Sunday, April 6, 2014

Bad News

I haven't been able to do really anything these past two weeks. There has been a bit of political unrest at my church between my music director and priest, and I've been asked to keep a low profile and not try and do much while they discuss the future.
Meanwhile, I will be playing at the Easter Vigil mass with Timpanist Julia Doherty, and a few professionals instead of other students because apparently we don't want to run the risk of using them. Even though they don't cost anything. And the music is really easy. 
Anyway, I got permission from the 2nd grade teacher to use my class time during catechism to teach them a few really fantastic songs for the Ted Talk. I still need to run it by my priest and make a permission slip, but hey, it's progress.
I was thinking Cuckoo from the Moonrise Kingdom soundtrack, it features a soloist ans easy harmonies.
Children of the World, a really easy in the round tune.
And one more.
Palm Sunday is next week, I have no idea what to do about that. I don't want to bring anyone else into what has become a bit of a fray.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spread Sheets and Emails

These past two weeks were mainly the business end of my project. Everything is set, everyone's in, I have the right instruments, people are soloing with the choir as needed and I feel like I'm really making mass a more positive experience for everyone.
Now I just have to input everyone's names and instruments and phone numbers and emails into a computer which will be tedious and horrible but, oh well.
It's been a fun two weeks though, lots have gone on.
However, lately I've been having trouble with my faith. I love the church, the organization, the people, but occasionally I doubt, and want to quit.
I also get a lot of guilt, especially during lent, for things I do that are less than religious. Sometimes I just don't buy what they're selling. It's not that they're expressing any extreme views or anything, there is never anything hateful or backwards said there. We aren't anti-science or homophobic or racist, sexist, or anything else. My church is really fantastic in that regard, in fact, most churches are similar, it's just the gospel I have trouble with. And also a few really intense partitioners who come off much more like fundamentalists than northern Roman Catholics.
I still try and love it though, because I know in the long run it is a positive thing.
I always ask people to send their prayers, but I don't always pray.
Mostly because I think my lack of faith makes my prayers less tangible, effective.
 I'm working on it.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Crazy Drastic Fantasic Week of Gloria in Excelsis Deo

The title is misleading.
I couldn't get much done the last two weeks- it's concert and performance season, I've also had a ton of tests- so this took the back burner.
However- I did pass out and prepuce back quite a few sign up forms which I will be adding to my portfolio.
So far I've only received good feedback about this project, and I'm really happy about the level of parish interest.
Also, I might compose a little something simple for SALME for a spring mass.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

20 Time Reflection

This post will be short and sweet.

What I liked: The concept. In theory this is a great idea, it gives creativity more space in a classroom and encourages independence and problem sovling. I like the places it can send some people. (In a figurative manner.) and I enjoy the basically free period on Friday.

However, 20 Time isn't something I would do again.
It's extremely stressful and time consuming- giving us 40 minutes of a 7 hour school day isn't exactly 20% of our time at school, and there isn't much we can do in 40 minutes besides read/write blogs and research. We can do that anywhere and taking that chunk of the little teaching time you reive anyway is unnerving, it could be put to much better use by being used as general teaching time, and not 20 Time.
Also, when I read most of the blogs, not much goes on. They usually start with "Not much got done this week." Then a completely worthy excuse. With hours of homework (and the load barely changes if we had more in English or not) and projects, with extra curriculars and relationships, the need for sleep, and study time, 20 time always comes to the bottom of the list because it simply isn't due, quite necessarily, ever.  Because of that it's difficult to take seriously.
And, many people tried to bite off more than they could chew, choose something too small/boring,  or something they foolishly thought they were good at but it turne out they are utterly talentless in that field.
20 Time can also be expensive, and the whole "go big or go home" instruction can be daunting to those who many not be able to dole out the cash for the "big" part. So they should do something different? Now they're ashamed.
I haven't enjoyed 20 Time. I think it's a bit of a waste, to be honest. I don't want to remember my Enligh class  from sophomore year as "that ridiculously huge project everyone BS'ed into oblivion."
Also, though some of the issues listed above I did face, most of them came from me discussing this with my friends who are also doing it.
Don't get me wrong, this worked for some people, but the margin of success to failure, drive to lack I ambition, is too large for this to be a feasible project in the future. And it's not because people are lazy, it's because in a highly competitive environments, kids have better things to do. Also,  especially in an honors class, there is a spectacular lack of natural creativity.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

SALME Good Fun and All That (BEWARE)

A poem, for you. Because you're special.

A Trek to Destiny

Up a forlorn flight of stairs
I trudged this dreary day
With nothing up there,
In my head
But toil and solemnities
With which I wrestled by and by
And once I reached my seat,
Did I realised
That it really did not matter
Since on this aforementioned dreary morn
My break had ended
And with that I sat
Upon my chair
Stunned to silence,
Not to compare
To any quiet morning where I slept the day away
Now in arithmetic I wait
Bored to death
I can't equate

I do hope you found it pleasant, reader,  but if you didn't I don't care.
No one sees these anyway.
Except you, Mr. P.
Or at least I hope so.
If you didn't that would be very disappointing.
I would cry real tears.
Since you wouldn't be enjoying my sparkling wit.

Another poem, just for fun.

       You see. You think.
    And breathe. And sigh.
      You fight. You mar.
        And like. And die.
          Lost and gone.
        Past and Present.
          Gifts returned.
      You're Unpleasant.

Woohoo! Prose! Yay! Let us all rock on with our bad selves, yes indeed!

However, sarcasm over. I actually did get a few things popped off my to do list. This break has had a lot of focus on SALME, I've coordinated with Mrs. Biery on both Sundays, and we have decided out next performance will be Palm Sunday, and it is going to be a rouser. While jazz is saved for Madri Gras, we will have a modern Folk feel to this mass. A few guitars, a pianist, the strings, and a heavy focus on soprano/alto harmonies. The music itself will be traditional, but stylized and performed with a new flair. On a day of such celebration, a solemn organ and descant chorus just won't do. There will be drums, and there will be dancing, and there will be joy.

Also, I have found my second in command in Maria Trozinski- she has been helping me recruit the 9th graders who I am  not familiar with, or people I don't know all together. She had really been a great asset and friend.

Monday, February 3, 2014

SALME- Construction

This week has been mostly layout for future masses. We have out together our various ensembles of string quartets, jazz groups, brass choirs, ect.
Here are the masses we will be playing at:
Palm Sunday
Good Friday
Easter Sunday

And the Hymn Festival TBA, where more than just one group will perform, and multiple churches will participate with their own compositions of hymns, or renditions. The church will be full of musicans from around the Detroit area and Grosse Pointe, this will be a fantastic way to grow the church.

List of Involved Students: (growing)

Alyssa Campbell
Jeffery Matthew
Dierdre McKievver
Mary Quinn
Alex Peabody
Seth Adams
Josh Adams
Shannon McGlone
Nina White
Zoe Pidgeon
Sydney Simoncini
Maria Trosinkski
Neil Trosinkski
Scot Liesing
2st and 3rd Grade catechism students
Julia Doherty
Eva Doherty

Monday, January 27, 2014


Midterms are a thing- I worked very little. Sent a few emails. But that was it.