Sunday, October 10, 2010

Is this what I should be doing?

It's been a few months since my last post. Shame on me. Well I have been VERY busy since my last post. I went to New York to sing at Carnegie hall in June, and was in summer school finishing up a few classes so I could student teach this semester.

You know there comes a time in everyone's college career that you start to wonder "Is this really what I want to do?" This thought raced through my mind on many occasions. 5 years of music theory, music history, music literature, etc really took a toll on me! I was mentally drained and so tired of music to be honest. As my student teaching semester approached I started to really question my decision in career path. I started my student teaching August 17th when I reported to my Elementary assignment during teacher prep week. There I met my mentor teacher who was very nice. She introduced me to the rest of the staff that week. I felt right at home with them which is a good thing, but no students were there. The weekend before the students came to the school thoughts of doubt clouded my mind again. I was wondering if I was good enough to teach these kids, had I really learned what I needed in school to be an effective teacher? Only time would tell.

The students finally came in. My first week I was just observing and jotting down ideas and things I might try. Week 2 I actually got to do warm-ups for the kids. It was cool to see the kids enjoy some of the things I had come up with. Then from week 3 until this past week I taught more and more classes, even some entire days! After teaching for 7 weeks , seeing the students learning because of me and lessons that I came up with, I was happy. Seeing the kids smiling faces every day and seeing them happy to come in for another day of music with Mr. Walker was great! Teaching just feels natural to me, I honestly felt right at home in front of the classroom. I guess all the hours of education paid off =)

This last week was my final week of student teaching in Elementary School. It was hard to tell the kids I was leaving. They were all sad about the fact I was already leaving. I can't count the number of sad faces I saw, and hugs I received. One class asked their teacher if they could come and say bye to me. They all filed in and gave me a huge group hug. I honestly almost shed a tear because I'm really REALLY going to miss them. The funny thing about it all is the fact that I have always wanted to teach High School, not Elementary school. After 7 weeks in elementary, I'm not so sure! I loved my experience there. Now starting Tuesday, I'm heading to my High School assignment. We shall see how this goes, but if it's anything like teaching in elementary school I'm sure I'll love it.

I know for sure this is what God put me here for. Teaching and being a positive impact on kids is such a rewarding thing. Though the work is hard and tiring, doing the best for the kids and their reactions, and positivity is fuel to keep me moving.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

You never know

Wow, it's been a while since I posted here. THE SEMESTER IS OVER!!! I had been busy, and a freaking mess upstairs this semester. Maybe slight depression... I don't know. I had more ups, and downs than the Judge Roy Scream. (six flags over Texas... go there) LOL lame jokes aside, it took a good friend to hit me with some reality for me to take control again. You know who you are, thanks much for the kick in the ass.

NOW I just got back from my final (full) semester at Texas A&M University-Commerce. It's been a hard 5 years, but i'm done with the campus stuff. I'm mostly a quiet dude, keep to myself and my circle of friends. Sometimes i don't want to see anyone and am a hermit in my room, just depends on the day. but I NEVER thought I was a big deal to anyone. I felt I was just Jamal. Who knew that the little things i did and s aid meant so much to some of my friends? My last few days on campus, I had a couple people tell me how much they appreciated my friendship and such. A good friend of mine that is about 19 said I was something like a mentor to him. Apparently how i always told him to think stuff out and not be irrational helped him stay out of trouble. He also tole me that "Commerce isn't going to be the same without Jamal" Another of my friends gave me a 3 page letter the night before I left. In the letter she was talking about all the fun times we have had over the 3 years of our friendship. She remembered such details and things from when we first met, all the way to things this semester. It blew my mind to read that letter and see the small things that mean sooo much to her. This is seriously something I can read at anytime and it will put a smile on my face. :)

I share these things just to bring to your attention the fact that the little things you do and say effect others. Do you want your effect to be positive or negative? The choice is yours!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Where I Stand

Here I am after a good amount of Jamal time. I have thought some things out, talked to God , and worked some things through. I'm feeling pretty good to be honest. The weight that was on my shoulders has lifted and i'm feeling great! One thing I noticed though is that i have been neglecting my friends here on campus. They had seen the changes in me and were getting concerned. They took care of me, made me laugh, hung out, cooked, and all that Jazz =) I have some amazing friends here and I thank God for them! Just need to do better and be more available for them. At times i shut myself in my room away from everyone else, but I can't do everything alone. Thanks my friends for helping me through this weird time of growth in my life right now.

On that same note, I also made a few hasty decisions that I kind of regret... I mean I know why I made some of them, but the process that decided needed to happen was so abrupt. The change has been hard, but I feel it was necessary. Sometimes you feel yourself growing far too close to the wrong things when your focus should be on God first....but maybe i could have gone about it another way lol. Anyway, I'm still being worked on. Stick with me for a little while longer.

Love ya


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Is there a better me?

Since I've had this account I have mainly been putting up things about how I need to change in order to grow up, etc. Post after Post says the same thing pretty much. I'm sick and tired of it. I have noticed a steady decline of the man I used to be. Some things for the better, some for the worse. I really don't know what is going on to tell the truth, and it scares me... I apparently don't like change because it's freaking me out.

A few things I feel I need to work on .. First off!!! My freaking addiction to the internet. Not so much an addiction as it is feeling the need to be connected with my friends. Who knew that I would get on youtube and make friends. Not just people I occasionally talk to, but true friends. So i have seen myself spending wayyy too much time online, watching their vids, talking to them, etc. So I'm attempting to make this change. Another thing is how it seems I use certain friends up of every last drop when I "need" them. I feel i should stop running straight to my friends (though i know they are here to help) and run FIRST to God! Most of my friends usually point me back in that direction as it is. Thanks for that to those that have been here for me =)
The last thing is this little bitter mean lazy person that has been showing his face here a lot recently. I'm not sure if you are familliar with the show The Boondocks, but I had what is referred to as a "Nigga Moment" yesterday. It wasn't that bad, but I completely stepped outsided of myself and stooped to the level of the individual that provoked me. I haven't had an outburst like that since middle school, and here I am 23 falling back. I've also had rude things to say about people , things that used to stay in my mind I feel the need to share with people ...sorry about that. And the lazy thing... been slacking here in the past months in school. Don't know what's up, but i can't allow that to keep happening.

So, there is a quick look into my head and a few things that I feel I need to work on. Maybe I'm being too hard on myself... I mean we are all human. But I feel so weighed down at the moment so I'm just going to try and fall back, strip my self of the old and come back refreshed. If I distance myself I apologize =( but I'll be back a better me.

Love ya


Monday, March 22, 2010

I'm at home!!!

I'm sitting here in the art building at my school with 2 of my friends. She's painting, and my other friend is writing poetry. These are my people, the people that I have been looking for all this time. Since I have been in college, I have had different friends, and groups of people that I hung with, but THESE people bring out the creativity in me. I have had a little creative spirit deep within that has been trampled by all this music theory and classical music. Not that I don't like classical music, because I do. BUT i've reached the point of saturation. I have absorbed so much classical that I kind of feel like my soul is being lost (not religious of course) I have not sung gospel, or much R&B or anything for the longest time. Being around these people I think is part of the "Awakening" that I spoke about in my last post. And I LOVE IT. We are here in the studio listening to Wale, Common, you know people like that. The creativity is flowing and i'm loving it. I think we are going to hit up a poetry spot on Thursday night. Never been to something like it but I REALLY want to go. It should be fun. I hope to awaken the inner poet within. I've felt the high of putting what you feel into words, and I don't want to stop. Who knows, this writing might even lead to me writing music *GASP* Who knows what the future holds? Only God knows. Thanks for listening as always, now I'm going to take in more of this beautiful creativity before I head back to my leach that is classical music...


Sunday, March 21, 2010


I don't know what's been happening with me here lately. I know those words have been typed on this blog before, but this time it's in a good way. I'm still working on the angry bitter bs lol. Anyway, I have been seeing some changes in myself here lately that i never thought i had in me. I have never been one too keen on writing. I mean, for class i would write an essay, bs my way through by lots and lots of pointless elaboration. But for me to just sit down and pour my heart into words, that has never happened.

It started with that freaking poem. OH that poem. I have no idea where the words came from, or why I decided to write a poem anyway. I don't know, but it felt good. I liked writing about what it felt. It in a sense, brought my words to life, released from his cell within to allow more things inside.

And then the 2 count your blessings blogs. I don't know where the first came from. I guess it's just my way of telling myself to stop being petty and grow the hell up. But it's so true, the things i find myself complaining about are often times petty. So it was right on time, and by me expressing those words, I was able to help one of my good friends in a situation he has been going through.

And now of course my last post was another direct emotional out pour, but of a different type this time. No matter the mood, they are all heart felt words that were being said by me.

I don't understand where all of these words have been coming from. Yes, we all have stuff to say, but here lately hey have had a true meaning. These words came to me today "I am a work of art created by God, but this sculpture is far from completion. Continue to work on the blemishes in me God" Why did they pop in my head? I dunno, but they were right on time. It's true I am a wonderful creation of God as we all are. BUT we all have our issues that we need to work on. We can't fix these things on our own, so we need out creator to help us through them. I needed to hear it, and maybe someone else did.

I've never met this more philosophical, Jamal, but he ain't half bad. I hope to keep writing, be it in blog or poem. I like the person that is emerging.

Thanks for listening, and thanks for being part of this awakening.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Count Your Blessings : Part 2

I'm just getting back from the hospital from seeing my grandpa. He just had surgery to get rid of colon cancer. The surgery went well, and I'm happy about that. Thank God for the doctor's steady hands and that the surgery was a success. But while in that hospital room, I saw just how helpless my grandfather is.

I remember going down to Mexia Texas every summer to stay with my grandparents. We would go down there to the country and go fish, feed his cows, tend to his fields and gardens. SOO MUCH. My grandfather was a very strong, loud, fun person to be around. I miss those days, the times we spent. The laughs, the scary times in their old "haunted" house haha. Those memories are what make me smile.

My grandfather has been through many surgeries since then. He had cancer before, I don't remember which, but he did have cancer before. He was strong and fought through it because that's just who he is. Another big thing that happened was when he was working in the field alone one day about 10 years ago, he was in a tractor accident, the tractor rolled over his legs. He has since had both of them amputated.

Here recently was the colon cancer thing and the beginning signs of Alzheimer's. Even knowing all of these things have happened to my grandfather, I have always seen him as the same person. The big strong guy that could do anything on his own. Who cares if he was walking on artificial legs or in a wheel chair, he could still do anything!! Well, tonight at the hospital reality struck.

It first set in when me and my dad went to help my granny get the stuff out of the car. We loaded his wheel chair with things to wheel in, the last things to grab in the truck were his artificial legs... I carried those in. It never hit me even though I have seen him without his legs on. But just to be walking through the hospital holding his artificial legs I thought "My grandpa can't walk on his own legs..." Later in the room he was trying to move and reposition himself in his bed, but he couldn't. He could not do it alone. He had to ask for help from my granny just to change position in bed. At their home, there is a pole he can reach up to and use his arms to re-position. He kept reaching for it and realizing it was not there. Seeing my paw paw like this hurt me almost to the point of tears. I wondered "Where is the paw paw I used to go visit?" "Why did all this have to happen to him" "I WANT MY PAW PAW BACK" It really hurts to see, but in all that he has lost and he can no longer do, there is something that God gave him a long time ago that has never left his side. His wife.

My granny has been there, taking care of him since I can remember. She is such a kind, loving, compassionate person. I love her so much. She is the type that will work herself into the ground to make sure everyone else is taken care of. We often get mad at her for doing that to herself, but that's who she is. But seeing her in there tonight taking care of my paw paw put a little smile on my face. To see such love after so many years. I want that, and I know God will provide one day...ONE day haha. It's just great to know that my grandpa has my granny there by his side to take care of him through it all. To be honest, even when he was in tip top shape, I don't think he would have been as strong without her there =) don't tell him I said that lol.

Wow, this is getting long, but I just had so much to say. Though I hate seeing my paw paw in this state, I still have him. I know plenty of people that can't say that. I feel guilty that as I have gotten older, have kind of lost touch. I don't get to see my grandparents as much, and most of the time I don't even think to call. That is so selfish of me to do. I still have all of my grandparents, though I can see their former selves from my childhood memories fading, I still have them. and

For that I am blessed.

Tell the ones closest to you that you love them. Spend time with your family. If you still have your grandparents, don't throw them on the back burner. Cherish them while they are still around. Because you never know when God will call them home.

I love you Arbra Lewis Echols. I see you today, but no matter what I see, I will always remember the good times from my childhood. I hope to make you proud. Stay strong and I'll call you more =)