Good Morning Beautiful People!

Wow, it’s been OVER A YEAR since the last time I posted anything on my blog! That’s quite embarrassing. It’s actually been a while since I’ve posted anything significant on either one of my social media outlets! Times have been quite busy with events happening in my life. I’ll paraphrase this post the best I can so I won’t write a novel!

  1. I GRADUATED with my masters in Music Education this past summer from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)! God is SO good! Check out this photo my older brother took! It’s one of my favs!

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2. I got a job! I am a part of the Fine Arts Faculty at Mercersburg Academy! Look at this picture I took of the front lawn and the Chapel!! Breath taking!

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Here’s the bittersweet story of how that went down:

Before my last semester of classes this summer, I was contacted by my former advisor from when I was a Post Graduate at Mercersburg Academy before heading to Duke University. She told me that one of the music teachers there had retired so a position was open! As exciting as that sounds, for those who don’t know, Mercersburg Academy is located in Mercersburg, PENNSYLVANIA! I lived in Alabama and had been down there for over 4 years after moving back home from North Carolina. The thoughts that were going through my head were ‘Well, it’s so far away’ and ‘It’s really cold up there’ and ‘I’ll be far away from home’ and on and on. She encouraged me to apply at the very least just to see if I get an interview. Then take it from there.

So I printed off the application. The printer is located in the living room where my parents usually are watching TV together. I walked downstairs to retrieve it and naturally my folks asked what I was printing off. When I told them the conversation I just had upstairs, they jolted with excitement! ‘MERCERSBURG?!!! What a great opportunity! It’s far away but that would be awesome!’ For a split second, it almost seemed like my parents were more excited about the idea of me teaching at Mercersburg Academy than I was! Ha!

Now, listen to how fast this went (and this will keep my story shorter! haha!). I sent in my stuff, had a phone interview, and was on a flight up there to interview in person in less than a week! During my time up there, they put me through an interview gauntlet. I was given a tour, I sat down with the entire Fine Arts Department and many other members of the faculty and administration, and stayed in the Mercersburg Inn. It felt like going back home in a sense, especially when I was on my tour. A lot of things had changed but then again, a lot was the same. I was able to talk to many faculty that were still teaching up there from when I was a Post-Graduate.

When I left, I ended up having to stay in Atlanta for the night because of flight delays due to a bad storm. The next day after I got back to Alabama, I was helping set up Chilton County Middle School’s 5th grade instrument night in the early evening. This was a time for any 5th grader that was interested in being in band in middle school to try out all the instruments and see which one would be the best fit for them. A good number of the middle school band students came to help out with everything. Before the families started coming in, I got a phone call from the Head of School of Mercersburg Academy offering me the job up in Pennsylvania! I was SO excited. I couldn’t wait to tell my parents!

But as excited as I was to tell my folks, I wasn’t very excited to tell a certain group dear to my heart. The middle school and high school band kids. (This is the bitter part). The day I announced it to them was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. There were so many tears. We had an impact on each other. They taught me a lot and I think I taught them a little something here and there. And I mean more than just music. Each morning before the school day started, I prayed that I would have the opportunity to teach the students more than just music. From my experiences, I wanted to teach them how to do life, how to be beneficial citizens, and how to love! From all the heart melting notes, Facebook posts, beautiful gifts, and SOUL-REACHING hugs, I think I was able to do that. At the same time, they taught me the exact same thing. I appreciated how mature they were going about it. One student said, ‘The selfishness inside of me wants you to stay, but I completely understand this is a wonderful opportunity for you. So I want you to go.’ WOW!

I do want to share just a few photos of my last day with them. And it’s hard to pick just a few because they are all so excellent. It happened to be their picture day so they are in their new uniforms!

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Now, I LOVE all of the photos from my years down in Clanton and look back at them often, but there is one photo that I believe captures the essence of my time there. And to this day, I can’t look at it for very long before my eyes fill with emotional tears. I want you to see the genuine emotion in her eyes as she buries her head in my shoulder. I praise to Jesus for moments like this. THIS is why I teach. I’ll cherish it forever.

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In my next post, I’ll highlight some events during my first year teaching up in Pennsylvania!

May God Bless You and Keep You!