Brit-Style

April 30, 2009 at 8:17 pm (Fun) (, , )

MC productions proudly presents, a Britni-style wardrobe malfunction. I am going to the spring ball of the DC Democratic Party this Sunday. I have none of my super formal gowns with me, but I brought this dress with me and thought of pairing it up with the red shoes. Ignoring the terrible quality of the picture because there IS NO DECENT PLACE to take pictures in this house.

blergh

Yes? No? Maybe?

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People Got A Lotta Nerve

April 29, 2009 at 11:57 pm (Music) (, , , , )

No words needed, I think. This is for all those idiots who think snuggling with various wild animals is a good idea.

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Pathetic

April 29, 2009 at 11:28 pm (Life, Music, School) ()

There is nothing, absolutely nothing, like a whiny college student discovering their major is pretty dead-end. Case in point: moi.

I love music. I love my major. I love singing. So why am I unhappy?

A lot of it has to do with the fact that sopranos are a dime a dozen. I am averagely talented at best. I sound horrific to myself. My voice is far from spectacular. And to top it all off, I am not some exotic-looking beauty, but just your average white girl who passes for cute on good days. I just have no idea how I will ever find a job doing what I want to do, which is singing. On one hand, every untalented fucking hack is successful with a good marketing team – for proof, just look at the majority of what you hear on the radio these days. Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, the list goes on. Why should it be any harder for me?

I’m working with an entirely different scene. I sincerely doubt half-talented idiots like myself have a good chance in the classical music community. In other words, I am hosed and destined to sign up for the Army Chorale so at least I won’t live on the streets. It’s not what I want. I’ll try and work for something better, but right now I can’t see further than the end of my nose and with the jury date looming ahead. I’ve been working on these fucking songs for twelve weeks. Why can’t I just have them down and perfected yet?

Don’t mind me. I’m just being a spoiled asshole.

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Wipe Out

April 28, 2009 at 10:23 pm (Life) (, , )

Most of you have probably already heard about my spectacular tumble at the bus stop on Monday. If you haven’t, I can summarize: I was running late after Music Lab because we had more performers than usual and there was a long line waiting to get their cards punched. Then I had to make sure I had enough sunscreen applied to not char out in the 90° weather. When I left the building, I saw a bus pull up to the station and decided to hurry. I couldn’t read the sign on the front from the distance, so running seemed like a good idea.

I dashed across the parking lot – probably a good four hundred feet or more – and as I got closer, I saw it was my bus. Another speed burst! I reach the sidewalk and hurry along, when some idiot stepped out onto the sidewalk and kind of just stood around. I decided I could dodge him. A step onto the street was all it would take! So I did.

I overbalanced. I fell. I hit my hip and upper thigh on the edge of the sidewalk. I also pulled a muscle in my shin and sort of scraped the palm of my hand. I heard a lot of gasps and “Are you okay?” I was a little shocked, but that also meant I wasn’t hurting a lot. I waved all concern away, scrambled up and ran the rest of the way to the bus. Turns out I could have slowed down a little because some people were taking forever to insert the money into the coin slot. The bus driver looked very worried and wanted to make sure I was alright. I gave him a bright smile and said, sure!

The pain of my bruised thigh and hip really set in after about ten minutes on the bus. The fat middle-aged man who plopped down almost into my lap and subsequently sat on my leg for a split second before he moved did not help.

It’s only occurred to me now that, while I feel a little gimpy and my leg is pretty bruised, there was something profoundly awesome about the experience. I was not at all winded despite running like a maniac. The workouts have definitely been paying off and that makes me happy.

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Depeche Mode

April 26, 2009 at 9:47 pm (Music, News) (, , )

I remember watching this while it was broadcasted, live, in the summer of 06. It was beautiful, brilliant and awe-inspiring. The video is horribly out of sync, but who cares!

I feel like a bad fan for not realizing they had a new album, Sounds of the Universe (released this month). But the following factoid made me smile! They have a song called “Jezebel” on said album.

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Honors

April 26, 2009 at 8:30 pm (Life, Music, School) (, , , , )

My aunt and I went to the Honors’ Recital at my school’s music department on Friday. It kind of raises the question – what qualifies you as an honors’ student? Being at the school for a certain amount of time? All I know is that I was pretty disappointed in a few people who did perform. The instrumentalists did fine, but the three singers were kind of . . . meh.

The sad thing is that I knew two of them were much better than they presented themselves as on Friday. I’ve heard them practice. They were much better in the practice room than they were on stage. I realize nervousness plays a large role in performance, but seriously? It was lackluster.

Sigh.

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An Attempt At Vlogging

April 22, 2009 at 10:46 pm (Life, Music, School) (, , , , , , , , )

Because I am too lazy to type.

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Edumacation

April 21, 2009 at 6:49 pm (Life, School) (, , , , )

A certain quiz has been popping up on my Facebook news feed a lot lately. All my German friends have been taking it. As is the nature of all these quizzes, it is arbitrary and stupid; however, this one also takes on a whole different level of offensive.

The title of this quiz is “Which Gymnasium in Stuttgart should you have gone to?” A Gymnasium, in Germany, is one of the three branches of schools you are sorted into after grade four. Gymnasium means you most likely will be pursuing college once you graduate. It is a college-track system with a diploma, the Abitur, that will allow you to actually go to university. A Realschulabschluss or a Hauptschulabschluss do not do the same.

My point is not to discuss the extremely faulty German education system, at least not at this time. Many of my friends have been getting the following result: “$$$ Money makes the world go around $$$ – Abitur hat eben seinen Preis $$ Auf der M. kostet es eben etwas jedoch hat dann auch jeder eine Chance.” (Roughly translated: An Abitur has a pricetag. It may cost a little at the M., but at least everyone has a chance.)

Yes, I attended a private school. Yes, there was an inordinate amount of idiots at my school who should not have been let anywhere near the Abitur, but that is beside the point. The point is that I have never met or heard of anyone who had to do anything less than work for their Abitur. Getting your Abitur is a grueling task; this diploma spans two years, in which all your grades count towards your general GPA. You have five four-hour classes a week along with at least another four or five that are two hours. You take two exams – all essay and analysis questions – in the four hour courses per semester, and one exam per semester in the two hour classes. Again: ALL these grades count towards your GPA.

In semester four, you take a standardized exam – again, essay questions and analysis – in four of your five four-hour courses. German is mandatory (for this, you have to read certain books over the span of those two years and hand in a blank copy you can use during this exam), as is Math. An exam in a foreign language is also required. The fourth is one of your choosing; it can be a science (profile courses) or anything else (chosen). If you take PE, Music or Art, you are required to do a practical examination in which you complete certain hands-on tasks of your field. The Abitur is compiled by calling in state-wide teachers’ conferences a few years before a final is assigned. There, questions and topics and themes are brought together and it is left up to a very exclusive committee to write them. The day before the exam is given, a courier brings the double-sealed exams to the school where they are placed within a safe and not touched until the date they are to be taken. If it leaks, the entire state of BaWü is assigned a whole new exam.

I will not claim I did not have any free time when I worked towards my Abitur, that would be a lie. I usually had an easy time with academics. However, nobody did anything less than challenge us on a daily basis. I did less work than I should have, excelling in subjects that required little effort and almost flunking those that were hard for me. This is why I graduated with only an average GPA. My friend L. graduated with the best GPA, and that took a lot of effort.

A few years ago, a parent who had some beef and minor influence with one of the local newspapers pulled some strings so a reporter and a photographer ended up coming to school to write a profile on us. This article, as it turned out, held no praise for us – instead, it tore down every student who was interviewed, twisting words FauxNews-style and essentially blaming our school for all the evil in the world.

We were accused of being nothing more than a bunch of people whose main job was being heirs; who paid for their diplomas. One student in particular was interviewed, and his words were used as ammunition. See, at our school, we happened to have teachers who actually gave a shit about us. Our exams happened to be the week after Easter vacation, which meant our classes would not meet for two weeks before our Abitur finals. If we had any questions at a different school, we were hosed.

This student had been honest when asked whether or not attending this school made a difference. He said that, yes, it did. Our teachers cared. A lot of them invited us into their homes so we could do extra study sessions and voice any concerns we had. My German teacher, for instance, sacrificed an entire week of his holiday to go over the three books we’d had to read. He asked the church where he played the organ if he could have the classrooms in the mornings. My biology teacher made sure that those of us taking the Bio final had his mobile number so we could call him at any time. Germany does not have a private school email system for its high schools, so we received private email addresses. The religion majors’ teacher organized private study sessions.

All of this, mind, was unpaid. These teachers did it from the goodness of their hearts, and all they receive for doing so is scorn from a newspaper and the public. The year I graduated, the teachers weren’t even supposed to do any of what they had done for the classes before precisely because of the public perception of their work. They did it anyway.

My parents did not pay tuition so that I was guaranteed an Abitur. My parents paid tuition for smaller classes and higher quality of education, for teachers who actually worked with their students instead of just talking at them. I find the quiz on FB, to come full circle, incredibly insulting to the people at M. who do good, dedicated work, and to anyone who graduated at all. It took work. Money had nothing to do with it. I also wish my friends weren’t even taking that quiz because all they’re doing is perpetuating the stereotype of our school.

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A Humorous Intermission

April 19, 2009 at 11:53 am (Fun) (, )

An old man walked up to the White House from across Pennsylvania Avenue, where he’d been sitting on a park bench. He spoke to the Marine standing guard and said, “I would like to go in and meet with President Bush.” The Marine replied, “Sir, President Bush is no longer in office. He doesn’t live here anymore.” The old man said, “Okay,thank you” and walked away.

The following day, the very same man approached the White House and said to the same Marine, “I would like to go in and meet with President Bush.” The Marine once again told the old man, respectfully, “Sir, as I said yesterday, President Bush is no longer in office and doesn’t live here anymore.” The man thanked him and again walked away.

The third day, the same man approached the White House and spoke to the very same Marine, saying “I would like to go in and meet with President Bush.” The Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looked at the man and said, “Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to President Bush. I’ve told you already that he is no longer in office. He’s never coming back. Don’t you understand?”

The old man answered him, “Oh, I understand perfectly. It just makes me so happy to hear it.”

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That 3 PM Call

April 18, 2009 at 3:18 pm (Life) (, , )

My family calls on Saturdays. Today I received a lecture on internet safety, not pushing buttons, school and community. I started crying a bit. We talked some more. The phone was handed to my sister, for whom CSI: Las Vegas was more important than I was. I told her to just hand the fucking phone back to my mother if she didn’t want to talk to me. My dad only spoke of the weather and transferring schools. I cried harder.

By the time my father gently hung up, I couldn’t keep it together anymore. So I sat and listened to the line crackling for a minute and cried some more. Sometimes I wonder if it’s just me or some outside factor. What I do know is that I don’t think I like it here very much.

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