Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Sticky seats

When I went to the park this weekend, I saw this rainbow and it was like, "wow! I don't have to make this anymore!" I had been wanting for over two years to make an outdoor rainbow piece but couldn't figure out how to rig it w/o a rigid structure, since I wanted it to be made out of paper and just float in the air. If I could train flying creatures, maybe. But I can't. Then I saw this and realized how easily this artist dealt w/the engineering - to make two legs on one end! I mean, it's made out of metal so it's plenty rigid but I'm just glad that there's a big perma-rainbow that exists SOMEWHERE.

I'm getting a little faster at getting my homework done at school, but not much. Well, maybe not at all. It always seems so endless. Then again, I have to admit that I add a lot to the pile that no one else does: I copy all of my notes after class into a different notebook, write all my vocab words four times (as in, the words I picked up in class - both the ones I didn't know and the ones I did know but wasn't solid on the spelling), transcribe the dialogue and reading for the day, and do all the exercises for each unit in the workbook (which is a book just as huge as the textbook, but w/exercises only, no lessons). What's assigned is to make a sentence from each vocab word we were taught (different from what I do on my own), three sentences for each grammar rule, two pages in the textbook, and one longer written piece. Optional is to keep a diary in Korean. That's the one thing that I keep NOT doing since writing is such a struggle for me.

Today, I was thinking about how I now REALLY empathize w/my former violin students who struggled w/reading music. There was one in particular who had a really good ear and had been able to fake his way pretty far, but you can only get so far, esp in an orchestra setting. I would fight w/him all the time b/c I could see that he'd just listen and not read the notes. I had learned how to read music from day one of piano lessons, so I had no basis for understanding what it's like to start out all ears. Now, I am that student. I grew up HEARING Korean. I was forced to read and write a little, but hardly. It was easy to limit my exposure, too, whereas I couldn't make my parents stop speaking Korean to me. So I get by, but my grammar is all wrong and there are words I only know by ear and not by sight. It's hard to even everything out! REALLY HARD.

I also found out today that I am TOTALLY the oldest student in this class. It's kind of nice, though, being one of the slowest ones. It's a different pressure from being at the top of the class (which I am used to - it's good to have a big change).

Last night, I had my big first bout of homesickness. I couldn't sleep and finally just put on my iPod and listened to Josh Ritter for an hour, had revelations about recording engineering's value, and remembered how amazing it was to be in Nebraska two years ago. I had this huge poetic post all composed in my head about love and the smell of laundry (I get sad now whenever I put on a new piece of clothing that hasn't been washed yet in Korea - b/c once it's washed, the familiar smell is gone forever), confessions and learning to be at peace w/never being at peace, and so on, but the heat makes me just want to hydrate and lay on my back while studying vocab.

I will say: I think the homesickness is hitting now b/c it's just after two weeks here, which in my "normal" life is when I'm heading back home, or halfway through a residency. Two weeks in Maine = sea changes. Two weeks in Mexico = sea changes. Two weeks at Ragdale = two seasons, two private performances, one baby grand, and one stalker. But this is my longest stint of commitment to one place since I started grad school five years ago.

1 comment:

  1. bravo por tí, mu dearest obsesive one!


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