Friday, September 4, 2015

So, I've actually done the things I love

I've actually worked in three different professions during my working life: elementary school teacher; radio news broadcaster/reporter/talk show host; and law office manager. Loved them all, but REALLY loved the radio stuff.

Among the things I would have loved to incorporate into my working life was singing and playing the drums and photography and tap dancing and acting and researching and writing.  Realizing, of course, that I probably couldn't make a living doing many of those things, I managed to work them into my life in other ways.

Ah, the singing part! Alas, my singing has now been restricted to vocalizing in the car, sometimes quite loudly and swaying a bit to the beat.  I think that was because as a teenager, someone indelicately described my singing voice as sounding somewhat like a file on a tin table.  I didn't sing much after that.  However, the kind director of my junior high glee club allowed me to be part of it anyway.  I sang very softly.

I played piano for a while as a kid but didn't go far enough with my lessons to become really proficient to be able to sit down and play anything confidently.  Nevertheless, I enjoyed making some music and played at home for many years until we moved to Arizona and sold the piano so we didn't have to move it!  I do miss it, though. During my teen years, I purchased a set of bongo drums which I still have.  Every once in a while I bang out some rhythms.

I was brave enough to offer to play some instruments in my college music class.  I was given a glockenspiel and that was fun but a bit too heavy for me to handle.  I switched to the bass drum and that was a hoot! So, bongo drums and the bass drum, sounds and rhythms I dearly love.  I think I would love to have my own drum set.  My love for music rubbed off on my younger son who is an incredible guitarist and owns an audio post-production studio in Phoenix where he gets to be musically creative with his clients.

I became a teacher and was allowed to be creative with my lessons. I taught in my home town, at an Air Force base and in Connecticut: all were very different situations where I could incorporate many of the things I love.  Writing lessons that would inform, inspire, and generate a desire to know even more became a lesson in creativity for me.  But it was one well learned. My students brought out the best in me and I think I did the same for them.  I remember many of them with great fondness and hope that they have gone on to have really wonderful and productive lives.

While working in radio, I wrote news reports, made sure they were factually correct and delivered   fluently over the air. I also had the chance to do special, multi-part reports. A favorite was a three-parter on Russian immigrants who had settled in our local area.  Interviewing them, editing the audio, writing the story, adding of the best experiences of my professional life.  But the MOST fun was interviewing people on my talk show.  Politicians, entertainers, authors, artists, a sculptress, attorneys, doctors, heads of every social service agency in the county, teenagers and senior citizens were all on my show. We covered every topic under the sun and I learned a lot as did my audience. When I think of that experience I know I was really lucky to have been in the right place at the right time.

Even at the law office, the experience of meeting so many interesting people and learning their stories held a special fascination for me.  This is where I learned that "justice" is not always "the law."  That was the source of some very lively conversations in the office.  My expertise in critical thinking was honed to a fine point here!

I've been in several amateur shows, plays and musicals where I had the chance to tap and sing and wax poetic.  And over the years I've always had a camera in my hands.  Photography seems to gallop in this family, on both sides.  Almost half a dozen family members were or are wonderful photographers and one, my older son, is a photojournalist for Getty Images.  And since moving to Arizona, photography has become my avocation.  I get to be creative with my photography and that makes me happy.

And..... I write this blog.  This has given me the chance to do the writing I've always wanted to do, writing about a lot of things, some personal, many on politics, current events, religion, sports (professional and college), dogs, music and just whatever piques my interest. And my interests are legion.  Oh yes, I read......voraciously.  Books of all kinds litter the house, all in various stages of being read. I go from one to another and pick up the threads as if I never put the book down.

So, when I think back to what I've actually done over the years, I can sit back, smile and enjoy the memories while I contemplate making new ones.

Copyright © 2015, Reisa Sterling Miller.  All Rights Reserved

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