Saturday, May 22, 2010

Show Me The Music

This year we are going to be traveling for most of the summer so I thought that I might not get to do as much singing out at Tanglewood as I had hoped. Was I ever wrong! I was assigned to 4 concerts, two of which I had to opt out because we will be in Spain visiting Juan Carlos’ family. However, there will be no shortage of music memorizing this summer! I have until August 20th to memorize the following:


Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (Thank heavens I did this last year so it will be just brush up work!)

Poulenc: Gloria

Bach: Jesu, Meine Freude

Holst: The Planets

When I first got the music I was not feeling too happy because I opened up and saw Jesu, Meine Freude, and the German made me have a few moments of panic…not again!!!!!



Well, I learned my lesson with the Mendelssohn earlier this year—I need to start memorizing and start memorizing NOW.

Next, the Poulenc Gloria. Now isn’t this beautiful?


Ah, Latin. Lovely, simply pronounced, intelligible Latin. How do I love thee? So very much! It’s about 60 pages long, but what is 60 pages of Latin after 200 pages of German?

And THEN………….

Holst: The Planets


Your eyes do not deceive you! There are NO WORDS!!! Now this  is my kind of piece! Plus we only sing about five minute’s worth of music, so I am feeling considerably better.

But still, I have 28 pages of German to memorize. And 28 pages of German is 28 pages of German!!!

Here we go again…

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Things I Don't Blog About

This blog is primarily a journal keeping tactic for me. I have always been awful about keeping journals. I just can't think of anything interesting to write about. That must mean that my life is very boring! Anyway, it all started with the first journal that my mom bought me, where I wrote some of the most inane things ever to cross a human's mind. When you get older you think you remember what it was like to be a kid and how you felt about things. Well based on my journal that is a total delusion. It is enough sometimes to make me wonder if that was really me. I kept a journal very sporadically throughout my youth, (i.e., hardly at all) so there is not much for me to look back over and remember about myself. And I have come to the following conclusion:
I am glad I didn't write much down.

I read it all now and my primary thoughts are either about what a brat I was or how embarrassed I am because obviously I have always been a total moron. This always makes me feel like I must still be a total moron, because it is still me, right? Some examples:

  • I wrote detailed explanations of daily events when I was little, including all of my siblings bodily functions.
  • I wrote about the bugs that I found in the garden and in the window wells. There is even a picture of one insect that I attempted to draw, although I am not sure anyone living could identify it as such.
  • I wrote quite a lot about boys. I accept that this is normal, but what a waste of a lot of time, paper and ink. Now there were some very nice boys, don't get me wrong. But there were a lot who simply weren't.
  • I wrote about how much my mom hated me, and how much I hated my older sister. (whom I do not hate one bit, actually)
  • I wrote a lot about singing--singing with friends, with school groups, with church groups, problems with, could I have been a bigger nerd?
There was only one time where I kept a journal reliably, and that was while I was a missionary for my church in France. I was 21 and pretty clueless about things, I have to say. I met a lot of very different people and I wrote about my reactions to them and about living in a place so extremely different from the one I where I grew up. I also had some angry journal entries. I don't get angry very often, but I got pretty angry in those journal pages and it makes me sad to think about it now. I got angry over stupid things.

None of this inspires me to be a better journal keeper; in fact, I never want ANYONE reading what I wrote in those journals. But since blogging has been as close as I have come, I am trying to keep it up. But some things are off limits.

  • Bodily functions-nobody needs to know, and I don't want to remember. I departed from this one a couple of months ago with my sister's foot injury. What can I say, the morbid fascination was too much for me. Sorry.
  • Complicated family relationships. They are private and no one needs to know about it but me and them.
  • Our childless state. Trust me, it gets talked about all the time, I certainly don't want to write about it.
  • Anger. Anger just does not work for me, and it's never worth the embarrassment you feel when you go back and read what you wrote when you were angry. (Although anger does get teenagers to move their backpacks out of the walkway very quickly.)
  • My body shape and size. I am what I am. Nobody needs to hear about it; not even I want to hear about it most of the time.
  • Work frustrations. Everyone has work frustrations. But they are almost always temporary and it's better to remember that you yourself may be someone's work frustration, so don't write about it for anyone else to read about. Would you want to be written about that way? Besides, it's hard for me to be happy if I am knowingly causing discomfort to someone else. (The exception being giving homework and tests. Discomfort? Yes. Cruelty? No.)
Some people have argued with me that it's good to see where you came from so that you can measure your growth. Maybe one day I will be able to look at it like that. That's probably a much healthier angle. So maybe. But not yet!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

School Colors

Every year I make a graduation card for my seniors. Since I teach AP Spanish I almost always have at least one class of seniors, so for the last four years I have kept up the tradition. I don’t have  a lot of graduation paraphernalia, so they almost always look something like this:



Our school colors are purple and gold, and while it’s very festive, it has never been a favorite combination of mine. In the past I have used a paler yellow and hoped everyone would just imagine that it was gold. However, this year I ran out of the pale yellow and the only thing I had was, incidentally, the actual gold that is one of our school colors. So that’s how it went down, although I have to say I am not a fan of how they turned out this year.

School colors are fascinating to me. In junior high and high school my school colors were maroon and gold. Very unattractive--and if you ever saw us in PE class with our gold shirts and maroon shorts you would understand why. I hope you never did. Maroon and gold tend to be very popular with schools. Why, I ask you?

Some schools manage to get school colors right. BYU had the classic combination of blue and white. Now blue and white is nice. It is classic. Blue and white does not cause retinal damage when you look at it. The first school I taught at also had school colors of blue and white. And I might add that any shade of blue goes well with white and looks very nice.

The two Catholic schools where I taught both had school colors of green and gold. I also got my master’s degree from a school whose colors were green and gold. Okay, not fabulous, but at least a combination that you do see in nature, and again, very traditional colors. And green and gold makes a very nice graduation card!

So, I conclude:

  1. It it is fun to dress up and even paint your face in purple and gold, and since I am on the purple team, cheer for the purple team in all school events.
  2. I like blue and white.
  3. For crafty items (and for my optical health) I believe I will be going back to pale yellow. Sorry, gold!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Fun Stuff

I am really bemoaning a good lens these days, since there are so many fun things to take pictures of. And the things always seem to be so far away!!! Why must this be?!?!

On our walk today we noticed that the swans are starting to congregate on Central Pond again:


We have actually seen some swan-on-goose fights over nesting areas. Usually there are tons more geese than swans, but not in the springtime. And swans are mean. I kid you not.

We also saw a turtle party on our walk today. I am sorry the picture is not that great but we thought it was too funny to pass up!


Hope spring is bringing fun stuff to your neck of the woods!