November 30, 2013

Day 189

Woke up at noon today! I know, it's crazy. My newest review is up. I really need to work on the whole "one review a month" thing. I'm hoping that December will grant me enough free time to get the rest of the T-Arc finished before New Years, though I also have to write up my Season Three Overview. Couple that with school, finals, AYS... well, it's gonna be a little busy.

I saw Thor The Dark World today finally! Oh my God, it was awesome! That ending credits scene, man! And Loki! It was a great experience, though there was this child next to us who kept talking the whole way through the movie. I hate that. The Stan Lee cameo was pretty good too.

Other than that, the day was pretty mellow. I've been watching some of my favorite Frasier episodes. They're so funny! I have to get up before noon tomorrow, so I'll probably go to bed soon. The day was fun, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's vacation ending day.

Shadowcon Reviews- Tunnel Vision

Shadowcon Reviews: Transformers Prime season 2 episode 12: “Tunnel Vision”

Welcome back to Prime. I’ve been pretty busy with school, college preparations, lots of thesis reading, and a whole slew of personal stuff that interferes with, y’know, doing things that matter… like overanalyzing a kid’s TV show. I mentioned last time in “Flying Mind” that I’d be looking at all four T-arc episodes, plus “Hurt” and “Out of the Past”, the two follow up episodes to those before “New Recruit”, which kicks off the second half of Season Two. Four episodes to set up a plot structure that will be used from here until the end of the season (pretty much) plus retreaded again in Season Three, is a tad disappointing, and I think the primary reason that this whole relic hunt arc doesn’t work is because the show focuses so much on plot that we don’t get to know our characters any more than we already do.

November 29, 2013

Day 188/ Why Prime

Not much happened today, so I thought I'd talk about something that's been on my mind of late. Especially in light of me watching a slew of Buffy episodes with my thesis in mined, I think it's time for me to explain really why I do what I do, why I stopped reviewing Buffy, and why I think Prime deserves more recognition than it's getting right now.

When I started out my reviews, I began with Buffy, and it is no surprise that I... well, I kinda sucked at it. I was arrogant, far too playful with the episodes in question, and didn't have a handle on what Buffy was really about. I think a lot of that stemmed from the fact that I had just finished the show. Literally; I had marathoned it in about three months, and was now moving onto Angel, without really looking at or appreciating what I had just seen. Sure, I knew Buffy was great, but I didn't seem to know why it was great. It was not until I stopped reviewing it, until I actually went back and looked at the show again with an eye on character and thematic follow-through, that I found that this show was so complicated and loaded and deep, that frankly, I'm glad I stopped when I did. I leave the Buffy analysis to Critically Touched, a website that is certainly the most comprehensive coverage of Buffy that I've found to date. Oh, there are other books out there, essays, theses, but these are all looking at specifics of the show. Critically Touched looks at the show... like, all of it, and by God, do they do it well. That's not to say I'm not jealous, because I am. I'm also pretty embarrassed, because should those guys ever find this site and look at my reviews of Buffy, well they'd probably roll their eyes, yell at their computer screens, or just exit out of my site without a backwards glance, and they'd have every right to do that, because I did not know what I was talking about when it came to Buffy, and I'm still not sure that I do know the show as well as I could, even with my digging and rewatching and studying of it for my senior thesis.

So, Buffy and Angel were both out. That left me with the thing that I should have focussed on from the beginning: Transformers. Transformers is something that I do understand, and it's easy to see why. With no disrespect meant to the fans out there, the Transformers... phenomenon, for lack of a better term, is not complicated. You have good guys vs. bad guys, giant robots and huge obnoxious battles. It's pretty much a stereotypical male wet dream. So, why am I a fan? Well, I'm not a stereotypical male, if that's what you're thinking. I'm a fan because I'm drawn to characters, and Transformers, despite it's ludicrousness, despite it's blatant catering to young boys who just want to see things blow up, it boasts a surprising world-building scheme and depth, along with Transformers characters that, when written well, are as human as any of the human companions that accompany them.

Now, being drawn to characters, you might think it's funny that I dropped Buffy for... Transformers. "Really," you may ask. "Out of all the shows you could've picked up after messing up Buffy, you pick Transformers? A shoot-'em-up fest of a show that has nothing in it except guns, explosions, and wooden characters who are so bland as to be interchangeable? Why, man?" Well, you're right if you think this. Transformers is definitely a shoot-'em-up fest that has explosions, and there are certainly continuities and shows that have nothing in them but wooden characters who are so bland as to be interchangeable. However, when I get this complaint lobbied at me, I point to the myriad of other material that Transformers has manifested in. Look at the IDW comics, look at the more recent television shows, Transformers Animated and Transformers Prime. These are the things that make the Transformers universe worthy of being looked at as a serious piece of art.

What makes these Transformers-related materials stand out? First is undoubtedly the characters. While I'm not the biggest fan of Animated, I do not deny that it did have a solid cast of characters, all of whom had strong arcs throughout the show. I'll get to Prime in a minute. The IDW comics has some of the most amoral, grey, macabre characters I've ever seen. There is such a richness to the IDW universe which is only magnified by the masterful treatment and writing of the characters that populate it. The second thing that makes these three works stand out is the world-building and the richness of the universe. This mostly applies to the IDW comics, but both Prime and Animated had solid foundations of what the laws of their worlds were and how their characters were able to thrive in them. IDW's whole Transformers comic series is all about world-building. The amount of history that is housed within the pages of the comics, whether it be about the war, about Cybertron, about any number of the millions of characters running around in the universe, is astounding. It's like Ice and Fire for giant robots. It's insane. The last thing that makes these continuities stand out is... well, continuity. While not as high a marker as the other two criteria, continuity does impact how good these three materials are because, well... IDW, Prime, and Animated all actually have and rely on continuity. Story arcs and season-long arcs for Prime, relying on previous information for Animated, and deep foreshadowing and seed-planting for IDW all help make these three stand clear above the rest of the Transformers fiction out there.

So, with this in mind, my reviews quickly spun away from Buffy and instead began to tackle Transformers Prime, in my opinion the best Transformers television show ever made. To come back to my original intent of the post (because I know this has gone off track a little bit, and I'm sorry about that), my style of reviews really began with Prime. Sure, you can find my Buffy reviews entertaining, but by no means are they analytical, at least not to the degree that the show deserves. With Prime, I really wanted to show the world that this is a show worth watching. Why? It comes back to what I look for in a show. I look for plot, I look for fun and brain factors, but most importantly, I look for engaging, fun, relatable characters. I found in Prime all of these traits, and being that I actually knew a little something about the history of Transformers, as well as the fact that, unlike Buffy, Prime had not been analyzed to the point of actually reaching diploma status, I felt pretty comfortable taking it on as a serious, academic-like project. Prime is something that I feel strongly about, it's something that has affected me on a more personal level than Buffy ever did, and it's something that I feel should be appreciated where it clearly isn't, because people regard it as just a kids show. Buffy is not just a kids show, and people know this, and people respect it and admire it as a serious form of art worthy of analysis. I'm trying to do the same to Prime; maybe not make it an academic study, but I'm trying to make it be seen as more than just a cartoon for kids, because there is clearly substance in this show.

That's what I'm hoping to do with my reviews. This is not to say that Buffy is bad or that I don't appreciate it as art; I do. I feel that I'm unworthy to review it properly. I feel far more qualified to review Prime. It may seem like I'm taking the easy way out, that I'm somehow just dropping a challenging show like Buffy for something easy and transparent and obvious like Prime, but I don't think this is the case, and I don't want it to come across like that. I'm not really sure why I'm justifying this whole thing at all; this is my blog, I'll do what I want. I just wanted to put this out there more for myself than anyone else. I guess my "mission statement" would be to show people that Transformers Prime is more than it's title suggests, much like Buffy is more than it's title suggests. Yeah, I think that about sums this up.

The Tempest's Ariel to Iron Man 3's Tony Stark

Here is a paper I wrote in English this year, relating Ariel from The Tempest to Tony Stark of Iron Man 3. It's pretty cool, and I'm so happy that I got to write on something like this. Mine is apparently the first paper my English teacher has read that discusses Ariel in any fashion, which I find fascinating, because Ariel is a pretty interesting character on her own, and her role within the play is pretty prominent, and gives Prospero another reason to reform and become good. I think her role in the story is under-appreciated, and I liked this paper because it tackled something that, at least for my English teacher, had not been done before. Pretty cool! So, here it is, Enjoy.

Ariel to Iron Man

     Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Shane Black’s Iron Man 3 are two works that meet the three criteria that make good literature for me, that of informing, inspiring, and entertaining the audience. Shakespeare’s play informs us in the here and now about attitudes towards various cultures and peoples in Shakespeare’s times, with no clear-cut “yes” or “no” answer, it addresses issues of controversy, and it delivers an undercurrent of mysticism and wonder to the audience, making the work fun and balancing out the heavy-hearted moral issues it addresses. Likewise, Iron Man 3 gives us a deep character study, it takes an interesting spin on the subject of terrorists and the media, and it has some of the most innovative action sequences for its type of film. The Iron Man suits behave and operate more like actual machinery (much like Tony himself), functional but temperamental, and they also provide a bang-for-your-buck action climax that just leaves you giddy, once again balancing out but never overshadowing the serious character study of the film. But what makes these two works similar and worthy of each other’s company is the fact that Ariel in The Tempest could be seen as a template for the character of Tony Stark in Iron Man 3.

     Ariel, Prospero’s devoted spiritual aid, is yearning for freedom not just from Prospero’s command, but also from the island and from her paradoxically sheltered spirit-life. Ariel wants to do more in human affairs than just manipulate circumstances for Prospero’s enjoyment or whimsy. She wants to matter, she wants to use her magic and technology to augment her power and effect on human goings on in order to be a better person for society, to show Prospero that there is more to her than his wishes being fulfilled.

     “Do you love me, master? No?” asks Ariel of Prospero (Shakespeare IV.1.48), showing that she does indeed exhibit emotion, and perhaps a desire to experience love as humans experience it: physically and emotionally. This is something that Ariel feels she can never explore because of her nature. She feels powerless and small after what Sycorax did to her, and the only one she has as guidance in the realms of humanity is Prospero, the very person from whom she wants to escape. Ariel is personified throughout the play as humble and as obedient, but there is also an obvious sense of entrapment and a stated desire to be free.

     Yet she is also compassionate to the point where she is one of the only compassionate people in the play, far more than her human companions. Ariel says of Prospero: “Your charm so strongly works ‘em, / That if you now beheld them, your affections / Would become tender… Mine would, sir, were I human” (V.1.17-19, 20). And if only she were human, for as she is now she has nothing to work Prospero or her other human companions save for magic and guile. Her humanity, such as it is, can never be fully explored because she’s a spirit, a mere shadow of what a human can be. Yet she is so capable here that she is able to show emotions such that Prospero is guilt-tripped. Ariel is so desiring of being human, of interacting on a human level with the rest of the world, that even in her state of spirituality, she is able to express compassion and pity.

     I see Ariel as a spirit who has no other choice than to do what Prospero wants because she doesn't know what to do with herself; her allegiance to Prospero is a coping mechanism, perhaps because she is afraid of what the rest of the world, of those who may not be as lenient to her as Prospero has been, those like Sycorax for example, might do to her.

     Tony Stark, like Ariel, has an understanding of the world that revolves quite literally around technology; the Iron Man suit is what fuels Tony. Tony is akin to Ariel in that he feels very small, alone, and unprepared to face this new world that The Avengers introduced to him. The things that Tony experienced in The Avengers had a real human effect on him. In this film, Tony has been continuously working on the Iron Man suits, because even with all his gadgets and intelligence, he feels powerless and small after what he saw in New York in The Avengers, and he feels that building and building the suits is the only way to protect the people he loves, even though the forces that are out there still might be too much for him. Ariel’s desire for love is reflected here in Tony in that he is so hellbent on wanting to protect those he loves that he is isolating himself from those very people,

     “Nothing’s been the same since New York. You experience things, and then they’re over, and you still can’t explain them. Gods, aliens, other dimensions- I’m just a man in a can…. Threat is imminent, and I have to protect the one thing that I can’t live without: that’s you [Pepper Potts]” (Iron Man 3). This fear and this realization of not being able to contend with so much power that is clearly out there in the world is affecting his life, it’s affecting his sleep, and it’s affecting his relationship to the point where he is forgetting about what is most important to him. Tony loves Pepper, but their relationship is strained because Tony is invested far more in Pepper’s protection than his love for her. Tony’s character is unique among his fellow superheroes because he has what few other heroes have: he has an ego. He loves the attention that Iron Man gives him, and he’s not always a great guy, but he does try to do the right thing. Like Ariel’s attachment to Prospero, Tony’s attachment to the suits is a coping mechanism for how he wants to protect those he loves.

     Technology (magic) gives Ariel the means to exercise a power of which she is otherwise bereft; her lack of humanity grants her little pleasure or staying power in society, and so with her use of her magic she is able to gain a fraction of her satisfaction. Her capacity for love (Shakespeare IV.1.48-49), her desire to live life to the best of her ability (V.1.93-94), and her compassion throughout the play is strengthened, perhaps even caused by her use of magic. Magic plays up her heavy emotional function in the play, and it provides a means for spectacle, something akin to the Iron Man armors of Tony. The Iron Man suits give Tony a way to escape from his anxiety and stress by fueling his obsession to protect people. His past demons in the film come back to haunt him, and in the end, Tony destroys his enemy by trapping him in one of the Iron Man suits, blowing it up. Thus, Tony has defeated the villain and rid himself of his obsession, realizing that his life with Pepper is far more important than his life as Iron Man.

     Both Ariel and Tony Stark benefit from technology, and their circumstances of feeling alone and powerless next to those similar to them (humanity for Ariel and superheroes for Tony), make the two compliment each other in a great way. Zooming out of that, The Tempest and Iron Man 3 both have strong scripts, excellent thematic follow-through, and above all, great characters with humanity pushing through each and every one, even those who are spiritual and armored.

Works Cited

Iron Man 3. Dir. Shane Black. Perf. Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don
     Cheadle. Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, 2013. DVD.

Shakespeare, William. The Tempest. Ed. Peter Holland. New York: Penguin,
     1999. Print.

November 28, 2013

Day 187

Happy Black Thursday... Oh, I'm sorry. Happy Thanksgiving! There we go! Sorry, with all the stores open today, y'know, it kinda gets a little confusing. I love the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, and I woke up in time to see the last little bit of it. It's always a great way to start the morning.

I finished writing my second violin concerto! I can't believe I've written my first playable concerto, full three movements, all of which were written in Sibelius. This is the first time I've done something fully in the program, and I'm pretty proud of it. It's something that I always find fascinating, when someone creates a piece of art, be it music, literature, film, television, video games, whatever; the creative process behind that is always interesting to me, and the meaning of what the creator was trying to say with their art is so interesting to me. So, I began thinking about what I've wanted to try and say with this concerto. I imitated Mozartian style mixed with a drizzle of neo-classical elements, and the creative process behind creating this thing is something of interest to me. I might do an in-depth post about it, I don't know.

So, then I went to Aaron's house for Thanksgiving dinner, and man, that was a treat. In tenth grade, I was kinda down in the dumps emotionally for a little bit there, so my friend created my ever-growing Things That Make Me Smile list, which has since evolved into the People and Things That Make Me Smile list, because there are people on that list too... not in a stalker-ish sort of way, just listing of people who make me smile. Anyway, this Thanksgiving is definitely going on that list. This is something that was super fun, because it was the first Thanksgiving in a long time that I had not spent with family, and I got to thinking about the other people in my life outside my immediate family, and how many friends I have around me. I've never really considered myself to be popular. I definitely have presence at my school (and apparently the lower classmen have built an idea or two around me), but I've not really given much thought to me being the guy everyone flocks to at the beginning of the day. I'm usually the guy at parties who stands in the corner pretending to admire a potted plant. But then I got to thinking about how many people I have around me who do care and love and respect me, and how many people I love and respect and care about. I think we tend to lose sight of that in our day-to-day lives, and it was nice for the night to reflect that yeah, I do have people I can talk to and hang out with and be myself around. It was just nice to think about that.

I ate a ton of food, and the pies that we brought over were excellent. I'm a big fan of stuffing, so I had a good portion of that, and I love yams, so I had far too many yams for my stomach. It was a great feast. Came home and now I'm really tired. I'm probably going to bed pretty soon. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. And don't do Black Friday... it's one of the seven hells reincarnated on Earth, just don't do it.

November 27, 2013

Day 186

Slept in today. The furnace people came by and finished their work on replacing our furnace. They were here 'till 12, so it was really loud. Then, having done nothing up until then but stare at the computer on Tumblr, I took a nap because I was tired... I feel that I'm getting very old, even though I'm not. I just feel that if I'm not at school or doing something thought-provoking, I get tired, bored, losing all hope in humanity... well, maybe not the last one. Anyway, I think that's good. It means that I have motivation. Not enough to work on the T-Arc review, though, that's a little too much. Sorry. Anyway, I got up and... well, went right back to staring at Tumblr. It's so addicting. Lots of really neat stuff there, actually.

Here's a link to something unsurprising yet still eye-opening: a statistics chart of gender inequality in film. Now, I think this is really interesting, because it shows just how deep gender inequality runs, especially in the media. Relating this back to my thesis (yeah, see? This is what I do in my spare time: thinking about schoolwork), I think it's so interesting that we promote and are taken with "strong female characters", yet also do very little about the misogyny in our culture. Check it out here.

Pretty cool, no? I'm focusing on the top chart there for my thesis, but it's all very good information. I'd love to see where the NYA got it's stats, though. This of course made me go on a Buffy-spree, and I watched like five hours worth of it. I also got caught up on my Person of Interest, and oh my God, this show, man! It ended so well! I loved it. It got really dark all of a sudden, and it's awesome. That's my day today. I have a weird stomach bug thing going on today. Maybe that's why I've been so tired? I don't know. It will not be there tomorrow, because tomorrow's Black Thursday. I'm sorry. Tomorrow's Thanks Giving, and I'm seeing Aaron! That should be so great! Okay, goodnight everyone. I'll try to write a more in-depth post tomorrow.

November 26, 2013

Day 185

Grandparents Day at my school is always great. If you don't know what that is, it is a tradition at my school where students invite their grandparents to visit for half the day, mostly so that they can write big checks to the school, but also as a way for us to appreciate our heritage, our history, and our families, and it's a nice way to begin the Thanksgiving break.

As Grandparents Day was going on, the upper school strings were called on to play at the grandparents luncheon thing. It went very well. I of course neglected to bring a change of clothes for the rest of the day, so I was stuck wearing a tux for the entire day, so that was nice. Post was the most interesting class. We had a number of grandparents sit in on that class, and we had a whole fascinating discussion about the '50s and '60s and how our perceptions of history, humanity, social interactions, and safety has changed in a relatively short amount of time. It was a fascinating talk, and it was nice that the grandparents interacted with the students, often leading the conversations. A very successful class indeed.

Advanced English was next. Three of my peers presented their plays. All were very good, and what made the class so great was the teacher brought in his eight-year-old daughter, who was of course adorable! She even got to read a part for two of the plays and it was so great! One of the plays was a hilarious comedy about a flight attendant having ten husbands, four of whom were on the plane that she happened to be on, and all of whom were sitting right next to each other. It was pretty great! Another play was about ghosts and it was kinda sad, but touching too. The last one was about this drug deal. It was the weakest, but it was still very good. I'm so honored to be around such talented people!

I had free last block, so it was just kind of a lazy end to a great thought-provoking day. Composition tutoring was okay too. Working on my third movement to my violin concerto. It's coming along nicely. Now it is the break, and I'm so thankful for it. I worked on my play tonight. I have three scenes, and I'm not really sure how to end it.

Tomorrow, I get to sleep in! Yeah! Thank the Lord.

November 25, 2013

Day 184

I'm feeling much better today. The twelve hours of sleep I think had a hand in that! Seriously, I went to bed at six yesterday, and woke up at seven this morning.

Had a two-hour delay at school today, so that was nice. I got to sleep in and make my way over to school at a leisurely pace. Only had forty-five minutes of English today in terms of classes. The rest of the day, I practiced the violin, and worked on my PA. Talked with my outside reader about the paper. He's looking forward to reading it, and I'm looking forward to his suggestions. I also talked with my primary reader about it, and he read the rough draft of the PA. He said he really liked it, and he could tell that I have a good grasp on what I'm talking about, especially in comparison to my other stuff that I've handed in regarding the thesis; the PA seems the most focused and confident out of all the pieces of the thesis so far, so that's good!

I went with the Tri-M group to the UNM Press hospital to play there. It was a very nice, low-key venture, and I played my Bach piece beautifully. Other students performed their pieces, and they were lovely! A couple friends of mine put on a violin duet performance, which was very nice, and then at the end, a male a capella group did a rendition of Misty Mountains! It was so great! Came home and had a quick bite before heading out to AYS.

AYS was pretty fun tonight. It was a good productive full rehearsal. Today was also picture day for us, so they pulled groups of us out of rehearsal for that, which was fun. I'm liking the stuff we're going to play for the Christmas concert a lot, mostly because it's easy!

Tomorrow is Grandparent's day! Should be nifty!

Just a quick update to today's post (I love being able to edit stuff like this). I'm all for stopping violence, equality, human rights, all that stuff, and today is apparently the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. I consider myself to be a pretty decent person, and am totally behind this. I've been doing some research on it, and it's very powerful and moving. I encourage you all to support it, or at least learn more about it. Here's a very touching video on the subject, coming from the United Nations Secretary General's campaign. Don't read the comments if you choose to view it on YouTube...

That's it. Just a quick addendum. Goodnight everyone.

November 24, 2013

Day 183

Hey, Blogger mobile app people! Ya gotta update to ios7!

Very sick today. I thought I was over it, but apparently not, because I spent the majority of the day sleeping. I'm really a mess right now.

My Christmas list is made, so that's good. I have an easy day tomorrow too. Get to work on thesis! Yay! Sorry this is such a short post. Been awhile since I blogged off of my iphone. I'm tired and too lazy to get out of bed.

November 23, 2013

Day 182

I had one of the most unproductive days today. I'm really tired, sick, the day was overcast skies... I'm just not in the best of shape right now, so I'll keep this one short so that you'll not be too exposed to my whining.

Woke up at around 7:00 this morning, which was right off the bat a mistake, because my head was really heavy, I was most certainly not meant to be up that early after staying up 'till 1:00 the night previously watching Buffy. So that was the first bad call. I tried working on my "Tunnel Vision" review, but being that my mind was still groggy, I closed the document... probably won't stop the review from being written when I'm half brain-dead though, I know how these things go. Anyway, I spent the whole day musing over what my next phase of my PA would be (I'm finally working on that now... when I'm tired, sick, and at night when I should be in bed). So yeah.

Oh, and I also finally received my Transformers figure I ordered. Technically it's not an official HasTak Transformer. It's a 3rd party figure. ToyWorld's Orion figure is the IDW Optimus Prime comic book design (almost) fully rendered in plastic. There are a few issues I have with my copy of the figure personally, but engineering-wise, this thing is awesome! I love the leg conversion, and I've found that adjusting the back wind-vane to be at a forward angle helps minimize its presence from the front, and still doesn't hinder arm movement, so that's nice. I'm okay with the paint, the plastic feels nice, and the figure is just the right size to fit in with my collection. This has replaced my Classics Optimus as my official Optimus Prime.

Watched The Bourne Ultimatum with my Mom tonight. Had some good grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner to help sooth my throat. I'm now working on my PA. Probably I'll go to bed soon... ish... See you tomorrow, guys.

November 22, 2013

Day 181

It's the Friday before Thanksgiving, which means that I only have two more days of school before the break! Woohoo! I had my STAM test today, and it went actually very well, I think. There were two problems that got me all confused, but I did my best, so I should receive at least partial credit on those. Strings was pretty fun. We worked more on my concerto. The first violin and I ran through their opening, and we're all getting a feel for how the music is supposed to be performed: like Mozart, so that means everything is light and mellifluous. After that, I went and rehearsed the Bach with the pianist, and it went okay. I think by Monday I'll have it down, and really it's not a fancy event. We're playing at a hospital, so I think the amount of music the people there will be exposed to will surely make up for my playing... not that I'm planning on playing badly, I'm just saying that the stress really isn't that high for this, which is good. I have enough things to worry about as it is.

In Advanced English, I wrote out a first draft of my play. It's two scenes long, and I do want to write a third one, but the problem is that it's already over ten minutes, which is the ballpark timeframe for our plays, so I'm a little worried about it. Thankfully, I have time to work on it, because I don't present it until the 9th. I'm basing it heavily off of the conversation between Megatron and Optimus in "Chaos Theory, Part 1", and off of my own Transformers fanfics... so I'm pretty much not doing any original work for this one other than changing a few names and places and events and motives and characters... okay, I'm doing a lot of new stuff, just the basic outline is taken from the other two sources. And yes, I do intend to mention this when I present it, don't worry.

My Mom picked me up for an eye doctor appointment today, which means I had to miss Post today. It sucks, 'cause today we were to talk about the reading that I did and I have a lot of stuff to say about it. I guess we'll talk about the next reading next class, so I guess that'll be good. The eye doctor appointment went relatively quickly. I wanted to see if I could get bifocals, but apparently my vision with reading is no different without my glasses than it would be if I got bifocal lenses, so there's really no reason to.

Arrived home early because of all of this, and I got myself a account! I posted my Arcee Mayhem story as my first story there just as an experiment. I'm loving the community. Everyone seems very nice and encouraging, and man, are there some talented writers out there! I read a bunch of TF fanfics for a good two hours; they're really good!

I did a pretty long violin practice today. Practiced the Bach a little bit, then did a pretty thorough rundown of my concerto. I'm getting all the fast runs and stuff, and have most of it memorized now! I'm pretty happy about that, and am very proud of myself for doing it so quickly. Watched some Prime episodes for fun (yes, I know about the delay in the T-Arc, I'm sorry. It's coming). I'm off to bed now. See you guys tomorrow. stories that I like:

November 21, 2013

Day 180

Y'know how sometimes you keep going even though you know you should probably quit while you're ahead? That happened to me in this stupid chess meet today. Seriously, this was like the worst game that I've ever played; every time I wrote down my move on my notation sheet, I felt like I was signing my own death warrant. I just... and this happens every time! Not that I play this badly, but that I always lose! I almost never win, and it's not because I'm not smart enough, nor is it because I'm not clever enough. It's because I'm nervous, tired (these things take place at 7 at night), I lose track of what I'm doing... I just hate it. And I love playing chess. I think chess is a great game, and I'm pretty good at it, but you'd never know looking at my score sheet! God! \I'm really upset (if you couldn't already tell) and part of my upset is because I'm one of the only two people with experience on the team, so me losing is just one more loss my team has to scrape off the floor, and I'm so sorry to my fellow teammates because I'm letting them down and I don't like that. Anyway, let me tell you about all the good things that happened today.

So, we had strings first. I didn't get to play my concerto, which was okay, 'cause we worked on some other fun stuff. In STAM, we did some more review for our test tomorrow, and I'm feeling pretty good about it. I hope it goes well. Also, for tomorrow, I'm rehearsing with the school pianist for Monday's Tri-M performance of the Bach A Minor 2nd movement. I practiced it tonight and it's sounding pretty good.

English 12 was a work day. I love my thesis (more on that below), and today I read more of Dangerous Curves, which is just a book that nails what television and films have done in portraying women (hint: they haven't done a very good job). It's just a book that gets it, y'know! So, I read some of that, beefed up my PA (it's now seven pages) and got really scared because my teacher went over the consequences for plagiarism in college! In short: don't do it!

Then came the best part of my day, Modern History! We had the first half of our class's thesis checkin presentations, and it was awesome. My classmates are all so talented and intelligent and wanting to learn! One of my favorite topics that my friend has is she's examining the morality of a superhero and looking at Rorschach and Batman and how their morality is constantly tested! It's a great topic, and I kinda wish I had thought to do it first, but my friend has a firm handle on it, and I'm so happy that she's doing it! Another thesis that was really cool was comparing The Lord of the Rings thematically to Wagner's Ring Cycles and how the two are similar and different. Just fascinating stuff, and I was just so humbled to be in the company of such awesome people with their awesome minds and topics and just yes! I presented today too, by the way. People loved my topic, and they had some super awesome suggestions and paths that I may consider pursuing once I get to writing my outline.

So, that was just a great way to end the school day. Chess was hell, but that didn't diminish the awesome that was the thesis check-in presentation thing. I just want to write so much about it now! It's so cool that my class, and really my whole school, has that drive in us to write about what we love, and that we're able to do it is something that I cherish and something that makes me so happy that I chose my school. I came home and practiced the hell out of the violin. I played through my concerto and worked out some hard bits and pieces, so I'm feeling better about it now. Wish me luck on my STAM test tomorrow, everyone!  

November 20, 2013

Day 179

So, I've gone for a considerable amount of time now without posting pictures along with my daily posts. Part of that is I've decided that I don't want to be labeled as creepy by my peers when I take pictures of them or of things around my school, and I also tend to forget to take pictures during the day. I'm wondering if you all are liking this no-picture format I've got going (I have noticed that these recent posts have garnered more views than posts with pictures, though the increase in views is probably due to more content on the page itself), or if you want to see what I look like when I'm given sugar... let me know in the comments below.

Today was pretty good, though I'm coming down with a cold, so that's not fun. In Advanced English, we began our long look at our peers' plays. As a class, we critique a student's play after a selected portion of us do a read through. This first one was very good. I'm always impressed at how awesomely we are able to write and how we're able to convey complex ideas in such simple terms. It was very macabre, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Strings was pretty cool too. We ran through my concerto, and the teacher had the really bad idea to allow me to solo. I was very nervous, and I had no sheet music of my own, so I had to play it from memory... and I wasn't prepared. It went badly for me, but I'm loving the fact that we're playing it. Tomorrow, I will be more prepared by actually having my music with me should the occasion arise where I would need it.

In STAM, we took some review notes for our test on Friday. I think I have a pretty good handle on the concepts covered in this unit. This unit is the probability unit, and I do so love it! It was a short block today, so after this, I worked more on my PA. I'm up to six pages now! Woot! I'm so excited, and not even about the fact that I have six pages, but about the fact that I want to write about this stuff! I care deeply about this, and that's what's so great!

Post was really fun. We discussed sports in the '50s and '60s, and looked at how baseball was the main focus for sports while football didn't come into its modern form until the late '70s early '80s. Really interesting stuff here, because sports back then were used as outlets for the civil rights movement! Really cool stuff! Learned about the awesome Muhammad Ali and all he did and said. We watched an interview with him where he was talking about bringing back the gold medal for the Olympics, and when he went back to his home town and tried to eat at a fancy Whites-only restaurant, the waitress said "we don't serve N's here," and he responded "well, I don't eat N's either!" Damn! That's like the best comeback for such a stupid law ever! I love that he said that!

Violin lesson was good. We worked the whole time on my concerto. I'm kinda getting a feel for what I want to do with it. It's becoming more than just a notation exercise; it's becoming soulful music! I'm so glad that my teacher is willing to take her time to go over this with me. Came home and watched Tuesday's Person of Interest and holy balls! Are you kidding me?! If you watch the show, you know what I'm talking about, and if you haven't watched the show... go watch it! It's so good, but this last episode man! Just... Oh my God! Anyway, I'm doped up on NiQuil, so I'm gonna call it a night. See you all tomorrow!

November 19, 2013

Day 178

So, I woke up today with that awful feeling in the back of your throat when you're sick. Yeah, I wasn't having the best start to my day. And it never went away. I still have it even now as I write this, so maybe I'm getting sick. I don't know. I certainly hope not!

I made real progress today on my thesis project. For one, I found out what I'm actually talking about, and I got to writing a proper Preliminary Analysis on what's wrong with the Strong Female Character archetype. Apparently, what I'm saying about this is nothing new, but I think my application of Buffy will be something not often seen. I did have fun writing out my first five pages of my PA, and I'm so glad that I sat down with my primary reader and looked at what I wanted to talk about. It was a very productive afternoon.

In the morning, I had English, in which we worked on our PAs. This is what spawned my obsession with getting this done right today. It was a fun class. I planned out a general outline for my overall thesis. In Modern History, we talked about the beginnings of the French Revolution. I'm loving this class because it's like a real life Game of Thrones. It's just so absurdly crazy that I sometimes wonder if all the History teachers at my school are just conspiring with each other and telling us all complete lies! Then I look on the Internet and discover that, no, what they're telling us in school is indeed the truth, because the Internet is awesome.

That was pretty much my whole day. It went by pretty quickly for me. Part of that was because I was really excited that I finally got narrowed down on my topic and developed an actual argument, and also part of it was because I only had two classes in the morning. It was a fun school day.

I printed out my draft of my 2nd movement of my violin concerto to bring to my composition tutor. He had some helpful insights, and I think I'm turning it into a theme and variations piece. It's very interesting, and I still find it so impressive that my comp tutor is able to pick out what I myself want out of a piece like this just off the cuff! It's pretty cool.

Came home and worked more on my PA. I discovered a great article that pretty much sums up my whole argument on the SFC issue. Read it here; it's really good! Tomorrow I have Strings and a violin lesson! Should be nifty to play my concerto!

November 18, 2013

Day 177

I'm starting off the week well with this Monday! First, my strings class finally got to play my concerto! Man, that was fun. The teacher actually dismissed everyone except 1st violins and myself, since the 1st violin part is similar to my part and there are some tricky fingerings to work out. She had some nifty thoughts on what to do about a lot of this stuff, and it was neat to hear actual people practice a piece I wrote. I got the same thrill this time that I got last year, perhaps even more, because this was a full-on original piece and not an arrangement, so to hear what I had come up with in my head be transferred into music by actual musicians amazed me! So that was very fun. Not sure how my popularity status is right now with the 1st violins; their part is pretty hard!

So, that was the first highlight of my day. The second big one was AYS, surprisingly enough. We had rehearsal as normal for the first half, but then we had a local Spanish string quartet come in and play for us! That was really cool. They played Mendelssohn's final string quartet and a salsa piece which was just so much fun! It was a definite treat to listen to them. Then, not only did they perform, but the strings sections all got to have sectional with a member of the quartet! Cool! This was a real joy and something that was definitely unexpected. Definitely one for the "People and Things that Make Me Smile" list!

STAM was okay today. (I'm going kinda backwards in my blog today). We're getting ready for a big test on Friday, so we'll be doing a lot of reviewing over the next couple of days. Strings was as mentioned above, very fun. I'm glad we're finally starting to play my piece.

In Advanced English we finished Doubt. It's a great movie. I'm kinda disappointed in it's ending, just because I felt there could have been greater character resolutions all around. It wrapped up a little too quickly for my taste. Otherwise, though, an excellent screen adaptation of a play; they got everything in there, and a little bit more besides. I'm starting to work on my play (very slowly, though). I think it'll turn out alright.

Had Post today. We discussed the current section of Malcolm X, and then we read our assigned reading for Friday. I'm still really loving the book. On Wednesday, we discuss sports in the '60s! Cool.

So, that was my day. I'm still kinda hyped that we're playing a fully original piece of mine. It means a lot to me, and I'm so thankful to all my classmates and especially my teacher for taking this on!

November 17, 2013

Day 176

I really need to do more productive stuff over the weekend. The whole "staring at the computer for eight hours on end" thing is a little excessive, and gives me a headache. Doesn't help that I'm currently doing just that. I feel very deflated today, actually. I think it was how the day began.

I woke up from this very neat dream where I was with my cousins and it was Christmas... I don't know, but it was cool. So, I woke up, and I got this notion to order this third-party Transformers figure for a large sum of money (I'm paying triple digits here), and that was a little taxing... okay, very taxing. I was trying to conserve my money, so I don't know why I decided to do this now of all times. I just did, and it should be here on Tuesday.

Then, I engaged in a cool Twitter conversation with SFDebris about maybe seeing if he'd review a Transformers episode from one of the series. He said that he in fact has plans to review an episode of Beast Wars, and he also said he'd be open to requests for any of the other series except Armada, so I know he's a smart man! This made me very happy, and I'm now looking forward to that review (hoping it's "Code of Hero")!

So, I did some more work on my Preliminary Analysis. I think it's getting better. I've crossed the required rough draft page amount, so that's good. I still feel that there is way too much going on in this paper, but with some tweaking, I'm sure it'll turn out okay.

Then I went to my violin teacher's house for her concert. All the little people played their cute Twinkle variations and such, we started working our way up the chain, until it finally came time for me to perform. Now, I'm sure some of you remember the last time I performed something... it didn't go very well. Well, surprise, surprise, this one went poorly too, worse even than Phantom, because this time I actually stopped and I missed like all of my cues! How hard is this? Really? Performing the Bach A Minor 2nd movement should not be this difficult, and I hate that every time I put myself out there for everyone to hear that I always mess up in a big way! Afterwards, we all had snacks and chatted a little bit, and it was here that I had a fleeting but powerful thought: I should just quit now. It was fleeting, about a second's worth of consideration went into this, and then it was gone, but it was there nonetheless. I legitimately wanted to retire my violin at that moment. Now, I'm not saying this out of a desire for your pity; I'm just saying that this is what I thought in the aftermath of that awful performance, because that's how much this sucked. And it happens every time, and I'm so fed up with it!

Anyway, after this, my Mom and I went to the comic book store to pick up our monthly haul. I got the first issue of the Dark Cybertron event that IDW is doing, the latest Superior Spider-Man, and got caught up on all my Iron Man books. Stopped for lunch at a Mexican restaurant, and in my depression, I had three tacos. I was feeling pretty tired after this, so we went home and I scrolled through a huge TFW2005 thread about the third-party Transformer I ordered this morning. I was mostly looking at the pictures, but there was some interesting conversations going on.

Went to Flying Star... yeah, that TFW2005 thing, that took up four hours worth of my day today! Anyway, I went to Flying Star, had a huge pancake (I was still depressed), and headed home. I'm very sad about today, but on the bright side, tomorrow we play my concerto... for real this time! I promise you, this is happening. So that should be fun. I'm tired and sad, and I'm going to bed.

November 16, 2013

Day 175

So, remember last post when I said that I had an outline/plan for my preliminary analysis? Well, surprise, I don't know jack about what I'm doing! That's not technically true, but dammit, I sure feel like an idiot! I have so much to say about Buffy, yet I don't know how to say all of it without it turning into a huge mess, because nothing that i have to say can be said on its own without the support from all the rest of the stuff I have to say on it. So yeah, today was basically a day of me wallowing in self-pity, watching several episodes of the show, and writing four pages that can hopefully be turned into something resembling my preliminary analysis.

That's not to say that I did not make progress on it today; I did. Those four pages are four pages more than I had this morning before I started, and I did get some crucial things I've wanted to say about the series for some time out onto paper. So that's good. I find myself struggling however, because everything that I have to say can't be said in this paper. The way the senior thesis works at my school is that we have first what is called the preliminary analysis, a "draft zero", if you will. In this paper, we are supposed to talk about our topic in broad strokes, in my case discussing its implications socially, politically, societally, etc. Now, you might be thinking to yourself: "Luke, why don't you just treat this as an Overview? You've done six, you're probably working on a seventh for the Holidays (where's my T-Arc that you promised us, dammit?!) why not tell your reader your thoughts on Buffy in an Overview-ish style?" And wouldn't it be wonderful if I could do that? But alas, I can't seem to do that with this show. Buffy, I'm sorry to say, is far too complicated a show for me to tackle, at least in full force. I'm perfectly fine analyzing bits and pieces of it, it's characters, maybe a story arc or two and it's effect on a character, but that's really where my comfort level stops. I don't know how to write an overview of a seven-season long show, analyzing things in bulk, because honestly, that's not what Buffy is. I can't do that, because Buffy didn't do that. This show is subtle, it's complex, it's multi-layered, and for me to clump all of that into three or four points would do the show a disservice, because it would be leaving out so much of what makes up the show itself.

So, doing a full-blown overview is out of the question. What if I focus on an arc? A single season? Like Season Five, the best of them all (sorry, Season Two fans). I could do this, but much of what I like about Season Five lies within Buffy the character, and since my actual thesis is analyzing Buffy... well, I can't really talk about her in a paper that is supposed to be the setup for my actual in-depth talk in my thesis, now can I? What if I analyze the impact Buffy has on academia? I've played around with this topic already in the first four pages of the PA, and so far it's yielded somewhat promising results. What I'm going for, however, is looking at what makes up a "strong female character", and how Buffy handles that aspect of itself. This has so far been the most promising out of all the ideas I've been able to cram into the four pages of what is supposed to be an eight-to-twelve page paper. Still, I feel as though I'm not grasping anything tightly enough. I am out of focus right now. I don't know what to talk about in this paper. On Tuesday, we have a work day in English class, and I have the afternoon off, so that should give me ample time to sort this mess out (and it really is a mess; I don't even have a proper introduction of what I'm talking about, I just kinda plunge into things headfirst).

So, I did watch several hours worth of the show, plus some Star Trek: Deep Space Nine to keep my mind sane (though this probably did more damage than good). I wandered aimlessly around the web for a few hours, until my Mom finally said that we should grab an early dinner since we didn't have lunch. Went to Applebee's (it's a guilty pleasure; don't judge!) and had some supper and a superb dessert, and then returned home. My mind must have been in some insane "I need to take on more projects to feel overworked even though I already am" mode, so I've started drafting my second movement to my second violin concerto. I don't know why I'm doing this now; I have so much on my plate already... Anyway, I've written an A section, a development of that, and a recapitulation that ends very sweetly. I'm now of course frustrated that I can crank out a draft of a concerto in the span of an hour and still only have a mess of four pages of about fifty ideas for an eight-page paper at minimum! God, I do not like this thesis thing at all!

So, I don't know if you all can tell, but my mind is pretty much shot for the day. I'm going to bed so I can wake up sane (ish) tomorrow and play a concert in the afternoon. Goodnight, everyone.

November 15, 2013

Shadowcon Mini-Views- As You Like It

     I do not like reading Shakespeare. There is something about reading a thing that is meant to be seen and performed that leaves me feeling like I’ve only experienced a fraction of what I’m meant to experience. Shakespeare’s plays aren’t meant to be read, they’re meant to be seen, to be lived, and in that respect, I think teaching his plays as texts without at least seeing a version or two alongside the text is a mistake. That’s one of the reasons I think my school’s education is so good. We teach Shakespeare’s plays by both reading and analyzing them and seeing the various versions that are out there. My school also has the added benefit of producing our own versions of various plays, and tonight I got to see such a production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It, a romantic comedy of sorts that really had me on the edge of my seat, laughing my ass off! It was so good.

     What made this work was by far the subject of the play: young love, impetuous love bursting with lovely innuendo, so it was just perfect for a high school setting! I have a rather difficult time critiquing my peers in anything (I feel elitist when doing so), but here, I have nothing but praise. I could sense a quirky off-beat awkwardness coming from the actors on stage, but it didn’t detract from the play at all. In fact, I dare say it enhanced it, as this made the comedy all the more ripe. The way the actors played off of each other through most of the production really had me in awe and made me respect and admire everyone involved more than I ever thought possible, because being a high school production, these people didn’t even need to do that. They all could have skated by with just delivering their lines and it would have been just fine because this is high school acting. But that wasn’t good enough for them. I sensed that everyone in the play wanted to make this the best play they could make it be, and unlike most high school productions of Shakespeare where the lines are forced and not delivered correctly (by that, I mean that the actors themselves don’t know what they’re saying), the actors here knew what they were saying and as such made the play accessible to everyone without having to dumb it down in delivery. That is such a tricky thing to do, and my peers pulled it off masterfully.

     When I write a play, I find it difficult to imagine my scenes and settings being able to be produced on stage; just the logistics that would need to go into producing what I’m envisioning just gives me a headache. So I’m always impressed with the tech and set crew of my school, who are able to shrink everything down to be able to fit into a small black box theatre without losing any of what the set piece needs to convey. Again, a great job. The actors made good use of the stage. They played out their dramatic roles with appropriate gusto, striding all about the stage in mockery of what their characters were supposed to be feeling, much to the audience’s amusement, and this gave me the sense that I was far more a part of the experience than if I had just sat down and read this as a text. It was a great evening, and surefire way to end the week/kick off the weekend. I’m so proud of my school and the talent therein!

Day 174

I just got back from seeing my school's production of As You Like It, and by God, it was awesome! I'll not go into here, but rest assured, I love my school and all the people in it; we're all so talented!

Went to meet my new dentist this morning. Since I am, I'm sorry to say, a legal adult, I had to fill out all my paperwork myself, and I must say, these people must think you're off to the moon given how many questions they ask you on these damned forms! It's insane. Anyway, the new dentist was nice (he knew my Dad, so that's cool), and the teeth cleaning went well. After that, I arrived for the last fifteen minutes of Modern History, and I'm kinda sorry I missed today's class. It sounded really cool, given what I came in on!

In strings... we still did not play my concerto. My teacher reassured me that we're to start rehearsals on Monday, so that'll be fun. I'm liking the music we're playing now. Mad Russian is coming right along, and we continue to have fun in prepping for the concert. I worked on my Tempest paper a little bit after strings class (it was only a half block), and then went to lunch.

English 12 was really productive for me today. I had my teacher read over my paper, and she had some invaluable suggestions that I quite swiftly put into play. Basically, all I needed to fix my paper was a redefining of structure and telling blatantly how Tony Stark and Ariel are related. My teacher told me plainly that I should assume the reader is not as smart as I and instead present them with all the comparisons up front, so I did, and yes, it is a smarter paper now. Structure is important, and is something that I do struggle with... like, a lot, so I'm glad I'm learning to hone and tackle it.

STAM was okay. I was so drained of energy by this point in the day that I just really didn't care about school anymore. I handed in my test corrections to my teacher, and we did a worksheet in class having to do with probability trees, which I actually really enjoy. So it was an okay ending to my school day proper.

Then my Mom came and got me and we got some yummy food and headed home. I worked a little more on my Tempest essay, and then plotted out my Preliminary Analysis for my thesis. I think I'm going to talk about Buffy's impact on culture and how Joss Whedon envisioned the show, how we view female characters in general and how Buffy tries and succeeds in breaking down the norms. I hope it turns out well!

And then we went to see As You Like It. As I said above, I'm not going to go into everything here; that'll be handled in a separate post, probably a "Mini-View", but suffice it to say I don't think I've laughed as hard as I did tonight in any other school production. Just something about the quirky nature that everyone displayed was hilarious, and I loved how off-beat everything was in a great way. Just an awesome way to end the week! I do so love how talented we all are!

Tomorrow, I crack down on my thesis work, rake some leaves, and practice the hell out the violin! Should be fun.

November 14, 2013

Day 173

So, I can't even believe it, today was even more boring than yesterday! At the end of the day I actually took like an hour-long nap. I never take naps! What the hell? So, basically, it was the same day as yesterday, just with Post and Advanced English instead of Modern and English 12, and... I don't know. JC finally ended today, so tomorrow we'll have regular classes in which we actually learn something, but really, today just kinda bummed me out.

There were two things that happened today that made it somewhat bearable. First, in Post, the substitute was awesome, and we had a pretty hilarious discussion about Malcolm X. Remember, everyone had groups that they were assigned to, and then the group had a specific chapter. Well, one of the people in this group gave such a fantastic hilarious synopsis of his chapter, and then when a girl from my group tried to intervene and correct him on stuff that he was actually right about in the first place, he just looks at her and is all like "woah, this is my chapter, and Imma tell it like I want to!" Damn! Everyone kinda went nuts over that, and it was great!

The second thing that happened today that was actually pretty cool was in Advanced English, we watched Doubt from 2005. Damn! What a great film! I also found this awesome video of Joss Whedon talking about the word "feminist" and the implications of it. The video is below, if you're interested. It's a great video, though I still think his Equality Now speech is better.

We had a sub in Strings again today. Tomorrow, guys... I promise (hopefully). And that was my day. See, even shorter than yesterday's post. I had violin lesson tonight, and we played through my Bach piece for Sunday and worked out a little bit of my concerto. It's going well. I hope my strings class can actually... y'know practice it one of these days! Came home and watched Person of Interest! It's getting soooo goood! I can't wait for next Tuesday to come! Like, NOW people!!!

November 13, 2013

Day 172

So, everyone was gone today for Judicial Committee, and as such, my day felt very empty. I mean, my advisor was gone, several of my friends were gone, my strings teacher was gone (not because of JC; she was sick I guess), so it ended up being a rather unproductive and boring day. There were some good moments, though.

I must say, the cake turned out great! I gave it to my strings class for them to share, and Aaron and I both ate a slice, and it was pretty good. I think it's a little dry, but everyone else really enjoyed it, so that was great. STAM went by pretty quickly. I did my test corrections during History (we had a sub), so it was nice to get that out of the way.

English was the most productive class by far today. The teacher was actually there, and we edited our papers. My editor said she couldn't find anything wrong with my point of my paper, but I still think it needs work. I still don't think I've completely zoomed in on what it is I want to talk about. I read another person's paper, and it was pretty good. We also got back several quizzes that we had taken over the past month. I've seriously gotten 8/10s on all of my English quizzes this year, it's so weird. Still, it was a fun class. We get to work more on our papers on Friday, so that'll be nice.

In strings, we unfortunately did not work on my piece; hopefully tomorrow we will! We had a sub, and I didn't like him. He was a little too arrogant and up front about things that really didn't matter. We did get to have cake, though. That was cool. That was pretty much my entire school day. Literally, that's it.

After school, I went home, did some more Malcolm X reading, and then went to rehearse the Bach A Minor with my piano accompanist. It went okay. I need to work on this one section in which my fingers kinda get messed up. I don't really know it as well as I should for Sunday, but it's okay, because in two weeks or so, I'll be playing it again with Tri-M, so it's good that I'm getting to perform it before that. Not that that's a big commitment, I'm just say, that I'll get two shots at this thing that I'm not totally solid on, and that's good for me.

Tried out this new awesome restaurant with burgers and stuff. It was delicious! I intend to go back there again at some point, because it was very filling and the restaurant building was beautiful. Sorry for the kinda lazy post today. I'm going to bed. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better.

November 12, 2013

Day 171

I'm baking a cake! Not for any scholastic reason; it's not like I had to create an edible femur or something like that, no. I'm doing this because I told Aaron that I would as a joke, and then of course I shook on the deal, and then several people overheard me, and, well... I'm baking a cake now! So that's exciting.

You may notice that my blog looks larger now than it did yesterday. There is nothing wrong with your preferences or text size; I decided to increase the body font in the hope that it's easier to read (for me, it was very hard to read, and for a lot of people I've talked to, bigger text on a screen is better than small text; it's just easier to read), and in the process, I learned a little bit about HTML code and editing it, so that was interesting to learn on a Tuesday that was pretty mellow, all things considered.

I started out the day with STAM. Turns out I'm missing a couple of assignments in there, and I have test corrections due Friday, so I better get on this! We learned about different ways of plotting probability, and that was cool. The long block went by pretty quickly, which was nice; usually the STAM periods feel extra long!

After that, I had Post, and we talked about Malcolm X. I still really love it, and my teacher gave us an interesting assignment for next time. Instead of reading the whole seventy-page chunk by Thursday, he split us up into groups, each of which reads one chapter. When we come back on Thursday, we'll fill the other groups in on what happened in our reading, how Malcolm changed, what happened in the broader picture, etc. It's a neat idea. This does mean that I have to rely on other people doing the work (which I'm not very good at), but I think it'll be fun!

Advanced English has gotten a little bit... boring! Dare I say it? I know. My teacher's... eccentricities have kinda worn off a little bit, so now I'm not having as much fun. We're also not doing so much writing; we're looking at plays, but then never really talking about them in-depth, so we're all at kind of a standstill. It's not bad, there's just not enough movement for my taste in a class like this. I'm working on my play, which I don't think can possibly fit into ten minutes, but whatever. It's pretty fun; it'll be better once we get together as a class and talk about our own work, that's all.

Strings was awesome today, because we looked up the Trans Siberian Orchestra playing A Mad Russian's Christmas, which was awesome! We're playing it for the December concert, along with my concerto, which as it turns out, we're starting to practice tomorrow! Cool! I'm pretty nervous, but also really excited. I get pretty self-conscious when sharing my own work, but these are my friends who are playing it, so I think it'll go fine. The December concert actually sounds really badass: we're playing A Mad Russian's Christmas, which has electric violin, bass, guitar, and keyboard, so that should be awesome! We're playing my concerto, which I'm obviously really excited about, and it should be just a fun time!

Worked on my English paper for tomorrow. Again, I'm still not feeling like I've centered on my theme; it feels more like I'm circling it than really nailing it on the head, y'know? I actually felt that way about a lot of my English papers last year; the only one that I was super proud of wat the Mary Anne paper (which, incidentally, you can read here). But this one looks to be shaping up alright I guess. I think tomorrow will really help me out. Composition tutoring was fun. I showed my tutor my Cuckoo's Nest score. He loved it, and next week I'm to bring in the sheets for one of my pieces to analyze my own work! Cool!

Came home and caught up on last week's episode of SHIELD. This of course means that I'm now behind on today's episode, but that's okay. I did have a cake to bake after all! It turned out alright (both the cake and the episode, if you're wondering). I hope my friends at school like it! Going to bed now. Sorry for these abrupt endings to these things; I'm not very good at conclusions.

November 11, 2013

Day 170

I'm a pretty good writer, and I can pump out a rough draft of an English essay in the time it takes you to put together a sandwich, so asking me to write a paper on The Tempest is like asking an artist to paint an apple: it's pretty easy, yeah? Except, not really. Not this time. For some reason, I am having such trouble coming up with a cohesive structure and analysis of the play in relation to Iron Man 3, and this is making me very frustrated. I worked on it a lot today (I went to my English teacher for help and she gave me some great advice on how to narrow down my topic), but something was missing. I find that I do very well at reading into things, reading between the lines of works, but finding evidence for my claims remains a weak point for me, even when I know that my claims about a work are clearly supported in the text; I just don't know where to look. I find that I'm having this problem now with relating Ariel to Tony Stark, because while I can make all the comparison I want between the two, it doesn't work in an essay without some textual evidence to back it up, and I'm not finding that, even though both my teacher and myself know that there is a clear connection there. It's an interesting dilemma of having such a great topic yet trouble finding out the necessary evidence to make it supportable. I don't know. This is a rough draft, and I'll have time to work on it tomorrow, but I did want to get this out of my system.

While I'm on the subject of English (I'm jumping around a lot today), the class itself today was pretty interesting. We discussed Ngugi and his model of moving the cultural center around the world, and then we tried to apply it to a stack of books, all of which are phenomenal books, but only some of which had a focus not centered around Western ideas or settings. A very interesting project, and I liked that my teacher put emphasis on the fact that just because a book isn't breaking out of the Western norm that it is somehow bad; plenty of great books fell into that pile (To Kill A Mockingbird, Heart of Darkness, etc), it's just that the ones that do break out of that center provide us with a different point of view culturally than those that do not. It was just a fun activity and really got me thinking about our education system.

We then looked at my school's English department's reading material and how culturally diverse it is. Most of our readings come from the US, only one comes from the Middle East (Persepolis), and a significant portion come from Europe. Now, this did not include the History department's readings, and that raised some objections from my peers, because we felt that we have received a well-rounded education in terms of our exposure to culture, and a lot of that is apparently due to the stuff we read in History, because in that department, we read stuff from all over the world... y'know, 'cause it's History, and I think including that department's data into the mix would present a more balanced representation of our education and readings, and a truer sense of what we as students are experiencing at my school. Nevertheless, the data was interesting, and I liked that the teacher had the guts to show us this stuff; some of it was not all that flattering.

Modern History (which came before English; see, jumping around?) was pretty cool. We talked a little bit about thesis and how we should be totally stressed out about it (dammit) and then we looked at some despotic rulers. We looked at Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great (awesome), and we started our look at Catherine the Great (who is really awesome)! It was a fun, light-hearted class (despite the rather dark subject matter); it was learning about Russia though, so it was okay.

Ran around at lunch because it turns out that a music group of which I am a participant is doing a performance a few weeks from now, and all the people involved are doing solos or duets or something like that. So I had to get this piano music, which my orchestra teacher found by luck, and copy it (twice, of course, because the first time it was all skewed to the left, y'know), and then run back to the choir room where all of this was taking place and hand it to the choir teacher who will (hopefully) deliver it to the piano teacher by Wednesday. I'm playing the Back A Minor 2nd movement, which is good because I'm already learning that, so it works. And this'll give me more practice with the piece, so that's good too.

In AYS, we had our final sectional until February, and it went okay. Felt really long, and the full rehearsal with everyone did not go so hot. We are very unprepared, and according to our conductor, "conductor and cue-dependent". He then went on a speech that essentially said nothing because he didn't really back up his claims with evidence (kinda like my English paper), so it came off sounding absurd and pompous. Anyway, really tired now. I'm going to bed. Goodnight.

November 10, 2013

Day 169

Had a very restful Sunday. I have a lot of things to do over the course of this week, and I started in on my multiple projects full throttle by reading the English article due tomorrow. It was a fascinating read. It was clear-cut and easy to understand (despite my teacher's warnings to the contrary), but what it was talking about was an interesting and overlooked concept: that of European teachings dominating schools along with the mindset that the rest of the world is somehow subservient to this form of teaching, that authors from India, China, or Korea or other such places are somehow "not as good as" European writers. The article discussed how our viewpoints change, how they ought to change regarding education in the Western world, and how we view others as a single culture. Really interesting stuff! Of course, after reading that, I fell back to sleep (I had gotten up a 7:00) and didn't wake up again until 10:00. Yeah.

So, when I got up again, I started drafting my Tempest paper. It's not finished yet; I intend to do more with it tomorrow and Tuesday, but I'm glad I can get my thoughts down on paper. Oh, and I'm taking the full plunge and doing my first big paper in Google Drive. Ooh! Crazy stuff! I am in fact relating Prospero and Ariel to Tony Stark of Iron Man 3, and yes, it's pretty awesome. I do still intend to use our supplementary English readings that our teacher gave us, because those readings are good too, but I like this idea of relating Shakespeare to modern media and pop culture, and I hope this paper turns out alright! While doing this, I also found out about a third-party Transformers figure: ToyWorld's TW-02 Orion, their take on the IDW Transformers Optimus Prime design from the Ongoing series. This is by far my favorite Optimus Prime design based around G1 (Prime Season One and Two Prime is still my absolute favorite body design), and I want a physical representation of it so bad! There are preorders up for a second shipment, but the thing costs a hundred bucks! That's insane, and I don't know if I'll cave and get it (probably will).

Had a long long violin lesson today! My teacher's been giving me pretty long lessons lately (about half an hour over our usual one-hour schedule), and I very much appreciate it, though I don't know if she knows that's what's happening, because she doesn't charge me more than the normal fare, even though we go over almost every time now. So, I broke the news to her that I'm playing my concerto in December rather than April, and she was naturally shocked for about five seconds. Then she told me to haul it out so we could work on it for a little bit. I love that people who far more experienced than me are able to do things with my music that I had never thought of. My teacher made me do all these lovely things to the piece that made it sing far more than I would have expected it to. I think this just goes to show that I'm kind of a novice at this sort of thing; what I'm doing is intuitive, not based around conscious logic of musical form or whatever. So I love that when I bring my work over to people who actually know what they're doing, they're able to make my work far more palpable than anything that I'd ever be able to do with it. I just think it's cool! We also worked on the Bach 2nd movement of the A Minor for next Sunday's concert. I have a lot of work to do on that too, because my rhythm is kinda messed up and all over the place, and my fingers trip over each other. I'm going to be drilling this thing a lot over the next week!

Came home and worked some more on that English essay, wrote out some thoughts on Prime- just general stuff; I'll be posting this soon... ish (hopefully). It's basically an overview of why I loved the show as much as I did. This'll probably go up after my Season Three Overview, or after my formal review of "Deadlock". Anyway, that was fun. Flying Star was really busy tonight, and it was loud and raucous! Lots of movement and noise and ugh. Not the most relaxing evening ever, but my Caesar salad was still yummy! And I had bread pudding for dessert! Yay. I have a lot of work to do tomorrow, so I guess I should head to bed. Goodnight, all!

November 9, 2013

Day 167 and 168

I have a lot to talk to you guys about!

I'm catching up on two jam-packed days of stuff, so this will probably be a longer post than normal (probably not as long as my play though; that was ridiculous!) Yesterday was a great end to a far more productive and easy week than last week, and I think all of what made yesterday great carried over to today... because I really enjoyed today too!

So, I started out the day yesterday with Strings, and this was the first big news that both made me very happy and very stressed out: my teacher has moved my concerto performance up to December from the original April date! Now, there were about a million thoughts that went through my head at that point: one was "great, we can start practicing now!"; another was "this'll free up my second semester so that I'll have more time for thesis"; another was "I hope my ego doesn't get too inflated with this revelation"; and another was "oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, I am so screeeewed!" So, the basic reason for moving up the deadline is because I want to submit a recording of me performing my concerto to several schools who suggest an art supplement of some kind, and being that these schools do not have faculty look at the supplement, performing my concerto without the scrutiny of music scholars looking over it and judging it as unofficial and therefore not good enough to receive scholarship money, I can submit this as an art supplement to be judged by the admission people, so that's nice. Now, my private violin teacher suggested that I ask my school strings teacher to see if she or I could shrink the strings orchestra parts down to a string quartet, and that seemed like an okay idea. So, I present this idea to my teacher, and she's all for it until I mention recording this, and then her mind must have done some gymnastics or something, because next I know she's all like "y'know, we could just move this up to December with the full orchestra, record (and possibly film) it; you'd have the recording, the concert would be done, and we could take this out all at once." So, I'm like "I guess I should get on the whole learning of this piece which I have a lot of work to do on!" So yeah, this has added a whole lot of stress now, because now along with the Mozart G Major 2nd movement, the Bach A Minor 1st movement, and learning the 2nd movement of the latter for next Sunday, I now have to contend with learning an original work with an actual orchestra by early to mid December... and that's only strings... and it's all for scholarship money. I just... I can't even say I'm stressed, because if I say that, then I'm sure people will be like "you think you've got it bad?" but dammit! I'm stressed about this! But also really excited!

Had a half a free to vent and stress about that, and then it was off to STAM. We got our tests back, along with the promise that we can do tests corrections due next Friday. I'm going to do those, because I need to, and thus I was even more stressed! I think I know almost everything I did wrong on the test, so it won't be that hard, but it is another thing, and I hate having things pile up like this. After that, I had another half free, in which I found out that we have a rough draft of an English paper due next Wednesday, which our teacher just forgot to tell us about on Thursday... yeah. Now, I'm a good writer (I mean, not with this stuff; this is all off the top of my head. I'm a good English writer, analyzer, essayist, y'know), so I know I can knock this out in a good hour, but I mean, come on! Really?! I'm excited about this though, because I'm doing my Tempest relation to Iron Man 3 thing, and I can't wait to write it! Oh, but I can't do that yet, because we have a reading due Monday that's supposed to be really hard! I mean, hard for normal people; I find these types of readings fascinating and fun, so that shouldn't be too bad (I'm just trying to make you guys see just how much stuff I have to do for next week... in a day)! And I found all this information out... about a class that I didn't even have on Friday!

Advanced English was a relief (kind of), because we finished off the film version of A Streetcar Named Desire. It was very... '50s, and still had me confused in some sections just because I'm out of touch with the lingo and the style of that era. Then we talked about it, raising our confusions to the teacher... who was himself a little unsure of what happened, so that was reassuring! He then transitioned us to talking about our next play, and how it's very open in its structure (hope I got my use of "it's" and "its" right in that clause). I have an idea for my play, though I don't know how I'm going to cram it into ten minutes worth of stuff!

Post was finally last! We all presented our Cuckoo's Nest projects. Most of them were really good! The best one in my mind was this cutout of Ms. Ratched's face with layers to it; so you pulled one layer off her face and it showed how Bromdon saw her, then you pulled that layer off and it showed all of her gears and how her mind seems to work in the eyes of the patients and then the final layer reveals that she's just a little frightened girl! So great, right?! I loved that one. My friend wrote her own song and she had to leave the room when it came to listening to it (it was pretty good!) and I wrote a six-piece film score to the book. We only listened to my main theme of it, because we were running low on time, but my teacher encouraged me to bring the rest of it to show him! It went very well, and was a nice end to the day; the teacher was all happy about our projects!

Then came the best thing about Friday: I went to see Sweeney Todd, in which my friend acted, and oh my freaking god! It was so good! I mean, it was really good! The best thing about it was the fact that they utilized the entire stage. It was performed in a black box in which the audience was situated in two spots surrounding the stage, each facing the other, and this created a great dynamic because it meant that the actors could use the full stage, and there was no real "back" of it! The acting was very good too. Sweeney Todd himself was appropriately dark and slick; the man who played him was beefy and rough, so he made it work! The chorus and live orchestra (for which my AYS sectional leader was the violinist of the group! Yay!) were great. Everything worked out in terms of cueing and timing, and few people were out of tune. I really enjoyed the amount of macabre was in the play (most by default, but the way this production was pitched had the actors downplay the humor, which I think helped it out towards the end a lot), and the whole production was amazing! I went home with a smile on my face, and my mind continues to race with excitement and admiration for this play and the way it was performed! This is also why I didn't blog about yesterday: I got home at 11:30!

I slept fast that night, for I had to get up at 6:00 this morning to go cheer on the Varsity Cross Country team! The meat itself was pretty good! The girls took the state championships, the boys came in eighth, and our school came in third place in our district! We moved up as a team, now becoming a 4A school! Good luck next year! During the meat, I cheered on the teams, but since this was the state championships, there was ample time where our teams weren't competing, so I wrote out an outline for my English paper. This relieved a lot of that stress, because it gave me a starting point. I normally hate outlining stuff, but I think it'll really help this time, and it gave me something to do out there! I also read more of Malcolm X! It's so good, oh my god! I'm loving that book. I'm also really happy for the Cross Country team, and returning to school, my Mom picked me up to drive me over to the dinner.

This was my first and last XC dinner, and it was bitter-sweat. I got there early because the Seniors had to practice our performance for the night. That... didn't really happen, because our leader didn't show up until 6:00, which was when the rest of the team showed up, so we had to practice quietly! The dinner was good, and the big thing that happened for me tonight was the speeches that our coach gave, addressing the Seniors one by one. I can't believe that I'm a Senior, and this really drove that point home! It's safe to say that Cross Country has never been my first love, but the reason I ran it (aside from the PE credits) was because I really love the team as a team! We really do have each other's backs and we are all friends, and that type of support is actually very rare in schools, especially in sports. The Juniors made all of the Seniors gifts. My gift wasn't really anything special, but the card that came with it was amazing, because some of my underclassmen are Firefly fans, so they wrote in the card "you're a leaf on the wind!" Literally made me cry! So happy! Thanks, guys. And really, I actually did enjoy the sport of running five miles, especially toward the end here. I remember a few posts ago, I talked about how doing that last interval set didn't tire me out; it made me stronger. And I guess that mentality continued up to the very end, because, y'know, I feel strong now! And I think that speaks a lot to how great of a team I have with me, a team that appreciates even people like me who don't run very well, because they love that we all try, and I cherish that aspect of my school in general, but the XC team specifically! This dinner also made me realize that this is the first of I'm sure several Senior sendoff things that I'll be doing this year, and it made me realize that I'm finishing High School. Like, really finishing it! Seven years of my life, man! That's insane!

Whew! So, that's what happened in the last two days! I better get to bed so as I can get up early tomorrow to work on that English reading... maybe start drafting my paper, do test corrections, practice the violin... ugh! I have too much stuff to do!

November 7, 2013

Day 166

Arguing a point is hard enough without the added obstacle of you yourself not agreeing with the point you're arguing and knowing you are wrong. That's where I was in English today with our debate/board meeting, in which I argued the position of Prospero, a position that was so obviously in the wrong that I could not help but speak up against my very own argument (much to the dismay of my colleagues) and agree with the other two groups' compromise. I just don't like arguing illogical positions, and I like to lose even less. Still, the class itself proved a success, and I did feel like I walked away having gained a firmer understanding of The Tempest and to a certain extent Prospero as a character (still like Arial better, though).

I'm really liking STAM now! We continue to work with probability, and I just like the logic and simplicity of it. Strings is going well too. We played through our two pieces (didn't read my concerto yet; I don't expect to be doing that for some time now).

Modern History was really fun today. We read some readings of Rousseau and then wrote a story which had to incorporate specific words having to do with government (I submitted one of my Transformers fanfics... which had to do with government), and it was a fun time. We also had to answer reading questions about the reading. That part wasn't as fun.

Yesterday, you might have noticed a rather large document thrown up on the blog. This is my first play for Advanced English, and I'm really quite proud of it. It takes up a full page on my blog! Pretty insane! Sorry about that. Check it out if you want. Had a violin lesson this afternoon. My teacher had me start on the 2nd movement of the Mozart G Major violin concerto. It's pretty badass! I love slow movements, which is odd, because when I was younger, I didn't like to play slowly. I still have trouble with bow control and whatnot, but overall it's pretty fun.

I'm watching V for Vendetta online (there's a website that has the movie right there for free), and I love it! I want to write a paper on it someday; so much to write about. Also watched the latest Person of Interest! Things are really heating up in that show, and it's awesome. Tomorrow I go see the local showing of Sweeney Todd. Really looking forward to that!

November 6, 2013

Day 165

I turned in my concerto today! Woot! I'm so happy. While there are some formatting issues, overall it turned out quite well, and I'm so glad that I have that turned in. We might even give it a read-through as early as tomorrow or Friday (probably not, though). But it's still cool, y'know? To have something that you worked on be performed, and I got this feeling that when my teacher asked me for parts to the concerto, I felt very professional! Ego? Probably, but it was still a nice feeling; nice to be appreciated (even though I am on a daily basis, because I'm surrounded by awesome people).

In Advanced English, we watched the old film version of A Streetcar Named Desire. It's very weird, very sexist, and it has some of the oddest and most sudden character changes that I've ever seen! It's kinda fun, and it was nice to have a kind of a break day from writing or reading in this class. We are supposed to be starting work on our next play. I honestly have no idea what to write about. I have a lot of story ideas, but all of them I envision happening in short story prose form, not as a play. I love description, and playwriting is all about dialogue. I love dialogue too, and I'm very good at realistic dialogue I'm told (probably because I just write how I talk when writing dialogue), but it's not the same. I'm rather stressed about this, honestly. My first play was a one-act, and that was good because it was small. I was able to focus on a single issue with only two characters, and that gave the play this bubble in which to function. With this second play, we are given free reign. Now, I don't know about the rest of you writers out there, but I love restraints. I like having to work within a box (within reason, obviously, and I'll bend it every once in a while). This allows a writer to really stretch their mind and have to work around the system in which they've been set. But when you're given absolute freedom of the story, I find, at least, that I have nothing to say, because I don't know what I'm doing. I'm sure I'll figure it out, but for right now, it's frustrating and stress-inducing!

In STAM, we're starting working with probability! This is great, because this is something that I'm actually interested in, and I have no idea how to do this, and I've always wanted to learn how to do this, so I'm so happy that we're learning about this! We started off the unit today with simple probability: predicting out of people in a group how many would be female, how many go to public school, then how many who go to public school are female, etc. Stuff like that. I'm really liking the fact that we're tackling this unit now!

Post was fun too (I had a great day, now that I think about it)! We started reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and man is it intense! Aaron and I listened to each others' music while we read, and all I can say is Aaron, you have some weird stuff on your phone, man! I'm sure he felt the same way about me: my Favorites playlist ranges from classical violin music to Lindsey Stirling (of course), to Pop and Rock, so I'm sure jumping from one thing to another must have been jarring. The teacher for Post wasn't there, so we had a substitute. She is one of our favorite subs, so it was okay (far better than last time), and I left without incident, though there were three students again who up and left like the last time, though the sub actually did something about it, and I wasn't one of them, so that was good.

My Mom came and got me early today (I can't drive... not sure if I've mentioned that before or not), which was nice. I came home and watched SHEILD and then wrote my paragraph for English 12 tomorrow. Also completed STAM homework and practiced the violin. Went through my scales and boring stuff, and then took a swing at Mozart's 2nd movement of the 3rd violin concerto. Pretty insane stuff! Headed to bed. I am looking forward to tomorrow, because we have Modern History and English 12, and Strings... I guess I'll talk about that tomorrow, because this is about today. Anyway, goodnight!

November 5, 2013

Day 164

The time change has really screwed up my perception of day and night time, because I get home now when its dark and wake up when the sun is up, so I'm all confused. I mean, like today I got home from Composition tutoring and it was completely dark. Anyway, today was kind of a gloomy rainy day. Woke up and it was raining, so it was a nice way to begin the day. Morning Meeting was actually interesting today! Apparently my school is going to be the first school to send a text message into space! That's such a thing that my school would do, but its pretty awesome also. We're launching a rocket with a phone I guess inside it and we're going to see how it receives what we send it. Pretty nifty. And of course when I say "we" I obviously don't mean me; I mean the Physics II students, but the idea is still neat. That's happening next week.

Had English 12 first after this, and it was fun. We talked about those awesome reading from yesterday and analyzed them! Then we signed up for groups for this debate/trial thing that we're doing next class. There's a Prospero group, a Caliban group, and a Miranda group, as well as a board of students. I'm in the Prospero group, and I'm totally playing the technology and magic card! I think it'll be fun.

Next, I had Modern History. We discussed Locke and Hobbs, and the English Civil War. Pretty interesting stuff, though in discussing Hobbs, we of course had to do the obligatory "everyone in the world disappears except for the people in this classroom so now we have no government; what do we do?" example... if that's a thing; seems like it is. Anyway, that quickly spiraled into whom would we kill in our class in order for the rest of us to survive. The teacher died relatively early on in this scenario, and we all had a good time laughing about how absurd it would be if we were the last people on Earth.

The rest of my day was spent writing my film score to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (the book, not the movie). Our assignment for the book was to be creative, so I chose to write a score to what a modern day film of the book might be. It's kinda epic in tone, but I still enjoy it. If you want to hear it, I'm sure I can send a private copy to you; just ask.

Composition tutoring was fun. My tutor discussed with me some piano technique stuff, and then we analyzed an orchestral film score that I wrote (I'm actually using this as the basis for my Cuckoo's Nest score). It was interesting. I'm still really impressed that he's able to pick chords out of just hearing the piece. Its elementary, I'm sure, but I still find it awesome! When I got home, I found that I received Lindsey Stirling's re-released album, which comes with some exclusive content! So pumped to listen to that!