Sunday, April 20, 2014

the adventure has come to an end

The End is officially here.

Monday: One season ends, the program for another is announced--gosh, you're fast, BSO! And although I can get ridiculously excited about that orchestra (see my previous post and that insanely long paragraph on Sunday--according to the Bangor Daily News, that was "the first time in more than five years" that the BSO had a full house), in my almost-ten years(!) of being a fan (the anniversary's next month), I've never been this excited. Next season, the orchestra will be playing many of my favourite pieces--now I really wish I could go to a concert (or five). Again, why, BSO?! As if that isn't enough, their YouTube video announcing the season is possibly the most exciting one yet (and yes I'm biased). I am more proud than ever to be a fan of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra. Also, it's a good thing that I don't plan on going to the first concert because I'd have exert a lot of self-control--otherwise I'd be dancing down the aisle, probably ending up in front of the violin section (it's all about the violins).

Because I'm so excited, I made a YouTube playlist of my favourite works that the orchestra will be performing (in chronological order). Enjoy. I listened to the playlist a lot this week.

Also from the BDN review: "Not only was every seat full, but every inch of space on the Collins Center for the Arts stage was taken up--by nearly 100 singers with the University Singers, the Oratorio Society and the Bangor Area Children’s Choir, and an orchestra full to bursting with extra percussionists, keyboardists and other musicians rounding out its ranks." Looks like you've got competition, Wagner (he liked big orchestras)!

That day was also my final class. Instead of meeting in our usual classroom, we met in the Split Crow Pub that's also in the Historic Properties buildings, where the Granville Campus is located. However, I thought we were meeting in said classroom and headed up there, only to find the door locked and the lights off. I tried checking my school email, but it was on the fritz (what's new?). I met a classmate who also didn't know what was going on--though she'd heard something about meeting at the pub, so we headed over--and there was the rest of the class! I handed in my final for that class even though it wasn't due until Wednesday because it was originally due on Monday--until Carla changed the due date, though the original deadline was firmly stuck in my head by that point. However, having it done a couple days early meant that I could focus completely on my final for Topics in Modern Canadian Art.

And although I planned to focus on that last final Monday, I ended up not doing a whole lot: making the above playlist was about as productive as I got, post-last class. Then again, I've gotten pretty good at banging out a thousand or more words in a day or two--NSCAD has done wonders to improve the speed of my essay writing (NSCAD has you write longer essays than NBCCD does--even at the first-year level).

Tuesday: I had my final appointment with Joan, and this time we met at Dal, where's she's based. Unlike the room where she meets with students at NSCAD, her office at Dal has a huge window, which means that said office gets lots of sun on days like Tuesday (sunny and +19˚C according to the thermometer at the IWK building that I passed on my way to NSCAD).

I spent the rest of the day churning out the first of two essays for my Topics in Modern Canadian Art final. Mom arrived, and I was surprised when I saw her walk into the computer lab at NSCAD, where I was, as I'd planned to meet her in the lobby, the Granville Campus being a bit of a maze (though Photo isn't too difficult to find).

Wednesday: Once again, I spent the day feverishly churning out the finals for Topics in Modern Canadian Art, and finished the last one late that night. They also happened to be my final projects for my degree, and I was more than happy to be done.

Thursday: I had to hand in my finals, so Mom and I went to the school, where I took care of those tasks (printing off the papers, stapling them and handing them in) and said good-bye to the techs (and got a hug from Alex), thanking them for all the support this year. It was nice knowing that I could come to the photo dept. and be safe from the abuse that I was dealing with.

Afterward, we went back to the apartment and packed almost everything in an hour or two. I always find packing stressful, but this time it went really smoothly.

Friday: I was up at 7:00 AM and we finished packing. Mom had a run-in with the person who's made my life hell this year--but Mom had a strength in her that I never had this year and she firmly told that person to "stop." Well done, Mom! After packing the last of the stuff into the car (as I said in my homecoming email to Lynn, "by some miracle, everything fit") and returning my keys, we drove home, stopping at Starbucks for breakfast and coffee. I drove a little ways, until my eyes started to droop too much.

When I got home, I erupted with shrieks and yells: I was safe. I spent the rest of the evening relaxing.

Saturday: I was still very tired from the previous day and, although I wanted to do something (like study the Nutcracker score), I didn't have the energy. I didn't even listen to the opera (R. Strauss' Arabella).

Sunday: I've finally started to regain my energy and do some stuff related to unpacking.


With this, my college/university career comes to a close, as does this blog. I will still write when I have something to say, but unless I go back for another degree, it will no longer be used as a place to write about school.

I think this calls for some more awesome music as a send-off, and I can't think of anything better than the Finale and Apotheosis from my favourite ballet, The Nutcracker. Enjoy, and thank you for following my adventures these last five years.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Bangor Symphony, why must you be so awesome?!

This will be my final post as a college or university student: the next time I write, I will be home cuddling cats, hanging out with my parents and healing from a brutal final year. This blog will continue, though I have yet to figure out what sort of form it will take.

Also, I can never pass up an opportunity to gush about the Bangor Symphony Orchestra. Brace yourself.

Monday: This was one of those field-trip classes: we met at the Dalhousie Art Gallery to view that part of Beat Nation, which is a show that has been toured around, having originated in Vancouver. It's so big that it's normal for the show to be split between two galleries--in this case, the Dal Art Gallery and the Saint Mary's University Art Gallery. The show is about First Nations peoples and hip-hop, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

That day was so warm that I took my coat off on the walk back to NSCAD--and treated myself to a gelato at Humani-T Café (they have some of the best gelato that I've had outside of Italy).

Tuesday: Exam Day for Twentieth Century Art. To quote an email to Lynn, "I wrote more than last time (not writing enough was one of the things that led to me getting a D on the midterm), I tried to make my definitions as thorough as possible (another thing that set me back last time), and overall I'm happy. I've done my best. Since my appointment with Joan, I haven't done much that would qualify as work [...]--and nothing that would qualify as schoolwork (I plan to do some work on my independent project this evening, as it needs attention and most of the time I enjoy editing photos), which feels weird. Though both Kathryn--a family friend who lives in England--and Mom said in comments on Facebook to take a break."

Wednesday: I took that day slowly as well, but managed to do some work on my independent project.

Thursday: Being able to sleep in that morning felt weird (I can sleep in? Great! But are you sure about that? Positive?). During the afternoon class I found out that that was my penultimate university class: with the exception of the last Contemporary Indigenous Arts class, there's nothing this coming week--all we have to do for Topics in Modern Canadian Art is drop off our finals to Ken Rice's office, which is a minute or less from the Photo Dept.

Friday: I spent the day working on my final for Contemporary Indigenous Arts and checked out Reel Injun from the Visual Resources Collection, as I'm doing one of my final papers for that class on the film that had the deepest impact on me, and that one was the first that came to mind.

Saturday: I got a very late start to the day--and I wasn't thrilled about that, as I had finals to write for Monday. However, I did get a fair amount of stuff done, including finishing the gallery review and starting work on the paper about Reel Injun. Bonus: I got to watch the movie while I wrote (I had to pause it every now and then to write things down as they occurred to me)!

I didn't realize that the BSO had a concert coming up on Sunday until I saw this photo. Go violins! Even better: the orchestra would be playing to a full house--exactly what the BSO deserves, especially when performing Carmina Burana, which is a very powerful, knock-your-socks-off piece. Mozart's thirty-fifth symphony (the Haffner) was also on the program (it was the first half of said concert), a fact that I'd completely forgotten. But is it any wonder, given how much of a show-stopper Carmina is?

I love how the audience erupts in applause at the end. And who can blame them? They've been holding it in for just over an hour!

Sunday: Carmina Burana Day. I listened to part of it as I walked to school, and, for the first time ever, zeroed in on the violin part. Usually I take the orchestration for that work as a whole, not focusing on a specific instrument--but because I knew a couple of people (Lynn and Trond) who would be playing it about two hours after said walk to school, I focused on what they would be playing. Verdict: the violin part alone is impressive. July sixteenth, when that concert will be broadcast on MPBN radio, can't come soon enough. After finishing Reel Injun, I listened to the Mozart, which, at about twenty minutes, is incredibly short for a symphony. It's the exact opposite of the Orff in that it's very tame. As I wrote in a Facebook status update, the Haffner "[allows] the Bangor Symphony Orchestra to give it their all in knocking the audience's socks off with the Orff. Brilliant. To whoever chose the music for today's concert, well done!" How I wish I could've gone to the concert--if I were going to school in the Bangor/Orono area, I definitely would've gone, especially if I were a student at the University of Maine (the orchestra's home, the Collins Center for the Arts, is on the UMaine campus). Blow off studying for finals for two hours and get my socks knocked off by the BSO in the process--wonderful (double that when you add in the strong violin part in the Orff and the BSO's violin section's habit of taking an awesome violin part up a few notches). Bonus: student tickets (you have to be a full-time student) are USD$13, including the $3 processing fee that's applied to all tickets--and, unlike regular-priced tickets, student tickets are the same price no matter where you sit. Wonderful! I'm so jealous of students in the Bangor/Orono area right now. How I wish I could've gone. Bangor Symphony, why must you do this to me? Why?!

Okay, I think that's enough gushing about the BSO. **scoffs jokingly** Typical favourite orchestras and violinists. Bangor Symphony Orchestra, I love you--and I can't wait to hear today's concert on MPBN on July sixteenth (START THE COUNTDOWN!). Go violins!

In the midst of all this BSO-induced excitement (which is all in a day's work for me), I wrote my final essays for Contemporary Indigenous Arts.