It's been quite a while (okay, nearly a year)since I've posted anything on here, so I'll take this opportunity to catch up on the last several months of my life. A few main points...
- I've started grad school, the process leading up to which being the main cause of my vanishing. I auditioned at 3 schools in February, was accepted at 2 of them. I got some financial aid from one, but basically a full ride in the form of an assistantship from the other, so I find myself here at Western Illinois University. More on that later.
- All the way back in May, I got to quit the job(s) that I hated in Lancaster, moved home for a few months, and worked at my old summer job. It wasn't too bad, I'd missed the people there and it did afford me a reasonable amount of time to prepare for my history and theory grad school entrance exams.
- In July, my fiancé and I moved to Macomb, Illinois, home of Western Illinois University and not a whole lot else. I'm not a fan of the town, but the school is quite good.
-In early August, I attended ClarinetFest in Lincoln, NE, which was absolutely incredible. Music students/musicians/performers/everyone, join your field's professional organization and go to their conferences. You will not be disappointed. Little is more inspiring than a massive group of people who love what you love, and also aspire to do it well. Also, the opportunities for networking are limitless.
-Mid/late August, I started my grad assistantship, which consists mostly of working for/with the marching band. It's been quite an experience so far, great in some ways, less than desirable in others, but ultimately, it's the reason I can study what I want to study, and I'm okay with that.
-Classes started. This semester, I have a graduate research class (which is my favorite, but more on that later), clarinet lessons, and an ed psych class, and I'm playing in wind ensemble and concert band. Steve and I are also singing Messiah with a local choral group and helping the local church choir. It's busy, but enjoyable.
- I had originally intended to finally (finally!) complete a music ed. certification while I was here, since the school is paying for it, after all, but after enrolling in (and ultimately withdrawing from) another intro to music ed class and realizing that a) I refuse to stay here an extra year, b) I refuse to take out loans to student teach and c) An Illinois certification is useless anywhere else, I've finally accepted that I don't think elementary or secondary ed are my calling. I do finally have a clarinet student, which is fun, so I'm hoping to eventually teach a bit more.
-Since I apparently cannot be content with having free time, I've decided to pursue both performance and musicology. As I mentioned, my research class has been my favorite so far; I've gotten the opportunity to write quite a bit and it's gone well. I also have an advisor who thus far as been very supportive, and generally encouraging of the idea of doing both. (Having similar interests in early twentieth century/inter-war music doesn't hurt, either.) I really like performance, my clarinet teacher here is awesome, but I think I'm better at musicology, so I hope to let them supplement each other as I foray into academia.
I could certainly write much more, but I'll spare you for now. I've had quite a few ideas for posts in the time I was absent, hopefully some of them will come to fruition soon!