Tomorrow is December 31st. On Sunday, a new year begins. Before we close the 2011 calendar, here are a few things I will treasure from this year:
- I started writing more. I started writing here in June. It was fun experimenting with blogging through the summer. I stopped posting during the autumn, but kept writing. Writing the programme notes for The Rite of Spring was an excellent way to learn some difficult music without actually practicing. By the time December came, I realized that I still had something to say and wanted to say it here. (It also helped to have a little prod from my friend Nette – Thanks Nette!)
- I ran away from home. In February I went all by myself to Vienna to visit a childhood friend. I haven’t had a solo trip since before children. To me, Vienna is a city of elegance, art, music, and the daring avant garde. It was 4 days of music, coffee, conversation, and walks with my friend. Even though our lives have taken wildly different paths since we first fought over a playmate in second grade, our friendship has grown and adapted over more than 30 years. It’s something I value very much. Aside from time with her, I had time to be independent and anonymous. Highlights included becoming immersed in special relativity problems during a 4-hour layover in the Cologne airport, spending a morning at the Kunsthistoriches Museum where there is a roomful of Bruegel paintings (including The Peasant Wedding), discovering the artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser while walking through the delightful Kunst Haus Wien, and changing a late night into an early morning with the Mojo Blues Band (just in case you ever thought that Austrians don’t boogie).
- I played the Verdi Requiem at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam with the Cambridge Philharmonic Society and the Amersfoort Choral Society. My mom was there! We also played at King’s College Chapel, Cambridge.
- I changed teaching jobs. I do love teaching, but I’m a bit of a Goldilocks about it all. I changed from a situation that was too ______________ (I’m still figuring out what goes in the blank), to one that is, at the moment, just right. Let’s hope the bears don’t come home anytime soon. I’m currently teaching first and second year physics students at the university. I don’t lecture or do labs in a classroom, I meet students in pairs once a week and go over hard problems. It’s good fun. Anyone up for some Lagrangian Mechanics?
- I found more time for stuff like this: