Guest post written by the beautiful and talented Tabby Fullan (my wife)
I’m going to expose a little-known fact about myself. But I’m a little-known person, so I’m not too worried about incrimination. I’d love to leave you all (or few) in suspense for several moments while I cleverly lead up to my secret, but if you’re of at least average intelligence you already guessed it simply by reading my title. Yes, it’s true, I - wife of Aaron Samuel Fullan, musical genius – am a music school dropout. I’ll let that sink in for a minute.
Just so everyone knows right off the bat, I was playing piano while Aaron was still in diapers. Okay, maybe he wasn’t in diapers, but I am three and a half years older than him, so I did tickle the ivories a little before he did. I took piano lessons for 9 years, participated in countless recitals, competitions, music festivals, and even won a few awards in my day. All to say, I had musical interest (and my friends would say talent ;) from a young age. But I won’t tarry long on the subject of my musical accomplishments. Rather, I’d like to focus on my brief collegiate musical experience (which was certainly less than an accomplishment).
When the time came in my life for me to choose a college, the choice was easy; Since my camp best friend, Melissa Peterson (now Barsness), and I had determined when we were 15 years old that we would go to Emmaus Bible College together (because the recruiters at camp made it sound so “fun”), I thought I had smartly avoided the HOURS, maybe DAYS, of filling out the ever-so-dreaded college APPLICATIONS!! Melissa, apparently, had been planning on going to Emmaus for years, and I hadn’t really thought much about college at all, so…….it was a date! (And a shortcut to the college-choosing PROCESS. Washew!) Now wasn’t that much simpler than the traditional way!
To represent my wonderful parents correctly, I should note that they did insist on me looking into at least a few other colleges, which I did, BUT, I still don’t think I filled out more than one other application, so HA! Dad, I think, was especially concerned about my quick decision. I think it had something to do with the fact that a not insignificant amount of money would be coming out of his account to pay for this portion of my education. Maybe he wanted the choice/process/outcome of my education to reflect the amount of money he would spend on it? A novel idea to my “fun-track” mind back then.
One of the strange things Dad wanted to know regarding my college choice was if the school I had chosen had my major. “What does he mean?” I thought. “I already decided I’m going there, so if they don’t have the program I want, I’ll just pick something they do have. It’s just my future career….not life and death.
Thankfully, Emmaus did have a music program. Otherwise, I think Dad would have vetoed my decision, and, well, I wouldn’t be blogging for Aaron Fullan. =(
The Lord knew.
The Lord ALSO knew my intelligence level, and that I wasn’t actually cut out to be a music major. I remember coming out of Music Theory 1 (Or maybe it was even just INTRO to Music Theory) on one of the first days of class and thinking to myself “That wasn’t music, that was MATH! I HATE math! What have I gotten myself into!?” That was the first of my doubts about my career in music.
Truth be told, in those first weeks and months of school, I found out that music IS a lot like math…and, as we all know, math takes the fun right out of everything. So, naturally, I soon decided that a music major wasn’t for me. So, I decided to turn to something a little more… elementary. Muaha. That’s right, I decided to pursue a career in education…elementary education. Maybe I was smart enough for that!
Lest my sincerity in choosing teacher as my profession be unrecognized, let me say that though I started my elementary education courses with somewhat of a “This-is-the-only-other-major-I’m-at-all-interested-in”attitude, I ended them with a “Why-had-I-never-considered-teaching-before-when-it’s-obviously-my-passion?!” attitude. Though I started with an attitude of “I hope I don’t have to be too smart for this,” I ended with an attitude of “I have a gift for this.” And though I started my teaching courses still hating math, I ended them remembering that I was actually good at math in elementary school, so I don’t have to hate it at this level!
To put all of my feelings about my musical inferiority into one, long, run-on sentence, I’ll close by saying that, although some people’s brains (including my own) aren’t made to understand music, in all its intricacies (all those technical, mathematical intricacies for me), some of those brains are, instead, created to understand children (individually and as a whole), and how children learn, and have the gift and task of being a facilitator of learning for those children (and those who have the former and the latter kinds of brains must have become music teachers). Whew, that definitely was a run-on. So, to add to what was supposed to be my last sentence, this is just another life example of the Creator’s unique design (and sense of humor) displayed in each one of us.
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