Sunday, October 23, 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wanted: a distraction

Q: What is the most effective use of time during a practicing and grading all-nighter?

A: A blog post, of course.

I only wrote one post during 2010 and I figured it would be an easy goal to write twice as many in 2011. Here's the first step toward achieving that goal.

Because I'm playing with the Utah Symphony nearly full-time this year I often can't participate in the university orchestra. I shed no tears over this, but since playing in school orchestra is part of my assistantship I had to be assigned other duties to take its place. I ended up being assigned as a TA to a world music class. In theory this sounds like an interesting job, but it's proved to be tedious as best.

This past week I've had the joy and privilege of grading papers. They are short (3-4 pages) essays about a song or piece of music written during and/or about a time of conflict. Here are a few things I've learned from reading these literary masterpieces:
  • There's no point in writing things in one's own words when one can easily copy and paste someone else's.
  • Quoting Rocky Balboa can be useful when creating a supporting argument.
  • Something is terribly wrong with the American education system. These people should not have been allowed to graduate from high school with such poor writing skills.
  • Biphony is, apparently, a very important and useful music term that can be used to describe any number of musical characteristics.
  • Using the phrase "seems to be" will absolve you of all wrong-doing if the statement in which it appears is incorrect or downright ridiculous.
  • It is possible for a person to promote both pacifism and retaliation at the same time.
  • Toby Keith is one of the greatest artists alive today.
  • I really wish I didn't have to grade all these papers.
I'm up all night grading these papers and practicing for a lesson tomorrow. I should get back to work--thanks for indulging me in a quick distraction