Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Concerning that place in which naughty people reside

Last night, I set my alarm for 5:30am so that I could rise bright and early--or should I say dark and early--to finish my Counterpoint* homework. I suppose that my alarm went off at the unholy time for which it was set, but alas, my unconscious self chose to ignore it and sleep on. My roommate's alarm began to go off at 7 (I say began because it was still going off forty-five minutes later, when I left for school...if there is such a diagnosis as Chronic Snoozer, this roommate is definitely a candidate for said disease). In any case, my point would be: I did not wake up in a timely fashion; therefore, my Counterpoint homework did not get done.

Before reading on, there are two things you must understand:

--one must always do one's homework for Counterpoint, or one may as well stick oneself with three hundred thousand needles as go to class

--my professor for Counterpoint is a very serious man who speaks German and plays the organ for a living

I got to the HFAC about five minutes to eight, so I whipped out my workbook and textbook and attempted to begin my homework that was due in 300 seconds. Needless to say, I did not get very far at all. My teacher, Dr. Bush, arrived, and I knew I was toast (I had been dangling onto the frayed thread of hope that class would suddenly and mysteriously be cancelled). We began class by singing some Bach chorales, during which I attempted to finish scribbling down a rough outline of the chapter we were supposed to have read (my "outline" basically consisting of the bolded titles of each section of the chapter, and a few lines I skimmed here and there), and hoping against hope that I wouldn't be called on to share any of my workbook exercises with the class, as I hadn't even started them.

Well, since my class size is only about 15 people, and of those 15 only eight or ten are brave enough to attend regularly, the odds of my deadly secret being discovered were inevitably stacked against me. And so, I now proceed to relate to you a short conversation, verbatim, that I would never have guessed I would have in my LIFE, let alone at BYU.

Dr. Bush: Okay, let's look at the workbook exercises. *pause* Britny, why don't you discuss the first exercise for us?

Me: (in tiny, ashamed voice, not looking him in the eye) I'm sorry...I didn't do my homework.

Dr. Bush: You're going to hell.


*a type of music theory/a really genius and complex way to compose music ('genius' as in you must BE a genius--like Bach--to have the capacity to write it)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A view of Mt. Rushmore...

...from the Canadian side.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

The dangers of small talk

So, yesterday I was at work in the music library here at the zoo. A lady came in and wanted to check out some scores that are kept in our Primrose International Viola Archive, so I led her back to a special place in a far corner of the library on the fourth floor and keyed in the secret code on the golden keypad (yes, it really is golden). I then led her inside the archive, which is a large room with green, luscious carpet, dark, stained wood, dim, recessed lighting, original paintings, three rare violas, and a couple of statues to boot (oh, and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of actual music). I asked her if she was a violist, but it turned out she was a pianist. Having chosen such a worthy occupation, I trusted that she could handle herself maturely amongst all the splendor, and I left the room, closed the golden keypadded door with a soft clank, and headed back to the main desk, where I was supposed to be working.

A while later, she made her way back to my desk with a big stack of scores she wanted to check out. One thing you've got to understand: sometimes it can get pretty awkward checking out books to someone if both of you are just standing there in dead silence, except for the part where the computer says "beep" twenty times while you scan the books through and then deactivate the tattle strip in all the spines. So, naturally, I try to make a little small talk with patrons while I'm getting their stuff checked out. I know, I know, sometimes I'm such an overachiever. Hahahaha. Ha.

Anyway, since she had said that she was a pianist but she was checking out viola scores, I asked her if she was a professional accompanist. She thought about it for a second and kind of cocked her head and then said, "Well, yes, I guess I am." I then replied, "Wow, that's great! Did you by any chance attend the piano program here at BYU?"

Lady: "Yes, actually, I did!"

Me: "Cool. I'm a piano major here right now. When did you graduate?"

And then of course, while she was trying to think what year she had graduated, my big mouth had to tack on what my brain was thinking, as if to help her along in the remembering process...

Me: "a really long...."

*biting tongue*

Yes, I almost said, "a really long time ago?"

I quickly attempted to cover my blunder by distracting her and asking with whom she had studied. It sort of worked. But it made me feel like such a hostile, inconsiderate manipulater. And seriously, she wasn't even old. She was probably in her mid- to late forties. Why, of all things, was THAT particular phrase the one that my brain had to come up with first? Maybe this is a sign that I need to spend a little less time practicing and a little more time working on my spontaneous conversation skills...

I can just imagine tomorrow's headlines:


Cataclysmic events that would most likely follow:




And so on, until:


Yeah, I should definitely work on those conversation skills.