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!

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