School's Out Forever | 04/29/04

And thus ends another chapter in the education of Mike C. My morning and afternoon were completely occupied by the writing of my last final A Schenkerian Approach to Caribbean Music. Although any member of the theory faculty would undoubtedly give me a big fat F for my bastardizing of Schenker's theories, I'm confident I applied it well enough to the music of the Caribbean. My methods were not as useful as I had imagined, especially on the amusical music of Jamaica. Bob Marley, you can stay--the rest of you can go smoke yourselves into oblivion. Oh wait, that's why you're writing the music that you are. Don't get me wrong, drugs of all types from pot to opium to absinthe to cocaine have produced some of the greatest music the world has ever seen from Berlioz to The Beastie Boys and I am certainly not inferring that drugs should not be a golden key to the compositional process but come on, Jamaica. I ended up stalking Dr. Carter today trying to hand her my last bibliography assignment. It was very late but she still took it. I don't really even care if she counts it or not. I'm done and that's all that matters. Since it's the last day, I figure I should grade all my classes.

Atonal Analysis: Dr. Rogers, I'm sorry that all your previous students have said such nasty things about you. I must admit that the prototypical reply of "Ok, fine" was a little off-putting at first but then I realized that wasn't supposed to be as condescending as I thought (I hope not anyway). Even if you give me a C, I learned more in Atonal about both theory and pedagogy than any other class I've ever taken. Sure, there were too many articles to read and we didn't really discuss them but that's ok. The balance and the pace were great and it accommodated everyone in the class except maybe for Alex, who knew everything ahead of time. Final Grade: A+

Music Bibliography: Other than regurgitating everything I've said in previous postings, I can only say that this was the single worst class I've ever had to take. At least in the other terrible classes I've taken I at least had the option to learn something if I had wanted to. Not only did I *not* want to learn anything, there was nothing TO learn. Final Grade: F(-)

Music of the Caribbean: A truly uninspired class with dull material. My gut feeling was an F but the fact of the matter is that I did come away with more knowledge than when I started the class. If Atonal was the model of how to teach a class, MotC was the antithesis. I do now know, though, what not to do. The largest thing was, if (glord forbid) I should ever say that attendance is mandatory, I'd better damn well take attendance consistently. If I want to put a class to sleep quickly, I need to lecture for 80 minutes twice a week and not allow any sort of student participation. The books were inane and the assignments didn't really introduce me to anything I wouldn't have done on my own. Final Grade: C-

Thesis Hours: Dr. Clendinning was great with me all semester both in a mentor role and as a theorist. I admit that I was worried when I left Dr. Buchler to work with her (especially after some truly horrifying stories from others from people I might or might not have worked with) but she really demonstrated everything to me as well as I think she could have. She also was willing to listen to me rant about things that had nothing to do with my thesis. Final Grade: A

Steel Band: Well, it was another thankless semester complete with a panorama that sounds like some sort of pan-gas passing hybrid. The concert was wrought with mistakes and on the whole we were unprepared to play for my sixth semester in a row. Aside from the musicianship, I had a lot of fun and was grateful for the opportunity to play with some really great musicians. I think my arrangement of the Chopin went well enough but I still don't understand why I had to do it. What about Mary? As far as mediocre world ensembles go at the FSU School of Music, I still think we're among the best of the lot. Gamelan is better rehearsed and sorority girls dig the salsa band but we have Matt Flynn. Final Grade: B-

Jamie and I spent the afternoon squabbling over board games. I got some pretty disgusting Olive Garden take-out for dinner. Oh and dear, dear searchers, please stop seeking links about my bad grammar. I hate you guys. Your semester grade is an F.




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