In just a few minutes, after I write up a lesson plan for tomorrow’s MUSC 1000 (Fundamentals of Music) lecture, I’ll officially be as ready as I’ve ever been for the beginning of a new school year.
Of course, I didn’t lose any of that weight this summer, so that must needs be an ongoing thing.
Otherwise . . . oops, that load of laundry too . . . otherwise, I’m ready to go. The house is clean. The must-do tasks are done. Many of the should-do tasks are done too. I’m invigorated and filled with happy anticipation.
This afternoon, as has been my custom for several years, I went to a movie, finding that simply stopping and watching someone else’s art for a while helps clear the brain on the day before classes commence. Julie & Julia is a most heart-warming (and hunger-inducing) film! I laughed and laughed. When I got home I fired up the grill. Dinner was grilled potatoes, onions, and sweet red pepper, and a steak. I also barbecued three chicken breasts and four burgers so that I’d have healthy food for the week, with leftover grilled veggies at every meal too.
Two things to keep me fresh this year:
I’m pulling The Joy of Cooking off the shelf tonight. I need to energize my store of recipes over the next few months; and, I read about two dozen songs today, with more last week and more to come, with an eye toward teaching at least 75% new voice literature this year.
I led Ball State University’s flagship choral ensemble, Chamber Choir, during 2003-2004. I’m awfully proud of that group, and of their growth throughout the year. They turned out some mighty fine performances. From Lawrence, Kansas, on tour in May 2004, here is Allen Koepke’s setting of Wade in the Water:
Part of student Orientation at Webster University is a dean’s introduction. We have an hour allotted. My dean introduces each of his four department chairs to the gathered students and parents.
I was the last introductee this year. When Peter introduced me, members of the audience cheered.
I’m continuing to ponder those cheers this weekend. Why did I get cheers, and not others? The answer must be a couple of simple facts: I met personally with most of the new students, sharing coffee or meals with some of them; and I was the only department chair in the arts who advised new students during summer advising. This creates a bond, and a comfort. Music students come into school knowing the chair of the department already. Other arts students don’t.