All entries for January 2009
January 07, 2009
And so Year 3 Term 2 has got underway. And it’s bloody cold.
We’re all settling back into the routine of lectures, which at the moment are all in the introductory phase so they’re not too difficult! Although Complex Analysis went at a frightening speed, and the lecturer talks very quietly and mumbles a lot so I’ll be sitting near the front for that.
We’ve played our first bridge match of the term, which we (unfortunately) lost but it wasn’t a bad effort and we were winning after the first half, which is something.
Life goes on elsewhere – music is starting up again with Chamber Choir’s first meeting on Thursday and Opera holding auditions for The Marriage of Figaro over the weekend. Call me a skeptic, but I’m not certain that we’ll be able to rehearse and perform that in 8 weeks: In my humble opinion it would be better cast in a couple of weeks’ time (to give people the opportunity to properly learn the audition music) and then perform it some time in term 3. I know this clashes with exam timetables but there’d be Easter to learn everything and the pace would be much easier.
The two performances we did of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (with ensemble 1685) went very well. I got quite a few comments on my solo aria which were nice to receive too.
This is my last term of lectures, however, so I need to make sure I prioritise carefully and don’t overload myself because there are these things called finals in the summer which are worth more than half of my entire degree, and it would be good to be properly prepared for them.
Outside academia, I have just found all my receipts in my bag to claim money back from opera have got wet after my water bottle froze and then thawed again. Curses.
January 03, 2009
And so, we start another year, and watch 2008 fade away into the distance.
But Let me take a moment to reflect on the last 12 months and what may be to come and look forward to what the next 12 might be sending my way.
Well, memories of 2008 then. Where do I start? It’s all whizzed past but I have at least managed to fill it with quite a few things. Some things I will always remember from the year:
The year started off in the second term of my second year, with, among other things, Algebra II with Dmitry. Aaah fond memories of understanding NOTHING in a lecture. Still, I’m glad we did that module, because it did help get me to learn more independently and prepare for lectures and stuff. Third year gets a lot more abstract, and this also helped with that. Although it’s still not great because I have a practical brain which likes to visualise things.
I will most definitely remember singing in Macbeth. Singing in a full Butterworth Hall as a soloist with full Sypmph Orchestra and 250 singing in the chorus was an experience I really will never forget. It was such an incredible buzz. It was also one of the experiences which made me seriously consider going for a professional singing career. Top ten nights of my life that, it was just great.
Term 3 brought exams, which was about when I realised degree level maths is really quite tricky. In all honesty, I didn’t do enough work to do myself justice, and my grades slipped a bit. This wasn’t ideal, but did make me change my work ethic for my third year, so hopefully more good things will come out of it than bad things. It also meant that I transferred to the three year course, which again I don’t see as a bad thing.
Also in term 3 was WSO’s run of HMS Pinafore. It was the first show at Warwick where I have done nothing except perform in the chorus, which made a relaxing change.
After the end of exams came my second highly eventful Arts Festival week. Thomas came to visit, and we went to see a lot of things. Both of the WSAF weeks I’ve experienced so far have been awesome and I will remember them for years to come.
Then the summer arrived. Well, the British “summer”. And with it came UWCC Tour and degrees, along with my most memorable experience of 2008.
Tour and degrees were both awesome. We went to Belgium and had great weather, sung in the Brussels Conservatoire, ate incredibly good chocolate, drank (a few too many) really good beers, and generally had a whale of a time. The beauty of tour is that it follows straight on to degrees so there were two weeks of Chamber Choir mayhem, during which you become a really close-knit group. I will always remember the treasure hunt put on by Juliet and Sarah.
Then in late July, I cycled from London to Paris. This really was an incredible, even life-changing experience. I met so many great people, and we were all taking on a huge challenge together. The sense of teamwork and friendship that came out in just three days was incredible. I can recommend it to anyone, and can honestly say that it will change you for the better.
September brought the 120th birthday party which I will also never forget. The months of careful planning, the week of general jobs and preparation before the event, and then the day itself, with loads of friends, old and new, and a whole roast pig. I think we still have some pork in the freezer!
And so on into October and my final year of university, with more maths, and two more operas, (mounds of music in general really). Dido had a very high level of production and was a joy to be involved with, if a little stressful. Plus it was my first performance in Covent Garden. The Zoo, together with Cox and Box, took itself slightly less seriously. I have never been so stressed as I was over the props and set for Zoo, but Cox and Box was the most fun I have ever had while on stage. When else does one get to lob a bread roll into the audience?
Chamber Choir reconvened with lots of new Freshers for the new year, and I had the pleasure of meeting Charlotte, who is a fantastic companion and always fun to be with. I certainly hope we will be sticking together for a long time.
Chamber Choir’s concert will also stick in my memory for a long time – Coventry Cathedral was packed and is an amazing place to perform.
We all had a good Christmas and a quiet New Year, and now I look out to 2009 – what will it bring?
2009 is my final year as a student, after 21 years of learning I will in June this year graduate from university and move on into the real world, all things being well.
Forgive the cliché, but University’s just gone so quickly. It feels like barely yesterday that I was moving into my first year room in Westwood, and I’m now worrying about things like jobs and a house and stuff. All a bit scary really.
There will be more music this term, I’m sure, and I will stand down as CC Librarian near the end of term, which will be a bit of a relief. It’s a good job, but it doesn’t half eat time.
There will also be the Sab elections, so I will be getting my act together to run a (hopefully) coherent and successful campaign to get myself elected to a Sabbatical position for the 2009/10 academic year.
But all that is to come, so let’s just get out there and see what life throws at me in the next 12 months.