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Monday, February 21, 2011

I'm still in my pajamas

I was planning on making this Monday a wonderfully relaxing day to help me gear up for the second half of the semester.

Until my teacher, Dr. Johnson, decided to spring a test on us. Now, many of you may know this professor. He is an amazing lecturer: knows his stuff inside and out, makes you think, and teaches you how to think.  I quite enjoy everything about this class except the tests.

He reminds me of how I imagine my dad to be: intimidating, and yet quite approachable one on one. And yet I just don't see the resemblance when at the beginning of class Dr. Johnson stands up and announces to the effect: "It is my opinion that graduate classes at this institution are sub-par. I shall therefore take it upon myself to make up for everyone else's lack of rigor."


And there are only 5 of us in the class. One is vocal performance but he just HAPPENS to think how Dr. Johnson likes to think. Lucky. Two are musicology majors and so they don't have to practice or perform. Oh goodness me, imagine the time they have! Granted they have to write a thesis, etc. But they are used to analyzing music and have had many classes with him as a teacher. One is a organ performance major, but she ALREADY has a master's in musicology. From Oxford. Joy. The last is a composition major and I feel like I am on the same plane as him. Buddies, if you will, on the battlefield.

And then there is me. Who has to practice. A lot. Who has to perform. A lot. Whose Doctor just happened to have told her that she really, really would do well to get about 9 hours of sleep a night. Who just HAPPENS to have FOUR concerts this week. The week of her test(s).

I look at the mountain of studying and wonder where the top is. I mean, I have other stuff to do too... But  other classes aside, I find it rather hard to memorize the spelling of 12 or so renaissance pieces, when they are in LATIN and the most I can do is memorize them in a weird pronunciation. For example. Resvellies vous et faites chiere lye.

Not to mention how 12 eight or so minute pieces sound different from each other. We'll be tested on what they sound like in the middle with a random artist, not necessarily the one we've been listening too. Did I mention that there is one piece that Dr. Johnson owns that none of us do because the only CD available is one on amazon that costs $170?

And I don't need to elaborate on his essay tests.  Oh no. Just that they need to be detailed...very detailed.

Oh and then there are orals which are in a month and a half. Pray that another Johnson test doesn't happen that same week.

Why am I going through such detail? To calm my anxious mind and to rest my brain for another rigorous hour of studying. And well, I would normally write about this in my journal, but that would have taken at least 4 times longer than typing it. And we all know you wanted to hear about my nightmare week.

And I write before you today with fear and trepidation in my eyes. And yet I still have the hope that I can pull off another B+ on his test (which happens to be a good grade supposedly...) After all, I am actually studying, as opposed to giving up. 

I keep envisioning myself here in 4 months:

And this is why I am still in my purple plaid pajamas with an (ironic) school of music t-shirt. It reminds me, if not pathetically, that it really is a holiday today.


Julie said...

President's Day and PJs just seem to go together.

Marianne said...

Oh Rachel. Hang in there!! Dr. Johnson was, HANDS DOWN, the hardest teacher I have EVER had, but I learned the most form him, too. Still scares me to death.

Just do your best. That's all you can do. And remember, this isn't going to last forever. It won't, I promise!! Someday it will all be a fading memory, and you'll complain about how freakin' hot it is at that idyllic beach!! ;-)