Monday, September 16, 2002

Well, it's 11:38pm and I just got home from school and studying. It's still very crazy at school, but things are beginning to look up! Last week was a whirlwind. It seems that most of my days begin quite early with preparation and continue throughout the day with choirs, classes, labs and tutoring, almost without break. I feel like I'm constantly running from event to event! Actually, it's quite exciting...well, most of the time! Sometimes my brain just gets so full and totally exhausted that it begins to overheat and shutdown! Unfortunately, I've been using diet pops (loaded with caffeine) to get through those moments. The positives are that as soon as I step back in class and realize the amazing things that are happening, I feel so lucky and thankful. I've been waiting 25 years for this and it's finally here!

It's so exciting when I'm in class and we're doing something that interests me so much. Last Friday I gave my first labs for Aural Theory III, which is the most difficult level of tonal Aural Theory given at this school. I have to confess, the level of difficulty of this course is far above that which I experienced in Canada. This teacher, Prof. Krzywicki is amazing and incredible. Anyway, for me to pull the information together for those labs was an incredible effort for me, drawing on so many of my musical and personal skills. I was so nervous about giving this lab. I felt that I shouldn't have been selected as a first year grad. student- perhaps they should've picked a theory student or one of the other conductors. All my energy was going into learning solfege and practicing how I was going to work with the students. Furthermore, Prof. Krzywicki required that I memorize all of the 50 students in the two classes in one week! Well, I did it, AND I did a good job in the lab! I'm very happy for myself for succeeding in this first "small" victory.

The fact that I'm TA'ing for all of these courses (also beginning conducting and women's choir) is really amazing. If I had gone to a different school, I would not have had these amazing opportunities. I am truly lucky!

Off to bed with me- I've been averaging 5-6 hours a night. I can't keep doing it! Tomorrow, I've got choral literature, concert choir, conducting 123 and a WHOLE lot of library research to do!

Be well,

Dom

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

Welcome to Dom's World.

And I welcome myself too. It's been awhile since I've done a journal, maybe two summers. I'm going to try to do this as free-flow as possible. No editing or stopping except to correct spelling errors which drive me crazy!

Today was my first day of school at Temple University. I started my Masters degree, a double major in Choral Conducting and Voice Performance. It's been crazy lately. We (my partner William and I) arrived on the 15th of August at 4:00am in the morning. Getting here was an ordeal in itself. It was a twelve hour drive. When we arrived, the doorman wasn't going to let us in despite a huge envelope that had both our names on it. When we first arrived, it was unbelievably hot and humid for almost two weeks. Over 100 degrees with high humidity. My asthma was going crazy. The air seemed so dirty and filthy even by Toronto standards. It didn't take long for me to start getting homesick.

I finally made my way to school to check in at the International Student Services Office. I showed them my Visa, and the officer non-chalantly told me that a mistake had occurred and that I would have to return to Canada and re-enter again. Apparently, the U.S. Immigration Officer who let us in the first time "forgot" to stamp my F-1 Visa and give me an 1-94 card. It was very frustrating. A waste of time, money and energy. I spent 27 hours on a bus to Niagara Falls and back. The only good part of the trip was seeing the Rainbow at the Rainbow Bridge and buying a copy of the Globe and Mail.

It's been frustrating here and I do feel homesick for Canada. I miss my family, mybest friend Dylan and I miss all of my friends from an amazing community choir in Toronto called "Singing Out!" I miss them a lot.

Anyway, I've got to get up early tomorrow morning. I am TA'ing two courses of Aural Theory III and it's my first day with the class!

Namaste!

Dom
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