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Random musings

I am writing on Saturday, one that is only my second Saturday completely free since Labor Day. The freedom manifests itself as luxury.

So I take long pauses in Morning Prayer at my home altar. I say extra prayers for those I love, those in need, those who are traveling. And I ponder how best to focus my year-end giving for maximum impact on immediate needs.

The Great British Baking Show is such a delight, no? Peter nailed it this week, with a handshake and a star baker.

Full disclosure: in the last couple of weeks I have rewatched the Nadiya and Tamal season, and also devoured Nadiya’s Time to Cook on Netflix, from the BBC. Her ‘egg roll’ has become a quick favorite.

I’m outsourcing Thanksgiving turkey this year, purchasing 12 pounds of smoked turkey from Kenrick’s. And some of their traditional stuffing.

Meanwhile, the obscene fricktard cheese puff in the White House fiddles and furies while Rome burns. In the last week alone, this country has progressed to 12 million confirmed COVID cases this year from the 11 million one week ago. This appears to be a virus out of control, and only a massive unified federal response can lift us out of the horrible winter to come. But His Orangeness cannot think of anything but grift and grab and trying to overturn a valid election through whatever mean he can. He himself is illegal, methinks.

At school we will actually have a full faculty recital this week, streamed on YouTube for a sense of occasion. We have 1.5 class weeks left, and then a week of finals, and this long, strange semester will be over.

I am increasingly hopeful that we will be back to normal early in the third quarter of 2021, perhaps by my birthday.

How quickly a dog can go from fresh-smelling to dog-smelling.

I made an apple galette on Friday, in the midst of lessons, class, a faculty meeting, a webinar, and a recruiting fair in Dallas (all on Zoom).

Granny Smith apples really do cook up very well.

As this is published, we will be in the Last Sunday of Pentecost, the end of the church year, Christ the King Sunday. Advent is but a week away.

My three-week beard disappeared on Saturday:

#TBT: Brasil

From 2001 in Brasil. I want to go back. And I want to travel so badly right now!

A eucalyptus plantation in Rio Clara.
On that same mountaintop.

High School Week #1

In the category of “I wish I could go back to high school,” (which I don’t, being pretty happy with who and where I am right now, thank you very much), I am sharing some high school items and writing this week.

I didn’t start collecting all the medallions and such until my junior year.

And believe it or not, I have an athletic letter too! End of senior year, Coach Matuszak gave me a letter in recognition of four years as basketball statistician, first for the freshman team, and then for three years with the JV and varsity teams.

NASM visitors

Our decennial accreditation renewal process is in white-hot heat today and tomorrow as two visitors representing the National Association of Schools of Music are at Webster University.

We provided (one month ago) a 400+ page self-study to NASM and to these visitors.  Over the last four weeks we have complied thousands more pages — four semesters of syllabi, several dozen color-coded transcripts, faculty curriculum vitae, retention reports, and more.

The two visitors will review documentation, meet with students and faculty and staff and administrators, stop in on as many classes and lessons and ensembles as they can in two days, and be treated to a showcase recital featuring students from each major and year and school.

And then Wednesday dawns, God willing, and we return to normal order, awaiting the Visitors’ Report that will arrive sometime in April.

This process has been challenging and tiring, and I’m ready for some normalcy to return!

 

It’s away

400+ pages.  The every-ten-year accreditation self-study for the National Association of Schools of Music.  It went in the post on Thursday.

My long travail is over for a few days.  Now on to other things, such as

  • Circus Harmony and three shows this weekend
  • Webster University Opera Studio opening night on Friday
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and a day off from teaching courses, but not from teaching voice lessons
  • the Community Music School orchestra concert Sunday evening
  • and a movie Monday evening!
  • Missouri Music Educators Association annual conference later next week, where I hand over my gavel after a term as President of the Missouri Association of Departments and Schools of Music
  • another weekend of circus shows next week.

January has been a rollicking romp already!

#Reminiscences: 1997

A portion of a letter to my parents in Argentina, written in June 1997:

The letter was sent by email, then printed in Argentina by my parents.  They used tractor-fed paper and a dot-matrix printer.

Follow-up:

  • I did have a hernia, and it required surgery a few months later.
  • I continue to marvel that I get to do what I do, and get paid for it.
  • I am not any younger now, and finding that even more aches and pains are real.  And so is hearing loss.