The United States of calamity

To further demonstrate my newly uncovered directional instincts, I’ll let you know that I located the Brown athletic facilities all by myself!  Solo!  Alone!  Now, it’s not a flimsy two-minute walk to those fields… as in, the location of the fields is not obvious and requires a ten minute trek.  I found them quite effortlessly, thaaank you very much.  There were a ton of fields, so I had to explore a little to find a track.  I later realized that I had been running on the track of a Quaker high school situated next to the Brown athletic area.  That’s probably why I had to jump a fence to get in.

Anybody heard of something called the Alexander Technique?  If not, that’s okay, because I too hadn’t heard of it before yesterday.  During the last hour and a half of my morning theory class, we students were filed into Brown’s Grant Recital Hall for a scheduled “Alexander Technique” session.  I was briefly told by a peer that the Alexander Technique is some kind of a relaxation method for performances, so I was interested to see what the heck it was all about.  It turned out to be some crazy voodoo nonsense; the exercises consisted of closing your eyes and hearing the lady telling you to feel your body and forget how to move your arm so that you have to think about how to move it.  I’ll be honest, it was a little too early for me to be concentrating on the workings of my body and the spaces between the vertebrae in my spinal cord.  But by far the weirdest part of the Alexander Technique class was when our certified instructor asked kids to come up and play something on their respective instruments to test out the technique EN ACCION. Unfortunately, I was sitting in the front row, and the lady pointed at me to take a stab at it.  So I walked up to the piano while she guided me (with her almost-too-soothing voice) through the things I should be thinking about before I sat down at the bench.  I was supposed to connect with my surroundings, which is, as far as I know, not humanly possible.  I felt like a puppet because she kept taking hold of my arms and swaying them to the side to loosen them up, even moving my head around and messing up my hair.  When I started playing, she still wouldn’t back off and I was like LADY PLEASE STOP MASSAGING MY BACK K THNX  (… in my head). I heard my friends subtly giggling and couldn’t help but laugh a little.  So I’m sorry if I’m offending any Alexander Technique believers out there– I’d just like to seriously question its validity.

Tiny and maybe insignificant update;; for the end of the course recital, I also have to play in a trio with violin and voice.  It’s a piece from a Mozart opera, and although the song is stunningly pleasing to the ear, the piano doesn’t play a huge part.  I have to play pianissimo almost the entire time- and for those of you folks that don’t speak music, that means very very soft.  This addition to my repertoire was very last-minute, due to another pianist in my class’s inability to learn the piece in time for the recital.  I came to the rescue.  Luckily, I have to play super quietly, so I can let a few minor mistakes slip in here and there…. I mean, one week is a short amount of time to attain perfection for a performance.

BEIJOS!  Yeah, I took an intensive Portuguese course today.  The direct translation of that word is “kisses”, and that’s how Brazilians say goodbye to one another.  I’ve found that I can assimilate into the Brazilian culture quite easily by throwing that word around.

*If you totally missed what I was saying right there, please refer to the post immediately before this one. 

*Title: “Sleep the Clock Around” by Belle and Sebastian


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