Sunday, August 18, 2013

Some (very belated) exciting news on Bumblebee

He spent 7 days of pre-vocation assessment at our county's Career Center. (Sorry, this was in Sept 2012.) Their goal: to help students achieve a safe, self-directed and independent future based upon realistic life choices and training.

During the assessment, students spend times at the different learning stations which represent the offerings of the Career Center. Student's interests, abilities, and aptitudes are identified for vocational direction.

Bumblebee really liked the bakery and culinary/food service. Bumblebee also said he liked building skills, and "driving the forklift," which is part of materials handling. We think he felt pressure to name four areas. Considering his aptitudes, his choices were narrowed to bakery and culinary/food service.

He is now in their Skills Discovery/Skills Training program. This program develops job readiness skills as well as life skills. He will be in a supportive learning environment. In other words, they will help Bumblebee get ready, both for a job and for life.

As he improves in skills, he can move up to Mainstreaming, and then Assisted Employment.

Bottom line: we found a safe place for Bumblebee to learn job and life skills.

Bumblebee enjoyed his year at the Career Center and will be going back there this year.

My music has been picking up again lately...m

It is amazing how cyclical the arts can be, or at least, appreciation for the arts. In in the Post-9/11 world, people initially were very strong in the appreciation of the arts, most specifically in the hiring of artists. In those month, many bridal couples told me how much they weren't going to let the terrorist win: not by being afraid of what's to come, nor by cutting back on the wedding they've always dreamed of having.

Still, the war dragged on, and those resolutions were tested. In 2002 and 2003, we started to see a decline in the arts, weddings were less elaborate. But then, I saw increases in 2004, 2007, and 2008. Unfortunately, from 2009 through this year it has been a long, steady decline.

So I was very pleased when in early July, I played at a new (for me) church, a Methodist church just about 1 mile from my house. The congregation is small, maybe 50-60 people, but I knew many of them.

Early August, I was in the recording session for our church's wedding musicians.

Mid-August, I was back at the Episcopal Church that calls me 2 or 3 times a year (I'm considered a "friend" of that church).

I will be playing a wedding next weekend: flute, violin, piano, and voice. The pianist, the Lady, has given us free reign for the prelude, and it will be all duets for flute and violin. I've had two rehearsals with the violinist, and many phone calls and emails, working out which arrangements of which pieces. Although that is a lot of time to spend on one wedding, I consider the time an investment. I really like the violinist and I hope that we can work together more.

So imagine my surprise when I just got a call for another wedding on the following weekend: also flute, violin, organ, and voice. The bride called because the singer and organist recommended me. The bride had two names of violinists from the singer. I recommended my violinist, especially since we will be doing the wedding a week before this one, and she was hired. We will be working with the Man, the other organist for our parish. The Man does most of the weddings and funerals for our parish. Since we have two churches in our parish, each organist is busy on Sunday.

Hubby sometimes considers my flute playing a hobby. Now he is starting to appreciate the income more.