Tag Archives: books

The end

The end of another school year is here.

After Commencement Saturday, I spent the afternoon cleaning, mowing, scrubbing the dirt and pollen from the front porch, and generally being spring-clean productive.  Tasks deferred for weeks were on the day’s agenda, and continue to be for a few more days.

Busy semesters come screeching to a sudden halt.  We finish classes, start juries and finals, and then suddenly I’m putting on full regalia for a commencement ceremony.  Hugs, a few tears, scores of smiles, kind words . . . And then silence.

The cycle is ever the same, and ever new.

Meanwhile, in my own little neighborhood, the folks in the house immediately north of me are moving out, and the landlord is moving in. And the house to the south of me sold last week, with the new young couple moving in directly (he’s in the M.D./Ph.D. program at Washington University, so they’ll be here for a while).

Things change at home too.

I’ve finished my ninth year at Webster University.  We’ve added eight new members to the full-time faculty in that time.  This year we programmed and hosted 178 events in total.  We’ve mourned one death and celebrated five retirements over the last nine years.  And we’ve educated hundreds of music majors, and introduced two new degree programs to the mix.

And now summer begins.  I have stacks of books to read.  A bit less travel to do than in some other summers.  Sunny mornings and long evenings to enjoy.  Two shows to in (June and August).  Three days a week at the office, at most.  At least 20 cultural events on my agenda this summer here in the area.

And a cute dog to love on.

Books

I’m reading more this year, or at least trying so to do.

Over the weekend I finished a book I collected last summer in Norwich, England — Penny Junor’s book The Firm: The Troubled Life of the House of Windsor. It’s a bit tell-all, without any real scholarship, but it was a breezy reconnection with the British royal house.

Now I’m on to a book I saw recommended in some list I was looking at.  More on that in due course.

And I’m still working my way through my travel diaries, and reading all sort of books on a) teaching voice and b) creating musical theatre.  These latter two subjects seem to be where the remainder of my working days are headed.

Plus — as a result of Monday’s New York Times article about President Obama’s reading list, I’ve looked up and sent myself two of his recommendation lists.  I’ll take a look at those, plus the huge stack of books at already waiting at home, and construct my list for the remainder of the year.