tues blog post

After having supper with Eileen at the library, I drove to church and proceeded to practice organ for an hour or two.

I seem to be drawn to the organ as an area of music where I can achieve stuff and not be hampered by obstacles like disinterested musicians, lack of listeners or colleagues.

Speaking of colleagues, I am seriously considering attending this evening’s local AGO meeting.

I haven’t attended a meeting for years. I actually served on the board of the Holland chapter years ago. Then when the new organ prof was hired by the local college, I maneuvered the nomination of this dude to the deanship. Then I faded out.

But I thought I would do something paradoxical like attend this evening. The topic is the European organ tour the students took this year. Should be interesting enough.

I also have been receiving distraught emails from the local community theater people who need a last minute pianist for their production of “A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum.”

It’s not clear exactly why they need another pianist. One of their pianists is having a family crisis out of town. But they have more than one. Anyway they offered me 100 bucks for three performances and a rehearsal. I told them I couldn’t do it for that little amount. I would do it for fifty bucks a pop. Received a confused email later that seems to say that they don’t really have time to look for another pianist and could pay that amount, but they’ll get back to me after they’ve checked with some others.

Playing piano for a musical is a huge job. At least it is for me. This would mean several panicked hours of prep at the piano. I need every penny these days but I can’t help but hope this doesn’t pan out.

In the meantime I’m back to the grind at church today.

I have to submit info for the bulletin (hymns, prelude, postlude). Last Sunday after church I received an anonymous note with weird criticisms of my hymn choices. Good grief. Tomorrow I have a staff meeting and a worship commission meeting. When I have all of this, I can’t help but wonder about the small amount of money I am getting paid to do this supposedly part time job. Oh well. I guess I need a gig of some sort and the one that pays most  consistently in my life is (shudder) church music. Plus I’m good at it. Bah.

Today’s online reading so far includes an interesting obituary of a man named Richard Sonnefeldt. Sonnefeldt was an army foot soldier at Dachau who was coraled into interrogating by the famous spook William Donovan due to his language skills. The obit included this interesting observation:

“As we went through the awful recital of crimes over and over, for each of the 21 inmates, hour after hour, I envisioned anew the stacks of pitiful corpses and gagged once again on the smell of assembly-line extermination these men and their cohorts had unleashed,” he wrote in his autobiography. “Their clean hands reached out for the bundles of stapled documents that catalogued their past. Elsewhere they might have easily have been taken for a group of very ordinary men, picked at random from a crowd.” (link to obit)

Also fascinating to read that distinguished physicists actually have a theory about the future sabotaging the particle collider

A pair of otherwise distinguished physicists have suggested that the hypothesized Higgs boson, which physicists hope to produce with the collider, might be so abhorrent to nature that its creation would ripple backward through time and stop the collider before it could make one, like a time traveler who goes back in time to kill his grandfather.

(link to article)

Also a cool story about musicians who do more than music in Brazil:

Salvador Journal – Musician Changes Tone of Impoverished Village –

Finally an article about the legal view of the justification of students suing for their degree instead of earning it (or at least suing for incredible damages):

a student in osteopathic medicine who, after failing an important rotation, was dismissed because “he didn’t have the basic understanding that he should have as a fourth-year medical student.” The student sued on the grounds that he had been promised a degree by a phrase in a student handbook that described the program he was enrolled in as “a four-year curriculum leading to the DO degree.”

Anyone with the slightest familiarity with the way universities work would know that ‘”leading to” included the qualification “provided that the requirements for graduating were met” — a medical degree is not equivalent to the certificate you get for having completed six weeks of a summer camp — but the courts were persuaded to a more literal (and perverse) reading and awarded the plaintiff a partial tuition reimbursement. But he wanted more and he got it by arguing that he should receive an amount commensurate with the earnings he would have accumulated had the “promised” degree been conferred. Jurors ordered the medical school to pay him $4.3 million dollars.

The Rise and Fall of Academic Abstention – Stanley Fish

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