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Kelsey Z.

are you waiting for the bus?

September 12, 2007 at 2:58 PM

So Tuesday has to have been on of the most "amusing" days yet. It started off with 3 busses driving past me, completely full, no room for another soul and her violin and the few other odd people also waiting to get a ride. Finally, a bus stopped and I was the last person able to board and it looked skeptical that I would fit. I technically didn't fit as I stood in front, not behind the red line, but the bus driver was nice and said to come on anyways, violin and all. So I boarded and thus began the tedious bus ride, facing towards the back of the bus. Suddenly we go around a corner and the weight of my violin and book bag made me do a nice little swing around the front part of the bus and sent me crashing into the doors of the bus. How embarrassing. Others were amused though.

Amusing-ness didn't end there though. In my first class, there's almost 100 of us, we all had to sing gregorian chants together. Our history prof (trained and worked at Harvard as a musicologist) is actually very good at singing. In theory, we also had to "sing" but this was as part of an exercise to learn about the difference between durational, pitch, timbre, dynamic accents etc. as well as about rhythmic things and continuity and how to listen to a piece and distinguish between these many things.

The day ended off (I was at school from 7:30am-9:30pm last night and we get out early for the evening class) with the wonderful sightreading experience of.....Firebird. Oh. My. That piece is so hard to sightread and to play. I'd say roughly 2-4 of our 16 first violins were playing at any given time. We also sightread Les Preludes by Liszt. Not exactly friendly, "welcome back to school!" pieces to play when you haven't been doing big orchestra repertoire for a couple of years now. Oh yeah. We have to perform Firebird on October 5th along with two song cycles and the Les Preludes. I think my work is cut out for me.

From Tom Holzman
Posted on September 12, 2007 at 3:22 PM
So, did you find out the identity of Prof. TBA?
From Terez Mertes
Posted on September 12, 2007 at 4:53 PM
Oh, what FUN to read these comments and see these pics. I'm seeing my own college experience all over again (substitute music issues for liberal arts/theatre issues, tho). Thanks!
From Albert Justice
Posted on September 12, 2007 at 5:54 PM
She did Tom...

Kelsey, college 'is' sometimes like that. They won't give you more than you can handle though--'skin thickens'. It does feel like it though, huh.

Been there.

From Tom Holzman
Posted on September 12, 2007 at 6:05 PM
Albert - thanks for pointing that out. I missed the relevant blog entry. She looks like she will be great. Kelsey, you are very lucky.
From Ruth Kuefler
Posted on September 12, 2007 at 6:52 PM
Nice pictures, thanks for sharing! Oh, and good luck with the Firebird Suite. :) I can totally sympathize — we're doing the it for our first concert in a few weeks as well. There's a reason that one part is called the Infernal Dance . . .
From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on September 12, 2007 at 8:18 PM
Yeah, I was waiting (and waiting) for the bus this morning. I didn't take it most of the summer but now that I'm walking my daughter to school again (3rd grade), I'm catching the bus again. If I miss the early one I'm stuck waiting for one that can be up to 20 minutes late. It's a pain. But it's nice, I can listen to music and when I get to my destination (the Harvard Square T-station) there are usually buskers.
From Pauline Lerner
Posted on September 13, 2007 at 1:49 AM
Kelsey, I knew you'd have to work hard, but this is HARD. I'm sorry you fell on the bus, but I'm glad that neither you nor your violin were injured (I presumed). Thanks for the great photos. They give me a better understanding of where you are.

I have faith in you. I know you'll do everything really well.

From Yixi Zhang
Posted on September 13, 2007 at 2:55 AM
It gets easier. Promise. But then it gets harder again. Truth.

Some profs at larger universities like UBC like to scare students a bit during the first a few weeks of the term. Sometimes the class is so large that this works to reduce the size within a week. Making a course hard also makes it easier to separate the best from the ordinary students. Also, very few serious teachers like to dumb-down their courses. One thing to remember is if a course is really hard, it usually is hard for almost everyone in the class. It can bring out a lot of different strengths in you if you give it your best shot and usually you get rewarded for that. Being an ESL student studying general arts, oddly enough, I always looked for the toughest teachers and the toughest courses to take because they are the best to test my potentials.

You'll do great.

From Patty Rutins
Posted on September 13, 2007 at 9:05 PM
Hey, I think your history prof is a friend of mine - Charles McGuire? I met him when he was conducting the Dudley House Chorus at Harvard when I lived in the area. He's awesome -- and yes, he sings very well.
From Kelsey Z.
Posted on September 14, 2007 at 2:40 AM
Patti, nope, that's not my prof. My prof is Alexander Fisher. Sorry!
From Patty Rutins
Posted on September 14, 2007 at 2:27 PM
Heh. Well, if you meet Prof. McGuire, say hello! :)

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