You had to know that this day was coming – anticipated – the question that has been lingering for over a year. The drive, the cope, and the inspiration; what is the point of all this? Why write? There are so many other things to do with the time given throughout the day: Create music, play sports, go exercise, or even be around those you love… and yet here we are researching, studying, and writing. The attempt to learn more about what we, as individuals, believe and what potential lurks within us. Writing has always been a fear. Saying the wrong thing, or the frustration created by the gap between what I want to convey in my writing and what I manage to actually put on paper. Confidence, for me, is hard to come by as a writer.
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.”
In my first year of College I was given a free write assignment of my history as a reader and it was then I realized that my fear and lack of quality writing production was linked to my history as a reader.
“August 30, 2012
Week 2: Types of Text
My history as a reader is not exactly an interesting one. I find myself having a difficult time being attached to a piece of writing. My eyes just seem to glance over the words and I constantly have to reread several sentences over and over again due to my lack of concentration. Sadly, the only books I’ve been able to read cover to cover with no difficulty are the Harry Potter books. Occasionally I’ve picked up a couple of the Chicken Soup books, but I find those to be more therapeutic than anything; very light reading. With academia, the only texts I’ve been able to wrap my head around are History texts, particularly United States History. I like History; it’s been a great interest to me, from the beginning of the Enlightenment and Revolutionary War, to the September 11th attack and beyond. You can forget about me attempting words problems in a Mathematic textbook. Yuck! I have pondered that my dislike for word problems, especially as my education became higher, might be linked to my lack of English education.
High School was rough in the sense of for only one year I had the same teacher, my first two teachers were in and out due to cuts or maternity leave. My senior year I opted for Music History for my English credit, which was okay because at the time I wasn’t envisioning myself attending a college, so I only focused on my graduation credits. Has my reading changed as I have gotten older? Most likely not. When I read I feel uneducated and therefore discouraged. I’m ready to change that.”
I never took myself seriously when writing that assignment, especially with those last two sentences, “Most likely not, when I read I feel uneducated and therefore discouraged. I’m ready to change that.” Originally when writing those lines I had the “I’ll just bullshit this last paragraph to show that I reached the two paragraph limit” mentality. Little did I know then that I was really writing about how I felt about myself in an area I had always been so embarrassed in. It provided a drive to overcome this fear of mine. “Words can be like X-rays, if you use them properly they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.” – Aldous Huxley.
As I open my first college English textbook I found a note written inside from myself to myself. A note that clearly depicts the frustration I had within myself, about myself, “I’m not good at writing… That’s because you’ve never written before! I just want my education.” I forgot I had written that… It was a moment for me when my heart broke and I went with it. Before I continue – Disclaimer: Just because I’m willing to open myself up on here doesn’t give you the right to begin to ask me 50 questions regarding whatever topic I choose to discuss, sadly, doesn’t really matter who you are to me – I will gladly accept feedback regarding any post but will not ask play: ask the questions game. Reading and writing have always been subjects enforced through school, as it should be. But with the social unacceptance I dealt with as a child, reading and writing became just another bully of mine. A bully there to constantly nag at me and make any effort it could to shred any confidence regarding education as possible. And then I met Joan.
With no intention of forcing others to change their minds I’ve always felt an urge, or maybe even an importance, to share an insight into who I really am. Self-discovery, the theme to this series, has a vital role in the lives we choose to live. I’m torn between writing about insight into who I am when more times than not I feel as if I have no idea who I am at all and this is reason as to why I read and write. I read and write to challenge myself, discover my thoughts, the reasons behind how I react and why I react. I’ve always felt underhanded with education therefore; when I expressed my thoughts, feelings, and opinions others would learn something Just as I have learned something, preferably about myself. Then, as we all learn, we have the power to hurt those we surround ourselves with using the words we choose to use. “In many ways writing is the act of saying I, of imposing oneself upon other people, of saying listen to me, see it my way, change your mind. It’s an aggressive, even a hostile act.”— Joan Didion.
I am not a scholar. I am not a conformist. I am not an inspiration. I’ve tried to think and I have failed. I force myself and my brain into this world of higher education and I don’t belong here. I’m not even a writer – all I manage to do collect thoughts and place them down on paper. I don’t create worlds and magic and allow others to think. I just talk and place my thoughts on here, to remind myself later of the potential I hold within. It’s not always bad and it’s not always good, but reading Didion has allowed me to connect with a writer and author and I was beginning to overcome this long time bully. I wrote in a response assignment to Didion’s work:
October 16, 2012
“The real meat of her writing though is when she finally explains why she writes. ‘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 can’t put in words how spot on this is for me; Didion’s words are just so powerful! Over time I have come to develop an animated imagination, and I like to write (well no, I love to write, yet I have a hard time with English and Reading). I love the fact I can put any and all thoughts down on paper and discover my thought process, or what I think about certain issues, or if I want to vent about my life, my goals, my dreams, or even to tell a story. The reasons are never ending! When I write though, I want to be real. I’m not sure how else to put that into a word other than real. Honest. When readers read what I put down [on paper] I want them to feel as if I am in front of them having a one-on-one discussion at a coffee house; I feel that is a reasonable idea. Last and most importantly, ‘I knew that I was no legitimate resident in any world of ideas. I knew I couldn’t think. All I knew then was what I couldn’t do. All I knew was what I wasn’t and it took me some years to discover what I was.’”
That’s exactly what reading should be: a conversation between you and the author and the learner has to question themselves and the teacher. Didion provided a great inspiration and I haven’t stopped writing ever since and as I have journeyed through this new world of ideas, writings, and readings, I have found many sayings that have thus continued to either inspire me or push me to think of why this is relatable to me and the process of discovering myself. In order to discover yourself, keeping an open mind is vital. Too often we see students (and adults) become so quick to reject too soon and discriminate too severely when it comes to reading others writings – it’s all about keeping an open mind. Many will go to great lengths to keep those who create the flow of imagination and yet I am that villain to myself. “Symptoms as such are not our enemy, but our friend; where there are symptoms there is conflict, and conflict always indicates that the forces of life which strive for interventions and happiness are still fighting. Many of them are normal because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does.” — Aldous Huxley. I create and flow just as intently as I keep myself from creating and flowing. This is the Open Mind Project.
“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” – Richard Steele.
“We don’t need a list of rights and wrongs, tables of dos and don’ts: we need books, time, and silence. Thou shalt not is soon forgotten, but Once upon a time lasts forever.” — Philip Pullman.
“What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.” — Anne Lamott.
“I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. That is my belief.” – Franz Kafka.
I have a deep rooted ambition to be the kind of writer that makes my readers think, second guess, and inspire them to achieve a higher level of success then they already have. I just want to inspire readers in the same way I have been inspired. “But the soul of a book can be separated from its body. A book is more like the score of a piece of music than it is like a painting. No great musician confuses a symphony with the printed sheets of music,” Adler explains “in the second place, reading, if it is active, is thinking, and thinking tends to express itself in words, spoken or written.” So here I am – alone with my thoughts and attempting to open myself up, to you. I sit here and I think about what I’ve learned, read, felt passionate about, and what frightens me. “What is you’re so afraid I’ll do?” I ask myself. Fail is the answer. I think a lot and that scares me. However I’ve learned the dignity to be loyal to something you believe in, and holding on to it because if you choose to have a closed mind about your world, and how things should be done, an unwillingness to accept people for who they are and that they are who they are based on the way they were raised, situations they have experienced, and the people they surround themselves with. If you refuse to take the liberty to understand that, just as you are a unique individual, that everyone else around you is different as well, then you refuse to see the beauty that is the world, not just your world. Secrets: Secrets come with a price, they are not free. Others will tell you different and even defend the opposite but knowledge is power - and some fight and think that having too much knowledge is well, too much. Makes things hard and we shouldn’t have it. My argument is that we have the power to react; we also have the power to choose our reactions, both the good and the bad, and it’s only up to us to react in a positive light for ourselves. No such thing as too much knowledge. The world isn’t always bright lights and positives. We just have to learn to accept it.
“BLESSED are the weird people: poets, misfits, writers, mystics, painters and troubadours. For they teach us to see the world through different eyes.” — Jacob Nordby.
We are taught to see the world through different eyes by the words of the weird people. Words of the weird people that we have read. Words of the weird people that they have written down. Words of the weird people that then influence us to accept and have an open mind to those we come into contact with each and every day.
I had a whole plan for this whole blog idea that I envisioned in my head. I knew it was going to be a slow process because I’m a slow writer. As much as I love writing (that aren’t structured i.e. research papers, critical thinking essays, etc.) I know my free writing is a slow process due to the amount of outside elements of life that control my time so I’m not really surprised that ten months into this blog I am reaching my sixth blog post entry. Anyways, my plan though, I had a whole seven-entry series all focusing on the theme: Self-discovery. Each post has already been outlined it is really just a matter of writing them; Procrastination at its finest. However, lately I’ve felt that I needed something more for me, so I’m taking a bit of a tangent in the current roadmap that I am in, and just getting something off of my heart in efforts of feeling relieved about my current situation. Hopefully this will be a quick post too.
Currently I feel in a funk with my education. I hold the education I am obtaining to a high degree but I feel like my life with and surrounding school has become very stagnant; just stuck. All my Mondays flow the same, all my Tuesdays flow the same, Wednesdays and Thursdays, etc. you get the point, and I feel as if I’m a unstoppable object about to run into an immovable wall, at least regarding my education. The college I’m at isn’t bad, the professors are outstanding and I have learned a great deal this past year and a half, but I think this stagnant everyday schedule is just causing this funk to occur. I’m assuming this is part of becoming of an adult of trying to find that balance between having a schedule and having some spontaneity, because let’s face it living life with everything on the spot, in a school vacation type of setting, will only cause an individual to go crazy. Okay, maybe just me. I need some type of set schedule to keep me going. Especially with being a music-performance major, in order for me to be competitive to my field of work, I have to have my education. Which, by the way, one of my biggest pet-peeves is when my peers or just members of the community ask me what it’s like to “just be a drummer,” like really? Screw you. I’m getting an education in music, I’m not just a drummer, I’m a musician. Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters said it in just about the same exact way. “People say in interview: ‘So Taylor, what is it like to be a rockstar?’ And I say: ‘Fuck you! I’m not a rockstar, I’m a musician!’”
But anyways, that’s the thing though, I know I need to go to college, but I’m not sure how much my drive of being a great student is lasting me right now. I don’t know how to deal with the feelings that I have about going to school. I really want to do things in my life, but I know I really need to have finished my degree before moving on with my life. It’s so easy to skip homework and classes to go out and enjoy other aspects and pleasures of life, but without my degree, I’m only hindering myself in the long run. As much as my peers and I joke about my obsession with Oregon and attending school there in the sometime near distant future, but when I had to let that “dream” go, it was a really hard thing for me. I don’t have anything against California institutions or universities, but Oregon became my drive and when that left part of my drive left with it. I need some renewed motivation, yet I know for me the best kinds of motivation to accomplish things in my life are when it comes from within.
I know my education will one day be worth it and I’ll be able to not only live the life I want to live but provide for my family and loved ones the way my parents, mentors, and loved ones have been able to provide for me. I can so easily envision the life I’m pursing that I forget where I’m at currently. I remind myself that I need to work for what I earn, I have no problem with that, but I think I mentally overcome unforeseen obstacles (which is obviously very easy to do) so often that it really is just a rude awakening to remember that, “Hey, I’m still only nineteen years old working on just transferring to a four-year university, and not dependant on myself quite yet.” It’s discouraging. So here I am, hoping and looking for a fire, a drive, to continue the next part of my community college education, because this summer is when things really start to pick up and I make a serious dent in my plan to transfer. I think once I decide on a school to transfer to will be the biggest help. Annnnnnnnd we’re off!
— Robert Brandon
I fell in love. It’s rather simple really; I became very involved into a world of art to the point where I had become emotionally invested, and I have not looked back ever since. When entering into High School I was heavily involved with the band department, drumming for the marching band as the only freshman to make the high school drumline and drumming for the varsity jazz band by the time spring semester approached. At the time of this posting I just completed my third semester at the junior college I am attending, and it has been a semester full of my own personal process of self-discovery. Writing many papers for my English course continually kept my brain active and moving among the topics discussed, and many times I found myself reporting on the activity I feel most passionate about, music. I was surprised at the amount of information I learned about something I thought I already knew so much about, you can never really stop educating yourselves it’s true.
Although I had been feeling the effect of music for years, it was a different to see facts of how music is able to treat stress and depression, art allows the spirit to grow. Art allows for self-discovery, a positive outlet for students to tap into in a time of need, but above all else art allows students to learn the importance of setting goals, and how to reach them. It is a system: Establishing students that requires being actively involved in goal setting, the ability to appreciate and respect other students regardless of race, tradition or culture, and an opportunity to provide self-therapeutic measures achieves beyond what any other programs provide. A process I have found to be the most beneficial to my soul is the process of self-discovery. Self-discovery allows individuals to grow, mature, and provides you the opportunity to experience life that will only strengthen you. I personally am all for the growth of our younger generation as well as me, if we as a people become stagnate, we will never be able to fix some of our biggest issues due to brains not developing the ability of being creative. Art programs consistently have students develop a goal-achieving sense of mind with an above par quality effort, skills students need to become successful beyond the classroom and in our society. Howard Gardener acknowledges, “The arts can play a crucial role in improving students’ abilities to learn, because they draw on a range of intelligences and learning styles, not just the linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligences upon which most schools are based.” (Eloquent Evidence: Arts at the Core of Learning, President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, talking about Howard Gardener’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, 1995). These are all effects created by the cause of art, art that includes music and these are all emotions I have felt first hand by being involved in music.
I’ve come to the point in my life where I desperately desire to make a positive change in the world I live in and I wouldn’t mind starting at home. Music has done everything for me. Music sparked the inspiration in myself so I could complete the tasks I previously thought I was incapable completely, and also inspired those I surrounded myself with to be the catalyst to my actions. Music provided me with an identity; someone I could call myself and be comfortable in my own skin to be who I am, music provided for me a sense of peace, comfort and rehabilitation in the image I had set for myself prior to entering the world of music. Now as an adult I would love to give back to the program that provided more than words could say for me. No, not Righetti High School marching band exclusively but more of the world of marching band and drumline for as tacky as it sounds the best way to describe it is a true “Sport of the Arts.” Working for my Alma Mater high school as a percussion instructor has been beyond one of the greatest experiences thus far, but being involved on this side of the system has proven a sadden aspect of the Art programs here in California. I realize that this is not the fault of the school and the administration, or partially even the district, this is all my opinion, understanding; my two-cents if you will. It is just so heart-breaking seeing a state decline more and more to the Art programs in the schools under the university level. Why? Of course academics are of upmost importance but to then deprive a world of beauty to be available to the students is to only progress further conflagration to future generations, it absolutely infuriates me! I’ve heard a handful of stories of how a student, male or female, felt ready to call it quits to the world around them when Art literally saved their life. I am also included in this mix. The Arts is a beautiful thing.
“You put in too much effort for what you get out.”
“This program is on the declining end; put your efforts in something else.”
So what!? Who cares if a program is declining, should that incline society to help come together to provide a reboot of the program, rather than letting it slip and fall? “Oh, but the program is declining each and every year.” Well then do what I’m doing, get off your butt and do something about it. Rant. It just bothers me so much, to see so many just drop the ball on something they are involved with just because of where things look like they’re going, my goodness if it bothers you that much why not become involved in advocating what you’re a part of; be proud of what you do, and put forth your best. Support it, bottom line, support it. I am a firm believer in standing tall for what you do, it’s how I was brought up and it has treated me well so far, and whenever I become involved with an activity I go into it with everything I have. Be big. Be bold. It’s okay, I rather see the generation I live take bold actions with a hundred percent effort, good or bad, you can only learn more about yourself in the process, I can guarantee it’s much more self-satisfying then approaching life with a half-ass mindset. Food for thought, if it weren’t for people making bold choices, how would life be today? Coaches who stand up for their students and the better of the program, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Abraham Lincoln, etc. if these people just listened to society and all the things they “can’t” do, how different would life be. Exactly. You can’t just sit there and expect to NOT WANT to make a change in the world, it simply will not happen, that I promise you. The more you tell me I can’t, the more driven I become to find a way that I can. If this system is “failing,” then help, commit to becoming active in avocation, be inspired, and create change. I will no longer relax and watch and do nothing, I will do whatever it takes. I don’t even care if my methods seem weird or out of the ordinary, love is the inspiration, music is the catalyst, and change is the movement. So here I am, standing, defending, and fighting for something that I love. The Arts will take you further than you may think in all aspects, mentally, physically, and spiritually. To leave them to dry and/or to cut them for student’s lives is only a crime we commit to ourselves.
— Robert Brandon
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
I was on the cusp of turning eighteen years old, and I had the world at my fingertips, well, I had my world at my fingertips. Everyone I knew from back home always did the same exact thing for their eighteenth birthday (that I knew of at least), and that was the CASINOOOO! Woohoo! (Excuse me a second while I roll my eyes) … Hold on … Almost there, still not done. Alright, now that that’s over with, where was I? The envisionment I had with my eighteenth birthday was not so much of something big, or something overtly extreme, but definitely something I will and want to remember, something I’d be happy about telling, that I could remember, that I wouldn’t mind telling my future kids when it was their turn. The couple of years before this I had slowly become a sports fanatic (this is definitely a blog that will come sometime, later, eventually I’ll get to it. Haha.) My dad texted me the idea of going up to Oregon for a few days with a football game being the climax of the trip for my birthday, uh, yes! Need I say more? My four days of birthday celebration were set, and of course this trip wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t take my sister that was so intent on getting me to better my future, so she came with.
The day finally arrived and we were in Oregon (So, I feel so lame. I spent like 30 minutes describing how we got to Oregon and the anticipation leading up to it, then I realized that isn’t the subject of this post, so deleted it all :( maybe for a future post) The football game was so good! In brief, the most intense 4th quarter I have ever seen and possibly the greatest crowd in all of College Athletics. The day after you could still feel the intensity in the air of what was experienced the night before. A friend of mine from High School that was attending the University offered to show me around the campus, my family and I didn’t really have anything planned that day so I took him up on it. The campus was so beautiful! And I wasn’t even able to see the majority of it. Most of the campus and its building were closed on Sunday, but a few of them remained open for students. I was able to tour the main part of the campus where you could see most of the buildings and halls, the library, where popular on campus hang out spots were, the outside theater (I’m forgetting the proper term) area, the incredibly huge sport facility, and of course, the music department. Wow! Was I so impressed with everything that I saw. I can’t exactly explain it, but I feel love. I was walking around slowly thinking to myself more and more “Yea, I could do this.” I guess that’s where I made my decision, not sure how conscience it was or not, but I made the decision to go back to school. This difference about this one however was how passionate and intent I was on pursuing this higher level of education, and never before had I been excited to go to school.
So there I was back home, asking all the questions. “How do I get to Oregon? When is the soonest I can get there? What in the world do I want to major in!?” Just about all you can think about when first deciding to continue your education. I was going back and forth between all the different things I had thought about pursuing as a career.
- Music Education: To be a drumline coach, (check out: YouTube- Rhythm X- Finals Week. That stuff exists and I wouldn’t mind be a part of it as an adult figure.)
- Music Performance: I have always had the bug for playing on stage, in front of crowds. I wouldn’t mind this, especially considering my first original plan for post high school.
- Human Physiology: Well, to be honest it’s really Kinesiology, but that isn’t offered at UO, however Human Phys. is, and with my friend majoring in this and saying nothing but great things about it, I’d do it. This would allow me to pursue my wanting to be some sort of Strength & Conditioning Coach.
- Communications Major: This would allow me to pursue a career in the world of sports, not so much journalism (obviously) but a television or radio commentator.
I was faced with a difficult decision, I was amp’d about pursuing my education and career. The ultimate question remained, of what?
— Robert Brandon
Oh boy, here comes a rant -.- I cannot express enough how important I feel education is. Wow! For me to even open with that statement is a biggie too, not even a year and a half ago I was in the mindset of there was no need for a higher level of education, and boy do I still slap myself in the face for that consideration. By my senior year of high school, I felt as if I had risen to the top of my musical experience. I was entering my second year of leading my high school drumline, my third year as Head Drummer for Varsity Jazz, and the band I was in at the time was writing some great material. Let’s face it, a majority of peoples senior year in high school is summed up with one word, power. I felt SO empowered by everything I had to the access of my fingertips. In some odd essence, I felt “too cool” for school. My schedule were my two band classes, music history (to escape senior English), and the core Econ/Gov’t. I was leaving everyday at 11:30am!
So here was my mindset: I didn’t need school, much less a college or a university. The plan was after graduation to just enjoy a summer, take whatever music group I was in and try to make it. Whether that meant moving down south to Los Angeles, or just trying to make recordings and playing as many shows as possible to get a name out there, essentially hope for the best. That didn’t make very many people happy, or anyone for that matter, but ignored all of it. Any discussion about school, financial aid, or just another to go about my post high school life that wasn’t part of my plan would just frustrate me. Truly frustrate me. I would get so angry. Everyone tried to do their part in attempting to change my mind of what I wanted to do, my family (both immediate and distant), my closest friends including the guy I would consider to be my “best man,” the girl I consider my real sister even though we are not really blood related, the girl I was madly in love with at the time, her mother, youth pastors, and even other teachers I had in high school. Everyone was doing what they could for the benefit for me, and yet I felt like everyone was attacking me. It was really a bit of a dark time for me.
My sister (my “sister”) had asked me to hang out one night, of course I am always up for it. I am under the impression that this is just a normal kick back, talk, eat, normal older teenager stuff. Boy was I in for a heart to heart. There came a point in the night where her hands were placed on my shoulders and then shook me back and forth, tears in her eyes. This meant something to her. I meant something to her. She was so scared what was going to happen if I followed through with my plan, and drop my education as seriously as I had intended, fearful that when all of our other graduation classmates take off to other locations for school or start at the community college here in town, that I wasn’t going to left with any of a social life that could keep me sane. Also the essential fact of living off of such a risk, that I wasn’t going to make it. She wasn’t about to have me be on that list of people; people she went to school with that had so much potential, didn’t make it, and no one knows what happened to him/her. She felt the obligation to prevent that future to become my eventual reality. This was a lot to take in at the time. The process of letting everything about my future took a long while to sink in.
— Robert Brandon
(Source: reddit.com, via infamousjoeblack-deactivated201)
Hello? *tap* *tap* Is this on? Haha. The heck do I write about? Obviously I’m trying this whole blog thing out. I’m not exactly all that fancy either, but I feel that I have a lot to say; my life can get really interesting is what I have been told a lot, so why not share it?
Well I should prolly get the basics out of the way. My name is Robert, although I go by many different things, it’s mainly based on familiarity: Those who I had a class with or only know me by the activites I did in school, but don’t really know me all call me the same thing. Pollard. It’s cool I guess, my last name, but for the most part, I know if I’m called this, the person doesn’t exactly know who I really am. And thats okay too. Those who are my friends tend to call me Robert. And those who are closest to me, long time friends, family friends, family, the people who I live and die for, those are the ones who call me Brandon. My “original” name, the name that was registered in kindergarten from my parents, it wasn’t until High School where they go by your legal name people didn’t know my first name was Robert, but even then I had always introduced myself as Robert in Jr. High and High School. I felt more responsible, and I was growing up, Robert just sounded so much older than Brandon did. But yes, I answer to all 3. Keeps things exciting? Hahah who knows.
I’m 18 years old at the time of this posting, and it’s exciting, but stepping into the adult word has definitely proved to have its own set of rules, excitments, and challenges. I am currently going to a Community College where I live and am planning on transfering to the University of Oregon (Go Ducks!) I have two jobs, one working in a Personal Training Studio and 1 as a Drumline coach at the Righetti High School, my alma mater, and I love what I do. I’ve been playing drums for almost ten years now, I’ll get into the whole music thing in another blog post, for now, I think I’m just going to have this first blog be an “overture” to my life and what I do. It won’t be until later when I’ll get into how I got into the things I am into, how I grew up, where I wanna go, love/relationships, school, etc. etc. I plan on this being a very exciting ride!
I love sports! Basketball is just about everything to me. It’s the first sport I got into and it really my first love, but I do follow more than just this sport, Basketball just happens to be my number one. Ill keep this short and sweet:
NBA: Boston Celtics
NFL: Baltimore Ravens
MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers
NHL: Boston Bruins
NCAA: University of Oregon (All sports) but in big national championships I’ll go Pac-12 always.
I’ve done a lot in my life already, and I’m only 18. Which makes me super excited to see what hidden potential I have in me and what the future has in store for me and I’m totally hitting a mental road block as far as what to write about, and yet I feel like I have so much to write about. For now though, I feel content with this little prequel, I’m excited to get into the all the details and “juicy” aspects of my life.
— Robert Brandon