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An Item From Home

Upon moving here to East Tennessee State University, I have certainly been enjoying my time here. However, as I’m sure others do I sometimes feel a little homesick. While studying or playing music as I often do, I think of home and my family or old friends and what they might be up to. Though I’ve never really been one to want to stay home all of the time, when travelling I sometimes feel a great deal of homesickness. I think this must be because of how close my family has always been. We have always seemed to stick together in everything that life has sent our way. I am forever thankful for my family and how I have been brought up.

Whenever I feel homesick here at school I know that I can always call home or even go home some weekends but I made sure to bring a couple of things to remind me of home and to help me feel a bit more at ease throughout the weeks. The Item I brought was a gift from my grandparents a few years ago. On one of my grandparents trips to the mountains they brought back for me, a small box in the shape of a banjo. It is made of three pieces of wood that all fit together like a puzzle. At home, I would keep my picks there and it would sit on the piano at my grandparents house. I always love to hear my grandmother play piano and thinking of that really helps me on days I miss home.

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

Volunteering at Caris Healthcare

I often think about how much my community at home has done to shape who I am and how much they have contributed to my life. It seems like I stay pretty busy and I don’t get the opportunity to give back as much as I would like to. On this occasion I volunteered at Caris Healthcare, which is a home heath office near my home. They have a list of volunteers that do a number of tasks around the community like singing for elderly people who are sick at home or maybe just go sit with them and keep them company. When I volunteered I did various tasks around the office like organizing new equipment and taking care of recycling and things like that. I’m glad to have been able to volunteer with an office that does so much for our community members.

My Values

In my life I know what I stand for but I don’t always sit down to really identify things I value most. First of all I really value family. My family has always been close and we have always stuck together throughout anything life sends our way. I would never be myself without everything my family has done for me. Next, I value authenticity. I am myself due to my raising and all of my experiences I’ve had and and I know that I can’t be anyone except me. Life would be boring if everyone just acted the same! The next two things I value really relate to my career in music. Dependability and self-expressiveness are essential to me being a musician. If I prove to be undependable then that could lead to less opportunities to play music because no one would want to hire me. Self-expressiveness is a big part of my life too. I find that music is a great outlet that is fairly accessible for me to get my ideas out into the world. I try to play what inspires me and try to have my own musical ideas, and I think that goes back to authenticity too. Lastly, I value happiness. life is too short to be unhappy and of course I had some times of sadness, but I try to always look to the good times. I think this was interesting to sit down and take stock in what my values are, maybe I should do things like this more often.

My Goals For the Future

I have a few goals that I would like to accomplish while I am studying here at East Tennessee State University. One being that of course I would like to do well in my classes. Being a major in Bluegrass, Old-Time and Country Music Studies, there is always a goal that I have musically. Right now my goal is to audition to be a member of the ETSU Bluegrass Pride Band. While I am in bands here at ETSU the ETSU Bluegrass Pride Band, I feel, would be a great experience that would really push me towards being a better musician and I hope that I will be able to accomplish that goal. Another goal I have is to prepare myself now as much as I can for a career after school. If I start learning as much as possible I should be able to transition smoothly into a career.

Honors College Potluck

I am so grateful to be a member of the Honors college here at East Tennessee State University. The atmosphere is really conducive to learning and bettering myself as person ad in my art form. I thought the Honors Potluck was a great event for students to make new friends and to enjoy time together. It was held at the Honors House on campus and there were students there from all different programs in the Honors College. It was great to break bread with some new friends and get to learn more about what everyone is doing here at school. I thought it was a wonderful event and I am looking forward to attending more Honors College events like this one!

Reece Museum

This semester at East Tennessee State University I have gotten to see a lot of new things. I have gotten to experience the arts in a way that I haven’t been able ti previously. There is always something going on or a performance to see, whereas at home the arts were maybe not so readily available. As I am a student of Bluegrass music I g=have gotten ti spend a fair amount of time in the Reece Museum as part of my Bluegrass Seminar class. As far as seminars go I thin the Reece is a great location to experience a seminar however they do regularly house some compelling exhibits. At the beginning if the semester they had an exhibit on soft drinks like “Mountain Dew” and Dr. Enuf” which were beverages that made a start here in the Tri-Cities area. I thought that was pretty interesting to see all the different bottle shapes and how those beverages have changed over time. More recently I got to go look at the “Fletcher Exhibit” which was full of socially and politically engaged work. While some of it was a bit jarring or challenging to look at, I can see that it was important work in response to the times and all of the pieces were very deliberate and they made their cause evident. I have gotten to enjoy spending time at the Reece Museum and I am looking forward to more in the future.

Waiting For Godot

I love the arts and I am so pleased to be studying at an institution that values the arts so much. There are always a multitude of great performances and exhibits all throughout the semester for students to attend. As a major in Bluegrass, Old-Time and Country Music Studies, I get to see performances regularly and most of them performed by new friends I have made. However, on this occasion I got t see a performance that was outside of the bluegrass/country music canon. I went to see they schools performance of Waiting For Godot. In High School, I was a member of the Advanced Theatre Troupe and I got to learn a little about play production, lights and sounds as well as acting too. While coming from that background it didn’t necessarily prepare me for what a college theatre performance was like. I had not seen Waiting For Godot before but I was excited to see what was in store. Upon entering the Bud Frank Theater on campus I was intrigued my the seemingly minimalist set design. As the show began the actors were phenomenal. They played the part very professionally and it drew me in. I was excited to see a classmate of mine Ethan Harbin who I met in my Honors classes on the stage. While his character remained silent for the majority of the play he did deliver a very long and intricate monologue to the audience that was so impressive and well delivered. To me that stood out as a highlight of the performance and it was neat for me to see what other areas of the arts my peers have been taking part in. In all I thought the show was very well performed and I enjoyed seeing that performance.

The Fairfield Four

I am always surprised by how many things and interesting events are going on here at east Tennessee State University. I have been fortunate to have attended a variety of wonderful seminars over the course of this semester for my Bluegrass Seminar class, however the university also hosts some that our outside of my class requirements and I am really glad to have attended those as well. One in particular that I loved was the Fairfield Four seminar. The Fairfield Four is an amazing gospel quartet that have been together in different configurations since 1921. The group has won three Grammy awards and the configuration that I got to hear, has won one of those awards. The seminar was held here on campus at the Reece Museum and when it came time for the seminar I made my way in and sat down with some friends who were also excited for what we were about to hear. The Fairfield Four came in shortly after and they began to sing with such emotion, power and feeling that I didn’t want it to end. Hey sang a few numbers and then they talked for a bit about their history and their careers. I was so blown away at their talent and their performance will be one that I won’t soon forget!

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
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The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

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  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
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You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

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