Saturday, September 14, 2013

Fall Quarter Courseload

Start young and practice less later.

I had a tough time coming up with an adequate courseload this quarter. I need not to be loaded down with challenging classes, as I need adequate time to practice piano and violin. At the same time, taking fewer than 20 units may look bad on my med school application, in addition to my final standing in my class.  I think I've found the perfect balance. I'm taking exactly twenty units.  Only two courses (other than my piano recital)  are potentially labor-intensive.  Anglo-Irish Literature and History of Mexico could rob me of some practice time. English Upper Division Seminar might be time-consuming for the average person, but it's all memorization, and I remember every poem I've ever memorized. It's entirely memorization of poetry and/or prose if one so desires, but poetry is much easier to memorize, and the credit is by line.

The Anglo-Irish Literature class just seemed interesting. I'll put out a bit of effort for a genuinely interesting course. I haven't picked many courses because I wanted to take them or because they seemed interesting. I can allow myself this one indulgence.

Vocal/Instrumental Coaching goes right along with accompaniment. It seems you don't actually  have to be able to  sing to coach someone else in singing. Who would've thought it? You're not the student's primary instructor. You merely point out problems and offer tips as you're accompanying the person, stuff like, "Take a breath here so you don't run out of air here" and "You're not hitting the high note cleanly; put your chin down, relax, and turn up the corners of your mouth slightly so you neither slide into the note nor go flat." You tell them the same stuff voice professors told students in the voice classes all piano majors were required to accompany. I'll also be given two piano students, but I get to grade them, so if they don't practice and master what they're supposed to, they're screwing around with their own GPAs every bit as much as they're messing up mine.  I'll get them through the basics and everyone will be happy. If I can teach my brother to play piano, I can probably teach a German Shepherd the same.

The Orchestral Conducting course should be a breeze. I can read multiple staves simultaneously, have known the beat patterns since I was little, and can tell what is off when someone or something is off.  When my brother and  were young, one of the local symphonies used to have a fundraiser where for $100 you could pick from the orchestra's repertoire and conduct a movement of a piece. My parents always had Matthew and me learn the pieces we would ask to conduct, then would fork over the $200 for the two of us to conduct the orchestra. We did this for about eight years. It seemed like a joke at the time (especially the time my dad was a little buzzed and threw in an extra hundred so he could conduct a movement; the orchestra was laughing too hard to play) but now it gives me more confidence in taking this course. Most of my classmates will not have had the practical experience I've had. Conducting their own high school orchestras a time or two will be the sum of most of their experiences..

Although I would have preferred Civil War and Reconstruction to History of Mexico, the Civil War / Reconstruction class was an 8:00 a.m. class. I can't think of very many good reasons to drag myself out of bed in time to be in class at 8:00 a.m.  A class about the Civil War / Reconstruction by itself most certainly is not sufficient reason.  I'll become obnoxiously informed about the history of Mexico instead. One never knows when it might be advantageous to have the knowledge to bore someone out of his or her skull. I'm already well on my way to being irritatingly tiresome when it comes to a variety of topics. I can add one more to my cadre.

I'm very glad I did the tough courses earlier in my academic career and need not practically kill myself with academics while I have one senior recital this quarter and one next quarter. For the most part, I'll spend most of my time glued to either a piano or a violin, anyway.

The following comprises my list of courses for this quarter:

Anglo-Irish Lit

Eng Dept Upper Division Seminar

Vocal/Instrumental Coaching

Orchestral Conducting

Senior Recital

Piano Accompanying

Gospel Choir

History of Mexico

This blog has ended. Go now in peace  to love and serve God and to search all available search engines with the intent of determining whether or not the picture at the top of the page is I or someone else.

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