Feb. 24, 2020

24 Feb - school rants; the late 1800s

Today was really busy; but in an 'it looks busy but it really wasn't but it was but that's school' way. Part of it was just 'getting back into the swing of things' and having to attend seven classes for however many hours without ever really having a break. And then there are all of the upcoming assessments that we got informed of today. There's a Latin test sometime this week (thursday or friday; we don't know yet), and then tests for Chem & APUSH sometime next week (again, the teachers haven't given dates). While the Geometry teacher hasn't said anything yet, we're doing the last section of the chapter on Wednesday, so we'll probably have a test on Friday & Monday - or just next Wednesday.

Last (but absolutely not least) is the English project. She meant to tell us about it before break but forget. Essentially, it's a more creative book review. Me being me, I asked her if I could just write a piece of music, export the audio, and write an essay explaining the piece. Since she said yes, I'm a bit obligated to actually do said project. I did this for a project on Lord of the Flies last year - only had two weeks; wrote a short two minute piece and explanation; got an A-; called it a day. (It was because my explanation wasn't clear enough . . .)

Except the book I read was The Tunnel (William H. Gass), which clocks in at 652 pages - 2-3x the length of the books all the other groups are reading. So I need to finish reading it this week for a book discussion on Friday. That part's actually doable - I can read thirty pages a night and be just fine. The problem is that with so much book to cover (and plotless book at that), the piece needs to accurately represent the entire book. There are twelve sections; I can do one piece / movement / part for each section of the book. To really take the time to show what's 'happening', I'll probably need to write at least a minute. Probably more. The first movement - which only covers a little under fifty pages, I think - is already looking to be more than a minute. She didn't give me any limits; my problem is just getting all of this done. I only have two weeks. I wanted to just write a section each day, but that's already not working out. In these two weeks, there are a total of five(!) days that we don't have school on (hooray for professional development days). So I just need to work for several hours on those days - that should really help with not having enough time to do this.

Funny thing: in the first movement, I'm introducing the motifs for all of the characters who show up in the story. One of them is the guy who was the narrator's history teacher. I wanted something that would kind of contrast all the doom and gloom that's already been introduced - something that showed his opinion of said history teacher. So I turned on 'creep mode' and wrote a few measures based off of my current history teacher. It matches him, admittedly; I just feel like a bit of a creep in saying that. My history teacher; the motif.

Oh. There's also band, where I'm pretty sure most people didn't touch their instruments over break. It also seems like they forgot what key signatures were. *facepalm* We sounded really bad; people aren't even trying. They're not even bothering to try on the Wind Ensemble auditions. Like. What. (And then there's me, who is trying but will make it in no matter what) But then there's one of the pieces that we're playing where it seems as if the guy never had these parts looked over, because those are not notes you write in a bass clarinet part. I've only seen a few contemporary/modern-ish-style pieces that write the bass clarinet parts going that high - and that's as a solo. Solos are different. And I could understand if those notes were that high because it's a cool little clarinet section thing, but this is a full band thing. So I need to play really high and really loud. Don't forget to articulate! And the teacher doesn't want me to bring it down an octave. Like. Wot. I told him that I couldn't play that high. Doesn't matter; I still need to. Many ughs.

The prelude (for a different thing) sounded pretty decent today. That's probably because I'm more used to playing this specific version; my fingers have 'warmed up' to what I'm playing. The only problem is getting the high notes out at the end - but it's fixable. I can work on that some more; it'll turn out fine.

*backs up to school*

During APUSH, he was just talking about Boss Tweed / the urban boss in general today. Much more detail than the book - and certainly more bearable, without needing to copy down every single word. I like it. Though I think my limited knowledge gets me to saying that he was a good guy. The urban boss was not the one responsible for all of the problems - he's the one fixing some problems; capitalizing on others. And that achieves good results. Not just in a the ends justify the means way - there's no need to justify the means! (or at least, the ones we were told about). I'm more inclined to blame the industrialists and the consumer class. The industrialists did capitalize on stuff - but ruthlessly, and not always to the benefit of their customers / competition. While there's an argument to be made for horizontal and/or vertical integration being good, I just don't see it. Getting others so out of business doesn't help. And then the consumer class seems to turn a blind eye to these problems. Or just outright encouraged people against those on strike. (Which shows another problem with the industrialists. They're taking advantage of this lower class of people.

Written by ash

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