Sunday, September 27, 2009

Surrounded by Britten

Hey Guys,

Yikes, I'm getting really bad at consistently posting!

Anyway, I've been SO happy to get back to class! It's really weird being at a new school, very disorienting. I keep telling myself that I really shouldn't be back to BW anyway (since I'm a fifth year...) and would most likely have been starting Grad school, but it's still weird being someplace new! Especially because I'm taking all upper-level classes with kids who have been together for the last two or three years. I'm the only "new kid"!

My French Civ class is interesting - I can't really figure out WHAT the heck the prof is talking about most of the time, and the class is even in English! I kind of think it's a forum for him to ramble on about his political views, but it's not going to be too much work (only two 1-page papers, a midterm, and a final) and it's all opinion-based, so I'm not too worried about anything but getting bored. Plus there are no windows in the room, so not even anything to distract myself with. The TA is cute, though... and French! He interjects occasionally when he can tell the prof. is getting off topic, so that helps a little bit...

I'm taking a French language course as well - I'm a French minor, so I've taken all the "Advanced" French classes, but I have to go back and take the 200 levels to get the credit for my minor (I skipped them when I was just taking French for fun...). The class I picked to transfer is all about food (I accidentally picked it! They gave me a choice of three courses that would transfer correctly and I picked the third in the series... lucky chance!) and my prof is AMAZING! She's this older French lady (maybe in her 60s?) and used to design lingerie for Victoria's Secret before going back to school, getting her master's in French Lit, and becoming a professor - she also was a professor in the Fashion Design dept. until a couple of years ago. Sooooo cooool! There's a girl in my class that I sit next to who's a Fashion Design major, and she was telling me about a design class for non-majors. She's bringing me some info about it tomorrow in class, and I'm hoping that I might be able to audit or sit in on the class - I've always wanted to take a design class, even though I can't sew or draw... I guess that's why you take class, though...

So far, though, my favorite class is my German Art Song class... It's taught by this tiny, tiny man who knows EVEYRTHING! He reminds me of Dr Strasser (at BW) - just a font of knowledge. We sit in the class (me and 60 voice grad majors - intimidating!) and he talks and we take notes. I'm extra happy that he's not making me sing, either (I wouldn't want to force the other singers to listen to my chemo voice right now!) so I just have to do written work, which isn't a problem for me since I'm not taking a full load of classes OR voice lessons!

I'm also taking an Orchestration class (required for my Music History degree) which I'm still not so sure about. I'm the only vocalist in the class (singers aren't required to take it unless they have a double major, like me) and I know NOTHING about instruments! I warned my professor, though, and she's been really kind and offered to help me out whenever I need it.

I've finally spent a lot of the past few days realllly sitting down and working on my thesis. This is going to (obviously) be a TON of work. I've got a few of my books all read and notated, and I have an EXTREMELY preliminary outline written (just so I have an idea of what to look for when I'm reading my books). My goal is to finish all the books in the next week or so and to have a better outline written by the end of October. Ideally, I'd like to start writing before I go back for the spring. I'm just worried that I'm not going in a good direction, and it's hard to work with my advisor via email! It would be SO much easier to sit down for an hour every week (like I'm supposed to be doing!) and get his advice face-to-face. I'm emailing him to see what I should do about that (maybe find an interim advisor here in Cincinnati?) but in the mean time, I'm slogging along through all of this Britten and Peter Grimes on my own. It's amazing, but overwhelming sometimes!

On a chemo note, I finished my FOURTH round of steroids tonight, which marks the end of my drugs for my fourth cycle! Woohoo! Only two more rounds to go, which means four more chemos, two more weeks of Procarbazine (which doesn't bother me much that I can tell), and four more weeks of steroids (which I HATE). I'm a little but nervous because my counts drop lower and faster with each round, and they've already started dropping according to the bloodwork I had this morning. I'm hoping they'll hold up until this weekend since I'm supposed to give a joint presentation in class on Friday, and I don't want to have to beg off a project already! I mean... I have a good excuse, but still! I had to wear a mask for the first time today - there were tons of sick kids at Outpatient (where I get my blood drawn) and they were all coughing all over the place... Fortunately, the nurses let me go wait for my lab tech in the ultrasound room so I wouldn't have to sit in the waiting room with the sick kids. Score one for being bald! Less exposure to Swine Flu...

Well, I promise I'll be back again soon. Hope you guys are all holding up well & avoiding H1N1!

Lots of Love,

@Jacinta - check out your last comment! I put a response in the right place this time!


  1. Love the description of the classes--gee, takes me back (to both sides of the desk).

  2. I also really enjoyed reading about the variety of classes you are taking! For the most part, they sound very interesting! As much as I enjoyed the phlilosophy and religion classes I too as an undergrad, I am definitely looking foward to taking music courses when I begin my graduate studies in Music Therapy this January! It is so exciting to be a college student...I think. There is much to be inspired by. :)