April 2008

Pending Results and Holding My Breath

April 22, 2008 05:45

The end of the musical year- in my solo playing- is always marked by the Naples Music Club Competition in April. I've worked my way up over the years from fifth place to second, and now I'm waiting for the results for my final year. In addition to placing in the scholarship competition, I'm also up for the Turiel Senior Scholarship, of which placing is only the first round. The second round consists of a second performance, interview, and essay and I won't know those results until late May.

I was pleased with my performance. The week before, I had something of a musical mental breakdown, and I got really frustrated and discouraged with my playing, especially my intonation. However, I was able to improve exponentially over that week and performed well- not my best but well- at the competition. The Lalo was quite good, a little lacking in enthusiasm in parts. The Paganini Caprice was also good, but I got nervous, rushing in a few places and producing a rather rough tone. Nevertheless, the intonation was very good, and all in all I am satisfied.

I got a call later in the evening from the competition, but all I know is that I moved on to the second round. I don't know where I placed or what I have to play yet; I'm waiting for the forms and adjudication sheets in the mail, which include the piece I have to play for the final round, the essay prompt, and the details for the interview as well as the judges' comments and their scores. However, I won't know where I placed until the May concert.

The college situation remains the same. I am currently trying to reach a potential teacher and comparing financial aid packages. Still weighing my options and waiting to hear back from this professor before I make any decisions.

We have our family concert for orchestra next week, followed the next day by an interview for an important college scholarship through the orchestra. This one weighs commitment and leadership in the orchestra as well as an essay and interview, and scholastic achievements, GPA, etc. All that I have to do is complete the interview. Again, waiting for more results to be announced at our end of the year concert in May....I'm going to get hit over the head with results that month!!

School is wrapping up. I only have five (big essay) assignments and a summer keyboarding class and then I'll be done with high school! My college courses end in two weeks and then I have finals...I guess school's pretty straight forward- no potential surprises pending here, that I know of. The only major thing I'm not sure about is the grade I'm going to get on my commentary on Cicero's Prima Oratio in Catilinam. We have oral presentations this week and the next, and then have to turn in the written commentary at the final. I've nearly finished it- just brushing it up and preparing to speak on it.

Also waiting to hear back from potential employers. Very few people seem to want to work with a seventeen year old. They seem to look at the online submission form and go "1991??? No way." And then delete the file and forget all about it. But hopefully a summer job will soon emerge. I'm already lined up to work as a nanny again in July and August, and I may be taking on one or two more violin students.

Almost done with the year......I'm so excited to be done with high school and get out of here! Even if I end up going to FGCU, it'll be a nice change. Now I just have to wait and see what's going to happen....

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Plan B

April 9, 2008 09:23

Although not everything's settled yet, I figured I should update all of you who volunteered help and information as to my current college situation, since a lot has developed since my last post.

I finished getting all of my letters back from everywhere, and, of the eight places I auditioned, I was accepted to two: Florida Gulf Coast University (where my current teacher teaches) and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, both of whom offered me some scholarships. Although I was majorly bummed about not getting into any more than that, I was able to console myself with a letter from the dean at Northwestern, stating that this was a record year for application mass. In fact, they received 25,000 applications for 2000 spots! That's only like a 4% acceptance rate compared with last year's 40%!

Turns out that this has been the worst year in history to apply to college all around. Last year, many colleges took more students than they could handle (colleges overbook like airplanes, because they expect a certain percentage of refusals...but last year there were more acceptances than expected) so this year, they were forced to cut back acceptances. Add a massive swell of people this year, and kabang! No college for you! One of the teachers I applied for at University of Texas at Austin was only allowed to accept two students this year and wasn't allowed to have a wait list! That's how cut throat it is this year.

Fortunately, I was accepted into Case Western with a grant to cover most of the miscellaneous fees, a hefty renewable merit scholarship that covers half my tuition, and an assortment of federal work study and subsidized loans. I'd still have to borrow just under 20k a year, but that's a lot better than the supposed 50k estimate I got hit with. Florida Gulf Coast is also an option, but as I'd REALLY like to get out of the state and away from home, I've left it out of this blog, although it still remains a possibility.

A lot of you suggested I take a year off and fulfill my core requirements somewhere else while practicing. Truth is, I've already done a year's worth of work at the local university as a dual-enrolled student (in fact, I'll technically be a sophomore next year). Fortunately, Case will accept my college credits IF they were not used for graduation requirements for high school. After doing some calculations, I discovered that I can indeed graduate from high school without counting my college classes towards the diploma, if I take a 1/2 credit elective in my spare time. Lucky for me, my school offers a 1/2 credit typing course that I can take. Since I already time very accurately at 60 wpm...well, you get the idea.

In a nutshell, Case will take my credits, and I will go in as a sophomore. Not only does this potentially save me a year's worth of school, it opens up cheaper dining and housing options. This isn't flawless, of course, as there may be four-year-courses I need to take, but even still, it will help tremendously, especially if I decide to pursue their double major in music and music ed (still tossing that idea around, but it's a potential possibility).

So that's about where I stand right now. I'm currently waiting to hear back from a potential violin instructor, which will have quite a bit of bearing on whether I actually attend or not, but so far, it's looking like this could be it. I'd love to go to Case, and I think I'd do really well there. Money-wise, it's going to be a burden, but I believe it's do-able, and I've applied to several good local scholarships that I will hear back from in a month or so.

Thanks all for your words of wisdom and advice! Hopefully it will all turn out for the best and I can look back on all this and say "Man, it was so worth the trouble!"


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