Archive for April, 2015

Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 9 in D minor “Choral” (Performed by Leonard Bernstein and the Wiener Philharmoniker)

This past weekend was our final orchestra concert series of the school year, which featured Beethoven 9. Both concerts went well, and while the symphony isn’t my favorite, it is definitely worth playing (or even just sitting in the middle of the orchestra for).


NF – Paralyzed

I know this feeling.

Happy Easter

He is Risen!

After a long and unplanned, but needed, break from the blog, I’m back. Towards the end of last semester I needed to take some time off of writing to focus on work and studying, and I never restarted as I meant to. I’ve been meaning to make a post or two over the last couple of weeks, but this is the first chance I’ve really gotten.

Anyway, here’s a really quick summary of this semester. I’m taking four academic classes: chemistry (thermodynamics and kinetics), chemistry lab (primarily focused on methods and instrumentation), modern physics, and ordinary differential equations for physics majors. Chemistry has been pretty boring, as it has been mostly a review of the topics covered in AP chemistry. I’m still not particularly enjoying lab (my summer job ruined academic labs for me), but it has been more interesting and less time-consuming than the two semesters of organic chemistry lab. The toughest class for me has been physics. The material we’ve been studying, including relativity and quantum mechanics, is very interesting, but it’s very difficult to grasp, and as a result I’ve been behind the class for most of the semester. Lastly, I’ve been really enjoying differential equations, especially after the difficulty I had with calculus III. I don’t really like it when my teacher decides to assign three problem sets due in a single week, but I’ve found the math itself to be pretty fun.

Musically, my semester has been pretty busy too. I’m playing in wind ensemble, which has been fun. My favorite piece we’re playing with the group is also the most difficult: “Tulsa: A Symphonic Portrait in Oil,” by Don Gillis. 32nd notes should be banned at tempi greater than 160 bpm or so… I’ve continued to play in orchestra, with Brahms 4 as the highlight of our most recent concert. I don’t like playing it as much as Brahms 1, but it’s pretty good. We’ve started rehearsals for our final concert of the year, Beethoven 9. At our last rehearsal, they announced the highlights of next year’s season, including Mozart’s 4th Horn Concerto, Beethoven 5, Appalachian Spring (again), Pictures at an Exhibition, and a couple of other pieces that I forget about. Unfortunately no Mahler or Strauss, but still looks like it will be a good year.

There are three and a half weeks left in the spring semester, and they’ll be busy. In addition to Beethoven with the orchestra and our normal wind ensemble concert, I’m going on a short wind ensemble tour to do a couple of concerts in another part of the state. It isn’t long, but it will still be fun. Between now and then, I have two chemistry group projects to finish. One is a presentation for lecture about the function of solar cells and how it fits into what we’re learning (salt solutions, electrochemistry and other things), and the other is a self-guided experiment into the composition of vanilla, using gas chromatography. I also have a chemistry exam, and I may have a differential equations exam, but I’m not sure.

Finals week will be a little strange again. My last day of classes is Tuesday, April 28th, and I have exams on Thursday and Friday of that week. If I have a chemistry exam final (we’re hoping that our teacher decides not to have it, but we’ll see), it will be Thursday morning. Chemistry is Thursday afternoon, and physics is Friday afternoon. And my differential equations final is Thursday, May 7th. I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself for 5 days, but hopefully it will be pretty relaxing. I will need to move my things to wherever I’m keeping them over the summer, whether that’s in the house I’m living in next year (with 8 other Chi Alpha guys), or with some family friends again. I take the train home on the 8th.

Well, I’m not sure what else I want to say in this post. I need to pick a major soon, as well as classes for next semester. I’m leaning towards biochemistry now, for a number of reasons that I may explain in another post. Hopefully my next post will be a lot sooner than this one was.

Also, I’ve been listening too…