Thursday, July 26, 2007

Harry Potter+Bill Clinton=awesomeness

I know I haven’t updated in a while and I think it is because I depend on these simplistic yet deep experiences to inspire my writing. I can’t just write about the amazing Mission Trip I took this summer, or my summer job, or the nervousness/excitement for my new teaching job…I have to find something deeper, something interesting, something…story-like and maybe even preachy.

With friends abroad and in seminary, I often feel like I have to be amazingly thoughtful or witty in order to hold some interest. Well, working at a theater and building a deck isn’t that thoughtful or interesting. But I’m going to talk about it anyway. Welcome to a blog entry I like to call “The First Summer Megan Is Not Anticipating Returning to Oberlin.”

I would have to say that my summer started back in April. Though I was far from finishing my semester of hell in the Kansas City Missouri School District, I had orientation for my summer job working at a theater. I work in ticket-sales with many other teachers, school nurses, and other seasonal employees. It’s a very positive environment and I have had very few “bad” days. It’s also very flexible which has been good for all of my summer activities.

In early May, I was hired for an opera pit orchestra. Gilbert & Sullivan’s production of “The Mikado” was sung by opera singers but acted with life-size puppets. It was an amazingly fun experience and really put my playing to the test. Though the music wasn’t too difficult, I had never been hired to play in an orchestra and I felt the pressure of needing to play to perfection to really “earn” my money. The best result of this experience is that I am now a part of that orchestra and should get hired several times a year to play.

June 12, I served my last day as Music Teacher of K-8 at Trailwoods Elementary. I know I will miss the children, but I left on good terms and I am really glad that I did. I appreciate my cooperating teacher’s advice when I was student teaching in Ohio: Never stay where you are unhappy. Get out as soon as you can, because otherwise it’s not fair to the children.

After June 12 I went back to having one job. I realized that since I started college, I’ve always had more than one thing going at once…school + job, school + job + job, job + job…never had I really spent time just doing one thing. And I entered into a state of mind that was foreign to me: boredom. Not that I didn’t still have tons to do to prepare for the Mission Trip and help with my family, but I wasn’t running from place to place nor was I anticipating returning to Oberlin to be a busy college student. I don’t know if this is how summer is supposed to feel, but I feel healthier and more frustrated. I’m well-rested, well-fed, and there are days, horribly dull days, when I don’t even have a set schedule. I watch Primetime in the Daytime on TNT and ::gasp:: read for fun.

On June 30 I left with 11 other members of my church to do a Mission Trip in Cosby, Tennessee. It’s a Presbyterian run mission really addressing issues of economic justice and poverty. The project we chose was the help a woman with a degenerative disease build a wheelchair ramp on her deck and paint her house. When we arrived, the project became bigger as we chose to build her a brand new deck and bleach her house because it wasn’t of a material that could be painted. It was some of the hardest work I’ve ever done in most uncomfortable circumstances. I am not used to being in 100 degree heat around bugs and trees…heck, I’m not used to being outside much at all. However, it ended up being an incredible experience, both difficult and enjoyable. The finished product is something I am very proud of…not really because I helped build the deck, but more because I’ve been planning this trip since last June and considered this a big accomplishment. This was the first Mission Trip my church had taken in several years and now we are on a quest to make it an annual event.

I wasn’t home for long before I was immersed into the fabulous world of Harry Potter. My parents, brother, two church friends and I saw the movie in 3D at the IMAX theater which was so worth the extra money and the two-hour wait in line. The book came out so soon afterwards that I barely had time to process the movie. My father has read books aloud to us since I was a young child and Harry Potter is no exception. He read the first through fifth books out loud, but my brother was in California for the sixth, so we read that one on our own. We were determined to read the last of the series of a family but were worried that we wouldn’t be able to afford enough time to read a good amount and beat the media hype that was likely to come after people started reaching the end. Thus came the Harry Potter/Bill Clinton Vacation.

I got the book at midnight on Friday and we got up early the next morning to drive seven hours towards Little Rock, Arkansas. My dad read aloud in the car, at the hotel, at restaurants downtown, and in between beer-tastings. My favorite reading spot was right outside the Clinton Presidential Library where I admired both Harry Potter and President Clinton at the same time. My dad had to leave on a business trip for the Monday of our vacation and it was all my mother, brother and I could do to avoid reading ahead in the book. We resisted the urge and during the entire vacation, my father read over half of the 700+ page book. He is continuing to read at least two chapters every evening and we hope to finish this weekend. No spoilers on this blog, please.

I start at my new job on August 8. I really feel like this is my dream job (for now) but am trying not to expect too much. It’s one of the best districts in the region and still amazingly diverse. I will still be at a school with a high Spanish-speaking population only this time, I won’t have to speak Spanish in secret. The district encourages the children to speak their native tongue while also learning English. I will be back teaching K-6 and I’m sad to say I don’t think I’ll miss teaching middle school that much. One of my mother’s best friends works in the building and I know several other teachers in the district. I’m trying to force myself to take the GRE so I can apply to an Educational Administration graduate program next summer, but I keep thinking of better things to do with my time.

No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, I miss you (yes, I stole that from the UCC). Please feel free to email me at to stay in touch. I’ll post some pictures from my Mission Trip soon and I hope everyone is well.


1 comment:

Rachael said...


As somebody planning to wait until my teaching commitments are over, fly to the U.S. and buy Harry Potter 7 in the L.A. airport on the way home, and then read it straight until I´ve finished all its glorious pages, I am afraid to read this blogpost.

Is it safe, or does it give anything at all away? I know that I can trust you to tell me, since you are also a True Fan.