Wednesday, May 28, 2008

When I grow up, I wannabe a ... ...

... teacher, a fireman, a nurse, a police officer ... Did you ever play the wannabe game when you were a child? I guess everyone has.

When I was very young -- maybe five or six years old, something like that -- the neighbor right across the road (see 4th through 7th paragraphs) and I used to like to play 'doctor' in the shade of a humongous tree in our yard.

[I can't believe I remember his name after all these years. David Gehringer. There were three things that David and I loved to do together ... help each other collect eggs, ride in his oldest brother's Model T (it had a rumble seat, and was that fun!), and play doctor.]

Mother always kept a very close eye on the two of us when we were play-acting this game. We weren't looking at each other's body parts or anything remotely resembling such risque behavior, as some of you might have been guilty of (tsk tsk). No, we'd take a blanket, a bunch of dolls, bandaids, Mercurochrome, cotton swabs, a make-believe stethoscope, etc. David would be the doctor and I'd be the nurse. (Of course! This was the 1940's.)

There were only a limited number of occupations 'suitable' for young ladies in that era. I avidly read about the various occupations available to women in the field of health, and at one point was absolutely positive that I wanted to be an occupational therapist. 'Teacher' was ALWAYS a choice, but I remember hoping to escape that fate by marrying a white knight in shining armor who would sweep me off my feet and carry me off to a house with a white picket fence where we would live happily ever after.

When I went off to college, I STILL hadn't decided exactly what I would eventually latch onto to support myself. The OT choice had long since faded from the picture. Thank goodness we didn't have to declare a major right off the bat! For at least the first year, courses were pretty much of a general nature, and most could be applied to any major we subsequently chose.

History was pretty much out of the question. I didn't discover my interest in history until MUCH later in life! The medical field 'ditto' -- there was interest, but I wasn't interested in what I at that time perceived would be a subservient occupation. [Note: I'm telling you what I 'perceived' at that time. It's not correct, but it's what I thought!]

I love music -- and always have. In fact, for my high school graduation my folks bought me the Pedler Eb alto clarinet that I still have to this day. I never imagined myself performing professionally -- I was good, but not that good! I mean, I could sight-read like crazy, transpose like nobody's business ... ... ... I'm going to break this reverie off here. I'll do another post or two (maybe three or four) down the road on my studies in music, actual performances, concert band, orchestra, pep band, marching band, composing, and the like.

I decided to declare a major in music. At that time, one had to declare a major and two minors. I chose music as my major, clarinet and psychology as my two minors. 'Knowing' that I was not quite good enuf to perform professionally, I focused on the teaching aspect of music. I would become only the 2nd female instrumental band director in the United States. I wanted to lead and direct marching bands!!

I'm going to re-direct you here to one of my much earlier posts (January 27th, this year) to give you the full poop on what happened after I graduated from Northern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Music Education degree in 1959.

Now, here I am, MANY years later, still wondering what I'm gonnabe when I grow up. Oh, and by the way, the answer to your question is "No, I never did teach music in either public or private schools." Sang in and directed a number of church choirs over the years. Also performed on my clarinets (had acquired a Bb soprano, as well) both as a soloist and in ensembles, but more on all that another time. There are some good stories to tell, many of them quite amusing.

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