Author Archives: Michael
Posts: 7 (archived below)
Baruch now is better for me than it was the first day. I feel like I know what to expect out of the rest of the year and what challenges I’m going to face. The difficult thing is going to be getting over those challenges – mostly staying motivated in class. What worries me now is that because I have a crappy registration time, I won’t get the classes I want and that’ll just make me less interested in school. One of the things I like best so far is AIESEC, the club I’m in. I’ve met a ton of people through that club and I’ve been able to chill with them a lot. I also really like the pizza in the cafeteria cause there’s lots of toppings and it’s less than $3. By now I’m not really focusing on the things that I don’t like about Baruch. I’ve talked to some of my best friends about their colleges, that aren’t commuter schools, and their schools don’t seem that amazing either. So far college hasn’t been what I hoped it would be but I’m expecting it to get better. Freshman seminar has been an interesting experience. There have been both positive and negative aspects to it.
Scenario: Your professor gave you a B- but your personal records reflect an A.
Hi Professor Smith,
I have a question about my grade in your class. Some of the grades that you have on Blackboard don’t match the grades that are written on my assignments. Can we set up a time to go over the assignments? I have a break from 12:00 – 2:00 Monday through Thursday.
Eng. 2150 MW
My desire to pursue the clarinet has many sources. It ranges from my love for the instrument’s round, dark tone, to an interest in music history. It’s drawn from the gratification I get after finally nailing an impossible scale and from the feeling of pressing those silver keys down in perfect combination and time. If not for certain constraints, I would play my clarinet everyday. One hour each for individual practice, orchestra rehearsal, and jazz band rehearsal. I would have a concert every month and my ensembles would perform at state-of-the-art venues such as Avery Fischer Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center. If I possessed the talent, I would be both a respected ensemble musician and featured soloist. If I had the time, I would study music theory and history, until I could compose or arrange music with ease. And with both talent and time, I would pour over chord progressions and harmonies and recordings until I could improvise like John Coltrane, Benny Goodman and countless others.
However I am a student and the son of an immigrant, single mother and these roles severely limit my musical pursuits. My time is consumed by writing papers, not practicing etudes; my money is eaten up by textbooks, not sheet music; my responsibilities are to my family and not just to myself. Having relied on my mom for everything these past eighteen years, I need to pursue something that will lead to sustainable, financial independence. This is a condition that I have placed upon myself and unfortunately I’m nowhere near good enough for the clarinet to make me any real money. Pursuing music would also limit the development of my academic interests, on which I place a high value. I would never learn how to analyze Hemingway’s writing in a practice room or begin to understand derivates trading by playing the Mozart Clarinet Concerto. For me, subjects such as literature and business have much broader scopes than the clarinet does. They relate to the entire human condition, whereas jazz and classical music are limited to a select group. And the education that I would be losing out on as a music student, far exceeds that of which I would gain.
This leaves me in the same place as I started: a college freshman planning to major in business. Every day I’ll read and think and write about systems of government, political theorists and economic principles – topics that have nothing to do with music. But jazz and classical music and the clarinet will still be with me. On my commute to school every day, I’ll have seventy minutes on the 6 train to put on my ipod and study Gillespie’s solos, Ella’s phrasing, and Goodman’s technique. Then on weekends I can pull out my instrument and attempt to imitate what I have been listening to on the train. And although I won’t have my clarinet with me when I go to class the next Monday, I will still know that I am a musician.
The most recent volunteer project I did was called Lend A Hand, which raised money for the Ronald McDonald House. So what we did was this: 1. Hung up a giant canvass in Times Square 2. People donated money to put a hand print on the canvas 3. We put gloves on the people, then painted on the gloves (sometimes multicolored) 4. People put their handprints up, thus “lending a hand to kids with cancer). 5 We took off the gloves and gave the people candy as a thank you. This was a great event because the people who came to give donations and handprints were incredibly diverse. There were European tourists, couples, teenagers, business people, etc. My favorite donations were when the kids dragged their parents to the canvas so that they could get paint and candy, because most parents were too nice to say no. Also I think it’s important to note that there was no minimum donation. So that got a greater number of people to donate, which filled up the canvas, which generated interest, which got more people to donate. Overall it was a great experience and hopefully I’ll be able to do it again.
The club fair was a lot more fun and exciting than I thought it would be. It was also a lot better than the little fair they had at convocation because that was mostly frats, whereas this had more variety. I had already joined AIESEC and that seems like it’ll be a pretty big time commitment so I wasn’t sure if I’d join anything else at the fair. But I also signed up for the Finance and Economic Society and the Archery Club. I think archery could be interesting and the bows are pretty badass. Also neither of those clubs make it mandatory for you to go every week so I think I’ll be able to balance my schedule still. AND I saw Tomiko dougie-ing in front of a hundred people, she did really good.
My name is Michael and I’m a student, son, brother, friend and musician. I’m pretty much just another person; I like jazz and basketball; I read books that have good reviews; and I love eating food. Throughout my life I’ve attended seven schools and lived in five states. Each of these places have shaped me in some way, be it camping in Arizona or mowing my lawn in Florida, or going to a performing arts school in New York City. The most important values I’ve from my experiences and from my family and friends are open-mindedness, hard work, perseverance and humor. Like most people, I often display contradictory characteristics, such as being smart/dumb and serious/ridiculous. Overall I’m a very driven person and I have a lot of confidence in my ability to get what I want.
The biggest concern for me this year is that it’ll be a fifth year of high school. Like Baruch, my high school had a vertical campus with escalators that never worked, and students who went home after classes. I didn’t really planned on going to a commuter school and was looking forward to dorm life, so having to take the train home everyday is kind of a disappointment. A couple other concerns are keeping track of all the work I have, and finding the motivation to do it. Most of my work so far has been readings and those don’t seem critically important to my grade right now. However I know that this attitude will catch up with me so I want to stay on top of things now. This concern is also related to the biggest difference I’ve observed so far. Unlike high school, the professors are a lot less concerned about making sure you know what’s going on with things like homework and assignments. Most of my professors seem to assume that we know what’s going on, when we don’t.
I honestly don’t know how I’ll change in the next year and it’s not something that I think about too much. For me, this year isn’t an opportunity to start over; I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing and if there’s something I want to try then I’ll try it. I think that some of my classes could have an impact on how I see things. This semester I’m taking philosophy, sociology, and a writing class which is centered around A Lover’s Discourse. These classes will definitely present new ideas and ways of thinking. But how much they’ll change my current perspective on the world probably won’t be realized until the end of the year.
I thought that the library tour today was pretty informative. Having gone in there a couple times to study, I already knew about most of the services that we covered. However it was still good to hear about them from someone who has used them extensively. One thing I didn’t know about was the study rooms, which seem like a really good place to go if you’re working on a deadline or with others. I also liked that there were a lot of couches for sleeping.