Hi! I'm Jennifer Davis - a musician, teacher, and Jesus lover!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

#2 Lose the superintendent's daughter's sax on the way to an honor band audition

Once again I was taking my band on a field trip, this time to an honor band audition in Enid, Oklahoma.  We loaded up the bus, took roll, counted heads, and drove off into the sunrise.  We arrived at our destination, unpacked, and headed inside to warm-up.  All was well until a saxophone student came up to me and said, "I can't find my instrument."  Now, this student was very responsible, so I knew she hadn't forgotten it.  But I had to ask, "Are you sure you brought it?"  She responded, "yes of course I did," while she rolled her eyes at me, "I put it under the bus myself."  I asked her not to call her Dad yet (who happened to be the superintendent of my school district), we were going to search everywhere for it first.

Next stop, the bus.  We search in it, underneath it, around it, and all the while I had a sinking feeling that something very bad had happened.  I started to wonder who else was missing an instrument and just hadn't told me yet. Finally, I ask the bus driver, "did you check to make sure all the luggage doors were latched before we left?"  He answered, "I think I did.  Besides isn't it your job to make sure the equipment is secure?"  Ouch!  So my saxophone student called her Dad and I was lamenting the conversation I knew was coming.  Fortunately, the superintendent was more angry with the bus driver than me, because it turns out that it IS the driver's job to make sure all the luggage latches are secure before he drives off. However this story does have a happy ending.

First of all, my sax student told me, "I didn't really want to audition anyway," and she meant it, she looked relieved.  Second, an nice elderly couple were driving from Woodward to Enid and saw a saxophone case by the side of the road.  They stopped, picked it up, and saw the information tag with phone number and address.  The got back into their car, turned around, and drove back to Mooreland to turn it in to my students Dad.  Wow!  There are still good Samaritans who consider anyone to be their neighbor...even a lonely lost saxophone on the side of a road.  The couple said their children had been in band and they know how expensive instruments are.   They just did what they wished anyone else would have done for them. 

"Do to others what you would have them do to you." Luke 6:31 
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.  And love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no other commandment greater than these."  Mark 12:30-31

Monday, January 20, 2014

#1 Leave a student in another town on a field trip

Yes, I actually did this.  And no, it wasn't premeditated. Although, we've all thought about it, right?!  I took my band students to Northwestern Oklahoma State University for a competition and football game.  When we got back on the bus I took roll.  I though everyone said, "here" when their name was called.  I didn't do a head count, and we took off down the road. About 40 minutes later (five minutes from home) a boy came up to the front and said, "where's my brother?  I haven't seen him since we left?" 

We quickly realized we'd left him behind. I remember thinking, "Holy crap! I've done it now!" As soon as we got to the school I called his Dad and was preparing myself for a well-deserved verbal thrashing.  However, he was very calm, gracious, and forgiving.  It turned out, that as soon as the student realized he was left behind, he went back to the football game and found some people from our town and asked if he could ride home with them, and then he called his Dad.  His Dad also happened to be the Methodist minister in town.  I remember thinking, "This guy really practices what he preaches." Even though he son ended up getting home safely, he was well within his rights to file a complaint with me and the school, but he didn't. 

There have been a few times in my life that I've experienced forgiveness and grace from another human that reminds me of the forgiveness and grace God expresses to me, and all of us, all the time.  This was one of them. "But you, my Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy; you are very patient and full of faithful love." Psalm 86:15

So in retrospect, my students never let me live down this incident and were always trying to hide when I did head counts on the bus to give me a hard time...but I never did it again.  I make lots of mistakes...but most of the time I only make the same one once!  In fact, if any of my students see this and read it, feel free to add comments or details I may have forgotten or left out!  Luckily my prestigious principals and superintendent didn't fire me for this or other fiasco's I'll post later!  Thanks guys!