Another school year is beginning.
Contracts commenced yesterday for the 2020-21 academic year.
I’ll save for some other time the comments about how strange this year feels already.
When I was in high school, I thought that teaching was the path I would take. Music came easily to me, so music education seemed the right road. Working at Windermere Baptist Assembly the summer before my senior year of high school, though, I felt a strong call to do church music. (This was one of four or five times in my life when I felt an overwhelming, deep, intrinsic presence of something greater than me.)
So church music was the path, and off I went to Southwest Baptist University. And then, part-way through my first year of college, I realized that God’s call on my life was broader perhaps than solely church music. I recall clearly: I was in a course entitled Introduction to Religious Education (the topic in which my father took his graduate degree) and was lit up by Maslow’s hierarchy and learning theories. So I changed my major to religious studies.
I expected to live my life as a musician and pastoral type in Southern Baptist settings. But life intervened. The circuitous path that followed was something I now liken to wilderness years. And in December 1987 I was asked to teach voice lessons to a teenager whose voice had recently dropped.
In quick succession: quit my day job, hang out a shingle as voice and piano teacher, start raising rates to whittle away the chaff, take a part-time gig at the local community college, grab a church gig, gain a Master of Arts in Music, start a doctorate. That was all in a span of nine years.
Teaching found me. Music found me again, claiming me from my wilderness.
And here I am today, commencing my 22nd year of full-time university education, and my 33rd year of being in love with teaching.
Memories from the years: