Self Portrait in Three Colours

Archive for June 2010

Good morning!

“The unthinkable has happened. Some sick, twisted individual has stolen every Teacher’s Edition in this school.”
“What do we do?!”
“Declare a snow day!!”
“Does anyone know the multiplication table?!”

Ahahahahahahahaha oh gosh I love the Simpsons! I’ve really been watching too much of it lately but its keeping me cheerful. Yesterday I paced out my little list of things to do and while I did a lot of relaxing, I still got more things done than the day before, namely:
– All our washing
– A bit of practicing (and for once, practice that didn’t involve anything to do with the tech exam… aww it feels great!) It wasn’t enough practice but I’m trying to work my way back into it. I’ve been sick and I’ve been busy and I’ve been sad, so the practice hasn’t really happened as much as I would have liked it too. So instead of jumping in right away with hours of practice a day and burning myself out, I’ll just dip my toe in the deep end and work from there. At least, I guess that justifies it all.
– Cleaning our room. I didn’t finish all of it but it’s looking much better!

I guess that’s it. I didn’t exercise, which is lame of me, but I plan to do that today. Every day a bit more, just so I don’t risk feeling like I did on Wednesday.

I also played, like, a lot of Pokemon Yellow yesterday. Haha I feel like I’m 10 years old again! It’s amazing actually. It’s keeping me entertained and its something I know I won’t be able to do once I get back to uni so I’m taking advantage of it now. I love holidays.

So now that I’ve done one semester of uni and therefore having completed 1/6th of my degree (that’s a little scary actually), here is what I would like to achieve/do better next semester:
More practice. I’m starting to see the balance between the academic work and the practical work, and I need to work on perfecting it. While I know less study will probably mean worse marks in theory and history etc (and I know I didn’t go as well on all the exams as I would have liked to this semester with the work that I did do), in the end I’m doing a music course. The way I see it is, this degree is purely for my own enjoyment. I am already a music teacher and don’t need a Bachelor of Music to further my career – it will only help it along I guess. Therefore, as long as I pass every academic subject, the marks really don’t matter. I just want to be as good on my clarinet as I possibly can be, to really get something out of this course and to enjoy my playing. Although the attitude of needing to get the best marks possible is a hard one to change (especially for me), I’ve kinda just gotta roll with it.
Use my time better. It’s tempting to sit in the courtyard for hours and talk, especially when the whole making friends bit is really important, but I need to make sure I’m booking those practice rooms and getting those readings/listenings done while I’m at uni. More work done at uni, less work I have to do at home, especially (once again) the academic stuff.
Get on top of assignments early. Yeah, I know. Everyone says it, right? But I reckon a lot of my sickness last semester came down to stress leading up to due assignments and I don’t need that again. Plus Aaron and I may be going away for a couple of weeks around the semester break period and I know a lot of essays and assignments are due not long after that, so if I can really get on top of things before then, there’ll be no stress while we’re away. As I said, I know it’s a long shot, but I’ll be really happy with myself if I can achieve that.
Rework my practice routine a little bit. I need to include more things that I am currently working on, such as more ear training, transcribing, composing, and playing repertoire, as well as a few different general exercises. A lot of my practice is going into the “other” section of my diary and very little of the rest of my practice is getting ticked off. I don’t mind putting exercises away for a little while and bringing them back in once I need them, perhaps after I’ve finished uni, or during the holidays.
Eat better. I tried this at the beginning of the year and it was hard, mostly because I hate having bread all the time so making sandwiches doesn’t really work for me. One of the things I would like to research these holidays is some cheap and healthy alternatives for lunch, ones that I’m not going to get sick of, that are easy and quick to make, and won’t break the budget. It’s a bit ambitious but I’m sure there are things out there!
Record everything. We bought a beautiful Zoom H4n Recorder using some of my birthday/tax refund money, and I want to take advantage of it. Rehearsals, performances, my own practice – I want to record all of it & just have it for reference and for evaluation. It’s going to be amazing.
– Also, I guess there’s a few things I could write about organisation, but I won’t be nitpicky considering I’m one of the most organised people in the course.

There’s plenty of other things I know I could improve but that’s the main chunk of it. I also don’t want to be too ambitious too quickly. As I said earlier, just a bit at a time. (Or “baby steps” as Aaron and I used to say to each other :D)

Well this morning, Aaron is going to finish writing his reports, and then we’re going to set up our new, new tent (after the other new one was found to have holes in the wall of the sleeping room and big dents in the poles.. eek! Very easy to return though and everyone has assured us it’s really not characteristic of the Black Wolf tents at all.. in fact, everyone has given raving reviews about it) and basically bask in the glory of the beautiful thing, and then I’ll probably get some more practice done, hang up our washing, finish cleaning the room, and DO SOME EXERCISE TODAY (I promise I will! There, now I have to do it.. it’s all out on the internet!) And maybe also relax and do some reading and some Pokemoning… ahahaha πŸ™‚

Down

Posted on: June 16, 2010

Well it’s been an unusual day. Aaron was at work all day and I was all looking forward to getting a lot of stuff done while at home – practice, exercise, cleaning, washing, etc – but instead an awful feeling of loneliness and unhappiness hit & decided to hang around for the entire day. I procrastinated doing anything for a long long time and then when I did get up to do something, I felt worse. In the end I took Ruby for a drive to Jells Park, about half an hour away, and went for a 45minute or so walk. On the way back I bought sushi and a coffee from maccas for lunch and as superficial as it is, it made me feel better. By the time I got home, Aaron was on his way home too so I wasn’t alone for much longer. The feelings have come and gone since then but nothing near as bad as during the day.

It’s a strange feeling that came over me and it truly sucks that it sets in on days when I’m most likely to be productive and have time to get things done. I thought a lot about Henk. I guess I’m coming to understand why he did it – I’m not depressed and don’t have suicidal thoughts but if I can have a day like today, I can only imagine how many many times worse it would have been for him. I’m not angry that he did it, just overwhelmingly sad that he did. Depression is simply a terminal illness, one that perhaps will cause your death or one that you may survive – just like cancer or any of those illnesses – and it frustrates me to hear of people saying things like “You’ll get over it” or “Look on the positive side” to people with depression because it is nowhere near that simple.

I wish I was more cohesive today but at the moment it’s all coming out like word vomit so I don’t feel like I’m making a lot of sense. Perhaps I’ll save the rest of this discussion for another day.

So, anyway, once Aaron got home we set up our new tent. It’s a gorgeous thing and so easy to pop up and down, it only took us about 15 minutes to get up and that was still trying to figure out where things went and how they worked. However, when we got inside, we found a couple of tiny little holes in the walls of the sleeping area. Being a brand new tent it’s not really something you can ignore, so Aaron’s taken it back to the store and hopefully we can get a new one – I think it will take a while to come in but it’s better than having a faulty tent. I hope we can get it soon though, because the driveway should be started in the next week and after that we want to camp down there, and also go away to a few different places. It’s going to be much easier with this tent than our canvas one, which took like a hundred million years to set up and take down, we’re going to be able to go away just for the weekend and stay one or two nights in a place without it being inconvenient.

Anyway, no more inspiration for writing is coming now so I’ll be back later on!

I’m in a creative mood tonight, I think it’s got something to do with discussing work experience for my brother and talking about all the things he could do with nature, parks, ecosystems education etc. It makes me want to get out there and experience as much as I can, but because it’s 10:30pm on a Saturday night and I’ve got 3 (albeit short) exams next week I think we’ll leave that for another time. Instead I’ll channel it into writing here πŸ™‚

I’d like to do something really awesome these holidays. Create something, start a project and keep it going. That being said I’ve already got plenty of things on my to-do list, like:
– Exercising everyday (I know it’s cliche but the nintendo wii really helps and I think I can do this)
– Getting back into hardcore practice (a lost cause while at uni… quite ironic really considering I’m doing a music course)
– Organize my music collection – keep creating playlists and sorting music according to moods, times of the day etc. Aarons been much better at me in doing that, I’m only up to the letter C in song titles, sigh.
– Organize my photo collection – make sure I’ve got all photos from all camera in my iphoto and maybe do something with them… at least move them to the desktop computer so we can see them on our screensaver
– While I’m at it, continue scanning in old family photos. Loved doing it leading up to Dad’s 50th earlier this year, but it was cutting it pretty fine coming up towards the party so I had to just go through and only scan photos of him. So I’ll go back and get all the rest of them. Love having all those photos digitized.
– READ! And read books that are new. Expose myself to something just a bit different.

The driveway in Strathewen will be getting done in a week’s time or so, and during the school holidays we’re going to camp there for probably the majority of the two weeks. I’m looking forward to being cut off from technology and the world in general for a bit. I’m going to have my clarinet and my metronome and do heaps of practice. I’m going to read. I’ll bring my little diary and write in that – just being in Strathewen boosts my creativity level – and I’m going to take tons of photos. I’ll get heaps of exercise. And hopefully living there with Aaron will cleanse my soul a little of all the technological influence of this world. Really, I can’t help it, but I feel a little addicted to this computer, and I want to break free from that so I have more time to truly be creative. I get this feeling from time to time that I just want to be so connected to the earth and to nature, to know all there is to know about our beautiful property, to do things that are good for our world and to be non-intrusive while I’m here. Living in the suburbs with a laptop, a mobile phone, electricity, fumes… it’s not the best way to do that. And it kills inspiration. I want to experience what it would have been like to live here thousands and millions of years ago, where there was no such things as cars and buildings and factories and internet and pre-packaged food. It’s always hard to live that completely but camping in Strathewen for a couple of weeks can certainly get me closer.

Well as I always say I have plenty more to write about but I’m currently being coaxed upstairs to watch 24. It’s been ages so I’m a little excited. More later! πŸ™‚

Today is my birthday!

I know it’s a bit childish but I still get super-excited about it, more because it’s a reason to go out and have a great day, and then come home and have a great night with family than anything else. So far it’s just been really great. I’ve got tons of facebook messages from people (more than probably ever, it’s made me smile just a bit haha) and have already got some really awesome presents from Aaron. Keeping in mind that the majority of my present was the Nintendo Wii that we bought a few weeks ago, I got from him:
– a little bottlebrush plant to live in Strathewen. I love it. His name is Charlie.
– an extendable metal pole thing that you wind your digital camera on to so you can take photos of yourself from a distance of up to one meter. What a great idea! Whenever we’re anywhere and we take a photo of ourselves, we only ever just get our faces in and our surroundings kind of go unnoticed – this way at least we get a bit of background in and you see more than just a closeup of our faces. We tried it out today at Healesville Sanctuary (more on that in a sec) & it works really well
– a $50 gift voucher for Rivers nursery home &gift shop. Months ago we went there and I found these beautiful metal drink bottles and was pining over them for weeks afterwards. Aaron didn’t know which design to get me cos the one I’d picked out ages ago wasn’t there, so he bought me a gift voucher instead. πŸ˜€

So after surprising me with those presents, he made me pancakes and then we quickly hurried to the car to go to Healesville Sanctuary. We both haven’t been for years, and we’ve never been together, so it was quite exciting. It was cold and quiet when we got there at 9:30am, so we just loved walking around in the native Australian bush looking at all the animals. Quite funny though, cos Aaron kept saying “We’ve got those in Strathewen… and those… and those…” Basically our home-to-be could be a sanctuary all in itself πŸ˜€

So we saw plenty of animals and a few of the meet the keeper displays, had a well-deserved lunch in the heated restaurant, then came home in time for Aaron to head off to work (he’s conducting Jazz Band this afternoon.. I wish he didn’t have to work on my birthday but it’s all money and we need it right now… plus I’m lucky that he didn’t have to work any sooner today!!) So I’m hanging out at home, getting bits of practice done and just relaxing. What an awesome day πŸ˜€

I’ve been thinking of Henk a lot today, cos I know on a day like today we definitely would have been spending time with him. I feel like time has warped a little bit in the last year… it seems strange that this time last year I was celebrating my 19th birthday and we had dinner with him & Denese & my family at Lygon St. I can’t really figure out whether I feel like it’s been longer or shorter than a year since he died, it just feels strange. So I’m missing him a lot but it hasn’t spoiled my mood because I almost feel like he’s around still. I’ve been thinking a lot and would like to write something for him soon – I feel like I have a lot to say to him and writing it down is probably the best way to do it – but that can wait for a more appropriate time.

There’s plenty more to talk about but I’m going to go and do some more practice before I get too lazy. Tonight we’re having a family dinner, and Denese, Peter and Clare are coming round too. Plus Chelsea’s new boyfriend (as of Wednesday night haha… best story there but I won’t go into it) who I invited as well, hahaha. I can’t wait to spend time with everyone, it’s going to be great.

So apart from the fact that I’m 20 now (…:(…) and no longer a teenager, I have had a pretty amazing day & can’t wait for tonight.



I'm Monica - a 21 year old Aussie girl trying to understand life. Teaching music and studying to be a primary school teacher. Blogging about everything and nothing!

@clarinade

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