Saturday, August 1, 2009

Updates Updates Updates!!

OK so my title makes it sound like I'm posting some big news. I WISH! No, nothing really is going on, though I am blogging from Nashville, Tennessee! Nope, haven't moved here (well, yet!) but I am visiting for the week! It's more to get out of town for a week than anything. I got here Thursday evening and haven't done a whole lot, but I'm not complaining. I'm in a beautiful air conditioned house with people I enjoy being around.

Yesterday we went with Heather's sister Kristie to the famous Loveless Cafe, which is just a few miles from where Andy and Heather live. It's famous for southern cooking, particularly its biscuits. When you walk in, the main waiting area is covered with autographed pictures of famous people who have eaten there. I must say I enjoyed the food I got there: hand-breaded chicken fingers (which were freakin' huge!), crinkle fries, and mashed potatoes. It was all very good! Today Andy and I went to a luncheon for the Vanderbilt Housing Alliance, an association for the spouses of those currently in their residency here in Nashville. I thought it was an excellent organization and they provided a reeeeeealy good lunch (not to mention an amazing lemon!). Most of the group is made up of women (counting myself, there were all of 5 guys there total and like 50 women), so many of the smaller groups within the organization are geared towards that, but even then it's a great idea with something for everyone. It made me grateful for the organization of the church too. Many of the people in this group have come here with little or no support system, so this organization is a valuable too to help make the transition easier. How wonderful to know that wherever we end up, we also have the church organization (particularly the local ward) as a support and constant. One group this organization helps support is the Hospital Hospitality House of Nashville, which is similar to the Ronald McDonald House in providing housing and care for those who come to Nashville for the treatment of a loved one and have no money to afford a long-term hotel room or even food. The "HHH" is able to supply basic needs so the family member can focus on being the support for their loved one in the hospital without having to worry about even more expenses. What struck me in the presentation they made is the genuine desire to just help people for the sake of helping. If I had money to give, that would be something I would give money to support.

As far as other updates, the play ended July 18. We had a great closing week and the final performance went really well. After the show we took the set apart and my dad took the lights down the following Tuesday. I definitely miss being around the cast, but thankfully the last night of the show wasn't the last time we al got together. On the 24th I went with several of the children cast members and some of their parents (many of whom were also in the cast) to visit Historic Kirtland and the Kirtland Temple. Not only did we pick a fantasic day weatherwise to go (the day before and the day after it rained), but it was also Pioneer Day, a day we celebrate the arrival of the early Latter-day Saints in the Salt Lake Valley (July 24, 1847). I had a great time seeing the sites, but especially being with some of the cast again. It was even cooler being with them at the actual sites where the play took place. We were able to sing "He Lives" in the actual School of the Prophets room and sing "Spirit of God" in the Kirtland Temple. Way cool!

We had a cast recording the next day, where we all got together and recorded most of the vocal numbers from the show professionally. A recording had been made available from the show itself, but this one will be more balanced than a straight recording from the show and without any audience noise. Not only that, it gave us an excuse to get together again! I can't wait to hear the finished product! I also got to see a few cast members the next day when I went to the Hiram Ward to hear Bobby Berryhill (who played Lorenzo Snow) give his "farewell" address. He is set to leave for the Nevada Las Vegas mission in just a few short days. It was nice to "see him off" and visit the Hiram Ward. I hadn't been in that building since sometime in 1999 or 2000 and I have no idea the last time I attended a sacrament meeting there!

As for my job search, no such luck just yet, though July was going to be dead anyway as pretty much all principals are off during July, so there is little if any movement. Already I have started applying for 3 openings in Lorain, Ohio, so we will see how that goes. At this point I'm preparing to start subbing in Kent and the surrounding districts. While it won't allow for total financial independence, it will allow for some and still give me some flexibility. I'm also keeping my eyes open for other job opportiunities besides just teaching music in a public school setting and am open to teaching abroad. I got my PRAXIS scores a few weeks ago (I took it in June) and found out I did well enough to earn a distiction on the test (top 15%), which translates to finishing 20 points above where I needed to. While I'd love to feel really good about it, it has little bearing on getting a job and to be honest, after plunging some $20,000 into graduate school, I BETTER have done really well on that test! I was just glad I passed so I could apply for my teaching license.

1 comment:

Kjersti said...

Jon, you sound really happy! YAY! I am sure everything will work out for you!