Four Weeks Left

The semester is coming to a close, and it feels like it just started. Thanks to a professor who has been out of town for a conference, I was able to sleep in for four days in a row. I am unbelievably grateful!

As you know, I use TeuxDeux to organize my life. It’s simple and quick enough for me to just compile everything in one spot, plus it’s got a handy-dandy iPhone app that syncs up to my mac in a lovely way.  While I appreciate that if you don’t complete something on a due date the item rolls over to the next day, right now that list is quite long and quite frankly, irritating. As long as I get one or two items crossed off per day, I’ll stay happy. Okay – I guess I’ll stop rambling.

I realized this morning that I hate humidity and I’ll be happy if I can spend the entirety of the summer somewhere without it. I’m not sure how I lived in New Orleans for so long and avoided making that statement. I just don’t like it. I hate walking outside and feeling like I’m breathing underwater. It feels the same here in Florida. It just makes me feel – dirty.

Speaking of summer, I’ve completely avoided making plans for it because every time I think about it, my head spins. I was offered two awesome volunteer positions overseas, but I’m worried about finances. I’m also not sure it would be entirely fruitful as I’ve decided that my thesis will be on the music of New Orleans.  I don’t want to spend the summer in New Orleans because most of the street musicians (at least those I’m working with) go north for the summer, there aren’t many tourists, and musically not a whole lot happens in NOLA after fest-season (until Satchmo Fest in August) – BUT I have a cool internship opportunity there, so we’ll see.  I don’t want to spend it with family because I spent over a week with them in December, and really, that’ll do for the year (just my mother in particular, really).  I also don’t want to spend the summer pent up in my home office in front of my mac. I’d get cabin fever after a day or so. Anyway, you get the point. My goal is that by the end of this week, I have a tentative summer schedule down.  Sorry I’m complaining so much  – its more of a venting process than anything. Two things I’m sure of: Bonnaroo to help lead Stan’s drum workshop (500 drums built in four days!), and Falcon Ridge Folk Fest with my sisters (which will also include some drum-building).  It’s a start!

Physically I’m doing much better, thanks to a curious doctor and a couple of prescriptions (that I’m hoping I can be done with soon, but it’s doubtful)…  my physical anxiety is about 80% better than it was a few weeks ago.

This week I’m focusing on the beginning phases of two research papers, one for Indonesia, and one for India. I haven’t narrowed down the topics completely yet, so that’s step one. My photo essay is finished and I’m a little disappointed that the copy center wants $75 to print one copy of my presentation – so needless to say, it will be digital. I have a concert tomorrow night with African and Gamelan, and several recording clips to catch this week for our Field & Lab video project. I have to keep my prospectus in mind as its due next month (not the official one, but close enough – 2nd lit review due this week), and I have a TON of papers to grade.  Add an IRB application, a grant application, two exams, four books to read, a book review, a thesis presentation,  and a transcription project and that about sums up my next four weeks (minus all the TA stuff, rehearsals, and actual classes).

I’m raising my glass to grad school about now…

(a show and tell will be coming up soon)

Festival Brasileiro!

Well, the festival is over. I’m so glad I was able to help a bit with this, get my students involved, meet some amazing musicians, and see some great performances. I even learned how to say “Who Dat?” in Portuguese! I was able to try out a berimbou and repinique, and play in a bateria while learning some traditional rhythms! Some fest photos are below that I took with my iPhone.

In addition to samba, copoeira, and brazilian jazz pictured here, I also got to meet a Brazilian conductor (Daniel Bartholessi) and composer (Harry Crowl), and listen to some fabulous brazilian classical music as well.

My boss and our director of Choral Studies worked their butts off to bring this week-long festival together, and while some of the “behind-the-scenes” logistics were shaky, it came off smoothly, and ended successfully!

These are the folks I got to hang out with:

I wasn’t able to get photos of the amazing Copoeira presentation on Saturday night. My camera died at that point and I had to charge it between segments. It was amazing to spend the week learning all about the sparring, music, and dance that is involved in Copoeira, and then see it culminate in a legit performance.