Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Decisions and changes are on the horizon...

Sidenote for the reader(s): Did you know that if you click on one picture in my posts, it will open a pop-up slideshow of all the pictures in that blog? A nice little feature I just noticed. See previous post.

My potential apartment looks AMAZING-- right?

Hyper-organized packing list-- my style!

This blog is about to take a massive shift from a rarely-updated mish-mash of random facts, opinions, or pictures to a semi-focused and fairly-regularly-updated log of my life in Bangkok, Thailand.

In case I didn't make it clear in previous posts, I will be living in Thailand for the next 6 months and completing my clinical internship and, thus, my music therapy degree! This experience will wrap up my 5th year at KU and will double as a period job searching and application. My teaching license should arrive in the mail to my parents house while I'm abroad and my music therapy board-certification exam will happen sometime after I arrive back in the States. Crazy times, right? Somewhere in there, I will have to decide some very big things:

  • Do I want to be a music therapist or a music educator? Both? 
  • What do I want my day to look like? How do I find that job?
  • Where in the world do I want to work? Am I choosing based on availability, interest in the actual position, pay-scale, etc.? Will other factors in my life decide where I need to work/live? 
  • When do I start a family, buy a house, etc.? I'm about to be 23! Is it really up to me? 
    •  Fact: People don't sing songs about 23 because it's old and boring (except Blink 182 #NobodyLikesYouWhenYou're23).
  • When is a good time to go to grad school? What do I want to study when that time comes? 
  • What is my "5 year plan?"
I feel kinda like these guys: 

But EVERYONE has to decide these things in their lives! I feel like I'm over-thinking it. But then again, I also think that if more people thought more about it, they would probably make wiser life decisions. How would I know?

For once in my life, I am not the first one--of my friends and family-- to have to make these decisions #OldestChildProblems (did I really just hashtag twice?). I have been witness to +Aaron Gillespie's transition in the past few months and I am very proud of him, as I mentioned in my last post. If you know him personally, you know why. I'd definitely say he's a catch :)  To be fair to myself, he did have a few months to hang out and think about it before he got a job/apartment. I would have been more efficient with the month I just spent at (my parent's) home but I am still maintaining an open mind about the first couple bullet points (above) until I complete my internship. Who knows how long I will have time to ponder once I get back. If I teach, I will probably have about a month. If I decide to therapize, who knows.

Because I didn't post much regarding student teaching, I would like to quickly recap what I learned/decided in my 17-ish weeks:

  • Kids are awesome (most of the time). They give frequent compliments that are sometimes pretty ridiculous and unexpected, they frequently make me laugh (I like laughing), they are awesomely impressionable (if I like something, I can probably make them like it too), and they are so fun to learn from. Yes, learn from. 
  • Teaching music is awesome. The kids generally seem to enjoy music class far more than their other classes and are generally well-behaved because of it. 
  • Putting on a production is incredibly hard but the pay-off is pretty fantastic. There will always be kids who don't show up and kids who smile for the first time all year during the concert. 
  • Basic music concepts are very hard to learn (and teach) when you are very young. Who knew? I certainly don't remember anyone telling me what a quarter note was. 
  • Teachers love to complain and gossip about their students. There is a lot more to gossip about than I ever knew as a child. Maybe it was the nature of the districts?
  • One child's favorite song will always be another child's least favorite (and vice versa). So the concert program should be diverse and the focus should be on the concepts. 
  • Elementary-age children are so much more pleasant than middle/high school-age children. They are more forgiving of mistakes and bad hair days, they smile more, they forget that you had to scold them the day before, and they complain about petty things (ex: loose teeth) rather than your music program.
Because of that last bullet, and some others that I probably forgot, student teaching definitely helped me decide a few things (that I pretty much already suspected). In general, I like teaching general music to young children so much more than to adolescents. The person in me definitely outweighs the "musician" in me that might prefer better intonation, more difficult literature, etc. I'll save secondary music for the (majority of) music majors that are dying to go out and teach band... or possibly me when I'm older. I also decided that I am a much more successful choral director than band director. 20+ different instruments at a time with their own nuances and potential problems simply blows my mind.This is why I am waiting to decide a few things until after my internship. 

Speaking of my internship, I leave for Bangkok in 1 WEEK! And I will hopefully be living here (click me). The apartment building basically looks like paradise on the outside and isn't too shabby on the inside. And for the low, low price of $133 a month! I'm starting to think that the Thailand trip will be cheaper than any internship here, including the ridiculous airfare. My suitcase is nearly packed and I'm getting pretty restless. More on what I'm excited/nervous for later. 
Pretty sure Thailand keeps finding ME in America. Buddha is furniture-mart rage, it seems. 

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