Sunday, April 30, 2017

On Ending a Bizarre School Year

Oh my gosh, I am so happy to be done with this year. I turned in my last paper, taught my last lessons, and I made it to Florida right to see family and friends and watch my sister GRADUATE from college it's fine I totally didn't cry at all.

This year was so tough. I don't even know specifically what it was, but for everyone I've talked to this seems to be the case. Obviously there has been a lot of social tension across the country and maybe that seeped into academia as well. No joke I had at least three panic attacks. It was really, really difficult. I am terribly glad it's over.


Some of my favorite people in the entire world will be leaving ASU and Tempe and it makes me so sad that it's kind of amazing I don't just burst out in tears like every afternoon. I'm not really sure what I'm going to do when they're gone. I'll have to make some new friends I guess (ugh when will it end! just kidding). 

Anyway, only ONE YEAR OF SCHOOL LEFT before exams and dissertation and then Dr whatever. So trust me, I understand how lucky I am. I really 100% do. I love my life and what I get to do everyday, I love my boyfriend so very much, I love my friends, my family, and my puppy. I am very, very happy. I just struggle with anxiety, and that's okay.

So don't mind me while I grapple with humidity and snuggle Joon for the next week. And I have photos from graduation to share within the next few days! 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


The past two weeks have been a whirlwind, and honestly that word doesn't even do the craziness justice. I (and hopefully my studio mates, too) have had some of the most inspirational experiences of grad school, all within one semester--and a lot of them in just the past month.

Dr. Bish was here and performed a recital and gave a master class. What an experience to have her here, in this bubble I've created, with her teacher who is also my teacher, sharing her clarinet-unicorn knowledge with us. I'm going to see her again in a couple of weeks and I am thrilled.

3/4 of my most influential musical people. My heart could explode!
On a strictly personal level: two weeks ago I travelled to Little Rock, Arkansas to play with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. It was my first professional orchestra gig and such a treat to play with Dr. Kelly Johnson, who also teaches at the University of Central Arkansas. She was kind enough to invite me to observe her studio and give a little master class during her studio class; it was an incredible and unforgettable experience. And Sibelius Symphony No. 2--go listen if you've never heard it. What a joy to perform it twice in a row.
Unfortunately I came down with a gnarly cold literally right after that day at UCA, but over a week later I'm feeling human again so it's fine. It was well worth it.

This past week, amidst recovering from this disgusting cold, my troll-y friends created this incredible day of new music where the famous composers themselves were here at ASU: William O. Smith (grandfather of extended techniques on clarinet) and Eric P. Mandat (who took Bill Smith's ideas and ran with them).

Pat, Jack, and Jeremy each played a solo recital of just Eric Mandat and Bill Smith's music, and then a trio recital that featured a bass clarinet quartet accompanying Mandat himself.

We spent Thursday through Saturday schmoozing and absorbing as much as we could from these incredible people and musicians. As exhausting as it was, I am so thankful and proud to be in an environment that encourages this kind of creativity. I love my friends, I love my teachers, I love my studio. The inspiration is palpable. We are indebted to them for creating this experience for us.

So yeah, it's been insane.

I'm really tired.

Dan's parents are in town, I'm going home in a little over a week for Rebecca's graduation (!!!), and school ends shortly after I leave. This year has been weird and crazy and stressful in a lot of ways, but man has it been amazing.

And a Cooper picture for good measure, how cute is he?...

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