Tuesday, June 3, 2014

June 9th blog- final. Warning: Candor

Here a a few questions I've been asked to address regarding 20 time.

1.) Overall, what is your opinion of 20 Time based on YOUR experience in class?

            Personally, I wasn't fond of 20 time. I felt that the time in class could have been better spent going over the course material that I expected when I was enrolled in Honors American Literature. The only part of the curriculum I really connected it to was the Transcendentalism unit, but before and after that I didn't quite see the point. During those Friday's all I was able to do in class was write blog posts, and read the blogs of others. Most everyone's said the same thing: "I didn't get much done this week." 20 Time wasn't the ideal usage of time. 

2.) What are some aspects of 20 Time that you think should be adjusted for students next year?

         Diversify it, make it a three week project during the transcendentalism unit, or make it a separate class with focus on art, literature, communication, speech performance, and speech writing.

3.) What are some aspects of 20 Time that should NOT be changed for students next year?

         If it were me, I wouldn't be doing it at all, so I can't answer this question. 

4.) Is 20 Time something that more students should do in school? Please explain why or why not.

        I think not, while it's a huge project, students have all year to "do it" with 7 other classes, and if this project is only being offered to honors students, it makes it especially hard. On another note, 20 Time seemed more like it resulted in an investment in good publicity rather than academic betterment. 

5.) What advice would you give to students who are doing 20 Time next year?

        Make it doable, make it fun, keep your goals and don't you dare use the words passion(ate), awesome, happy, or failure more than once. Then you sound preachy. Don't forget to always be expansive in your project, there are always different ways to approach it to make it even more interesting and worthwhile. 


Late blog, whoops CHECK, LOOK THIS ONE

Sorry, my blog was a little late! I did the classic save and not publish once again. Very cool of me.

(Original post)

So I give my speech tomorrow- and miraculously I'm quite confident about it. I re-did my slides tonight as well, I thought I would simplify them and let my words carry the brunt of it. So, since this was assigned I knew I wouldn't formally write out a five page monologue for myself to memorize. No. To me, that lacks depth and it makes the point of public speaking a bit superfluous to be honest. I'm not afraid to be in front of people and speak, and generally I can get my point across very well talking to friends for ten minutes, why should I let a change in venue stop me from using my own head?
I'm really looking forward to speaking, I love being on stage, I know how to project my voice, make eye contact with the crowd, articulate each word, (though I have a pretty bad sore throat, forgive me ) and keep my body open to the audience. These are a couple things I noticed in the previous talks others did not do, which was a little surprising.
Anyway, I won't be speaking at the Ted Talk because I elected not to- I know I have way too much work to get done that weekend and there is no way I'm coming in at 7 every morning for a week. I'm so excited to be done with this project, it's incredible.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Working on my speech

Since the SALME is basically over I've had a lot of time to work and think on what my TEDTalk will be about. Everyday my opinions change on what I've accomplished/what I ideally believe in (regarding religion) and what that makes me as the creator of SALME. Lately I've been going in a downward direction when it comes to faith. This happens a lot, for me at least, though I think it's part of growing up, and realizing your own diverging beliefs. People who constantly talk about the Bible, Christ, their church organizations -- annoys me more than anything. And I don't want to be part of that. Most of the time I hate attending church. Since my mother is such a devout Catholic, however, I don't have much of a choice. My father is the opposite (they're divorced) and he is all about doubting and trying to understand things for yourself, and growing into things. 

Essentially, people at church drive me nuts, and dealing with them is horrific. 

Right now the only reason I show up to sing to the kids is because I made a commitment at the beginning of the year, it's not one that I will make again.  I want my Sunday for things that I feel are more worthwhile; church and catechism are not it. 

Now, don't take me for a raging atheist who admonishes all organized religion and "I'm so secular and different and cool, to "hell" with all you science-hating-boring-white-idiots-who-can't-think-for-yourselves!" 
Because that's just as bad as the guy who shouts back, "I'm so traditional and wholesome and blessed, to fiery inferno with you sexually-promiscuous-daddy-issued-antiestablishment-jerks!" 


Please do what fulfills your life, who am I to condemn you for it. I may not like you, but it's your life. Live it. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Salme was a half sucess

         The end of this project is getting nearer and I couldn't be more excited. Salme, as a whole, would have worked out perfectly had there not been bad blood between my director and priest. But, everything worked out quite nicely in the end, less work for me I suppose. We had 23 members, all very talented and happy to participate, my children s choir as some rough days, but they know what they're doing. (Sometimes I don't even get to practice with them because the church elder who is also involved with singing to the kids get's annoyed, whatever.) I feel accomplished, basically, despite the challenges I've met.  Now, we are transitioning into a new director again, hopefully this one is permanent.

Here's a photo of the official St. Ambrose Choir, which will live on far after Salme is finished.

And, here's a throwback to our first and only successful performance on Christmas Eve:

Another good thing that came of Salme is that my friend Julia Doherty got a gig back at St. Ambrose, (a payed one) for mass, and encouraged her to stay with percussion, as she is very talented.

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.