October 2006

October 31, 2006 13:37

Today is a lovely day.
Yesterday was the loveliest day I've had in years.
Must be my lucky week.
:)

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October 23, 2006 11:18

Always take a clock into the practice room. What I could've sworn was forty five minutes was a two hour long practice. This is what happens when your boyfriend is not there to kick you out of the practice room when his alotted time has come; you end up practicing far longer than your schedule allows for, and the entire male population (well, at least the entire Ave Maria male population who happen to be in their dorms) is doomed to listen to a squeaky violinist miss thousands of shifts, scrape through out of tune double stops, and repeat things over and over...and...over.......again. Ah, practice! What your typical non-music major perceives as half an hour spent playing fiddle-tunes and running through flawless eight octave arpeggios for the fun of it.

Well, the guys in Caterbury hall are now disillusioned.

Fall Break (a.k.a. Fall Extended-Weekend) is here, which inevitably means that Natasha gets two days to study without lectures springing up in her way. My doomed Chemistry exam #2 announced itself in bold, bright, and morbid colors on my calendar this week. Thursday to be exact. Other lovely additions for this week include exponentials, a test on "The Srewtape Letters", an essay on C.S. Lewis' views on Love and Marriage as expressed in "The Screwtape Letters", a chemistry lab report on our explorations in spectronomy, and to crown the week off, a concert at the Phil, courtesy of Howard Shelley.

Howard Shelley has been called the greatest living pianist, a title he easily lives up to. His critically acclaimed recordings of Chopin, Mozart, and Mendelssohn are held in high esteem and his fine recordings of the Rachmaninoff concertos are considered by many to be the finest in existence. Shelley's artistic improvisation, his gentle and exact style, and his genteel personality make him a favorite among both the audience and musicians in Naples. Last Saturday I was lucky to attend a performance of his featuring three Mozart Piano Concerto played back to back. There is no doubt; Howard Shelley is the finest pianist I have ever seen. I look forward to his performance of the Mendelssohn this weekend!

And now, as usual, I must run off to my studies, to be taunted by electrons, nodes, exponentials, and functional domains. Au revoir!

~natasha

P.S. yes, my meds really do consist of nasty things like pig brains, veal bones, and cow adrenals. In fact, when my doctor opened a jar of one, she said "Woah! These smell like roadkill!!!"

P.P.S. I'm going to (try to) attach my orchestral debut (about three years ago) because I never did attach it in the first place...

****EDIT****
Sorry, guys, I attached the wrong file...That is our orchestra but I'm actually not playing that solo...lol.......whoopsy....how'd that happen anyways....

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Hello World!!!

October 20, 2006 10:01

Well, not much has changed from my last entry except that I got an A- grade for midterms in PreCalc (YEAH!) took the PSAT at the local jail-er...excuse me...highschool, and, last but not least, was diagnosed a few days back with adrenal gland disorder or something. I.e. I've been too stressed for too long and must now take three 120 mg servings of dehydrated pig brains, cow adrenal, and veal bone per day. Good stuff.

I've moved on to the third movement of the Viotti 22, thank goodness! Once I finish that, it's on to something much easier...a Hadyn Concerto for the SW Florida Competition in December. And (very hopefully) after that it's the SYMPHONIE ESPAGNOL!

Today is officially the start of Fall Break at Ave, which, for me, means that I get two days of no classes to study for my Chemistry Exam and catch up on my "real" highschool courses. In celebration of the end of midterms week, Sam and I are going to his brother's track meet after school and then watching a movie or something. Tomorrow, I am going to relax a bit, study a bit, and prepare for teaching class on SUnday.

So, 'ts all cool...life continues...

~natasha

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Life as a Highschool College Student

October 9, 2006 08:38

I return again!

Life right now is crazy. I decided to dual-enroll at Ave Maria University. So I'm taking my normal highschool classes of English, American History, Advanced Third Year Latin, and Theology Scriptural Studies. Then I'm taking Chemistry 211 and PreCalc 150 from Ave. Chemistry is SO HARD! Most of my classmates are Juniors and Seniors in college, and Bio-Majors at that. Nevertheless, I'm doing pretty well, even according to my Dad's standards. Funcions aka PreCalc is challenging too, but it's an area I've covered a bit already, so I feel a little more stable with it.

Orchestra is going okay, despite the fact we lost lots of excellent players and our conductor. I'm still concertmistress, but I feel like I'm a bad one. I haven't been playing very well and my solos have been seriously stinking. I get SO nervous before I have to play them...it's awful.

Mr. Neal has declared that I am "in the thick of it" violin wise. I had to turn down an offered job in a local professional orchestra because I'm so busy. I was really upset, but Mr. Neal said I can work with them next year. I'm still chugging along at Viotti 22, unfortunately, but I also have a stack of solo Bach to keep me happy. I also have a Haydn Concerto for a competition in December and the promise of the Symphonie Espagnol for my spring competitions. I'm begging for the first movement, but Mr. Neal is debating...

As if I didn't have enough to do, I volunteered to teach "RCIC" Classes at church. I figured that since I've had a lifetime of religious education, i might as well put it to good use. I split a class of about fifty kids with two other teachers. Yeah, it's insane. But I think it'll all work out.

And that about sums up my current life. I'll try to keep a little more updated here as things happen, but as you can see, things are crazy. As always.

~natasha

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Summer Camp Summary

October 3, 2006 09:06

Well, I haven't been on here for ages.
Things have been crazy since the summer started and I just haven't had time.
I'm just procrastinating right now, looking sideways at Cicero's First Oration against Cataline that I'm supposed to be translating.

The summer was quite wonderful. I ended up going to the Brevard Music Festival for seven weeks in North Carolina. I had a good time, learned a lot of things, and played loads of fabulous music. I was rather disappointed with the quality of people there, though. While my roomates were all nice and the faculty and staff were exceptional, the typical highschool camper was...shall we say somewhat lacking in moral standards. I didn't expect trains of saints with little halos above their heads or anything. But when even the concertmistress of your orchestra is caught "being bad" (this *is* a "family friendly site...) You just can't look up to them.

As a concertmaster, I've learned that it's way more than how you play. You are a role model. You set the example for how orchestra members should act in rehearsal, you set the standards of playing, and you are in charge of your section. It's your job to lead, help, and encourage your fellow violinists. I didn't get any of that from my concertmaster in Brevard. Just snubbing noses.

I was happy that competition was not the dominating theme at camp. I've heard all too many tales from conservatories about strings being slashed, bows being snapped and suicides being committed because of tough competition. At Brevard, it was very individually focused; just doing the best *you* could do without worrying about anyone else.

I was assigned work study to help apy off some of the tuition, and I was pleased to work under Nurse Rhonda at the Infirmary and Wellness Center. Although most of my work revolved around janitorial duties and supply inventory, I learned a lot by working with her an hour a day. Nurse Rhonda was not only a registered nurse, but also a nutritionist and massage therapist who had worked at Brevard for something like 17 years. She taught me a lot of things about health care for musicians and I picked up a lot assisting with patients. For some reason, people loved to get injured while I was around. Sliced hands, impaled guys with innards showing, seizures...all in a day's work. And surprisingly enough, i actually liked it a lot.

One of the downsides of camp was the lengthy walk into town. To do laundry, Sam (who ended up going to camp too) and I walked a few miles in to the laundromat every Saturday. We looked like homeless people lugging our bags of laundry or dragging a laundry cart (ghetto-rigged with an umbrella on rainy days) up and down the roads of Brevard. On occasion, we were often forced to walk to Church too. There was only one Catholic church in the county, about an hour to an hour and a half of walking from the camp. when we couldn't beg a ride from our dean, we would grab any others willing to come and make our little "pilgrimage".

Another major downside was the lack of appropriate room and board. Being the youngest girl in camp, I was sentenced to living in the crappiest cabin, Upbeat. We didn't have walls at all; our rooms were seperated from each other by thin, six foot partitions and our only barrier from the outdoors was a six foot wall with wire mesh connecting the "wall" to the roof. Our ceiling was so bad that when we jumped off of our "beds" to the floor, dirt and bugs (usually alive and crawling) would fall through the slats. We used so many cans of Raid, Off, and Scrubbing Bubbles to kill bugs that we nicknamed our cabin "the gas chamber" since it always smelled like chemicals. Being 5'9", I was usually recruited unanimously to execute bugs on the ceiling. It was especially fun killing spiders the size of a rosin cake that fell on top of you when you sprayed them. Our "closets" consisted of a solid metal bar that ran from one side of the cabin to the other, on which we were supposed to hang clothes and our rooms were so small that all of a room's inhabitants couldn't fit in at once.

The food was just as bad, in general, and I seemed aprticularly susceptible. I found numerous bones in the so-called meats, and got food poisoning twice. Sam called our meats "unimeat"; it looked, tasted, and smelled like our pork was our chicken was our beef was our fish. The cafeteria's sanitation score (required to be displayed) was 7.5 points lower than the local Burger King's. After about a week, my cabinmates and I had amassed enough care packages to keep us satisfied when the food became to unbearable.

A few weeks into camp, I was running down the unpaved gravel road from our cabin (soon nicknamed THE HILL because of the number of injuries occurring on it) to catch a bus and I slipped and fell. Besides shredding my knees to pieces, I hyperextended my thumb and sprained it so badly the nurse thought I had broken it and wouldn't be able to play for the rest of camp! Luckily, the doctor looked at it and diagnosed it as a very bad (very painful) sprain and after a week I was back to normal. Thank goodness.

So yeah, all in all, a summer to remember. I'll post more on my current life later, but right now I need to run.
So....
~natasha

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