April 11, 2000 Nine hours in the Sun Lab today writing a hangman program (which is beautiful, by the way--graphics and everything) with aforementioned sweetie David January. It compiles and runs and does everything perfectly now and too bad it took me until 11 PM to finish.
Slept through music theory. Woke up partway through and decided that sleep was so much more important today--need to recuperate, etc. Went to CS (understood it today, yay) and then linguistics (didn't suck!), then straight to the Sun Lab. Got a great package from my mommy--thank you mommy! A pretty sarong, which I immediately draped overmyself and wore while writing hangman, other great stuff. I love random packages like that.
Then went and sang songs with Ruach--remembered some hebrew, sang Eili, Eili and learned how to say 'I am the viola' in hebrew: ani ha-koneret! Nadav just laughed at me but taught me more. My new favorite word is rish-rush. I went up to visit him and Jon and Nicolle all smiling, even though I'm nowhere near done with my work. At least I have an extension on my Music 12 presentation, and I finished this CS program. Donna Jo says (in Ling) that there are many many jobs available for ling majors in computers. Hm, may have to consider that again.
My lodge will be beautiful next year. I am so excited. Massey's bringing me a catalog with lovely hippie dyes in it and I'm going to dye everything orange, put this picture of O'Keeffe's Oriental Poppies up, a lovely Rothko, and paint this summer. I'm so glad I don't have to participate in the housing lottery.
Eili eili, shelo yigamer l'olam
Hachol v'hayam, rish-rush shel hamayim,
B'rak hashamayim, t'filat ha-adam.
April 12, 2000 Woke up at another lovely hour. I love squimring around in bed until I'm fully awake, just lying there on my purple sheets and completely comforable egg-crate pad, the blankets all kicked to the end of the bed, and then finally sitting up. Slowly. Put on my cute brown skirt (Mike Smith doesn't like it--too flamenco-y for him; Cristina does though, for the same reasons) and went to Music 2 with Helaine and wasted a few hours in Underhill getting paid to do nothing.
Dinner sucked as usual. This was the first time I'd been to Sharples in two days, and the return was so anticlimatic--I thought perhaps in my prolonged absence that maybe the food wasn't so bad, maybe something would be edible today ... alas, no. The chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream made the meal palatable (word I used later that evening when defining what Bartók is not to the average audience--our quartet read Debussy and the aforementioned master of atonalities! oo but I love that stuff).
E poi, Lang. Come sempre. I practiced piano (woo-hoo!) and then did some scales ... I need more practice time. Once I finish all these papers and rondos and shit perhaps, once this cantata is done ... hm. During lunch tomorrow I'll practice. My piano lesson was so cool. I love working with Tony. We played a duet from Mr. Dada-of-Chromaticism-and-Rhythm's Mikrokosmos and I like a two-year-old asked to do it again and again. :) Nice chord progressions too. I like IV7.
Quartet read riduclous wedding music. This chick wants Celine Dion played at her wedding an a few weeks but doesn't want to pay me enough to arrange it. Sorry. Talked to Michael Rutberg (who's living again in Pitt!--rising sophomore housing lottery was tonight; Olivia's on Hallowell first; Oliver's in Willets (ick); I want to see who got what now!) about music and life as we often do in Lang at that hour. Again did not write my rondo. Tomorrow ...
April 13, 2000 Not so much sleep as I would have liked. I want to sleep for twelve hours every night. Ha ha. That'll happen here.
In theory Tom taught us about gamelan, both Javanese and Balinese. It's so much more systematic than I ever thought. Pentatonic with modes almost like ragas and almost as diverse. We got to play, too. I was on tok-tok most of the time (small pot with a brass bump on its head; you bang the bump with a stick and it makes a noise like my sister used to when she'd empty the pans from the cupboard and bang on them with spoons). Much fun. I want to play gamelan more than I want to learn about Neapolitan sixth chords right now. Too bad I have to miss gamelan's concert on sunday--not only did Alyson schedule a rehearsal for her chamber orchestra over it, but I have a concert (this stupid cantata) to play at the same time. :(
In the mail, two surprises: (1) Strings Magazine from my mother--thank you mom!!; (2) a package of Venetian slang refereces from Joel Blecher in Italia. I'm so happy he and Alana are coming to Swat next year.
In CS, managed to aide in screwing up the guy sitting next to me's terminal settings so he couldn't log on to his machine for most of the class (Andy, who showed me how to put Kandinsky and Rothko on my background, in vtwm helped us fix it later). Made the hangman program prettier. Linguistics was dumb as usual. I don't care about the function of 'what' and 'can'.
Couldn't go to drill section (and i wanted to sing chorales too!) because I had to get an early dinner (butter-pecan ice cream, yum yum) and go play a cantata (yuck yuck) at some random church. They're paying me $125 and i'm earning that just in time I spend schlepping around trains with my viola. Seven hours out today, only 2 of that was actual rehearsal. Barf barf. It's such a dumb "cantata," too--does not deserve the name. I have yet to reconcile myself with anything religous (except my continual wannabe juadism, of course--I've decided to relearn Hebrew this summer, or rather, keep going with it), and this was so decidedly Christian. I kind of envy those blonde women up in the choir, wearing mickey mouse sweatshirts and singing faithfully about their lord and where they're going when they die. It seems to me that, in a religion that built around faith and incomprehension, it would make sense that you couldn't comprehend what was going to happen to you after you die. But yet there's this pearly-gates utopia waiting for people who make my head hurt with their joyous caterwaulings. At least I'm getting money ... at least I'm getting money ...
This all gave me time to read a little though--still working on Pinker's The Language Instinct (there's a lecture being given on that tomorrow, and i want to go, but Abram wants me to help cook for Ruach, and I need to go be advised for fall semester, and write more of my rondo (I made a couple modulations and reorchestrated a little bit today but I still hate it!) and everything!). Fascinating book. Well, so far as academia is fascinating, and I'm having my occasional doubts these days. It's so goddamn self-perpetuating. Proto-Indo-European is great to a certain extent, but then just look at what it is: Anthropological Linguistics. What a mouthful of stuff. I still like it though. :)
New favorite word: wanderlust
April 15, 2000 So I skipped the fourteenth. I am tired. Yesterday I talked to Tom about my rondo and went in to my faculty advisor to be advised for fall semester. So much I want to take! Saw the dance concert today and I MUST BEFORE I GRADUATE take:
Damn. May have to rethink this sometime...
- african dance
- modern dance
- graham (yeah they don't even offer it here but I'll make Alana teach me!)
Yesterday after fighting with my rondo for an hour or so after lunch I decided to scrap the whole thing and start over. Was inspired finally so I went down to the library and found Jean de la Fontaine's poem Le Corbeau et le Renard. Set it for soprano (Cristina Garcia, cool good soprano, agreed to sing for me) and string quartet in under 3 hours. Not fully fleshed out by any means, but after conferring with Matt Schultz today about how to harmonize a chromatic bassline (secondary dominants--i had the chords figured out by myself, but not what they were), I have all the harmonies and a good concept. And the vocal line's fully done. And I like it.
Mona's writing a wind quintet in 11/16. Crazy girl.
PYO this morning. Olivia knocking on my door at 8:15 this morning,loudly, and we weren't even late (I'm still wearing my glasses, not having had time to put in my contacts). I love Tchaikovsky 4! Primavera's damn cool too (though, and have you seen--Scent of a Woman? I did last night (I love watching movies with Swatties!--he is Al Pacino. Olivia and I kept wanting to say "HOO-wah!")--nasty old man, but such a fabulous musician!!
Time to go out ... not much going on--it's pre-frosh weekend--but I'm gonna have some fun.--MMM CAKE FONDUE PIZZA!! = my cue to exit.
Le corbeau et le renard
Maître Corbeau, sur son arbre perché,
Tenait en son bec un fromage.
Maître Renard, par l'odeur alléché,
Lui tint à peu près ce langage:
"- Hé ! bonjour, Monsieur le Corbeau
Que vous êtes joli ! que vous me semblez beau !
Sans mentir, si votre ramage
Se rapporte à votre plumage,
Vous êtes le phénix des hôtes de ces bois."
À ces mots, le corbeau ne se sent pas de joie;
Et pour montrer sa belle voix,
Il ouvre un large bec, laisse tomber sa proie.
Le renard s'en saisit, et dit: " Mon bon Monsieur,
Apprenez que tout flatteur
Vit aux dépens de celui qui l'écoute:
Cette leçon vaut bien un fromage, sans doute."
Le corbeau, honteux et confus,
Jura, mais un peu tard, qu'on ne l'y prendrait plus.
April 16, 2000 I love charoset!
Allison writes in an email to me: "I love thunderstorms." I love thunderstorms, too. When I was little and scared of the huge claps of thunder, my dad would take me to the huge glass sliding doors over the patio and showed me how to count the seconds between lighting and thunder to determine distance. Watching the rain pelt down made it more controllable, and I would stand there for hours (perhaps it was only minutes; my sense of time distorts over time). I love the smell too. There are lilacs being bred out of the dead land next to Lang, and it was drizzling thunder as I came out at quarter to one just now, stirring dull roots with spring rain. We had a huge bush of fat purple lilacs overhanging the patio.
Today was a cantata in Philly, all day. This time was actually fun. Went with a bunch of PYO kids whom I didn't really know, and a couple Drexel-ites too. All somehow related to the orchestra--like the guy who was sitting first violin, Jacob, is a sophomore at Drexel but was concertmaster of PYO last year. I like getting to know my orchestra. It'll make tour that much more fun. They fed us dinner, the church did, and of course there were no sandwhiches that didn't contain meat, but the 3 or 4 vegetarians among us (including Johnell (violist)--I like her; i wasn't sure at first) survived on cake and whatever else. The service was okay. Rar. Religion. (Or rather, exclusive religion that says "You're going to hell if you don't believe my way.") Jacob's dad was nice and drove me home so I didn't have to go through the ordeal of the hour and a half or two of SEPTA back.
Went straight to Lang, where I almost finished my piece I'm writing. Completely harmonized (except for 4 bars) and almost all fleshed out. I quote Tchaikovsky 4 and Habañera in it! I'm so pleased with myself. :)
L'amour est un oiseau rebelle
que nul ne peut apprivoiser,
et c'est bien en vain qu'on l'appelle,
s'il lui convient de refuser!
Rien n'y fait, menace ou prière,
l'un parle bien, l'autre se tait;
et c'est l'autre que je préfère,
il n'a rien dit, mais il me plaît.
April 18, 2000 Laundry detergent. You never miss it till it's gone. Or something.
Today Allison and I went to Genuardi's after linguistics and bought oh, so much yummy stuff. Fabienne and Ginnie protested that they didn't want to walk (we couldn't find a car to borrow--I'm trying to bring my soon-to-be-orange behemoth of a gas-chugging car out here next year). Their loss. We bought two jars of nutella (! oh my!--ambrosia to last me through finals!), saltines to go with, une baguette, brie, vegetables (bok choy!), pumpkin for a pie, and the aforementioned laundry detergent. Clothes are now spinning à la Corduroy in three washers downstairs, and I am grateful for the soap.
And we feasted. I didn't really have the time, but we cooked a delicious feast. Stirfry with the vegetables plus stolen tofu, sprouts, and carrots from Sharples, soy sauce, olive oil (with a tamper-proof seal which was also Nori- and Allison-proof). Brie and hot baguette on a scorched towel. Pumpkin pie with triple the amount of cinnamon:
...As Jon commented, so spicy it almost burned (that was an exaggeration, Jon) but it was damn good. We shared with Nicolle, Alyssa, and Jon ... seems no one else in the dorm wanted pie then. Claire went to bed around 9:30 (!). So Allison and I happily ate until we were bursting.
Nori: Hm, this looks like a big teaspoon ...
Allison: Whatever, just dump it in.
Thinks to self: Hm, maybe that was a tablespoon ...
Also bought a big tupperware container in which to steal cereal from the dining hall (ha! how they euphemize), and procured some lovely snack in it. Am quite pleased.
Today was nice otherwise. CS and ling were abysmally boring, but our quintet played the Dohnányi in Music 12 this morning, and Tom had the class do kind of an in-class analysis of it. We had a lot of fun. Later, when I was conferring with Tom about my piece when he was waiting for a friend to come pick him up, the friend came and Tom introduced me as "Nori, a very talented violist." I completely was not expecting that. So pleased!
Laundry spinning. Perhaps I'll go write my Music 48 paper. Perhaps I'll revise my orchestration of this quartet. Perhaps ... sleep ...
April 19, 2000 I have been decapitating edibles all day
broken in half and stuck back in halves
their insides mushing around in front of the Bach
flooding the room
saint john's passion
cello suites edited primrose
violin sonatas & partitas
cello suites edited Giuranna
i am drowning in counterpoint
(takes cruelty, says Chris as I squish one in the vise of my
shall i master the web? I, Atropos ...)
compactly checkerboarded viscous bears
leadingtone resolving to tonic raised in minor
neapolitan sixth accounts for the d-natural
what are your rules for parallel tenths?
and now seahorses
les fruits de la mer
whose heads ride back from debauchery at Paces
in my stomach
i am going to france
where Il faut être toujours ivre. Tout est là : c'est l'unique question. Pour ne pas sentir l'horrible fardeau du Temps qui brise vos épaules et vous penche vers la terre, il faut vous enivrer sans trêve. Mais de quoi? De vin, de poésie, ou de vertu, à votre guise. Mais enivrez-vous. Et si quelquefois, sur les marches d'un palais, sur l'herbe verte d'un fossé, dans la solitude morne de votre chambre, vous vous réveillez, l'ivresse déjà diminuée ou disparue, demandez au vent, à la vague, à l'étoile, à l'oiseau, à l'horloge, à tout ce qui fuit, à tout ce qui gémit, à tout ce qui roule, à tout ce qui chante, à tout ce qui parle, demandez quelle heure il est; et le vent, la vague, l'étoile, l'oiseau, l'horloge, vous répondront : " Il est l'heure de s'enivrer! Pour n'être pas les esclaves martyrisés du Temps,ivrez-vous; enivrez-vous sans cesse! De vin, de poésie ou de vertu, à votre guise. "
April 20, 2000 Left before I can chill:
--then DONE. Glory glory hallelujah. The sun shines so lovely now, and I want summer (today = sequined pink dress, hair down, nutella and lemonade on adirondack chairs), but I don't want to be away from Swarthmore. Goddess but I love this place. Small though it is (~thirteenhundred at last count?) I meet new people almost every day, and the contexts are so wonderfully colorful and rich--everywhere from discovering the trumpet player in orchestra is actually my ex-Greek-professor's father's best friend and a classics prof here, to discovering that the happy drunk across the bowl of baravarian crème from me is an ex-occupant of my future lodge, and everyone inbetween. Everyone is a senior, too, and is now graduating! (That is untrue. But so many are.) I'm beginning to get a grasp on the vibe that is college, specifically this place, I think. Look at the beautiful pages of claire, chris, anni, jeanne ... they're not all particularly brilliant but they all reflect their creators so well (as far as i know them), and have such interesting things to say that in combination with getting to know them over belgian chocolates I am finally realizing why they've always told me that you learn as much if not more from the people at college as you will from the classes. This education (what a fuckin abstract term for such a holistic reshaping of my -ness!) is worth the money, mom, dad. I'm sad all these people (or rather some of them--of the four above only Chris is leaving in the immediate future) are going away. I want to stay here and soak up the vibe forever. Yeah it's a wistful utopian sentiment that probably only a freshman would project, but I fit the above categories. Let it be therefore sighed: i love this place.
- Squib [paper] for linguistics
- Music 48 paper
- CS final project
- piece for Music 12--finish writing, distribute parts & rehearse, perform
April 24, 2000 You're going to laugh at me--no, I'm going to laugh at me. I already am. I am now a coffee drinker. Yeah, me. Oh my. No longer can I say I don't drink caffeine and protest when people point out that I have hot chocolate; no longer can I compare the differences in caffination between chocolat chaud and coffee and feel righteous (the one is about a tenth of the potency of the other); no longer can I watch as others down this nasty brew of Eye of newt and toe of frog, / Wool of bat and tongue of dog, / Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting, / Lizard's leg and owlet's wing--no, the other day at 30th Street Station after my lesson, waiting for a train, I bought a doughnut and coffee at--oh I cringe to say it, I can't--Dunkin' Donuts. With an apostrophe and no silent 'gh'! The man asked if I wanted sugar and cream. Did I? Oh wow, I had no clue. Um. Sure, sugar. Why not. I sat and quaffed the hell-broth while the city began to seep into my bloodstream. As I ineptly tried to make the flip-top of the lid stay in place, I drank the lifeblood of the tired commuters and began to emapthize with them; the overcast skies seemed epitomized in a song about the blues and coffee; the dirty streets and vague smell of smoke, exhaust, and breath of the city all swirled in a common cup. I had toyed around with being a chic coffee drinker a little earlier this semester with my discovery of espresso (courtesy of my ex-Italian teacher, the wonderful Signora Titina Caporale), and the whole concept of the French breakfast of a tiny café et chocolat suddenly made sense, but now the jolt my mother needs to open her eyes and the cup at every roadside stop on a trip, the perpetual thermos or mug in every adult's hand, the concept of the national brew snapped into gustatoric and sensical focus. A whole facet of the world I'd never known. My sister has drunk the foul stuff for years, and she's only sixteen. I'm nineteen and a half (and still haven't grown out of putting the fractions on my age) and was sitting on a chilly April bench in a train station with a pink-and-orange cup of coffee.
A CUP OF COFFEE.
Those words are so universal. So many synonyms. And so I can't even write them and mean what I say, because to me this stuff is weird, bitter, culturally loaded, bizarrely universal, nonsensical, clichéd. Coffee has lost its semantic value.
I'm feelin' mighty o'erworked,
haven't slept a wink
I walk the floor and watch the door
and in between I drink
I'm talkin' to my textbooks
One o'clock till four [a.m.]
And Lord, how slow the moments go
When all I do is pour
I'm becoming assimilated--the college student. (The other day I was walking around in jeans and a tshirt and about three people independently came up to me and said they hadn't recognized me and had to look twice to make sure of who it was because I wasn't wearing enough colors.) Tonight in preparation for my all-nighter, I went to Paces with Laurel, Jamie, and Adrian (who in his inebriated state was (a) unaware that our linguistics term paper was due tomorrow, and (b) had a rather prounounced German accent). I had 2 cups of coffee--the most concentrated caffeine I've ever had in my life.
But--lo and behold! The gods are smiling upon me!-- this from my linguistics prof when I got back home at 12:30: "Dear Semantics students, A number of you have appealed to me for an extension on Tuesday's squib deadline. Some of the reasons were compelling enough for me to be inclined to grant them. So, if you're done already, turn it in Tuesday. Otherwise, you can turn it in Thursday." Thank Allah and Zeus and the Goddess!
Yesterday I mentioned auditing classes. Today I went all out and made a ridiculous schedule of a billion and three things I could audit. The most feasible is probably German, which I am desparate to learn now, for music, to converse with my German friends, to add to my polyglot-ness. I hated the language until I encountered Brahms settings of its poetry. What a good composer can do! But I will learn German. This seems like a much better way to do it than making Oliver my cellist teach me.
This evening, in what was my third (out of four) rehearsal of the night, my quartet plus Julie on viola and Cristina Garcia singing read through my (finally!) completed piece. I finished harmonizing and orchestrating it this afternoon, and was anticipating many errors even though I proofread scrupulously, but the only ones I found were two measures which actually should have been four (I started thinking in half-time for some reason, and then went back) and another two that should have been one (random double-time). That was easily fixed. It sounds good! I'm so pleased with it. I wrote a piece that doesn't suck, that is actually rather pleasant, and Cristina complimented me on the vocal line, saying it's rather difficult (esp. given only the tools we have with Music 12) to write for voice. The thing really wrote itself, though. There's a reason I'm only writing for things I have a lot of experience with (voice and string quartet). I couldn't have done this had I used any winds or brass, or even piano. I'm looking forward to the concert on Thurdsay--I put a lot of work into this, and as I was telling Claire Weiss, I think it shows what I've learned in the year of theory. It's a great assignment and I've done well with it. Let's hear it for a sense of accomplishment!
This caffeine is giving me the worst Kopfschmerzen. It is sleep time. All will fall into place in due time (i.e. in the morning...)
p.s. Mad props to my sister who just got great ACT scores!
April 30, 2000 I just made my first ebay purchase:
hahahahaha for the lodge. Yeah, we're ridiculous. $15.50. I'm not sure what we'll do with it exactly (sewing comes to mind, but no one has a clear idea of what yet ...), but Laurel, Jenny, and I were in my room after whatever happened this afternoon, and looking at ebay and every now and then saying "our lodge is going to be beautiful," and somehow we ended up being the high bidder on this sewing machine. I think once we have, it we'll actually use it, which would be cool, now that we bought it. Heh.
I got my photos back from the whole year on Friday. Strange, seeing both semesters laid out in color chronology like that. Brings back the entire year at once, all the emotions with it ... kind of weird to have it all there at once. I was in a bit of a funk -- not bad, just strange -- Friday night as a result, so I didn't go to the ridiculous Spring Fling that was happening on Parrish Beach. Claire (Weiss) dragged me there for a while so I ate some brie, strawberries (it was a "semi-formal," haha), lost interest, and went to Lang. Ah, Bach. (I'm thinking of scrapping the piece I'm supposed to be playing for juries in favor of the prelude to the prelude to the Vth 'cello suite -- I've practiced it more ...) Then saw Being John Malkovitch at LPAC with half the campus. Strange, interesting movie. Glad I finally got a chance to see it.
The photos: -- I think I'm going to follow Anna's example and put them in albums with captions, whatnot. But for the meantime I'm going to get my ass down to Beardsly and use their public scanner to put all of them online. Html is such a great format. I'm really enjoying it. So, here (the link's not up today, but hopefully it will be soon) is my PHOTO GALLERY.
I'm looking at a new computer. This old clunker is feeling its age, shall we say. I feel bad for it sometimes -- it's like how my dog, when he was little, would grab one end of a stick five times his size and run around in circles with it while the other end stayed on the ground, too heavy for him to move. I've upgraded this demure little Fujitsu lifebook -- we'd already put in tons more RAM, then when it crashed last december I installed it with all the latest software that was coming as backups with new systems, and it doesn't like me for running Office 2000, Windows 98, Finale, and enough other assez-grand programs, and I feel like I'm hurting the poor thing. This campus is beginning to convert me, too, with its goddamn omnipresent apples ... I now want an orange iBook ... prettier than PC's, that's for damn sure, and from what I'm understanding better computers ... I have been a die-hard PC girl, growing up on DOS and learning with the versions of Windows, but as Mike Smith points out, it would be very very good to be proficient on several platforms instead of being stubbornly ignorant. So now the computer you see at your right is what I am coveting.
Last night relatively fun. Played St. John's Passion (Bach) after having been in philly all day doing PYO and lessons and whatever. Quite good concert. I went over to Tom's room, we put on Mozart requiem loud, and sang along until his hallmate called him and told him some people were trying to sleep at 2:00 in the morning. Oh, come on ... I guess maybe in Mertz. There's no chance in Willets.
Oh dear lord, Rugby streakers. Covered in -- chocolate sauce? I can't tell. I don't want to be able to tell. Shouting loudly in inarticulate grunts and beating on pots and pans. This would all seem normal were they two years old. But no, they streak through every hall on campus (except ML, apparently -- too far) annually. Kind of like the notorious "Dash for Cash," just without the money. Who was it at lunch yesterday -- Leia? -- commented that if you'd never seen a penis before ten of them had run down a hall screaming, it would be a very traumatic sight.
|all this ©nori heikkinen, April 2000|