What I learned from my high school drum line director

I just fell down a rabbit hole on my high school Drumline Director’s Facebook page. Jeffery Scott Dudley is leaving Belton High School after more than twenty years of teaching kids to play music. Right now he’s the Director of Bands at BHS, but when I met him in the summer of 1995, he was a teacher I’d never heard of who asked me at band tryouts to clap to the beat. I clapped; he smiled. He put me on his list of students who could keep rhythm, a kid with drumming potential. I was 10. I felt discovered. That…

thank you; your gift is a rabbit-eared family

I woke up in a panic this morning. Five days left before I leave Stepanavan. Two of those days will be spent doing a camp in a village near here, so in truth, we’re talking three short days here before I cram everything I own, and something things Peace Corps owns, into a taxi and ride to the capital. Good news, I did not stay sick, and Easter-In-June was a wild success. Bad news, I don’t have time for a good post. I have pictures to get printed, camp materials to gather, unseen waterfalls to find, and flesh and blood…

and counting

Two nights ago I spent hours and hours trying to find a plane ticket, trudging through travel website after travel website like I was chopping through a marsh with a box cutter, looking for the ever elusive, speedy (less than 24 hours), cheap ticket to the States. Three days ago I found out I’ll be leaving a month early, July 15, for home.  Now that feels like a strange word. All this time I’ve been giving that word, ‘home’, to Texas, more and more tentatively as I have felt a change coming on.  After recent time visiting America, I started giving…

i’m still here in all of the winter goodness

I was supposed to be laid up with knee holes right now, but I’m still here because PC HQ pushed back my surgery.  This makes me lucky in some ways.  For instance, the winter’s biggest snow fell on the day I was scheduled to travel to the capital.  Not only did I not have to brave the feet-deep-buried roads, but I got to see my town covered in a thick layer of snow.  There is nothing like the feeling of waking up on a sunny morning to pillows of glittering snow trying to peek into your windows.  I’ve said it…

another new year in armenia

On the last night of 2009 I was sitting with my best Peace Corps friend, Zoë, talking late into the evening about New Year’s resolutions.  We almost missed the New Year, and with moments to spare we ran outside with pots and pans to ring in the new year with a metallic clamor. This year I was invited by my friend and co-worker, Gayane, to spend the evening of the 31st with her family.  When I called to confirm the plans, I found out that they had already prepared a room for me to sleep in after we had toasted…