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End-Of-Year Countdown

Classes are officially over for the year. Finals week has begun. Here's how all my classes stand:

Hebrew: Took the final today, whee! I think I did a pretty good job, no major-league screwups, and I could read all the readings. This is a vast improvement over the beginning of the year.

Ethnographic Methods: We're meeting on Monday to give presentations of our final projects. I've done my fieldwork, and I've outlined the paper. Tomorrow and Sunday I'll spend doing interview transcriptions and writing the presentation draft of the paper. The final draft is due June 8. All is under control.

20th-Century Proseminar: We had presentations of our final projects Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. The Wednesday session we had in the restaurant/bar area of the Quadrangle Club. So a composer, an ethnomusicologist, and a music historian walk into a bar. . . Most of us chose the practical option for a final project, which was to put together a syllabus for an advanced undergraduate survey course in music since 1900, and then write a short essay defending our choices. My syllabus is almost done -- I just have to fill in a few more assignments and add a midterm. It was really neat to see all the different kinds of syllabi that people put together, to see how everyone thinks about teaching 20th/21st century music. There's so much you can do with that topic. The final versions of these are also due June 8. All is under control here as well.

And then. . . I spend the summer working at the CBMR and studying for (dun dun dun) comps. See my icon for details.

But none of that matters now. In half an hour, we have CRAPS (Conference for Relevant Arts Performance Scholarship), which is a fun GMS event that takes place at the end of the fall and spring quarters. It's a mock music conference, in which we give brief, wacky papers on weird-ass topics. Mine is called "(Dis)Covering the Enemy Within: Exposing the Hidden Agenda of the Recording Industry," and it traces the nefarious connections between used record shops, the Freemasons, the International Bankers, and finally the Bavarian Illuminati and Lyndon LaRouche. Very tinhat, and I get to use props.

Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
frenchpony
Jun. 2nd, 2007 02:46 am (UTC)
I have to say, I'm really enjoying the syllabus project. I love the chance to think about how to teach a difficult subject from an ethnomusicological perspective, and introduce students to repertoire and ways of thinking about it that they might not encounter in a more "traditional" 20th century survey class. I've already sent a draft of the syllabus to some friends who are current or former undergraduates, and I've gotten some positive response so far. And, of course, the further payoff is that, when this is done, I will have a class ready to offer when I go on the job market: in addition to being able to teach whatever world music course a potential employer might want, I would be able to do this survey, too.

Have you ever thought about how something like that could be done online?

You mean, putting the whole course online? That might be an interesting challenge, and it would depend on the school's software. Many people doing syllabi did include an online component. I chose to minimize that so as to fit any potential online setup.
dawtheminstrel
Jun. 1st, 2007 08:11 pm (UTC)
Oh props are cool! So are costumes. You should wear a costume.
frenchpony
Jun. 2nd, 2007 02:47 am (UTC)
I did consider actually making and wearing a tinfoil hat, but then I figured it would get crushed being stuffed into my backpack during my Hebrew exam. But the Mozart finger puppet was a great hit.
jastaelf
Jun. 2nd, 2007 01:57 am (UTC)
I agree with daw. One can never go awry with costumes and props. *g*

frenchpony
Jun. 2nd, 2007 02:48 am (UTC)
Everyone liked my Mozart finger puppet. Perhaps next year I shall find a way to work the rest of the set (Beethoven, Verdi, and Puccini) into an act. Perhaps a comparative analysis of works and then a finger-puppet death match. . .
meckinock
Jun. 2nd, 2007 02:36 am (UTC)
"(Dis)Covering the Enemy Within: Exposing the Hidden Agenda of the Recording Industry," and it traces the nefarious connections between used record shops, the Freemasons, the International Bankers, and finally the Bavarian Illuminati and Lyndon LaRouche. Very tinhat, and I get to use props.

Oh, yeah! Where's my ticket for that?
frenchpony
Jun. 2nd, 2007 02:49 am (UTC)
Ah, too late. I might be persuaded to post the paper here, though you wouldn't get the full performance effect, with the puppet and the dollar bill and the mission-from-God delivery and all that.
saadiira
Jun. 2nd, 2007 06:42 am (UTC)
It sounds like at least some of those assignments totally ROCK.

The rest will be over soon enough, and I KNOW you are going to do awesomely well. :).

BIG supportive huggles!

-Dira-
frenchpony
Jun. 2nd, 2007 01:35 pm (UTC)
The more I work on this syllabus, the more I find myself wanting to actually teach it some day. That would really rock.

At this point, it isn't even the comps themselves I'm unenthusiastic about. It's just the massive studying. By the time comps actually come around, I'll be so sick of studying that they'll come as a relief.
dot_o_choillmor
Jun. 2nd, 2007 06:48 pm (UTC)
Wow, that year went by quickly!

I hope you had fun at the fake conference thingy. You music people all sound wonderfully mad.

Putting together a syllabus is a great assignment. Difficult enough, I'd imagine, but enjoyable if you really liked the topic.
frenchpony
Jun. 2nd, 2007 08:42 pm (UTC)
It sure did go by quickly for those reading about it. Actually, the quarters just sped by for me, too. I hadn't expected how fast they'd go. I'm not quite done yet -- two more papers to finish -- but I haven't yet had to take an incomplete, and this is a trend I hope to keep up.

The mock conference was fun. I did the paper and submitted a book blurb. Perhaps I'll post them here, if there's some interest.

But I'm glad you replied, because I need to ask you a question. You'll be in Chicago on the first weekend in October, right? Will you be available on Sunday the 7th as well as on the 6th? The gamelan has scheduled a rehearsal for the wayang on the 5th and 6th. I could probably whine and moan and maybe get out of part of the 6th, but I'm already getting out of the one on the first Saturday in November, and I don't know how much more I could get away with. If you wanted to get together, would the Sunday be okay? Or maybe Saturday evening? Mas Joko always likes to run later than he says he will, but if I have a commitment, I can boogie at the scheduled ending time.
dot_o_choillmor
Jun. 2nd, 2007 08:59 pm (UTC)
We fly in on the 6th so chances are that day would be awkward enough for me anyway. They've changed our flight times but as it is we leave crazily early and even though we should arrive then at a decent enough time we'll probably be knackered and with delays, finding wherever we're staying and all that carry on, I wouldn't be able to give you a definite time. So the Sunday would be perfect if you're up for it :-)

Wait until I tell my friends that I want to meet someone on the Sunday because on the Saturday the "gamelan has scheduled a rehearsal for the wayang"!! You'd really think I wouldn't still be finding these things amusing...
frenchpony
Jun. 2nd, 2007 09:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, phew! What a relief! That weekend is going to be our first with Mas Joko, and I wouldn't want to miss it. Particularly since he'll probably want to stick me on something important, like one of the colotomic instruments or something. Apparently, he likes my gong playing, Lord knows why.

Wait until I tell my friends that I want to meet someone on the Sunday because on the Saturday the "gamelan has scheduled a rehearsal for the wayang"!! You'd really think I wouldn't still be finding these things amusing...

Yes, and wait untill they ask you what a gamelan is! You'll actually be able to tell them. And in case they inquire further, a wayang (technically a wayang kulit) is a shadow puppet play with gamelan accompaniment.
dot_o_choillmor
Jun. 2nd, 2007 09:22 pm (UTC)
Don't dream of missing anything important. I should be around for two and a bit days anyway and will try to suit the shedule of anyone who does want to meet.

You'll actually be able to tell them.

I know!! Oh, the things I've learned... :-)

Shadow puppet play. Ok, got it.

Anyway, I'll definitely let you know nearer the time what our plan is. Not that we're likely to have much of one but at least how long I'll be around and where we're staying.
bodkin_ra
Jun. 3rd, 2007 11:40 am (UTC)
Ooh, the party sounds fun! You're getting to meet people - although if you stick to one per year it'll take a while to get round everyone!
dot_o_choillmor
Jun. 3rd, 2007 08:39 pm (UTC)
Come!
bodkin_ra
Jun. 3rd, 2007 11:42 am (UTC)
A year already?? (Well, academically speaking...) That's incredible.

Time really does seem to pass more quickly at you get older.
frenchpony
Jun. 3rd, 2007 01:50 pm (UTC)
I guess it does seem to pass more quickly, though I confess that I'm at the part where it's just dragging along and I want it to be over already!
meggins
Jun. 3rd, 2007 11:31 pm (UTC)
I wondered about that icon.

Pony, I'm stunned. I read your subject heading and then and only then did it occur to me that the academic year must be winding up. Surely it was no more than a month or two ago that you began. Where has the time flown? I know you've been busy and productive, but what the heck have I been doing?

Anyways....good luck with the finishing touches and have a great summer.
frenchpony
Jun. 3rd, 2007 11:59 pm (UTC)
All colleges have their own little self-deprecating slogans. This one is the U of C's.

In all fairness, it has been only ten weeks since the quarter began. But, yes, the academic year did begin way back in September. You have no idea how much I want it to be over already.

Back to the salt mines. . .
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )