Wednesday, January 30, 2013

But Then There Was Hope

I know my last post was frustrating and downright depressing. I was in a very dark place. I know it hasn't been long, but I had to share some new insights.
I got a call from someone extremely dear to me that I haven't heard from in a very long time. It was strange, but through all I had been through, she was the only person I actually wanted to talk to. I just didn't know how to have the courage to call. I had prayed for understanding. That was all I wanted. And I didn't know how to go on. And then my phone rang. When I saw her number, my heart leapt. It was strange. I wasn't sure if I should answer the phone in my state. But I did. We talked for an hour and twenty minutes. Some aspects of the conversation were rough, for reasons only she and I know, but I don't recall having such a heartwarming conversation before.
I was somehow dragged out of my complete misery and given a little bit of hope. It was as though I had fallen into a hole so deep and dark that I could do nothing to save myself. I knew I needed the help of my Savior, but I had forgotten that sometimes He answers prayers by sending one of His daughters to open her heart and reach down for His struggling child.
I'm going to be ok. I can look forward to the future. I can put my trust in The Lord and learn from every experience I gained this past year.
Thank you, Kacie, for pulling me out.

And Then The Dream Was Shattered

A week ago this last Monday, I found out that my older color guard group didn't make it into as high of a class as anticipated. I wasn't too concerned, and thought they could do well there. Then I talked to the band director. His reply was, "We are an open class band. If our color guard isn't an open class color guard, then at the end of the season, you're done." Ouch. And then I cried.
Thursday afternoon I was on the phone with my old color guard director, who is also my dear friend. I was asking her for advice and ideas of things I could work on to become a better instructor at the high school I worked at. She gave me some really great ideas that I was excited to work on. I really want to be a successful color guard instructor, and have been struggling with it. I can't seem to connect with my older kids. But I couldn't figure out why. We were going to have a rehearsal Friday morning, and I was very excited to work with them again.
Friday came and we had a pretty good rehearsal. I feel like we accomplished a lot, but the kids were pretty chatty and distracted the whole time. The band director was present toward the end of the rehearsal and wanted to talk to me after. So I went into his office after rehearsal and he talked for an hour. I don't know what it is about band directors, they're all so long winded. Anyway, he brought up some of the same things I had discussed yesterday with my guard director from back in the day. He read me an angry email he got from a parent. Then he talked about the class we're in. He looked at the list and was like, "Oh, there will be some pretty good competition there." And I agreed. Then he said, "Well, it's not like we'll actually fire you. Let's wait until the Seniors graduate and then see how you do." Sounded good to me. I talked to him about some things I was struggling with when working with the kids, and he just agreed. No help from him whatsoever. I asked him if he might be able to come to a rehearsal and help me out so that I could learn. He said that he's pretty busy, but he might be able to do that. He did not seem thrilled. That was frustrating. I've come to him for help in the past and his reply is always, "It's your job, figure it out."
Tuesday the band director called me and said, "The administration would like to meet with us." I figured it was an angry parent. Supposedly guard instructors and band directors get called down there a lot at this particular high school. There must be something wrong with the parents in Southern Cache Valley. Anyway, I agreed to come in at 1:30 to meet with the administration. I was a little nervous, but not too worked up. Parents are ridiculous when it comes to their kids anyway.
So I go into the principal's office and set down Nigel and there's the band director, too. We all sat down and the principal had forgotten my name, so I had to remind him. Then he forgot the name of the program I was working with, and I had to remind him of that, too. Then the principal began:
"I've been talking with ****(insert whatever band director name you want) and the other administrators," he said, "and we feel like the color guard program needs to go in a different direction."
"Ok," I replied. "What direction would you like me to take?"
"Well," He paused, "We want to go in a direction that you aren't a part of." And that was the exact moment that my brain froze up.
"Why?" I asked, completely shocked. I knew things were tough, but firing me? If nobody tells me they need me to do something different, how will I know that I need to change?
"We can't tell you," the principal said.
"Why not?"
"Our district has a policy that we cannot say why we are letting someone go."
"Why would you do that?"
"Because then you could argue against us."
"But I want to be a color guard director. I want to do this. How am I supposed to get better and keep doing it if you won't even tell me what I need to work on?"
"You're trying to get it out of me, but district policy is that I don't tell you why you are being let go."
I took a second to think. This was crazy, I worked my butt off working on those shows and trying to work with the kids. The kids!
"What's going to happen to the kids?" I asked.
"We're bringing up ****(insert name of previous color guard director, who you would think walks on water the way everyone at this high school talks about her) to work with the kids for a few days and finish their shows." Slap in the face, Melanie. You suck so we'll bring in who we had before you since she was better anyway. It's too bad she moved, isn't it?
"What about my rehearsal tonight?" I asked. Band director shakes his head.
"I'll be talking to them about it tonight," band director stupid face says. "And ****(insert Front Ensemble field show instructor's name) will be supervising their rehearsals now."
I was crying. Not bawling, but crying. And it sucked. I hate crying in front of people. I kept trying to push to find out why, and the principal kept saying that he couldn't because it was district policy. He said they'd still pay me though. As if the money even mattered when I'm doing something that I love. At least we'll get a nice check for Ross's school. Anyway...
"Is there a time in the future that I can come in?" I asked. "Can I come find out why I'm getting fired? I just want to improve and learn.,"
"Hmmm..." Mr. Principal says. "That's not a bad idea. How about at the end of this color guard season you can contact me and maybe come in and talk about it."
"Ok." The conversation was clearly over. The principal shook my hand and I walked past the band director, who I thought was my friend, but didn't even have the thoughtfulness to let me know I needed to change something about the way I was working.
I picked up Nigel and left. I cried, full out bawled, the entire way home. Thank goodness Nigel was being quiet. I cried for about an hour, then lounged around depressed. Then I just got angry. When getting ready for bed, I took down a picture of the band at the end of Field Show, I couldn't stand to look at it. Then I cried, a lot. For a very long time. And I slept terribly.
And now we're back to me just being depressed.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Reading Books 2012

In 2011, I read 27 books throughout the year. I set a goal to read at least 28 books in 2012. I met that goal. In fact, I passed it and completed 30 books last year! Here's a list of all the books I read (Those titles with an asterisk are books I read for the first time):
1. The Lost Symbol*     Dan Brown
2. The Magician’s Nephew     C. S. Lewis
3. The Giver*     Lois Lowry
4. The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe     C. S. Lewis
5. Mere Christianity*     C. S. Lewis
6. Stargirl*     Jerry Spinelli
7. The Horse and His Boy     C. S. Lewis
8. Fablehaven     Brandon Mull
9. Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star     Brandon Mull
10. The Witch of Blackbird Pond*     Elizabeth George Speare
11. Bridge to Terabithia     Katherine Paterson
12. Beyonders: A World Without Heroes     Brandon Mull
13. Beyonders: Seeds of Rebellion*     Brandon Mull
14. Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague     Brandon Mull
15. Graceling*     Kristin Cashore
16. Fire*     Kristin Cashore
17. The Da Vinci Code*     Dan Brown
18. Bitterblue*     Kristin Cashore
19. Angels and Demons*     Dan Brown
20. If I Stay*     Gayle Forman
21. Where She Went*     Gayle Forman
22.  Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary     Brandon Mull
23. Ultimate Spider-man Vol. 1*     Brian Michael Bendis
24. Ultimate Spider-man Vol. 2*     Brian Michael Bendis
25. Ultimate Spider-man Vol. 3*     Brian Michael Bendis
26. Ultimate Spider-man Vol. 4*     Brian Michael Bendis
27. Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison     Brandon Mull
28. Passage to Zarahemla*     Chris Heimerdinger
29. Ultimate Spider-man Vol. 5*     Brian Michael Bendis
30. Earth Unaware: The First Formic War     Orson Scott Card & Aaron Johnston