i honestly cannot believe that it’s by my merits as a professional than by my merits as an incidental schmoozer;
i made friends with the fine arts director of the district tonight. she used to be a professor at my alma mater. and she is notorious for being unhappy with everyone (that teaches music in the district). and she is so pleased with me. she has suggested that we have a “sight singing day” with my elementary kids and her high schoolers.
& im lyke lolwut duz dat mean forreal lol.
the middle schools are apparently a black hole for music so i was offered, once again, a job teaching choral music at the middle school level—which i’m not even certified to teach. i’m a band nerd at heart.
same day, today: i excitedly showed my compadres a composition project i was working on with my third graders and they told me their joke about all the kids having music degrees by the time they got to sixth grade.
funny joke guise lol.
i’m not actually good and there are so many who do actually great things but many music teachers are stuck in a rut or just not good musicians. they make me look good when i’m actually not.
i’m positive i’ll be in their position when i’m comfortable and think i know things…
(my) kindergartners don’t understand how to say things politically yet still voice their feelings.
they constantly insult me.
but usually i’m just proud of how well they articulate what they are seeing/thinking.
“why is your head small?”
“mr. maxwell that is a very pretty blouse.”
“are you wearing a lab coat?”
“your kid voice sounds like a cat sometimes.”
today at my job was twin day.
this tee was the genius-ocity that the PE specialist and i came up with. (we also included the counseling class specialist because why not.)
of note: the number of times i heard “twink” today at my elementary job was spectacularly high.
because i don’t have a separate music ed blog…
i’m beginning the honor choir process this week. i’m very lucky that a system was already in place for me to get this ball going. because i have no idea. no damn damn idea. i’ve worked honor bands at the top of this age level, but never honor choirs. the audition process is foreign to me. the concept is foreign to me—although i understand it, or at least have developed some semblance of a philosophy towards an elementary-level after-school choir.
the students, though, have a separate philosophy. and much different expectations about what the honor choir will be like under my direction. in past years, the honor choir at this school has been doing programs in the spring. lolwut. besides marching band, i can’t think of anything that falls more out of line with my music ed philosophy (rather, my taste and preference as both a musician and a director) than constant and disruptive programs.
i feel like the choir will take care of itself. it’s just another trial-by-fire that i know i will come through unscathed—like Kindergarten. i’d never done that before. and now i think i’m kinda good at it. or, i like it.
i just feel disappointed in the audition turn-out. it’s, naturally, mostly girls—which i think is un-natural and just an imposition caused by social stigma. it’s slightly smaller than the previous teacher had. which should be fine by me considering i shouldn’t be begging for more heat in my trialfurnace. but. i thought the students having an all-singing, all-dancing man as a teacher—a teacher that the upper-level students find “cool”—would be a catalyst for a bigger, and more y-chromosome-y, turnout.
i’m confident this is natural. and i need to begin thinking about my achievement endeavors on a larger scale: years. i’m not in college anymore.
i went through a pile of un-filed music from the teacher whose job i took. she and i went to the same university but were two years apart. she had my job before i had it.
—still weirdly, though—
i found, in my classroom, a song pitch-notated in MY handwriting. this paper existed and was used in my classroom before it was my classroom. the teacher before me had used something i had done in her class.
also, the t-shirt i was wearing today was designed by the girl who jotted down the lyrics that i pitched. but this girl was still not the woman who was in this room before me.
all the coincidences ever.
also, i haven’t the slightest about this song. it sounds too familiar for me to have written it. but. i may have? but surely i would remember it if i had. i can’t have.
i was meant to be where i am. i was there before i was there.
my lesson plan for the fifth graders today began with the comparing the pitch patterns of an american indian hymn with a song they knew.
then moved to comparing the words of that hymn to words in white people worship songs.
we discussed that american indians already had an established way of life. we compared and contrasted it to renaissance europe.
then a short “form” lesson with a kyoot little columbus song. because too much higher level thinking in one class period will result in 0 retention.
then a quote from some old dead colonist exalting the helpfulness of the native folk. followed by an excerpt from a clearly hyperbolic song about the riches of the new world. think “big rock candy mountain.”
then a quote from henry vii basically saying to slay or enslave all the native folk because of white power reasons.
i had a “thinking map” organized for them to copy on dry erase boards (because homework and worksheets and stuff to grade is for losers). I had them quick-write words and phrases that they used to think about when they thought of columbus day, and also what they would maybe start thinking about now.
number 1 most-common word: FREEDOM.
like. no. the opposite. you all are wrong and it is not your fault. “freedom” is not the automatic answer in school just like “jesus” is not always the answer
someone has failed you, children. and it’s not me.
no fewer than six children asked to watch opera today.
i didn’t fully preview this “the magic flute story” video i’m showing to my third graders. it was made in the early 80s i think.
ONE OF THE CHARACTERS IS IN BLACKFACE!!!!!
what have i done?
what have i condoned and perpetuated?
i’m looking at programs for my fifth graders in december. i’m positive that a multi-cultural, not-strictly-christmas, hannukah-having, kwanzaa-‘cluding, posadas-possessing program would be far more scandalous than one that excludes or discriminates against a few of my kids and their fams.
i wish we’d all just adopt festivus. a festivus program would be lovely.
i have a web page on my school’s site. i just got re-printed. i am prepping my “first day script”. i start in-service in a week. i am dealing with a getting my certification expedited. i’m getting panicked texts from my principal. i am sending panicked texts to the teacher who’s spot i’m taking. i don’t know how to handle all this. i mean…i’m me: i will. and it’ll be fine. but. i’m stressing. (and annoying my roommates.)
and i have to, you know, find a house and move and get my personal life all sorted…