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Monday, November 30, 2009
Brief Rant
Apologies about the lack of posting. The term has caught up with me yet again. I WILL finish the Pages to a PhD series, but most likely after the term has ended. I am currently drowning in grading, papers, readings, and exams.

But first a brief rant about a particularly bad response TA's sometimes get to bad grades.

So one of the requirements for the class I TA (ie grade) for this term is to write a term paper. I won't go into details, but suffice it to say that this young man didn't read the directions closely. He didn't do half of the requirements, so I gave him a D (which I thought was rather generous) because he met every other requirement and it was a thoughtful paper. I had planned to email the prof and hopefully let the kid rewrite (everyone makes mistakes, especially freshmen who aren't used to being accountable), but while I'm still entering grades I get an email.

Usually we describe these as tear stained emails, but this one was worse. This was the "I'm a belligerent 18yo male who is trying to 'intimidate' you into changing my grade by telling the teacher what you did" email. My initial response is to say, "Motherf***er, that crap didn't work for guys my own age when I was 18. What the hell makes you think it's gonna work now that I'm 26 and have TA-ed for 4 years?"

Thank God for FPU. I carbon copied the prof and pointed the kid to the directions, and told him I had informed the prof of his situation and would let him know if anything changed.

I really don't get the sense of entitlement these kids seem to feel, nor do I have any clue about how to communicate to them that an education is something you earn, not pay for.

Back to it!

Peace, Love, and Tunes,

posted by Mac Tíre at 2:14 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 2 comments
Monday, November 09, 2009
THAT Point in the Term
It's THAT point in the semester, excuse me, term (the debate about whether semester or quarter is preferable will have to come at another point). You know that point....it's the brutal part of grad school, when it's hard to believe in the achievability of your dreams or, in the PNW, when it feels like you will NEVER see the sun again (vitamin D supplements here I come!).

You can also recognize it, because facebook status messages almost all talk about how the writer feels stupid/incapable/insert you favorite undermining head talk here. One of the comforting and scary things to me is that we ALL feel this way at some point. Including our professors/mentors. Comforting in that I'm not a psychotic weirdo, scary in that evidently this is something I/we will always have to combat.

Having already been in grad school for 4 years (starting the 5th), I can at least recognize the cycle for what it is. It comes after months of constant mental and physical exhaustion and the constant (mostly) constructive criticism that is so much a part of the grad school process. So whenever I have a day like today, when you believe you'll always be one of those people with unfulfilled potential or always sit on the musical or academic sidelines (can you tell I've been watching a lot of college football lately), I have started to ask myself, "What motivates that feeling?" Is it because I'm not really living up to my potential in some area, or is it because I (stupidly) stayed up till 2 am trying to finish grading 150 papers with 4 essays each, forgot to leave some bit of heat on last night so I woke at 6:30 am in a cold apartment, and walked outside in yet another day of cold and wet, to go to an 8am remedial aural skills class I feel a tiny bit disappointed I have to take in the first place? I may have a fear of not living up to my "potential," but more than likely, the girl from the Deep South is cold and tired and a little disgusted with herself for having to take remedial aural skills, and really wanting to make good music with other people.

Does that make it _feel_ any better? Unfortunately, no. But it does make me sit down, and move _through_ that feeling, because cerebrally I know I won't feel like this forever.

In other news, I have finally nailed down smaller concrete topics for the two papers I have to write: 1) Authority in Irish Traditional Music and 2) Gendering Accompaniment in ITM after the Revival.

Peace, Love, and Tunes,

posted by Mac Tíre at 1:42 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Pages to a PhD: Response to Weeks 5 & 6, Term 1
Apologies for the abandonment of the blog these past two weeks. Midterm has creeped up, and with it a flood of assignments/grading.

The good news? I fall in love with Musicology every week. The depth and breadth of this discipline constantly astounds me, and I could not be happier with the options this gives me as a scholar and a performer.

The hard part (as there is no bad news when you're in love with what you do)? I am working my ass off. Now I know how all of my professors got their superpowers. It also brings up some of the questions I've asked previously: what do you want to do with your scholarship (ethically, personally, etc) and how do you want to further the discipline? In other words, how am I gonna find my place in this huge discipline? I'm also having problems figuring out what I "buy" in the Music & Gender articles. How far down that rabbit hole am I willing to go, and how will I nuance that?

To the folks at FPU: Thank you. For the tools (or the whole freaking toolbox, as it were) you gave me, but more importantly for showing me what musicology is capable of. I miss you guys, but I'm havin' a BALL!

Peace, Love, and Tunes,


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posted by Mac Tíre at 9:28 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Pages to a PhD: Weeks 5 & 6, Term 1
Week 5

Intro to Musicology: Biography
Cusick, "Thinking From Womens' Lives" pg. 484-507
Miller, "Henry Cowell and Cage" pg. 47-112
Rehding, "Liszt's Musical Monuments" pg. 52-72
Schroeder, Ch. 3 "Leopold Mozart's Biography" pg. 59-85

Music & Gender: Gendered Aspects of Musical Composition and Performance
Fassler, "Music for the Love Feast" pg. 92-117
"Hildegard of Bingen: Abbess and Compose" pg. 14-20
Holsing, "The Flesh of the Vice" 92-125
McClary Ch. 2 pg 35-52

Research Methods:
Turabian Ch. 11-14 pg. 109-130
Bellman Ch. 7 pg. 116-134

Week 6

Intro to Musicology: Gender Studies
Cusick, "Gendering Modern Music" pg. 1-25
Bret, "Britten and Grimes" pg. 995-1000
McClary, Ch. 2 pg. 35-52
Tick, "Charles Ives and Gender Ideology" pg. 83-106

Music & Gender: Gendered Aspects cont.
Citron, Ch. 4 "Music as Gendered Discourse" pg. 120-164
McClary, "Constructions of Subjectivity in Schubert's Music" pg. 205-234
Solomon, "Franz Schubert and the Peacocks of Benvenuto Cellini" pg. 193-206
Steblin, "The Peacock's Tale" pg. 5-33
McClary Ch. 5 pg. 112-131

Research Methods:
Turabian Ch. 20-21 pg. 283-307
Bellman Ch. 8 pg. 135-160

Totals for the Week(s):
Articles: 12
Chapters: 12
Pages: 506
Responses: 13
Summaries: 1

Totals towards the PhD:
Articles: 37
Chapters: 35
Pages: 1325
Responses: 37
Summaries: 3

Peace, Love, and Tunes,



posted by Mac Tíre at 8:34 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments