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At 18 most of us face many big decisions, brought on by the world and it’s expectations of us. Everyone has a unique way of reacting to this sudden rush of control that most are not used to having. Choosing a career path is something everyone does whether they make a move or not. Deciding against deciding is a decision in it self. Anyway, I consider a career choice to be on the same level as marriage.

As a bride-to-be one is faced with the hopeful prospects of building a life with who she knows (at the time) to be the one for her. She has spent some amount of time building a relationship, and it will never stop growing. She will spend a considerable amount of time (whether she continues to like it or not) with her significant other, and if they decide to part ways, it will be dramatic, no matter how civil the separation is. Everything I just said can also be said about committing to a career.

My engagement to music education began late in my junior year of high school. It’s weird but it was kind of just a sudden moment full of emotion. I suddenly just knew without a doubt or deliberation that it was going to happen. To keep my analogy going, I had just gotten engaged to a total stranger at best. Being in band at a high school with a mediocre music program does not mean you really know the profession. I did know something….I had the example of only a very few music educators because I lived in the sticks and I just had never been out. My band director was an awesome educator, and she elevated the program a lot in the very few years that she was there. If I had been through my high school a few years earlier I would have had even harder of a time getting started.

I really honestly knew nothing of what I was getting myself into, but I’m so glad I did. The more I learn, the more I love. The more I teach, the more I yearn for the degree that will seal the deal making us eternally intertwined and me more qualified to do my thang. The more I work, the more I know that nothing worth getting is easy to get, and that the fun is in the struggle. So yeah, I’m getting hitched you guys! The date is set for sometime in June 2013 (We pushed the date back a little because we think we need another year to get to know each other…)

Are you engaged to an idea, being casual with a few or flirting with the prospects?

Peace and Love!

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I’ve been trying to figure out what to be for Halloween for months. I’ve gone from wanting to dress in drag and be a couple with my male friend, to being a sexy chocolate bar and then an angel. Finally, after all of that deliberation, I decided to be a clarinetist for halloween. Super legit, equipped with a practice room, music, reeds and a stand! It’s not exactly what I want, but I’m hoping that leaving myself out of some of the most fun parties of the year to practice can lead to more productive behavior. Since I have no one around to decipline me, I had to make the decision myself and with the amount of work I have to do, and the amount I still have to get done…I just don’t deserve to go out this weekend.

I have written plenty in the past on how frustrated I get with myself, but these feelings have not changed. In the areas of self discipline and productivity….I have a lot of growing up to do. Whatever though, it’s not a big deal. I just wish the semester could pause for me for just one sec while I get my life together. Time has been slipping through my fingers like sand and that shit is super infuriating! Anyway, by the sounds of the loud people outside of my window til 2am, Halloween in Richmond has been successful…I can only imagine what will happen tonight.

Was your halloween worth writing home about?

Peace and Love!

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I’m back!


It’s easy to blog in the middle of the summer when you have not a damn thing to do. However, during the semester that does not happen. I fell in love with blogging this summer and posted almost daily, but as soon as the semester and all the chaos it brings hit me, it was really easy to put off my new hobby. Anyway, short story shorter….I’m back!

I have so much to talk about that it was hard for me to choose a topic to write on, but I’ll just go with what’s heaviest on my heart right now. Music, music, music. It is extremely difficult for me to even put into words how close the entity that the word music represents is to my soul. However, I’ll do my best to break it down: I’m excited about the fact that I will be going into a career path that will never be that  profitable. I’m excited to hear criticism on my musicianship daily. I know that on my instrument and as a musician in general I have YEARS  of work to do do to even touch the level of musicianship I want to profess….And none of this bothers me because I’m signed on for life.

Having a bad day or a bad week musically can bother me some but I bounce back quick because I know that this is a lifelong journey with no defined ending. I do know that the day I die, I want to have played clarinet. I know that I want to be the best musician I ever was when my spirit leaves my body and I hope to have spread as much of the music in me to the next generation as possible. It’s not about me; it never will be. I am a vessel in which everything I learn shall be held and I need to get it all to as many people as possible.

If I perform a piece the objective is not for anyone to think I am  good. No, no, no. I perform to bring a composers work to yet another audience. I perform to aquire new skills so that some day I can pass them on. I perform for my own enjoyment because it is so fun to be in the moment and pour your heart into something. Music is close to me, and I am deeply inspired by it in so many ways. To be in music school is to be in heaven for me because even if I never get to play a first clarinet part or play Beethoven as a clarinetist in the orchestra I am one of the few who get to fully experience the music. I am surrounded by such talent and so many opportunities to experience my love that I cannot complain. What a lucky life I live.

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What the heck!! I would swear on my mother’s life that summer just started last week if I didn’t know better…Why does time move so much faster than me? Fall 2010 is about to be the shit! I am sooo excited about getting back to school and being busy. Shopping, friends and classes!!! I even have a work study job this school year.

With a new school year I vow to bring a new attitude. I have never brought drama but I have decided to take it to a whole new level. If you are not a part of the solution, you’re part of the problem…I have always listened to people starting drama and share in conversations related to drama…NO MORE! If I smell drama, count me out. With that said the semester should be started with a positive outlook too. It’s so great to be starting fresh. I’ve spent the summer building habits that I need to be successful and now I’m ready. My clarinet and I are about to shut it DOWN! 🙂 That’s all for now, but I’d like to share a list with you.

This morning I shared in a writing activity with my friend A.J. We had to write a list of 20 things kids are better at than adults. Here is my list…

Kids are better @…

Imagining
Letting shit go
Making friends
Playing
Learning
Throwing temper tantrums
Showing emotion
Believing in themselves
Being creative
Conning people out of money
Being cute
Being in the present moment
Eating ice cream
Accepting the current life they lead
Inspiring
Being inquisitive
Gaining sympathy
Being tranquil
Beating the chicken pox
Smelling the roses

Peace and Love!!!

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“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.”~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Have you ever gotten a rejection letter? Have you ever been wait listed or set back from doing something you wanted to do?  I know I have. This morning I woke up to a phone call at 8:20 am from my sister saying…”Keyara, I got in.” If you know anything about college admissions you might be looking at your watch thinking, hold up…it is July 1st right or am I trippin? Yeah, it is but Keyana was rejected for admissions to VCU.
  1. You are afraid of failure so you settle for something that is not your dream. Keyana was heartbroken when she did not get in. I was her college admission support hot line and resident know-it-all so she called me about everything. She handled the letter a little differently than anyone I’ve ever known to even get wait listed.  She wrote a thought out and sincere thank you letter to admissions expecting nothing in return. She had already failed in her own eyes anyway. When she was informed of the second review process, she was in: She did not care that she would have to wait until July for a decision even though she was accepted to other colleges.
  2. You believe the nay sayers. We all have them. Keyana has come a very long way grade wise. When she asked my parents for $50 for the initial application fee, my parents told her that they did not have money to waste. I yelled at them of course…But how did she have so much strength to go on when her own parents didn’t even want to waste the money on the application fee? She didn’t believe them, and that’s why my mother was crying today because she was so proud of her daughter for making something happen that she didn’t even think possible.
  3. You think that there is a such thing as impossible. This is the downfall of a lot of people. I try to tell people that there is no such concept. It used to be impossible for humans to fly and you were a crazy person for even thinking it. Someone had to believe without a doubt in their mind that it was possible before it could happen…I know my ass wouldn’t have been on that first ever flight. I don’t mean no harm. Everything that you see today is something that was dreamed up by someone who didn’t know and didn’t even care to know the definition of impossible. What do most people think when they see a rejection letter: I didn’t get in. They may think to transfer but I know people believe in their minds that it is impossible to go this year. My sister believed that it was possible to change the minds of the VCU admissions officers; and she did.
  4. You think about the negative side of the situation only. Some people think, if I start rollerskating I might fall and I hate hospitals. So they never try. July is a little late to be making college decisions. If you have ever been through the college admissions process you know: It is rough. From before January to around April you have anguish and plans in the air. It is the greatest feeling in the world to finally know where you are going. Try still not knowing where you are attending school about 2 months before attending. I was wait-listed, so I know the feeling, but I can’t pretend I know how it feels to wait until July. She had to have the vision and determination to visualize the possibility of getting in to actually make it. She got a personal call from admissions this morning and they all know and love her now. How many valedictorians, drum majors and head cheerleaders do you think they know personally or even remember? Probably none to be honest because college is a whole new world.  I can’t count on my hands how many of my friends were drum majors. I can’t count on one hand how many of my friends were valedictorians. I literally will be here for days naming off all of my cheerleader friends.
  5. You don’t truly believe in your dream. You have a duty to yourself and everyone else who may be affected by you carrying out your dream. Believe in something that is not yet real. Birth the dream into reality. Dreams are not just dreams, but realities that are not yet born. It takes much effort and much work to bring a dream to life. But you have to take that first step: You have to believe it is real. If your mother did not believe she was pregnant with you and thought, oh lord I’m really putting on weight, she would not have had the will to do the things that pregnant women do. She had to believe in her heart that your life was important and worth her being burdened for up to nine months. Don’t kill your dream before it has a chance to live because it is not something that the human race can afford to lose. We take so many losses each day, but if Americans believed in themselves just a little more we might just start catching up with Japan.
Dreams are not just something little contrary to popular belief. Dreams are things that have to be pursued day in and day out. If you have a dream, why are you just sitting there? Get off your lazy ass and start blowing peoples’ minds!

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We all need somebody…

College became a lot more difficult for me my second year. Emotionally, I couldn’t do it. The work isn’t actually hard at all..just time consuming. This summer as I reflect I realize that I needed help. I needed help that I waited for and never received. This is totally fine, nobody is my keeper and I do not expect anyone to follow me around and kiss my boo-boos. In the future, however, I fully intend to be the keeper for as many people as I can handle because there is such a disparity between the amount of time people spend gossiping about each other and the amount of time people spend trying to be there for someone who obviously needs a friend.

I have friends. Many very deeply appreciated friends, but I am just really getting settled into the group of friends that I currently spend my life with. This school year I really didn’t have anyone to go to for the most part. The terrible part was that I didn’t even know what was wrong. I still can’t exactly pinpoint it but I think it was my version of depression. See, I’m an extremely happy-go-lucky soul. I go with the flow and try to be the peace maker. Only in my extremely rare moments of weakness (which I am extremely embarrassed of) have I even said anything bad about anyone. I don’t see a reason for it. I always put on a face for other people because I don’t like to spread misery. I retreat to cry and I complain only when I am too lazy to do something about something I see as an injustice. In long, I’m saying that anyone who knew me this year would not think I was depressed.

So it is not surprising that I did not get the help I needed…How would anyone know to reach out if I seemed fine. My grades plummeted, however, and I’m sure my teachers think I’m on drugs or something. I now know how it feels to be that person. I know how it feels to physically be unable to get out of bed. To be so intimidated by the challenges and frustrations of a coming day that I just can’t make myself for anything get out of bed and instead just beat myself up and cry about it a little later. I want to be the other person. I want to be the person who calls that girl just to see what’s up instead of talking about her behind her back and saying how she never comes to class. In my small department there is so much gossiping about really stupid shit(excuse me). Why would you gossip about how that guy is never in tune? (I’m a music student for those who don’t know) Are you being serious? Are there hidden cameras or do you just really have no life…just tell him he’s out of tune so he can fix it. Two people were talking about me behind my back saying how I wasn’t strong enough on first. Thanks for telling me before the concert. So and so never practices…I am so done with it. From now on I refuse to even allow anyone to do that crap around me. It’s not your business whether or not someone has problems, but you can make it your business to help them out of the hole they’re obviously in.

I believe it is better to ignore the haters. When you find out someone is talking about you behind your back don’t confront them…Give them a rose telling them something nice about his or herself. This is definitely a hard route to take. I did this for my clarinet studio and people blew my valentines way out of proportion. One girl who I knew was talking about me furiously at the time went out of her way to tell everyone that I apologized to her about something I had said. I did nothing of the sort and how immature. It took a lot of strength not to say anything, but I decided I didn’t care. Anyone who would believe that is obviously not my friend. I think out everything I say, and I hate it when people take back stuff they said..so why would I? Ignore the haters, the gossipers and the nobodys… They mean nothing to you and they definitely mean nothing to me.

From now on I will strive to abolish hate from my life. What about you? Could you stand to do a little less hating and a lot more loving?

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What is it about going back to my high school? My little sisters graduation was yesterday, so I am now in my home town of Caroline County, VA. It’s a lot more country than it sounds…believe me. In my neigborhood, the only options for internet are dial up or satellite. Satellite costs and arm and a leg, hence the declined frequency in posts. I braved the annoying sound, however, and waited ten minutes to finally be connected so that I could post today because I have so much to talk about.

 Growing up in a small town as an outsider is different. Unlike everyone else, my family moved here so we could grow up in a safer place, so I had no extended family here. You’d think that wouldn’t make a huge difference…Even though I started kindergarten here, I never really fit in. Elementary was fine, but once I hit middle school, it was all downhill.

What is it about being around anyone from my high school that turns me back into the self consious, shy and slightly negative shell of a human being that is plauged with social anxiety? Graduation was terrible and I was more negative that hour than I have been in the past two years. Even my darkest moment in college is better than one of my best days in high school. My college friends are all surprised and shocked to hear that I had no friends in high school. I don’t understand either…. I wasn’t a terrible person, and I haven’t changed…just grown.

Thinking back to high school is wierd. I’ve made two visits back to band, and everyone acts soo happy to see me. My sister said people at the high school stopped her all the time to say how nice I was and how smart….Why do people treat you so differently when you leave? I’ve even heard people who were “popular” say that I wwas pretty and destined for success. HWAT? (the h is not a typo btw) Why? That is my question…Why? Why did I have to go through four unhappy years of torture just to find out that no one really thought I was a loser or ugly? They just ignored me and made me think that…

Another thing that bothered me was the only really constant group of friends that I did have: Two girls who constantly put me down no matter what. I saw one at graduation and dissapointed myself by being slightly satisfied with the fact that one of them had gotten fat. I’m by no means like that, and I think it’s fine to have meat on your bones…Still it put a slight smile on my face.

Do you have similar feelings/stories about high school? Please share!

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