Tuesday, April 29, 2008

An email to my dad while on tour...

  That would be awesome!  I'm sorry it's taken so long for me to get anything out to you - since I don't have my computer here and the internet isn't free very often, it's difficult to check my email.  This is actually the first time since Sunday.  Your plan's better than the one I've thought of, and since I don't need a car I say go for it!
  Tour is going very well so far.  This morning I started an exercise regiment consisting of little exercises (push-ups, sit-ups, back exercises, shoulder ones, etc.) that I will vary day by day.  Tour is a terrific way of gaining a good 10 pounds or so, eating copious amounts of food that is so willingly given by members and host families.  I also bought an Aerobie frisbee and played my heart out today a few times.  The result: I am now sore, and can feel the deep soreness coming on.  I will most likely be comatose in the morning.  Other than that, things are going terrificly!
  I'll try to keep things updated more!  Tell mom and the girls that I (we with Anthony) love them and can't wait to see them on the 10th!

Ben  ;-)

On Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 5:38 PM, Greg Gardner <gggardner@gmail.com> wrote:
It is actually cheaper to fly roundtrip DFW to Tallahassee on Saturday the 14th then fly one way to SLC on Tuesday the 17th. This would save about $150 and have you visit home for 3 days. If you don't need a vehicle there, this is the best way. A vehicle would probably mean taking the Suburban as it would be very difficult to get rid of or trade for a smaller vehicle.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Book tag and movie quote exhibition!

Following my sister's example, I have decided to relax a little in my postings and "reply" to a game that she tagged me with. Here's the deal: you have to grab the book nearest to you, open up to page 123, find and post the 5th sentence, then tag 5 people. I can tell you right now that I don't know enough bloggers to tag 5 people without exhausting my blogging contacts. So I'll skimp on that one. And then you put down a movie quote and see if anyone can pin it down. It might seem a little dumb, but it's pretty fun!

Here's my book tag. Alas, it's pretty lame:
Toward the end of the sixteenth century, the diamond-shaped notes of Renaissance notation changed to the round note-heads we use now, and ligatures fell out of use.
-Burkholder, A History of Western Music

And my movie quote!
He was always a rather stupidly optimistic man. I'm afraid it came as a great shock to him when he died.

Guess it right and win a prize!! ...Not really. But the imagination is always better than reality, right?

Okeedokee, I tag Alex, Becca, and Amy. Let's see if they do it. Good luck!

And by the way, here's an exceptionally good comic Dani showed me today. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

It's been a little while

So my last post was apparently on April 6, roughly two weeks ago. Dang. I need to get better at keeping this thing.

The biggest news that has come about in the last two weeks: I GOT ACCEPTED TO THE FSU SUMMER LAW PROGRAM!!! I just got the email on Thursday letting me know about it! I am so excited! In case you have forgotten (or I didn't mention it earlier), this program is 4 weeks long at Florida State University - and everything is paid for except for my flight to Tallahassee. How cool is that?! And even cooler, although it is a bit of bragging, only 60 students were selected out of a pool of over 500 applicants. It makes me so happy that I can achieve something like this! :-)

I also emailed the WINS program and the USCIS to inform them of my decision to pull out of my internship for this summer. It took me quite a while to do it, but I eventually (finally) sent them the message yesterday. The WINS Administrative Assistant, Liz Litchfield (an incredibly nice woman), wrote me back within half an hour and graciously wished me the best of luck during the summer and invited me to consider WINS again in the future. My internship sponsor from the USCIS has yet to responded, if ever, to the notification. Hmmm.

I only have a couple more things to do to cement my summer into place: first, I need to formally apply to the Crittenden Opera Studio Workshop and send in my audition recordings by May 4; I need to send in my Notice of Intent to the FSU Summer for Undergraduates by May 2; and I need to buy my plane tickets for both of the programs.

I also wanted to stay behind and work at the library when I won't be in FL or DC, but upon plotting my summer excursions on paper I realized that I will only have 3 weeks or less to work during the months of June and July, and heaven knows what our family might do during the month of August. So now I'm going to have to speak to my boss about letting me work for only a few weeks - maybe 5? - during the whole summer. I don't know how he'll take it, but it's worth a shot.

As for school right now, we are smack-dab in the middle of finals! I have two more left: a take home final for Supervised Teaching (Music 472), and a final in two parts for my last ever Music History/Literature class (Music 304). Then all I'm going to have to worry about is our concert for BYU Singers the night of Commencement and our tour only three days later. This summer is going to be TERRIFIC. :-D

Sunday, April 06, 2008

This Weekend

For those who might not know, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gather together twice a year to listen to our General Authorities speak to the entire Church as a whole. The Conference is broadcast in 92 languages to who knows how many different countries. Living in Provo gives us the opportunity to go to Salt Lake and attend a session or two in person. Like my last post stated, the BYU auditioned choirs sang in the Saturday Afternoon Session, one of the five sessions of General Conference. This year I was blessed to be able to attend three of the five sessions in Salt Lake, two of which were in the Conference Center.

I always forget how big the Conference Center is! It's huge!! I got to see it from two different views during this General Conference: once from the choir loft (behind the pulpit), and one from the balcony. Both views make you feel like you're really looking at a picture, or a big IMAX screen, but certainly not a huge open building. This room seats over 21,000 people! Incredible.

I didn't really have a chance to rest this weekend like I wanted to. In order to sing at the Saturday Afternoon Session you have to be inside the Conference Center before the previous session ends (and the sessions are spaced 2 hours apart). We wanted to see as much of the Morning Session as possible - therefore, we left Provo a little after 7 o'clock in the morning to be able to park and watch the Saturday Morning Session in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. It worked and we were able to see almost the entire session.

This morning, once again, we were gone a bit after 7 AM in order to park and be at the Conference Center to attend the Sunday Morning Session in the Conference Center. What made today more difficult was the fact that we had to bring our food with us instead of buying it in Salt Lake, since members of the Church do not shop on Sundays (since that requires other people to work on the Sabbath). But it worked out great! The Morning Session was beautiful - although I did have an impromptu singing competition with a guy sitting next to me (don't worry, I won) - and we had a picnic in the car in between sessions. And it was a good picnic, too. We ended up driving back during the Afternoon Session while listening to it on the radio and finishing it at the apartment. Not too shabby.

I also received all of my welcome information from the WINS Internship Program yesterday, the Native American program that arranged my internship for this summer...that I have not yet turned down. Now that my summer is beginning to look more concrete with the grant for Crittenden, I'm going to need to write both the WINS program and my internship sponsor and let them know that I won't be able to attend this summer.

...However, this is one of those things that you know you have to do but do not want to have to do it. You know? I made a commitment before, but now things have changed enough that this internship will not do much good for me either for music or for law. Grrr. I'm just going to have to put my nose to the grindstone and get it done.

Anyway, that's about it. Nothing too exciting, but it's still an update with my life. Well, at least my weekend.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Oscarson Discovery Grant!

I got the grant! This is the grant that I applied for to help pay for the Crittenden Opera Workshop, and I was informed yesterday by email that I received it! Woo-hoo! This means that all I'll have to come up with is a measly $300 and the rest should be set.

I would certainly write more (and expound upon the joy that fills my breast), but I have to get ready to leave momentarily for the Conference Center. The BYU auditioned choirs are singing in the Saturday Afternoon Session of General Conference. That means that we have to be up there and ready to practice by the time the Morning Session is finished.

I got money!!! :-D