Being a music teacher at a concert 

It’s hard to listen to music as a music teacher and not critique it. Maybe that’s not true for everybody, but it’s definitely true for me and my husband. Once we went to a Cardinals game with some friends, and Mark and I were giving our opinions on the Star Spangled Banner as soon as the microphone was away from her face. I suppose that annoyed our friend, who asked, “can you not turn that off?”

Last night we went to a concert last night with my parents and my sister’s family. We knew nothing about the band except that my family loved them. Our tastes usually line up so I figured we would like the band, but I had this anxiety that I would hate it and I’d be listening to the music with a smile like you wear when you want people to believe that things are fine, when actually they are not fine at all. (We actually had a great time and even bought a CD before we left.)

Watching concerts as a music teacher is much different than watching it as a non-musician. When you spend your working hours listening to music thinking “How can I make this better?” it’s a little hard to shut it off when you’re listening to music during your personal time.

So here are some things that I’ve thought as a music teacher at a concert, and I bet other music teachers have thought some of these too: 

  • That’s not the right way to handle that instrument. 
  • Oh no I’ve forgotten my earplugs.
  • Now we’re clapping on the beat … the thing that I’ve already been doing all day today…
  • No guys, THIS is the beat. 
  • *imitates and over exaggerates the singer’s diction* 
  • Vocal fatigue is starting to settle in – must be the halfway point of the evening.
  • They really didn’t consider ______________ when they were planning their set list. 
  • Man, I wish I had a stage crew.
  • Okay, last song! Get hype! 
  • Oh cool, encore. 
  • Oh … cool. Encore. 
  • Guys what are you doing. 
  • No,  stop.
  • … That’s it? What about an encore

Bonus: What an amateur photographer thinks about instead of listening. 

Shoot! I wish I had my good camera … and that I was another 4+ inches taller…



Sheer Exhaustion

In 2014, when Conrad was almost 18 months old, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. It helped explain why some days I couldn’t seem to get enough sleep to function, and also cleared up some patchy skin that started in my armpits and had spread down my stomach, as well as other things. Eventually all my symptoms leveled out and I felt fairly normal. 

In the last year or so, there were plenty of days where I wondered why I was even taking medicine for it. Days like today remind me why I’m on it in the first place. Clothes that fit last week suddenly won’t button closed. I have to strategically brush my hair to hide new bald spots that appeared overnight. And the exhaustion! You don’t know tired until you’ve experience hypothyroid tired. My brain is so foggy and my steps are so sluggish, I’m barely functioning. I’m a zombie. 

Maybe one day I won’t have to take a daily pill, but until then I guess if I want more good days than bad then I guess I’ll keep taking it. 

This Is Nevturiel

Hey Internet! Welcome to my little hole-in-the-wall blog. I’m Katie, or Nevturiel. It’s been my username for 15 years now so if you see Nevturiel somewhere else online, it’s probably me. Except on Instagram, where someone got it before I downloaded the app and she won’t give it back. You can still find me there as @nevy_dearest. I got the name from a Tolkien name generator on The Barrow-Downs.

I live in small town Arkansas with my husband and two children, Conrad and Fiona. They are the best kids a parent could ask for. Seriously. All the other kids are running for second place. My husband, Mark, is pretty great too. We will have been married for ten years this December. I’m pretty luck to have found someone who will put up with my nonsense so young in life.

I’ve always lived in Arkansas, except for the two years that we lived in Columbia, Missouri, while Mark got his Master’s. Moving up there was scary and difficult, but not nearly as difficult as it was to come back to Arkansas when he was finished. It is still my favorite place that we’ve lived.

We are both music teachers in small schools, so obviously I will talk about music from time to time, but I won’t talk about work. I like where I am and I’d like to stay there, and that’s really all you need to know.

Our family is a gaming family. Mark has been playing video games since he was very small, but I was more sheltered from them growing up. My parents thought that console games made kids violent, but computer games were educational. I have many memories of staying up late trying to play through the human campaign in Warcraft II, idly clicking around in Myst (I still haven’t beaten that game, to my shame) and psyching myself up to play Alone in the Dark. My favorite game was a platformer called Claw about a pirate cat who was collecting the gems to complete the Amulet of Nine Lives.

Besides video games, we enjoy the standard geek entertainment: tabletop games, sci-fi and fantasy, anime, and more. I love to make things from my favorite fandoms, and can’t wait to start posting them here.

I hope to inspire anyone who happens to read my blog and I hope to make some friends along the way!