<"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> Welcome to the Ceili
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
It's that point in the semester.........
Yes.....everyone who's been to grad school knows what point I'm talking about. It's the point in the semester when the novelty of new classes starts to wear off.....when the sleep deprivation sets in......when your brain starts making bizarre connections. Take for instance my experience in a rehearsal I was running the other day, when I was looking for the word syncopation, but instead my brain came up with the word hemitollah......which I can only guess is a combination of hemiola (slightly related......maybe?) and ayatollah (no clue how that got in there). Not only that....but suddenly, it was the ONLY word I knew for a good five minutes.

I'm trying to get ready for flute master's comps.....which is problematic at best. I mean....how do you try to prepare for being asked anything your committee thinks you should know about music? I have a study guide for the flute portion......I have a weekly music history study session with one of the other ethnomusicology students, and I'm trying to teach myself form and analysis. Add that to the fact that I don't want to schedule anything else (trad recital/masterclass) until I know when those are (I only need one more prof.....hopefully I'll get someone by wednesday). Sleep has become more optional than normal, but if I can get past that huge hurdle without falling down and killing myself, I'll feel a lot better about life. My dear flute professor and I were having a conversation, during which I admitted I was rather sleep deprived. She looked at me and said, "But Mac, why are you sleep deprived?" At which point I sort of dissolved into manic fits of laughter. My roommate is great at lightening the mood, especially during those several-hour-long study sessions, when she suddenly decides to try and make the milk that's in my cereal try to come shooting out my nose by clucking like a chicken (which at 1 am is pretty damn funny).

Trying to keep school in perspective and appreciate how far I've come from the musician/student/professional/person that I was when I got here two years ago. It's a hard task sometimes, because I tend to lose the forest for the trees (as my mother used to say). Practicing classical flute more because I have voluntarily entered a competition in early Nov, and I'm slightly worried that it'll affect my trad playing. I did feel very comforted when Dharmonia told me that I would know which path to take musically when (if) the time comes to choose. I should probably attempt to take a sanity day on Saturday and just get out of town......but probably not until after midterms.

Need to run and grab a practice room before all of the marching band kids grab them after their rehearsal. I leave you two great political T-Shirts......

Here and Here.

Peace, Love, and Tunes, (and sanity)

posted by Mac Tíre at 1:10 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Studying my form and analysis so that I won't bomb my comps.....taken straight from the book I'm studying from:

"Also known as bourdon or drone, it is found in primitive music as well as in the music of more highly-developed cultures."

Can we get any more eurocentric?
posted by Mac Tíre at 4:50 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments
Thursday, September 13, 2007
A year older....probably not any wiser
So, yours truly celebrated her birthday yesterday. Unfortunately, the actual celebrating part doesn't come until later in the week.....the downside to having classes/thesis/comps/practicing to do on a daily basis. Anyway, thanks to all who offered birthday wishes!

School has finally settled into some semblance of a rhythm. It helped that I did the Virgo thing and scheduled basically every minute of the week. I am finding that the more I write stuff down (schedules, to-do lists, exercise, practice, study, etc.) that I actually get quite a bit done. Now, not everything always gets done.....but more than if I tried it without the schedule. It also means that I get work done bit by bit instead of one massive gulp.....better for retention.....better for my sanity.

Classes are also going fairly well. The discussion section continues to be one of the highlights of my week. I have had four different students contact me outside of class to discuss research paper topics, and it's actually fun to talk to them about what their interests are (except for the students who want you to hand them a topic that involves absolutely no research.....see paragraph below for my feelings about a lack of intellectual curiosity). Still no issues in discipline in my 38 person discussion section. They actually talk and try out ideas, which is great. I inadvertently planned an early music semester for myself. I'm taking History of Music Theory from Antiquity-1600, a Medieval Music seminar, TAing for the Undergrad Antiquity to 1700 Music History sequence, and of course the Early music ensemble. Basically the only other stuff I do is our the World Music Ensemble (concentrating on Gallician music this semester), and Flute Lessons (although I'm playing Baroque Flute for that too). Working on my official proposal for the thesis....hoping to get it in fairly soon. Getting ready for comps for the flute degree. Trying to plan other non-course-related musical stuff as well. It all adds up to less sleep and occasional bouts of panic. I think I've managed to convince myself that I'm human and that there are limits to how much I can get done in a day. And hopefully, I'm learning to get to the end of the day and be happy with my effort and not disappointed in what I couldn't get to. It's a continual balancing act between scholarship and performance, and I've sort of accepted the fact that it's a balance beam I'm going to walking for the rest of my life.....because I don't really feel complete without both. Anyway......school is good.

Here commenceth the rant about a lack of intellectual curiosity. It is physically impossible for someone to lack interest about EVERYTHING. What that means, is that the student who came to me and wasn't interested in a topic about anything either a) just doesn't want to do the work or b) is hiding in the guise of not wanting to do the work because he/she is deeply afraid of forming original thought/expressing interest in things that are different. Let's exclude option A, because I choose to believe that a student who goes through the trouble of scheduling an appointment outside of class actually wants to write an interesting paper. Seeing students like this, truly makes me want to ask, "What is it that conditioned you to just read the textbook and regurgitate?" Or rather who? Everyone is born with intellectual curiosity.....you see it in small children every day. Meaning some other teacher, or babysitter, or (god-forbid) parent, or friend conditioned this person to not ask questions about the world that surrounds them. The pavlovian reaction is to not be interested in anything. It's safer......the dumbass in the back row doesn't harass you for being a nerd, the teacher doesn't harass you for being a smartass, the babysitter can FINALLY call her boyfriend and leave you to watch the R rated movie your parents won't let you see, and life is easier all the way around. It's one of the reasons I love it when my students participate in discussions.......they learn that their thoughts and questions MATTER. And they learn that it's ok to have a little intellectual curiosity.

Anyway....I'm way past my allotted time for "lunch." Time to practice!!!

Peace, love, and tunes,


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posted by Mac Tíre at 12:28 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Why did we get rid of the barter system?

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posted by Mac Tíre at 6:17 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Thursday, September 06, 2007
And Cafepress wins again!
posted by Mac Tíre at 2:42 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments