Monday, March 30, 2015

First Day of Classes: Spring Edition

Today was the first day of spring term.  I had two classes today: my Ooligan Press class* and a fiction writing class.

I was a little bit tired today - I tried to make the last bit of spring break stretch out by staying up late last night.  I had a good break, though!  Here are some fun things that I did:

1)  Went up to Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., hanging out with my brother Ben.  We ate at some great restaurants and came up with so many Doctor Who jokes!!**

2)  Hung out with Dad a bunch, having dinner, going for walks, and so forth.  Always a nice, relaxing time.

3)  Had lunch with Aunt D and Aunt M, who I haven't seen in a while.  That was a lot of fun.

4)  Started watching Merlin on Netflix.  Creative, decently written, well acted, horrible special effects - lots of fun.

5)  Helped stuff plastic Easter eggs for church Easter egg hunt and met some more people from church.  We had a potluck.  I took my famous chocolate chip cookies; I was very popular.

6)  Practiced guitar, when I wasn't in Seattle.  I had mentioned the Sibelius concerts to my teachers, who gave me a copy of Finlandia for beginning guitar.

7)  Started building a fun 1000-pieces puzzle.  I don't do puzzles very often, and haven't in years, but I was at Barnes and Noble and the puzzle is a painting of a library (a huge, gorgeous library that spans room upon room in some sort of castle-type place) with a family, a few fairies, and a bunch of cats.  I bought it because I looked and looked at it and kept finding new things I hadn't seen before.  Plus the library was beautiful.  I'll take a photo when I'm finished!

Whew!  Quite the spring break, and those are just the highlights!

Today was a busy day.  I got to campus early so I could go find one of my classrooms - it's a building I'm unfamiliar with.  I went and found it, then timed the walk from there to my other class of the day, because I have them back-to-back with only 10 minutes to get from one to the other, and they're in different buildings.

I attended both classes, but I left the second on a littler early because I had to meet Dad to drive up to Olympia.

Why?  Oh, nothing.  Just attending a chamber concert at the governor's mansion, that's all.  No big deal.

Wait, what?!  Rachel, did you say the governor's mansion?  Yep.  I did!

See, Ben was playing in one of the pieces (by Bartok, Contrasts for violin, clarinet and piano, originally commissioned by Benny Goodman), so we got to go!

It was pretty cool - before the concert, there was free wine and punch and nuts, and we got to wander around the first floor of the house.  It's basically a museum / art gallery, so it was really neat.  There's a small library with bunches of antique books.  They had one of the guest registries on display, open to a page signed by President Truman in 1945.  The walls were full of paintings, and one room had a four-wall mural.  Pretty great.

The concert itself was very nice.  It was Hungarian-themed, featuring a piece by Brahms based on a piece by Haydn for two pianos (played by Hungarians), two pieces by Liszt for piano, and the Bartok.  The third movement of the Bartok has a couple short series of high clarinet notes that really pop.

So that was my spring break, and that was my day.  Starting tomorrow, being back in school will feel like a vacation!

*Ooligan Press is the graduate-run publishing house here at PSU.  The graduation publishing students run this actual working press with guidance from the publishing program faculty.  Taking the studio and/or lab class allows you to get credit working on the press (and completing some academic work, of course).

**Knock knock.  (Who's there?)  Run.  (Run who?)  Run, you clever boy, and remember.
Knock knock. (Who's there?)  Hey.  (Hey who?)  Hey, who turned out the lights?!
Knock knock.  (Who's there?)  Missy.  (Missy who?)  Try to keep up...

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