Might as well get used to it #winter in #yeg
One star fell and another as we walked.
Lifting his hand towards the west, he said–
–How prodigal that sky is of its stars!
They fall and fall, and still the sky is sky.
Two more have gone, but heaven is heaven still.
Then let us not be precious of our thought,
Nor of our words, nor hoard them up as though
We thought our minds a heaven which might change
And lose its virtue, when the word had fallen.
Let us be prodigal, as heaven is:
Lose what we lose, and give what we may give,–
Ourselves are still the same. Lost you a planet–?
Is Saturn gone? Then let him take his rings
Into the Limbo of forgotten things.
O little foplings of the pride of mind,
Who wrap the phrase in lavender, and keep it
In order to display it: and you, who save our loves
As if we had not worlds of love enough–!
Let us be reckless of our words and worlds,
And spend them freely as the tree his leaves;
And give them where the giving is most blest.
What should we save them for,–a night of frost? …
All lost for nothing, and ourselves a ghost.
How do you suppose to forget someone who gave you so much to remember
I’ve always wanted to be a conductor. That romantic notion of waving a little white stick and leading a hundred musicians was just sublime, and so I enrolled myself in Music 315 a ‘fundamentals of conducting’ class.
It was going to be a GPA booster. After all, I’m a natural maestro. all that high school conducting wasn’t for nothing right? I couldn’t have been more misguided.
To say I just enrolled in the class is a gross understatement. The class was originally limited to music students, so to get into this “GPA booster” class I emailed the instructor detailing my interest to enroll. She then requested me to go for an interview. Only after a rigorous exercise of my smooth-talking abilities, did she agree to let me into the class. So we went to the department and she exempted me from the pre-requisites. I was officially enrolled, and so began my version of hell.
Being a conducting class, we obviously had to conduct an ensemble of sort right? Well what she didn’t tell me was that we’d be conducting each other…playing our instruments…and singing. Shit fuck crap.
Anyone who knows me knows that my singing sounds worse than toads croaking, rubber screeching and glass shattering, all combined. What made it worse is that I’m one of only 2 guys in the class. Oh did I mention that the other guy usually plays the piano accompaniment? So that left me singing simultaneously the tenor and bass part when I had no fucking clue how to sing anything in the first place.
I was off pitch and off key every single song. This week we’re doing an except from the Messiah where the tenor line has a brief solo. I sat in my music room for an hour yesterday attempting to learn the part. It came to the point where even my neighbour’s dog couldn’t stand it anymore and started barking crazily. I took it as a sign that I wasn’t doing very well, and I was right. Today we had rehearsals and I fucked up every place possible.
The person sitting to my right legit had to cover hear right ear so I wouldn’t distract her with my terribly off pitch “singing”
And just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, they did. I didn’t just suck at singing I sucked at conducting too. Turns out, through all my years of conducting I had accumulated habits that my instructor absolutely detested.
Like orchestral conductors, I got into this habit of giving the pulse a quarter of a beat early to ensure all the instrumentalists played in unison. Well that’s something choral conductors don’t do, and its also one of those choral/instrumental philosophical rivalries that are never resolved. And of course my instructor’s a choral conductor.
Perhaps the worst part is that I had no idea the extent to which I was failing the class. A week ago we had our first video recorded assessment. I had worked on the things she told me to fix and was feeling pretty comfortable.
The day before, Sunday, I received an email from my instructor that said “ Wen, don’t be discouraged”. OH, thanks! That just gave me every reason to be discouraged, and naturally the next day…I flunked it.
I can honestly say this may perhaps be the worst class I’ve taken in university. Compared to this, physics, man piece of cake. Ochem? Boring, but at least it didn’t leave me physically and emotionally traumatized 3 days a week.
Having gone through all that trouble of getting into the class, and being a traditional Chinaman, I didn’t have the face to tell her I wanted to withdraw. So here I am in the middle of the semester with no sign of hope on the horizon, prepared to pay hundreds of dollars to get an F. If this whole experience taught me anything it’s that sometimes its better not to pursue your dreams. At least that way, you can live vicariously in the fantasy that maybe one day, your dreams may come true. The real world is much more unsympathetic.