Monday, September 23, 2013

Fall Underway (Part 2)

Fall is off to a good start for the "big kids" as well!

B14 has had the biggest transition, going from virtual middle school to full-time public high school. He's been surprised that his days pass quickly, compared to his half year in middle school, when each day seemed like an eternity. One difference may be that he seems to have more teachers and classes that he's really enjoying. (Hallelujah!)

He was pleased to be an immediate standout in choir, due to all his experience singing in musicals, and he was invited to join the Madrigal Singers, an exclusive group who perform each year at the "Christmas Feaste," without even auditioning. It's unheard of for a freshman to be in the group, and he only got in because several upperclassmen had to drop out at the last minute, but after the first rehearsal he felt reassured that he could hold his own. It turns out that he knows quite a few of the other Singers already, because they have been in shows together with our Christian theater group. The director has him singing baritone/bass because his high notes are not what they are going to be, but she told him he could still end up as a tenor, which has encouraged him to keep working out his upper range!
B18 had a rougher start to his senior year. He is taking AP US History at the public high school, and when we registered for the class before school started, no one mentioned that there was summer reading, project packets and a paper due the first week of class. So he had to play serious catch-up for the first few weeks, in addition to starting his other class (Personal Finance) at the high school, and two classes at the junior college (Psychology and English Composition) and continuing to work 12 hours a week at his retail job. Fortunately, he is enjoying all four subjects, and the workload should be manageable once he just has to keep up. The AP class is going to push him harder than he's ever worked, I think, but that's the idea! And he is really enjoying the teacher and the content.

Blondechick20 is just loving SOW (School of Worship, at the Living Light Church here in Kenosha). She attends class daily for over seven hours, studying the Bible and aspects of discipleship, as well as keyboard and vocal instruction. She recommitted her life to the Lord in the first week, surrendering completely to Him all areas of her life, including some that she says she had never really given Him permission to enter before. We are so thankful for this school and for God's swift timing in providing such a place for her right now!

This session's musical is well underway too. We are departing from our usual group of friends in Kenosha to do a show in the Lake County, IL chapter, where I was asked to be assistant director for their show, Hercules. Seventy kids auditioned, and casting weekend was a long exercise in problem-solving, like working a jigsaw puzzle with pieces whose properties you have to discover. As you try them out at callbacks, you find that some are nearly universal; some are less versatile; some fit in only one place. Some slip in easily, and some are more of a force, but it's exciting to see the pieces fit into a unique design, one that we invite God to shape and to use for His glory and in the lives of these kids.

B14 and Chicklet11 were among those who auditioned, so I had to leave the room for most of the discussion about guy main leads, but I returned to learn that B14 would play Philoctetes, Hercules' nerdy teenage friend. It's a big role--he is in nearly every scene that Hercules is in, and he has his own song.  Best of all, it's a comedic role, B14's favorite! Chicklet11 was up for discussion as a Lead Minion of Hades--I had to leave the room again--and she ended up as a Minion with a solo in the Minion's big song. Both C11 and B14 are making lots of friends in the cast and feeling right at home with the welcoming Lake County kids, while I've been working with actors on character development and helping to block scenes. It's been so much fun for all of us.

At church we have exciting things happening this fall as well, including the consecration of our good friend and former priest as the new bishop of our newly-formed Midwest diocese. That's this weekend, at our old church in Wheaton, IL, in their new building! We expect to see many old friends who will be in town for this special weekend.

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