Singing in the Rain
Blogger: Laurel Cox
Hello all, and Happy December!
I can’t believe that it’s already the last week of classes. I keep asking myself where the semester went?! It’s hard to accept that in about a week I’ll have to say goodbye to all my friends and professors, some of which I may never see again (because they’re graduating—what?!). It’s been quite a strange semester for me, the most significant of which was my biennial trip to the ER. I unfortunately had a kidney infection, but what can you do? At least I have kidneys, right? Anyway, it wasn’t fun, but I assure all of you out there who are concerned about their own potential health emergencies that I was well taken care of at the Glendale Adventist Hospital that was naught but 10 minutes away from campus. The school even provides free vouchers for a taxi to the ER, which I used.
While going to the hospital is never fun and is almost never a good thing, I was reminded during my stay there how lucky I am to be a part of the wonderful Oxy community. I had regular visits from my friends and Occidental faculty, phone calls from the administration to make sure I was alright, and frequent emails from all of my professors checking up on my condition and to help me figure out how to make up the things I missed in class. Time and again I was shown that I wasn’t just a number, a faceless name in the system. Even now, a month since I went to the hospital, people ask me if I’m healing and feeling better. This is one of the most caring, supporting communities I’ve ever had the privilege of being a part of.
Anyway, moving away from the hospital business, this has been one of the most musical semesters of my time at Oxy. As you may or may not know, Occidental has a fine arts requirement for the CORE program, which can be fulfilled in several ways, one of which is taking applied music classes. Last spring, I started taking piano classes, and I continued this semester. The music department here is extremely supportive of performing one’s craft, and thusly they have a program called MOFA every other Friday. MOFA stands for Music On Friday Afternoons, and it’s a chance for students taking music classes to perform the pieces they’ve been working on. Anywho, this semester I performed at a MOFA, which was a wonderful experience. Personally, I get super nervous when performing, especially in front of peers, but it was extremely gratifying this time, and hopefully it will help me to overcome my performance anxiety in the future. Like this Wednesday, when I play at the end of semester recital.
In other news, it has been unusually rainy here! (On an unrelated note, I just realized there are 3 “u”s in “unusually”). I happen to enjoy rain, so I haven’t minded all that much, but it’s rather peculiar. I ought to be grateful, as the gloomy weather helps motivate me to write the many, many research papers I have due at the end of this semester, but it’s hard to resist the temptation to snuggle in bed with a cup of tea when the clouds roll in. I’ve always said that I’d rather write a paper than take a test, but that was before I had 3 research papers due within one week of each other. For me, the hardest part is cutting down on all the research; I seem to have too much to say rather than not enough. Editing papers is like Sophie’s choice, where each sentence is a child. (And no, I’m not being melodramatic. Absolutely not.)
Other than the rain, the fact that I am going abroad next semester has made it hard to focus. Even though I don’t leave for about 4 more months, it’sstill thrilling. At the very least, I have my “tears for fears” Pandora radio station to help get me through, moderated with a healthy dose of caffeine and Bing Crosby and the crew crooning all my favorite holiday classics. I don’t think Billy Idol and Billie Holiday ever expected to be played on the same playlist before. Eclectic playlists aside, I think I’ll stop myself here before I reveal any more of my obscure music tastes. The Ivory towers of academia are calling to me, “come back! Write your papers! Marxism! Assimilation! Ideology!”
Until next time, stay classy, folks, and if I don’t write again before the end of the semester, have a happy holiday!
p.s. If you don’t know who Tears for Fears, Billy Idol, Billie Holiday, or Bing Crosby are, please don’t tell me. I don’t think my fragile kidneys could take the shock. Instead, just listen to the links I’ve provided and consider your adventurous foray into music education begun!
p.p.s. here’s a funny video to keep you smiling through the new year, provided the Mayans were wrong, of course.