Saturday, November 28, 2009

Zůstat plovoucí.

Zůstat plovoucí.
Stay afloat.

It's that time of year again. The semester is coming to a close, projects are mounting, caffeine is pumping through my veins, and a good night sleep is becoming a luxury. There are days I feel like my brain has the consistency of strained squash and it may be in danger of leaking out my ear. I feel skittish and totally unmotivated at the same time.

Several of my student teaching peers have expressed similar feelings. Molly and I were talking about these weird sensations- simultaneous anxiousness and sloth. We have always survived the end of the semester push. It just feels particularly steep this year. I wonder what it affecting so many of us in such an unusual way. Thoughts?

Anyway, I have been trying my best to focus my energy and be a busy, busy bee. This is what I have been up to:

It is t-minus ten days until my student teaching portfolio is due. I have completed 6 out of the 10 artifacts and accompanying essays. Two are currently in some stage of progress, while the other two are on tap for early this week. I have been typing, editing, scanning, video taping, and re-editing like a mad woman.

Check out these examples of student work I am using in my portfolio. It is from the third grade theme and variations unit. The students picked a simple shape as their theme and made three variations on that shape. Like music composition, the students had total freedom of how they chose to vary the shape. The only guideline was the theme needed to recognizable within the variation. The students were so creative- I had a hard time picking which examples to use!

Love the fish!

Circles were a popular theme. I thought this one was particularly well done.

That jack-o-lantern is the best!

Score study, rehearsal plans, more score study, lesson plans, and more score study. I can sing Holst in my sleep. It's not a bad thing.

Attended the American Orff Schulwerk Association conference. It was a phenomenal learning experience. I meet a lot of interesting people, attended some very creative sessions, and picked up some great books. I heart books.

The high school marching band gave a great performance at the holiday parade downtown last week. The late evening rehearsals really paid off. The band sounded fantastic!

Student teaching observation by my university supervisor this week. Need I say more?

The holiday craft fair and breakfast is this coming weekend. The students plan, organize, and run the whole production. It is going to be a very busy, albeit fun, week!

What projects have you been investing your energy in?
Here's to keeping afloat!
Merry Writing!

Friday, November 6, 2009


Oh my, oh my! I cannot believe that it has been nearly three months since my last post. Honestly, I cannot believe that the first quarter of school is over and that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. The past few months have been a whirlwind of activities, projects, lesson plans, private students, performances, and conventions. I have been wearing many, many hats- I love dressing up!

Here I go!

The biggest bonnet I have donned has been that of an elementary teacher. So far student teaching has been a truly positive experience. The first quarter was spent teaching general music at the elementary level. It was a load of work to prepare for seven or eight K-5 classes a day, as well as after school activities, but I found the work to be satisfying. There were days that felt longer than others and less than glamorous moments, however far fewer than I initially expected. I had the opportunity to help young minds develop as creative artists- the process of guiding students through their first composition projects was amazingly fun. So far I learned that K-5 general music is both very demanding and rewarding work, and I can see myself happily teaching at this developmental level.

This week I transitioned to the high school. So far so good. Many new names and faces to learn. I now wear the hat of a conductor and tuba and horn teacher.

My most favorite hat!
Check out Julie Lynn Ivens on Flickr.

Last month Molly and Kelly designed and organized the most amazing event- the Massacreade. It was full of art, music, mischief, and mayhem. The Famous Graves had the pleasure of performing two sold out shows with the Echelon String Quartet, Evan Flynn, and Mr. Zak Larson. Best of all, I got to wear the most amazing feathered hat and fangs.

It was wonderful to catch-up with my blogosphere friends this past week. More adventures to be posted soon. Before January. I promise!

I will be taking a cue from Carmen on Monday (No School!)

What hats have you been wearing as of late?