“April in Paris. That’s where I wanna be…”

It was such a blustery day today, that one would almost feel it was possible to be blown over.

I also am getting sick. Regular sick, for a change. My throat feels like a crazed feline has been using my larynx as a scratching post all day now. To be honest, I find the common cold extremely irksome, even with everything I’ve been through. We can send people to the moon, know whats in the center of the Earth, and yet the common cold defeats us. Typical. 

Choir this morning, but since we’re quite and thoroughly out-of-the-loop, the time had changed for 45 minutes later. Such is life though. I sat through the boys sectional in a daze that only a handful of pills and a sleep hangover can. But of course it was awesome to see everyone. Seeing them is sort of like stepping into a color movie from an old black-and-white silent film. Jarring, but in an OMG kind of way, if you follow me.

Lisa came with me to LifeLabs (gag. donation time. I feel like a good Samaritan. pity they can’t use the leftover blood). and then we whipped around the mall for awhile. I was feeling pretty shitty for the rest of the afternoon though. I’ve been having a barrel of laughs doing pretty much nothing.

I have some awesome news. First, please get a happy little image of me doing a complete victory dance with a little chant of ‘ra ra ra’, to go along with it. Apparently, I have finished all the ‘Provincially Mandated Thingies’ that I have to do for Math 11, so I am finished with that. Seriously, I can finally appreciate doing all that extra, annoying, hard work at GNS. Finally, some short-term pay-off. Not that I don’t like math. Because, really, I do. But only the math you can’t actually use (trig, calc, graph things!, geometry/angles). I’ll be sure to take more useless math as an adult grad, so no worries.

So now just history. That doesn’t seem to bad really. I’ve looked over the course work, but there are so much words that I can’t really think about and it makes my head hurt a little. I am going to meet with my teacher tomorrow, so that should be good. I’m just a little off the beaten track here. My Canadian history isn’t as good as it should be, but I’m moderately clear on WW 1 and 2.

Spring Concert

The annual concert at Alix Gooden Hall, at the Royal Conservatory downtown, is always my favorite. It is ‘the big one’ to all us choristers, and signals the year winding down. All the choir kids, from grades 2 through 12, sing, and in some songs, together. Its an organizational nightmare, I’m sure. There is a ramp up to the stage, so no horrid lifting for me, which is wonderful.

Both the Jazz and Concert seniors choirs sang.

First I will describe the hall to you. It is a dream come true, acoustically speaking. Each word you say bounces sharply back at you, each footstep feels like pounding. If you look up, you will find you are craining your neck to see the very top of the dome-ish roof, with slanting beams and suspended lights. Stained glass windows line the walls, and in the daylight, would shine their multicolored light across the smart wooden benches of the mezzanine. Below is where they cram all of the choir members. The whispering, rustling of programs, and giggling are hard to control.

This was my 7th Spring Concert at the Hall. Some things don’t change. The crinkling of the programs, till they turn into a fine, rough paper, is a classic. Jessica and I always end up sitting next to each other, or near enough to pass notes on scrap corners of our programs. There are the games of rock-paper-scissors and the slapping game, and general gossiping that you can really only get away with in those confined spaces.

Anyways, the Senior Concert Choir sang ‘Bonjour, mon coeur’, a French song, as you might have guessed. Its kind of naughty and a bit sleezily-romantic, and makes us a bit giggly (We’ll never grow out of it). We also sang the gospel “Ain’t a That Good News” which is livelier and would be fun to dance and sway to if we weren’t all in tight blazers and ties. The Jazz is always way more relaxed. We switch into black-and-red clothes of our choosing, which do not constrict our movements as much, and encourage a rebellion of onstage sway- movement. We sang “A Sunday Kind of Love” which I adore! “Lullaby of Birdand” which is the most awesome lullaby ever and so romantic! We also sang “In the Mood” which definitely has some PG content and is a faster piece we can really have fun with!

The Spring Concert also marks the time for the grade 12 goodbye, which is when the grade 12’s are invited back on stage, to receive a flower and a thankyou for their dedication. It is always the sad part, and usually the rest of us are somewhere between bawling and gently snuffling. This year was our goodbye, and I really don’t want it to be over. I want the magic to last forever. I’ve been in choir for 7 years. It is like…my favorite home. Our principle, Mr. Calderwood, also welcomed me back to GNS and said how nice it was to see me around campus again. I nearly lost it right on stage, in front of all of those people. It was hard not to cry, to realize the likelihood I would be standing on that glorious stage with all of my best friends again, had decreased significantly. I love you guys so much, you know that :D.

The rose lasted over two weeks if you can believe it!

So here’s the Senior Vocal Jazz Ensemble singing “Lullaby of Birdland”.
Soloist: Jenn and Ilana! (woo. awesome, ladies! :D)
         Enjoy!

Gosh

OMG I haven’t written in forever? Where does the time go? How do all the hours get filled up with all the little things we do in a minute? I feels impossible that more than a month has gone by in such a short stretch of time.

To all those who thought I couldn’t graduate in June, I’d like to say a premature ‘I-told-you-so’. I only have to finish 1/2 of an English 12 and Math 11 courses, a socials, and some electives which need loose ends tied. Pretty darn rockin’, hunh? I just finished some very disjointed essays to complete by Earth Science course and a Spanish exam (90%!), so that’s a few more knocked off the list. I’m pretty stoked to start a short story unit, which they are changing so I can study F. Scott Fitzgerald stories, which if you haven’t read any- or haven’t for awhile- I would recommend checking out any of them. They are kind of his ‘under appreciated’ works, after The Great Gatsby and all. I think they are pretty darn good though.

I’ve been exhausted the last few days. I feel like there a lead pipes in my bones, that weigh me down when I try to move, and rattle-shake when I shift position. The fatigue feels more in my mind though; a giant slug has taken up residence there and has eaten my brain. I think today will be plentifully unproductive, and I’m fine by that.

I’m going to get my Huber needle changed today. Wahoo, I know, but kind of important. It is SO itchy…skin wasn’t meant to stay under plastic wrap for so long. The needle is staying out for a few days, as I’m supposed to be off drugs. We even have an appointment to get the needle removed, which makes a nice change from ER. I will have to review my notes in more detail without the slug-brain in order to tell you how this came to pass. More later.

Choir

I wrote this as a different kind of project for choir, because obviously I couldn’t fill out performance reports and such (what performances??). I thought I’d share with you my reflections, although they thoughts are quite disjointed. It was written more like a letter to my choir teacher, Mrs. Tradewell, in case you are wondering who I am talking to. Enjoy.

I wrote this on February 22:

For me, attending choir feels like the most important thing I do in a week. Not only do I get to sing amazing music with my friends, but choir also helps in so many other areas, such as confidence and team building, listening skills, and following directions! I used to take doing these things for granted when I was in choir before, but now that I actually have to work on them, I can appreciate just how much work goes into a piece!

Take risks:
I’ve been in choirs so long that they feel rather like a big musically-inclined family. We all know each other so well by this point that it is okay to make horrible mistakes and laugh about it afterward! I think most of us are at the point where we are comfortable enough to take risks both musically and in our opinions and critics, without worrying about the group’s reaction, which really lets our creativity as a whole soar.

Be involved:
You can stand at the back and move your mouth with no sound, but in jazz choir it is a lot harder, as we are such a small group, and everyone can be heard! There is no easy way out! I feel that doing less than 100% lets down the rest of the group, who are trying so much! That includes not just attending rehearsals and concerts, but actually being present during that time. This is one of the hardest parts more me, partly because my 100% now is such a small fraction to how it was before I got sick. I find it very frustrating that singing a song leaves me exhausted, but I suppose that having to work harder at each turn makes me appreciate the final product so much more!


Stay committed!:

As much as I love rehearsals, there is nothing quite like being able to show off all that hard work to your friends and family! Concerts are very difficult because they are so loud and distracting for me! Even though I am sight-reading the piece (for the thousandth time maybe), I am so proud of the rest of the choir for doing such an excellent job! Even though I don’t know how the pieces sounded in the beginning, they always sound fantastic in concerts!

Choir is really excellent for me while being sick! It gives me something to look forward to every few days and gives me something to work hard at! There are very few things like this that I can do, it seems, except art related things! For some reason that part of my brain seems to be working really well! For instance, I can still play the piano and sightread new pieces! It’s very strange…but I am so thankful that I can.

I am sort of jumping around here, partly because the question is so abstract (thanks!). I think I’m also repeating myself, and if that is the case I’m really sorry. I’m feeling a little lost for words when it comes to describing how much choir means to me. If the things you could do in a day were slashed overnight to a tiny percentage, how would you feel about that handful of activities? I mean, if I had ended up having no idea how to do music, and only….math or something, that would have been not as fun! Music has always been my favorite, enormous part of my life.

There is no feeling like singing with a group, but of course you understand what it’s like so it will be easier to describe! It is like we are all talking at once and all understanding everything. When its really working, and all the pieces come together, it is magic. It is a feeling like being lightened or enlightened, its very calming and yet exciting. Music is everything, I suppose is what I’m saying. 

Thank you so much for letting me be part of the choir! It is just amazing!!!!

The Interview

A student from the Island Medical program actually came to my house today for an interview! He was a really friendly first year student and the goal of the interview was essentially to learn that there is more to the patient than just symptoms and a diagnosis (I think).

If I could remember just how many times I have recited my medical history, I would be sick of it by now. Small blessings. I have gotten really good at it, it’s like a monologue I wrote, and have been practicing for years. We went through all that stuff again, but this guy was so…human and relaxed, I suppose, no white coat…and un-doctorly that I found it really easy. Being in a doctor office makes me so anxious and I find it difficult to breath surrounded by all those surgically white walls and people in scrubs and white coats and forms and hand sanitizer. Even thinking about it makes me breath faster. But anyways, it made a nice change being in the comfort of my home talking about all the terrible things that have happened. I don’t know what they do to students, but by the time they have become doctors, they seem a hell of a lot more heartless.

He was very interested in the controversy of Lyme disease, which is another well exhausted topic in this house. It is very difficult, even for us, to describe why doctors do not want to help us, or are unable to help us. It sounds like the most wacked out conspiracy ever.

I would encourage all Lyme ‘victims’  who are able, to check with their local universities/medical school and see if they do not have a volunteering program. It is amazingly rewarding helping these hardworking students, and it helps spread the word about Lyme disease to next generations doctors!!