Self Portrait in Three Colours

Posts Tagged ‘uni

I don’t really have anything in particular on my mind to write about tonight, I just felt like bashing away at the keyboard for a bit. Plus it means that I’m writing more regularly which is a habit I’m trying hard to get into (because I know it’s good for me). But you’ve heard this already, probably a few times πŸ™‚

What I can write about is my dear love for Keith Jarrett right now. Aaron bought me a DVD of the KJ Trio playing standards in Tokyo in ’85 and ’86, and because we’re slack and lame and also forgetful, we haven’t gotten around to watching it until tonight. It’s playing as we speak and while I’m not paying attention to every note, I’m loving the sounds I’m hearing. The trio is so tight, so tuned to each other, and so everything they play sounds just fantastic. Keith Jarrett is amazing – I knew this ever since I came across his Radiance recordings, hidden among the gigs worth of music Aaron gave me back in 2007. Radiance VIII came to be a piece that meant a lot to the both of us – in fact every time I hear it play it brings back swarms of memories from the beginning of our relationship. Admittedly I don’t have much of Keith Jarrett’s recordings, but from what I’ve heard (and what I’m hearing right now… yes, this very piece! I love it! I will have to find the CD of this concert, it’s amazing) you can count me in as a fan. Although I have to say watching Keith Jarrett play is simply hilarious. In the most intensive parts of his solos (and sometimes it doesn’t even have to be that intense) he sort of half-stands, hovering over his piano stool, twisting himself at all angles and making all sorts of strange facial expressions. And he sings while playing sometimes, this strange nasal sort of emanation. While I feel like it’s a little bit over-exaggerated, I think it’s pretty fantastic that he can really get into the music as much as he does, especially when all they’re doing is playing standards. (When I say that, really what they’re playing is so incredibly musical, creative and unique that it can hardly be counted as just “standards”).

Anyway, that’s my Keith Jarrett rant for tonight. I love him πŸ™‚

I haven’t been feeling well today which has put a bit of a downer of the day. When I started taking the antibiotics on Wednesday I was feeling 80% better by the next day and I was hoping that would continue through until I was all better, but alas it was not meant to be. Probably the late night last night didn’t help (my definition of “late night” is basically any time past midnight, because I wake up feeling like this… so there you go). We went to an engagement party for a friend of Aaron’s – it was just a three-hour afternoon party but we got there late and left there early because I just needed to get back into bed, so we ended up only being there for an hour. I felt bad about it but Aaron didn’t mind taking me home. He’s wonderful πŸ™‚ And so the whole day I haven’t gotten a single thing done – not practice, homework or study – which I am feeling guilty about, but hopefully I can be feeling a million times better tomorrow and have a really productive day πŸ™‚ Theory exam & American music listening test is on Monday so I do need to get something done at least!

Keith Jarrett is playing God Bless the Child now! It’s awesome!

That reminds me of the awesome rehearsal our ensemble had on Thursday. Mags was away somewhere so we had Sam Keevers for it instead (freakin’ awesome guy too!). We ran through the three pieces we’re playing for Bennett’s Lane – God Bless the Child, Charade and the Saga of Harrison Crabfeathers – and for the most part it just worked, and we all played well together. It was such a refreshment from the week before, when we were all feeling a bit flat and the music reflected that. We were all feeling good after it and hung around for a bit after, eating cake that Rachael so kindly brought for us. It sounds a bit silly to get so excited about one rehearsal but for me at least, it felt good. πŸ™‚

Well I think that satisfies my keyboard-bashing needs for the time being so I’m going to continue watching and loving this DVD!


I don’t usually take a lot of sick days. I have been raised to believe that the only time you should stay home from school/work is when you’re too sick to get out of bed – Mum always said “Unless you’re on your death bed, you should be at school.” It’s not been a bad way to have been brought up because now I have a very strong work ethic and will always feel guilty for letting anyone down if I happen to not be where I am supposed to be. It has also made it very difficult for me to just say “I need to stay home today” even when I really shouldn’t be getting out of bed at all. I’ve learned to listen to Aaron, who will always tell me that I need to look after myself and get better, but it doesn’t make me feel any better about missing days from work or uni.

Today’s an exception, I know that there is no way I would be able to function at uni today. My throat is sore and swollen, my head is spinning and achy and I feel like I’ve been run over. Usually it would be a 12-6:30 day for me today, with an hour and a half break after the first three hours. That’s a day I might have almost been able to manage, but today there was also a saxophone workshop to go to from 10-12, and I had made a counselling appointment from 3-4. Only getting half an hour’s break during an eight-and-a-half hour day while I’m feeling this bad would probably have set this sickness in for a nice long visit with my body for the next month.

Instead, I’ve been to the doctors, got a prescription for some antibiotics (my last resort, I promise… I don’t really believe in them but I’ve been sick for weeks now), and am now lying in bed about to watch the Simpsons. If I feel any better I’ll try and get a bit of study done but I’m not forcing myself to do anything. I have wrenched myself out of bed to uni/work one too many times now and I think the stress of exams, studying and practice is coaxing the sickness to linger around.

Today is officially a sick day and I’m going to make the most of it. And hopefully feel better for tomorrow – I have a lunchtime performance with the World Music orchestra and then four hours of rehearsal. Ah, the joys of studying music at uni!

I never really know what to write when I’m starting off a post like this. I guess if I wrote more often not only would I be better at doing it, but I’d be able to start it as though I’m talking to a friend or family member that I see every day – very casual, starting wherever I need to without much of an introduction. But that feels silly when I really don’t write here much. I get cranky at myself when I think about it because my constant whinge to myself is that I don’t really have many people to talk to about the things that matter. Aaron is fantastic for many, many things, including listening, but I would begin to sound like a broken record if I told him every time I was feeling down and why, and really the general mood would be pretty lame for like 98% of the time.

That all being said I’m actually in a pretty good mood today. Aaron’s working, which sucks, but he was home this morning and we had a very relaxing time just the two of us, with noone else in the house. It’s going really well between us lately (not that it ever really isn’t, but we have our times) and I crave for the times when we can just hang out together, even if we’re doing our own things. I don’t know any couple quite like us, we seem to be able to stand being around each other pretty much all the time and I still find it a little heart-wrenching to say goodbye to him, even if I know we’re only going to be apart for a few hours. Lame and dependent? Yeah, I guess so, but it’s not doing me any harm so I might as well enjoy it πŸ™‚

Also, I’ve been thrilled with having a Nintendo Wii these days – we bought one a couple of weeks ago and got the Wii Fit Plus, Wii Sports, EA Sports Active, and Cricket games with it. I’ve been getting a fantastic workout with the Active game and watching my weight slowly diminish using the Wii Fit Plus game. Plus, Aaron and I really get a kick out of playing together in Tennis, haha. It was a bit of a blow to the budget but most of it is an early birthday present from Aaron and my parents, and it will hopefully be the thing that kick-starts the motivation to really shed a few kilos. I can’t wait πŸ™‚ So I completed a great workout this morning and I’ve been noticing my mood really seems to lift once I’ve done it so it’s a double bonus! πŸ™‚

I have been sick though, which sucks horrifically because my practice has become all but non-existent. I’ve been trying to keep up with it by going through jazz standards in all keys on the piano and keeping up the ear training, but my throat has been so sore and swollen that the only time I’ve picked up my clarinet in these last two weeks is when I’m at uni in rehearsal, and every time I come home feeling like crap because I’ve overdone it. It’s a bit of a stress – the tech exam is only a few weeks away now – but I’ve been able to get a lot of the theory/academic side of uni work happening which is, I guess, the next best thing. I am finally starting to understand figured bass and part-writing (which, by the way, URGH) and am basically up to date with most things… a week or so behind in other things. It’s not too bad considering they do expect us to put in a hell of a lot of work with these subjects, and most people are doing nothing at all. So that makes me feel alright about it πŸ™‚

Wow, it truly amazes me how many words I can churn out when I’m really on to something. ANOTHER reason to write more here, because it is feeling fantastic just to write about my life at the moment, as mundane as it may be, and just make sense of it a little bit. That being said, if I try and make it a goal to write more often, or every day, it will probably fail because I’ve got too many goals I’m trying to complete at the moment! I feel like getting the exercise in is already pushing it so I won’t make any promises… like always πŸ˜›

Well it’s 2:30 and I should try and get some stuff done. For my own benefit, I’ll make a list:
– Notes for Chapter 7 & 8 of the theory textbook … and I’ll do some of the self-review questions if I have time and/or am feeling up to it.
– Get a bit of practice done. Mostly piano and ear training, although I might try and just get 10-15 minutes of clarinet practice done, just so I’ve done something for my tech exam
– Hang up all the clothes in our room – its ridiculous how lazy we are, even once our clothes have been washed and dried… we just never hang them up :/
– While I’m at it, I think I’ll also put on a new load of washing…
– Clean up just a few things on the floor of the lounge room (seriously looks like a bomb’s hit it… every time we walk in, we have to walk AROUND the huge pile of crap in the middle of the room.. it’s pretty bad)

Do you know, that sounds like a pretty good list to go on right now. Hey, wish me luck! πŸ™‚

As this page was loading I was trying to think of the reason why I don’t write here a lot. I really couldn’t come up with anything until I realized – right now, I am alone. There are things going on in the house around me but I’m in this room alone. And I look at all my other posts and not one of them has been made when there are people in close proximity. I feel embarrassed about what I’m writing, which is extremely silly, but I do. I hate writing while people are looking over my shoulder, especially cos I write, then I edit, then I edit, then I edit, until I’ve got something half decent.

Anyway, in terms of writing more often, it probably won’t happen. I don’t get a lot of time to myself anymore (which is fine with me – I’d rather my time off coincides with Aaron’s cos I don’t see him during the day usually) and it seems as though that’s what I need to write freely.

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Okay, so I’ve tried a few times to get a post up over the last couple of months and usually they’ve been of epic proportions and I never end up finishing them. So I thought I’d just write a quick one now because I don’t want to lose this, or the habit of writing all together!

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So it’s been totally busy, it feels like, for a little while. More busy than I’m used to, anyway. I’m really kind of hanging out for the end of this week because then a whole lot of stuff will be done and over. Recording for our primary school kids on Tuesday. Last proper lesson with them on Wednesday. Monash audition and Life Goes On gig on Thursday. And I could be wrong but I thought there was something happening on Friday too – I can’t even keep up!

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Okay, so it’s been approximately 50 million years 2 weeks since I last wrote. It feels like ages, I guess a fair bit has happened since then. Nothing life-changing, but it’s just been totally busy. And when I’ve had some time to myself, I haven’t really felt like writing. I’m just so tired, all the time, and it takes so much effort to write a coherent post (not that I’m an expert at doing thatΒ anyway!!)


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!


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