Cool Personified

I have not gotten better at introduction sentences during my transition into NCCU. But I have gotten better at playing saxophone (and segues) opening me up to many more playing opportunities. I am going to use this blog post to tell one of my performance stories and compare it to one of my offstage stories.

During NCCU’s homecoming I was asked to play with the Vocal Jazz Ensemble in the Chancellor’s dining hall (which is fancier than Iggy Azalea). During this performance I did not have a chair and was confined to a smaller space than usual, so I took most of my solos leaning against a counter. Most of the songs went pretty well and the crowd liked it (which is all you can really ask for.) So after this performance we were required to unload and a man recognizes me from ten minutes prior (who looks very similar to Dizzy Gillespie) saying “You sir, are Cool Personified!” (Trademark, it’s mine and you can’t have it). He went on to explain that my demeanor during my solo was relaxed and akin to having a conversation. I told him I appreciated it, while my inner nerd pushed up his glasses and laughed nervously. This made me think to myself, what if I really am cool in the deepest part of my being? Which leads me into my next story.
About a week after this event I realized I had a paper due that I need to get like three more sources for. I thought to myself “Bet” (my new word, you can borrow this, I’m test driving it right now). After this realization, I decided to go to the library…right after I listened to Partynextdoor. Of course as a jazz musician I couldn’t let my day be fully influenced by non-jazz music (I’m a Nardis), so I turned on You don’t know what love is by Sonny Rollins a song that I am currently trying to learn because I love ballads.

After getting a ways through it, I thought I don’t know the lyrics!! How can I play a song I don’t know the lyrics to, which lead me to Karrin Allyson’s version. Then my friend called and asked if I had ate, and since I hadn’t we went to the café, and decided, we look kind of scruffy, I think we might need a shave (No Sweeny Todd). Needless to say, I spent a large portion of my day just procrastinating and listening to great music (including Mos Def, Joe Lovano, Illinois Jacquet and many more). By the time I actually decided to go to the library it was about 8 o’clock. I suited up for the weather, preparing for a battle already in the opponent’s favor. During the walk I saw very few people in the library which made my brain happy because I wouldn’t need to walk past people seventy three times. Come to find out, I wouldn’t even walk past them once. The library was closed. The library is open on Wednesdays. The library is contributing to my procrastination, but this time I was prepared for work. And it was so cold. Ohhhh so cold. I walked back to my dorm where I saw some of my RA’s and one of the said “Hey Shaquim!” and I waved like a cool guy while sipping water, like a cool guy, and then I choked on the water…in front of my four RA’s…like a cool guy? I sat in my room for a while and contemplated my coolness (or lack thereof). Then I laughed and wrote this post.

On a semirelated note, do you know the only time you will really see a blind snake (no pun intended)? When you are supposed to be editing your essay that is due on Tuesday. I’ll give you the link just in case you are there too. Have a beautiful day and thank you for reading!!!


Final Exams

AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Final Exams are generally the hardest part of the year.  It’s like having an important test that you forgot about, all..week..long.  On top of Finals, as a sophomore music major, I have to take the Sophomore Proficiency Exam.  As a freshman, this was explained as “The hardest thing you will ever do in your college career.”  Don’t worry, I brought enough diapers for three daycares.  Needless to say, I was very, very, nervous.  Like my hands are shaking and someone needs a triple bypass type nervous.  So I did what I do best! Procrastinate.  I found this beautiful app called Duolingo where you can learn spanish german and most Western European Languages (This knocks out my studying for spanish).  Another helpful procrastination tool is Candy Crush (Only if you don’t mind waiting 2 hours after you lost on level 73 five consecutive times to continue procrastinating.)  But wait, if you start now (but later is better) you can read blogs about how to stop procrastinating and do more productive things.  You usually don’t find these articles until you have a paper due tomorrow that you haven’t started.  In between my procrastination sessions, I had panic sessions.  Like when you have a paper due at 11:59 and it’s 9:26 (don’t worry, you still have time.)  Someone else generally starts it by letting you know how much time you have left with a statement like “OMG!! How are you going to finish it before twelve.  you have like 2 hours!!!”  (Thank you lord for my pampers).  Then you start typing the best paper of your life, from the perspective of Maya Angelou because from your perspective there would be too many analogies (just me?).  When all is done it is about 11:56 and you turn it in and feel accomplished.  Note that all of the steps learned in High School about the drafting process have been shortened to the final draft, with no peer editing or even self editing, just faith that Maya Angelou’s spirit will flow through you.  Needless to say you barely pass on the paper and your grade is a 87.3 and you think to yourself…”I could’ve done better.”  In all actuality I have been experiencing that feeling a lot lately.  Generally I could have done a lot better but I waited until the last minute, giving a half-hearted attempted and not really growing as I should have from a specific course or opportunity.  One of the ways to try to combat this is to make an agenda (or do your work when you get it).  By getting an agenda, you can start to organize due dates and work on it little by little.  If you write down goals for each day, the fruits of your labor shall be plentiful (let the organs play here).  

Another thing is to nag yourself. I am in the process of developing someone that is generally displeased with me to say, “Really”, “Are you serious”, and various expletives. This is how I wake up early, practice classical music and various other things I don’t like. Try it out!! Let me know how it goes!!
(Note: that I started this post about 2 weeks ago, our whenever finals were xp)