Monday, September 02, 2019

The Syllabus Thing

I'm pretty happy with one of my three courses so far.  One of the others is almost done, just some passages to choose.  The other has the calendar done, but not assignments or passages.

Those all have to get done tomorrow, copies made, AND loaded up to the new course management web thingy.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 01, 2019


It's been a long while.  I didn't intend for it to be, but it was.

I'm about to start teaching again, and I'm a bit nervous.  Maybe more than a bit.  I keep wondering what it is I'm supposed to do with classes, except for Shakespeare.  Shakespeare seems okay.

But my other two courses, an intro to the major and an intro to drama, are courses I haven't taught for ten years of more.  That's a long time.  It means all new books, and a lot of new planning, because the world has changed a lot.

On the upside, though: I've noticed over the years that the most interesting blogs seem to be when people start new jobs or adventures, because they have a lot to think and write about.  So that seems healthy.

Since I last blogged much, I've become a bit more involved in the local bird banding citizen science project at the local nature reserve.  (I blogged a little about the class here.) 

In other news, my violin teacher left for a WAY better faculty position, so good for her.  Not for us, though.  Before she left, she suggested that I try lessons with a new teacher I'll call Flute.  Flute's the partner of one of our music adjuncts, and also a musician.  He's primarily a flute player, and super good, but also quite good at violin, and willing to teach.  It's a big adjustment to change teachers, and I really liked working with Strings.  Flute's less overtly enthusiastic, but very kind and I think very musically astute. 

The focus changes a bit, not a lot, but a bit.  Flute has me paying a lot more attention to intonation, which is probably really healthy.  But he's less interested in the Sevcik shifting practice I'd been doing.  He's also got me paying more attention to phrasing and flow.  (I think Strings was working on more basic stuff still.)

A thing I meant to blog about but didn't is my trip to Iceland.  So I'll include some phone pictures today, and then add more tomorrow from my camera.

Here's my hotel in Reykjavik, Hotel Leifur Eiriksson.  Dr. Virago (from Quod She) suggested it, and it was a great suggestion!

It just so happens that the hotel is right across the street from the Hallgrimskirja, an amazing, fairly new Lutheran parish.  (That's what the person in the picture above is taking a picture of.)  It made it way easy to find my hotel, since you can see the Hallgrimskirkja sitting at the top of the hill from much of the city.

It's a really beautiful church.

Other sights in Reykjavik:

I got in one afternoon, May 15, stayed May 16, and left late on May 17.  If I were to do it again, I'd spend a few more days.  There's lots to do..

On the 16th, I took a bus tour.  On the way, we went by some of the greenhouses that supply fresh veggies to Reykjavik all year around, using geothermal energy.
And on the morning of the 17th, I took a short boat trip to see puffins.  PUFFINS!!!  Here's a picture of the boat: