Thursday, February 04, 2010

The day that's in it

Here's why the blog post is the way it is:

3:40am His Highness decides he wants breakfast and knocks items off the bureau until I get up and feed him; try to get back to sleep.

7am alarm rings for real. Shower, cook breakfast for two, off to campus.

8:30am straight to office (too busy even for the ritual coffee run); finish polishing PowerPoint for Ireland seminar;

9:30-10:50am Ireland seminar; good group this year, pretty good engagement, but they're already pretty sleepy--and it's only the fourth week of the semester;

10:50-11:30am finalize slideshow, followup email, instructions/etc for the course just taught

11:30-11:45am choke down a quick sandwich while finalizing materials for Ives/Ellington/Zappa "great composer" seminar--realize that it might actually make sense to explain (in part) Ives Symphony #3 "The Camp Meeting" in terms of Joyce A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: locate online full-text version and link

12:30-1:50 Ives/Ellington/Zappa seminar: good discussion of Ives's Yale experience (1894-98) and good student contributions re/ why Ives wrote his Yale composition professors out of his own autobiography

1:50-2:30 finalize slideshow, followup email, instructions/etc for the class just taught

2:15-3:00 print about 130 pages of brass parts for first reading session by Celtic Ensemble brass recruits

3-3:45 roughing-out Discussion Questions for next Tuesday's seminar meetings

4-5pm meet with Teaching Assistants who present the semester's first Discussion Sessions tomorrow, Friday--3 weeks of weather cancellations have set that clock back

5-6:15pm colloquium presentation on "Improvisation in the Classroom," something I've wanted to present on, for grad students and colleagues, for the past couple of years. Present, take questions, run an exercise or two, have absolutely no clue (because too much in the zone) whether the presentation was aptly-calibrated to the audience. Hope for the best; infer--from the number of questions and follow-up comments--that maybe it was OK.

6:15pm-7:10pm race (tardy) to first brass reading session. Feel significantly relieved that the brass recruits really dig the charts, even though we don't get through sight-reading all of them. At least the positive response is encouraging that maybe the charts are going in a good direction.

7:15 home; quick dinner with Dharmonia. Try to ramp down the adrenaline of the day--which is not over yet.

8:30-10pm solo blues gig at coffeehouse across town. Audience isn't always great, but management is so considerate and respectful that I'm still doing the gig. This time, an unusually wide representation of friends and students, and unusually low level of ambient noise. I actually remember a bunch of songs, my hands are in reasonably good shape, there's a reasonably positive response from the other coffeehouse types, and I manage to segue "Jesus on the Mainline" with "Need Somebody on Your Bond" with "Bird in God's Garden"; thank you, mixolydian mode.

10:30pm finally home. Pat the cat, kiss the wife goodnight, and drink a little rum.

And it all begins again tomorrow.


sarge said...

Re/ colloquium presentation and your inference "--from the number of questions and follow-up comments--that maybe it was OK":

I can speak, at a minimum, for both of your current TAs (we chatted about it afterward) when I say that it was incredibly helpful and inspiring.


CJS said...

Whew! :-)

As I said, I'm usually so in-the-zone at such events that I have very little objectivity. Mostly I tend to be pessimistic, so...