Well, it’s a new semester as of yesterday when I returned from Italy. Courses include the music of India, the music of Indonesia, a seminar in field/lab techniques, a theory seminar in ethnomusicology, and two ensembles: Gamelan & African. I’m also auditing two courses: Tibetan historiography, and ancient religions of Tibet. I’m TA’ing both pop & roots music again – though this time, pop is at 8am.
It all seems rather suicidal at this point. Why? I completed my infamous productivity tally after having decided that I only got off kilter last semester when I stopped keeping track of my hours. My total number of work + sleep hours equals 168 per week. The only problem is that there is exactly that many hours in a week, so the 30+ hours of “wiggle room” (though it never really was) I had in the fall doesn’t exist anymore. Hopefully I can adjust some of the projected hours within a few weeks, otherwise something’s got to give.
Rome was amazing of course. My flight to and from was quite disastrous. Between snow storms and invalid out-of-country tickets, everything that could have gone wrong probably did. With that said, we had a great time. I spent all of New Year’s day sick in our room with a fever, which is a bit sad, however my partner kept reminding me I could be sick with a view of the colosseum, or sick with a view of a waffle house. I think I’ll take the colosseum. P.S. I even stayed sober on New Year’s Eve!
The only music I heard the entire time I was in Italy includes Gangsta’s Paradise (in a supermarket), We Will Rock You (at an ice-skating rink), children’s choirs as I listened from the dome of St. Peter’s during Sunday mass (amazing), and quite possibly the worst street violinist I’ve ever heard (while in line for the Vatican)…I know – as an ethnomusicologist, everything is supposed to be relative, but this guy was just terrible and I would much rather have enjoyed listening to the multi-language soundscape that surrounded me in line.
I did leave with a few opinions:
- The Sistine Chapel has nothing on St. Peter’s Basilica. Ok – maybe this isn’t entirely true… but the Basilica was just entirely amazing.
- I finally understand what everyone means when they say the Sistine Chapel is in 3D.
- Roman taxi drivers are insane. Going 166 kph on narrow cobblestone streets just isn’t right.
- I’ll take New Year’s Eve in Rome over Times Square any day.
- Maybe, just maybe… their cuisine beats New Orleans. Even Chinese food in Rome was amazing.
That’s all for now – back to my to-do list…