Today was the first day of school and I did the kind of circus act that you'd expect of someone at a new school, in a new degree program, in a new country. I wish there were more photographable moments, but the first day of school is mostly spent going over the syllabus, etc.
I'm taking History of Music Theory and it's a subject that I'm really interested in. For you non-theorists this may sound like the driest, most boring subject there is, but if you like history, and music theory, then it's possible to combine them into a fun class. Basically it will be like the Readings in Music Theory class I took at IU, which was, in some ways, a living hell. But this class, unlike Readings, does not have a comprehensive essay test as its final exam, so the real fire won't be there. Similar to Readings, we have to read a lot, to the tune of 130 pages per class, which meets only once a week for three hours. It's not an overwhelming amount of reading for a doctoral seminar, but you can understand why I went straight to the bookstore to get what I needed to start my homework.
~ The bookstore turned out to be a complete bust because of the 28,000 undergrads who were buying their books and having lunch at Tim Horton's.
~ Three tries later, I was in the music library trying to find the articles the old fashioned way and was told by the librarians that they couldn't find the Cambridge History of Western Music Theory...it's gone missing. Not an encouraging answer, but it's their first day of class, too.
~ In an effort to get anything done this afternoon, I called the Ministry of Transportation, which is actually a fancy name for the BMV. We have to prove that our car is environmentally sound and will not explode, in order to get Ontario plates. People who work at the Ministry seem a lot more competent than people at the Indiana BMVs that I've been to.
~ I have figured out the bus schedule well enough to get to school and get home on time. Success!
~ There are 5 girls and only 1 dude in my History of Theory class. What a weird number of girl theorists! I've been told there are more girls than guys in the theory program here, but I've had trouble believing it until now. Just a little context: the Society for Music Theory has a huge gender imbalance that they're trying to correct and sexism/gender issues that they also want to address. It's heartening to see girls out number guys in a doctoral theory seminar like that.
~ Just when I made a joke to a classmate about there being a Tim Horton's in literally every building I've been in on this campus, I discover one in the music building.
~ I start teaching tomorrow! I have a "tutorial" (like a discussion section) of about 25 students. I'm going to tell them what my expectations are, that they should be constructive with eachother, that I hate it when kids text during class.