Friday, February 24, 2006

Slept on it

I did decide to go to practice this evening, but felt out of sorts and wasn't able to play simple things that I could before. My confidence has definitely taken a big dip. Talked to Karen and Lesley and had a little bit of a breakdown, but it wasn't too bad and they were helpful. Lesley said she had known RPA for 20 years and she has always been the same. Critical and fearful of what she doesn't know about. She pointed out that the behaviour had the hallmarks of a bully, and she is right. I knew this before, but I didn't want to admit it. Karen said that she thought that my piccolo playing was in tune last week and how hard it was to tune a piccolo. Anyway, it was nice to have the support but I still have to find a way to built myself up again and steel myself against another attack which will most certainly again come my way. I need to find my coping mechanism if I stay with the QOR. Other than that, my choices are to quit everything, or change regiments.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Utterly Devastated

I'll apologise in advance if this comes off as a rant. My thoughts are so jumbled right now I don't know where to begin.

This evening, after band practice, I was approached by my director of music. She said many things to me that were heartbreaking, confidence crushing and mind boggling. She told be that she thought a young man who has been "playing" the flute for three years (i.e. holding it and playing some notes) had better tuning than I. She went on to point out that three flutes were better in tune. I didn't even know if I was included in that number as she was very ambiguous. I asked outright if I was and she said that John was the worst in tune of us all, and can't hear it as well. She told me that other band members were pissed off at the back talk from the flute section. But she only talked to me, so I am left to presume that it is only I who does not fix the problem, but make excuses all the time. She wouldn't be talking to me as a section leader, because she crushed that too, saying I didn't play well enough to make others want to follow my example.

In response I let everything I had been holding in off my chest. Like I didn't think that it was fair that someone who plays at a middle school level is allowed in the band, and on strength with no training no less. That I wanted nothing more than to be on my BMQ and at the school of music in the summer, achieving my levels on flute. That if she was concerned about tuning four flutes, she was actually having to tune five as the oboe player often plays oboe parts up the octave on flute. That it is unnerving to be made fun of all the time by other sections, when no one is perfect. To this she responded, "yes but the flutes are the worst of the lot." I stated my case that I was trying my best to improve, by practicing with a tuner and always striving for my best. I said that I could only speak for myself when I said that I would do as she asks and not give excuses and fix the problem.

She then re-iterated that it was causing her stress to have to continually "take it" when the flutes gave excuses instead of fixing the problem. I asked her what she would like to do as a solution. She asked if she should get someone else in for me to look up to. She ended the conversation by stating that the flutes needed to just listen and then fix the problem. She went upstairs, and I left the armoury and promtly burst into stomach heaving sobs.

I am now numb, as I am not really processing this very well at all. I have so many questions. Who are these other members of the band who are saying that the flutes back talk? How can I be praised for nice tone and playing ability by Gino, Bill and Karen and then told how badly I suck at QOR? How is it that an 18 year old violin player is somehow taking my place? Or maybe sharing it with a stuck up oboe player? When do I talk back to the Director of Music? Do I make excuses for my mistakes and not notice that I am doing so? Do I have an inflated sense of my playing ability? Am I crazy to think that I have improved even a little? I just don't know anymore. What I do know is that the way I feel, I don't really want to play anymore. I definitely don't see the point in doing the recording, as she is just going to replace me anyway. I will go back to my usual appointed role as second flute, only I'll be playing the part with three others, four if you count the oboe player who barely plays oboe.

But mostly, I feel sad. Eleven years of your life is a long time to commit to something, especially when you started when you were 19 years old. So there you have it.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Flute Frustrations

About three hours after returning from rehearsal, it is hitting me how hard some of the music for this bloody recording is! Wow that was an ungainly sentence! Oh well, too tired to fix it. This Procession of the Nobles is killing me! I need to make a breakthrough or else I'm not going to be able to play it up to a standard I would want to record. I practise and it's not changing. Hopefully it'll come soon. I also wanted to link the Brown-Winton blog to mine as it is a good read. (I've just discovered how to do this!) Something for everyone! Babies, computers, books, lots of things. Ok, maybe I don't know how to do this. I've followed all the instructions, but the link is not active. Anyway, here is the text you can just cut and paste.

No Pressure Blog Entry

I just read a post on Amy's blog and was quite chuffed by all the nice things said about me. Thanks Amy! Since I've broken my ankle I haven't been feeling particularly busy, but I have been slowly getting back into the swing of things.

Today was a good day. I had high tea at the King Edward Hotel with John and Janet, which was great. Funny how little tiny sandwiches, deserts and tea can fill you so full you can hardly breathe. My favorites were the pistachio cookie, the scones with clotted cream and jam, and the prawn salad croissant sandwich.

Afterwards Carin joined us for drinks and then a movie. We went to The Matador. It was very strange, but one of those good strange movies. Both Greg Kinnear and Pearce Brosnan were great and Hope Davis was fantastic, although I don't remember seeing her in much else before this. I looked her up on imdb and she seems to have quite a few credits including Proof and Flatliners. Hmmm, I'll be looking out for her more often. Another advantage is that The Matador is quite short, only an hour and a half. With many of today's movies coming in a the nearly three hour mark, myself and my bladder were thankful. Especially after a half and half blue raspberry/cherry slushie!

Oh for those of you who don't live in Toronto, it is COLD here! After our mild mild winter so far, it seems a bit of a shock!

Off to bed, have an extra rehearsal in the morning for the QOR recording.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Yet another V-day

I couldn't let it go past without a comment. Especially since I have this great new forum! This year V-day passed in a blur of activity. It was a day 4 at school, which are always hectic, and I didn't really give it much thought. I got three valentines from students (all girls, the boys don't pass valentines, although they definitely got them!) and basically forgot about the rest of the day. I even forgot to wish my TAG class a Bonne fete de Ste. Valentin. I wished every other class one though. Usually I feel pretty lonely but this year, and last year as well, I felt ok. It's actually a lot less pressure to be single on v-day as you don't have to live up to some kind of fantasy date sequence at the end of the day. Especially when it's on a work day and you're exhausted. Anyway, today was just another Tuesday. But Happy V-day to some, and a Normal Tuesday to everyone else!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Shocking but true!!

I actually returned a book to the Library yesterday without actually finishing it! This is a first for me, because even if I KNOW the book and I are not getting along, I still force myself to read it! Why? I have no idea, which is why I chucked the book onto the return counter without a second thought. Then I casually enquired whether the other books I had on hold had come it yet. What book would earn such a cavalier attitude? Unfortunately, one of the ones I thought I would really love.

Making the Cat Laugh - Lynne Truss

I have a copy of Eats, Shoots and Leaves. I loved it! Witty, droll, all those great adjectives one uses when describing a funny British novel. To be fair, she made this Kat laugh once (aloud on the streetcar, which usually means great things for me!) but then not so much. I found her to be the Queen of run on sentences, something that irks me to no end. Also, I couldn't relate to her problems, which I think had something to do with the book being written in 1994. Back then, I was a little insular, which made it difficult to understand some of the current events references from that time. Mostly though, I couldn't relate in anyway to the personality that came through the pages, which is my number one gauge of a good first person narrative. Anyway, I hope this doesn't put Amy off from recommending anymore books! I'll still read them (or attempt to), promise!

On to the next...

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Good day!

Twice in one week, this must be some kind of record for me. I am having a good day. I had a really good sleep last night, had brunch with John, Andrew and Didem and have done a few little things around the condo to make it feel a little more homey. I was so sick of looking at the place the way it was when I was shut in. I know I needed for things to be out and looking a little odd for convenience but just a few small changes makes for a breath of fresh air. I do have lots of work to do, so I can't spend all day on this, but it's feeling good right now.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Made in through another week

I am tired today. I also have realised that I seem to have no time to post on my blog! The few people who are reading it are complaining. So here's another entry. Second week at school was better than the first. Got a little more accomplished and sorted through some of the piles of paper that have accumulated since I've been away. Am still trying to come up with ways to make a subject that students hate fun, and sometimes get so frustrated with it that I want to throw in the towel. I am really wondering if it is the subject or the job. Maybe it's just that I am so tired period with the ankle healing that I seem to have no energy to actually do my job. I am also feeling the immense bad timing of this accident, especially since I have no sick days left. Even if I had been picked for the trip to Poland with the Royals (as it stands now I am an alternate) I wouldn't be able to go because I have no sick days to cover the rest of the trip. I am definitely disappointed that I am not able to go either way. I really do love travel, which makes me wonder if I should be considering a teacher exchange sooner rather than later. Anyway, I really am tired, so will stop now.