Today didn’t really turn out how I expected.
I started off the day with a headache and not really feeling like starting a new piece. So instead I decided to go hit up the program’s website and start my new application. Once I had signed up to reapply, the new application was automatically populated with information from my app from 2 years ago, so that was nice. Saved me some time.
Next, I went through the app and filled in the blanks that I knew off the top of my head, and started making a list of the blanks I left blank and need to look up later. My “Official List” of things to do to get into grad school.
When I wrote down my 3 recommendation letters that I need, I started thinking of names, people that I should ask. And as I was thinking of those names, I thought, there are only 3 months before the deadline. It’s not too early to start asking for letters, it would give people plenty of time to compose and submit them. I even got so far as to write out an email to my first choice.
It hasn’t been sent yet. My anxieties got the better of me at that moment.
Here is the problem. I only get to reapply once. Once. And that’s it. If I don’t make it count this time, then I’m gonna have to start looking elsewhere for my next step. That’s not the thing that’s hanging over my head, however. Everything is going pretty well so far, and I’m pretty confident I can put a good app together.
The big thing is that I must must must get a live recording of at least one of my portfolio compositions. Preferably all three. And if they were jazz compositions, there would be no problem, because I know enough jazz people to be able to throw a band together and read some charts. I just don’t know enough classical/orchestral players to pull that off very easily.
So I’m kind of freaking out about this. Because if there’s no recording, there’s no portfolio, and if there’s no portfolio, there’s no application, and if there’s no application, there’s no grad school in which case there would be absolutely no point of asking people to write me letters.
So then I decided to go out to lunch. I had a nice lunch at Panera with my mom, and then I ended up at Lowe’s. See, the outlet that my computer is plugged into in my basement room has had this nasty tendency to stop working intermittently for no apparent reason. In fact, I discovered that during these episodes, all of the sockets on a whole wall of the room would go out. Luckily my computer is plugged into a battery which has saved me from losing any work on several occasions, but it’s still extremely annoying when the battery starts beeping and you have to quickly drop everything, save your work, shut down the computer, and then go find an extension cord to run across the room to a working socket.
So my mom had happened upon the information that in all likelihood there was just a faulty connection in one of the outlets. So at Lowe’s, I picked up a “receptacle tester” and a new power receptacle, which all together cost $5.15 with tax. Back home, it was super easy to find the problem socket. In fact I probably didn’t even need the tester, because plugging in a lamp, turning it on and jiggling the plug gave me all the information I needed.
Armed with a flashlight, a set of screwdrivers, and my trusty Leatherman, I killed the power and pulled out the old socket. Everything appeared to be connected ok, but after pulling out the wires it seemed (according to the strip guide) as though not enough of the insulation had been removed on each of them. So I stripped the wires a little more (with some difficulty… it’s been a while since I’ve worked with wires and electricity) and then shoved them into the new socket and installed it (also with some difficulty).
Moment of truth time… flipped the power back on and tested all the outlets. They worked! Hooray! So for the time being, it seems fixed, but I won’t actually know until the power doesn’t go out on me again.
The only annoying thing is that I got the wrong color outlet, so it doesn’t really match the other ones. Oh well!
After that I went and played softball and we lost. Boo.
So that was my day. I didn’t get too terribly much done on the music side, but I guess I’ve saved myself some annoying interruptions in the future if this fix works. And I’ve also identified the main source of anxiety facing me on this project. I guess it’s time to start asking around and see if I can’t happen upon some information that will help me solve my problem.
Ugh, I think about that all of the time. I certainly can’t spend the rest of my life applying to graduate school. I don’t get to do this again. If I think about it for too long I freak out, but I also think I should have a Plan B, and then maybe C…bah.