And now, a brief history of the next few years.
I realized that a fair amount of my friends were not fully aware of my new endeavors in the life of higher education, so I thought I would briefly clarify what I’m up to these days.
Roughly two years ago, the tour life came to a bit of a slow period. That happens from time to time, but this time it seemed to be elongated. I didn’t have a job, or gigs and that generally doesn’t amount to a happy wife. Also it means that you can’t pay your mortgage.
Out of the blue, I got an email about a high school looking for a percussion instructor. Now, I had been working at another high school as a clinician, but this was a job. Like a job, job. Full time, playing drums and teaching kids how to do the same. I was, as the kids say “down” with that job.
So I took it, I loved it for a bit, then I hated it with most of my soul, then I came to the happy middle. There I remained for two school years. In that time, I had a gig here and a tour there, and what became more apparent in my life is the bizarre and horrifying reality that I was starting to dig the teaching job more than the tour life. How could this be?!
In the words of Elaine Benes “oh it be.”
So I found myself in the familiar waters of uncertainty and doubt, mixed with a little bit of depression, and a splash of existentialism.
In November of 2011 I had coffee with a mentor of mine who also happens to be a professor of percussion at a local college. I always love having coffee with him because I leave that place convinced that I can change the world. He shot me straight. The convo went a little something like this:
Dennis: “You’re doing the job of a teacher, you just need the credentials to make it legit.”
Me: “I have no intention of going to college, let’s not start that talk”
D: “You’re starting to love teaching aren’t you?”
Me: “Yes, but I’m trying to hate it.”
D: “Have you figured out what you need to do” (at this point I have a faint memory of him waving his hand in front of my face, and all but saying these aren’t the droids you’re looking for..but the memory escapes me)
Me: “I should probably go to college, huh?”
So thats that. I’m not totally convinced of anything at this point, but I’m starting to piece together a few truths when they turn up. One is that I think I am, at least for this chapter of my life, supposed to be a music teacher. Another is that I’ve not felt so emotionally stable (at least in my head) since I can remember. <—-that sentence will likely give my wife anxiety. I’ve not been incredibly rock steady in the depression department, so for her to hear that this may be as good as it gets may or may not be a huge bummer for her. The poor dear!
So college is happening. I know that much. The rest is unfolding as I go. I want to chronicle it as much as possible because I think some funny and interesting things are going to happen as I go. We’ll see.