Music, Here I Come

I attended the University of Waterloo orchestra concert held at Hagey Hall. It was lovely to hear some live music again and more importantly, it reminded me how it felt to play in a band and how much I miss it. Waterloo’s hardly the most exciting town in the world, but being close to the university for my upcoming work term does have its benefits. I’ll be able to take a course on campus at Wilfred Laurier and now, I’ll be auditioning and hopefully becoming a part of the orchestra. ‘Instrument’ of choice will be percussion.

I spent 6 years in the band program through junior and senior high school, 5 of them as a percussionist. Needless to say, music and the various bands I was a part of held a very central role in my daily routine. It was painful as hell to have rehearsals 3 or 4 mornings a week, but in the end, it was very fruitful. Not only did I enjoy making music, I also met and became friends with many members of the bands. As Microsoft says, music is social. Throughout those years, I also played the piano quite seriously, receiving my Grade 10 Royal Conservatory of Music certificate.

So it was with quite a shock that I entered the University of Waterloo, with music no where to be found in my daily routine for over two years. I had the opportunity to join a jazz group, but never took the initiative. After attending the orchestra concert, I will be taking that next step. I’ve been without music for far too long – I’m trying not to get my hopes up too high, but I do feel like I shouldn’t have much difficulty in making the orchestra. I’ll have to dust off the drum sticks and get some snare rudiment practicing in over the Christmas break.

Done.

Well, not quite but almost. I can say however that I had my last official day of classes at Colonel Gray High School ever, forever. (unless I fail several exams of course…) It was bittersweet to say the least. Seeing the lockers all empty, playing that keyboard one last time. Ahhh, they will be missed.

But all is going well. It was a great day out so naturally, I couldn’t make it to all of my classes but no worries. Nothing really happened anyways.

I’m still on dial-up here but I’ve got so much to say and I’m afraid I’ll lose it all. On a more positive note, I’ll be staying at Nick’s after this stint here so I’ll get a more proper sense of the internet again possibly.

Anywho, I’m keeping this short, just a little update for both myself and anyone reading this. I’ll definitely write more when the using the internet doesn’t make me want to shoot myself.

Charlie.

Power Outage

We had a power outage today just about the same time I stepped into the school. It was pretty cool cause all the emergency lights came on and all. The first thing that came to mind was if school was going to be canceled. And no, no it definitely wasn’t. So we sat through almost all of our chemistry class working in the semi-darkness (it was pretty light outside so we were okay). We were hoping we’d have the continued power outage so that we wouldn’t have to write out calculus test second period but about 15 mins from the end of chem, the lights turned back on. So off to calculus we trudged.

Turns out the calculus test wasn’t all that hard at all so I’m glad I got it over with today. Also we no longer have a chemistry test this week. We’re grouping this acids and bases chapter with the neutralization chapter so we’ll have a test on all of that next week instead. That alleviated some stress. All I have to concentrate on now is the physics test Thursday.

Some of the guys from McGill came and played during our jazz class today. It made me remember just how much I want to play at the Row this summer. But I’m going to be moving away before then. It’s really a shame as it would be the last time I’d get to play with them again. Maybe I will try and stay around here at least for a bit of the summer. Just for old times sake ya know?

Charlie.

And So It Begins

This week is stupid. Yep, that’s right stupid. We just did a chemistry test last Friday and got it back today (wasn’t bad at all, got 98%) and then we’re going to have one on the next chapter this week. Kinda cramming I’d say huh? I’ve spent a good part of tonight studying for the calculus test tomorrow. We’re actually starting into the more interesting stuff now. We’re learning derivatives and how that can apply to real life. I spoke with my calc teacher today after class and I can understand why we have to do the monotenous stuff before we can get into the more interesting parts. We need to build a good foundation in limit skills before we can properly tackle derivatives. It doesn’t make the work any less boring from before, but at least I can have something to look forward to now.

Oh and I have a physics test on Thursday too. That I haven’t done too much for. I really need to hit up the practice problems I’ve got loads of in my binder. Seems like I’ve been neglecting my physics recently. Perhaps it’s cause of what we’re doing right now. We seemingly have to do the problems exactly how our teacher wants them. There’s no need to think outside the box; in fact we shouldn’t think outside the box. We get marks taken off for that now…

One bright point to today was that I found out I got 49/50 on my jazz solo transcription. I’m finding that I’m enjoying that class more and more recently. It seems like the band’s starting to get its stuff together and we’re playing more tunes. We even brought out Schmoozability and worked on it basically all class today. It’s an awesome piece but we had put it away cause we couldn’t play it before. Hopefully we’ll be able to play it for our final concert. It’ll definitely be impressive for the listeners (if we play it well that is =P).

Ahhh our final band concert. It’ll definitely be a sad one for most of us. I’ve been in band and basically with the same bunch for a good 6 years now. That’s a long time at this stage in my life. We’ve been on several band trips together and get up to rehearsh together multiple mornings per week. It’s definitely going to be different not playing with any of them after this year. It’ll be the last time I play in band of this sort. We were talking about it today at jazz rehearsal. Our band director was saying we’d be passing in our band uniforms soon after the concert and I it really struck me then that I would soon no longer be a part of this organization. Our jazz combo’s going to be playing at that concert as well. We’ll definitely make it good as I’m probably closest with that group. We spent our summers playing down at the Row; those were times I won’t soon forget.

Last week was like the calm before the storm. I had a relatively quiet time last week, but this week we’re paying for it bigtime. I kind of regret not having done more work when I had the time. Ah well, regrets don’t get you anything so I’ll push that thought out of my mind. I guess I can look forward to the Victoria Day long weekend after I’ve got all my tests out of the way and I’ll be able to relax again. Sleep is so enticing right now.

Oh, also, I’m the process of writing up a review of the Zen Micro I’ve got here. It’s a very nice little MP3 player and that’s coming from a person with an Ipod as well. But if you read my earlier posts, you’ll know my views on Apple… In any case, that’s an upcoming article and I’ll eventually get to doing that Linux tutorial as well. Oh, so much to do. These blog thingies are pretty addictive. 😉 But in a good way.

Well, I’m off to studying a bit more before I hit the hay. I won’t have gone to bed this early in a long while and I’m looking forward to it. Sweet dreams!

Charlie.

A Sad Day

Today was a pretty sad day overall due to a couple reasons.

I started off the morning with an Advanced Chem test that wasn’t exactly the best test I’ve ever written. In fact it was one of my least confident school tests in a long while. But I didn’t dwell on that for too long.

However, at lunchtime, I heard someone talking about a subject that piqued my interest. I went on over to investigate. The person was being very emotional and I managed to find out why. My last semester’s English teacher had left the school, probably for good that morning. They got both her classes in that morning where she said goodbye to them all. I was shocked out of my mind. You see she wasn’t just your normal english teacher. She was such a special person to me.

You see, there are school teachers and then there are teachers that teach you life. She was the latter.

Before I got to my first english class last semester, I had already heard that she was a good teacher. But my thoughts of a good teacher back then went something along the lines of they teach the material well. So I didn’t expect my grade 12 english class to be more about life and how to live it than grammar or spelling. We spent a lot of time having discussions and learning how to interact with others. We also investigated just what life is all about. Instead of spending (what I believe is) pointless hours greuling over grammar or whatever, we discovered the world around us. We learned to seize the moment and live our lives to the fullest as opposed to learning how to write some type of poem I can’t even pronounce.

It was sad for me to find out that she had left the school earlier that morning. I didn’t hear about it until lunch break and by then she had already gone. I regret not having had the opportunity to thank her again for all she’s done for me. In addition to all that I learned in her class, she wrote a reference letter for me that helped get me a fairly large scholarship to Queen’s University, which I will most likely be accepting. Sometimes I don’t think she realizes just how many people she’s touched in her path through life. It truly was depressing for me.

And it snowed today. WTF. It’s mid-May. What a day.





Charlie.