2 Down, 2 to Go

Entry 4 (Documented Accomplishments: Contributing to Student Learning): Done. Simply needs to be re-read and edited as time allows.

Entry 3 (Demonstrating and Developing Musicianship): No change since last post. It’s on the docket for Thursday of this week.

Entry 2 (Delivering Instruction): Done.

Entry 1 (Planning): Taught first lesson of new unit, filmed first video. Went rather well. Since I’m on spring break now I’ve got time to actually write the rest of the unit, then film the 2nd video on the 28th or so, write the commentary that night, give it to a reader on the 29th – make changes, have it at FedEx by 6pm on the 29th.

1 Down, 3 to go

I now have 1 of my 4 portfolio entries finished for all practical purposes. I have recorded the video, edited, and burned it to DVD, as well as writing my 11 page commentary for Entry 2. This entry documents my ability to effectively deliver instruction. That one is done. Here’s where I stand with the rest:

Entry 4 (Documented Accomplishments: Contributing to Student Learning): I’ve done all of the items needed for this, just need to write the commentary and physically gather the evidence. I plan to do this on Saturday and Sunday.

Entry 3 (Demonstrating and Developing Musicianship): I have recorded, edited, and burned to DVD my teaching video for this entry, but still need to write the commentary. That’s the project for Thursday and if need be, Friday (though I’d rather watch Battlestar Galactica).

Entry 2 (Delivering Instruction): Done. I have given this to two different national board certified teachers and asked them to critique it for me. Unless they recommend a major rewrite, all I should have to do is edit.

Entry 1 (Planning): Major problem. The videos I’ve shot thus far suck. The unit I planned revolves around a piece of literature that frankly, turned out to be of lesser quality than I intiially thought. This means I have to start from scratch. The problem is next week is spring break and the portfolio is due in Ewing, NJ on March 31. Looking on the bright side, I have a week to thoroughly plan the unit, but only 7-8 class periods to execute the unit, record two videos each three minutes of length (before and after the unit) and write the commentary. Looks like FedEx will be getting some big bucks out of me that week.

So that’s where I stand at the moment. It’s not where I’d like to be, but at least I know where I am.

Crunch Time

It?s crunch time for me right now. For some strange reason, I decided to pursue National Board Certification this year. Now, that wouldn?t be such a bad thing if I wasn’t trying to pursue a doctoral degree at the same time. A word to the wise: both are worthwhile and rewarding endeavors – just don’t try them at the same time.

My portfolio is due on March 31. I have 4 entries to submit. I?ve done a ton of preparation, but this week it will all be coming together. My plan is to have entry 3 completed by Thursday of next week. Entry 1 needs to be done by 9:00AM on Monday, March 13. I’m using it as one of my required research projects for the doctoral program at Auburn (I’m not a complete idiot, I do dovetail when possible). I’ll be going down next weekend to live in the library at Auburn. My goal is to finish Entry 2 then as well.

That leaves Entry 4 to be the sole thing I need to complete during my spring break (March 13-17). I hope to finish it by Saturday, spend most of Sunday the 19th assembling all of my materials, and then FedEx my portfolio entry to NBPTS on Monday the 20th. That puts me just ahead of the March 31 deadline and the mayhem that certainly surrounds literally thousands of portfolio boxes arriving the week of the 31st. Some even go so far as to fly to the office in person to hand deliver it. I may have procrastinating tendencies, but I’m not that bad.

Well, this ends an evening/night work session that was extremely productive. I’ll try to keep my progress posted.

Making Music Together

There is nothing in the world quite like performing with a great orchestra. Not just a pretty good one, but a great one. I’ve just come from my second GAMAC orchestra rehearsal for the week. I’m starting to feel like a real musician again and not just someone who hacks away with middle schoolers all day.

To combine your talents with those of many others, to collectively think, and and feel, this is what is required to recreate a musical composition. Tonight, we recreated Borodin’s Polovetsian Dances. Wow. They played this one at the last artist series of the year in my first year at BJU. I thought it was cool then, it’s ten times more amazing not only to play it, but now to see and hear it through much more mature eyes and ears.

This has been a difficult two days so far because of the time restraints, and likely the next three will prove even more difficult. Already, I can tell you that being able to express the artistry that has been bottled up inside for some time is well worth most every inconvenience I suffer as a result. I can’t wait to go back for more.

A truly insignificant title

I?ve never been one to keep a journal. I’ve tried it several times and failed (though it has been many years since the last attempt). Just as with my quest to find a name for this blog, with each post, I seem to struggle to find a topic. The one that came easily was the one that came in a moment of caffeine induced clarity at 6:30 in the morning (these moments are rare, you see). The next day I was ready to report back on my experiment (which did not go well) and my new blog service was in the midst of a 24+ hour systems upgrade. After that, things just sort of went downhill.

Next week I’m performing with the GAMAC orchestra. We’ll have rehearsals all week and then a performance on Friday. I’m also doing a separate concert on Saturday as well. I know its going to be a hectic schedule, but I really can’t wait. After you leave school as a music major, your opportunities to perform in a top notch group is limited, at best. I know full well how difficult the week will be in general. I know how incredibly difficult it will be for my wife since she will be taking care of the kids all day and all night with very little help from me. Even knowing all of this, I am greatly anticipating those rehearsals and performances. I am especially looking forward to my second shot at Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet. The whole concert is a Russian extravaganza, so almost everything has pretty cool horn parts (though not all are terribly challenging). I’ll definitely have to do something as a thank you to my wife. The cool thing is that even though it is going to be difficult and she is not looking forward to the experience, she realizes how important it is to me and doesn’t begrudge me the opportunity. That’s a wonderful thing there.

Now once I got going, this wasn’t too bad. Perhaps from now on I’ll write my title once I’m done writing instead of before. Just start writing and then look back and see what its about. Sounds like something they taught us in one of my research classes, hmm. Maybe grad school really is paying off . . .