Friday, July 9, 2010


This last year held a few things of great import; I released an EP, I played some shows and got some radio play, and I finished my first year of teaching high school in Somerset, KY. I can't help but think of how often I saw the 15/16-year-old version of myself in those kids, among other things. An acceptance of the mundane marked a vast majority of the younger generation, and any time I would try to speak life or a destiny of greatness into them, it almost seemed as if I was speaking a different language. I did not, however, blame them in the least. I grew up in a similar mindset, a belief that when it came to gifting you either had it or you didn't. If there is one thing I hope I distilled in my kids its this: that if you believe something is possible, it probably is. And if you believe something is impossible, it almost definitely will be. The combination of belief and hard work can yield unbelievable results.

I think of how specific paths can be, each one, while seeming small can lead here, then there, and though appearing random they end up taking you through as specific a trail and line of events as the ones we read of in our history books. Landing my first teaching job proved to be an incredible task. I can't even tell you how much public education is just a good-ole-boy system, and since I didn't know anyone or have any real contacts no one was giving me the time of day - not even an interview, (so much so, that once I found a posting for a school actually needing someone capable AND Kentucky-certified to teach both English and Spanish classes.) How many of these people there are in Bumbkinsville-Spencer-County I'm not sure, but I'm going to guess few to none. However, I didn't even get a call-back. (I'm sure Aunt Debbie's uncle's sister's nephew got a favor called in and was soon emergency-certified and got the job instead.) All this to say, if other things had worked out then I know Somerset would not have, and I'm glad it did.

After teaching for maybe two months and having already made about six students cry (after that I soon lost track) I wasn't sure if I was in the right profession. But as year trekked on and I began finding my mold, it was amazing to see some of the things I was capable of. While I learned that no matter what you can't win them all, you most certainly can win some if you try hard enough. There were some students that absolutely hated me (as in they probably wished I would die in a car wreck or a stampede) but by the end, some of these same students completely loved me. Of course, there were some students I would never win, but it made the chances to speak light into darkness that much greater during my opportunity to do so. And it was I'm sure, in some capacity or another, the wonder of these victories that could inspire some of the music I created in the last year. For during this time, I wrote such songs as Greenland, Daughter of Zion, I Am Kentucky, Destiny, and I also re-worked Goodnight, Goodnight. Three of these songs ended up on my EP, and the other two will undoubtedly be used in other projects.

I was offered a job in Campbellsville, which I accepted gladly, but it was a bittersweet parting. Sometimes my students would ask me about the marriage of music and teaching, how that will work if something happens with my music, to which I have never had the answer. But I'll keep moving forward with both writing songs and speaking into the lives of high schoolers, hoping each year will bring forth more than the previous. More creative, spiritual, and relational victories.


  1. love this. Congrats on the new teaching job. I'm hoping to land one here in a few weeks :/ ~alyssa

  2. The thing about brazing your own trail is that you only see the trail after you've traveled it. If you can see the trail ahead it's probably because someone else has already gone that way.

    Your students--whether in Somerset or Campbellsville--are lucky to have you!