Matthew's Big Blog of Adventure!

Monday, December 25

Merry Christmas!

Christmas greetings!

Mom has kept us busy since we got home from school. It seems like it's been one nonstop open house (at other people's houses.) :) Cindy had her big Christmas party, and yesterday, we went to a formal ball in Greenwood, SC in celebration of a friend's birthday. My sister Charlotte presented a portrait of the birthday girl which she had painted for an art project this semester.

JB singing at the Christmas Lights concertThe end of the semester was really busy too with all the Fine Arts programs, Christmas Lights concert, and preparations for Handel's Messiah and the obligatory Ron Hamilton cantata. This year's Christmas lights concert was really cold! The concert two years ago, people were sweltering!

When I arrived home, my boxes from Wyoming were waiting for me in the foyer. I've been reunioning with my lost books and CDs for the past couple days now. This summer I bought about 30 books at different book stores in Logan, UT. My uncle and aunt have a home both in Wyoming and Georgia, so they offered to bring my boxes with them when they traveled back East after Thanksgiving. Now I can enter them into my LibraryThing account!

Sadly, this semester I was only able to finish 5 extra-curricular books with all of the heavy course work. I've talked with a couple friends about getting together to informally discuss a book a month, effectively limiting our collective extra reading to three books in a semester, and giving us an excuse to get together. Here are some more fine arts photos from some of the gang:

Christmas Banquet Christmas sister Late and no chocolate.

Charlotte and I attended a number of Fine Arts series together. Sadly, she couldn't join Dad and me for the cantata since she's in Symphonic Choir.

Christmas girlsThe Senior rooftop banquet had to be rescheduled twice due to bad weather! The dinner was different than I expected, but it was nice to spend time with old friends and see the Crowne Centre from an unusual angle. I've wanted to step out onto that roof ever since I started taking piano lessons on the 6th floor 5 years ago. :)

Just one more semester! I'm taking the GRE January 2nd and am studying most intently on the two writing sections. I've looked in every bookstore in Augusta for a Computer Science subject test prep book with no success. It would be nice to get that out of the way before interterm classes begin, since I already have a couple different things I'm working on right now.

Senior Rooftop Banquet Rooftop banquet

There's a backlog of photos from this semester that I'll try to post gradually during the break as they become somewhat topical. In the meantime, has a list of Night Before Christmas parodies that are sure to bring some cheer.

Wednesday, December 20

Back Home with my Organ Shoes

Hey guys!

Practice room organThis semester was great! Even though it was the toughest one yet, I felt the most confident during finals than I ever have. Organ was, of course, wonderful. Next semester I plan to take the second semester of private, half hour lessons. Tomorrow, in the midst of Christmas shopping, I plan to stop at the church and practice for a little while, and then dicker around with one of the old pianos. Piano Tuning and Repair class gave a lot of useful information that I think will help me get some of the old pianos in the fellowship hall and nursery sounding better.

Someone left a comment asking what organ shoes are. Organ shoes are like dress shoes. They are made of a thin leather and are designed to fit on top of the B and C pedals in the big space between the black keys. My normal dress shoes are way too wide for that. This spot in the pedalboard gives the organist a "handy" reference that he can use to find any note on the pedalboard by touch. (When you're in the middle of a piece, the last thing you want to have to do is look down at your feet!) My organ shoes also have a soft felt bottom. I think this is both to achieve a good level of traction and also to avoid scuffing the pedals.

Organ ShoesOrgan shoes have felt on the bottoms

It's really hard to walk around in these shoes! The girls taking organ say that high heels are worse and I don't know what I'm talking about. In any case, you wouldn't want to wear your organ shoes around too much away from the organ because they'd get dirty and damaged very quickly.

Labels: , ,