Saturday, February 26, 2005

Well, it turns out that I'm driving spreads down later today, we just awoke for a South Complex fire alarm, and I returned to my room. Although I am now coherent, I'm not quite ready to drive down to Herff Jones to drop things off. Last night was a well-needed break from the stresses of Tower Yearbook. WE'RE DONE!!!!!!!!
I need some more shut-eye before I'm ready to drive south, and I need to be back by five to drive south again. I've never felt so irresponsibile, but I need this weekend for me.
Well my eyes are trying to jump out of their sockets because they have been abused the last week, so I'm going to return to my pyjama-ed state and sleep away. If you need me for anything you can call, but I might not answer.

Friday, February 25, 2005

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows. - EpictetusThis is the first of a series (hopefully) in which I explain quotes that take a major role in my life. The first quote is from Epictetus. Epictetus was a Stoic philosopher. The following is a description of Stoicism, the ideals of the philosophy, my opinion on the matter and how I apply this quote to my life.Stoicism deals with a removal of self from the irrational and a desire to maintain a calm livelihood while attaining wisdom.Stoicists often received a little flack because one of the ideals of Stoicism is apathy. However, apathy in its pure state is a great idea. Apathy is not the lack of care, but the neutrality of care. That sounds a little ridiculous, but I hope to explain. Rationality is an important factor of my life. The left-brain activities weigh themselves against my initial desire to process new thoughts and ideas in a logical manner.Happiness in Stoicism comes from a sense of imperturbability, freedom from passion, good feelings and awareness and capacity to attain a rational life. In Stoicism, aquiring wisdom requires one to learn what is 'in one's power.' Included in this practice is the denial of jugding anything as good or bad. The only good is acting virtuously and the only bad is acting viciously.Stoicism also deals with the idea of God. The Stoic understands his/her power of rationality is a fragment of God. God's material body -- a sort of rarefied fiery air -- blends with the whole of creation, intelligently forming and directing undifferentiated matter to make the world as we experience it.In this world of drama and subversive behavior, the inherent simplicity in Stoicism appeals to my character. I strive for organization and logic in most of my life's undertakings, and by adopting an attitude of apathy -- not the negative apathy, but the apathy that fosters growth--, one can attain some semblance of continuity and dependence in the world. Stoicism has a few flaws, but as a philosophy, I like it."It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows."This quote sums up one of my basic life ideas. My quest for knowledge will never be complete. As a writer, I constantly look for new sources to inspire me. I read books to judge the writing, characters and plot development and apply the lessons I learn to my own writing. By opening my mind to new ideas, my own do not grow stagnant. I do not claim to know everything about anything.I'd write more, but that's all I have right now. More to come another day.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

All of my friends are true friends. I know that to be true. I hope my friendships are not marred by the things I say or others say. I would like to be friends with everyone. That is key.
I came to a few realizations today. I realize what drove me away from music after high school, and I realized how my personality meshes with other people's. I really don't want this dischord ruining my experience in Fine Arts or Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. I really don't want this dischord to ruin my experience in Tower Yearbook. I really don't want this dischord to ruin my experience in life.
I sidestep a lot of issues, especially in Fine Arts. I'm still somewhat of a stranger to the building, but there are a few issues that I cannot ignore. I won't personally attack anyone because I do not know most of the people I interact with in FA. If I knew some of them better, I might step up and say something, but I don't. I will instead speak in generalities. The problem with generalities lies within the fact that certain people take offense to generalities when they shouldn't and others do not take it to heart. However, I am doing what I believe is the proper thing. I am a human being and therefore capable of error. Please remember that.
There are many hidden agendas in the Fine Arts body. Some criticism is constructive, and if executed properly, may result in a positive outcome. Some criticism stems from negative feedback, which is scientifically proven to result in poor conditions. I do not know what Dr. Town talked about the other day. I do not want to know. I'm not insinuating that the people in the room were wrong by any means, and I'm not insinuating that the people who were not in the room were right. I don't know what happens in Fine Arts. However, I do hear the snide comments in Tower Choir and the criticism in the hallways. I read some Xangas and hear about the issues there, but I cannot take them to heart. I cannot. I love music too much to let these issues get in my way.
I lost music for a year, and it sucked. I grew tired of the drama which accompanied the close interaction of several creative people with different ideas. I don't ask for perfection, but I do ask for acceptance. I also ask that we try to learn what we can from the things we experience and the words we have. My renewed love of music is still fragile, and this continual pessimism in Fine Arts is corroding my emotions. I'm especially disappointed in some of the comments I hear from (hopefully) my future brothers. As guides to my musical experience and interaction, I see my friends, all of whom are true friends, to be essential to my collegiate experience.
I don't really know Jake Harlan, but I feel for him. I don't spend a lot of time in Fine Arts, and he doesn't either this semester. I don't really know what is going on, but I do know it's a sad state of affairs. I don't feel any love, and that was something that drew me into Tower Choir. I can mention Jake because I identify with his confusion and dismay. Jake, if I misrepresented you at all, I apologize. I don't want to be presumptuous.
In regards to Tower Yearbook, I discovered many misconceptions I had about the staff. I realized that I was guilty of being subversive and superficial, and I hope to atone for my attitudes/actions during the rest of this semester and next year. I haven't felt this positive about Tower since the beginning of the year. It's refreshing. I hope to feel the same way about my fine arts experience soon.
I think this evening led to the strengthening of several relationships, and I sincerely hope that I will continue to live my life in this fashion. I might not have written any stories tonight, but I just had the most productive night in Tower yearbook ever. I'm actually excited about everything!
I leave you with some quotes to which I personally identify. Please read them, reflect on them, and take them to heart. I appreciate any comments, especially friendly ones.
Epictetus:It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.
Mohandas K. Ghandi:If your heart acquires strength, you will be able to remove blemishes from others without thinking evil of them.
Alvin Toffler:The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
Gilda Radner:"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity."

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Kyle and I had this wonderful conversation today about a million things, and one thing we discussed was Family Guy characters. I did a search for "What Family Guy Character are You? on Google.com and found these two quizzes. I would agree with the results, but it's because I got two of the best characters from the show.
In other news, I got a 100% on my national exam quiz for PMA, I finished most of the yearbook and I managed to obtain 10 hours of sleep last night. Life is good. I guess I didn't finish most of the book, but I helped.
I got my copy of "The Awakening" and I'm busy practicing it to return to my former capabilities in playing the song. I played it for my piano recital junior year in high school and accompanied the Hastings High School Varsity Singers with it in 2003. It is one of THE GREATEST piano accompaniments available.
My voice student, Sarah, did very well at NATS, I hear. I'm glad. She is really good, but she doesn't usually take a confident approach. I hope she had a good time. I would have gone to NATS, but Tower Yearbook and the Northwest Missourian both had dibs on my Saturday.
Interviews for PMA are well underway, and I'm excited to meet with all of the guys. Interviews are easy to do because I'm used to talking to people I don't know very well, and these guys actually have something interesting to say.
RHA's Love Week is dead and gone, and I couldn't be happier. We only had two students show up for the screening of American Pie Friday night, but I had a good time watching the movie anyway. I'm wasting time not working on chemistry or technical writing, which I will regret later. My probationary class meets at 9 p.m. tonight, so that is exciting. I hope to get some good idea about what our song is going to be.
I might be helping Kurtz with Homecoming Skit stuff, so that'll be way cool. All in all, it looks like the beginning of the week will be hellish, but it will finish out nicely.
Personally, my mood has improved greatly since the beginning of the month, and I attribute that to the improving weather. It's supposed to snow 5-8 inches in Michigan tonight, but I have my windows open in South right now, and I could not be happier with the spring-like conditions. Mid-terms loom on the horizon, but they don't intimidate me. Also, I don't have American Novel on Wednesday or Friday. Granted, I have to write a 3-page synthesis paper and turn it in by 4 p.m. Friday, but I can do that no problem. *knock on wood*
Well, I should probably study something before my 9 o'clock. I might post more later. It depends on my mood. See ya.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

haven't updated since Saturday because I wanted to make sure a lot of people saw my previous post, but I suppose an update is in order.
I read one of the greatest books I've ever bought in the bargain section. "A Window Across the River" captures the tale of a writer and her difficulties in relationships because of her inclusion of real people in her fiction writings. It really captures the dilemnas of writers and artists everywhere.
The week proceeds as always. I have to interview the Regents Thursday morning because Megan has another scheduling conflict. Speaking of scheduling conflicts, I have to set up interviews with Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia actives, and that's turing into quite the interesting experience. I should have my five interviews by Sunday, but I'll be more than happy to have yearbook out of the way first.
Work seems to be piling up, but I'm not very stressed about the whole deal. That in itself if somewhat a cause to worry. Oh well, I will survive as always.
On the positive side, my newspaper story about free income tax preparation went through read without any corrections. Income tax prep is one of the most boring assignments ever, which makes it difficult too. I'm so glad that I pumped out a story in half an hour that was good enough to do that. You can read my story in the Northwest Missourian this week, but it's pretty dumb (unless you find income tax preparation interesting).
Well, homework awaits and I can't put it off any longer. I bid you buenas noches, and extend my recommendation for "A Window Across the River."

Saturday, February 12, 2005

It's 3:20 a.m., and I should probably be heading to bed, but Matt's entry and my evening guided me to write this lovely nighttime entry. I went to Kansas City this evening to attend Truman State University's Cantoria Spring Tour Concert at the Redemptorist Catholic Church. It was amazing. The songs were great and the choir worked so well together.
Why did I go to the concert? That's simple. I went to the concert because my girl is in Cantoria and I love going to her concerts. What struck me about Cantoria? Well, first of all they had GREAT vowels, and I love it when a choir sticks the vowels perfectly. Secondly, they enjoyed each other's company.
After the concert, the choir went to the Plaza for dinner at 10 p.m. and I tagged along. I've never heard so much laughter in one restaurant. In a matter of seconds I was accepted into the group and could easily laugh and joke with the choir too. What does Cantoria possess? The people in the choir all love music, and they remember that when the times get rough. It's admirable.
I'm not a music major. I'm not a music minor. In fact, the only college music class I have taken is Tower Choir, but I love music with all of my soul. I "miss" a lot of the drama of fine arts because I don't spend a lot of my time over in that building. I live in Wells Hall with the other basement journalists, but I treasure my trips to Fine Arts like nothing else. I keep telling people that I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have Tower Choir this semester. I really think it's the glue that's holding my stressful life together.
I guess it all comes down to attitude. Dr. Town might conduct just like a metronome, but I've experienced directors who barely gave the beat. As an accompanist, I wanted to strangle those conductors. However, I am not a perfect musician. I am far from it. I love music, but I have to work to accomplish beautiful music. When it comes down to it, we all expect different things from one person, so it's easy to forget that he/she is human too. Those schooled in the technical arena of music (something I am not privy to) might criticize their professors, but those of us who are in it solely for the love of song just want to share music with everyone.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

The_Boy_Named_Blue loves Thursday afternoons without labs. The_Boy_Named_Blue also loves having meetings with professors who tell him he is smart enough to take a 600-level course without any major difficulties and other professors who tell him his plans are in order and he can graduate in the spring of 2006. These are just a few things The_Boy_Named_Blue loves.The_Boy_Named_Blue is not a big fan of Valentine's Day because he forgot that V-Day is approaching in approximately three days and he only has a card right now. However, The_Boy_Named_Blue knows that his wonderful girl is going to be lenient with him because he is a crazy man. Needless to say, The_Boy_Named_Blue still feels bad about slacking off, but he is going to try to make up for it by going to his lover's (he likes that word) choir concert in Kansas City tomorrow night. The_Boy_Named_Blue is unsure why he keeps referring to himself in the third person, but he is going to continue with the trend for the rest of the post.The_Boy_Named_Blue really likes being a part of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and wishes he didn't have to run the RHA meetings every Wednesday at 5 p.m., so he could go to the PMA meetings. The_Boy_Named_Blue has a busy weekend and must use his Saturday for homework rather than sleeping/watching TV. This makes him sad.The_Boy_Named_Blue is getting married 43 days before his RA of two years, and he thinks that's somewhat funny. He's not sure why he thinks it is so funny.In the end, The_Boy_Named_Blue knows that his girl knows she is loved and she makes him feel not so blue. The_Boy_Named_Blue also knows that he will find something for The_Girl_Who_Loves_Blue and it will be a good present. As the Valentine's Day craze passes, The_Boy_Named_Blue knows he will soon be able to walk down that aisle of Wal-Mart that is now oh-so Red and Pink.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Saturday updates are a rareity, but this evening was worth mention. I received the call from Iowa and T-Rev this afternoon to go to St. Joseph with them, and I immediately sprang into action, grabbing my shoes and jacket and heading out the door. After a few minor delays because no one else would leave their "work" or "stuff to do" to go with us, we were on our way.
Mass hysteria ensued, and I feared for my life while riding in Harriet, the wonder car from Iowa, because Iowa is a crazy driver and can't accellerate through race car turns without almost killing us all. I was yelling random things in the car and mocking our Great Spirit Walker Guide Brent. We eventually hooked up with Great Spirit Walker...who became Crawler for awhile and, after viewing his building, went on the road again for food.
We roamed St. Joe for awhile, and while driving through the Chili's parking lot I schooled the guys because they mocked my usage of "exponentially" as inappropriate. We eventually ended up at Perkins, and I scarfed down a burger and fries after we left comments on the sugar packets, half and half and jelly packets. During our time at Perkins, Brent upgraded his status to Spirit Pontiac Grand Prix because he dumped half and half into Iowa's Coke. True genius. GOULET!
We dropped Brent off and went to Hastings, where I totally schooled a group of high schoolers. GOULET!!! I OWN YOU! The Hastings in St. Joe is bigger than the one in Kirksville, so it was interesting to wander around and see what I could see.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, so we left to return to the 'Ville. The journey back included a rousing reenactment of the Coconut Banger's Ball and all things Bobby Goulet. Truly a great experience. GOULET!