Monthly Archives: July 2011


I’m tired.

But I don’t think that mentioning it will be fully understood…being tired is not that unusual among the people I know and live around. Students study late into the night (my time with that is ending shortly), counselors stay up with kiddos, adults don’t sleep like they used to, kids play hard, etc. And by mentioning my tiredness I am not acknowledging my preference of wakefulness to sleep (not that I think sleep is for the weak, I just don’t spend most of the day wishing I was asleep).

I’m bringing it up because it’s been chronic this week. Perhaps it’s the moon, or the weather, or the fascinating things keeping my brain reeling into late hours (aka homework), or my unrest in deficient quiet time…but it’s evident. My eyes are tired, my shoulders are tired, my brain.

The class is almost over, and I am SO thrilled for it. I can’t emphasize that enough. If only I could press pause and spend an interrupted week or two planning the entire year for one grade level…but that will not be the case. I’m heading up to work intently and intensely on the quilt auction for a week (the big dance is August 6, if you can call it that) and then packing for moving will ensue. Crazy talk, I know.

And with that I should quiet my mind and get to bed. Somehow…morning will be here soon and my packing is incomplete. Oops!


I am past the halfway point in my Kodály class, and can I just say I am going to miss it when it is done? Number one because I fear my inspiration and motivation to be the best music teacher possible will wane apart from the happy company of so many musical types. I am learning SO MUCH. And yet I know (kind of like how it works with sin) that the more I know, the less I know. I intend to make some long term and short term goals for Kodály in my classroom.  Also because it’s reminding me that even with the tests and projects and nervousness that come with, upper-level learning is really fun. I love being stretched musically throughout it all. I am not simply learning about some things that general grade-level teachers find useful for the sake of earning credit. I am learning what is immensely useful to me for the benefit of students. It’s beautiful.

I have a feeling this will severely affect my fall. We’re talking major planning and preparation from this woman. Which will be a drag when the weather reaches its optimum temperature and humidity for this state…but hopefully the work this year will pay off and make next year easier…and the year after, and so on. And then eventually I’ll enjoy even more fall weather because I’ll be more efficient at planning. Now if I could just figure out how that will look with a program in November…did I really sit in on the scheduling meeting and not speak up for another date? Next year, things are going to change…

The only downside to taking a class about general music is that they are so good about referencing their resources and suggesting staples to have. I am SO thankful to my predecessors for stocking my music room with some of the priceless books that are a good chunk of my budget back when they didn’t cost so much. All that I have bought this week is going to be my personal copies so that I can have them should I ever teach elsewhere…of course, I’ll miss the costly ones my school already has, but perhaps I’ll be in a position to invest in some of those, too. Or purchase them for the school. We shall see.

This time of year is rampant with back to school items. Markers are my favorite. Target had them for $1. I bought 2 packs. Hehe.

I should read. Peace!





school days

I’m taking Kodály I at Drake this week and next. WOW! I’m going to learn so much. Already in just one day I feel a bit like a hair-elastic that has been stretched as far as possible and then can’t quite go back to normal. But it’s awesome. The days are really blocked out (you’ll have that with a 10 day class), so there isn’t much chatty time or even work-on-homework time (until at home…and here I am taking care of a couple errands online and blogging), but it’s awesome.

And I’m in the company of people who know what I do, love what I do, and encourage me to do better at what I do. LOVE that. [also, you might appreciate my appreciation for academia]. I have a fear that they will expose my lack-of-training-singing and some of my youthful inexperience (they’re making jokes about college kids and student teachers that they could probably easily apply to me…but they don’t let on that they know I’m still 23)…but we grow through tough things, and that would probably qualify. I’m really grateful to know a couple people in the class, but there are some opportunities to talk with and enjoy the others. That’s awesome. The bigger my network gets, the better my school year goes (more friends in the biz, you see).

I need to clear up the dinner mess (just salad…aren’t fresh groceries a pleasure!?) and get practicing with that new tuning fork o’ mine. A-440 is going to be in my head from now on…or at least near it, on a necklace. HA!

Peace to you,



I wrote a post a while back about a free dresser I got. And then another post about replacing the knobs (which I accomplished, not sure if I ever followed up on that–the wonders of nail polish remover). Today I’m making a note that it stinks still. Granted, the heat and humidity that I refuse to fight, mostly anyway, by way of air conditioner, allows the dank smell to persist in the air…but seriously. Stop stinking. No amount of newspaper, cleaning, or air freshener is going to help that baby. And that stinks.

I stink, too. I heard some expected, though stinky news about some plans for the fall (which will remain vague for the sake of the unknown readership who might not understand without a full explanation that I am not willing to make here) and decided not to cry about it but to go on a run. The heat index is supposed to get really bad tomorrow, not today, so I thought this would be my last opportunity for the next 5 days or so. Whatever…it was so hot and humid I was ailing. And sweating. Now stinking. A shower is definitely in order, but I’m going to aim closer to bed time so as not force a second shower in the morning.

I got to meet a fellow just-finished-her-first-year teacher today through a small world connection and had SUCH  a great chat. I am praising God for the unique connections He has provided, and the smallness of His world…granted, it’s a lot bigger than my experience, but when someone from western Iowa is connected to someone from central Iowa through a chance connection group social by way of sibling relationship and happens to know lots of people in common, it’s evidence of this world being smaller than I once thought. I am hopeful for a network of up and coming general music teachers to be established through some of these connections, and as we learn from trusted mentors and colleagues, perhaps we can be teaching one another. Or something.

I get to see K this weekend. Just for a quick Friday evening through Sunday morning jaunt, but it’ll be great. Just can’t get enough of that girl. 🙂

Peace to you

ketchup, er catch up.

I finished the 5K. The results aren’t posted anywhere yet, so I can’t give you my official time, but I made it in 38 minutes and some seconds, and without walking. The heat was apparently really bad (though I didn’t really notice because I would have been sweating anyway). The t-shirt is a prized possession now, and minus the cotton-poly blend in the fabric is actually a favorable design and color. Woo hoo for navy blue!

The run itself was exhilarating; probably a combination of the crowd running and the crowd cheering. Unbeknownst to me, a handful of camp folks were there to cheer me on (I had announced my intentions to run a 5K in a devo about training in Godliness as it compares to training for a race, referring also to Hebrews 12:1-2 that addresses a cloud of witnesses and mentions running a race)…they did so at the first major corner, which inspired some running near me to cheer for me as well (which may have made me blush, though you probably wouldn’t have been able to tell). They were also towards the end, which was sweet. I was also really happy to see another counselor running–she started with me, which was fun. We crossed the start-line together (which was about a block away from where we started because of the mass).

Somewhere along 6th street (on the inclined bridge) I was running next to a guy in his 40s or so who commented to me about the incline. We talked for about 3/4 of a mile and it turns out he’s from Indianola. This was his third 5K. After talking with him, he told me he thought I’d make it in under 40 minutes, something he hadn’t done yet. He thought he might have except for going a little too hard in training the previous week and hurting his back. We stuck together until just before the turn around point, where my pace continued and his might have slowed. I didn’t catch his name, but I know he has a daughter in high school and about where he lives, so maybe I’ll run into him again.

The water stops were hilarious. I read up on a blog about the tendencies of newbies to clog and congest the water tables and also some tips to look and act as one more experienced (including squeezing the cup from the top to get rid of excess water and make it easier to drink on the go)…I skipped the first one altogether, as I wasn’t really thirsty (11 glasses of water between 2 and 6:45 that day). The second one that came along I decided to go ahead and try it. I made eye contact with my volunteer (never go to the tables, the website said, though I think that was for the sake of time), grabbed a glass, squeezed it and proceeded to basically breathe in the water…causing me to choke the flavor of my pre-race oatmeal for the next increment. I grabbed water at the turn around point and did it again. Dang, right? I was slightly concerned that those around me were going to think that I was coughing to suggest they get out of my way, but no one said anything (or moved, for that matter). Perhaps they were too tired.

Several people warned me about starting too fast, and I think I did pretty well at picking a good pace. I passed plenty of people who’d passed me in the beginning by about halfway. Let me tell you, the tortoise feels pretty good about finishing slow and steady if it’s anything like me. Surprisingly, some of the folks who ran and walked ended up with a similar pace overall. One gal with kind of crazy hair (too short for a pony tail, so lots of little ones) ended up passing me several times and then I’d pass her when she walked. I think I ended up finishing before her, but it was because I had enough energy at the end to really go for it.

Folks have been asking if I’ll do it again. You bet. I’d love to do the Race for the Cure in October, but it falls on All State audition day for the Des Moines race. I might have to find another (living history farms? Although I’m not sure I want to run in the great outdoors in November…) before winter sets in. I’ll probably keep this up. The act of running isn’t so great that I want to do a marathon (someone needs to question me if I ever decide to do that…that would be an indication of a flipped switch or a divine act), but the race itself is pretty fun. Midnight Madness 2012 can probably count on me for next year…maybe I’ll even go to the after-festivities (spaghetti, ice cream, music, etc.).

Speaking of music, tonight was the penultimate Bluegrass Tuesday on the Square/courthouse lawn in Indianola. What is WRONG with me? Why haven’t I gone to that before now? It was awesome. Let me set the scene…Lawnchairs. Lots of them. A few kettle corn and ice cream vendors set up. A rented stage. A bus in the background that Dailey and Vincent (a bluegrass band from Nashville) came in. Small town folks…and not just from this town. Most people wearing bluegrass t-shirts of some variety (so corny, but so great). Most people smarter than I because they had long sleeves on (it was chilly!). Grown men wiping away tears during ballads (that sounded more like country tunes than Bluegrass, but what do I know?). The audience claps for every crescendo and any tune they recognize. The emcee is particularly interested in the states of origin of the audience, so he gave prizes to specific state citizens (Minnesota, Alabama, possibly Florida).

For the first time, sitting among the group of people enjoying free (well, free-will donation, as it turns out) bluegrass music, I felt like a part of my heart was “won” by this community. It seems to draw people together…and though it’s kind of a similar demographic for the most part (you know, retired folks and their grandchildren), there were a handful of young families scattered throughout. It was sweet to behold.

I should probably make an effort to go to bed; the temperature today was awesome, so I look forward to sleeping pretty well with the windows open. Thanks for your 5K supporting :).

jitter bug

I returned home from a week in mpls today. It was a grand week…I think reality will probably hit tomorrow that the peak of the summer has passed and only 5 weeks remain until work starts (and our b-day…which coincides again).

Since coming home I have been working on dinner fixings for tomorrow’s connection group and trying not to get worked up about midnight madness, which is tonight. I’m not really a worry-wart lately and I keep assuring myself that this run is not all that different from my recent runs, with the minor exception of my closest 2500 friends joining me. Or so. Maybe it’s only 2000. Anyway, I wasn’t really sure where and when to go to pick up my # and shirt, but found a brochure with that information online and saw that I could have gone as early as 2 and as late as 7. I decided, being a person of sage wisdom (er, based on the top-ten list for beginners I found in a google search), to go early. I’m glad I did, as there was no wait, but there’s a bit of fervor downtown. Crazy. I even ran into a former athletic competitor from Nevada (the town, long-A, not the short-A state). I will have a chip (for timing), a number, and 4 BLESSED safety pins. This was a relief to find, as I managed to find 2 of the tiniest safety pins in America in our sewing box, and that was it. I must have all the rest in Indianola.

I was also given a shirt, however I know that it’s not cool to wear said shirt to its race. That made the top 5 of the list, if I remember correctly. And I got a wristband for an after-race party. Turns out that wristband costs $5 for other friends to join, so I’m thinking my stay at the spaghetti and ice cream feed will be short-lived. Next year I’ll bring a friend (K…hint, hint) and we’ll make a go of it.

Now in the last 1.5 hours before my preferred arrival time (me and 1999 others) I need to change, eat some oatmeal (fantastic food, minus the hot temp), and affix my chip to my shoe. And possibly have a bit more water. The consuming of water is a tricky thing to time, however…prolly should have thought of that before today so as to keep track of how soon a glass of water makes its way through on a hot day.

Next time I write, my long-term goal will have been achieved! 🙂



I have been in the twin cities visiting my sister this week. It’s been most excellent and refreshing…but it hasn’t been as much running and training as I had hoped. I don’t regret the way we’ve spent our days (certainly haven’t been sitting around much), but in light of Midnight Madness being this Saturday, I have some nagging nerves.

Today I decided to lace up the tennies and go for a spin by the Mississippi River…it’s a pretty flat, gorgeous, and uninterrupted by traffic trail that goes past Karen’s abode. Though the pedometer feature of Google showed my route being a bit better than 3 miles (assuming found it accurately on the map. I may not have), I am glad to report that the entire route did not require ANY walking. That is a feat. 40 minutes of pretty steady pace jogging. I wonder if I could have upped the pace a bit, so I could have finished 3 miles a little faster, but I am relieved that the need to walk didn’t cross my mind. I might have kept going (didn’t feel bad when I decided to stop), but thought that pushing myself wasn’t today’s wisest option.

Now I need a cold shower and a dry shirt :). At least it was cool…Saturday will likely not be so kind. 🙂