Thursday, December 20, 2007

First Semester Overview

I won't lie; this post is woefully overdue. I have several drafts of other posts saved on my account with Blogger, but I had very little time to complete most of them. So instead, I'll give an overview of my first semester at IU.

So far, IU has been a wonderful experience. I received my grades yesterday and was more than pleased with the fruits of my hard work. I believe I have enough credits at present to be considered a sophomore, resulting from AP credit I earned in high school and a heavy first semester. And of course I'm now laughing at those who said I studied to much. Laugh on. I believe I've worked harder in this semester than I ever have before, and I know I've made progress. I was not especially surprised at the difficulty of the classes nor the amount of work involved; Interlochen prepared me for that in a way no other high school could. My German class was by far the most challenging course I've taken, mostly because it was two semesters of German (the 100 and 150 levels) crammed into one semester. It was by no means a class for the weak, it bringing some graduate students to their knees. But my German requirement is out of the way by a large margin.

As to IU itself, I'm very satisfied with it. Looking back on my college choices from last year, I'm so glad that I ended up at IU. Many large universities get something of a bad reputation in high school, with counselors, teachers, and other students that probably don't know what they're talking about saying that no one will pay attention to you or care about you, or that mentioning alcohol will turn you into a drunk. Not true. I can see how it's possible to get lost in a student body of 37,000, but it's also far from difficult to make your presence known. The Jacobs School of Music in itself is large, but it doesn't feel that way. Because it is such a big school, it gives more of an outlook of what the competition in "the real world" will be, and therefore being a little more realistic than a smaller school. I've had many opportunities to perform, being at "cattle calls" or holding my own with grad students, and show what I can do, and so far, the feedback has been positive. Besides, I'd much rather make an impact on faculty by actually accomplishing something rather than being noticed because I'm one of a small group. It makes successes much more rewarding than if I was at, as some call it, "a glorified high school" smaller than my dormitory.

This semester has also brought on new and exciting things. I signed my first lease a few weeks before Christmas break for the house I'll be living in next semester. Finally I'll be rid of dorm food and creepy cleaning people. After two years in a dormitory, I'm ready to have a single room again and no more half plastic food.

Over break I'm not planning on doing much; learning a lot of music, finishing reading Anna Karenina, and preparing for next semester. And as always, its so nice to be home again. =)

My second semester as a freshman (or I guess my first semester as a sophomore) is something I'm really looking forward to. Since I'm done with German and I'm waiting to tackle my next required language (those being French and Italian) until next fall, I'm taking Russian, something I've wanted to do for a long time. I'm also getting a Russian lit class in, as well as the usual music theory. I'll also be taking the undergraduate opera workshop class with two-time Grammy winner Sylvia McNair, one of the industry's most talented and courageous women.

Also, it was just announced that the Lilly Endowment is giving $44 million to the Jacobs School of Music for the funding of the North Studio Building, which is hoped to be completed by about 2010. Just in time for the JSoM to return to the Metropolitan Opera in 2011, as its rumored to be. Also, to walk in the same halls that people such as Leonard Bernstein, Virginia Zeani, and Joshua Bell once did is quite amazing, if not overwhelming (in a good sense) at times. I also had a slight freak out when I saw Andre Watts crossing Jordan Avenue on my way to the Music Annex to practice. IU's great.