Sunday, November 3, 2013

celebrating people I admire

I'm going to see one of my childhood icons perform next June!

Monday: I went to the SUNSCAD candidates' forum, which more or less didn't happen, as only one of two candidates showed up.

I then called Dal counselling services to see about setting up an appointment. Turns out, you have to set it up the day of if you want an appointment at the Dal campus.

I spent the rest of the day doing school work. That evening, one of Lynn's kids posted a photo on FB, with a caption talking about all that Lynn has been through in the last year (long story short, a lot) and wishing her a happy birthday. For most of the years that I've known Lynn I've looked up to her (those feelings gradually materialized over the first five or so years), and every so often something will come along that will remind me of said admiration (the best part is that she didn't do anything special to earn said admiration--just live her life and play the violin awesomely) and make me think about how lucky I am to know her. That caption was one such trigger, and I then went in search of awesome music to match my mood, which threatened to overwhelm me. Besides, I wanted to celebrate Lynn's birthday. Here are two of the pieces that I listened to:

These are not the recordings that I rocked out to that evening, though: my source was CBC Music, which is only available in Canada. This is the album that I listened to. If you're reading this in Canada, you can listen to it here on CBC Music. While the only-available-in-Canada factor sucks, it means that both Canucks and non-Canucks get to listen to Kristin Chenoweth's Glitter and be Gay, and who can argue with a voice like that--especially when its owner is so funny.

Tuesday: More schoolwork and prep for Wednesday.

In the evening, the Festival for Better Education arrived at its final stop, which was NSCAD, having marched to all the schools in Halifax and heard speakers at each one. Max Haiven and Sarah Trower (SUNSCAD president--this is her second year in that position) spoke at NSCAD, and I went to that part of the festival.

Wednesday: Once again, it was my group's turn to take the rest of the class through the week's chapter. Afterward, we each had an individual meeting with Adrian. I called Dal again and tried to set up an appointment for Thursday. No such luck. My meeting with Adrian went well--I had some questions, and I wanted to get a second opinion on the white balance of some of my photos (it's one of those things where one number can mean the difference between being too green or too magenta, and I can go back and forth and just about drive myself nuts trying to get the white balance just right). We ended up setting up an appointment for Monday to have a look at my images on the computers in the Photo Dept. computer lab.

Part of the afternoon was devoted to open studio, the other part being taken up by a guest speaker, Alan Griffiths, founder of Luminous Lint.

There was a GA that evening, but it was one of those times where a GA morphed into an info session--I don't even think quorum (four per cent of the student body--in NSCAD's case, that means forty students) was reached. They talked about the violence in Elsipogtog First Nation and what has happened since (neither the aboriginals nor SWN has budged) and about the bus trip some NSCADians took to that First Nation. Since hearing about the violence, I'd been trying to find out how it started, though I stayed away from news sources like CBC and CTV (some sources can be more than a little racist toward First Nations peoples). No such luck, so I asked at the GA. As I'd suspected, the violence was started by SWN trying to force out the protesters (typical, sadly). The closing of the Seeds Gallery was also discussed (SUNSCAD exec has had a really difficult time getting info as have the students in general--ahem--and SUNSCAD's phone calls haven't been returned). The drawing studio and woodshop on the first floor of the Granville Campus have been rented out, which means that classes were moved half-way through the semester, which is a big no-no. Some students have lost access to lockers and student work has been damaged. In other words, one major mistake after another. The higher-ups and those doing construction in NSCAD should know better. This is an art school, which means that there's artwork that students have laboured over for hours. Stuff that was done for school assignments, and I don't know how much of it had yet to be marked. Have any of the people who've done these things stopped to think about how much that would suck?? Okay, I'm done.

Thursday: I called Dal counselling once again, this time looking at setting up an appointment at NSCAD (one of the Dal counsellors comes to NSCAD every Tuesday). I got an email later that day with a time that was available, which I confirmed.

I spent the rest of the day doing work on my project.

Friday: More homework, including fiddling around with the white balance of another set of photos for my project and starting this week's reading. I also bought my first Neil Gaiman book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. However, I had yet to find out just how poor I am right now. It was worth it, though, as I've heard nothing but good things about Neil's work and I'm a huge fan of his wife, Amanda Palmer, to whom Ocean is dedicated (insert fangirl squeal here): "to Amanda, who wanted to know." In fact, it's thanks to her that I wanted to read the book and have been waiting since said book came out for the waiting list to get down to a manageable size in the NB and Halifax library systems. I checked this evening, and said waiting list is finally down to the single digits in NB (eight holds, twenty copies), though as of today all twenty are checked out/in transit/on hold.

That day I discovered that the CBC Music holiday streams, Seasonal Favourites and Classical Holidays (my favourite), are now available, and I've been listening to the latter stream almost nonstop ever since.

Saturday: I continued the reading (though not without having to do battle with the NSCAD proxy server, which was cantankerous even at school--there may have been more than the allotted twelve people on the server), and Mom ordered tickets for both of us to see Raffi in June. When I was a kid, he was one of the musicians whose tapes I played endlessly, and I still have many of his songs memorized, which will come in handy when I see him live (OH, MY GOD!!!!!!!).

When I was little, I didn't think about what he was doing for the world (not surprising--I was a kid). Once I became a big kid, though, he kind of got shoved to the back of my mind, and I didn't listen to his music quite so much. But a year or two ago, I rediscovered him and learned about what he's been doing through his organization, Child Honouring, and my respect for him is now so high it's probably sitting on Mt. Everest. I'm a fan once again, but my appreciation for him has matured: I love his music, yes, but I also admire what he's doing to make the world a better one for kids. If you happen to stumble across this, Raffi (as this is a public blog, you never know who's going to read it), thank you for the music and for everything else you've done. Can't wait to see you in June! As the concert's in between the date when I finish at NSCAD (the last teaching day is April seventeenth) and my birthday (July eighteenth), I'm treating it as a graduation and early birthday present. Thanks, Mom!

If you listen to only one of his songs, make it this one (referenced in the above interview). Fans like me--those who grew up with his music, are now in their twenties and thirties and who've perhaps passed their love for his music on to their kids--are known as Belugagrads, which is a reference to this song. And yes, I still know many of the lyrics.

This is the title track from an album that I used to play a lot (I probably still have the tape somewhere):

When I listened to this song Saturday night, I recognized the melody from somewhere else, but couldn't place it. I went over the melody in my head on the way home and turns out, it's the tune from Arkansas Traveler.

I admit that as I was choosing videos for this post, I was singing along. Yes, I do still have many of the words memorized--which will come in handy when I go to the concert.

Sunday: I finished the reading and edited photos for my APC project. At this point, I'm simply tweaking the colour and contrast--starting on Wednesday I'll be working with the images in Adobe Premiere.

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