Friday, November 18, 2011

Guess and check

I had a funny conversation with my sister about if I had mis-shot in my career aspirations, and that if I had only been better at math, I wouldn't have veered off into music. I failed to get into a summer math camp (I know, that sounds ridiculous) b/c all I did was use trial-and-error to solve the problems on the application. I had a great calculus teacher, but I was awful at it. I had a fantastic orchestra teacher, and it made me want to make music with other people (even though I had a very grumpy violin teacher that made me reluctant to go to lessons and relieved when they were over). Reading this brain book made me realize I lucked out with a great violin teacher in college, who already knew everything in the book, and taught me to about mental practice (SO hard and more exhausting than physically practicing). He also promised that as long as I could move my fingers in SOME manner at the fastest vibration possible in my body, it would transfer to my loose and slow vibrato. So we practiced trills. I still have a motion-sickness-inducing vibrato, but I think if I had more time with that last teacher, I might have been able to disable the years of less targeted learning (AND the erosion of self-esteem + belief I could never get a tight, "acceptable" technique).

All to say that someday, SOMEDAY, I swear I will get back to my instrument. Or another one. And a few languages. In the meantime, I am grappling with woodblock printing, and last night I performed another comedy of errors in class. I tried to test five different papers, one guaranteed by my teacher, and the rest ones that I had made or bought in Korea or Cleveland. Well. Predictably, his paper was just fine while mine were a whole array of okay to omgwtf?? So I have a stack of potato-chip paper that is NOT going to work for printmaking, which is fine, since I learned a lot about external sizing. And stacks of other papers that are a variety of too thin, too fuzzy, too stretchy. They will all go into the "later" bin while I get back to writing.

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