12.31.2012

2012 review...of course

In no particular order:

Moved to the east kootenays after finally graduating (again) and starting a very very cool job, very far away from myriad people that I love. highlights include becoming a big fish in a small bowl very quickly, and noticing that I who you spend time with really does affect who we are. Well, me anyways, which is one way that I realize that I don't get enough time at church. We will see how long it lasts. But I love my job and my admin types are great.

I took home a deer. I stole it from a cougar. and last night I made amazing venison burgers. seriously. They had lots of spice and little bits of bacon mixed in, and they rocked. BBQ'd with the natural gas BBQ in -14 weather.

We are paying down debt at a pretty good rate, largely due to L working at BP, which she enjoys, thankfully.

we have managed not to buy a truck yet. But I think next year I will try and buy a shotgun.

We started to host people through airbnb.com and it is really cool. This weekend we have a few engineer types from Enbridge staying in our basement room and I am making breakfast for them. They are skiing and enjoying it.

We did our first Christmas away from Vancouver, which was a bit sad. Especially when I saw my folks place on christmas eve via facetime.

We have snowshoed a bunch this week. There is a ton of snow here.

another highlight was P and M coming to visit shortly after we arrived, what a glorious treat to feel so alone and have people from home show up and visit. Seriously a welcome treat.


Z is growing up quite a bit, doing really funny things and saying words I don't expect to hear him say. M isn't quite walking, but they are both enjoying the chance to play in the snow when they can. Z and I have two snow caves, one in front and one in back. I think I might like them more than he does.

I miss you all more than I care to think about.
will be in the lower mainland in march.




12.14.2012

Lord have mercy on the suffering/Visitors from home

We are fine, thank God. and I am reminded and overflowing with gratitude for my children's safety and health.

Yesterday and Today, we had some good friends, Sheree Plett/Jeremy Eisenhauer and their band came and played in Fernie. Last night they played at Clawhammer Press, and this morning they played at my school for my students, and the students loved it. Of course. These guys are pros, very tight and have great voices. Many of my students were quite impressed, to the point that some bought CDs, which was cool.

So that was great to see them, and to hear them play, and for my students to get that experience. But then Jer shared the news he had seen on twitter, and I immediately went and looked and it was horrifying. I have seen these things before, many of us have, but being a teacher and now a parent (in reverse order but whatever) it struck doubly close to home. I know kindergarten classes, there are students whose moms teach with me and I can't imagine the absolute rage inducing pain of losing such a young child. It would take a large amount of prayer, whisky and djarums to...cancel that, I don't think I would ever understand that. I guess I would be trying to stop hurting so much.

David Bentley Hart has an amazing article that I always refer to in situations like this, and I, having read a number of writings on suffering and other philosophical conundra, have never come across anything so powerful in an explanation of suffering in the context of Christianity.


Here is the link

I can't recommend it strongly enough. If it were up to me, this article would be canonized.

12.07.2012

Snow!

Well, it has snowed off and on for the last month, trading days with rain and chinooks, but it seems like it is here to stay, and I love it.
Today I went and bought a saw so we can go and cut a tree down in the forest for a christmas tree.


We have been making friends here, but I miss church, and the influence it has on my life. I can see a slow change, but I don't quite know what to do about it, except go to church more.


I guess that's most of it. I miss church. We all had the stomach flu, I took sick days, which is an interesting thing. I was sick enough to stay home, but its quite nice to be able to do that and still get paid. paid sick days. Teachers don't make tons of money, but the benefits are nice.

and we had our first choir meeting on thursday, so that was pretty great. My job continues to rock. Laurenn is also enjoying her work, it is repetitive but she has fun when she is there, so that is good. I am glad for that.

I think I am done hunting for the season, its pretty snowy and only bowhunting season is open, my confidence for accuracy and energy for practice at the range is low right now, with the christmas break pretty close at hand.

But it has been fun and I have learned a lot. I think next year there should be more success, and besides, I did bring home meat, which was the whole point, so all of those 'hunter's prayers' were answered, even if it was different than I expected.


Come visit! The Eisenhauer experience will be with us next week and I have rented out a room in our basement on airbnb.com for new years weekend, so I am excited for that too. If you want to know more about how that works, check the website or email me.

Also, my in laws are coming for Christmas, so that is really exciting. I won't be home for Christmas which isn't exciting, but I am going to cook the christmas ham, which will be a good thing to learn how to do.

Millie has said her first word, when Laurenn goes to work, millie crawls to the door and says 'mum-mum-mum-mum'

It's cute.



11.04.2012

Dave and the cougar, or how I got a deer without shooting it

So I brought home a deer the other day, and it was a monumental occasion. I have never shot any big game animal, so I have never had to field dress an animal either. I have talked about hunting for many many years, I have even been a few brief times with my okanagan cousins. I have hunted quite a bit since we got here, but almost always only see animals that are out of season, or that I scare away before I can take a shot. Anyways, my skill and knowledge is increasing slowly, but in the meantime, I managed to get some meat.

Saturday morning, I was hunting near Grasmere, in the south country. Lots of deer around this area usually. I happened to be in a blind on the edge of an alfalfa field which belongs to a colleague who generously let me hunt there. They usually have elk and deer on the field, even if they aren't the right ones (the game in season) The fellow who owns the property got a 6x6 bull elk a few yards from his house this season.
So I watched the sun rise, was watching the field and didn't see anything for a few hours. I was going to go home so I dropped by the house to say goodbye. They said to be careful because there had been a couple of cougars spotted nearby last night, and that there was a fresh doe kill on the other side of the field. I thought this must be why there were no deer around, and they said that the doe hadn't even been eaten very much. I asked if a) it would be weird if I took it and b) if they would mind. I had talked to the Conservation Officer and knew that it would be legal to take home as long as I had the right paperwork done up, and they said that it sounded like a good idea.

So I went and gutted the deer. It had a small area from one hind quarter that had been bitten and eaten, but otherwise we didn't see any sign of the cougars, thankfully.

But gutting a deer was quite the experience. I was glad to practice on an animal I had found, but what reassured me was that the deer was so recently killed that it was still warm inside. I was pretty clumsy at gutting it because I had never done it before, and watching it on youtube isn't the same as doing it. It is quite the messy experience.

We kept a wary eye for cougars but didn't see any, so I didn't actually have to fight any for the meat, but I like to tell my friends back home that I stole a deer from a cougar, because it sounds better than taking a deer that I found. But the whole point is for our family to have wild meat, and I am very excited to get it back from the butcher. So yesterday I BBQ'd the tenderloins after wrapping them in bacon, and it was quite epic. They were small but it was a big moment.

Yes, in the words of my cousin, I am getting into the rural lifestyle. One of these days it will be a deer that I shoot, perhaps.

Also looking forward to the snow returning, as it melted.

and my job is amazing. But we miss our church in langley. a lot.

10.23.2012

Winter? in October? / Geography=Community

So, I live in a place where winter exists. I am not used to this. I think I like it. But time will tell.
I went hunting today and say 7 elk but they are out of season, and then I glimpsed some deer which are in season but they disappeared before I could do much about it. But I was climbing mountains in the snow, which was nice enough on its own.

The recreation here is second to none. I'd rather live here than whistler, (except that whistler is close to many people I miss and love) but in the 'things to do' sense, I'd prefer Fernie to whistler in a heartbeat, and I think the skiing will be better, or comparable anyway. The snow will be more consistent. Not that I am a whistler connaisseur.

But I feel a bit adrift. The community in Cranbrook is great, but tiny. Not quite enough to feel or actually be grounded, I think. And we don't see them often enough. One thing I have said for many years on this blog is that geography affects community. One thing Laurenn and I lament is the question of Z and A growing up with orthodox friends. For all its beauty and humanity, St. Hermans has a bazillion kids, and that is so so important for us. That is, we want our kids to grow up with a loving orthodox community, full of peers, older people to talk to when they don't want to talk to us, and people we can ask advice from. We knew we were leaving that, and we knew we couldn't understand the depth of the meaning of that, but slowly it is hitting home. God knows, and knows what we need. We have some friends here, inside and outside the church, but its still a bit of a wild card I guess. I think what I miss are older people to be influenced by. The L's up on the holy mountain, the JQW trifecta, the H's, the G's, the K's, the B's, the other H's. So many people to help keep us grounded and remind us of the little and big things.

keep us on your list, I'm looking for old bearded men to look up to. I might even have to take responsibility for myself.

10.11.2012

I.LOVE.MY.JOB.

Almost every day, I revel in the joy that is going to work.

I have begun to teach my elementary school students Solfege (Do-Re-Mi) and they are doing well at it, even the youngest, which is super cool. It's amazing what demo-repeat or call-answer can do for getting kids to learn. Zoltan Kodaly knew what was up.

Yes, I love my job. I even may go hunting with one of my students and his Dad. It's just that kind of a place. Everywhere I go, if there are kids, they are likely my students, and its great. Weird, but good. There's no anonymity, and I think it sort of suits me. I am not certain yet, but so far so good.

Laurenn is at work and I like hanging out with the kids, Millie is crawling now and she is hanging with Zeke, its quite the change from her being immobile.

Did I mention we might not be home for Christmas? Also quite the change. I suppose it might be time to do it on our own, but I really like being with our parents for Christmas. Tradition, you know.

Apparently a recording studio will be arriving soon for our school, so that is exciting, and goodness I hope the other supplies I ordered arrive soon, the students are making such good progress, and they actually want to practice. One of my classes made such noticeable improvements over last weekend, it was shocking.

Today, my grade 7 class cheered and high fived when they succeeded at a song. It was gratifying. Sometimes I wonder if job satisfaction is worth the pay difference between here and the mine (they earn double my salary) and most days I think it just might be worth it. Did I mention my supportive admin? They are great.

I didn't even mention last week as I should have, my wonderful new Godson, Lloyd David Ayce Perry. He was Baptized in the NICU and we were so thankful when he was able to breathe on his own. Keep him in your prayers, he's survived a difficult start, and we look forward to getting to know him more soon.

9.27.2012

No Bears, please.

It's really nice here. I mean, really.

I sat on the deck and had a version of open house, though it was just me, smithwicks and the sun fading behind the mountains. (and a few semi trucks on the highway)

the bears are raiding apple trees in town and I haven't seen a single one in the bush. I have been out hunting at least once a week, and I took zeke on monday. The wilderness is so close to town that I can be in legitimate hunting territory in about 15 minutes. It's weird.

My job is amazing, my beginners can play two notes, and I am excited about that, it's hard to say how fast we will progress, but when they do something new, it's great. It's also interesting to see different levels of ability all together, and to figure out how to address the varying speed at which they grasp things. I learned a few things in my second practicum, but there was so much they didn't teach us, the teacher ed. system is clearly flawed.

I miss vancouver people, but not the traffic, or the weather. I think it has rained twice since we got here, and there is snow in the two week forecast.

We went to a ukrainian church in Lethbridge last week, it was pretty cool, the people were welcoming and the choir, though not great, was beautiful. It sounded like they got along well even though they didn't all sing well. It made me smile, and it was so good to be at liturgy, despite the 200 plus km that we drove.

There was a grizzly bear in front of our house last week, but we didn't see it. Sadly. I have yet to see a Grizzly in the wild.

It's good to be here. Laurenn is enjoying her job, which is great, and I am enjoying being with the kids in the evenings when she works, so that works out well. I like the elementary school classes, but I think I am more suited to ensemble teaching at the high school.

I hope we can see many of our vancouver people soon, perhaps Christmas, but we aren't sure if we can come home yet, lots of factors are weighing in and maybe keeping us here. If you are reading this, come visit anytime, we have room.

we have some new friends, and that is nice. There are lots of young families here, and my stereotype of people working at the mines is quickly changing, our new friend who is an electrician at the mine busted out a Tom Waits Vinyl while we were at their house. Oh, and Chartreuse. It was fun, and I think I will be hunting with him on saturday. It's quite the life here. I do miss the church community though.
Another new music teacher in town and his girlfriend have become our friends, and they are great. It's nice to have people to connect with.

keep us in your prayers, come visit, or skype,

9.08.2012

Fernie, part 1. (long and update like)



So, we live in Fernie. And we live at a Resort. No Joke. It's kind of weird, it's like they took the Kootenay equivalent of Beach Acres or Tigh-Na-Mara and turned it into strata condos instead of nightly rentals. And we live in one. Except the fireplace is gas, which is both nice and a bummer. The view from our deck is incredible. Our plastic table is super lame. Did I mention the view? The Highway is about a half km away, which when we are on the deck, we can hear, but when the door is closed, its as though it is not there. But it's cosy, and there are two floors, lots of room for the kids to play. I like it.
And Fernie is so small, I can bike to work pretty quickly. 20 minutes from out of town to the other side of town. So I should start riding, but its around 5 degrees first thing in the morning, and I haven't biked in the cold in a while. And it's 25 in the afternoon. waa waa. poor me. I know. I have to check out the fly fisherman in the river on my way to work.
I joined the rod and gun club, and I have gone to the range to sight in the bow I am using a few times. It is close, even though it too is out of town. Zeke even came once.
I went hunting this morning (sort of) with a guy who used to be a hunting guide. I took him to where I knew there were mule deer bucks, but it was a dubious kind of hunting spot because it was larger residential plots, 5 acres, bigger, smaller, and not a great place to kill a deer apparently. I am learning more every day. He also taught me a number of things about hunting in general and archery specifically. I began to get a picture of little I actually know about the sport. The romance is wearing off and reality is setting in. But I am still excited about it.
L has gone back to work, serving at Boston Pizza, where she used to work, and she really likes it. The people are good, the tips make it worth it, and she gets out of the house. I actually enjoy (mostly) the challenge of having the two kids by myself and it forces me to spend time with each of them.
I have a great bike, and I haven't used it much yet. I hope to use it to hunt with actually, and that would be interesting, especially if I got something.
I'm bummed the Nikkels are leaving, but glad for their sake. Most of our friends live in Cranbrook or Kimberly area. We are getting to know people around here too. One of my colleagues is our neighbour, which is cool. We hang out.
Zeke has a playground right behind our house, which is great, and there's good grass for him to play on, and some kids come and play there from time to time, but at night he talks about the kids he misses. If you are thinking it might be your kid, probably. The other day he asked me if we were going to K and T's house (Ryder Lake) and I said no, it's far away, like Langley, and he got a little sad.
Of course I miss church, but we haven't missed church. I think what I miss is the monks, and their way.
The people here are great, but there's a difference between trying to survive and being so alive you can help others breathe, which is what Fr. Gregory was like. Once he held up a mirror to me and it was so frighteningly full of truth, it kind of forced me to change the way I thought about myself and my actions. I don't know when that kind of spiritual work will happen again.
I trust God, but I guess I don't have much hope for that sort of thing. I sure hope, for my kids sake, that what they say about marriage and kids is true, because my sense is that I am not growing as much as I ought to. Maybe its good not to trust my own sense.
MBSS, my first job, was great. I miss those kids. I know I will enjoy these students too, but right now I don't interact with any older students, and maybe that's what I miss. We had great philosophical discussions, talked about life and I got to tell them what not to do. It was great. and I am sure it will be like that again, but my oldest students are in grade 7.
Come visit.


oh and we went to Kalispell MT. Sort of. Five Guys was amazing. They don't have canned crab at Costco there. I do, however, love Montana, still.

8.14.2012

Moving is a part of that difficulty that makes life beautiful

I just found out that one of our few friends in the kootenays recently got a job on the island close to their family. It's great, and I am happy for them, but I am bummed. We really don't know too many people out there. I am excited to live near my cousins who are in Lethbridge, but it really is a great unknown we are heading into.
And we leave a rich, busy, swirling community. I feel as though we are leaving the tropics and heading to the tundra, which only applies to our social/spiritual existence. I know we will have friends there, but old friend take a long time to grow, and these folks who are moving away felt like old friend partly because we have known them a while, and partly because their hospitality is so warm, and partly because they are orthodox and know what it is like to be out of their element. I'm not explaining it properly, but its a sad thing that they will leave. But its good for them, to be sure.

Sometimes when people are upset and they have a background that gives them the discipline and principles to not use curse words, I would (historically) curse on their behalf, because I think that sometimes the only appropriate word is inappropriate. I like honesty. and I am so grateful because my life is beautiful and overflowing with good things, but boy am I sad to be leaving. That's what makes it hard I guess is that we leave such beauty, and are going to such beauty, in different senses of course.

Even failing my practicum has turned out to be something that gives me empathy for people who have insecurities, and before, I likely would have looked at someone ( a peer anyways, not a student, I think/hope) with a fear or insecurity and I would have been baffled because I just didn't understand why people would be afraid of something bad happening. Bad things don't *actually* happen. But they do, and it did, and now I understand a bit.

But my life is so full of goodness. I love my wife and my kids so much, I have a church that if I were to live up to my end of the bargain, would kick my ass into serious shape (I'm lazy so I don't get much out of it) and I am moving from one beautiful British Columbia destination vacation spot to another.

I spoke to a friend today and asked what he thought most of the rest of the world would think about living in a place where clean drinkable water is so abundant that we can afford to build water parks and let the children run around in it while it goes down the drain. We pour it out after they play in it. We have such wealth, such wealth, even though being surrounded by absurd things like the cost of housing in vancouver we feel poor.

If I live in gratitude for a little more each day, maybe God will believe that I am thankful, gosh, maybe one day I'll believe it.


I know He gets it, he sees through us, but I take everything for granted and hope I can return thanks appropriately.

I mentioned to someone else that I think the only difference between a christian and anyone else is that the Christian says thank you to God for everything. or tries.

7.17.2012

Camp/Summer/Community

Camp was great, busy, tiring, but good. Lots of good things and many healthy seeds for the future.

Tonight someone made a comment that reminded me of just how much I am going to miss so many people here, and how hard it will be. I always obey monty python and look on the bright side of life, but man, it makes me sad, dammit, to think of the people we will miss.

We had a lovely visit with people in victoria, more people to miss. A good visit though.

Honestly, I just want some peace. we need to stop travelling for more than a week at a time. Its been so hectic since we moved to cranbrook. I just want to cut the grass and drink the 0.5 beers in the fridge (they are not great, but on a hot day, I'm not complaining) get some work done, sell the stuff we don't want. Etc.

Come hang out on thursday, btw.

7.07.2012

Life Lessons

One of the things I am learning, being home, and anticipating a move, is how much I love my community, and how much I love my family.

I also am learning how much I dislike big city traffic.

I am loving the people I have seen in the past week, and those I will see soon at camp etc. It is a wonderful community of people that I have missed a ton and will be glad to spend time with this summer.
That said, I am happy to have a family to take with me, a son and daughter to teach about life and love and the wilderness (that we are much closer to) and to take my family with me on adventures.
When we were in cranbrook, I lamented the loss of community, but I think as it happens we have  families for a reason and we will take our community with us. And it will grow out from within.

It seems like the family version of hermitage, going and willingly being alone, probably building some sort of community out there, and visiting from time to time. I want to be pushed towards selflessness, towards wholeness, towards holiness, and I trust that God does that in more places than just langley and gibsons and even chilliwack.

Also, I miss teaching. It doesn't pay as much as some careers, but boy, I love it. Even though I only knew them ever so briefly, I already miss my students. A good crew.

6.25.2012

On loving your work

We come home this week. I can barely believe it, and we have found a place to live in Fernie.
It is beautiful, has two floors, a gas fireplace, a huge rec room for zeke to be loud and play in, and is close to a world class fly fishing river. I saw six Elk on my drive today.

We are going to a beautiful place, but we are leaving beautiful people. Bittersweet for sure.
I am excited for school, the superintendent is very supportive of the music dept at my new school, so that is good. As is the community and the admins in both schools. I was there today getting ready for next year. I can't believe I get to have a job that I love. There are so many people out there who don't get to spend their days doing the thing they love, and I am grateful that I do get to do that. It is exciting to think that at work I will have a fun variety of things to do, from teaching kids how to play instruments, do clapping and rhythm games, basically getting them excited about music in any way possible. What a canvas to paint on! WHEEEEE!!!!


That said, the canvas of our social and spiritual lives is also becoming fresh, in a way, though the history affects the future of course, and that uncertainty is not as exciting. I don't want that to change, though I bet it will be good for us in ways we can't see coming.

Right now I can't wait to see you all on Sunday. Morning in Langley, afternoon or evening in Vancity at St. Johns, and my family too.

I have enjoyed being here, it really helped me heal a lot from my first practicum experience, but also reinforces that my supervisor had no clue what he was doing. And that the education system is pretty weirdly non-standardized. But I guess so is the world. Looking forward to making my mark.

I am looking forward to the Grad ceremonies this week too, that will be fun and interesting.





6.16.2012

Belonging/Visiting/Home

I am in the middle of something strange,

I am busy here, I spend lots and lots of time with my family, which is great. More than before, sort of. We do more things, we went for a hike waay up in the mountains yesterday, took our sweet mini van offroading, sort of. Saw lots of evidence of Elk and even a little evidence of bears, (not large ones)
played in some snow, and enjoyed nature generally.

We are all sick of this little apartment that is a suitable roof for two months, and we are sick of not being at home. But then, what is home? We are planning to uproot, and to live in a community that we will have no visible orthodox community. We will have christian friends (come hell or high water) because there are churches in town and I plan to begin an open house or a theology and beer chat night, which will start with the canonization of the new testament and lead up to why everyone should be orthodox and in the middle is 'doesn't this winter ale taste great?'

Honestly there are some great unknowns on the horizon. I recently purchased a hunting rifle, and I am so excited to go hunting this fall. This place is overrun with wild game just waiting to be eaten. (note to A, I plan to leave the bunnies alone) but there are deer, elk, moose, mountain sheep etc all over the place here. Its quite amazing. Anyways, hopefully I will be skillful and  enough to bring one or two home this fall to fill our freezer for the year.

So my neck gets redder every day, and I do like it here. Z and I spent 7 hours at the local civic celebration today, he loved the bouncy castles and I loved the butter chicken, the parade was fun and the strongman competition was loud. A few of my students played with their folk band The Good Ol Goats. It was a long busy day and all sorts of fun.

So I miss home, and then I am getting ready to leave yet again. I have moved away from St Hermans and Vancouver twice before, and now we are doing it again. I am curious to find out how long it will last. I know we will be back, but when and for how long? Lord have mercy.

I know my liver and my lungs will get a rest in Fernie, even though I am sure GF and co will send us off with a true test of their mettle.


I will take pictures of my view the next time I am there. It's unbelievable.



See you in two weeks!



6.08.2012

Final Concert Videos






Two of our better moments on wednesday night. The first one they learned in three weeks, had a hiccup or two but I was very very proud of them and grateful for the work they put in. The second they already knew and generally sing it beautifully. I have had such a great time here, and am honored to have been a part of this program.


Thought the folks back home would like to see what is happening way out here in the boondocks.

6.02.2012

Interview again...

I have a second interview on monday, they want to know more specifically what I would do with an elementary classroom music class, which is fair because I have zero experience. That said, I have a few ideas and could come up with a plan. So I will do that today.
I also am keeping an eye on the lower mainland, but there is just a bit more competition for jobs and continuing contracts aren't quite as prevalent, as far as I can tell.

Did I mention that we are homesick? but it takes different forms depending on the day. Anyways, today we are going to visit some people and they said 'bring a bottle of wine and your rubber boots, our place has animals' I think Z will really like it.

Also, today, one of my students families is going to lend us a trail-a-bike so I can put Z on the back. That could be a lot of fun and even more of a workout than my downhill beast already is. He can do the two wheel thing but doesn't love it yet. He still prefers his little run bike. All in good time.

Enjoying hanging out with the Nikkel family though, good people. Z and I went to see M last night, and had a great chat, Z ran around their 5 acres. It really is nice out here. Their neighbour is selling 8 acres and a house for under 400K.

5.28.2012

Job Interview

Well, be careful what you ask for, right?

I have an interview on wednesday for a full time continuing music teaching job, in Fernie. They want someone to start and build a music program, it would be split between the high school and the elementary school.

I want a job, the town is beautiful, there are animals, and fish, and hiking and biking trails everywhere, but my community is not there. I guess many of the people I love and know have moved away from their community when they were young.

Keep us on your list,

5.27.2012

Zeke rides his bike! watch this video!


Proud Dad Moment! Zeke rides his bike with pedals!



5.23.2012

Community Forest: Cranbrook Part 7

Tonight I took zeke to the community forest, which is an amazing network of walking and biking trails. Part of the beauty of it is that everyone shares the trails courteously. I have lived in other locales where there was not the same type of sharing, and an unnecessary fear of cyclists.

I do like it here. Today, I had two students who were trying to have their way with the class (let me be clear, this was exactly who I was when in high school) and so I sent them to sit in the office WITH their instruments. A Bari Saxophone for one of them, and a Bass guitar for the other. Good times.


5.19.2012

Cranbrook Part 6: Fernie

We visited Fernie today, and it was GOR.GEOUS
I have been to whistler, and Banff, and driven through the rockies numerous times, and maybe its because each had a different purpose, and today I knew I would come back soon to bike and perhaps to hunt, it felt different. I also went to clawhammer print shop and it was this amazing old world hand run printing press. I'll put a picture on facebook or flickr or something so you can see, it was amazing. I think that's part of it, the town was both hip and new as well as old and beautiful, and in the mountains, all at the same time. There are a number of 'miner's shack' houses, that are small and square and beautiful. I want one. We saw three different herds of Elk. Wild Elk. Elk really aren't that prevalent in many places, but they seemed quite common around here. It was wild.
We were at a local park, and 90% of the people riding bikes here (and there were many) were riding big full suspension bikes. Some looked like they could be all mountain or maybe cross country, but many were burly downhill bikes. There were a lot albertans here.
It is weird to know how far away we are from so many people we love. We are still in the same province, but only just. We are north of the Idaho Montana border.
So yes, the verdict is in, Fernie is beautiful.

We visited with my cousins who live in Lethbridge. My cousin is a city planner with a largish district based in lethbridge, and his wife is/was a music teacher too, so we had a great chat about the difference between teaching in alberta and BC. One large difference is the pay, approximately 10K more in alberta per year, at least. Funny thing is, being way out east here in BC, I already get a large bump over vancouver teachers, and the cost of living doesn't even come close to vancouver.

It's so hard to determine what to do. If I got a permanent job out here, would we stay? Likely, but for how long? We miss St Hermans, we miss our parents. We love being close to the grandparents for the kids sake and for ours. We like our families. That said, it can be hard to even get on a TOC list. I applied in Langley before we left and haven't heard a peep. I applied out here and had a job the day I was done my practicum, and an amazing job at that. So the question is, what is more important? I am coming to the conclusion that taking care of the family and having stability is good, but not just financial stability, right? What about church? Cranbrook is great, there is a tiny orthodox community there, but it really is so small that even though we like it, I have more friends in the new colleagues I have at school. They have been incredibly welcoming. Someone even gave us a beautiful brand new woven blanket (nothing to compare to T.A.H's gift for A) and it was such a beautiful gesture, and a lovely blanket. I feel so welcomed by the teachers here. and the students for that matter.

So the question remains, how do we decide where to live, and for how long. Is it work? Is it Church? Family? Is it different for different people? Different for different times in life?

In other news, I still absolutely love my job. This week we have been preparing for the final two events of the year, and things are going well. I am settling into a groove and finally began to take attendance, because I was given access to the electronic system, which as any current or recent teacher will know, is a complete and utter nightmare.

But we had some great moments in Choir this week, and the bands are continually impressive. The Sr Band is really good at the music they like, and not as motivated but still decent at the music they don't love. Motivation is a funny thing to navigate in a music program, especially in large classes. Thankfully it is one of the things I am pretty good at. Sometimes it covers the other areas that I lack.

Oh, here's the printing press, even a little video to show how it works. She was making coasters.
I can't imagine putting anything on something like this, but I guess that's what its for.




We miss you.








5.13.2012

prep time cranbrook pt 5

I am loving it here. Zeke shot a BB gun for the first time, he's really getting a lot done while we are here. Thanks to the Nikkels, we have had some good times with them. he cried when we left, their older boy is so good with him, as are the girls. It's so good to have some people to connect with out here. We have spent some time with other folks too, had a good visit with some new friends the other day and are looking forward to seeing them again soon.
The weather is glorious, mid to upper 20's, and cool at night.

I watched my students perform their musical last night, The Wedding Singer, and it was great. I wonder how much of my appreciation for it came from knowing them, and I further wonder how much that plays into all local arts appreciation. I wonder if the reason smaller arts organizations function is due to family and friends supporting something, rather than the work/group/artist/music/thing itself being desirable on its own, and what is the difference, and does it matter? my MA practicum with the Vancouver Chamber Choir touched on this, but I never got to this point. The question was what does the professional arts organization do for the society it belongs to. provides a service desired by the community, but it has to be more than that, right? Doesn't it? or is that we we have Government grants? I wonder if we should look to corporations for sponsorships and grants in exchange for an amicable relationship. Selling out? Yup. But it could be a good catalyst for more art and perhaps even a dialogue between two very different value systems about what matters. or not, I don't know.

The problem as I see it is that I can't articulate a good raison d'etre for most pro arts organizations that can't support themselves.

All that said, I can't wait for the music I am going to introduce to the kids tomorrow. I have a bunch of prep to do in the morning, so I will go to bed shortly, and I have gotten back to the grindstone (and it feels good to work hard) but I think it will pay off. I have high hopes and expectations for Jr Band tomorrow, so look for an update. I also have to remember that many of them were in the musical, so they will be tired, and the equipment is just coming back so that will be a bit off putting. But then I get to hear the Sr Band after school.

Also, there's a chance I am going bear hunting soon. Not a metaphor. Spring bear season is here, and our new friends are hunters, and in this area, its just not a big deal. We can casually go hunting for the afternoon. It's a different world. And I like it.

5.08.2012

Bizarre week/Z's first fish , Cranbrook Pt 4

This is a strange week, it is the week of the musical production, so all of my before and after school classes have been cancelled, which leaves me with about 6 hours of teaching time total this week. bizarre. Lots of time to prepare and to work on learning the Reason software, so that is good.

I also have time to take zeke fishing after school, normally classes end for me at 5pm, today I left at 2 and we went fishing and he caught his first fish! It was a great moment.

Here's a photo



I am digging this kootenay lifestyle, now to import some friends and relatives and a more permanent job...

I should clarify. I miss my friends and family, but what I am really enjoying is a chance to have some family time every day. During my practicum, family was almost nonexistent. Now, I get much more. The commute is shorter: from two hours daily to 10 minutes daily, and from daily prep at home to enough prep time at school to do more than I need to.

It's a good place we are in. (except the cheap apartment which we bought a little air filter for-but that's temporary)


Miss you all,


5.05.2012

Cranbrook Pt 3, the city

So, I am really beginning to like the city of cranbrook.
Sure, the architecture is largely modernist/70's functional boxes or slightly pretty victorian-esque homes, or even a few new developments near the edge of town that really aren't that great, but there are things about this place that I really like.

It's small.

There are deer everywhere, apparently Elk too.

I am sure there is good fishing really close by.

It's small.

A funny thing happened yesterday, I bought beer from the BC Liqour store, and I realized I hadn't been in one in months, because I usually pick up a bit of beer in the US when we buy gas. No longer close enough (nor do we drive enough to need cheap gas) It will be a while before we get back to the US.

I couldn't believe how expensive beer is. shocking.


Still loving work. trying to figure out what to do with myself because the amount of time spent on prep is all seemingly fun.

-learning Reason (recording choral music by myself with multi-tracking or creating dubstep)
-thinking about how to better communicate the meaning of pieces like bohemian rhapsody or we are young
-watching youtube videos of concert band pieces
-playing the piano


honestly, I can't believe I get paid to do this. It's a dream job, in a beautiful place. I just miss my beautiful people. come visit! or we'll see you in about 7 weeks.




5.03.2012

Cranbrook Pt 2

Well, today things weren't as wide eyed and shiny, but still excellent. I did get to hear the vocal jazz group, and they are really really good. And, to my excitement, they were really hoping to sing for me in the stairwell, which is hilarious because its what we always used to do when I was younger. Echo-y Stairwells are a singers secret favourite place. Anyways, they are singing a bunch of pop but also some really cool music that I don't totally know how to categorize. The point is, they are really keen, and they work really hard. They are all there until 9 pm tonight, rehearsing the musical which is playing next week. Thankfully it is curricular, so it won't be cancelled. Same with the final concerts. Its funny, I jump in at the end of the year, they sound great, I basically give a few tweaks here and there, and that's all we will have time for.
Today, I introduced the Jazz Band to Dave Brubeck's (well, Paul Desmond wrote it) Take Five, a brilliant little piece in 5/4, and they took about ten minutes to settle into the groove, which really isn't long for that piece. The melody will take a little longer and a bit more pulling apart, but I am continually impressed. Basically it will be that much harder to get them to the next level. I think the next level for a lot of them will be consisten tone on sections that are very quiet, which means they are really good.

Oh, did I mention that recording studio that I get to play with and learn on? Its very intense.

and the two deer lounging about 20 feet from our window this evening? sleeping and every so often eating some grass. This town is like victoria, only smaller, and with better mountain biking. Oh yeah, some of my colleagues asked me to go mountain biking with their weekly bike ride. And today at lunch the staff choir met. They were brutal, but it was fun and a great way to meet some of them. I shouldn't say that, they weren't brutal, but they weren't really reading the notes.


It's still good. oh and we got a little couch/loveseat, and a bed, and a table. So we aren't totally without living equipment. What a weird thing we have done. Its a grand adventure, for sure.

keep us on your list,


5.02.2012

Dispatch 1. Cranbrook. pt 1.


And just like that, I am a public school teacher. I can't believe I got a full time (non-continuing) band/choir/music comp position. I know its the first day, and there's the whole honeymoon thing, but it really was blissful. A friend at church uses that word a lot, but in this case, he is exactly right. There is something so freeing about it being 'my program' as the VP's call it. It is far too late in the year to really do any new music, but we'll get a bit out there, and we'll sightread a bit, and it will be fun.

My colleagues at UVIC will be happy to know that the band is playing a band arrangement of a pieces from Wicked ( a musical, for those outside the circle) and my Dad will be happy to know that I am going to introduce Take Five, to the Jazz Band tomorrow.
I was really impressed with the tone of the brass in the grade 10 band. They blended well, it was a little bit glorious.

Oh, did I mention we found an apartment within a five minute ride of the school, and just up the hill from the skateboard park, which zeke is going to love. We saw 2 deer on the way home, and apparently they are everywhere.

(these thoughts are going to be scattered)

Poor Z. He's homesick. He's been quite sad and out of it. Thankfully the R's, (the family we stayed with when we got here) were SO hospitable, and their kids were really great for Z to play with. And they have an adorable little puppy, so he loved that. He was sad to leave their place too. So, its been tough on him because we prepared him so little. I don't know what else we could have done, I guess talked it up a bit more. Life goes on, and he gets treats. But he misses home, as do we.

The choir. An interesting situation, because they are doing mostly pop tunes. Which is cool, but I want to add some more serious music to their mix. The hard part is the concert choir is about 100 singers, and they do mostly 3 part stuff. But there are a number of very excited young people, which is, in turn, exciting.

I am also excited for vocal jazz, a much smaller group, and they are singing that song that is really popular right now “we are young” by a band called Fun. Its got a beautiful melody line, and rumour has it they are actually improvising harmonies. Something I have thought could be a good pedagogical tool since I was in high school.

All in all, as I said, it's bliss. The job anyway. Finding an apartment (2bdrm > six bennys) was a gong show, we almost rented a second floor hotel room, thought about living a half hour away, but now live a very short bike ride away from work. I think a tank of gas might last a month here.

Oh, and Elvis, tell everyone I say hi and that I miss them. 

Oh, did I mention how awesome the band/choir room is? Its amazing. Mac recording stations everywhere, with Reason installed on all of them, and a numark DJ controller, which I am excited to learn how to use. These kids have an education some colleges would be jealous of, which is why a number of them have scholarships to media programs at universities already. Its like a media/arts prep school. Oh and the musical is next week, so at lunch, for fun, they practiced their dancing and singing. FOR FUN.

My office? comes with an AMAZING set of recording gear, including sweet sweet studio monitors. cranked some muse today. 

It's still cold here. The mountains have lots of snow on them. And its cold. But I can ride my bike to work. (did I mention I work as a teacher? I can hardly believe it)

Does anyone want my seedlings? They are inside our house, I worry they will die soon. Such is life, but there are quite a few good starts. Tomatoes, sweet peas, peas, spinach, even tobacco. Our Garden has cauliflower, rhubarb chard, I'd love it if someone would water the garden, and maybe get the seedlings from the house. Talk to Gabe, he's got the key.

Miss you all a lot.









4.25.2012

Almost Done!

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at STM, a great bunch of students, helpful encouraging teachers, and a wicked sense of school spirit. It was intense at the greek olympics the other day, I was surprised,

I will be sad to go but excited to start my own career, find a program to help or create or whatever.

I even have an interview already, for a short term post, so that's exciting. More details as they become available,

for now, my theme song for this year has come true, we made it, thank you for your support, many of you have heard me explain/whine through my story, and my lovely wife has made a deal with me which entails me ceasing my dwelling on the difficulties of last year's practicum. And, this one has been so healthy and healing, thank God. and thank you.





See you this saturday!








4.10.2012

Music Appreciation Assignment



DJ Fresh-Louder- Remixed by Flux Pavilion and Dr P

and

Down a Country Lane, by Aaron Copeland, Arr. Patterson




These pieces share a few similarities, and they also have some differences.

These include


Similarities:
A repeated opening section
A focus on the instrumental music
4/4 or square time signature

Differences
Vocal line vs purely instrumental
tempo changes vs fairly steady motion
slow moving vs quick, rhythmic movement
pastoral vs urban
High Art Vs folk music













3.27.2012

Don't Let...

Less than a month to go before I finish my practicum!
Still going well, learning lots,

I can't wait to see the Hunger Games, my students are raving about it.

Everything is so close! keep us in your prayers,

3.16.2012

Spring Break!

It has been many years since I have been this excited for spring break.

I have been working my tail off making sure I am learning as much as possible and doing the things they are asking me to do. I am finding that I am learning a lot more, and it is largely due to the supportive nature of my teachers and my supervisor from UVIC. John White has been very specific and encouraging even when he is correcting mistakes that I have made. I find him to be an excellent educator, specifically due to his ability to take errors or difficult moments and boost my confidence by pointing out exactly where I went wrong and either what to do to correct it or how to find out how to correct it. He has given me more confidence every time he visits, regardless of the outcome of the lesson I teach, which I think shows that he really knows how to teach well.

I am looking forward to this break also because I will spend time with my family, who I have been neglecting a little, intentionally, to focus on this work. I do make time for them, but I will get a few days of uninterrupted time with them and that is priceless.
A is already growing and getting to be cute and pudgy, and Zeke notices when I am not there, especially if he doesn't get outside and burn some energy. I took him to the US the other day, which was cool, but it was a later in the evening venture. I can't wait til we can go biking on some local trails.

Pascha is closing in on us, and western easter means a 5 day weekend for me, so that's really sweet.
Really, I just want to get out there and do some work and start earning a paycheque again. Get ourselves back on the baby steps.

By the way, check out Coffee With Jesus, if you haven't seen it lately. I think its written by a jaded American Christian. It's a bit offensive at times, but nothing overtly heretical, mostly I think theologically sound, if a little irreverent. I think KL the mountain-dweller will especially appreciate this.

So far so good, when I get back I will have 5 weeks left, two of which are quite out of whack, so I feel like the homestretch is upon us. Lord have mercy,





3.11.2012

Work...

I am currently applying for work as a TOC. I am looking forward to it very much. But part of the problem is where to apply, because I imagine that this will be close to a permanent move, at least which city we decide to settle in. The lower mainland is great because we all drive everywhere all the time. I love commuting. Especially across the port mann. But what I really want is to live in the neighbourhood where I teach. I think that would be great. If a little awkward to purchase beer, I think even that would be a good example, I think our high school students should be given positive examples of moderation, not hiding reality and creating a taboo which enables them to romanticize anything, alcohol included.

Tomorrow I get a chance to redeem my friday morning debacle. Other than that friday morning class, last week was pretty great, and I am looking forward to a break after this week.

It's weird to live in two worlds, where the school calendar is going to determine my life so much more than the church calendar. An interesting thought.



3.01.2012

Practicum Update/Reflection

So I need to remind myself not to take everything personally, which is hard, because I am sensitive about teaching now, especially in this time where it is still somewhat uncertain. My teachers and mentor have been positive, in words and in writing, and my main sponsor teacher asked me to teach in his english 8 class next week, so that's really exciting, and it is a vote of confidence because it shows that he thinks I can spend a bit of time prepping for english classes instead of focusing only on music. So that is good, and it means that in general I am doing okay, or even well. But when I get vocal inflections that mean anything less than 'you are doing really well and improving every day' I take it personally and don't feel great about the whole situation. I haven't felt this vulnerable in a long while, and I am sure it is helpful and healthy in the long run, but right now its tough.
I am so tired. I fell asleep before seven pm tonight, while putting zeke to sleep and woke up sometime after 730, a weird time for a nap.
So now I need a mental break and am playing DMB as loud as my ears can handle and writing to all of you.
I am teaching Jr Band tomorrow morning, a class that by serendipity I haven't taught in about 3 weeks, which is almost an eternity. So I don't really know how to approach them because its been so long, but I have to do something. And I do have music to work on with them, which I am sure will be fun. I just wish I could be less afraid of the fact that I am being assessed. I know they have the best of intentions, its almost just the form of someone sitting there and assessing. The human psyche is fragile, or at least that part of mine is. At the same time, it is less and less so every day, thank God.


Tallis Scholars

I am going to seattle with my Dad to see the Tallis Scholars.

I am really, really excited.

2.29.2012

BCTF VS BCPSEA

So...

Here are a couple of cents worth of thoughts.

1. I'll be happy to make money teaching young people about music. What an opportunity.
2. I'll gladly have smaller classes and not worry about a raise compared to before
3. I'll stick with the current wages so I can stay in BC
4. I'll happily teach classes over the normal limit, because I will be doing music
-Also, it looks like classes over the specified limit may mean more compensation, I think this makes some sense, i.e., if I am teaching 90 kids at once, as a music class, it is possible to do, It might be worth more than 30 kids at once. Not that its 3X as valuable, but more compensation would be fair or fine with me.
5. If I was at the table, I would be okay with no raise, but I would definitely want a law regarding class size, especially seeing the history where the government just took it away after it was already bargained and agreed on.

Too much lack of trust exists, but as John McComb said on CKNW yesterday, everyone works hard, and a huge majority of people are agreeing not to take wage increases this time around  because the economy is in the toilet. Alright, fair enough. Maybe another thing to do would be have some sort of student loan forgiveness included for new teachers. (just a thought)


2.19.2012

Education is Building Confidence/and other notes on the CEC

At the (CEC) conference this past week, I learned many things. One of the things that I want to grab onto strongly is that in order to educate, we have to look through the lens of building confidence. Is the way I respond to my students building their confidence? There is neuroscientific evidence that building confidence allows learning to take place at a much greater rate than the opposite. If we instill fear in our students, the stress hormones associated with that will be a detriment to learning, physically. Their brains won't be as capable when they are afraid. This is also partially what happened to me last year when they said I might fail, I became paralyzed with fear, I made more mistakes, and I couldn't do half of what I normally could, so they fear of failure made it almost inevitable as a result of physiological or neurological changes that fear creates. So, as an educator, in any classroom, it is important to do the opposite, to create a space where students can take risks and build their confidence, even when they are small victories, setting them up for success will do just that. Its like a double feedback loop, when they get it right, they think they can get it right, and their brain is then exponentially more ready to learn, which means they get more right.

Singing is such a vulnerable act, so when people are first singing together, it is important to be careful to structure the environment in such a way that they understand that when you correct them, they are not being hurt or torn down, but built up. If a student sings alone if front of the class, and they do it wrong, they need to be built up because of the courage it took to sing in front of the class. They need to be given confidence to do it again, despite their error. They need to be told frankly and gently that they made a mistake, but also praised because the only way they could have noticed the mistake was to sing in the first place. Its a really long project. I think it makes sense that in a high school choir teaching situation, I would have five years to know students and help grow into adults through the development of confidence using their voice in a community of music making, because it will take that long just to get started.

My mentor teachers at school have been so supportive, a night and day difference from last year. They have been able to give me honest critique in a way that has continued to build me up. I was so lacking in confidence when I arrived, but their willingness to let me try things and give me the freedom to learn while still giving very clear instructions and boundaries, and to be invested as educators but not take things personally has shown great maturity and wholeness on their part. I think my current set of mentors, though half the age of the previous set, has shown that they are much more balanced people, and therefore they are more effective educators. You can see it on the faces of their students, they know they are being taken care of.

I also attended a session on 21st Century learning that was very engaging and I am very keen to learn more about it. It had almost nothing to do with technology like I thought it would, but was much better. The presenter talked about giving students a guided thought process and telling them how to reflect in the moment and how to engage with their partner, and she mentioned that when teaching like this, the students lose their ability or desire to bully one another because they are creating knowledge together, working on things together all the time. And its not JUST collaborative, it was so much more than that. SMART learning.

click this link to get to the website that will explain more if you are interested, I surely will recommend her Pro-D as one of the more valuable sessions I have ever had.

I also skipped the mass that was at the end of the conference, and I felt a tiny bit guilty about that, but I also felt justified and here's why: I got a ton of valuable information out of the conference, I went to mass the day before and sat with my mentor teachers, the theological point of a catholic mass is to partake in communion and as I am not catholic I do not partake in communion. So...I skipped out. I couldn't find the few staff members that were still there from STM, because there were about six, and 1200 people. Its funny, I don't think I even really need to justify it except that it could be seen as part of my responsibility to have gone to mass as a practicum student, but that seems weird, especially being a UVIC student (hello super liberal campus where the pro-life group is denied funding because its a pro-life group) anyways.

The main point is that I learned waaaaay more than I thought I would at the Catholic Educators Conference. They really have their stuff together as far as excellent and cutting edge content. I was impressed. Even the uber catholic keynote address was quite challenging and uplifting, if preachy. Did I mention I got do an assessment session? It was great too. oh man.

And its been a busy weekend, not as much prep time as might be good, but I don't have TONS to prep for this week, as ash wednesday is this coming wednesday, the choirs are singing a bunch of music that I used to know from my bygone days of being a protestant, which I find odd, but convenient seeing as I know the music. (except that I have to sing written harmonies that are different than the ones I used to make up)










2.03.2012

Early

I arrived at school this morning before the doors were open, and people live here.
But I like getting here early, especially because some days the teachers leave at the end of the school day.

I appreciate being at this school so much because it feels like such a supportive environment. I am teaching today and I have been this week, and it has gone well, according to my teachers. Today my FA is visiting and will evaluate me, and I am excited. I get to teach Sr. Band, and we are playing a piece called Foundry by John Mackey, who is a young enough composer to have a blog, which I read yesterday. An interesting fellow, almost typical for someone who is really really into music, but I like having read his blog and gotten a bit of an idea for who he is, I think it will help me approach the piece a bit differently, especially the middle section where it really gets into a groove. It's for found percussion and wind ensemble, and sounds uber industrial, except the middle section which really gets into a rockfish shuffle. Anyways, its very cool and the students really dig it. And so do I.

Our 4th Anniversary was yesterday, I can't believe its been four years, it really doesn't feel like it, but I suppose that is partly due to my amazing wife, and partly due to the fact that we recently moved back to where I used to live before I got married. I guess the only difference is another degree and a couple of kids and a variety of life experience. nbd.


1.13.2012

picking education battles

I have realized something in the past week.
Education, specifically music education, requires one to learn the wisdom of picking one's battles. If I were to stop the band/choir every time they made a mistake and try to fix it right away, not much would get done. I know on the face of it it sounds obvious. However, in the past I used to think (not consciously) that I had to stop and point out each mistake, because I needed everyone to know that I had really good listening skills and I could hear when the saxophones were out of tune (most of the time) which is really unfortunate because it reflects a selfish approach. Instead I want students to have the most efficient and worthwhile learning opportunities, which will happen when I know how best to approach the classroom, the piece, the concept, where it is not about perfecting every detail in the moment but about allowing some discovery, and being available to support learning when students are not following or learning well.

I don't know how I will approach classroom management, because I traditionally have thought I would be tyrannical about silence like some of my mentors were because it was effective, and I still think it can be a really important aspect of the classroom discipline, but I am not sure. I think a balanced approach where there is a time for socializing, specifically in a music classroom, is allowed for the group to forge an identity. However, I think it being designated may be a good way, because then the teacher can still control the time spent in class, and the students are still able to chat, it just has to be managed carefully.

I think being a music teacher has as much to do with administration and team leadership as it does with content knowledge and skill.

Did I mention I am really enjoying this? I am. I am so thankful to God for where we are.

I probably whine sometimes, but my life is far better than I deserve. grace doesn't even begin to describe it. When I think about it properly, my cup is overflowing with good things.

Hopefully I can live in gratitude.

1.11.2012

Fotoshop

A friend from university did this recently. It's gone viral, I'm pretty proud to name drop, but you can see that he did a good job for yourself.


Fotoshop by Adobé from Jesse Rosten on Vimeo.

1.08.2012

Community

I love our St. Herman's community so much, and the comments from the last post are a part of that, I much appreciate you all.

So good to be among friends today, to have our whole family at church (as much as a young family can be at church)

took zeke to the river with everyone to do the blessing of water for theophany, zeke rode his bike everywhere and loved it.

I have felt more high strung than usual lately, which is weird, usually I am pretty calm, and I don't know why. As though things have to be 'just so' but they don't, and it will be ok.

I recently ran out of space in my journal, so I am waiting the next one's arrival in the mail. I found a beautiful cavallini and co journal on amazon for a steal, so that's great. but in the meantime the hamsters on blogger get a better workout while I muse here instead of on paper.

Spiritual discipline is either terribly elusive or looks completely different than I expected it to look, after having seen an obviously effective form of it in Gibsons. I know I am not as intentional as they are, but at the same time I know there is a measure of self denial in the everydayness of life, and perhaps not recognizing it is how it works in us. That said, this healing process is strange, because I had no idea how broken I was inside about the whole teaching thing. I. Love. Teaching. love it. so much so that I know I will be good at it and want to get better at it, and this desire to do it well comes from somewhere so deeply intrinsic that it doesn't matter what I get paid, (which is a big problem I think, teachers are highly undervalued by society, sadly, because the passionate commitment that many have enables low-ish pay)
but as long as its enough, I will be happy to have the opportunity to form minds, shape world views, and hopefully help young people become adults in a way that benefits our society, when so many are just happy with bread and circus. (did I mention I am excited for the hunger games?)

1.06.2012

Practicum

It's going well. I can't believe I seriously considered not even starting this. It has healed so many of the acidic feelings of the last year.

I hope I never see my high school band teacher again, and if I do I will not pretend to like him or be nice, but at this point the damage that they did seems temporary, and perhaps even still for good in the end, of course in one of those ways that I will never be able to know about. Lord have mercy.

And my piano playing, which was an issue, is better.

And while the bitterness subsides, I am still not over it completely, it's a deep scar.

But the students at STMC are amazing, and the teachers are fantastic. They know their stuff, and they have such a healthy, balanced approach to teaching. I think the students are learning so much about music and about life in a good way. It is also a school with a really healthy atmosphere, very collegial and very supportive. To the extent that I often do an internal double take regarding their mutual support (the students)

Its really nice to be a part of, even briefly.



IN other news, Amelia is gaining weight nicely, and a few folks have brought us supper which has been helpful because L is home alone all day with two little ones, and I get home and just want to play with the kids, so its nice. thank you !

And theophany this weekend! 4 years since Laurenn was baptized. coming up on our 4th anniversary, which is kind of surprising, it really doesn't feel that long ago.

1.02.2012

The Hunger Games//Practicum

I can't wait for this movie.  










 And Tomorrow I start my practicum. Nervous and Excited.  Lord have mercy.