Summer begins

June 20, 2009

For academics, summertime is a time of recharging: reading, doing our research, catching up on projects that we didn’t have time to do during the academic year, and traveling. I note that my blogging pattern is about once every five days of late. My year has been so busy I just haven’t had the time to write every day. For my faithful readers, know that I plan to blog for the rest of my life and when I step down as Chair of our department, I know that I will be more regular.

For my summer composition work, I am just about done with my settings of Eloise Klein Healy, and will have a public rehearsal/reading of it next week with the poet in attendance, and Vox Femina singing it under Iris Levine’s able baton. My collaborator in Homer in Cyberspace, Mel Shapiro, has a short film for me to provide music for. I have another movement of a piano piece to finish. And I hope to get back to the interrupted “Mozart and the Grey Steward” a short opera with words by Thornton WIlder.

I answered one of those alarming letters warning that my airline points were going to disappear, so I had better buy magazines. I did, and now have two huge piles of unread magazines I will try to make my way through. I also have a pile of books that I plan to start finishing.

I hope to block off a few weeks to try to finish my book on Rufus Wainwright. I will be interested to hear his new opera, which should have received its premiere by now.

A trip to London, Paris and southern France later in the summer will be our big vacation this summer. I plan to visit my parents at least once in Phoenix; two or three sabbaticals in Palm Springs; several trips to the Bay area; and a possible quick trip to Kauai.

The UC system is facing huge cuts. It appears we will all be taking 8% cuts to our salary for a year. The Herb Alpert School of Music is completely revamping its undergraduate curriculum, so I will be having meetings this summer and fall to work on that new reality.

I am still loving my Palm Pre, and am so relieved to be rid of the iPhone. I have colleagues who live for the iPhone apps, so they will likely never switch. I realized that I don’t really need to convert anyone to the Palm. I’m still thrilled that Apple is becoming so ubiquitous.

I hope to be more social this summer and establish a more regular exercise program to keep this body in good shape.

And finally, just the thought of doing NOTHING sounds terrific to me.


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