April 21, 2014

Day 331

Colloquium presentations started today!!! Actually, a lot of stuff happened today, but we'll get to all of it in due course. First off, the colloquium presentations! Now, I have to say that I was already really excited about all of this stuff! To see even a truncated version of almost everyone's thesis is just a real treat, and we kicked things off with a good friend of mine presenting his views on Heavy Metal and how it's used to express yourself. It was a really good start to the two weeks of this. There are two presentations per class normally, so the next person to present talked about how the Harry Potter series should be put next to King Arthur as a direct comparison. She even talked about the similarities between the two, and it was really interesting.

Had a short break for me and then it was right bak into the room, this time for me helping out with a friend of mine's colloquium. The Beethoven went off alright, though the second to last note of the opening was really off. The Aces High opening did not go well because I forgot to count! Dammit! I felt terrible. HE handled it well though, and with a few more practices and with my brain counting up to six, it should all be fine. His presentation itself was the weakest one (and not just because I was a part of it). He presented this really dumbed-down course on music theory that was both incorrect and pretentious. It really irked me a d a few of my friends.

But then we got to see the second presentation of the period, and this one was the best out of the six I saw today. This guy talked about how education in the classroom has become very rigid and geared less towards individual learning and more towards a uniform system that doesn't work for everyone (hell, hardly anyone, let's face it). He looked at how teenage boys are a lot more antsy and fidgety in class than teenage girls due to development and maturity, and how we should be developing a system where we're allowing students to have something to do with their hands during class, or having class outside, or even just having the teacher make an effort to get out from behind the desk and engage his or her students with his whole person. It was just a really awesome presentation, and it was a personal one for the presenter because he tied his own experiences into what he was talking about, and it was very well put together.

I didn't have any classes third block, so I decided to go back in and listen to more colloquium presentations because why the hell not? The first of the two presentations this time was looking at rape culture and how some music continues to dull our awareness of rape and of how bad it is in our society. It was a really fascinating look at some of the lyrics in these songs and how they basically endorse rape, and then the presenter went on to discuss how we as a culture are becoming less and less aware of how we use the word rape, and even how we view it in our society. Again, this one was a fascinating topic, but the presenter was clearly extremely nervous and had  little technical issue with the computer right off the bat, so that probably didn't help her nerves.

The second presentation was on how Hip Hop music can be used as a form of expressing oneself but that we don't often hear that type of Hip Hop music on the radio. There were a ton of music ones today come to think of it. This one was alright. I think this was really cool, because again, it talked about how these artists inject a lot of their personal experiences into the songs that they write and how we don't really get exposed to those as much in regular daily life. It was pretty neat, and I liked the songs she chose to prove her point.

Fourth block I also didn't have any classes, but I decided to rehearse my own presentation which is tomorrow, and I'm pretty nervous about it, all things considered! I'm worried that I'm going to leave something crucial out of my lecture, and I'm also worried that I'm going to get off the point. And then of course there's the tech stuff wit hte videos and the powerpoint, and I really hope everything works! I also have my commencement try-outs speech tomorrow, and I'm actually more nervous for that than I am anything else, probably because I've only looked at it like once in the past three days! I'm sure it'll go fine.

So, I found out that Lindsey's title song for her next album, "Shatter Me" is now available on iTunes in the US, and I gave in to temptation and downloaded it despite me already having two copies of the CD preoredered! It's a fantastic song, and that's all I'm going to say for now as I'm probably going to be doing a review or something of some kind regarding the whole thing. After AYS, I also came home to my copy of Lindsey's new Play-Along book, and with this, I am now able to learn Lindsey's cover of "Radioactive" and "Star Wars Medley"! I am so stoked about this, and on top of this gift, I also received my own Marionberry Jam courtesy of Willamette University (apparently it's like a tradition that every freshmen get a jar) and I'm really happy about this. I must have made the right choice of school if they'll be sending me food periodically!

Well, that's all from me today. I must get some good and fast sleep for my big day of things tomorrow! Wish me luck!

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