Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Holidays!

My favorite time of year is here! I love the holiday season: the colors, the snow, the family time, the music :)

This year is a bit different as I am not setting up a tree in my apartment and I did not go home for Thanksgiving to help set up the one at my parents house. Decorating is one of my favorite traditions and my (ever growing) collection of holiday decorations is packed safely away, waiting for me to get a grown up job and have a more permanent living situation. So in the mean time, I am making do with finishing up some holiday projects and gift giving while listening to lots and lots of Christmas music!

My parents came out to visit me a couple of weekends ago, and I had such an amazing time with them! We were tourists for the weekend and it was really fun :)

We found the ducks along the river walk and were the only ones out enjoying it (maybe because it was cold and misty...)

We also stopped to see the lake close to my apartment, just a bit before the tornado sirens went off...

We also went to Discovery World and spent the afternoon avoiding the torrential downpour that was happening outside. I got some more good pictures of the fish and saw a pregnant seahorse which was neat.

One of my many holiday projects is from a McCalls Quilting magazine, I modified the borders and used lots of bright colors :)

Pinned and ready to quilt! Hopefully I will finish it this weekend. I have 5 more gifts to finish (only one is started, but it's the biggest one, so I'm not worried) and 2 things I would like to finish for me before I go home for break.

I had the flu earlier this week (ick!!!) and spent two days doing nothing. And am just now feeling mostly back to normal. Which means I am very behind on my practicing and school work.

To Do this weekend:
Finish 2 gifts
Finish one thing for me
Practice everyday
Memorize first half of Lalo
Memorize one movement of Bach
Finish laying out method book and plan what needs to be printed out
Find more sources for expanding the research paper

To Do next week:
Finish 2 more gifts
Buy other gifts on cyber Monday
Print and assemble method book
Second draft of research paper
Begin to assemble pedagogy portfolio
Finish memorizing Lalo
Finish memorizing Bach

None of this seems unreasonable right now, so hopefully I can get it all done!

Happy Thanksgiving and have a great holiday season! :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Taking stock, and first snow of the season!

This has been a difficult semester for me, at times I have felt like Milwaukee is out to get me. After a particularly rough weekend, I have decided to make one change that will hopefully make my tenure here much better. I have decided to take out a small student loan so that I have a travel allowance to go home and visit my family and friends. I have felt very isolated here and I think this is the best solution. Much better than trying to cram all of my stuff back in my car and start driving south-west...

I am used to being completely self-sufficient, and it was really difficult when I had a major problem this weekend to try and sort through it on my own. I'm really grateful my roommate was so awesome, she helped me not freak out too much, and distracted me when I needed it.

I can't even begin to express how excited I am to see my parents when they come out to visit next weekend! And I go home in 5 weeks :)

Practicing was not productive this weekend, but I have added the excerpts for the NRO festival to my pile of music and I am planning on registering for an audition at the end of February. In other news, I cooked a lot, and I am going to try and finish a quilt top before bed tonight. It shouldn't be too hard, I only have four seams...

And it snowed! Finally! I loved watching the flakes swirl down. Not much stuck, and it will be cold tomorrow, but it snowed! Yay :)


I finished the sparks runner :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Almost there!

The crazy week is halfway done! I am taking a short break this morning to get some "house keeping" done which has been sidelined for over a week now. Progress update:

Violin midterm, done
Pedagogy midterm, done I might even know how I did this afternoon!
Practicing with my accompanist, first one done, second one today (I still have lots to do...)
Recordings paper, turned in
Rough draft, almost done (only one more section to go...)
Presentation, halfway...ish
Method book compiled and layout started (this has sparked two separate ideas that I'm hoping will eventually turn into something that can be presented at an ASTA conference or published in the ASTA journal!)

And just so you don't think I'm not busy enough, I have also made progress on my mini twister quilt :)

And here is a look at my organization of quotes/citations for my research project. Kudos to my roommate for suggesting I take over a wall in our living room to do it. I've been sitting on the floor writing my paper and it has worked rather well!

In other news, I think winter is finally starting to seep in. Almost all of the leaves are down on the trees across the street from my apartment, and it's wet outside...very wet. I'm hoping I don't get soaked on my walk to the bus! And I finally had to replace my backpack :( the one I've had for 11 years. No one can say I don't get my money's worth out of things. The new one is really stiff, and a bit smaller. I'm hoping this encourages me to not bring extraneous things with me which is a tendency I have. I haven't had a chance to spray it with the waterproofing spray yet, but it's a North Face and claims to be water resistant. We will see.

Today's practicing will include Bach, Lalo, orchestra music, and working on my string crossings (they are stiff lately and I need to smooth them out).

I'm listening to the Philip Glass violin concerto as I write this and it has inspired me to leave for school a bit early for some extra time in the practice room!