September 22, 2011

The news

So things at NU are slowly revving up.

I found out that I'll be playing in SWE (the affectionate acronym for NU's Wind Ensemble) this quarter, and that by some miracle I made it into excerpt class.

I have two academic classes, Alexander Technique (a practice of efficient posture reputed to help with issues from stiffness to performance anxiety), and Ethnomusicology.

Ethno is going to be the biggest challenge (you should see the reading list for the quarter!), though it could also prove to be one of the more stimulating classes I've had the privilege of taking. When I signed up for the class last spring, I naively assumed it would be a survey of "world music" styles and practices. I imagined spending hours in the listening and video labs absorbing the cultural offerings of "native" communities around the globe and enriching my vocabulary and knowledge of the societies that created them. What the course is actually designed to explore, however, is the very meaning of the term Ethnomusicology (surprisingly, a fluid definition that has been hotly debated for decades), and the implications that changing definition is having on our global society and the musics it creates.

The class is made up of about 10 students ranging in experience from doctoral candidates in musicology that regularly present at academic conferences, to novices like me who have had a few brushes with music outside our own cultures and want to know more, and is taught by an Azerbaijani woman who loves asking difficult probing questions and directs our discussions down surprising and fascinating roads. If I can survive the substantial homework load it should be a blast!

Finally, here's the sunrise for the day...

I was excited to see Mr. and Mrs. Fox still going about their morning routines (one of whom is not pictured, but was sniffing around the bushes about a block away)...

And when I made it into the gym I found the scale read 175. Minus three pounds...nothing to complain about.


  1. Kelly, I KNEW you would make it into excerpt class. I'm so glad that you are who you are and that you have done so many wonderful things to bring into your life the amazing and interesting. Thanks for sharing what you learn and experience. It enriches my life.

  2. They will beat on you with a heavy workload at first to weed out the weak. You can do it and it will get easier as you go.