Monday, June 30, 2008

Marvel

"Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again...And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France.

When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move.

You may become a Shakespeare, a Michaelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel." - Pablo Casals

Sounds very bohemian, and I think, if taken with a degree of wisdom, is a good philosophy to have.

Friday, June 20, 2008

new phase of teaching

today, I am inspired - yet again - by my wonderful new teaching job for next year. Not only do I have a team (a TEAM!) to work with, which I never had at my other job, the people in the team are working on their professionalism, curriculum, assessments, and making sure the general flow from music classroom to music classroom is getting smoother all the time. AND I have a wonderful co-elementary teacher to work with. We just spent the morning chatting and trading ideas back and forth and realizing how eerily similar we are - and it was absolutely wonderful. I feel like I have not only gained a job I can learn from and grow in, but there is no a wonderful friend that I can talk to and feel comfortable with while I am there. It was one of those moments when you realize as you're talking to someone, that this is someone that you could be friends with for a while - it just clicks. OK, must not wax poetic about that...just feeling so relieved to have someone to talk to more regularly again.

So, this district actually cares about, supports, AND funds their music department - so nice. The building is pretty much brand new, and as a district, they support all kinds of things that I am very much either into or interested in supporting. For instance, they do the Metco program, which buses in students from poorer communities to give them a better education there. We spent the whole morning going over curriculum for our music department and cleaning up areas that are vague or indistinct. And it was wonderful, because these people wanted to do it...asked for the time to do it...not doing it because they were forced to from some higher power. We did curriculum work at my old job - it consisted of me making a curriculum map on my own, no one checking it, and being forced to put it in a binder that no one ever looked at again. Basically, the curriculum coordinator that the state hired for our district said we should do this, so everyone did it to get them off our backs, and there was never any accountability involved at my level at all, not to mention the complaining!!

I am grateful for my time at my old job, that they gave me my start, and I have met some wonderful people that I will keep in touch with. However, I left there feeling discouraged and meaningless, and am SO excited to be somewhere else where my colleagues care about what I'm doing and are willing to work as a team - as schools should.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

know thyself

Here are a couple quotes I've recently come across in a parenting book I'm reading...good stuff to ponder:

"Know who you are, accept who you are, be who you are." Charles Swindoll

"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives are a mimicry, their passions a quotation." Oscar Wilde

"To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting." e.e. cummings

Do I really know myself? I used to think I did - and maybe I indeed did at that point. But recently I've come to terms with the fact that I am sort of lost on that topic. In recent years, everything has come into question...my abilities, my looks, my friends, my family, my church, my faith, my ambitions. You've heard some of it here in other blog posts. I am fairly certain that this is not something unusual in the life of a twenty-something to be questioning who she is...but that does not bring me much comfort. How am I supposed to raise a son to know himself and find his way in the world if I don't feel comfortable with who I am?

I'm not saying I'm a lost cause by any means. I am not - I am a child of God and do find immense comfort in that fact...although I have struggled with that at times too. I am simply trying to figure out where my life is supposed to be going, and how to surrender my will and desires to the Lord so He can show me who He designed me to be.

Mom talks to me about how I was (still am) so stubborn as a child, and how she just laughed it off when she could because she knew that I had a strong will of my own and it would serve me well in life. So, I know God has put this element into my makeup, but I struggle with not getting what I want when I want it. Obviously, God has a plan for me, and I am told that it is far better than anything I could dream up...presumably because along with it being the perfect way of life, there will be peace alongside it. And, believe me , I do want peace, if nothing else in life. I cannot stand when there is that pit in my stomach. I am not willing to sacrifice the things that so many artists say that they had to sacrifice to get satisfaction in their art (namely, relationships with spouses, children, family, friends, no time for themselves), so maybe that means I'm not cut out for doing this. Maybe. But a large part of me refuses to believe that. There is not one way to go after a dream, and there is no easy, clear cut way. It is usually a hard road with many obstacles that come in many forms...some are actually blessings that you realize are somehow incompatible with your plan for life. So, do you forsake the child? Of course not. God gave you that child and part the plan for my life is to care for him - responsibility. There has to be another way.

And so, trust is a journey, not something that can be magically read about in a devotional and applied and never revisited. It's probably the toughest lesson I've had to learn...am still learning. It touches every part of me, day to day. I am in His heart of hearts and He will not let me go and does not want to see me unhappy. So, I must trust.

I must trust. He knows who I am, and wants to show me.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

running sucks

This is absolutely HILARIOUS!!

I was reading some “mommy” blogs on a parenting website and this one mom was talking about how she has been trying to get in shape but just doesn’t have the attention span to stick with running for longer than 5 minutes. I was reading along at work, and practically started laughing out loud at my desk (no one is around me, mind you) because of her description. I’ll just let it speak for itself. Guys, you will probably find this a bit gross, but women will find it amazingly, if not slightly exaggerated, accurate. J



“I have a short attention span so I am usually bored and ready to quit after about five minutes. I came home on Day 2 and told my husband that was why I could never be a marathon runner. He raised his eyebrows and said, “Really? That’s why?”

Uh, YES. The fact that my rear end slaps my shoulder blades when I run and that I feel like I might keel over and die 24.2 miles shorter than a marathon has nothing to do with it…

I then spend the next 20 minutes of my run/walk gasping for air mentally telling myself how much it sucks, wondering where that runner’s high is that some people talk about, questioning if perhaps I just come from a long line of terminally lazy people. And therefore it wouldn’t really be my fault. It would be my mother’s fault! Her and her faulty genes. I could live with that excuse.”



HAHA! That’s pretty much what I think almost every time I put on my running shoes. Fortunately, I usually do feel better AFTER the run, although it takes me about an hour to stop wheezing and coughing. The act itself is repulsive, but the rewards are redeeming.