I finished up my internship at the end of August, and it was a little sad to leave. 10 weeks was just enough time for me to start to feel grounded, and then before I knew it I was headed back to Appleton! Luckily, even though my team had struggled to set up social times for most of the summer, they threw me a farewell party after work on my last day. It was really nice to get to talk and hang out with people outside of work, and I only wish we had done it more over the summer.
In the end, though, I think I was ready to come back to Appleton. New York City can be a little tiring after a while, especially if you’re there alone. I also was ready to come back to teaching – most of my time this summer was spent sitting behind a desk, and I’ve found that I’m really not built for that. I love to be up and moving and interacting with people, which is why it’s probably a good thing that I want to be a music teacher!
My experience this summer did help me grow a lot. I learned a lot about myself and what makes me tick, and I learned about my goals and philosophies as a musician and teacher. And while my time here taught me that I’m not really cut out for office work, it did help expand and solidify my own personal mission as an educator. I had amazing discussions with other staff about the need for high-quality, diverse music in underserved communities. In particular, I had a really inspiring conversation with my supervisor about how people should be at the centers of their own musical experiences, and that education is more about removing obstacles to learning than putting knowledge into people. As educators and musicians, we should be creating environments where feel like they can express their own thoughts and opinions about music, rather than us always telling them what to think.
This week I began my student teaching, a culmination of everything I’ve learned in the past four years at Lawrence. Student teaching is quite different from my internship (I went from riding a crowded subway every day to driving past horses and cattle), but I know that I’ll be able to draw on the knowledge and skills I gained at Carnegie throughout this semester and for the rest of my career.