jumping ahead

hard to believe it has been a month since i’ve written anything, but i have been mildly filled with anxiety for awhile, and that never seems to be a good time to put things in print.  today as i had a conversation with a dear friend i was reminded of a time at northwest, and yes, i haven’t really gotten to that point in this blog, but i’ll jump there anyway.  we were discussing “easy” and not being taken seriously, and though terms meant different things between today and another previous discussion, today i was reminded of how i felt my second time around at my alma mater, and it also brought back some joyous memories.

one of the things i had the pleasure of teaching at northwest both 2 year stints there, was music appreciation.  now most people bitch about having to teach this course.  many “real” professors find it not fun to teach non-majors who are just taking an elective and may have no real interest…they are just looking for the “easiest” class.  and a lot of these lecture classes are large.  at northwest they ran 40-60 students.  i think 55 was our cap, but you could let up to five more students in (enough seats) if needed.  and two of us usually did.  myself, and bill richardson.  we were the “popular” teachers for this course.  for me, i think it was the class i felt most confident teaching, and maybe because there weren’t majors questioning each little thing along the way.  my first time teaching the course (after my first year i actually always taught two sections) i had spent a good month preparing over the summer, part of the time at my friend robie’s in silver springs (right outside dc).  she would go to work at 6 am, i’d get up around 7 am, spend 2-3 hours prepping the class and then head into dc and go to all the free museums, return home in time to spend an hour or two with her for dinner, and then she’d go to bed (early–like 8:30) and i’d do some light reading.  i was totally prepared for this class.  and, i made up my own tests in this time frame.

i had always hated classes where teachers just regurgitated the book.  so i had gone through the book to highlight things that needed to be stressed, but after the first part of the book (more on that in a bit) most of my lecture was supplemental (also on purpose as this part of what would be on the test you would have to attend class for–ending with a preposition, so i’m definitely not an english teacher).  ok, so the first part of the book dealt with terms and musical ideas….all of this before starting with medieval music…and i had worked with enough theory students and general music students to know where a lot of disconnects are, plus, there is a lot of early music that i find pretty hard to stomach, and for the most part, music apprec. students do too.  so my examples for all the terms and such were modern music.  an eclectic array of 20th and 21st century music.  and then we would start with the early stuff, of which i totally sped through until getting to the baroque (as seriously, other than a dusting of exposure, what non-music person really wants to spend a week on chants and such).  and even the baroque and classical, i know we covered quicker than my counterparts (except richardson) as they all gushed over the myriad of examples the text and accompanying cds gave.  again, i had told the students that they were responsible for anything that was contained in the text, whether we talked about it or not, whether we listened to it or not, and in addition, anything i would lecture over (1/4 text, 3/4 additional info and listening).  once we got to the romantic period i slowed down a lot.  the connection to the other arts, the connection to what was happening in the world….it all seems to resound more in the students starting here.  they can relate.  so we moved at a normal pace, and then, miraculously, it also gave us time to get to 20th century music (all the different types–post romantic, impressionism, expressionism, atonal, etc), including jazz, musical theatre, gospel, pop, etc.  i would spend a whole week on musical theatre as that was a strength.  bill would spend a week on jazz.  and both of us gave students a chance to present a short lecture on a strength of theirs if they wanted it (the only extra credit i offered).  i think in 4 years i had 5 students take me up on this (one great lecture on ska, and another on american progressive metal come to mind).  and bill and i would would try to incorporate really cool things.  for instance, we both after lecture and demonstration would have the kids write 12-bar blues lyrics, and then we would set the better ones to music.  i would do the pink floyd “dark side of the moon”/wizard of oz demo.  things to make this course not so dry (in fact my friend mary jane would brag about this aspect of my teaching when she introduced me to people–but she was also a good example of really trying to connect with students to increase learning).  again, not a music major course.

and my tests were hard (according to students, and according to grades received).  as promised, you had to read the text (although anything from the text on a test, i did mention in class), you had to come to class to get the supplemental….and, there were sooo many times i gave away test questions by saying “now this would make a great test question” and writing something on the board.  but still i’d have a handful of A’s, a few more B’s, a shit ton of C’s, some D’s and usually 3-4 flunking.  crazy.

this second time around, there was a new teacher, schultz’s replacement, pam shannon.  a great performer, not so great voice teacher, and apparently a really boring apprec. teacher.  her class followed one of mine.  i had 60 in mine and she had 50.  i would usually have 45-55 students show up, and she would average 25-30.  she asked me on day after seeing a almost full class leave how i got kids to come.  i told her a few of the things i tried to do to make the material more interesting, and how each day began with a “listening” assignment which was worth 5 points.  basicly it was an attendance policy that would raise your grade at the end if you were borderline, but as class was to start, you would listen, or listen/watch and write about the selection using terms discovered in the first section of the book.  5 points a day no matter what you wrote, but most things were pretty on point.  and if you missed the listening, you missed the points….so not a lot of latecomers.

two days after our discussion, all the apprec teachers are called to a meeting to see how we can all line up our “curriculums”.  we are all using the same texts but apparently their are discrepancies in the way we present material.  some of us aren’t as “serious” and are “easy”.  which is funny as i have fewer A’s at the end of each semester than my “serious” counterparts.  bill and i were pissed, but, it really wasn’t going to effect me as my time there was almost done.  but it did bother me that people didn’t see me as serious about what i was doing, or thinking that i was doing it well….or even that they thought i was easy.  i still keep in touch, and am facebook friends with kids that came out of sections of music appreciation.  and, it was a course i’d miss teaching when i started at cookman.  honestly, i’d have volunteered to teach all sections of that if anyone wanted…..i think the passion for it is more important than whether you are getting to work with majors.  but hey, what do i know, i don’t have a doctorate, and i’m not really a performer.  just a public school teacher who got lucky in the eyes of most of my colleagues.


drinking and driving

i know my stance on drinking and driving pisses a lot of people off, or at least annoys them.  libby recalled the sliding scale i used to carry around that you would input your gender, weight, and amount of drinks and it would tell your blood alcohol level.  i myself (except for one occasion in 2011 which i will explain later) have never driven drunk.  in fact, for each drink i have, i wait 2 hours before driving, more if i haven’t eaten.  and considering i usually only have 1-2 drinks, well, that is easily a 4 hour wait.

most of my college years, and well after i have been the designated driver (and in europe, the designated walker–sent with a group by weymuth to keep them from being too loud on the way back from the bars so as not to piss off the german locals).

one of my best friends in jr high had her stepdad killed by a drunk driver.  this guy and my friend’s mom were out on the bypass on their bikes training for ragbrai, or the register’s annual great bike ride across iowa.  this guy had been out at the country club drinking all day, then got in his truck.  my friend’s mom, who was also the high school art teacher, turned her head to see where her husband was behind her, and watched the truck plow into him, killing him instantly.  i have seen some people pretty devastated by death, but when my parents sent me over to hang out and talk to tracy the next day, i remember seeing her mom on the couch surrounded by relatives and just sobbing and wailing.  the guy driving of course didn’t get hurt at all, and i don’t remember him going to jail for very long.  and he was apparently speeding, even for the bypass.

the second person i knew who was killed was one of our community librarians.  she was also the mother of the guy i played mixed doubles with at tournaments.  until i could drive, his mom would take us to almost every tournament, and after we got our licenses, she came to watch anyway.  she would have been in her forties when it happened, and i was a sophomore in college, but home for the summer teaching tennis.  she was driving back from des moines and a library conference and was two miles from town.  a drunk truck driver crossed the median and hit her head on.  again, she was killed instantly, and he walked away without a scratch.  for weeks after this, on my commute to and from villisca at night for play practice, i would pull over any time i saw a truck coming the other way.

in college a classmate and good friend of mine, amy sommers was killed the night before student teaching was to begin.  she had decided to drive down (south) to her destination the night before so as to not have to be driving so early in the morning.  a couple of priests who had been driving ran a stop sign at a T intersection between maryville and st. joe, and rammed into her car from the side going about 40 mph.  she was thrown through the windshield and died instantly.  and i believe they again got off pretty easy.  the driver had supposedly only had a couple of glasses of wine and had eaten.

and at maryville high school while i was teaching there, a very talented, smart senior was out drinking with his friends, and on the way home the cops tried to stop him as he was swerving.  he tried to outrun the cops and had a wreck.  now he is wheelchair bound for life, and has lost most of his capacity for speech and higher level thinking.  his parents get to take care of him for the rest of his life.  he was in a coma for a long time, and i’m not sure if it was really a blessing that he lived.

bottom line is, all of these incidents were preventable.  i know it is inconvenient to call a friend, or a cab, or line up a dd, or wait extra time, but it really bothers me when people say, “well, i just had one drink”  or “i ate while i drank”….and chances are most people would be ok driving until they had to react quickly….as in reacting to someone else’s poor driving.  but as far as my friends are concerned, i don’t want to lose any of them to situations that could be prevented, so i continue to state my case and question whether they should drive.

i have always, anywhere i have taught, high school or college, given out my number and requested that students call me if in doubt and i would take them home, no questions asked and no reporting to school officials.  i’ve had quite a few take me up on the offer.

my only time breaking my rule was in new hampshire.  we were in the woods, and had been drinking that night after a performance.  there had probably been 3 hours that passed between the last time i’d drank, but i’d had about 4 drinks.  but a situation arose where someone needed to leave as they had been physically assaulted, and the person was still around, and my cabin was not far.  so against my better judgement i drove us very slowly through the woods about a half a mile at 3 am in the morning.  we got there ok, but i hated the fact that i had broken my vow, as i know there was still alcohol in my system.

looking back, i’d do it again in that situation, being the distance and location and really there was no one else to call as we couldn’t really describe where we were, but, i don’t think this is the scenario where most people make the judgement call.  most of the time, there are other options, and i wish more people would seek them out and take them.


i almost shut down yesterday. which is to say i almost retreated from people, which is not a good thing for me generally, but right now i am so consumed with guilt that it is hard to see past it. and, unfortunately, i am in a job where i would at least have to function within my job, which i can totally do, but i’m sure i wouldn’t be as effective, as i would shut down all the characteristics which allow me to really empathize and to put myself into the others’ shoes.

guilt has always lurked in the background. from kara’s college situation on, my ability to read and react to others has always relied on this to a point. my guilt now is being in the wrong place at the wrong time. or just not being able to be where i feel i could have done the most good. this guilt has cropped up a lot lately. i feel like i should have quit my job earlier and moved out to take care of my aunt. i feel guilty for not being able to travel when mary jane and kara’s moms died, as it was a bad time where i was taking care of someone else.

i recently acquired a bit of information that totally came unexpected. and i feel if i had been present, i could have prevented a lot of bad from happening. not that i would have been there, but if i weren’t in this job there is a chance i might have been. and i know that not being in the physical presence makes people that much harder to read. and i know that when people are truly in a bad way, they hide it and go on as if nothing is wrong, in fact sometimes making it look as though they are happier…..so i can’t feel guilty about not seeing this coming. it is only when you can see the pain in the eyes and face and tone of voice and posture that you can truly tell someone is faking it. or just getting by. but if i had been there, i’m pretty sure i would have noticed…i would at least have seen the tell-tale signs of substance abuse.

and how would i have handled that? i question that too, as i have gone from the extreme of cutting out alcohol to make a point, to doing the drugs right along with the person, just so they saw the effects. and luckily both choices worked….but am i in the state yet to have handled this as well? but i wasn’t there, so i won’t know and i can only feel guilty about letting yet another person down.

so i do what i can do, and i change my flight yet another time, and hope for the best. it sits well on top of not really knowing what this spring will hold. and many hours on a bus in “quiet time” is not a great distraction from the thoughts that ensue.

what i didn’t learn in college

so even though i was working a job and a half those first two years at st. gregs/library it was pretty decent as i had some schedule flexibility.  i wasn’t allowed to put in more than 40 hours per week at the library and since i worked most weekends, i had to take time off during the weekdays.  this was great when i was needed for special extra days at school, and allowed me to also start accompanying a few lessons in the music department again.  once i would go full-time at st. gregs, then i would continue to do some lessons that were after 3 pm.

during this time dr. schultz went on a sabbatical.  her replacement was a young female who had a doctorate from umkc and had been teaching at william jewell.  i can’t remember whose lessons i played for at first (might have been sarah thomas), but the things i was learning were amazing.  so i asked for lessons.  let me back up.

i came to northwest with no formal voice training.  my teacher was mr. mitchell.  i will say i owe so much to this man in many ways.  the chances he gave me with accompanying the choirs as a freshman.  the literature he threw at me to play.  the patience.  and quite seriously, i have NEVER worked for a better conductor.  he was so easy to follow, and tough, but new what he wanted, and every rehearsal was super structured, no time wasted, and you could see how each rehearsal was really based on the previous day’s work.  as far as voice lessons he was very knowledgeable.  he was the only teacher at nw i ever saw use a 3-D model for explanation.  but he would probably admit that by about my sophomore year, he was ready to retire.  the common nw voice structure (i played for all studios) was 10 minutes or less of technique and 20-50 minutes of repertoire work depending on the time period.  no one at this time was having studio classes weekly.  usually once a semester town or schultz might have one before juries, but many semesters there were none.  every once in awhile there would be an outsider who came in to do a master class.  this was a big deal as afterwards there would always be a lot of talk about how great or horrible the clinicians were.

until i started taking lessons with dr. rebecca folsom (i would learn more in my first 3 lessons than in five years at nw) i had no idea what i wasn’t getting.  while going through the program i had major respect for all the teachers.  some of them i still do….but the bottom line is, none of them really taught much technique, and some of them taught some easily disputed technique.  and the only major pedagog who was ever mentioned was richard miller.

i did however learn a shit ton of literature.  weymuth was great for literature for high school teachers.  until there senior recitals, most of the lit was hs appropriate, and then an occasional song cycle or aria would be thrown in.  town was good for oratorio selections, male operatic works, and obscure british and american composers.  patty was the aria queen and also assigned a lot of french (though never poulenc).  mr. mitchell was probably the most well-rounded, but was the only other teacher to ever assign french, loved german song cycles, and american composers.  i am thankful to have come away with the rep.

but to realize how little i really knew about the voice (still considering this is an impure science) and how teaching voice had been approached over time, was quite a slap.  becky had studied with inci bashar at umkc.  i took a few lessons while she was covering at nw, and then continued to take some afterwards, driving down to jewell, usually on fridays, so that afterwards my roommate and i could also go to inci’s masterclasses at umkc.

when i got hired at nw, i’m sure a lot of people who had gone through the program thought “why should she get hired?  i know as much as she does.”  seriously, if i hadn’t have started these lessons, gone to umkc masterclasses, started studying other pedagogs (at becky’s prodding) i would totally agree.

it was soon after this that i began teaching privately, mostly to maryville high school students that i had had as 7th and 8th graders at st. gregs.  so much to learn, so much trial and error.  i would continue to take lessons in kc when i could, and on days off or breaks, i would go down and spend a day watching becky teach her regular college students.  after she moved on (she was hired at boston conservatory) i would start taking a few lessons with another inci protegee, mary jane wilder, who taught at mid-america nazarene.  i would also go and spend days watching her teach.  alissa walters’ open door policy continued my growth, and i managed to get a few lessons out of her too.  and, as pretentious as they are, i will say the NATS national conferences actually had some presentations that were new and valid information for me, which was a nice contrast to the state music conferences where i felt were just the same material being regurgitated.

northwest had some other areas that i think were exceptional: theory classes were strong, music history was valid, and there were opportunities for independent studies.  but if i had it all to do over, i think to be serious i would pick a conservatory setting.  it took me awhile to get over all the things i wasn’t given in my education, but i am thankful for what i was given, and thankful to find a door to what i needed to succeed at what i would begin to do for the next 10-12 years.

st. gregs 1

So after finishing up my spring semester at nodaway-holt with a fantastic performance of “little shop”, 3 concerts, and the most 1’s at district and state contest in over a decade i was done and didn’t yet have a job in hand.  i had interviewed in several places, the most promising being south page, which would have been a replacement for rick clipson whom they were letting go.  My mom had taught there the year before i was born.  i had a great interview, the students apparently loved me (was told by an administrator), and it would be a doable drive for me.  they gave it to my former bell choir director, who had taught there years before (many) and had left the position when they had cut it to half-time to take a job at a bank, where she had been for over 15 years…the bank was getting rid of her position, and apparently the administrators felt sorry that they had cut her position the first time.  so she quickly went back and got the hours she needed to teach again.  one of my final interviews was at st. gregorys.  i wasn’t really that into the job as it was only part-time (16 hours a week) and would pay $8000 for the year.  and it was only K-8, and you had to play for mass.  but i needed a job (as at this point i was supporting two people—my first relationship) and so i took the interview when it was offered.  again i was told that the principal had checked with my former superintendent and knew i hadn’t been let go because of anything i had done.  one of the last questions was my perception of things i had done for my previous school and community.  as i talked about the long hours of working with band students when their instructor was out for 3 weeks, tutoring kids so they would be eligible for music and athletic events, helping out other teachers with their concession stands, volunteering to come over and help at the fair…i broke down.  i was later told this was the answer and reaction that secured my hiring.  that principal would also copy my northwest transcript file for me and tell me to replace june mcdonald’s recommendation as it was not as well written or glowing as dr. schultz’s or my cooperating teacher’s.

my job at st. gregory’s would be tues/thurs (k-4 mass one day/5-8 the other) and any special mass days.  so now to find another job to put with this one as i had been making about 20 thousand previously with stipend pay and full health benefits.  now i would pay half my health insurance and not even make half as much.  there was a full-time generalist position open at the owens library.  i know i got an interview because i had been a graduate assistant there as a lot of the people were the same.  this was generalist/circulation…in charge of circulation student workers, shelving, fining/overdues, lost books, check in/out, and cross-trained to work periodicals, reference, and acquisition. this was to help in the periodicals nightly/weekend office hour rotation, and because the 4 generalists rotated opening and closing the building on the weekends, and closed the weeknights.  regular librarians could then be left to do their job.  in fact on weekends, they left an hour before closing and came in an hour after opening.  besides being familiar with people and part of the circulation job already, i cinched the job when i announced that due to my schedule for tues/thurs that i would be willing to work every other weekend so that the other 3 only had to worry about weekend work once every other month.  this 40 hour a week job paid 12 thousand a year, so now i would work 56 hours a week for my 20,000 and not get summers off.

it was actually probably a nice break since my ego had been bruised and i had next to no self esteem.  sue dorrel (principal) would butt heads a bit my first semester….until the first concert.  apparently the k-8 concerts had run about 20 minutes in length for the vocal portion with each grade singing 1-2 songs.  i made each class do 5-7 songs, there were highlighted soloists, and even some riser choreography.  sue would still sometimes get on me for my love of practical jokes…but she also would call on me to substitute for the religion classes when she had to be gone.  i finally asked her why me when she knew how liberal my views were.  her response was that she knew i would actually teach the content given me even if i didn’t agree, and she thought the baptists in the building would use it as a time to introduce their religion.  she was correct that i never strayed from her lesson plans.

after two years i was pretty beat with the schedule and the pay.  i had interviewed in harrisonville, and it was another one of interviews i nailed, they offered it the next day.  i told my principal about it and how I really didn’t want to take it.  she told me to delay them 3 days and 3 days later they had added a cataloging job in the library/expanded music classes/k-3 spanish to my job, making it full-time.  so no more library for the next two years.  she also agreed to an hour and fifteen minutes of release time mon/wed/fri as dr. town had approached me about accompanying tower choir–he was going to take over that fall.

i’m sure i’ll come back to a few more details about this time period, but this is pretty long for now.  connects to the weight loss time period as well.

calling bullshit

working out on tour is hard.  it is cold here.  the days (as of sunday) of running outside are over for awhile.  so late after rehearsal i head to the basement of our host house and do ten minutes on the elliptical and thirty on the bike.  definitely not as much as i should be doing.  tonight i didn’t want to do it at all, but forced myself because we were actually home by 6 pm which is very early for us.  why do i obsess?  because for 6 years i was fat.

my entire youth i was thin.  so thin in fact that my mom took me to the doctor to see if i had worms.  after that i got to eat pretty much whatever i wanted.  the doctor recommended ice cream and shakes.  i would have at least one chocolate cone with layers of peanut butter in between a day.

looking back this is not surprising.  i biked probably at least 10-15 miles a day every day in the summer.   i played all sports as soon as i was old enough.  and once i got good at tennis?  i was down at the courts anywhere from 3-9 (days i taught lessons) hours a day.  and i rode my bike to get there most of the time.  in college i was on the tennis team my freshman/junior years (red-shirted my sophomore year because of celebration tour).  during grad school i quit playing as i didn’t have time to do anything but study, work on my paper, and do my assistantship.  during the regular school year my assistantship was accompanying in the music department.  in the summer, i was lucky enough to have one at the college library.  but both of these were pretty much sit on your ass and do nothing jobs.  i also went from eating meals (most of the time grilled chicken and steak fries) to eating meals and snacking (thanks to a new roommate who ate horribly and was fat).  she worked at golden corral.  my new late night snack (after i had already eaten dinner) was a baked potato loaded with cheese, ranch dressing, and bacon, that she would bring home after work each night.  i went from being 105 to around 165-170 pounds.  and i stayed this way for six years.

i call bullshit on all the fat people who say they are “comfortable” with their bodies.  bullshit.  you talk yourself into it, but it is NOT more comfortable than when you weigh what you should.  it is not easier to find clothes, to feel good about yourself, to walk up stairs, to sit in chairs, to exercise, to play sports (except batting in softball—this improved, and i could bowl with a 12 pound ball for the first time ever—-but my softball fielding sucked, whereas before i’d been pretty good), anything.  it sucks.  but somehow, you justify it in your mind that you are ok with it.  this is probably why i am pretty biased against obese people.  because i’ve been there.  and if you have a condition (thyroid, etc) then get some help.  otherwise, start exercising and watching your damn portions.

my weight lose was actually jump-started a bit before i got serious.  i had the flu so bad that for four days i couldn’t keep anything down.  i lost 12 pounds.  a week later i had put back on 6.  then, a relationship i’d been in for 5 years ended.  i didn’t eat for several days.  there went another 5 pounds.  being down to 160 pounds and miserable i started reading diet books, thinking maybe if i looked better i could win back the person i’d lost.  susan powter’s book clicked.  it wasn’t about starving yourself.  it was about math.  knowing that 3500 calories was a pound.  and to figure out how many calories you expended each day from just being, and then either exercise or eat less or if you really wanted to drop weight, both.  but not cut out any foods.  just watch portions.  eating more throughout the day in smaller amounts.  knowing what foods you could eat a ton of because they had fewer calories–to balance the meal where you wanted sour cream.  and it worked.  it was not easy, it was not quick….and, the more you lose, the more you keep refiguring the math.  it is the poor man’s weight watchers (except no fiber figured in).  and four months later i was down to 120.  so i bought new clothes (spring–all winter i’d been wearing layers) and everyone was shocked.  my principal called me in and asked if i was anorexic.  i said no, but that i understood how people could get caught up in the idea of losing weight.  i would lose another 10 pounds before i settled in and put back on a few and found my comfortable weight of 112.  this is where i feel good.  where my body works efficiently.  where clothes fit well.  sometimes i am above a bit, sometimes i fall below (but not for long as i eat things i shouldn’t during these times).  when i start to reaching 115-118 i start working out more and eat less again.  anything over 120 it is too easy not to stop.

i will admit about a month in after i’d learned how to run multiple miles at a time, i started using the exercise part as a stress reliever too, and to combat loneliness.  so i’d work out twice a day, putting in the equivalent of 7-10 miles a day.  this was the obsessive part for me.  but that didn’t last too long.  all of this was during my time at st. gregorys, which i haven’t talked about yet.  but it seemed fitting since i had to force myself to work out tonight.  but my heart thanks me.  so if you read this and you want help with the math, or motivation…i’ve been there.  i understand.  and i’m a phone call or a text away.


so now there will probably be interjections about tour.  we are currently in rehearsals for “a christmas carol” in omaha, and i am the child wrangler for 3 kids.  i will probably not use the names of the company or the kids as apparently there is software that theaters use to find out what is being posted about their venue.  so far this has been a very positive experience.  the hard part for me is walking into groups where i don’t know anyone.  enfj….but i am so just barely over the line of extrovert.  so i am pretty quiet and reserved until i feel like i have a base of people that i am comfortable around.  i am also pretty surface most of the time.  everyone is nice, but you can already see the cliques forming, and being with the kids all day, i am pretty much an outsider.  i can’t go to lunch with people, and our place is one of the furthest from the theater, so going out at night with people isn’t much of an option either.

my housemate is pretty cool.  she is very liberal too, so we’ve had a few good conversations.  there is another guy who catches a ride from us almost daily and i like him a lot.  yesterday he was the recipient of my first backrub, and he really enjoyed it.  the kids are very nice, and so far their parents have not been a pain.

this job was out of necessity to have a job and make money to eat and pay bills.  last time i did a far away theatre job was in new hampshire.  that one i took to not go crazy in daytona over the summer. it was another point in my life where i felt very disappointed and betrayed by people, and i just wanted to go be submerged in musical theatre, be told what to do, hike, and not really be seen, just do my job.  much like here, i had to force myself to relate to people on a daily basis.  i did come away from that job with a good experience (except for the music director from hell for two shows), and three good friends, one that has become non-surface, and one that probably knows me better than anyone now, but potentially almost made me self-destruct.

i am often disappointed by people.  they don’t take friendships as seriously as i do, and they don’t reciprocate actions they seem to like, and often words are just that…words.  i have a very hard time taking people at their word, as so often it just in the end turns out again to not be true.  at least this last person that i put so much stock into warned me that they were like that…and they had a history that quite frankly makes them who they are, so a grudge can’t be held there.  not that i hold a grudge.  i don’t.  people are who they are, and that is why i really don’t let hardly anyone see below the surface.  the few people i have ever trusted, i go through a long period of testing before i really open up.  and i’m not sure i can think of anyone who hasn’t turned out to not be true to their word in the end.  maybe my expectations are too high.  so usually these people just become really good friends that i support and love and tell a few things to from time to time….but don’t share much beyond that.

potentially there is a new/old non-surface friend.  i have shared a bit more than i would normally, and a lot of the not-so-great happenings of the last 3 years or so.  again, time will tell if they are true to their word as i am close to really trusting, but that is a slippery slope.  each time rebounding is a bit more tough, and i wonder if there might come a time when i don’t rebound at all.