Church and usual post-church rehearsal left me drained yesterday. I came home and read an email from a friend mentioning an assistant professorship at West Shore Community College [link to job ad on Chronicle of Higher Education site]. Google maps says it’s 1 hour and 34 minutes one way from here to there. I do need the bucks, but I don’t see how I could continue my life style (church musician, composer, rehearsing piano, generally screwing off) and take this gig. I was surprised they advertise a Masters minimum. Most college teaching gigs want a doctorate. At least that’s my sense.
If I wanted it, I would have to hustle past the obstacles of my age (do they even interview people who are 58?), addressing the commute, and probably quitting my church gig.
The last part is the only reason I didn’t reject it out of hand last night. Heh. I’m trying not to rehearse the negative aspects of my work so suffice it to say that yesterday was pretty typical: bickering choir members, singers who came late and left early, high anxiety, and narrowly pulling off a decent performance of the anthem.
I spent sometime working on the piano part of John Adams’s Road Shows (for violin and piano) yesterday. I was inspired by watching Zappa’s music on the video Saturday. He really was a decent composer.
Eileen wasn’t feeling well. So after making sure she had the necessary chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese and apple sandwich, we settled down to listen to the debate in the House of Representatives on the Health Care Bill. Political rhetoric of this sort is always a notch or two out the reality picture, but last night the speakers definitely seemed talking at cross purposes. I do like watching the ritual procedure and the protocol. Got bored after ten and switched to a radio dramatization of Agatha Christie’s “Five Little Pigs.” Fell asleep before Poirot revealed the culprit.
Somewhere in there I finished reading “Point Omega” by Don Delillo.
Also managed to look at some articles online. Here’s the list:
1. A Historic Look at Health Care Legislation by the Associated Press [link to Boston.com article]
2. The Right to Counsel: Woman Becomes a Test Case by William Glaberson [link to NYT article]
This is a very sad article. I think it’s written as an indictment of a holes in the system. Both the defendant and the woman seem to be kind of a mess.
3. The Changing Sound of Music by Daniel Leech-Wilkinson chapter 2 [link]
I have been reading this book online for a while. I read in it yesterday while treadmilling. I have learned a lot and also garnered much food for thought. This makes me think about the questions of where exactly is the music? It’s not just physical sound waves since we perceive the senses inside our heads. It can’t be limited to the notes on the page or the idea the composer had because there is such variation in the way any one piece of music is realized. Interesting stuff.
4. Keith Jarret keyboard genius puts on extended solo concert temper tantrum by Richard Sheinin [link to Mercurynews.com site]
I read this before going to work yesterday. It crossed my mind while playing and conducting that Jarrett has come a long way from playing in clubs. I love this guy’s playing, but I find the description of his behavior off putting.
5. Google in China: We’re Closing Tomorrow by Rupert Neate [link to Telegraph.co.uk site]
I admire Google for standing up to China but wonder about excluding any one group of humans from a search engine….
So I’m up sipping my second cup of coffee listening to the quiet (after checking on the radio about the Health Care Bill. It looked like it was going to pass last night and it did…. speaking of….. here’s a link to a Christian Science Monitor article that talks about the practical effects of its passage: “Health care reform bill 101: How long will reform take?” by Peter Grier) also “What are the immediate effects of health bill passing?” by Julie Appleby and Kate Steadman [link to NPR article]. Thank you to Emily Hunt for posting that last one on Facebook.
So today I need to get some mental space.
If Eileen feels up to going to work I will take her food as usual in the evening. Would like to walk down to the coffee shop and sit. Henry Idema, the associate priest at my gig, preached about how technology (devices, he called them) keep us from having real relationships. Hmmm. The only thing he said that I thought made sense about this was that compared to real interactions with others, electronic interactions pale. I think he’s probably right about that.
I do find in my life that my intensity makes this kind of exchange more comfortable for some people.
Lurking is better than nothing I guess. But for me, I still think ideas themselves are important and survive electronic transmission as well as they survive print media. Just my usual hubris-filled-opinion.
I figure if the people I manage to offend with my actions and words don’t cut themselves entirely off from me, I’m lucky. Not too worried about this. But I have started getting out more and at least sitting in the coffee shop. I did notice yesterday that there aren’t many people at church I actually engage with. This is probably not totally fair because being the introvert I am I gear up to stay calm and as clear as possible in the face of others’ anxiety and out right bad behavior always with the eye on being effective musically and constructive personally.
Hey. I don’t necessarily succeed. I just try.