March 16th…“IF YOU HAD ATTENDED COLLEGE, WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN YOUR MAJOR?”
Life held so many fascinations for me in my growing up years. Being a farmer, like my father, was one of my earliest desires. Later, driving a giant semi tractor/trailer rig across America was my next yearning. Those 18 wheels, loaded with supplies for stores, impressed me by the power that was exerted from those monster-sized engines and the luxury cab features that made a home on the road quite appealing for a young boy. With each successive year of growing up on our farm, though, I found myself absolutely in awe of the birth of new life around us by the many animals under our care. Whether it was the first mews of tiny little kittens, all the way up to our cows giving birth to a beautiful calf; birth and its magic enthralled me. When a new chapter of life started for our family in Battle Ground, Washington, I met a very kind obstetrical nurse who shared all her textbooks with me from her college days. I poured over them and was captured with how God brought a woman, and the tiny life within her, to the culmination of birth.
One of my Battle Ground High School classmates, Artie Nauman, actually followed his heart and achieved the high honor of becoming an Obstetrician/Gynecologist in the Washington, D.C. area. At one of our High School reunions, I was talking with him about his medical profession. He said, “In comparison to General Medicine, delivering babies is a blast!!! Most of the time, about 95% of families go home healthy and happy with a darling baby in their arms!!” Alas, though, for me, school and grades (especially those of math and the sciences) were never good enough to even think of even getting into college, say nothing about surviving for up to the 10 years that it took Artie to achieve his doctor’s degrees.
Since all indicators were leading me away from the medical field, I knew that if I HAD gone to college, my other joy of life would have been to major in MUSIC! The dynamics of music have transported me through realms of joy throughout my life. From foot tappin’ happy time songs to laments that bring tears to my eyes and heart as the conveyance of my soul becomes wrapped around the lilting melodies of a song that expressed my feelings at a particular moment. To this very day, the intensity of some songs will well up within my being and bring a lump of emotion to my throat as notes upon a musical staff transform themselves into powerful salvos of communicating dynamite.
Thankfully, in my 31 years with the Battle Ground School District, it didn’t take a college degree to incorporate music into my daily life there. Armed with my guitar, banjo, nose whistles, etc., I created my own “Curriculum Of Clean” as I taught the children with cleaning and safety related songs where I had rewritten the lyrics of tunes they maybe already knew. In a fun way, one COULD say that my diploma was entitled “WHOEVER HAS THE MOST FUN, WINS!” So smiles and sings this Norwegian Farmer’s Son. 😉