Wednesday, February 25, 2009

From DMT to DMA

So, it's been official for a while but it has been a slow release of information (hence silence on the TiVo Changed My Life Blog), but I have a new job. Yes, I am moving from DMT to DMA. What does that mean? It means that I am leaving the Digital Media Technology class at St. Clair TEC (where I have been teaching for the past 3.67 years) and moving to the Digital Media Arts class at Lapeer County Ed-Tech.

Why move in the middle of the year? Well to be honest it isn't ideal (especially for my students - who I will miss a lot) but that's sometimes how this work out and in the end it's really Bruce's fault. I am sure you are asking - what does Bruce have to do with this and frankly, everything.

See he got me into this whole teaching thing and well for those of you that don't know - I will be taking over his job in Lapeer, just like I took over his job in St. Clair. What?

Well it all started one day with a woman who was looking for the quilt exhibit at Henry Ford Museum. Yes, I was working in the Public Relations office and I was standing around watching a film crew to make sure they didn't jump the barriers. A woman came up to me and asked me were the quilt exhibit was - I told her it wasn't anymore - but then because well I was bored out of my skull - I asked her were she was from. She said, "Port Huron." I said, oh my husband teaches up in Marysville - she said where - I said St. Clair TEC. She said, I used to teach there, I said wow, she said what class does your husband teach, I said Digital Media Technology (DMT.)

That's when she told me that here school was hiring someone for a new position that was very much digital media. She said that it was less days and more money - I said, well I will tell Bruce. I did - he claims that he heard about it before - but I like my version better. So he applies and low and behold he is hired. In his last days at St. Clair TEC he comes home and says to me - I think you should apply for my job at St. Clair TEC. I said, really, he said yes and I said ok. I applied, they took a chance on me and I was hired.

I must admit that I love teaching at St. Clair TEC. There is only one thing I don't like about my drive and it's my 45 minute commute. Now don't get me wrong - it is my fault - because I had to fall in love with a house in Lapeer County. And every morning when I wake up early to get ready and get to work - I am jealous of my husband who can sleep just a little longer and his drive to work is 1.5 miles.

Then in November - a job at Oxford High School (Oxford, Michigan) came up and Bruce was offered the job - he accepted and it seemed like a no brainer - I would apply for his job. I did and I got it. So on March 13th - I will say goodbye to my colleagues and students at St. Clair TEC. And then that following Monday - I will start in Lapeer.

I am not going to lie - I may have teared up a little when telling my students - but hey what can I say - that's me - "captain emotional." But for the most part everyone has been very understanding - not exactly happy - but very understanding.

But in the meantime - check out the awesome work my students have been doing - they produced and directed their very first TEC News. I am very proud of them. They are currently in the process of working on the second edition. There has been a great response at school - so I am really happy for them.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Morning Music

With Bruce and Meghan.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Best Neighbors

So I can honestly say that as a child I had the best neighbors. Now I don't say this lightly. I am sure you are all thinking how can she say that - that is such a broad statement. However, I can say it with a clear conscious. I grew up in the country. For the longest time our neighborhood was made up of four houses - each on no less than two acre parcels. Our neighborhood was not filled with children my age - it was the exact opposite, it was mostly adults. By adults I mean - when I was born the closest to me in age - and that was not relative by blood was 14 - which meant by the time I have memories of them they were all in college.

I grew up next to the Widmayer's--Richard and Loretta and their four daughters Ann, Jean, Sharon and Carol--which my family usually refers to as "the girls." For instance, "I'm going next door, 'the girls' are home." Or, the time my brother packed up all his diapers because he was going to live with "the girls." (Or as he pronounced it the ge-wal-els.)

When I say we had the best neighbors - it was because we didn't really treat each other like neighbors, it was more like extended family. When our birthdays approached my mom or dad would call over next door to plan the birthday party. Yes the entire neighborhood would come over for cake and ice cream. In fact most of my pictures from childhood are filled with the Widmayer girls standing behind me. And I can guarantee that most of their pictures have a small version of me, my sister and my brother in them somewhere.

For Example:
My 9th Birthday
My 6th Birthday
My 5th Birthday
My 4th Birthday
My 2nd Birthday

We would celebrate Christmas at Aunt Lena's house - which was right next door to Dick and Loretta's. It was like any other family celebration - we would eat snacks, dads would drink beer and we would open presents.

I remember each one of girls' weddings. I don't think we went to a lot of weddings growing up. But, I do remember going to their weddings at St. Mary's church and Emmanuel and then going to the Legion for the reception. It was fun when I finally got married, to share my wedding with Dick, Loretta, the Girls and now their children.

However, I remember Jean's wedding the most - mainly due to my brother's heartbreak. See Kevin had fallen madly in love with Jean around age 2. He wanted to move in with her so she could take him to Taco Bell. He loved everything about Jean. Then Jean met Marc - who Kevin tolerated with much disdain until that fateful day when Jean announced to Kevin that she was going to marry Marc. Kevin's small heart, age (I think) four - just broke. He now despised Marc for stealing Jean from him. He relunctantly was a ring bearer in the wedding - but it was all for Jean. He was a funny little kid. Thinking about it makes me giggle.

But most of my memories come from every day things. Like nearly every Saturday of my childhood (especially during the summer,) I would quickly get my chores done - so I could go next door. One could say it was a tactic to avoid doing more work at my house - and that would probably be correct. I would follow Loretta around - while she cleaned her house inside. Then I would follow Dick around outside while he tinkered in the barn. Then, some Saturdays we would go downstairs and watch the Michigan games. I am sure I was a pest, but they never seemed to mind me. Eventually the phone would ring requesting our presence back home or my dad would wander over to drink a Stroh's with Dick and of course to retrieve his children.

I never felt shy about wandering over. Maybe I should have - but Dick & Loretta are my Godparents - so I always felt that I had an extra connection. They made us all feel loved.

As I mentioned earlier - next door to Dick and Loretta was Aunt Lena. No she wasn't technically my Aunt - she was Dick's Aunt, but I called her Aunt Lena. She lived in a little white house with Dutch, her brother-in-law until he passed away. However, most of my childhood - she lived alone. I would go over to her house after school to play cards, mostly poker. She taught us all how to play five card draw. One of the best parts of visiting Aunt Lena was the snacks. She would always serve Pringles and pop. See, this was a big treat because at the Sahakian residence we were only allowed to have pop on Saturdays. I never mentioned this to Aunt Lena and even if she knew it didn't phase her. We would chat all afternoon, playing cards, eating chips, drinking pop and sometimes she would go into her bedroom and bring back a snickers bar. I am not sure why she kept them in there, but hey I always knew I was in for a treat when she walked to the back bedroom. Then it would be dinner time and despite being full from all the chips and pop, I would run home and eat dinner not to give away our secret.

I decided to write this because on January 29th, we lost Dick. He was very sick and his body just couldn't recover. It is really hard to think about our neighborhood without him. I went to the funeral home and the funeral - and I thought I had cried out all my tears - turns out as I am writing this I still have more. I shared my grief with Loretta, the girls and their families and of course my family - because we love them all like family.

Thinking about Dick - I will always remember him in the yard. He was always driving his tractor, fixing things in the barn or sitting in the lawn chair enjoying a Stroh's. When the cherries were ripe, I would run over and help them pick them off the tree (mainly I am sure I ate more than I picked.) He gave me many atta girls in my day - I also remember finding my place on his lap during birthday parties - especially when it came time to help him blow out his candles. I will also remember hearing his shotgun blast in his never ending war against the red squirrel. I think they got into his attic once - but I am not sure exactly why the war existed. I remember sitting in their basement - watching or listening to the Michigan football games while playing pool.

And when I think back to my childhood. I think back to how it was filled with so much love, from not only my blood relatives - but my neighbors. So as you can clearly see I have the best neighbors ever!