Missing the First Day of School

Today, for the first time in twenty-seven years, I'm not having a first day of school! Yesterday was the first day for our surrounding schools, and today is Ankeny's first day back with students. I have yet to find a job within a reasonable (hour or less) driving distance from our house near Charlottesville. Most of the instrumental music jobs that have been posted have been around D.C. (2.5 hours) or Richmond (1.5 hours). I have applied to substitute teach in both the Charlottesville and Albemarle County school districts, and now I'm just waiting to hear back.

So what have I been doing since I arrived on Friday, June 15, you ask? Well, it took our stuff fifteen more days to get here because the moving company couldn't find a truck or a driver to get it to us on time. When it did arrive, we only had a few things broken: a bookshelf, a few glasses, and a vanity mirror. They paid us for the delayed delivery, but we are still waiting on the damage claim.

Poor broken mirror :(

Poor broken mirror :(

My parents visited on their way through Virginia before we had any furniture, so instead, we bought a lawnmower and a string trimmer! Chloe's mom and her friend, Lynn, came and visited shortly after all of our stuff came. We decided on paint for the bedrooms, picked out some new furniture, and visited D.C. and Hampton (where Chloe works at NASA). While both sets of visitors were here, we visited a few wineries and breweries. Did you know that the Charlottesville area is home to more than 30 wineries?

Then the fun really started. Shortly after I left for Iowa to celebrate the Maldives Independence with my college friends on Lake Panorama, Chloe discovered the floor beginning to buckle in our front hallway. Water was coming up between the floorboards when she walked on it. After calling our homeowners insurance, a claim agent came out to take a look. According to people around the area, we have been getting a "biblical" amount of rain. The claim agent thought the water was due to a slab leak, which was not covered in our insurance policy. After pulling up some floor boards and running a fan and dehumidifier, we were able to discover that the water was coming from under the wall between the kitchen and the hallway. Upon further investigation, the water stopped when we had the supply line to the refrigerator shut off. After a plumber verified the leak, the claim agent had us bring in a remediation company. They ripped up more floorboards (about ⅓ of our first floor) and placed industrial fans and a dehumidifier to dry out the wall. We are still waiting for everything to be dry. Meanwhile, flooring stores do not seem to recognize the hardwood planks of our floor I brought them. Someone is coming out tomorrow to measure for new floor.

In more uplifting news, I have started a doctoral program in music education through Boston University. My first class, Foundations of Music Education I: Philosophy and History, starts Tuesday, September 4. So far, I've had to pickup Jonathan Kozol's Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools and the American Psychological Association's Publication Manual. I have an online orientation to "attend" this week, and I am looking forward to getting started!


Burton Hable

Burton Hable is an instrumental music educator from Central Iowa. In 2013 he helped open Centennial High School in Ankeny, the first time in forty years that a school district in Iowa expanded to two high schools. He served there through 2018 as Assistant Director of Bands: conducting the 10th Grade Symphonic Band, directing the varsity Jazz Collective, co-directing the Centennial Marching and Pep Bands, teaching music theory, and providing individual and small group lessons to brass students in grades 6-12 at Prairie Ridge Middle School, Northview Middle School, and Centennial High School. During his tenure in Ankeny, enrollment in band grew from 450 to nearly 700, the jazz program expanded from four to seven ensembles, and ensembles under his direction were invited to perform at Iowa State University, Harper College, and the Veterans Day Parade in New York City.