Classic Student Things, or The One With a ‘Dinner Party’

I’m calling this a music student activity because I’m a music student and I’m doing it. shhhh that’s totally logic ok?

Tomorrow (today?) I’m hosting a ‘dinner party’. I don’t really know if it counts because we’ll be eating non-dinner party food and we’ll all be drinking schloer and water from a jug. We may well end up using cups instead of just drinking from the jug, but that’s not the point. The POINT is that even though it feels kind of not-fancy due to just being six of my friends (and my dad and my sister. Can I get an “aaaaaaaaaaah”?) who will probably be on someone’s phone the whole time I’m in the kitchen, and I feel like that damn balloon video is going to get a lot of screentime. Most of the views on that thing must be from us, I’m sure of it.

Well, despite all that, I still don’t want to give anyone food poisoning. As a completely random and non-specific example. And I don’t want them to hate the food I’m doing, even though I’ve only ever actually made one of the courses – fuck???? why did I choose things I didn’t know if I could make? oh well how hard can rice pudding be – so I don’t really know how they’re going to go. Hopefully well.

Anyway, if you’re interested, here’s the menu: Stuffed red peppers, chicken curry, rice pudding. It’s a bit more dressed up than that, but that’s essentially it.

Never mind the fact that 9 (or 8. it’s complicated) people will be eating this so I’d better not mess it up. Never mind the fact that I should probably be putting the rice pudding on at the exact moment I’ll be serving up the starter. NEVER MIND ALL THAT IT’S GOING TO BE GREAT



Week 3 Day 4: So much more excitement than I really bargained for

As we all know (?) I do an orchestra in London, and it’d be something of an understatement to say I enjoy it. Our last concert, just as a completely random example, was a film music concert except for the part where I played Let it go, a whole load of Scott Joplin rags (actually, that one was more boring than exciting for me personally, but hey, I think the audience liked it), and the Sorcerer’s Apprentice from Fantasia. Don’t recognise it? Don’t worry, there’s always youtube. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

Back? OK then. So this orchestra is great fun, and this year we’re doing loads and loads so I’m really excited about it. Obviously, as always when things get exciting, a problem came up.

The problem was this: RHUL. Specifically, the Symphony Orchestra. Because this year, the RHUL orchestra rehearsal is on the same day as the other orchestra rehearsal. Yeah, I was pretty upset too. But, I thought, as long as I still do at least two of the other orchestras (the requirement to do solo performance!) and apologise to the conductor, it should be fine, right? I mean, it’s not like the orchestra is compulsory or anything. Ha, what a thought.

Only they didn’t take it as well as I’d hoped. And when I say they took it badly, that’s an understatement.

The email I got essentially blackmailing me with expulsion from the solo performance module unless I did Symphony Orchestra definitely felt like a bit of an overreaction.

So, let’s just let that sink in for a minute. The department went as far as that to get me to do something which wasn’t even compulsory. I have a sinking feeling that next year the rules will be changed, but until then… I have an even more prominent suspicion that this is only because of the instrument I play and nothing to do with the actual departmental stance on people not being in Symphony Orchestra. Nobody’s sending threatening emails to the many legions of flautists dotting the campus. (seriously, they’ve started forming colonies. Whole sections of the campus are infested)

Maybe I should have expected it after I received an email from the head of performance (i.e. not the conductor) telling me I’d made it into Symphony Orchestra despite not auditioning for it. But hey, it could have been an honest mistake. Perhaps.

Anyway, I pointed out that Symphony Orchestra was in fact optional and I should be able to choose which orchestras I play in without being threatened. The response to this was such a sudden U-turn I almost couldn’t believe it. Apparently the conductor was just disappointed that I had chosen to not participate in Symphony Orchestra. …

I came very close to sending back a very rude email, but I suppressed the urge.

Of course, the matter wasn’t closed, not by a long shot. Because then the conductor herself chipped in asking me to come and talk to her so ‘we could work something out’. There is no we. If there ever had been a we, it would have been in the audition where I offered to see if I could maybe alternate rehearsals. Unfortunately this isn’t possible for one simple reason: the music they’re playing in Symphony Orchestra AND the London orchestra is really fucking hard. I cannot humanly learn to play both, and frankly I can’t understand why you’d want a substandard performance.

Hey, I’m not a conductor. Who can say what goes on in their mysterious minds?

Suffice to say that in the meeting we established several things:

  1. I respond very badly to threats
  2. The piece in Symphony Orchestra requires three bassoons. There are three bassoons at RHUL including me. Well, you should’ve checked you had three in your orchestra before you chose the piece, frankly.
  3. Apparently I’m not committed. I don’t really know how much more committed you can get from 1 chamber orchestra, 1 sinfonietta, 2 chamber ensembles at RHUL, 1 symphony orchestra, and 1 wind quintet. BUT IF YOU THINK OF A WAY DO LET ME KNOW.

I don’t think I’m friends with the conductor anymore.

Really, did you expect anything different?

Ok, so when I said I’d post more frequently, I lied. I actually meant I’d be posting less frequently and even more frivolously. Frivolity has its place, certainly, and that place is the internet. So that’s that.

Still, this blog post recaps an extremely stressful issue. That’s right, those walkers over at student finance. You make one mistake on your application, and you might as well just drop out of uni to be honest. It takes the, that long to sort out your financial worries. Money is important. It’s hard to buy food and train tickets without money. I use lots of both. Largely the latter rather than the former.

One good thing has been that I’ve been majorly considering every single thing I’ve had to buy. “Do I really need these shoes?” “Can I really find happiness in that book?” “Couldn’t I make that chicken breast stretch til the weekend?”

But, fear no more, fearful readers! For they’ve finally got their heads out of their arses and sorted me out. So now I have my money! Hooray! Aaaaand now I have to pay my mum back the money I’ve borrowed… Let’s hope she doesn’t want interest, eh?