Wowwww, hey guys…it’s been a long time. I have TOTALLY been shirking away from my duties as a blogger, but just you wait – this post is bringin’ the HEAT, and I’ll be here allllll summer. (Also, this post keeps being unable to save and losing EVERYTHING I’ve written, so I hope it doesn’t do it again… because if it does, I am outta here.)
So. I guess it’s that time of year again. School is OUT, I’m in Pennsylvania enjoying the fresh air and the food, and June is just around the river bend. Should I choose the smoothest course, steady as the beating drum? NO!* In fact, this entire semester has been about choosing the course that I most desire; in college, you have a say, you have a great amount of choice. Going to Harvard is preparing me for when I have to make crucial decisions, ones that will change my life – or perhaps I’ve already started to make those! On second thought…I definitely have. Here goes: the top 5 choices of sophomore year!
5. Nostalgic for The Nostalgics…
I had to take off time from The Nostalgics to deal with my vocal issues…this was not a decision I wanted to make. It was, however, life-changing. I suppose, if I look at it in a warm light, it was a good method of ensuring that I didn’t become too involved with my music and ignore the other things in my life that have so much weight. I definitely got to spend quite a good bit of time with my photo ladies instead of gigging and rehearsing, giving my voice a rest while testing my eye. It also really saved my voice – as much as I love soul and Motown, it really pains me – so I will always be grateful that I am taking the time now to work through a spot of trouble. Also, being apart from the group made me realize how much it means to me, and I know that the music will always have a special place in my heart. We had our last gig the night before Commencement [graduation], right in Brattle Square, and it was fantastic. It’s something I’ll never forget, and something I wouldn’t have loved so much if I didn’t have to suffer for it. (No I am not kidding nor am I in ROTC.)
4. Arts + School = LUV
First semester, I took an intensive studio course in printmaking and etching, committing eight hours of my Tuesday to the class. Although I had class straight from 10am to 8pm, followed by rehearsals until midnight, giving myself the opportunity to really devote myself to the arts was awesome. I suddenly prioritized arts in my academics, something I’d never really done before, and found myself able to synthesize the subject material I was learning in studio with what I was learning in other classes. This semester, it was even more pronounced; Music 167r, a course on sound stories and Electroacoustic music, was basically the fusion of all that I’m interested in: storytelling, music, engineering, and CREATION. Making something that I am proud of is the best experience, and I crafted and performed a seven-minute piece that I’d never expected to compose in my life. This year has been all about expanding my interests…it’s as if I’m in this malleable casing that I just keep pushing out to explore another aspect of Harvard (and myself) that I never knew existed.
3. The Opps: Risks and Leadership
Auditioning for the Opportunes was a huge risk for me. I was very unsure of whether or not I wanted to try out, mostly because I was afraid of rejection. However, I decided to suck it up and push through the audition process, surprising everyone involved – even me! I am so glad I took that step into Lowell Lecture Hall and joined my acafamily, working hard all year long to perform at my personal best. Yesterday, my mom was surprised by my voice, saying it sounded really beautiful; this year has changed it so much, and for the better, from focus and vocal discipline in the Opps and in therapy. I’m psyched to continue to craft my instrument and incorporate it into my academics, meshing all aspects of my life into a melange of strange awesomeness. (Also…my career! Now I can manage business as business manager and do music AT THE SAME TIME!)
2. Dropping Acid…No, Not That Kind.
After being diagnosed with vocal nodules and severe acid reflux, I had to make a great deal of changes in my life. The most obnoxious alteration? My diet. I was eating really well, in the normal sense of things – mostly salad, no meat, occasional carbs, protein, and Tabasco or Shriracha to spice things up. Then, I quickly learned that my diet was the reason I couldn’t speak in the morning or sing through a set with The Nostalgics. I had to remove the tomatoes from my salad, skip the balsamic, cut the spice, avoid anything fried or fatty, and still maintain a healthy diet. Unfortunately, I found myself always hungry and eventually started adding meat to my meals. I’m still not sure how thrilled I am with this compromise, but I will do anything to preserve my voice and stop the painful acid reflux I used to experience after each meal. In addition to these changes, I had to start poppin’ pillz (Zantac and Prilosec) half an hour before I ate anything, and had to wait 3 hours after eating to go to bed – no more late night Brain Break from the d-hall! Also a lot of meals planned in advance. (Luckily for me, my blockmates in Currier always eat dinner at 6pm sharp, without fail.) Finally, I had to stop going out as much, and found myself enjoying parties even more, as I could rarely attend them! Absence makes the heart grow fonder, as they say ; )
Choosing my concentration was by far the most important decision I’ve made at Harvard. Luckily for me, my sophomore advisor was extremely helpful, talking with me for a good hour and a half three days before I had to declare! Choosing a concentration [our word for major] is important, so having tons of help from my various advisors made the decision a little bit clearer and easier. Although I drew out of a hat in the end, I had discussed the pros and cons of each option in depth and knew with my gut that Music and Anthro was the way to go, providing me with the perfect balance of structure and freedom in my studies.
OKAY THAT’S ALL.
I don’t want this post to expire before I publish it. I am sorry if it isn’t up to par, but I promise to make it up to you!
Until next time,
*if you didn’t understand that blatant reference, please relive your childhood and include Disney.