Saturday, July 11, 2009

I went back to MSU...

...and haven't been seen here ever since. I should have written that prediction into my last post. Or did I?

The two weeks I spent being immersed in Music Learning Theory were overwhelmingly fun, exhausting, inspiring...everything that I was certain they would be. The flood of learning was constant...philosophical ideas, educational research, theoretical concepts, practical knowledge and skills... It was enough to satisfy me for a while...the kind of learning that keeps growing, even after you leave the 'classroom.'

Ryan spent the first week and a half touring Lansing with Maya and Sophia. The highlight was Impression 5 Science Museum. But they also found gardens and playgrounds, mall play areas, parks, storytimes at libraries and bookstores. The girls loved having so much time with their Daddy. Uncle Randy and Aunt Jo entertained us, and put up with our chaos and noise, cooking for us all week, and even participated in 'practice music lessons' for me.

The next week marked the start of the real Summer Session, and daily 2 hour commutes both ways.

And now...
...I am drowning. In exhaustion. In the mess of my house. In my sadness over missing days in a row with my girls. In Music Theory assignments and quizzes (which bring back all my feelings of anxiety and insecurity and frustration that I remember from sitting in Math class!) In guilt for not completely enjoying the decadence of education.

I've been consuming audiobooks insatiably during my drives. That is a great pleasure. Except that for some reason, I've chosen really depressing stories lately, all seeming to have a common theme of death....Ellie Wiesel's Night, Leo Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Master and Man...and now I've begun Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea.
Don't tell me the ending...but I'm really hoping the old man does not die. However, he has been 2 days out at sea, without much food being pulled by a giant fish... Maybe I just need to find some light, shallow 'literature' to fill my time in the car.
One of my courses this summer is near the top of my 'favorites thus far' list, Curriculum with Judy Palac. She is a brilliant and generous thinker. I love being in her class...her smile and frequent laughter are engaging. She seems always patient and calmly assured as we discuss the questions she guides us with. And the content is exactly what I need most in my teaching right now. One of the things I've most enjoyed at MSU has been the balance and richness of learning both theoretical and practical....the unending immersion in scholarly research and philosophical writings...and the constant questioning and application of these ideas to actual teaching.

We took a fast trip to the cabin over the 4th of July weekend. It was a blur, and knowing this would be the case, I took lots of pictures.

While we were there we saw....
...a doe and a fawn crossing the road, 2 turkey vultures perched on the dock trying to intimidate a seagul to steal his fresh fish, a very loud osprey, a parade in 'downtown' Cedarville,a mechanic who put a new battery in our car which quit working, 1 tick on Maya's scalp, and Sophie constantly trying to get into trouble in and out of the cabin. It was quite a trip... Maya still sings "Around the corner's the cabin" (tune: For he's a jolly good fellow...) daily, sometimes changing the lyrics to reflect the fact that the cabin is actually not around the corner any more.

This weekend we've been trying to recover, spending as much time all together as we can, riding around town in our little old convertible...and I've been slowly attempting to finish my Music Theory homework.
I've almost given up on keeping my house clean...(thank you, sweet friend for helping me try :)
though my family has been eating well thanks to my Mother-in-law and Mother who keep feeding us.

Only 4 more weeks.


Redbaerd said...

Who knew that a post that chronicles the Job-like-exhaustion of your life could leave your readers so full of delight?

*NOT* delight (of course) at the more cinderella-before-the-fairy-god-mother-and-the-prom-aspects of your life. We mourn with you on these points.

But delight at the authorial beauty that you infuse it all with. Seriously. A great beautiful post.

Hope the four weeks both flies and is, yet, really meaningful and deepening...

Liz @ McFargan: A Midwestern Matrimony said...

Angie, we will make it through!!!! :)

You sure didn't seem clumsy when you presented our findings in Theory yesterday.

You have a beautiful family, and I can only imagine how kind they are if they're anything like you! :D Can't wait to read more of your blog - after school's over!