Friday, February 25, 2005

I decided on a whim to be irresponsible and skip Theory 4 this morning. I knew exactly what the class was going to be on, and it was nothing I hadn't learned before. Besides, I didn't have any absences or skipped any classes until now, and when a classmate begged me to skip with her, I agreed. We weren't sure what we were going to do because we normally live in the music building, but we were going to give it a try.

We spent the next hour wandering around campus, discussing the opera, instrumentalists, vocalists, accompanists, and our favorite professors. I laughed for an hour straight. We agreed that trying to date in the music program is next to impossible, that male instrumentalists don't realize how attractive they are because they dress so sloppily, that Wittenburg is the most fascinating prof we know of so far, and that we should definitely get some sort of recompense for learning music and performing it at the last minute. It was the grandest hour of doing absolutely nothing on campus that I have had in a long time.

Yet my absence in class was not without it's consequences. The rest of the day I was either late or early to everything, due to my watch being off. I missed accompanying the choir, dragged a friend to class an hour early, and was generally confused the remainder of the day.

I think just that one hour of nonsense was worth it, though.
(And my apologies to all you who may have suffered because of it).

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Thursday, 2 p.m.

I go into M. Wittenburg's office for my piano lesson. He was late as usual, flying in the door with his Styrofoam coke cup and white paper bag of fast-food lunch. He typed madly on his computer for a few minutes, and then seated himself in his wooden rocking chair beside the piano. He apologized that I had to use a chair today; his piano bench was being used by the opera tonight.

My hand/finger drops were much improved, he said. The whole idea of relaxing, thinking about where my finger was going to land, and then entirely forgetting about it was working. And what did I want to play today? I open Debussy's 'Des pas sur la neige', or Footprints in the Snow, and proceeded to play, not having any real idea of how it is supposed to sound. He stops me after the second measure. My tempo is off, the triplet rhythm needs to be stretched, and the mezza di voce observed.

Take two. 45 seconds and six measures later, I must stop. My pedaling musn't blur the line. Pedal only on the half-note. I try again. Now I am pedaling too deep, and stop for a short discussion on pedaling. I never knew that pedaling could be so involved. There are at least three levels of pedaling. With every piano you must find the point at which you can cut the sustenance, but still leave a note sounding without cutting all the sound and making the disagreeable 'wonk' noise. Oh, and this studio I should always use the left pedal if the music is marked pp. That way one is able to play p, and allow the pedal to do the rest of the work.

Take three. I am still trying to figure out the pedaling, and come upon a beautiful lyrical line in the left hand. It is rich with all the longing and retenu of Debussy, and even though it is a single melody line, I promptly butcher it. If I get up for just a second, he'll show me something. I hear him play it exquisitely, passionately. Now it is my turn. I should think of this as a cello line. . .the chord being held in the right hand is the rest of the string quartet. Right. It is all about the weight and depth of the arms and shoulders which makes the deep moving line. In fact, one of his profs at Eastman actually shattered his thumb while playing a slow Beethoven sonata movement, all due to the weight with which he played the chord. How ironic that a pianist, whose hands are the most precious thing to them, should shatter their thumb while playing their instrument.

The very next measure brings mental disaster. My hands aren't big enough to play the interval of a 10th, and so I must roll it. But the top note must end exactly with the bass note, so as to give the illusion that I have played it all at the same time. Oh, and my pedal shouldn't change because of the whole note chord that is being sustained throughout the measure. But on the second beat of the next measure I need to clear the pedal so that the bass note is heard before descending to the next chord. My brain is beginning to suffer overload at this point. Left pedal...don't pedal too deep...relax the hands...lean into this note...we have a crescendo...keep the line moving...think cello...don't pedal...barely lift...stretch the rhythm...don't be in a hurry...A flat, not A natural...how can I be working this hard when I'm only playing four notes at a time!

An hour and a quarter later, I have worked through the first page, and have spent the majority of the time on about 10 measures. My perfectionism was kicking in, and I was getting frustrated with myself for not 'getting it'. Wittenburg was never phased, however. He just said 'do it again', and told me the philosophies of technique. He said his job is to teach me not necessarily the music, but the philosophy, and then I can apply it to any music I wish.

He ended the lesson by translating the French phrase in the beginning of the piece, which was to the effect that the rhythm was slow, frozen, and sad. Quite appropriate for Des pas sur la neige. So the notes should really be played like they are frozen, almost stuck in the snow. Poor notes.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

At 11:24 p.m. I quietly slid my key into the lock and eased open my door. It had been a rather uneventfully long day. I had just attended a violin, cello, and piano concert which had lasted a hour and a half longer than expected. Although it was a good concert, it had gone over the edge, especially when the musicians came back out for an encore that no one wanted them to play. So after practicing for an hour after the concert, all I wanted to do was brush my teeth and fall into bed.

When I opened the door and stepped into the darkness of the kitchen, I glanced down at the counter where my mail was sitting. My eyes dismissed the magazine, and fell delightfully on an envelope with my handwritten name and address. I smiled as I carefully broke the seal of the creamy paper, and slipped out sheets of delicate stationary that were filled with my sister's handwriting. Reading her writing was like having her with me in a one-sided conversation, saying nothing mundane or silly, but just those little things that only matter to sisters. I read the letter twice before slipping it back into the envelope and carrying it downstairs with me. I turned out the light and crawled into the covers, feeling my sister's love and missing her in my sleep.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Passion and Shopping Carts

I went to Dorm Wars 2005 last night, despite being an off campus student now. My roommate and I decided to go support our ex-dorm, Cross Hall, in the competitions between dorms in eating, shopping cart races, and obstacle courses. The basket ball court was packed with students in all sorts of costumes, from StarWars to Ghetto Chicks to quasi-River Dancers. As the night started, I commented to the person sitting next to me that events like this always bring out the uncivilized/caveman nature in everyone, guys and girls alike. Somehow the sheer competitiveness of eating cherry pie filling, running madly across the court pushing someone in a shopping cart, and vaulting over a 3-1/2 foot wall shows the raw primitive passion even in the most reserved. Normally prissy girls shoved their faces into pie filling, studious guys flew over walls, and students that sit in class and never say a word screamed wild encouragements.

The victors of the night were Bowdle Hall (guys) and Atkins-Ellis (girls). Congrats to you all! When the names were announced, the winning dorms came streaming from the bleachers, yelling, cheering, hugging, and pounding each other on the back. The golden trophies were lifted high, and medals were proudly placed around the victor's necks. You would have thought that the Olympics had visited Walker Arena.

After I left the craziness of the arena, smiling to myself and cheering for the truckload of Bowdle guys that were yelling and careening down the street, I couldn't help but think about the passion that I had just seen. It was passion brought about simply because of the competition, the physical challenge, and the camaraderie of the participants, despite the absurdity of the activities.

I think that it is these moments that we are most alive, when desire, loyalty, physical exertion, and community come together in some form, even if it is pushing someone down the court in a shopping cart.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Excitement of the day...

I was selected along with five other vocalists in my choir to sing the internal chorus part in our performance of Mascagni's Regina Coeli. When Dr. Green began assigning parts to the internal choir this afternoon, I know I sat there with the 'please-pick-me-I-really-want-to-do-this' look on my face, but really didn't expect it. After all, there are quite a few other skilled female vocalists in the choir. But the next moment I heard "...and I'll have Odessa do the second soprano part."

Joy to the heavens! I love opportunities like this!
I was reading through my archives and came upon a post that describes exactly how I feel right now.

We are all feeling it: the effects of a slow and rainy Saturday and Sunday followed by a overcast Monday and Tuesday. It's the feeling that the weekend had never really begun, and that Monday had brought nothing new either. We're all in the pre-Spring Break doldrums. We need something new, even if it's just a sunny day.

The only difference is that it's Monday instead of Wednesday. It's even the same week, just a year later. What is it with sudden dreary-ness right before Spring Break? This drizzly, soggy, freezing rain that stubbornly falls sideways instead of straight down, completely evading your umbrella and drenching only one side of you. Why the sudden darkness at 4 o'clock in the afternoon that makes one feel like curling up in bed and sleeping for another eight hours? We all feel like it is Friday, and it's only Monday. Will Spring ever come?

Sunday, February 20, 2005

I had written an entire post complaining about the monotony of my job, but have just deleted it. After getting to the end, I decided that no one (including myself) needs to read or think about my boredom and self-pity. Strangely enough, I felt much better now that the post is deleted. Somehow selecting 'delete' and watching all the text disappear helps the problem.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Familiar Feelings

Friday night found me in the place where all bored, good college students go: Barnes and Noble. We go to Barnes and Noble not to get away from school life (because there are way too many other students that are there), or to actually shop (because what college student has more than $5 to spend?) but perhaps to assure ourselves that there are still books that don't have anything to do with school. Maybe it's to refresh our memory of the outside world and the things we don't have time to do anymore, except read about them in books we can't afford. Regardless, being able to buy tolerably good coffee at the same time definitely helps. I'm not sure if that makes me an intellectual, a dork, a goody-goody, or just someone with no life, but at 10 p.m. I found a book by Billy Collins and curled up in a faux mahogany chair in the corner with my tall americano. The Starbucks cup in my hand reminded me of a conversation I had had a week ago that night with someone who described themselves as a coffee connoisseur. I told him that where I come from, Starbucks is like McDonalds: something you go only when you're in a hurry and don't care about the taste necessarily, but rather the substance. We had engaged in a rather animated discussion about espresso as we drank our weak restaurant drip coffee, and I left with a craving for Cafe Vita espresso.

But my Starbucks americano last night was tolerable, and I sipped it semi-contentedly as I flipped through 'Sailing Alone Around The Room'. It was one of those evenings that I didn't want to read anything new, just remind myself of the familiar places, feelings, and pages that I knew. I read the poem about mornings, and 'buzzing around the house on espresso' that makes me long for a little Cape House with hardwood floors, thick handmade quilts, and cello sonatas. I then flipped to 'Japan', in which you contentedly read along until you get to the last verse and sudden intimacy and passion startle you. I kept going, reading the familiar poems that slid into my thoughts like a glove. It definitely wasn't my coffee shop at home, and it wasn't Cafe Vita espresso, but it was Billy Collins, and that made up for the rest of it.

Friday, February 18, 2005

I very much dislike having to watch someone I care about make unwise choices and know that nothing I say will make them change their minds. Even worse is seeing them living out the consequences, later realizing that everything they tried to deny is still a part of them, but now they have to work around their indiscretions. Everything in me wants to help them, to tell them the better way. Forget about 'I told you so', I just want to see them be the amazing person I know they are. Yet I stand to the side, a mere spectator shouting random encouragements while they attempt to make their own rules. But despite their new rules, the penalties are still the same.

Love really hurts sometimes, and sometimes it hurts the most when it has nothing to do with you personally.
Hurrying to school on a bike. . .

One hand holding breakfast.

One stair railing sticking out into the sidewalk.

One brief moment on the sidewalk.

One skinned knee.

One bagel on the ground.

One amused bystander.

After riding my bike to school for seven months, I crash for the first time and strangely feel like a seven-year-old again.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Men and Sandwiches

Generally speaking, I don't complain about men, especially on this site. Guys normally make more sense to me than girls do, even though I happen to be one (a girl, that is). The other night I had a conversation on this topic with a newly made acquaintance, in which he confessed that though he knew a lot about women, he didn't understand them. I feel exactly the same way. That puts us both in the same boat, but it does make me feel like the fish out of water, even though I am the one supposedly made for swimming (and I realize that was a completely absurd simile, but it's the end of a long day).

Yet I digress. This post was not intended to be about girls at all. It was about men, or guys, or anything in between. Perhaps I shall not complain, but rather be amused at their idiosyncrasies. To illustrate my point, I will use the chefs I work with as examples. They have all had a sudden craving for my sandwiches, and have let me know this in so many words. Strangely enough, their requests are typical of the way guys seem to approach things.

The Imperialist Approach
This comes in the form of knowing what they want, but instead of asking, they tell you what they are going to take and wait for your response. "I'm going to take one of your sandwiches." They know that you will either concede, stand and argue with them, kick their tail, or offer to give it to them. And they're willing to take all of those risks. Somehow it's safer to just tell you what is going to theoretically happen rather than to actually ask.

The Dimplomatically Vague Approach
Vague diplomats will never come out and directly ask for what they want. That runs the risk of either being rejected or thought stupid. Instead, they hint around at what they want, using entirely impersonal pronouns and non-existant identities. "If someone did happen to be nice, they might make someone a sandwich. And if they were feeling especially kind, they would make it with ham, turkey, bacon, cheese and mayonnaise. But that's only if they just happened to be nice." That way, if 'someone' doesn't happen to feel like being nice, the other 'someone' won't have actually been refused. After all, nothing personal can happen to theoretical personalities.

The Hestitantly Inquiring Approach
This man knows what he wants, but is rather timid about it. He doesn't want to be an imposition, but is equally undesirous of being refused. He seems to expect it, however, and perhaps this is why it takes him so long to get up the courage to ask. It's the "Oh, are you done with everything? Are you still making sandwiches? Oh, that's okay, I was just going to ask you if it wouldn't be a bother to make me one. But if you're done don't worry about it. Actually, forget it, I'm fine." Then you have to convince him that you really want to do it.

The Uncommited Admiring Approach
This man likes what he sees and appreciates it, but isn't sure if that's what he wants at the moment. He stands around, observing, asking questions, making jokes, giving compliments, but when offered the chance to have some of his own, he is suddenly not sure if that is what he wants. He initially refuses, but keeps coming back to check on the status of the product. Then, when it's all gone, he comes back and says "Hey, are you still making sandwiches? I finally decided on what I wanted." Sadly, more often than not he's too late, and then he has to watch everyone else who has sandwiches. The best advice for him is to make up his mind quicker the next time.

I realize that the above descriptions are generalizations, and do not apply to every guy or man in every situation. It still amuses me, though. Perhaps I come to greater understanding of the male world through sandwiches. Wasn't there something about the way to a man's heart being connected to his stomach? Maybe there's something to that.

As an after-thought, if any guys or men read this and are convinced of either my error or accuracy concerning them, please feel free to comment.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The following is the text to an aria I am singing this semester. It's from The Medium. I scared myself the first time I sang it.

The sun has fallen and it lies in blood.
The moon is weaving bandages of gold.
Oh black swan,
Where, oh, where has my lover gone?
Torn and tattered is my bridal gown
And my lamp is lost.

With silver needles and with silver thread,
The stars stitch a shroud for the dying sun.
Oh black swan,
Where, oh , where is my lover gone?
I had given him a kiss of fire
And a golden ring.

Don't you hear your lover moan?
Eyes of glass and feet of stone
Shells for teeth and weeds for tongue
Deep, deep down in the river's bed
He's looking for the ring
Eyes wide open, never asleep
He's looking for the ring

The spools unravel and the needles break
The sun is buried and the stars weep.
Oh black wave,
Take me away with you
I will share with you my golden hair
And my bridal crown

Oh take me away with you
Take me down to my wandering lover
With my child unborn. . .
Today. . .

Bought two boxes of Girl Scout cookies for the first time.

Realized I that I not only like the color orange, but I like eating orange things. And I drink out of an orange water bottle (There's something about orange).

Sneeze in the middle of accompanying the choir.

Sing O Canada to myself.

Compare Beethoven's Waldstien Sonata with Chopin's Etude in A minor.

Consider flirting, and decide against it.

Try to find my range two octaves above middle C (It's there somewhere, I just have to find it).

Laughed at myself playing the clarinet. . .and shudder to think of playing the trumpet in two weeks.

Practice. . .and practice. . .and practice. . .

Monday, February 14, 2005

One misty, moisty morning,
When cloudy was the weather,
I chanced to meet an old man
Clothed all in leather.
He began to compliment,
And I began to grin,
How do you do?
And how do you do?
And how do you do, again?

I thought of this childhood poem while I rode my bike to school this morning in the misty moisty fog. It isn't the dry, light fluffy fog, or the thick pea soup fog; it's the soggy wet, almost-rain-but-not fog. It makes me feel like I'm walking in a sponge. . . wet, soppy, soggy-ness.

Back to the poem. . .as soon as I remembered it I could see the page it was on, and the funny little colored pencil sketch of the child and the old man. I always wondered why the old man was dressed in leather, and if that meant he was poor or rich. And then I wondered what he began to compliment about, and though it was very strange that someone would say 'how do you do' three times in a row. But I always had a secret hope that maybe the next time I was walking in a misty moisty morning I would meet an old man all dressed in leather, and he would begin to compliment, so I could begin to grin. "...how do you do, and how do you do, and how do you do, again?"
Glory to the heavens! I somehow miraculously got an A on my Music History exam. Don't ask me how...I have no idea how it happened.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Strangely enough, on the same night that I wrote the post below, a friend of mine posted something incredibly similar on his website. Go check it out if you want to think more about the subject of 'finding your true love'.

www.xanga.com/salyros.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

What is this obsession that people my age have with 'finding the love of your life'? Or not even the one of your life, even the love of this semester. It seems to be a sub-culture that surrounds our daily lives - who likes who, who is with who, who your who was, and who your who should be. Will God tell you who, or will you just find out who? If you believe in waiting for your who, how long will you have to wait? And when will you know that you are ready for your who? And is there only one who that you're destined to be with, or do you choose your who? And when do you choose? And will the who choose back?

By now the word 'who' is starting to look very strange, but it's no more strange than the constant wondering, wishing, agonizing, confusion that we are creating for ourselves. I hear it everyday in conversation, I see it everyday in the Student Union, and I read it frequently on websites and emails. Today we battle with loneliness, and tomorrow we're ecstatic at how wonderfully single we are. Today we have a great friend, and tomorrow we wonder if they are thinking something else about us. And then we have to analyze how we feel about that possibility, when in fact it's probably nothing at all. We wonder what it means when our interest sits with someone else in chapel, or we hear that they hung out Saturday evening with so-and-so. We wait for signs from the heavens, wait for the stars to align, and usually only succeed in making up our own signs to convince ourselves of what we want.

Surely love is much bigger than this. Surely love is much more profound and deep than what we make it with our analyzing and agonizing. Love is something we must choose, not something that randomly happens to us or something we can anticipate or assume. Granted, most of us will eventually marry another individual that is somewhere in this world right now, but surely that doesn't mean we must search under every rock and tree for them. It also doesn't mean that we wait piously for them to drop from the sky into our laps. Only when we are sufficiently mature to be entrusted with the life-time privelage of another person's love should we make the decision to give such commited love. Until then, we have to stop trivializing it with our wonderings, wanderings, desires, assumptions, confusions, and theories. Though love is a mystery, it surely is not that complicated. It is a choice we make, and must continue to make every day of our lives that we are with that person. And that is certainly much more romantic than any love-at-first-sight story I have ever heard.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Sometimes having voice for one's primary instrument is the most frustrating existance. Instrumentalists can practice for hours, working out passages and gaining muscle memory. The weather doesn't really affect them, sore throats don't affect them, talking too much doesn't affect them, going to a basketball game doesn't affect them. Yet, if one is a vocalist, a rainy day will change your voice from the way it was the day before. If there is a hard passage, you can only practice it for so only before your voice gets tired and you sound like Miss Piggy with a cold. And if you try to practice more, it just gets worse. There can be no screaming, yelling, shouting, talking too long or too late. There can be no abundance of dairy or sugar, and definately no soda pop or alcoholic beverages. There is certain timing between eating and singing, and what you eat and what you sing. And sleep...if there is not enough of it, everyone knows. There is not much room for faking anything with the voice. It betrays everything that is going on inside you as soon as you open your mouth.

The other day a fellow vocal major and I were walking outside and heard uproarious yells and screams from across campus. The yells sounded fantastically abandoned and zany. We agreed that we sometimes wished we weren't vocal majors, just so we could scream and yell and not care. Yet we must live under the false pretense of being a reserved vocal major.

Right...
I cannot get Music History out of my head. When I try to practice sightsinging, read theory, or even sleep, symphonies, string quartets, concertos and facts keep running through my head.

Beethoven's 3rd Symphony...revolutionary...syncopations...early horn entrance...fugal material...originally dedicated to Napolean...2nd movement is a Funeral March for the heros in the French Revolution...development is in Bb major...bridge into development is vague...crashing dissonent chords in the Neopolitan of Eb...Stamitz revolutionized the symphony...1st three Beethoven sonatas were dedicated to Haydn...C.P.E Bach epitomized the Empfindsamkiet style...logic and prevaded the music...order and balance...Gluck believed everything should serve the drama of the opera...La serva padrona...rescue opera...fascination with Janissary music...3/4 timing...programatic material...and on...and on...and on...

Help! This has to stop...my brain needs room to think about other things!

Monday, February 07, 2005

You think your act has worked
The mask you hide behind
Standing on your stage
Playing the Hollywood of life

The sadness in your voice
Comes from painted faces
Drowns out empty laughter
You'd have us all believe

You sit inside your room
Close the door and hide
Wishing you could write
The story to your life

But poety and prose
Will fade like yesterday
Fade into dusty pages
That will never turn

When will you see
What you reach for is a shadow
When will you see
Real life is in the audience
"Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit." Ecc. 7:8

I read this last night after a day of wishing that I was in another place in life. I could excuse my wishing with my first born syndrome of always wanting to push forward and lead the way, etc. I could excuse it with my perfectionist tendencies and how I constantly see the potential of the way things could be, and wanting to change them. I could excuse it with my romanticism, or my idealism, or even my youth. Besides, it even says that the end is better than the beginning. Can't I just have the end now?

Yet a patient spirit is better than the proud...patient...is better...
My pride that tells me that my plan and timing is better than God's.
But a patient spirit is better...
And so I wait...

"...For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content..."
Phil. 4:11
It's 10:25 in the morning and my brain is fried. I'll be lucky if anything intelligent comes from it for the rest of the day.

Needless to say, I have just come from my back to back Music History and Theory 4 exams. Theory 4 took me 15 minutes...I wish I had had the last 35 minutes to tack onto my Music History exam time. I think I was prepared, and I want to say I got a B...but we'll see. At least now I know how the exams work - plenty of indirect questions that require you to know the answers to 10 other questions just to answer it.

Whew...at least it's over.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

I told him that when guys tell me such things, I take their word for it, no questions asked. He laughed and said that if he had known that, he wouldn't have gotten married and instead waited for me to come. It was my turn to laugh. What does one say when a 50-something year old man says that? I told him that would have been a pretty big gamble, considering all the things he would have missed out on, only to find out that I wouldn't marry him.
I had my second formal piano lesson with my new teacher today. I feel extraordinarily privileged to have him as my teacher. He is a real life child prodigy, can sight read anything you put in front of him, and can transpose and play full orchestra scores on the piano by just looking at it. When I listen to him play, all I think is "......wow.....".

I came to him today with a Chopin waltz, Debussy prelude, and Bach preludium. His office is a complete disarray of papers, scores, music stands, and Styrofoam coke cups that he drinks water out of. Five minutes after I walked in the door, he became suddenly very self-conscious of the cups and began throwing them into the overflowing wastebasket, saying that he had no idea how there got to be so many. I told him not to worry about it; that way he can keep track of how much water he's drinking.

I told him I had learned the waltz, and the preludiums hands separately. Mistake one. Despite all my previous piano experience, he said it is really best to always practice both parts together unless there is a particularly difficult part, and once you work it out, both parts go right back together. Then I told him that when I practiced the waltz, I left out the ornamentations at first. Mistake two. Never leave out the ornamentations. It just makes learning them later more difficult. I then decided to just come clean and tell him that my left hand ornamentations have always been horrible, and I never worked them out correctly.

This confession opened the door to my first lesson in the Russian technique. It was a whole new world of allowing gravity and motion to do all the work for you, rather than actually playing the keys with your fingers. In the smallest motion of the wrist, he played crystal clear runs and fugue passages with no effort whatsoever. It is all about allowing the science of motion to move through your hand to play the notes, rather than forcing them out yourself. What a novel idea!

For the better part of the lesson, I sat at the piano and dropped my hand onto the keys. I could only leaving one finger hanging on, as if I had fallen off a cliff and caught myself. The idea was relaxation, and letting gravity do the work. Easier said than done. After doing this exercise twice, I realized how much tension I carry in my hand, and how much I try to control it's movement. I did this over and over as he intensely watched my hand from his wooden rocking chair beside me. "One more time...that's better...do it again...one more time...now with number three...relax...your hand will do it...oh, no...one more time...enjoy the free fall..." I started realizing how much work I have made for myself all this time, when all I had to do was let it happen. He said, "Playing the piano is like a series of magic tricks. We wave our hands over the keys and music happens."

I just have to get this 'waving' motion down. Without thinking about it. Right.
My appeal worked. Our dreaded Music History exam is on Monday. When Dr. Thomas made the announcement in class yesterday, we all cheered - perhaps even considered that he was the most blessed man on the face of the earth at that moment.


Consequently, my life this weekend will consist of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and various sundry other composers that I never heard of.


Tuesday, February 01, 2005

I decided to be brave this morning and represent my fellow students in Music History that are all tearing their hair out because we have our first exam on Friday. First exams are usually stressful, but on top of it all, it's Music History. And it's the day after Convocation. And the Music Library is closed every night this week after the service. And we have 70 pages of text, 16 pages of notes, and 12 classical pieces to learn.

So I decided to go and appeal to our professor this morning after my first class. He was sitting behind his oval black desk, and graciously invited me to sit down. I put on my best professional student attitude and presented one of those 'I-am-a-good-student-and-love-your-class-and-you're-a-great-prof-but-I-really-need-your-help' speech. He sat rather platonically through my appeal with a smile on his face. I wondered if he was simply laughing to himself because I was saying all the things he expect, and had already decided it wasn't going to change anything, or if he was thinking that I really was a great student and he wanted to help me out. I couldn't tell.

After my speech, he nodded his head, and said that he was taking all that under advisement. Whatever that really means. Of course, his concern was that if we push the exam back a day, than everything else would be pushed back too, and we would suffer the "mushroom effect", as he put it. But then again, what's one more day? And of course, I heartily agreed with him, and thanked him sincerely for his time and consideration.

If he actually moves the exam, it will be for the first time in history that a Music History exam at Lee University has ever been reconsidered. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. No, I'm actually praying. Changes in history would be a very good thing right now. I might actually sleep the next four days.
The one day there was national news about not traveling to Atlanta, I did. After almost dying a couple times, and passing by jack-knifed semi's and cars that had gone off the road, I realized that maybe I should watch the news a little more.