Tuesday, September 22, 2015

You're invited to Thursday

Dear Reader,

It's easy for me to take my routine here for granted. From time to time I'll try to give you a glimpse into what daily life is like in this community. No two days are exactly alike, but I'll invite you to walk with me through last Thursday here at BFA. 

Pre-8:50am: My alarm goes off around 6:30 and I go through the necessary preparations to presentably make it through a day. I have been making a conscious effort to spend quiet time with God at the beginning of the day, and I am so thankful for the perspective that this brings. Recently I've been studying in Galatians, and have been encouraged by the reminder that "not I, but Christ lives in me." On Thursday this week, I left my house at 8am, which was much earlier than normal. The internet at our house has been down, which meant I had to get to school early to finish up some things before the start of the day. Once I get to school, my first order of business is to brew some coffee. It's kind of an essential element in my life.

8:50 am:  Normally at this time, students report to class, and we have a brief time of devotions and announcements before starting on course material. However, this past week we had a visiting group from a church in North Carolina to lead us in a time of worship before the start of the school day. The impact they had was incredible, and the students have really enjoyed starting the day this way. I'd ask you to pray that they would continue to be sensitive to what God is doing in their lives as we get back to our regular school schedule.

10:05am: My first hour Piano 2 class arrives; the day is overcast and they're sleepy! They were thankful to be indoors today though; yesterday was school Impact Day, during which the entire school helped with service projects in Kandern and in surrounding towns. It rained most of the day.
We talked briefly about their experiences, and I reminded them that their practice charts are due tomorrow. They're required to practice for 80 minutes per week. After that, we delve into scales and also a discussion about the Baroque period. I've been wanting to help my students grow in their abilities to improvise because of the musical freedom this can give. We delve into some group improv, with me playing broken chords in the lower range of the piano, and the students improvising a melody or melodic pattern in the upper range. The bell rings, and we grudgingly end our time of creativity.

10:45 am: Time to switch gears! This is my prep time, and I review the slides I've prepped for my 3rd period Music Appreciation students. My desk and workspace are in the same classroom where I teach, so I have a seat and get to work.

11:30 am: Shortly after the bell sounds, the seven bright minds who are part of my Music Appreciation class file in. They also look a little sleepy, but their efforts to stay alert are valiant! They have a project, analyzing a favorite song, which they will be presenting to the class tomorrow. We take some time for questions, and then delve into a discussion about Hildegard von Bingen, a female composer from the Middle Ages who lived only a few hours drive away from Kandern.

12:15pm: Lunchtime! I enjoy this short interlude between classes, because it's my chance to engage with teachers outside my subject area, or students who may not be in my classes. I try to alternate eating in the kitchen on the third floor of my building and the staff room down the hall from my 2nd floor classroom.

12:50pm: Time flies! Another prep period, and it's time to focus on lesson planning for tomorrow and the following week. Back to my desk...

1:35pm: We are blessed to have lots of pianos on our campus. The nicest one of these is found in the Auditorium, which also happens to be one of the rooms with the highest use on campus. I'm thankful to have two hours a week reserved in this room on that instrument. This may not seem like a big deal to some, so think of it as having two hours a week driving a Ferrari all to yourself when your everyday car is a Chevy.  I have no problem with a Chevy, but the time with the Ferrari is incredible!

2:05pm: In addition to the classes I teach, I also have some private piano students. *Laura comes this hour for her lesson. She is quiet and perceptive, and will try anything musical I show her how to do. I'm really excited to see how she will progress this year!

2:55pm: Switching gears yet again, it's time for the Performing Arts Department meeting. Today I'm sharing some of the student listening forms I use with the group. We always have a lot on our agenda, but I really enjoy the way that our department interacts! Everyone is gracious, good at listening, and conversing about their opinions. We also laugh quite a bit as well. I'm so thankful for each of the people in our department!

4:00pm: The school day is over, and I head home to work on dinner. I'm grateful to have a crockpot I can set up and let cook through the day. One of two grocery stores in Kandern in situated between school and my house, so I stop in quickly to buy some zucchini to sauté for the evening meal. My roommates and I will eat together tonight. I always look forward to these times, because all four of us have extremely busy schedules. Again, there's no shortage of laughter in this group.

Earlier in the week, I have various activities in the evening that include helping out at one of the dorms, and leading a small group of Junior girls. Thursday evening tends to be full of prep for Friday, sometimes some exercise, and an attempt to go to bed at a reasonable hour. Friday morning comes early.

Thanks for taking a stroll through my day with me! I hope that you've had a great day as well, and that God is teaching you much about Himself. I'm thankful that no matter what I do and where I go during the day, He is always with me.

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