3.30.2007

Yay Me Again

So I just looked up Common Practice Period in wikipedia, and it turns out that my definition of it was pretty much right on. And you know if it's in wikipedia it must be true. There I go again, showing my mad scholarly skills... citing wikipedia. I'm awesome.

3.29.2007

Musicology

The other day matt and I were talking, and somehow I was mentioning that I probably wouldn't do very well at studying music theory at graduate school level. I decided this because once you get past what I think is known as the "Common Practice Period" theory (basically up until post-romantic styles... either that or it's just Baroque music... but I'm going to use the term as if it means up until post-romantic music), everything goes crazy because CPP rules no longer apply to that kind of music. So while we have a set of tools for examining, understanding, and comparing music from pre-Baroque through Romantic music, there really isn't anything that is all-encompassing beyond that. Basically this has resulted in the creation of LOTS of tools, that may apply only to a specific genre, composer, or even song. And in all honesty, I just find that quite pointless. I mean the nice thing about CPP theory is that you can use things like roman numeral analysis, forms, and techniques as a constant allowing you to see how the music develops and changes over time in ADDITION to understanding exactly how a song is constructed. And what really interests me is why music developed the way it did. What cultural, historic, personal influences affected the development of a major scale, or a dominant seventh chord. Why do we have things like picardy thirds and chromatic mediants? Theory gave a common language from Bach to Mozart to Chopin. Sure there are caveats, but still... it worked. So basically what I've realized since leaving school, is that ... I'm not a theorist. I'm really more interested in musicology, and specifically in more of an ethnomusicology approach to (shockingly) Western music. I mean seriously... music is a product of a particular culture and a particular time in history, just as much as it is a combination of notes and duration. Anyway... in my music class on monday our teacher told us about a group of musicologist who in the 80s formed the "New Musicology" school. And basically they began to approach music this way. Not that I'm trying to put myself ANYWHERE NEAR their level of scholarness, but I just found it interesting that thought like that didnt really come into play until the 80s... not only that, but many of the "old" musicologists, think that new musicology is a bunch of baloney.

ps- I'm not saying that we should continue using the CPP rules of theory for 20th Century music, but I'm merely pointing out that I dont think having a bazillion different ways of analyzing every different thing is a good enough answer to 20th C. music.

ps II- If anyone with real music scholarly knowledge reads this... I apologize if I am way off base. I'm pretty much just writing off the top of my head... which is a very unscholarly way of writing... but then again, I'm no music scholar... I'm just me.

3.28.2007

Happy Registration Day

Today I registered for classes at the University of Maryland for the last time. Or at least what I hope to be the last time. If this isn't already widely known, it should be... CLIS (College of Library and Information Science... which is the name of the college/program I'm in) is TERRIBLE at registration. Completely unorganized, unaware of how the technology works (you'd think they were the first ones to have ever used online registration), and totally unhelpful if you ask them any questions. Which is pretty much the EXACT OPPOSITE of what being a librarian is ALL about. Way to represent!

Anyway, I managed to get through this registration without any major problems (other than one of the online courses being "full" before registration even started... uhh... what's up with that????) So here's what's in store for me for the remainder of my MLS program.

Summer 1: Literature for Young Adults. Okay a little bit of a deviation from the whole glamorous music librarian thing... but I'm also trying to broaden my horizons and skills, and this is probably a good thing to know about if I ever want to work in a public library. Plus, it's either this or History of the Book. hmm... which one should I take?

Summer 2: Seminar in Academic Libraries and Access to Business Info. The first one is an online class, the second one meets in the morning on campus. Those are the only comments I have for that.

Fall: Well I was going to take Access to Social Science Info, but even though it was on the schedule, they aren't teaching it (which apparently we are just supposed to know because if you try to tell your advisor that it's one of the classes you want to take... they will be like "um, duh Jessica, that's not even an option... what the heck were you thinking??"), then I was going to take Access to Electronic Info, which is probably all about this database called Dialog (which lets you search in fun command type query language), but then I think I've finally settled on a class for International Comparative Librarianship (that's not the exact title, but it's something along those lines.) I looked at an old syllabus online and it seems like an interesting class. I'm expecting it to be similar to Ethnomusicology... maybe I can coin the term Ethnolibrarology.

Winter 2007: GRADUATION!!! wahoo!!!

This Week

Things done so far this week:

Work: Assisted two professional researchers in finding a resource (each) they couldn't locate on their own. Found a new metro route home which cuts about 10 minutes off my commute time. Figured out that I added twice as many new items to the vertical files collection during March than we usually do in a month. Found lots of interesting art-related websites and such, but haven't sent myself the info in an email yet... once I do, I'm sure I'll post them here.

School: Started a paper that's due tomorrow. Umm... except that I didn't really start writing it until today, so I'm gonna be up for a while. Interviewed someone for my music research paper. Finally found resources that address my topic specifically (instead of in a round about way). Finished cataloging assignment in about half the time I expected it to take... maybe it's easier than I thought. Registered for Summer and Fall classes... my last time registering. Yay!

Home: Finished laundry, but didnt finish folding it yet. Started weening off meat so that I can become vegetarian (actually I dont think I've eaten any meat so far this week, and only twice in the last week and a half). Signed matt and I up for Waltz 2.

Left to do:
-Finish my e-gov paper on international education agency websites
-Print my cataloging assignment
-Go to school
-Fold the laundry
-RELAXXX on Friday... (not really, but since I dont have work or school, I'm going to consider that relaxing, in all reality I'll probably end up running errands, cleaning the house, and working on my presentations, papers, and projects coming up over the next 2 weeks)

3.24.2007

If you aren't watching the Colbert Report, you should be. Seriously. Program your tivo now.

No More Spring Break

So tomorrow is my last day of spring break. Did I get everything done that needed to get done? Hardly. grrr... When is the semester over?

I did finish my research proposal. It ended up being 10 pages, not 5 (apparently I can write a lot about what I'm going to write about) and I even turned it in a whole HOUR before the deadline. My teacher wrote back yesterday and said it was great and he's looking forward to my paper. And now comes the real work...

I worked at the gallery 3 days during the week. I realized that this is probably too much if I even stand a chance of finishing all my school work this semester (that's a big if...). So for a little while at least, I'm cutting my hours down to 2 days a week. I already feel more confident about the time I have to study. I spent about 3 hours straight on Friday just filing this little postcard things... my neck is killing me from it now. I guess I should stretch or something before hand.

I spent the rest of Spring Break doing LOTS of homework. LOTS. Though I did manage to go to a St Patricks party at a friend's house in WV last week, and Matt and I went to the outlet mall this morning. (otherwise I've been on my computer nearly nonstop since 2:00... it's not 11:30). Where is all the time going?

Next week I register for the Summer and Fall semester. After that I'll never have to register for this degree again. Crazy. And by the way, if you are thinking about getting and MLS, whatever you do, DONT GO TO UMD. At least not until they get their act together. I'd write more on this, but I really dont want to bring up that frustration and aggression again. Let's just hope I am able to get the classes I need to graduate (I only have 4 left... you wouldnt think that would be too hard).

Oh and Spring Break started off with a great conversation over pancakes and omlettes between me and my friend Melissa. She's been suffering through grad school with me, and I swear if it weren't for her, I dont know how I would make it through. Anyway, she really helped me put a lot of things into perspective and I was literally AMAZED by the fact that she was willing to have dinner with me (yes, a dinner of pancakes and omlettes... that's what IHOP is there for), because I am so used to people having to rush home to their husbands as soon as they are free. It was so strange that someone was willing to actually make a conscious decision to spend some time with a friend.... and very much appreciated.

Anyway, it's past my bed time and I have a LOT of work to finish on my last Official Day of Spring Break. So I really should get some sleep.

yay for staying up until nearly midnight on a Saturday doing homework! I'm awesome.

3.18.2007

Research Proposal

Ugh. I am currently writing a research proposal for my music research class. Which means that at the moment I am writing a paper discussing the fact that I want to write a paper. And it has to be a minimum of 5 pages. 5 pages of "I will write about this in my paper" and "I will write about that in my paper." I can think of about 30 other more productive ways to spend my time, but instead I'm writing a paper about a paper I'm going to be writing.

And it's due at 3:00 tomorrow... which, by the way is my first official day of spring break.

Fabulous.

3.16.2007

Yay Me

ps- Since I just copied and pasted the emails in the post below, I just double checked the dates I gave for Bach's birth and death so that I wouldnt have incorrect ones (and make myself look like an idiot). And it turns out that I was right, I knew them off the top of my head. Go me!

Emails to Myself

If I'm not on my laptop, but I come across something interesting or something I want to remember, I'll usually email it to myself. Here are some of my recent emails:

  • March 14 (Pi Day): Can you believe there is no book titled Nothing and Everything? I am very surprised by this. very (there are, however, lots of books titled Everything and Nothing)
  • March 13: “Focusing on exemplary buildings of the period, among them, Building 1, Building 2 and Building 3, I will examine how they embodied converging, but also competing conceptions of materials and craftsmanship.”
  • March 13 (same email as above): Hymning is apparently a word. v. tr. To praise, glorify, or worship in or as if in a hymn.
  • March 13: Bio art article from msncb
  • March 13 (same email as above): The fact that some days I really hate the fact that the rest of the world doesn’t structure their information so it is library-ready. It would make my life SO much easier (ex: always use your name the same way whenever you publish something… always include birth/death dates when writing information, such as a biography, of a person such as JS Bach (1685-1750), date all the material you create, etc.)
  • March 13 (same email as above): At home: finish laundry, figure out what to wear tomorrow, print out egovt readings so I can do them on the metro/at work
  • March 10: Lately I have been feeling very overwhelmed by the amount of information I don’t know, but feel that I should know. Some examples:
-everything about art history
-everything about resources to find out about art history
-cataloging knowledge (especially AACR2 and MARC fields)
-music (especially 20th century music theory)
-religion
-etc

3.12.2007

Boring Post

Spring break is next week. I only have Monday and Thursday off though. I have to work the other days. I have all these plans of things I'll be able to get done during spring break, but I'm not sure there will be enough time, either that or I'll just have to be up really late every night working on various research projects. What a fun way to spend spring break.

I didnt go to class today. I haven't been feeling well lately, actually that also true for Matt as well (he was sent home from work today). I didnt do much today, finished up some homework and emailed it to my professor, and then some little things around the house.

So needless to say, not a whole lot of interesting things to blog about. I think that will be true between now and May... since I really need to start working on my school work more. Oh well, at least I have a few weeks off between the spring and summer semesters, maybe I can have a life then.

3.03.2007

High school stories, papers, and a musical

Ugh, I think the metro germs are getting to me.

This was a crazy week. In addition to attending my sisters fashion show (which I think was the first time I'd been inside my high school since I graduated), I had my first real graduate level paper due on Thursday, and then last night matt and I went and saw our friend's in Suessical the musical. So today I'm a little worn out, and I'm definitely come down with some kind of cold. But life must go on.

Going to the fashion show was crazy, aside from the fact that there were hundreds of screaming high schools and a DJ from 99.5 playing insanely loud music (most of which I'd never heard, but everyone else there seemed able to sing along... I think i'm getting old). I dont really have many fond memories from Herndon High School. And most of the ones that were good, ended up being less than good after I left (due to things that happened post-high school). So it was weird being back, especially at the fashion show, since i never went to one while I was actually going to school there. It kinda made me think that maybe I missed out on the fun things high schoolers are supposed to do. And then that made me wonder if I'm missing out on fun things I could be doing now... I mean, I dont think it's as drastic. I have a good, happy life now and I'm doing lots of things to make it even better, but it just made me wonder what else I could/should be doing.

The paper writing experience was ... uh ... interesting. I guess I can't complain too much. I mean I'm pretty much half way done with my degree and this is the first real paper i've had to do (I'm not counting a 3 page book review, or the insanely long take home test from last semester). And this was only a 5-7 page thing on comparing websites. But honestly, I haven't written a paper that wasn't about analyzing a piece of music in about... hmm... probably 5-6 years. So I just had no idea where to begin, how to structure it, or even what to say. But I stayed up until 3 am Wednesday night doing my best, which is all I can ask for. I have another similar paper due in 3 weeks... I'm hoping that one will be easier on me. Oh yeah, and while I'm mentioning papers, turns out my original music research topic is a dead end. So instead I'm looking into compiling an annotated bibliography and discography on a topic (which is an approved alternative) which means that I wont have as many sentences to try and put together. I'm much better at listing. And anyway, with the way information can be disseminated through current technology, I really do wonder what the future of information presentation will look like. There's certainly no reason why linear text formats can't be replaced by more interactive/multimedia approaches, which I think could be far more interesting anyway... but that's kinda off topic for now. Also, in my egovernment class that day (the class which the paper was written for) we were discussing international egovernment and the teacher asked how many people in the class had lived in another country (to discuss how cultural differences impacted things) and out of 30 people, about half of us had lived in another country, and out of that, about half of us had lived in Germany (yay military brats). Interesting demographics... but at least it was one class in which I had ideas to contribute for class discussion.

Seussical the Musical was a fun show. Very colorful, lots of movement, lots of singing. I'm guessing that the creators of the show really knew how to keep a child's attention for extended periods of time. And our friends, Lucy and Susanna were very convincing wickersham monkeys. Anyway, if interested, it's being put on by the Reston Players at the Reston Community Center. Matt and I said after the show (since it was opening night they had a free reception afterwards) and chatted with the girls for a while. We didn't get home until about midnight... all these late nights lately ... it's crazy.

Oh yeah, one other interesting thing happened in the last week. Last Saturday we went to a comedy night at a local resturaunt in Leesburg. Matt has been wanting to go forever, but I wasn't really interested. Finally, though (because another friend of ours said that he would go too), we went. It was okay, the food was pretty good, the comedians were kinda on and off (which is to be expected), but the weirdest thing was that this waiter (not ours) came up to our table and was like "hey guys, are we still friends?" I totally didn't recognize him, but matt and mike did... he used to work at First Break, a pool hall we all used to hang out at back when I was in high school. I couldn't believe he recognized/remembered us (though we did spend A LOT of time at First Break). We probably hadn't seen him in about 6 years. So that was cool. He's a really nice guy, and now that we know he works there, I think we'll probably go more often.

So there you go... my week in a nutshell.