So New: In Which I See the Alison Brown Quartet (28 of 90)

Tonight I had the chance to see the Alison Brown Quartet at Pruis Hall with my friend Megan, who is fast becoming a Go To Partner-in-Crime.

I’m normally not big on music, but I’m a sucker for most bluegrass music (or really anything with a banjo).

And I’m glad I found my way to this show. It wasn’t long – or it didn’t feel long – but it was wonderfully relaxing and entertaining.

At times it felt a bit like Storytellers, as she introduced her songs with rather lengthy stories. But I’m not adverse to such things. Particularly in a venue where the night felt intimate.

Megan and I both agreed, though, the drummer really tore it up. And I was surprised to see a piano player with a bluegrass band. Happily surprised. I always think of my sister and think “I’ll be she could do that better.” He was pretty good, though.

It was a pleasant way to end what has been the busiest week I’ve ever had as a professor. It was filled with work, professional presentations, student fun and relaxation. Which I guess is what the best week’s are supposed to have.

So let me leave you with just a bit of what I saw tonight…

Homecoming Arrives (Addendum)

I promise after today there will be no more posts about Homecoming. But there are some photographs floating around in the wild that my friends have decided needed to be shared.

Here I am tossing candy to the kiddies who lined the parade route (although it certainly looks as though I am acknowledging the masses). This was taken by Hillary Tribbett, who clearly isn’t one of my students because she does not have the proper fear.

King_Parade 

So New: In Which Homecoming Finally Arrives (27 of 90)

It’s been a long, interesting few weeks. But today – thankfully – it’s all come to an end. Today was homecoming.

That meant:

  • the parade
  • the alumni lunch
  • the football game and announcement

Truthfully, everyone has been great. The Homecoming Steering Committee has been a joy to meet and the student royalty were loads of fun.

Homecoming_Parade6

The day started off with the annual parade. I arrived at 7:45, thanks to my friend Reagin for dropping me off, and found my car along the way.

It was a bit chaotic as you might imagine, but the Steering Committee were out in full force, helping direct the lost souls like myself to the right car.

So New: In Which I Become Faculty Homecoming King (23 of 90)

Today is an entertaining day in the Arts + Journalism building at Ball State University.

Not for me, mind you, although I do enjoy the smiles and giggles that surround me as I walk through the hallways. Today the glee is for my friends, former students and others who conspired to elect me as the Faculty Homecoming King.

Of course I’m duly horrified at this, which has only excited my friends and students even more. Not because I dislike celebrations. I quite enjoy them. I simply prefer the idea of celebrating work and achievement.

But my upbringing didn’t allow me to beg out of this student-led event. My father (a man of few rules) had told me on more than one occasion that he had one particular rule he always tried to follow with his kids: whenever my sister or I called, he would answer the phone because he figured if we were coming to him for help, we must need something. And, he said, he never knew when that would stop and he didn’t want to miss anything.

I’ve adopted that philosophy in my teaching career as much as I could: whenever my kids do something or need something, I try to answer.

This includes participating in Homecoming.

So New: In Which I go to Angels in America (22 of 90)

I’ve been aspirational with Something New.

With every event I’ve lined up (save the ones that involve much personal embarrassment, such as tomorrow night’s crowning of the Faculty Homecoming King and Queen), I’ve purchased multiple tickets. I’ve done so to ensure that I don’t flake out and that I remind myself that life is about the people around me, not the things I do.

This weekend, the Ball State University theater department’s Fall series opened with Angels in America. Since I’d purchased season tickets, it seemed a good time to re-connect with an old college friend Steph.

She’s a busy little bee and we don’t get to see each other often, but she decided to drive up for the night.

Normally she’s sporting her Wee Beastie, but the content of this particular play wasn’t suitable for a kid so we decided to make an adult night out of it.

So New: In Which We Brave the Inclement Weather to Cheer for the Field Hockey Team (21 of 90)

FieldHockey3

In a different lifetime, I was a student manager for the Miami University Women’s Field Hockey Team.

My athletic career derailed by a nasty groin injury, I wasn’t quite ready to put the athletic field behind me when I went to college  back in 1990. But I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do.

Until I met my friend Steph, who happened to be a field hockey player.

At the time, I had no idea what field hockey was. But I soon learned. It’s a bit like hockey, a bit like soccer and a bit like having a rock-solid ball and wooden stick away one small mistake away from wiping you out. All while running bent over at the waist.

It’s not for the weak.

But I haven’t seen a game in years. It’s not exactly mainstream. So I was tickled when one of my students, Kaitlan, approached me during my vicious and scary first week’s lecture to tell me she’d be missing my class because of field hockey.

So New: In Which I am Nominated as a Faculty Homecoming Candidate(19 of 90)

My students are funny.

There is a strange arc that goes with being a student in my class. Not one that every single student follows, but definitely an arc that most do. The ins and outs aren’t important, but many of them come out the other side appreciative of what they went through. (Particularly those who believe school isn’t about a grade. Those who think grades mean anything usually dislike me greatly.)

And they have a sense of humor. How do I know, you ask? Here’s how: I present the Faculty/Staff Homecoming Candidates for the 2010-2011 school year. As you see, I’ve become a finalist for Faculty/Staff Homecoming King.

This is entirely because of my students who both nominated me and then – gleefully – engaged in a little campaign to get me here.

Running…(88 of 90)

If I’m not careful with myself, I loop.

My mind works in an odd way, one that I’ve written about here and there before. It’s not anything crippling or debilitating, but it’s certainly a thing. The world in my head works in a very specific way. There’s no getting around that.

Still, it’s not entirely a lost cause when I’m paying attention to it. Which I don’t do enough.

But I’m trying to change that in my Year of Change. My Year of Health.

In the year before I came to Muncie, as I sat in the offices of doctors who tried to figure out what was wrong with my heart, I knew that whatever it was – whatever it was – it could be traced back to me. The smoking. The drinking. The decadence and indulgence of my life.

There comes a time when the body simply can’t handle the weight of it all anymore.

My doctor told me that my mind works the same way. I can push it, prod it, ignore it and run it around. But only for so long. Before the crash.

***

I’m one week into my serious training after six weeks of warm-ups.

Brad King's Newsletter
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