Thursday, July 22, 2004

Amazing Annie

I've mentioned my wife on here a few times, but I don't think I've captured what kind of amazing person she actually is.

She's only 5'1, but they say dynamite comes in small packages, too.

She teaches junior high music. In a typical year, she has a seventh-grade band, and eighth-grade band, a ninth-grade band, a seventh-grade choir, an eighth-grade choir, and a ninth-grade choir. Each of these groups has two concerts each year. She also has a jazz band, a junior-high swing dance group, a high-school swing dance group, and a sixth-grade honor choir. Those last four are outside the school day. She also gives individual lessons to her students.

This summer, she has a junior-high swing dance group and a high-school swing dance group, who will be auditioning for the Minnesota State Fair Talent Contest tonight, as well as having a few performances. She is also directing an abridged version of "Oliver!" for a local 4-H group. Yesterday, she spend about 12 hours in a barn when it was in the mid-90s. Keep in mind, though, she's not doing this as a volunteer. She's getting strictly underpaid for the amount of work she puts into all of this.

She's a great singer, though I wish she would do it more. When we go to karaoke, she brings down the house and makes everybody else look bad (in a good way). Her main instrument is the clarinet, but she plays the bassoon, and can play piano, all the other woodwinds, brass, percussion, and, I'm told, strings.

She frequently spends fifteen-hour days at school. I would be lying if I said she didn't complain. She likes what she does, though, and it's an important part of the education process. Meanwhile, music programs are under constant attack by budget-cutting school boards, while athletic programs are untouched. Students are more likely to get music scholarships to college than athletic scholarships.

In the face of all this, she is going to grad school to get her Master's and to become a better teacher. It's like the Reserves-- She goes to school one weekend a month (8-5 on Saturdays, 9-4 on Sundays) and has a 9-5 class every day next week. All of these classes have hellaciously big assignments, but she does them.

She's an awesome dancer. She has an amazing knack for getting four-of-a-kinds in video poker.

I love her.

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