From the category archives:

Chair chat

Music party

September 28, 2008

Today we’re hosting a party for faculty, staff and families from the departments of Music, Musicology and Ethnomusicology. We’re anticipating around 80 people. Not everyone can make it but those that will be here should have a good time. A warm day is in store and there is enough shade in our backyard to keep […]


The Tiki Home Transition back to LA has been difficult, mostly because Delta has planes with cool monitors in the seat in front of you. But if you have a long torso, as I do, your head flops over the “headrest” and sleeping is impossible, even with a Nyquil swig. So I only had a […]


Putting people together

August 27, 2008

Yesterday in my duties as a chairman, I attended several meetings where we discussed and invented jobs for graduate students who in turn oversee other students whose duties we also defined. I couldn’t help but feel like a member of “the gods” who set cosmic parameters in motion and watch them play out. At UCLA, […]



August 14, 2008

We have had to make some drastic cuts in our department related to the California budget crisis. The process is a painful one but necessary and interesting. To console myself, I think about patterns in nature, where when you cut off a branch, two grow back. Pruning is a pattern and is always good for […]


For some cosmic reason, the Universe taught me a lesson this week: get your facts straight. I chaired a meeting to discuss a departmental issue. I didn’t have the facts straight, and assembled the agenda that momentarily threw gasoline on the fire. Everything turned out ok but I learned my lesson. The next day I […]


The doorbell rang this morning. I wasn’t expecting anyone so I peaked through the side window and saw a creature that resembled Cousin It in the Addams Family. My heart thumped not being sure what it was. I went to the door, opened it and I’ll be damned if it wasn’t the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi […]


Yesterday was a stressful day. Why? Because in my mind, there were so many things that needed to get done but simply not enough hours in the day, nor enough energy to get them all done even if there were. I watched my body as it tensed up, and all other physical manifestations of stress […]


Scarlatti’s complaint

April 28, 2008

I was puzzled to see the name “Scarlatti” on my calendar this morning for an eleven o’clock. My assistant, who can be a bear when it comes to scaring away people that I don’t need to see, said it was impossible to deny this man. She said he was a man with a strong Italian […]


1st spring retreat

April 25, 2008

Today I go to Malibu (May’s Landing) again for a retreat with colleagues from the Departments of Musicology, Ethnomusicology, and Music to discuss curricular ideas of a core offering that could work for all three departments. The three departments were at war within one big department when I arrived in 1983 and finally divorced in […]


Too many emails

March 29, 2008

I get too many emails. I’m not talking about spam. I have a variety of filters that get most of the spam out. I’m talking about email from people I know from the various parts of my life: my family, close friends, friends, colleagues, students, former students, staff, and then all the email that comes […]