Let me start by saying, that I'm not exactly sure what group produced the first recording I ever heard, but odds are very, very good that it was Peter, Paul, & Mary. Thanks Mary Travers for providing the soundtrack to my childhood.
So the past month has been spent getting used to living out here on the West Coast/Pacific Northwest. I am addicted (after less than two months) to Trader Joe's, I have found an incredibly good cup of coffee, and I've also visited Major City and found an AWESOME bookstore. Basically I've gotten into a schedule, which makes any place feel more like home. On Saturdays I've started getting up really early to go to this breakfast cafe that serves this AMAZING french toast made from Challah bread. I have also visited the university library, on a campus that is gorgeous. Occasionally it dawns on me that I'm about to start my last academic program, that hopefully in three to four years I will have my PhD and be competitive for a job. Speaking of jobs, I managed to get a job at a local arts institute that I'll call the Shack.....which is remarkably close to it's actual name. The great thing about teaching lessons through them is that all I have to do is show up and teach.....no worrying about money or scheduling....just show up, teach, and get a paycheck. The bad thing about teaching there, is that they want me to teach in some of my (very) secondary areas....ie beginning saxophone lessons.
Unfortunately the trad scene is just as bad as I expected....I had coffee with Piper Colleague and he confirmed the level of playing around here. He also offered to get together and play tunes some time. This situation, however, has made me consider my options. I have been mentored by people who came to similar situations and have changed them for the better. When Coyotebanjo and Dharmonia came to FDP, the trad scene was basically nonexistent, yet I believe last week they had 22 people dancing the sets, 4 people teaching, and a bunch of musicians ready to play, in addition to the weekly sessions that are some of the best around. Being part of a tradition, means that at some point you start to pass it on. Do I try and make this scene better? Do I have time to make it better? No one offers a slow session right now, but when I asked about it the "leader" of the session scene here seemed kind of offended. Anyway, it's just something I've been thinking about.
Next week I have a meeting with the department chair to figure out my schedule and ta for this term. Next week also means orientation meetings and the dreaded entrance exams. I've been studying, but it always seems kind of hopeless....know everything about everything.....ready--GO! Anyway, I'm building bookcases, studying, practicing, and thinking about things. Back to it!
Peace, Love, and Tunes,