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St. Lucy Flute School

St. Lucy  Flute School
Class of 2009

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Keeping My Chin Up

July 3rd, 2011
Dear Family and Friends,
Although having this exciting news about working at Mekelle University this trip has been exceptionally difficult so far. I remember last year and it was also difficult but things got better after a month. Last year, some of the sisters were angry at me because of the things that have been said about me and the jealousy of the teachers. It hasn’t left me yet. I came back again and still this is a problem. I’m tired of having to defend myself and my friends. I’m tired of this problem. I wonder if my work at St. Lucy’s is finished and I’m supposed to go elsewhere.

I’m at a month and I’m hoping that it will become better. I’m grateful to stay in Gol’a because it’s nice, free of judgmental thinking, and a very serene place. I think one of my biggest problems for this trip being difficult is that I miss my friends. All my friends are either in villages visiting families, at the university getting their educations, or have gone to Addis to look for work. So I’m alone. I do get to spend some time with Sr. Mary in the evenings which are always nice. We prepare dinner, say prayers together, and she and I are becoming good friends. She has been my shoulder to cry on because I’m alone, feeling like “is this trip even worth my time” and the discontinuation of my flute school at St. Lucy’s. She has counseled me and given me insight to think of other directions to go in. She loves the idea of me working at Mekelle and she says that after a time Sr. Kahsa and these other sisters will realize that removing my flute school was a mistake. But for now these things are what they are. As well the lack of my friends has discouraged me. Even Seyoum has left me. He is looking for other work. He doesn’t want to work at St. Lucy’s school anymore. He needs to make more money and he is absolutely fed up with the sister’s treatment toward me, him, and the flute students. I stand here in Ethiopia alone. I’m trying not to become depressed but this has been a trial.

Continuing on:
Later this afternoon I went to Adigrat to photocopy tone exercises, scale studies, finger technique development exercises, double tonguing exercises, and parts for their flute choir piece Londonerry Air. I then bought rubbing alcohol and a roll of cotton to clean up the flutes, chalk, and erasers to clean up my theory exercises that I will give to the students later this week. I prepared my classroom and changed the room into a music room, with stands, and music to hand out to the students. I cleaned the instruments. I’ve brought 40 flutes to this country. After cleaning and testing the flutes 15 of them are in need of repair. This is from the high demand of playing on the instruments during the time I didn’t have enough flutes. I’ve found someone in Mekelle to help repair them and I’m going to see about taking some of these flutes to the university in Mekelle for use there. I’ve given 15 to the graduated students, which leaves me a total of 10 working flutes for my beginning class. This is good because I have only 12 students in this class for the summer. I wrote the flute school schedule on the blackboard and the assigned private lesson times as well. Here is the schedule:

Monday
9:00 Private lesson
9:30 Private lesson
10:00 Advanced Flute Class
11:00 English Class
11:30 Beginning Flute Class

Tuesday
9:00 Private lesson
9:30 Private lesson
10:00 Advanced Flute Class
11:00 Beginning Flute Class

Wednesday
9:00 Private lesson
9:30 Private lesson
10:00 Private lesson
10:30 Advance Music Theory
11:00 English Class
11:30 Beginning Music Theory
12:00 Break
1:30 Advance Flute Testing: tone, finger technique, tonguing, rhythm, and repertoire
3:30 Beginning Flute Testing: rhythm, hand position, posture, and repertoire

Thursday
9:00 Private lesson
9:30 Private lesson
10:00 Private lesson
10:30 Flute Pedagogy
11:00 Advanced Flute Class
No Beginning Class

Friday
9:00 Private lesson
9:30 Private lesson
10:00 Advanced Flute Class
11:00 English Class
11:30 Advanced Flute Class Pedagogy Discussion and Brainstorming
12:00 Beginning Flute Class

Saturday and Sunday
Performances

It’s a busy week, but the students are dedicated. They appreciate the new music, metronomes/tuners, and flutes so much. They all want these wonderful benefactors to know how much they appreciate this and by showing this appreciation is how hard they are willing to work.

July 4th, 2011
Happy 4th of July America, I wish I was there to celebrate it with you. Nothing new or special for today. I went to mass at the Parish for Gol’a, did my laundry and documented my work with the students.

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