Sunday, October 30, 2011

In which I smile my way through several tests and papers

You know you're in the right major when simply doing your homework for hours relieves your anxiety, loneliness, and worry more than any of your leisure-time activities do. I've been in a bit of a funk all week, and though I felt better while I was playing with my Callie, hiking with Warren, watching Rifftrax movies with Cindy and Josh, and singing in my choir concert, it was a distractional relief, gone as soon as the distraction ended. But spending hours and hours today and yesterday reading up on child development, studying classical concerto forms, analyzing a Mozart piece, and writing a paper about social competence in 4 year-olds has brought a lasting, permanent mood change. It's like the difference between...I don't know, a pain-killer and an antibiotic? I think the fact that I'm doing something productive, challenging, and enjoyable (to me) has some kind of magic to it.

Friday, October 28, 2011

In which I feel like a deprived monkey

So, one time there was this psychologist named Harry Harlow. He liked to study monkeys. In one of these studies, some baby monkeys were separated from their mothers, and had two choices of fake "mothers": one made of wire with a bottle attached, and one made of cloth with no food source. The baby monkeys would use the wire mother when they were hungry, but then would instantly jump back over to the cloth mother to cuddle with it. Harlow's conclusion? Attachment is based more on contact and comfort than mere physical needs.

Today I feel like one of those monkeys...except that I don't have a cloth monkey to cuddle with. My basic needs are being met, I have friends and people to talk to, everything is going right...
But I am definitely not meeting my hugs-per-day quota. And some days...that is really hard to take.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

In which I have many options, none of them viable

So I'm at this point in my life where beginning to date someone would probably be a stupid move on a lot of levels. And I know this. But I think the part of me that generates romantic feelings, my "twitterpater", if you will, gets bored without a subject. However, so as not to compromise my emotional security by thrusting me into a relationship, my twitterpater has fixated itself on completely unobtainable (and sometimes non-existent) guys. Don't believe me? For your viewing pleasure, a list of some of the men I've fallen for in the last week of my life:
Simon from Firefly
The boy I had a mad crush on in 10th grade (or rather, his Facebook persona. I don't think I've actually seen the boy himself since he got back from his mission)
The fellow who used to come to the Cannon Center every day back when I cashiered there (or rather, his blog.)
The Piemaker from Pushing Daisies
A Humanities student who I tutor
Konstantin Levin from Anna Karenina (seriously, I would marry him in a heartbeat if he were real),
A writer for an anonymous Internet forum.
And various and sundry real human beings who are unattainable due to various circumstances.

I am a fan of this. People to daydream about, but with absolutely no commitment or risk? Sounds like a win-win to me! (For now, at least).

Monday, October 17, 2011

In which I feel like I should post something

Guys...I'm TIRED.

I feel like I wake up so early and then I run around and do lots of things and then I go to bed far too late.

And a lot of the times I'm sick of it, and wish the weekends were longer and that I could relax.

And then I reflect on how much time today I spent making music (4 hours today, peeps. And half of that I got class credit for). And how much of that time I was listening to music. And how much of that time was spent having fun with my family, or chatting with my awesome work friends. And working with a children's choir. And talking to one of my best friends for the first time in 2 years (and realizing that friendship is a pretty durable thing, even when time stretches it). In all honesty, it was a wonderful day.

So yes, as I crawl into bed tonight, the thought of waking up again in 6 hours sounds dreadful. And yes, I wish I had more free time in which to write, to read, to run, to hike...

But still, though tomorrow will be as exhausting as today, it holds promise: learning about music, teaching, children, and life from a master teacher. Singing at the BYU Devotional. Cleaning buildings, sharing stories, and laughing a lot with my custodial pals. Studying facsimiles of Bach manuscripts. Celebrating a dear friend's upcoming marriage.

So yes, my life makes me very, very tired.

But I'm certainly not tired of my life.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

In which I decide to be the coolest parent ever

I'm currently sitting in the main gallery of the Harris Fine Arts Center, doing my homework. There's a beautiful student art exhibit going on right now, entitled, "Transformed by Light". Right now, there's a man (one of my professors actually), exploring the exhibit with his kids (who look like they range in age from 3 to about 7). Typically, the terms "art exhibit" and "kid-friendly" don't seem to mesh well. Kids don't have the attention span, sophistication, patience, depth, etc. etc. to understand art, right?
But he's walking with them from painting to painting, saying things like, "Whoa, check out the line on this guy's arm, isn't that cool?" and "Why do you think the artist decided to paint him like that?" And then one kid sprints across the gallery to another painting, saying, "Dad, Dad, this one's really cool!"
These little guys understand art. It speaks to them. They may not know all the compositional terms or have context for all the cultural references, but gosh darn it, they feel something. They look at this artwork and are genuinely excited and engaged. I don't think these kids are the exception. I think children are capable of enjoying a lot more than we think. As a future teacher and (hopefully) a future parent, I feel passionately about this. I intend to teach my students and my children about art, music, and beauty, not by sitting them down and lecturing at them, but by giving them opportunities to engage with the arts, to be touched and to express themselves.

Because that place where you've forgotten the real world, that place where you're moving and swaying to the music without noticing, the moment where you feel like the painting has swallowed you up inside its world, where the sculpture is about to spring to life....

That is where beauty happens.