Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Stuff in My Drawers Day: Letters of Recommendation

When I was at Florida State pretending to know something about music composition, I had a top secret source who worked in the music office and lived with Chompy pilfer the secret letters of recommendation from my permanent file.

It's interesting that one of the most impressive skills on my resum? at the time was that I could use Finale to notate music -- so the tunes may have sounded like rats walking through peanut butter, but they looked really pretty. This is similar to my grad school experience, which can be boiled down to the fact that I was the guy who popularized the Technical font. I remember the time I gave a pedagogical presentation on enharmonic modulation, after which Dr. Spencer used most of the question/answer period to talk about how "sharply dressed" my font was.

The other aspect my professors discussed was my prolific output, which roughly translates as "I hate editing". As soon as a score was complete and printed out on my HP LaserPaperJam 4, I'd start fleshing out the next idea so I wouldn't have to deal with glaring problems in the previous one.

Of course, for every great letter of recommendation you can elicit, you also get the one from the Rolling Rock loving professor who would open his Musical Survey class by starting Wozzeck and leaving the room without any explanation or introduction, in hopes of making most of the students drop the class so he'd have fewer grades to deal with. Apparently, he didn't think too highly of our curriculum -- not the entire curriculum per se, just the theory, literature, and history sides of things. I think I'll use this letter as the scapegoat for not getting into Indiana University.

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tagged as random, teaching | permalink | 4 comments


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