Monday, July 16, 2007

Published 10:38 AM by with 1 comment

Guitar Camp

I just got back from guitar camp week, and I can't even describe how amazing it was. Every year I fall in love with the guitar all over again, and it gets better and better each time. The talent some of the kids have is mind-boggling!

The kids at camp have so much potential, not just in music, but in life: fourteen year old Alec, too short for his age, finally showing some guts on the very last night by standing up to the other boys when they picked on him... little Rachel, deciding to be strong "like all the other girls" instead of going to her father for everything... teen-aged Ryan, being himself, completely wacky and goofy and as
talented as he pleased instead of holding back in case someone thought he was weird... Tommy, nailing his ensemble music on the final concert and counting his rhythms perfectly after some tears and hours of work... awkward Mark, working his butt off to compete, and holding his head high with a second place award... and Eliot, probably the most incredible young man I've ever known, throwing his shyness away during the final round of the competition and holding the audience in the palm of his hand with the Tristango by Pujol...

Hmm. I'd better stop there before I get too poetic. Other cool things that happened at camp was me teaching at least five of the boys how to waltz, swimming on the last day, having delicious vegetarian alternatives provided by the camp cooks (!!!!), getting hugs from everyone all the time (I never get enough hugs), my ensemble of ten
little boys sounding horrible on their last rehearsal but pulling together and sounding GREAT at the concert, juggling every day until my arms were too sore to lift above my head, staying up late with the adults, canoeing (did I spell that right?) twice, drinking quite too much rootbeer, and best of all, not being afraid to ask questions and learn how to teach better by observing the other teachers, and
being able to teach master classes and an ensemble by myself and learn from my mistakes for next time.

"Without change, we would just be stale bread."

"My cats act far too dignified, considering the lazy life they lead."

"We speak to our students in the language of the moon."

"If it's true that I can't count my music correctly, then just tell me!"

"Blackberries?! Where???"

"I guess you can still play 'Gypsy Teens' with the ensemble...but only for one more month, because then you'll be twenty."

Eliza: "Eliot, are you asleep? Okay, guys, he's asleep...isn't Eliot the CUTEST kid ever?"
Eliot: "Um...I'm not asleep."

"I do NOT look like Harry Potter!"

"I'm not so much nervous of playing in the competition, but I'm nervous to go home. I look forward to camp so much every year that when it finally happens, I don't realize what's going on until it's over."

These are some of the notable quotes from camp. I'm sure there are more, but I don't remember them all now.

It's back to reality for me. I'm working every day at the music department, teaching in the evenings, practicing my guitar, talking to Mozart-Man on the phone every night, cooking new recipes, and juggling a lot. Only one month of summer left! Where has the time gone?
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Monday, June 04, 2007

Published 9:13 PM by with 1 comment

Coming Into June

Life is definitely not nearly as crazy as it was last summer, or even as crazy as it was this past school year. Teaching two dozen students, working at the music department almost every day, and finishing up settling in the house are keeping me occupied, but there has been some time to practice (not as much as I'd like), cook, have coffee with friends, begin catching up on emails/phone calls to friends far away, and so forth. I REALLY miss Mozart-Man, though; his absence is beginning to wear on me sadly. Talking to him every night helps, along with letters weekly... I'm very glad that he's planning on a visit over the 4th of July.

My great friend Simon from Idaho is coming to see me in two weeks, also, so that is exciting. I've known him since he was five years old; now he's seventeen and one of the most awesome people in my world. I'm going to drag him around to sight-see all the cool attractions like the Arch, the city museum, Forest Park and its free museums, Lone Elk Park, the old Union Station, and Central West End. Hopefully we'll get some time to just chill so I can listen to him play guitar for a while.

I was selected to be a peer counselor for a fine arts camp, so I'll be doing that soon, and I'm going to be teaching at a guitar camp in a month too. I played a bunch of gigs recently. Plus, I started singing in the church choir, which is very enjoyable; somehow I feel like I can worship God better when I use the love for music that He gave me for His glory. It's kind of a strange feeling...it's not like I can't worship Him without using music, but it just flows so much more naturally that way. Am I sounding strange?

Anyways, time to go do dishes before bedtime. If you are reading this and I haven't returned/answered your email/letter/phone call, I promise I will get to it soon. I love you all!
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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Published 12:15 PM by with 2 comments

Joe the Dreamer

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This is a picture of Mozart-Man walking in our favorite park back in Ohio, about this time last year. I love this picture.

Everyone's heard of the story of Joseph and the coat of many colors. I've been re-reading the book of Genesis lately, and came across Joseph meeting his brothers in Egypt after many years. His brothers had sold him into slavery, left him for dead, and hated him, but after all that, Joseph is able to accept them and care for them. How is this possible? Here is Joseph's answer:

"...Now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me here before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years...and God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God."

Even though nasty things happen to people, God will use them for His own purposes and bring good out of evil. This is something I need to keep reminding myself. Everything in life will work out for the glory of Him who reigns in spite of man's attempts to thwart God's purposes.
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