My junior year of college, I was taking Instrumental Techniques. The class was being given an introduction to flute. After learning how to hold the instrument, we were taught that the easiest way to describe proper flute embouchure is to simply say ‘poo’. Of course, this brought out a few giggles, but the class stayed on task. Next we were encouraged to have a steady stream of air in order to get a note to sound. Flute is arguably the hardest to produce a sound with, at least at first, and without a good air stream, nothing will happen. When we finished our introduction to the flute, our band director summarized how to produce sound on the flute. ”What you need is a steady stream going ‘poo’.” At this point, more than a few laughs erupted from the class. Though more than able to laugh at himself, after a while our band director told us to stop being middle schoolers. But, really, I don’t think you’re ever too old for a good poop joke.
My full time student teaching required an hour long commute one way. I didn’t mind the drive so much; it gave me a chance to think and transition from student to teacher, work to play. But because jazz band was a zero period, it meant I would wake up at 4:30 every morning. Because I had a roommate, I’d usually get dressed in the dark, so as not to wake her up. After getting ready, I’d drive for an hour and get to school about 20 minutes before class. On this particular morning, I got ready like I did every other day, but when I got to school and stepped out of my car, I realized I was wearing one black shoe and one brown shoe. Why I realized then, I don’t know, because I had been wearing them from approximately and hour and a half at that point. When I got in the building, I opted to take of my shoes and teach in socks. So much for professionalism.
Several months later, a student who had graduated and was now preparing for college juries asked on his facebook page whether to wear a tie and cummerbund or just a tie. I told him just a tie would be fine, but to remember his black socks. Another former student posted after me to remind him that this fashion advice was coming from someone who wore two different shoes. At least I made a lasting impression.
Philippians 1:6 “…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ.”
Ecclesiastes 3:14 “…whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it.”
I cannot be changed by my own efforts, but by God’s work in my heart. He will keep working to change me until perfection; I just have to let him. And no one can take from me the work God has done. What he does is final because it is good and complete. Praise God!
While student teaching, I would arrive about 20 minutes before 0 period jazz band started to mentally prepare for class. The band room usually wasn’t opened until about 10 minutes before class started, so a group of students would collect in the hall, waiting. One morning I overheard a conversation between a couple of my trombone players. One of them was explaining how he learned the night before that he was completely unable to multitask. He was in the kitchen holding a bowl of ice cream and a cup of coffee, and couldn’t figure out how to walk while holding both items. He had to carry them out one at a time.
Rehearsal started, and eventually I started working with the trombones on a section where they had to play a couple stabs on the upbeats. It wasn’t lining up, and after several failed methods I finally stopped and said, “Come on, guys, it’s not like you’re trying to carry ice cream and coffee at the same time.” While it didn’t directly improve their playing, it at least elicited a laugh.
“The usual notion of what Jesus did on the cross runs something like this: people were so bad and so mean and God was so angry with them that he could not forgive them unless somebody big enough took the rap for the whole lot of them. Nothing could be further from the truth. Love, not anger, brought Jesus to the cross. Golgotha came as a result of God’s great desire to forgive, not his reluctance. Jesus knew that by his vicarious suffering he could actually absorb all the evil of humanity and so heal it, forgive it, redeem it.” - Richard J. Foster from A Celebration of Discipline
“Jesus’ work focuses on “reconciliation”, which means putting things back in right relationship again…We are not the reconciler, Jesus is. However, we are His ambassadors, representing His kingdom and all that it entails to a broken world, which leads to the following definition of poverty alleviation: moving people closer to glorifying God by living in right relationship with God, with self, with others, and with the rest of creation.” - Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert from When Helping Hurts
- I was observing the top band rehearse during my full time student teaching. The director was working on a very beautiful section of the music in which the horns have the melody.
- Band Director: So what you've got to do here is think of the most beautiful person you know--
- Horn Player: Oh, me, of course!
- Band Director: --that you want to sneak behind the bleachers and have a moment with. Is it still you?