It is safe to say I had a bit of a tangent. I had thrown myself into the world of music and performance; to even consider doing other things (not saying trying new things is something you shouldn’t do, because I believe you should) was a bit of a red flag to those who have known me for quite some time. My first option when going back to school was to major in Communications to pursue a career of sports commentating, I was excited about this new world I was dabbing my toe into, and now that I had an appreciation for Football, Basketball, and Baseball, I was looking at keeping myself busy year long. One thing fell into another and things didn’t exactly pan out the way I wanted them to, or I should say how I wanted to run away from. By the time courses started at the community college back home I came to a decision.
- Major: Music- Education/ Music- Performance.
This is still very 50/50 for me and I anticipate this decision not exactly being finalized until deep in my education career. In a perfect world I would love to be a drumline coach in the education system. There are even high school bands that have 200+ members in their band, those are the schools that hire marching coaches, drumline coaches, etc. Also, look up WGI (Rhythm X), winter percussion, or DCI on YouTube. I’d love to coach that kind of world.
- Minor: Human Physiology
This will allow me to focus minimally on the interest in health I have developed. I have a hard time seeing an extreme amount of blood, dislocation, bones snapping kinds of things, so being a athletic trainer or physical therapist. Being a Strength & Conditioning Coach however, sounds really fun! Feel free to come see me AFTER you’re broken :) or if you need to get ready for an upcoming season.
- All elective courses will be American Sign Language based.
Since my major is in music, and I want to work in an education system, I kind of have to go where the work is. I figured sign language was the best fit over any other foreign language because Spanish is so area based, as well as other foreign languages.
I do see myself working with high school students, I’m fortunate enough to at the time of this writing, I am a drumline instructor for the high school I graduated from as I am getting an education here at the community college. Those students are such a drive for me, constantly reminding me of why I do what I do, and why I love it. I love the fact that I have an opportunity to be a positive difference in a students’ life, Coach Urban Meyer says, “What you got in you, I’m going to find it. I’m going to find it because if there is an ounce of greatness in you, well then how cool that would be.” I feel I relate to this statement, I feel I have developed a love for working with students and wanting them to become the best that they can be, no matter the effort it’ll take to get there, I know each student can get to a level of greatness.
Having a peace of mind about continuing my education helped make the next few steps for me very easy, I felt comfortable going in to take my placement tests and registering for my spring semester courses. As I sit here and write, I suppose I will expand to a more general sense of education, rather than focusing on just why I decided to go to school, but I guess also my “morals” when it comes to my education and essentially the “College Life,” as much as a college life you can get here back at home. In college, I know everyone hears this multiple times but I can express how true it is. There really is no excuse. No excuse. Especially when students just complain, and complain, and complain, pull every excuse in the book just to be annoying. -.- Just get your work done! No one really cares about the fact that you were tired at 10:00pm so you just stopped and didn’t finish your work. I was so jaw dropped when I heard this, well no, I chuckled. I understand that not everyone at the community college is going because they want to, they’re other reasons and I get that so I apologize if any of this upsets you. This is the point of why I started this though, to vent, yell, explain, etc. about what is going on. Joan Didion hit the nail on the head for me, “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” I honestly couldn’t put the words together better myself, that is all writing for me. It’s how I discover myself, or at least as I attempt to discover myself. Everything at the college level is on you, and I am slowly learning that. Not that I need the extra babying at this point, I have my own motivation to do well, I just wish I knew how to express that to my peers that to continue education and feel good about, you really need to find your own motivation, you know? It could be anything! Music, classes, athletics, the list is forever going. School becomes real tough without a personal motivation. I’ve been holding my own, I am on track to transferring to UO, taking me only three semesters at the community college and I’m excited to move north and begin working on my residency. My plan being in the summer of 2013 move up to Portland, Oregon. Reason for that being I have some familiarity in Portland with some long time friends that moved up to Oregon from here in California, so that would be nice to have and I know they’re making an effort to keep an ear out of places to stay. I’ll work and take minimal classes at the junior college in Portland while working, hopefully full time. Oregon is very particular with residency, if I move up and go to the university full time right away, the state, not the school, will not grant me residency and I would have to pay a lot of money per quarter to attend school. The year to live and gain residency is really worth is money wise. I have a couple of options in mind. While working I have the chance to improve my marching band skills and concepts. There is a program known as Drum Corps International, I won’t take the time to get into detail so I highly recommend searching DCI via Google or Yahoo, etc. In Portland there is a corps known as Oregon Crusaders. The age limit of DCI is 21, and since I’m around that category, it is something I am considering looking into as I make my way in Oregon, waiting to attend the university. After gaining residency I will work my way into transfer to the university to finish my education. I plan on at least a Masters in my Music education, not sure how far a minor can go, or if I would want to Masters a minor. I am just happy I have a plan, which really is half the battle.
High school really discouraged me, I felt I had lacked a proper English education. My first two years of high school I was changing teachers every semester. Fall semester, freshman year wasn’t too bad, but due to all the cuts that were happening at the time my teacher was let go and I had to switch at the semester, it wasn’t too bad but I had to change my frame of mind and adjust to my new teacher. By the time I had adjusted, I fell behind in the class, barely managing to finish the spring semester with a passing grade. Fall semester, sophomore term, I had one of the best English teachers to date, she just had a way of allowing concepts to click in my head and I was able to understand what was going on. In the spring her pregnancy had gone on to the point she was on maternity leave, allowing a new teacher to come in. He did well, but again I had to adjust, then one morning he called in to the school and resigned, just on the spot. For the week we had a different teacher every day, then our second long term sub came in. Sad for her, when the first sub left he took everything with him, lesson plans, grades, homework, and tests, literally everything and hindering the new sub of information of how far along the class was. By the time we were settled, we had a state exit exam and state testing to worry about, so all we did was exercises for those. By the time junior term rolled around, I was so far behind I struggled to keep up. I passed, barely, but I knew senior term I was going to take Music History for my English credit and that’s what I did. I bring up English because, well, it’s embarrassing for me when I would use social networks or even texting and the noticeable improper use of grammar and other English concepts and my peers would jump on it. I felt extremely embarrassed. I didn’t want to strive for more, I felt shut down and ridiculed. I was always better with math and science, but knowing I wasn’t going to attend a four year university immediately after high school, I only focused on my graduation only requirements, so I finished math at algebra II during my junior term, as well as finishing science at Biology my sophomore term. It just comes down to the fact that I was lazy and wanted the easy way out, which got me kind of nowhere. I think that’s why I am now so big on my education not only with myself, but with other peers/students of mine. I know what it’s like to not care and know how easy the easy road is, and I would really hate for those to fall down that same road.
I still have a bit of ways to go before I start attending the University of Oregon as a student, but I know that the time is now. Every little thing now works towards my goal, and there is no letting up. I need to fight! Now is when I work for my future. Fast. Hard. Finish.
— Robert Brandon