Small town boy makes it bigger in big city. Film at 11.
My neighbors growing up were corn and wheat fields. A walk around the block was four square miles. My baby sister was my best friend and my only playmate.
With out over-romanticizing things, staring out my second story bedroom window in a ramshackle farmhouse lead to a lot of dreaming about what might be my future life in a different part of the world.
Turns out dreams can come true.
After growing up in Michigan and receiving my bachelor of music education from Central Michigan University I began my teaching career in Sanford Meridian Schools.
Two years of cutting my teeth in that small town with wonderful kids led me to make the requisite number of mistakes that new teachers make and to learn quickly that there were some things about teaching that I was not ready for.
It is said that everything happens for a reason. I am not sure I always buy that 100%, but I made the difficult decision to leave that job after two years because I was burned out and unprepared for the amount of energy I needed to have to be fully present for my students and for the pain and hurdles I would face as a closeted gay teacher.
After taking a year off from teaching I realized that I missed music and being a band director a great deal. Through a relationship that I had formed while living in metro Detroit I moved to San Francisco in 2002 to begin the next chapter of my life. It was this move that led me to where I am now as the band director at Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton, California.
I spend my time with 320 teenagers in the band at Amador Valley. I live in Oakland, California with my partner of 10 years, Ryan and our two Russian Blues, Jasper and Julia.
There is no film at 11. But what follows are snapshots of a life I feel very fortunate to live.