Sunday, April 3, 2011

The View from my Bookshelf {March}

The snow is pretty much gone.  Daffodils are up, and tulips are starting to come up.  Isn't it amazing to watch the earth wake up after months of deep freeze?  It's always surprising to me.  I'm ready.  Bring on the blooms!
Tulips.  My favorite. 


Reading:  Books and Audio Books 

March was a somewhat light reading month for me - I'll explain below.  Do you ever have a week where you get home from work and are so mentally exhausted that even reading requires more concentration than you can muster?  Well, I just had four of them.  

The good news?  The end is in sight.  I'm almost done with my current read, and excited to get back into the swing of things!

I started March with The Christmas Quilt, which I realize isn't really a "March" kind of read.  My Gram likes this quilter series, so I like to keep up with it too.  I think this was book 8.  The stories aren't the best things I've read, but they're certainly not bad.  I like the homey feel that they have.  

I was excited to cross A Clockwork Orange off of my list for a TBR challenge I'm doing at "Roof Beam Reader".  I really enjoyed it once I got used to the language. 

I did my first discussion post on War and Peace!  Check out my thoughts on chapters 1-59...     

Reading:  The Friday Five

Do you have the fear that you missed some great and fun blog posts this month?  No worries - your problem is solved!  Here are all my Friday Five posts from March.  I did miss one week at the end of the month because I was away, but I tried to make up for it in the following week.  Of course the following week is in April, so you'll have to wait.  Or, I suppose you can visit and see for yourself!

March 4
March 11
March 18

Reading:  Where's my bookmark?

I'm almost finished with The History of Love by Nicole Krauss.  I expect to have some thoughts written out for you this week.  

I'm on page 381 of War and Peace - right on schedule.  At the end of April I'll be doing another discussion post.  I'm still a little surprised at the accessibility of this book.  I think it's always loomed in my mind as this beast of a book that has really thick, dense language.  Not the case.  I'm really glad I signed up for this challenge!  

Me Talk Pretty One Day is still on my iPod.  I have not started it.  I go through these spurts where I need music in the car.  First it was a classical music kick, now it's been upbeat motivating music to get me through the day.  Next, I expect I'll have to make a playlist of songs that scream SUMMER to me - you know, to get me excited!

Life:  Outside the Pages

I know that many of my colleagues in Massachusetts are having a stressful month as well.  I'm gearing up to take my students to MICCA.  MICCA is a music festival - we will perform three pieces for a panel of adjudicators, each of whom give us a rating on a scale of 1-5 in various areas (articulation, balance/blend, intonation, rhythm, etc.).  We will participate in a short clinic where one of the adjudicators will work the the orchestra.  An award ceremony follows.  Depending on our overall rating we'll receive a medal ranging from "participation" to "gold".  Here's the stresser.  If you get a gold medal, you're invited to do a performance at symphony hall in Boston.  The orchestra has received gold medals in the past.  They received a silver last year.  It's my first year in the job, so I'm hoping for the best, but have no way of knowing what we're on track to receive.  Fingers crossed...

We had a beautiful Thursday and Friday a few weeks ago!  I opened up all the windows in the house.  Quimby (pictured below...) is a sneak and made a break for it out the front door.  I think he was so overwhelmed with the sights and smells of spring, all he managed to do was rub his head on the front steps before I grabbed him and brought him back inside.  Of course, being outside must have made him smell like outside.  So obviously his brother didn't recognize him anymore and needed to bite him.  Makes sense, right?  It's not like they shared a womb or anything.  It's easy to forget your brother.
The sneak.  Breathing in spring.

I chaperoned the junior districts music festival for seventh, eighth, and ninth graders who auditioned and were accepted.  Great experience for the kids.  Not so much fun for me.  I went out to dinner by myself, listened to rehearsal, and read A Clockwork Orange.  
Watching the kids in rehearsal.

The music educators conference was held in Boston last week!  (This is why I neglected a Friday Five - and why I returned to over 600 posts to read in my google reader...)  I love the conference!  We have such a great time.  I work with some fabulous people - and we're all around the same age and are friends outside of work.  The ideal situation!  My friend, Alley, lives in Boston, so we stayed at her place for a couple of nights.  I learned a lot of great stuff at the conference - in particular a great session about conducting student groups.  We ate at great restaurants and had an all-around fun time.  
My morning walk to the T station - coffee in hand, friends in tow.

Sitting in on All-State rehearsal.  They played the last movement of Mahler's 1st Symphony.

Really cute window display in Boston - Sneakers with flowers planted inside!

Oh - and I got a haircut!  I chopped off about three/four inches.  It feels great.  I'm kicking it old school, as this is the length I had for many years!
I'm not vain, taking pictures of myself!  I sent it to Dennis so he could check out the new do!
 
Looking forward to spring.  Looking forward to more reading.  Looking forward for work.  to.  calm.  down.  Looking forward to a grad school decision!  (More info. to come once I actually have some concrete info. to share!)

Cheers!

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