Evelyn’s note: I went to high school with Marabeth and her husband Ian. In this post, Marabeth will share her story. She’s comin’ from a different set of experiences than me (married! moved across the country! wants to do music!), so hopefully she’ll help someone out there in the same situation. Thanks Marabeth! We’re rooting for you! And if any of you want to contribute to this blog, email me.
Ian, Marabeth, and Dad.
“You’ve got this pearl of a decade in front of you: THE TWENTIES. This is the prime of your life! You’ve been on a straight educational path since you learned to tie your shoes, and now suddenly you’ve got a diploma, enough energy to run the length of the globe, and all of the freedom in the world. So how are you going to spend the glorious days of your independent youth?”
From Delaying the Real World by Colleen Kinder
Who am I?
Good question, I’ve been wondering that myself lately. But let’s start with the facts. I’m 21. I just graduated from Abilene Christian University a month ago with a degree in Vocal Music Education. I’ve been married for a year to my high school sweetheart, Ian, who got a crazy awesome software development job in Washington before he even graduated. We walked the stage, then moved across the country the next day.
What did I do in college?
Well, I was planning to be a journalism major. Then, as a high school graduation present my grandma sent me on a tour of Italy with the Lipscomb University choir, as they needed some extra singers and I love to sing. We were touring Rome, when, in the Pantheon the director started a song out of the blue. We all joined in, and the usually bustling crowd slowed around us and everyone just stopped and listened. It gave me chill bumps – it was amazing. After that, I knew music was my calling and my passion, so I majored in it.
Unfortunately, the only practical way with a charted path to create an income out of music is to teach in the public schools, thus the education component of the degree. Around junior year, I realized that teaching in a public school setting was not for me.
At the same time, I also wanted to get married, which meant that I needed to get out of school ASAP. So, I decided to cram a 4.5 year degree plan into 4 years. That was stressful, and there were so many days that I was pretty sure I couldn’t do it. On top of that, my school only focused on classical music, and I really wanted to branch out. My private lesson teacher actually kicked me out of her studio because I joined the Vocal Jazz Ensemble. I was frustrated and felt trapped in the degree (student teaching was looming ahead), but I decided to push through.
Student teaching didn’t go so well. In fact, I didn’t finish. I won’t go into that whole story, but to be honest, I was relieved once it was over. I had quickly found that teaching music to forty 1st graders at one time was more about crowd control and cute Texas-themed programs for the parents than about really connecting with the students and encouraging their musical inclinations.
I’m not saying that’s how it has to be or how it should be, but given the budget crunch and the state of public school right now, it’s the sad reality. The natural (but unforeseen) consequence of my race to walk the stage is that I now have a degree that I don’t want to use for what it was intended for.
So, what am I doing now?
Like I said, we just moved across the country. So honestly, I’ve spent a good portion of the last month unpacking boxes and exploring my new area. I’m also finding the gorgeous scenery up here a welcome change from the dusty plains of Abilene, TX. Continue reading