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September 30, 2009
Homecoming Senior Year
Homecoming this year was awesome. My whole family came to campus, and we had a great time together. They left Memphis around 6 on Friday morning. They told me that they would be here at 1.... of course, they didn't actually show up until 4:30. Because they had been riding in the car for 9 hours, they weren't imediately glad to see me. It was only after we had dinner did they get excited about my presence. We ate and laughed about old times. My little sister brought her four-month-old along for the trip. The last time I saw my niece she was only 3 pounds... now she's 7 pounds! It was really nice to see her... if its one thing I've learned at Wabash, its that life will pass you by if you dont pay attention. I'm just glad I still got to see my niece while she's still in diapers.
We all went to the game on Saturday, and my family was, to say the least, surprised by the half-time show. I think they enjoyed all the homecoming queens and banners; they were surprised because they had never seen anything quite like it before. After the game, we came back to Beta. Our cook Debbie roasted a hog, and it was delicious. I think my mom was excited to eat a meal that she didnt have to prepare herself. After that dinner, she sounded like she would be ok with Debbie cooking the meals everyday.
After dinner,we went to the glee club concert. I thought it was nice way to top off the evening. No one was really interested in going to see Ben Folds; so, I took everyone back to the hotel. They were all exhausted and went to bed early.
On Sunday, we had breakfast together, and they had to get back on the road. Although we were only together for a few days, my family helped make the Homecoming one of the best ones yet.
September 26, 2009
Homecoming has started off great!My family arrived yesterday, and they should be pulling on campus any moment now. I plan to walk them around campus... for a few of them, its their first time here. Also, they want to go to the bookstore... maybe they'll buy me some stuff.
Actually, I have to go. I just got the call from my mom.
September 25, 2009
Flying from NYC
Today, my sister got here from NYC. I was really excited to pick her up from the ariport. We've been hanging out all day. First, we had lunch at WhiteCastle in Brownsburg. Then, we got to campus, and I took her to one of my psychology classes. After that we pretty much goofed off the rest of the day. The rest of my family will arrive tomorrow. They'll leave Memphis at 5 a.m. and they will be here around 2.
Its going to be a great weekend.
September 19, 2009
The Whole Kanye West/ Taylor Swift thing
I met Kanye West when I was 16 years old. Needless to say, I thought he was the coolest rapper on this earth. He just had this swagger about him that I admired. At the time, he was more of a producer than a rapper. He had been working behind the scenes for years, but he finally released his album, and he came into the spotlight. When we talked, I really didn't detect any arrogance in him, but then again, I was a fan. You couldn't tell me anything negative about him. I was still gonna buy his album. His first two albums are incredible; I still listen to them today.
But times change. People change. He has come to the forefront in pop music. In his mind, he is the greatest artist alive, and he should be duly awarded for his genius. Even though he perceives himself as the greatest, the Grammys, VMAs, and AMAs dont always agree. Yes, he gets nominated all the time, but he usually does not walk away with the statue. Losing all the time has gotten to him.
His behavior at the VMAs was disgusting. If you dont know, youtube Kanye and Taylor. I was really offended that he jumped on stage because I was his fan. I believed in his music. But, if it's one thing that I know, is that no matter how talented or gifted you are, you can't just take advantage of people. Kanye has a true gift for making music, but that does not give him any right to try and walk over people.
Being a senior, I've met with a lot of the Beta freshmen. They always ask what advice do I have for them. I tell them that no matter how talented you think you are, always be humble. Never try to walk over "the little guy." Share your gift with others. I tell them that you see students at Wabash all the time who are brilliant, and they know they are brilliant. Some of them are really down to earth, but others... They would rather reserve their genius for their intellectual peers rather than engage with guys who they think aren't as smart. I tell the freshmen don't be like that. Maya Angelou said that "people never forget how you make them feel." People will remember if you're condescending or mean. You'll eventually lose friends that way.
If you need any evidence, just google Kanye. He's all alone.
September 16, 2009
More on Jazz
So, jazz band went a lot better yesterday. Last week, I wasn't sure if I was cut out for it, but I'm feeling better about it now. The director gave us new music last night, and I learned it pretty quickly. There is still some technical issues for me to work on, but the important thing is thatI played better. I think I was just really nervous last week; I felt a little more confident last night though. Also, I got a book on jazz thats suppose to teach me how to improv. I haven't started studying yet, but I hope that I can learn it pretty easily.
With all that said, I think I'll be sticking around in the band for a little while longer.
September 12, 2009
I began jazz band earlier this week!
Sounds exciting, right? Well, kinda. It was definitely more challenging than I expected. There's a definite difference between playing classical and jazz... I mean, they pretty much exist in different universes. In classical music, everything is written out for you; you interpret the music, which is not always easy mind you. However, I'm pretty comfortable with it. On jazz charts, there may not be anything written on the page, but you're still expected to play. The theory is entirely different. Its more demanding in counting too. Even though it may be nothing written for me to play, I still have to count and follow the music. The jazz band director told me to "play in the holes." I had no idea what he meant. It turns out he wants me to improvise. I've never improvised before in my life, but I'm trying to learn.
Needless to say that my first rehearsal didn't go as well as I expected. I have higher hopes for next week's rehearsal though.
September 08, 2009
Pledge Father/ Pledge Son
My (Beta) lineage continues. Tonight, I became a pledge father again. This time to a freshman called Matt Murray. I have high hopes for Murray. My last pledge son didn't meet the 2.5 minimum GPA to become initiated into Beta, and he, subsequently, had to leave the college. I hope I have better luck with this one. My initial meeting with Murray lasted only an hour; however, durng that time, I felt like our personalities meshed well, and we will get along great. He seems to be kinda quiet, and thats ok; I'm hoping that he will break out of his shell by the end of the semester. I mean, I am his pledge father... he has a lot to live up too. haha
September 05, 2009
So I was playing the piano during Thursday Chapel this week, and someone tossed me a pair of sunglasses. This was the result:
I thought it was funny.
September 02, 2009
Evolution of a Pianist
If I really think about, my tastes in music have really changed over the past ten years. Back in middle school, I was eager to listen to anything playing on the Top 40 radio station. As I began studying piano, I was obsessed with learning pop music. I wanted to be that guy at the party who could just play the songs off the radio.
By the time I was in high school, my tastes were changing. I began my classical training from my new piano instructor. He really emphasized music composed in the Romantic era; he said I had a flair for playing it. So, I began to listen more and more to the great composers. I really had a thing for the Impressionist, Debussy, in high school, but it wasn't until two years ago that I actually played one of his pieces.
Since I've been at Wabash, my tastes have been changing. I've been listening to a lot of jazz over the past couple of years. I really haven't had a chance to perform until now. I joined the jazz band yesterday, and we have our first rehearsal next Tuesday. Now, I've never played in an ensemble before. This will be entirely new to me, but I believe I'll be able to hang in there. I'm sure it will require me to learn some skills, but I'm ready to put in the work.
I might even get to sing a song.