Posts Tagged ‘family’

jobless in chicago

I’m not going to brag, but I have always been one of those people who is ideal for a summer job. I’m pretty friendly, outgoing; I maintained a high GPA in high school and for some strange reason I’m good at job interviews. My first job was at a coffee shop when I was sixteen — and coffee shop jobs are some of the hardest jobs to get, since everyone wants them.

So this summer, upon returning home from Eastman, I decided that I would go and look for a job. My first choice was working as a barista at Starbucks, since I love coffee shops and already know more or less how to make all of the drinks. The nearby Starbucks was hiring, so I stopped by and requested an application, which was smilingly handed to me. With care and precision, I filled out the application. It was a pretty solid application, too: I called coffee “not just a beverage, but a social experience” and even complimented Starbucks on their choice in background music.
Imagine my frustration when, just minutes after handing my application in, the manager comes out and tells me that, while I seem charming, they do not want to hire someone who will leave for another state within three months.

Cue a lot of annoyance and some angry music. (Well, Ben Folds and Gustav Mahler. I’m not really an angry music kind of person.)

My parents were hopeful, though! A few days ago my dad noticed that the nearby Super!Target was hiring, and my mom called and asked if “her daughter, who’s in town for the summer from college” could get a job. And the lady at Super!Target said yes.

So today my sister and I both went and applied.
My sister, who will be a senior in high school next year, was promptly interviewed and offered a job. A lady came out and told me that Super!Target was not interested in seasonal workers, had me sign about five forms, and said my sister should be done interviewing in forty minutes or so.
Now, my sister is charming and extremely intelligent and hard-working, but she is also two years younger than me and has never had a job.

This is frustrating to me for a few reasons. One, obviously, is that I am more or less an employable person who cannot find employment because of being in college. This seems silly, seeing as my school (which is not in this way unique) is an expensive place to attend, and even if I was only earning spending money, I think that it would be more needed by a college student than a high school student. Also, if you think about it, although fast turnover means more training — though Target training takes a day, if what they told my sister is correct — it allows more people to have jobs and, you know, stimulate the economy. Don’t people keep saying the economy needs stimulation? And about how teens have increasing buying power? How about actually stimulating the buying power of college students? Or allowing us to actually own some textbooks or buy cane?

Luckily, my parents felt sorry for me and are employing me themselves. For the next few months, I will be cooking dinners, doing laundry, buying groceries, cleaning bathrooms, and vacuuming for minimum wage.
They get some more free time, I get a job: it’s a win-win situation.

Take that, Starbucks and Super!Target.
And employ some of my fellow college students, for a change.


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After a fantastic two weeks in Miami, I’m back at home — and missing Eastman. College seems like the Time of Two Homes, both of which are more or less equally missed. Or unequally missed, depending, I guess.

Hanging out with all the Cubans that make up my mom’s side of the family was really fun, although no one remembers that I can actually speak some Spanish (I picked up a significant amount while visiting) and so there were a lot of awkward English+gesture conversations that could possibly have been avoided. On the other hand, it’s kind of hard to figure out how to explain what classes I’m taking given my limited vocabulary, so it’s probably all for the best.

I also managed to avoid giving a recital. This was doubly lucky, because my tendinitis decided to make a brief return for a few days. Also, my reeds went a little crazy. That aside, in a week I think I’ll be done with the David Concertino and the etude I was working on. And about four scale studies; for some reason they came really nicely over break.
Speaking of my etude, I decided I’d take a break from Milde etudes and work on Jancourt #5. That sucker is really long. Fun, but long and with some weird trills. Still, a little trilling never hurt anybody, right? This must’ve been Mozart’s motto when he wrote his Bassoon Concerto…

As promised, I’m adding some new features to the site, namely some resources for people interested in music school. Right now there’s nothing new, but keep looking! More is coming before I head back to Eastman.

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Break so far has been excellent — and definitely very chill. By saying this I am by no means referring to the weather, which has been lovely (if a little humid) but rather to the lack of 247 things a day to keep me occupied. Well, there’s practicing, but that’s a given.
One of my grandparents’ neighbors told me that my saxophone playing sounded lovely. Sometimes I wonder why I play such an awkward instrument.

This morning I was explaining one of the essential differences between my schedule and a normal college student’s: “They do homework on an as-needed basis. I have to practice on an as-always basis.”
They suggested that practicing is just always needed, which is definitely true.

My mom’s cousin had a baby in August, whom my grandmother babysits while her mom works, and that baby is so cute! Her name’s Briana. She has these really chubby cheeks, like a little chipmunk, and these huge hazel eyes.
She was crying on the first day I was visiting, and I was practicing, and my grandmother (perhaps in slight desperation?) took her to the room where I was practicing. And not only did Briana stop crying, but she started smiling and kicking her little legs like she was dancing.
Apparently when my grandmother took her to a different room, she started crying again. We’ve decided she’s going to grow up and become a bassoonist — so watch out, world! She’s already getting started at the age of four months, so by the time she’s my age she’ll be making her debut with a major orchestra.

Having Cuban relatives is always good times, except for the fact that my Spanish gets pretty rusty when I’m not in Miami. That said, a lot of it (including all of that pesky grammar) has been coming back.
By the time I get back to Eastman, not only will I have a tan, but also a Spanish accent! It’ll be good times for sure.

And before I go, does anyone know where I can get a copy of the bassoon solo from Shostakovitch’s Symphony No. 9? I haven’t been able to track down an excerpt book that contains it. Any help would be really appreciated.

Have a happy Boxing Day!!

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I just got back from watching No Country For Old Men. Amazing.
That said, it’s keep-you-sitting-on-the-edge-of-your-seat stressful, but have you ever seen an artsy thriller with fantastic writing and acting? I think you almost need to see it because of just how many odds it defies. It definitely deserves everything it’s been nominated for, and let it be known that I don’t even like thrillers for the most part. It’s simply an excellent movie.

Only five more days until I leave for break!
Break is such a weird thing. On the one hand, I’m so excited to leave the cold (the perks of the family tradition of celebrating Christmas in Little Havana) and to see my family, but on the other hand, words can’t express how much I love it here. It’s like at home people rarely understood why music was so important to me — I’m not saying this to be emo, but it does kind of get discouraging when people are always trying to talk you out of practicing — and it’s so lovely how here that part of me is simply and wordlessly understood. Music school is a strange and wonderful place.

I’ve mentioned in this post that it helps to schedule yourself. For once I figured I should follow my own advice and bought this planner. I really love it; it’s just small enough to fit comfortably in any purse while being big enough to write down anything. If you’re looking for a planner you’ll actually enjoy using, I highly recommend it. (And yeah, I know there’s only one left, but ModCloth has lots of other planners, too, if you poke around.)

Oh! And before I forget, if you’ve ever thought that woodwind quintets are harbingers of boredom, then you need to listen to Silas Durocher’s wind quintet, Peanut Butter On Rye. I guarantee the bassoon riff will be stuck in your head (and happily so!) for the rest of the day. Even if you don’t play bassoon.

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