I feel like I've been so busy lately thinking about recent events at my temple that I haven't given myself any time to process the last semester and the semester to come. While I have full appreciation for the difficulties going on in St Louis right now, I want to switch gears back into my life as a cantorial student at HUC.
Fall semester ended very well. I passed all of my classes (I saw the proof of straight P's on my electronic grade card.) I feel very, very good about all of my singing classes from last semester, and am excited to continue most of them into this semester.
The most exciting thing on my plate right now? PRACTICUM. Every year, SSM students are required to give a 20-25 minute musical presentation in front of the entire SSM student and faculty body. These presentations are usually taken from the context of a service, be it Shabbat, High Holy Day, other festival, or weekday. Sometimes, the presentations are in the form of a concert, focusing on a period or composer of Jewish music. Afterwards, the students and faculty gather for a bagel lunch where the performer is complemented and critiqued.
My practicum is one week from today, and I'll be presenting a traditional-style (meaning something that would be done in a conservative or orthodox Jewish community) Shabbat morning program. This is BY FAR the scariest thing I have ever had to do at HUC; it makes the services I led last year seem embarrassingly easy. Growing up where I did, I didn't have a lot of access to traditional chazzanut. It's still new to my ears and tongue, and I'll be singing in front of people who've devoted their lives to this music, people who have a lot to say about the job I'll do.
Keep your fingers crossed that I don't totally blow it next Wednesday.
This practicum will be special not only because it's my first practicum (I'll give 4 by the time I'm done.) My dad is coming from St Louis to hear it and hang out with his favorite daughter. I'm excited to spend some quality time with him and even more excited to show him what it is that I do every day at HUC. I'm sure we'll also have the opportunity to see and do some fun stuff in NYC, and eat some good food :)
There are lots of other exciting things going on this semester, but since practicum is taking over my mind, I'll talk about them as the semester wears on. For now, I'll leave you with a list of goals for the Spring semester.
-To give the best practicum I can possibly give
-To begin preparing for comps early enough to actually pass them
-To volunteer at least once a month at the HUC soup kitchen
-To sing a successful service in South Bend, despite the airplanes and distance and exhaustion
-To find a fulfilling and decent paying summer job
-To go to the gym at least 3 times a week
-To keep up with my history reading
-To continue to love the music I am learning
-To make my bed on a regular basis...don't tell my Aunt Diane, but I might have started to slack in that department once the semester got crazy...
-To study something just for fun, whether it be Feldenkrais, photography, Torah, cooking, whatever
-To find reasons to laugh at least 3 times a day