First Week

A much more difficult endeavor than I thought it would be, I'm finally getting down to writing a quick update about my first week at UCSB. After gaining the weekend at last, I liken it a little bit, a very little bit, to Ben Hur getting the laurels of victory after the chariot race – the swelling music of victory, the bleeding wounds of trial, and about 21,000 extras crowding all over the place.

Monday was my first official day and consisted of about seven hours of testing. Another hour on Tuesday brought the Guidance Exams to an end. I'm very happy to have passed the history and musicianship portions. I have only one section of the theory portion to retake next year (my Schoenberg set-theory is apparently a little rusty), but I'd say that's a very good start. The rest of my time was taken up by an astounding amount of "mandatory" meetings, orientations, tours, announcements, one free lunch, and a music faculty/student mixer. I managed to get my keys, find rooms, claim a desk in the TA office, get a tour of the Arts Library, and get lost for a bit in the monstrous Davidson Library – all while not being hit by a bicyclist!

Classes started on Thursday, commencing with a Musicology Proseminar by Dr. Katz concentrating on the early Romantic piano concerto. After watching an informative Bugs Bunny cartoon on the subject, we began to discuss the miscomprehension surrounding the genre, its general lack of serious scholarly study and complexities of form and definition. Cartoons find it easier to lampoon concertos and operas ("suspiciously popular" genres) rather than more "serious and cerebral" quartets or symphonies. I also find a lot of connections with my own research into the prelude genre. Looks to be a great class and I can't wait to delve into Beethoven Three!

Music 15: Enjoyment of Music. Just about 500 undergraduates are enrolled in this monstrous class, of whom I get to shepherd about 90 in three classes. The large lecture (also taught by Dr. Katz) convenes on Thursday and Tuesday, and I have three fifty minute Sections on Friday and Tuesday. I'm beginning to get the hang of it. More on that later.

That's it so far and it doesn't seem to be that much. It makes me truly value my weekends, my evenings, and my rides to campus on a zippy little white scooter.

Have a great week!


  1. So glad to hear your news, and I'm sorry I haven't returned your phone call yet! School has started here too, and I've been just a bit swamped. I'll call soon, though!


  2. Haha, enjoy your weekends now! You are in excellent hands with Dr. Katz, btw! Sounds like a great class. And congrats on the rite of passage that is a Music 15 TAship.


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