansas and had to move into a new place in Topeka with my sister the same weekend that I arrived. I have adapted, however, and have managed to see everyone I love as much as I feel that I can and have tried to make the best of the situation since. The new house is honestly great! More later.

Photo courtesy of Camp Riley on Facebook

The Future

I will be leaving for Thailand to do a 6-month clinical internship to finish up my music therapy degree--as long as everything pans out with my professor/supervisor. I am guessing the whole experience will be like Indiana x1000 and almost nothing like my current student teaching experience. Things I hope to gain thus far: flexibility, a knowledge of what I want to spend the rest of my life doing, speaking/advocacy experience, cultural experience and understanding, research experience, and stories to last a lifetime.