Thursday, December 15

Time to Say Good-Bye

On Tuesday I got to say good-bye to working at Old Saint Joesph's Parish at our annual Parish Dinner at the Union Hotel.

After 2.5 years of working, my time came to an end. I enjoyed my time at OSJ, but I've always been and always will be, a teacher first, and an organist second.  Being a liturgist is not my call in life.  I tried it for 2 years and enjoyed it, but not as much as teaching.  Teaching is my life. 

I've always felt I had an understanding of church music's role, especially because I was pretty much raised on the Resurrection Parish Piano Bench with the Master of Liturgical Music mentoring me, but OSJ taught me a different perspective.   They have a different vibe than Resurrection, and niether is wrong, just two different styles.  In case I ever end up being a liturgist I have two models to look at, instead of one.  (And I don't count the EC Center...because that was just crap.) In education we learn lots of models and take the best out of them and create our own philosophy.  I find that to be equally true about churches too. 

So on Tuesday night the entire crew had a great evening.  All of the student workers (except for poor Bryan) came over to my house for an early celebration.  We all sat in my cramped studio talking about our semester and looking at photos of my previous life.  I gave Joe all the books that I stole from OSJ back as a Christmas Gift. 

When we got to the Union Hotel, we all sat together.  Joe couldn't stop taking photos of everything and anything.  So I returned the favor.

 Joe looking like a fool...and Antigo posing for the camera.  This is one of many I took of Joe looking like a nerd;)
Joe in his normal state...

And of coarse, he had to get me to bug the Fox.  Of coarse, I sure didn't mind bugging the Fox, because let's face it, it's the best part of the job.  So I got up every so often and asked Fox what she ordered or what.

Of coarse the Superbowl Ring came out.  And yes...I fell to temptation and took a picture of it.

Then there was the speech.  Not going to lie...I wasn't really sure what to expect.  I figured it would be something in the terms of "thanks for being here, have a good life" kind of thing.  I mean I wouldn't know what to say about myself?  Hi, you are your organ...good luck next semester.  No, Jennifer had nice things to say.  I never knew she saw me teach at VBS or thought I was a great teacher.  I especially loved the part where she mentioned that Joe will be playing organ.  (And then Joe's face afterwards.)  I'm glad that the organ is going to be used.   I thought it was an extremely thoughtful presentation.  I even think I saw some tears.

As a tradition, the seniors get an extra gift.  So Katie and I opened ours up and we got a beautiful religious picture!

Then we got the Parish gift...we didn't know what we were going to get but...we got...

SWEATSHIRTS!!! (With pockets!) We all thought they were black, but they are a deep hunter of my favorite colors!  Of coarse, Joe volunteered to pose for a picture for my blog!

Then we heard some Christmas Carols...

Then took some pictures in the lobby.   First and foremost Joe and I got a picture together...after all we are partners in crime!
Everybody says this looks like an engagement photo...but I promise you...not a chance in hell guys!

Then I got a picture with my Luna Bud--Zac!
And of coarse Joe wouldn't leave until the we got a photo with the Fox!  Since after all, this was our last one with me and Joe working together!

I'm really not so sure what I am going to do with only working at one parish now.  I'm glad I won't get things mixed up but I'll sure miss the people at OSJ, especially my left foot, Joe Stawicki. (For those who don't get it, I play with my left foot more than my right.) It's been real, but I'm so pumped for the student teaching phase!


Monday, December 5

Where's Em Teaching This Semester?

Hello Everybody!

Everybody (and I mean everybody) has been asking me for the past few weeks...WHERE are you going to be student teaching? All day, my friends and family texted me WHERE are you going to be?

Well...look no further than this blog entry!

Starting Jan 23rd (or the first day of the 3rd quarter, whichever comes first) I will be student teaching at...

Holy Family School in a 3rd Grade Classroom!
Then, at the start of 4th quarter...I will be teaching at....

Hemlock Creek Elementary in a Kindergarten Classroom!
I'm extremely excited about both of my placements!!!! I have been working at Holy Family School all semester as an after school care teacher. Therefore I know some of the children who are going to be in my class...which is extremely exciting!! I'm also excited to be at Hemlock Creek because a I know a few people there as well. Two of my piano students are at Hemlock Creek (they aren't in kindergarten though). Also, I know the gym teacher there...she's a GBGC/Piano Student Parent and she's just amazing!!!

I cannot express how excited I am to start the new semester. It's going to be an exciting one! Our professor explained how busy and tired we are going to be. If it is anything like VBS then...yes...she's correct.

So now I have a small wishlist. Marie, my boss at OSJ's mom and a lady I respect a lot (she taught 1st grade for like 40 years or something like that) taught me one thing: save everything! So...if you are reading this and want to help me out for my future classrooms, here is a list of a few items that our family is currently saving:

*egg cartons
*sour cream containers
*ice cream buckets
*bottle caps (ALL types of bottlecaps...but not Beer ones)
*old books
*milk cartons/jugs
*magnetic letters/numbers
*old cooking trays
*shoe boxes
*plastic bottles (such as water bottles, etc.)

So there you all go!!! Hopefully you are all just as excited as I am!


Saturday, December 3

Organs, Organs, and More Organs

Hey All!

I know it has been a while since I have posted anything. Things have been crazy around here. On Monday, I will get my teaching placement. I am extremely excited!!! I will post on here what my placement is as soon as I find out!! I cannot wait!!!

These past weeks have had a lot of "firsts" and "lasts" of the semester.

First...I played my FIRST organ recital ever!!!

I was so blessed to have about 100 people show up. I got flowers from Resurrection Parish, Old Saint Joes, my hair people (Ann and Joe) and from Sharon (who was there in spirit!). I couldn't believe that A/that many people would want to come to my recital and B/that I would actually do an amazing job at my recital!

My parents were a strong force behind my recital. My mom spent the majority of that week baking cookies and making sure the boys didn't eat them up! She bought colored M&M's and did all the decorations. And most importantly... she was willing to go to to Resurrection at midnight and listen to me play. She had to turn pages and work on her Res Committee Things...GO MOM!

Also, I cannot thank Resurrection Catholic Parish enough for all of their love and support. They were the people that put up with me for the past 10 years. I mean think about many masses did I suck at before I actually started being somewhat good? Poor congregation had to hear me during my learning years.

And then there is Michele. Seriously. That women deserves a medal, especially for putting up with me and surviving to tell the tale. People wonder why I respect her so much...who else puts up multiple copies of my posters around the church to advertise? Who else puts the recital information in the bulletin for all to see? Or let's me play samples of my recital pieces during YMT masses? Who let's the Toccata blast as loud as she does before everybody can hear how awesome it is? And turn my pages...? That's just the tip of the iceberg.

We're spoiled to have her. The end.

And then I have a series of lasts...right now I am only going to talk about one of them. That last is..the...LAST. WOMENS. CHOIR. CONCERT. EVER! Therefore, I made Brigid and Zac, my partners in crime, take a photo with me in memorial of this last day. (Note that Zac is a male and is not in Women's Choir. Neither is Brigid, they are both mega-talented people and are in Chambers Singers.) I wouldn't have survived Women's Choir without Brigid and Zac is my guy to chat to when it comes to Parish Politics. (Parish being defined as the Catholic Church and not any Church in particular.)

Please don't think I hate being in Women's Choir. I actually really like singing. Thank Karie Greene and the Green Bay Girl Choir for that. However, sometimes I feel that my placement in choir is surely off some days. I don't think I'm bad at singing (anymore), but I think sometimes I am the misfit of choir. Everybody goes left and I go right. It is just how things roll.

On Friday, we sang in the Festival of Christmas. Although I didn't want to go (because I wanted to sleep or hang out with my friends.) I did enjoy my time there. I got to hear my friend Devin rock on the organ. It was such an honor to hear him play! And this fall semester, Devin will be playing his own organ recital. And if hearing him on Friday gave me any idea on how his recital is going to is going to be the divine! Everybody should go! (It will be at SNC Abbey!)

Tonight's concert was an honor to sing in. There was lots of organ and brass incorporated into the concert. And lots of Xmas music. (More music than Joe could ever ask for.) Our final song was Handel's Messiah's Hallelujah Chorus. I say this was the best way to end a "career" in Women's Choir. I even got to sit in the Priests Chair!

Speaking of Organs... today was FULL of organ! guessed it...I played at mass today! I played the vast majority of mass today on the organ. Reily (aka the Resurrection organ) has the best Krumhorn a girl could ever ask for! I love it! I used this Krumhorn to play "Marnanatha" during the communion song.

I'm sure you are thinking "Trumpets during communion...NOT ALLOWED!" Well my ignorant friends, you are wrong. There are a variety of trumpets that one can play on the organ. This particular trumpet is a more muted one that can be turned up or down by the push of a shutter. I would never use an obnoxious trumpet such as the Festive Trumpet during Advent. (That one is mega loud!) I try not to blare anything during Advent or in general anyways. (Although I do get carried away with City of God...but I did hold back when I played it today.) Even my postlude was on the quieter side today. (Okay, truth, I didn't do a postlude.) Normally I play the last song once through with a loud and proud organ. But, during Advent and Lent I'm more careful on what I do. I want to be as liturgically sensitive towards the music at possible.

It is important to remember that ADVENT is NOT A SYNONYM for QUIET. I can't stand it when churches think that advent and quiet are the same. And because we are in Advent we can't have a slightly upbeat song. (Keyword is slightly.) I feel sorry for those who have to hear slow and quiet music all during advent. Or Lent.

I'm going to bed now. Tomorrow I am going to play with the fab Lisa at Res and then head on over to OSJ!