THE FUTURE is here… and it’s in all caps

I’ve never really had much change in my life. My family has lived in the same house since I was four, and I’ve had the same close group of friends in my hometown since middle school. Even after getting to college, I pretty quickly got into a routine of classes, activities, work, and friends, and none of those things have changed very much in my time here. Even my friend groups haven’t changed that much.

And personally I’m fine with all this. I thrive with routine. And I can deal decently with change… but it usually entails some amount of stress and insomnia and existential crises about my life. Which is why the first few weeks of this summer have been so completely and utterly terrifying.

This has been my first time staying in Tacoma during the summer; I usually go home to soak up time with my family, but now I’m taking a summer class so I can graduate a little early and save some money. And since the moment I made the decision to graduate early, all of the change and stress and terrifying notions of THE FUTURE have been crashing down on me nonstop.

It’s hard to believe that less than three weeks ago, I was still wrapping up finals for my general workload of four classes, still singing with my choir, still working my campus job in the sub, still spending most of my waking life with my best friends. Most of my friends have now scampered off to their various corners of the country, and many of them have graduated, transferred, or will be studying abroad next semester… while I am left here, trying to deal with all the changes:

  1. Wrestling with the fact that most of my best friends are gone and won’t be around next semester,
  2. Starting two new jobs (one with campus facilities and another petsitting for three adorable corgis),
  3. Starting a new psych class, which involves fun things like looking at real human brains,
  4. Moving out of the house I’ve lived in for the past two years (jeez, has it been that long?) and moving in to a shiny new apartment with my roommate,
  5. and oh yeah, preparing to study abroad in July. There’s that.

I have to say, moving has been a really weird process. For one thing, while packing up my room I’ve discovered that apparently I like to buy packs of gum, chew half the gum inside, then forget the rest, buy another pack, and repeat the process. This is something I didn’t know about myself, but it does seem like something I would do.

For another thing, though… Living in the same house as always but not going about my usual lifestyle (class, choir, work, friends), it’s been weird. I think I’m pretty much ready to move out, so I won’t be in this weird in-between place anymore, but it’s terrifying at the same time. My lease ends tomorrow, and I’ll be sort of officially entering my new life as a UPS senior. THE FUTURE is here. And it’s probably looking pretty bright, but I can’t really tell, I’m too busy freaking out and walking dogs.



Hope to see more blog posts here over the summer!

Daniel Wolfert Snapshot #15: Sophomore Farewell

In which all is revealed.

To my dear reader,

                  Here we are, at the end of this stretch of the road, and where should I be writing this but a Starbucks?  True, it is a Starbucks in Raleigh, North Carolina, and the air is thick and bright with the lazy Southern sun rather than the cool Northwestern one, but a Starbucks it is nonetheless.  This is, in truth, one of the things I love about Starbucks; although it is by no means my favorite coffee shop, I cannot help but feel at home there.  My mother has been going there with me for as long as I can remember.  The patterns on the walls are always the same, the green tea lattes always bittersweet, the music mild, and the view from the chairs by the window good enough.  It feels almost as if Starbucks has always existed, since before the beginning of the universe, simply waiting until the Big Bang to nestle itself beside supermarkets and along busy streets, and Starbucks will be here long after we are all gone.  When the universe is cold and empty, Starbucks will remain.

            So sit here I shall, with an iced, 12 ounce green tea latte to my left, and write my Sophomore Farewell.  As so much of my life revolves around music, I shall close my little career as a sophomore music major with three songs I have selected to describe it.  This is a tradition I began last year, with my best friend Spencer Orbegozo (Foothills Community College, ’16), wherein each year we select three songs to describe the school year.  We then proceed to explain our selections to one another as we drive along the California highway, and belt them out the windows to the chagrin of everyone nearby.

All three of my selections are by my favorite pop artist (alongside Ke$ha and Katy Perry), Sara Bareilles, and come from her most recent album The Blessed Unrest.  In another life, I would have chosen something profound and pretentious, such as a piece from my classical repertoire or a symphonic poem, but that is not this life.  Regardless, when this album first came out in the summer of 2013, I was rather disappointed.  I felt that it was overproduced, somewhat messy in its construction, and lacking in colorful variation.  But I downloaded it anyway, out of a sort of fan loyalty to my favorite singer-songwriter, and listened to it somewhat begrudgingly.  The year began, and despite my initial reaction to the album, it began to become bizarrely relevant to my life, acting as an unexpected musical narration to the unending struggles of a sophomore music major.  Please note that I am joking; in no way do I truly have any struggles.

The first song was “Parking Lot”, which initially caught my attention because of its sassy lyrics and use of repeated melodic ideas in the instruments alongside layered vocals in antiphony (call and response).  My freshman year had been, admittedly, somewhat unpleasant, primarily because I felt as if I had not found my home or niche within the school, and had not really been able to throw myself into my major or any activities.  Determined to take control over my life (silly me), I joined my a cappella group Underground Sound during the spring of 2013, joined my fraternity Beta Theta Pi in the fall, and secured both the position of Director of Sustainability for the Residential Student Association Executive Board and my current position as a Logger Blogger.  I was done, I told the universe, with apathy and disappointment; I would seize my sophomore year by the horns and make it my steed.  The universe laughed derisively and leaned back in its chair.

Sara Bareilles’ “Parking Lot”:

            The second song was “December”, the closing track of the album and a throwback to Sara Bareilles’ earlier, more acoustic and introspective albums.  At first, it seemed to me a strange track to close such a full-voiced album that had opened with the anthemic “Brave”, but as the fall of 2013 trudged alone, bringing with it colder weather and the apathy of the sophomore slump, I began to see why.  Despite my gung-ho attitude, my determination and my furious drive to make sophomore year different from freshman year, I still was unhappy.  Classes were harder, my a cappella group was struggling, and my work with Residential Life was rather unfulfilling.  The semester drew to a close and I left the chilly grew of Tacoma behind for the cold, barren stillness of a North Carolina winter.  Like the pretentious, introspective loner that I am (again I joke, I am quite sociable to my knowledge), I would wander through the woods with my dog at my side, alternating between listening to The Blessed Unrest, the film score of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II, and the film score of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.  I felt, at the end of the winter break, that the album was rather like a meditation on change: after the initial burning desire to make the world around you different, the act of doing it becomes something more personal and purposeful, just as the album slowly unwound from anthemic to pensive.  I was unhappy because I was holding myself to the same standards and aspirations as I had held arriving in college, but I was becoming a different person and my standards and aspirations needed to change accordingly.  I walked in the woods and the universe watched, its head tilted to one side like a curious child.

Sara Bareilles’ “December”:

            The third and final song is not, technically, on The Blessed Unrest, but I’ll just throw it in the mix anyway.  It is “I Just Want You”, and in truth, I have never heard a song that so precisely describes my life.  Life is long and difficult, and not really in the way that movies and books might have one believe – as I’m sure you know.  It is boring, often colorless, lacking in adventure and ripe with degradation, but more than anything, it is disappointing.  Society demands so much of each and every person in all sorts of cruel ways; outstanding GPAs of its students, manicured beauty of its women, insensitive hardness of its men, continuous success of its adults, and always a balance of being intelligent, hardworking, driven, socially conscious, magnanimous, infallible – the list goes on for all of eternity.  You can ask the universe for all those things, but at the end of the day, this song says, the most important things are doing something you love, being around people you love and holding an unwavering belief in a better future.  I became much happier when I stopped asking myself how much I was fulfilling the universe’s expectation of me and instead asking myself if I was happy with myself.  Here endeth the sermon; praise be unto Ron Thom and Segawa be with you.

Sara Bareilles’ “I Just Want You”:

            I only have a few more sips of my latte left now, and the afternoon is drawing to a close.  What an adventure it has been!  There were dinners with millionaires, some very poor dancing, a few injuries and a rather enormous amount of coffee.  I dreamt that geometric shapes were plotting my murder and had an emotional breakdown in a Lakewood parking lot, got my driver’s license, passed my sophomore music proficiency exam and found out that my spirit superhero is Spiderman.  And still, there are theaters to work for, music composition programs to attend, fraternity conferences to journey toward… the adventure never ends.

It is possible that I will be writing more posts over the summer, and hopefully I will be doing so next year, but either way, if you’ve read even just this one post, thank you.  I don’t know if ANYONE reads these!  Maybe I’m paid to meditate on my own life.  I’d be down.  In the meantime, if you truly miss my babbling rhetoric, then please peruse my new music blog, Dwolfmusic, at, wherein I ramble about music composition a little everyday, share some of my own music and generally be silly.

Farewell from me and my coffee.

Farewell from me and my coffee.

It’s been real, it’s been fun, it’s been real fun.  Make good choices!  Eat your vegetables!  Look both ways before crossing the street!  And may Ron Thom’s promise of home be ever in your heart.

With all due respect,

Daniel Wolfert

Visiting Santiago: Art and Peace

This has been a month of Santiago.  I’ve already been three times and intend to go a fourth before we head into June (yes time flies, no I don’t want to put a number on the amount of time I have left).  Twice were airport trips, to pick up and then drop off my boyfriend Brandon who just finished his study abroad in India.  The other was a class field trip, on which Brandon got to come along.  It was for my CIEE class, which is a history, film and literature course about Valparaíso.  Since we have talked a bit about Pablo Neruda, the iconic poet with a great affinity for Valparaíso’s ocean and way of life, we went to visit La Chascona, a home he built for his lover and future wife, Matilde Urrutia.  In the afternoon we visited the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, devoted to the 1973 coup d’etat and subsequent dictatorship under General Pinochet.

There is a lot of background knowledge about Chilean history that I have picked up in my classes and just by living here, and so that combined with the language barrier made me into a sort of interpreter for Brandon.  We were visiting Neruda’s house because he was not just a poet, he was an activist and politician whose life was tied closely to the history of the country and whose death followed less than a month after the coup.  We learned that his funeral turned into the first protest against the new regime, and we learned more about the Winnipeg, a boat in which Neruda helped transport 2,200 Spanish refugees from France to Valparaíso.

Neruda was communist, but regardless of one’s political leaning, his outlook on poetry as an “act of peace” can inspire us all.  Poetry, and other forms of art, are dangerous to dictators and are frequently the first things to be suppressed, censored, and burned.  Especially during the first part of Pinochet’s dictatorship, the country saw the assassination, kidnapping, and exile of some of its most famous artists and musicians.  Discussions of art and politics are frequently inseparable.  To me, this is an expression of the importance of artists, whether or not their work is political.  We should never take our artists for granted, nor our own ability and freedom to create art.

The Ramona Parra Brigade is a group of Chilean muralists who were forced underground with the beginning of Pinochet’s rule.  As the began to paint once more, their slogan was “Contra la dictadura pintaremos hasta el cielo!” or, “We’ll paint against the dictatorship until we reach heaven!”  It’s a sentiment that makes me want to pick up a paintbrush.

Sooo. Thesis, am I right?

I think, a full two weeks after turning it in, I’m finally prepared to say it–or at least type it: I wrote a thesis.

Nope. It still doesn’t feel real.

I haven’t really had time to slow down and appreciate that the thesis actually happened since the second I handed it in; now that I think about it, I couldn’t even appreciate all the work I was doing while I was toiling over it. But now, scrolling back through that 30-page document, that culmination of all the stress and joy I’ve been through this past semester… It’s very gratifying to just look at that paper and go, Yeah, that was me. I WROTE that. 

A lot of people were surprised to find out I was writing my gender studies thesis in my junior year, since most people do it their senior year. And I guess I’ll never know if it would’ve been better to wait. What I do know, though, is that I’m so grateful I got the opportunity to write my thesis with this amazing class. My thesis classmates not only had fascinating thesis topics, they also were so supportive and kind and gave really wonderful feedback to me. And of course we also had the help of our advisor, the flawless Alison Tracy Hale, who deserves every award and vacation and pay raise and whatever other good things professors get when they’re awesome. You think I’m only saying that because this is being published publicly on the UPS blog, but trust me, I’d say it anyway. She’s that good.

So despite the actual paper not feeling real yet, I can recognize that the experience of writing this thesis with this class was an experience I’m so glad I didn’t miss. I got to work with these amazing classmates on their amazing papers. I got to workshop my thesis at a Lewis & Clark gender studies conference. I got to meet the creators of my main primary sources. I got to present my thesis to literally over a hundred students and faculty who attended our gender studies thesis presentations. Our campus body is so supportive and passionate about gender studies, and it should come as no surprise that my thesis classmates were just as supportive of each other and passionate about each other’s topics. It was a wild ride, and one I’m very glad I didn’t miss.

So basically, my thesis was about queer narratives in Internet storytelling, and how the Internet acts as a platform through which more progressive, accurate queer characters can thrive. The Internet provides a space where artists may produce queer narratives without censorship, so these representations often offer more diversity and complexity than the negative, stereotype-based queer representations that are more common in more mass-consumed fiction.

I looked a lot at how the podcast Welcome to Night Vale and the webcomic The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal represent their queer main characters, and how those representations and storytelling forms influence both queer and non-queer audiences alike. These interactive storytelling platforms allow queer audiences to participate in creating their own narratives, and also work to establish supportive communities online, which is particularly important for queer youth. Plus through certain storytelling forms and narratives, non-queer audiences may even be able to relate to queer characters. (Crazy concept, I know.) This may give non-queer audiences more depth to their understandings of queer experiences.

Both of my main primary sources focus on interracial relationships between cisgender men, but there are a variety of Internet stories that feature queer women and trans* people. I just chose to look at these two similar narratives to more closely examine the storytelling form and the influence of the Internet as a platform on these representations and their reception. I guess if you’re interested in reading the whole paper, the finalized version is here, I put it on google docs so my family could read it… but be warned, it’s a looong read. As amazing as the experience of writing it was… it’s even more amazing to have it just be done. 

Daniel Wolfert Snapshot #14: The Finals Days Upon Us

            In which Daniel recalls the last days of sophomore year in a kaleidoscope of moments.

           Perhaps the word “snapshot” is an inaccurate description of this blog post, because rather than describe a single moment or emotional state I’ve experienced, I will instead present a series of fractured feelings and actions that I recall.  It was, after all, in this way that I closed my second year of college: confused, panicked, and chaotic. It was pretty awesome.


            I am lying upon the floor in the lobby of Schneebeck Concert Hall, three of my classmates from Music 231: Classical to Romantic Eras sprawled in various places around me.  Music history textbooks are strewn across the floor, hindering the progress of young music students as they attempt to get into the music building through the lobby.  In preparation for the long night of studying for the incomprehensible monster that is our final, I have brought snacks.  Many snacks.  But it is not so much the number of snacks that I have brought that impresses my peers, so much as the quantity.  It is remarkable what 64 fluid ounces of Boathouse Chai Tea can get you through.


            With only minutes to spare, I glare angrily at my very last Music Theory final, wondering how on earth the atonal twelve-tone rows before me are related.  Surely they must be, and I am just not seeing the connection?  But aha!  I see now how the lines are inverses, and with only a minute to spare, I scribble down answers that were most likely (hopefully correct).  Inverse of 8!  Retrograde Inverse of 10!  Retrograde of 3!…?  Close enough!  And with that, I turn in my last music theory test of college.


            Three people remain in the last few minutes of the Music History final: Kelton Mock, Minna Stelzner, and me.  Yes!  I think to myself, I remain writing in my test alongside the two students that are most likely to ACTUALLY know what they’re saying!  And this time, I am not the last person writing in my test booklet because I am taking time making up answers, but instead the last person writing because I have so much to say.  Who knows their music history?  This kid.


            “Hold on, please”, Dr.Padula – head of the School of Music’s vocal department – calls as I preemptively attempt to leave the stage of Kilowrth Chapel after only the second song of my jury (the school’s singing final).  “We’d like to request a third song”.  What?  I panic as I smile and step back to into place in front of the piano.  “Donizetti’s Me Voglio Fa’na Casa, please”.  Somehow, I glide through the song in a vague daze of exhaustion and panic, and all is going well until I reach a line that I’ve forgotten.  Damn, I think, I was so close, and I rapidly begin synthesizing Italian from the verses I’ve already sung, until my pianist comes to an awkward halt in confusion.  There is a slight pause, and I leap right to the closing section of the song, barreling through rather inelegantly until I reach the end.  Whoops.


            A small group of the brothers of my fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, are throwing a Frisbee on a lawn by a beach at Point Defiance.  One of us grills homemade hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken-apple sausages, the scent of it ashy and savory. We talk about nothing in particular as we play, and while I liked them all before anyway, I am certain that I belong there because we are all very bad at Frisbee.


            I received an A- on my jury!  How did that happen?


            Despite all the boredom, pain and suffering that Aural Skills has necessitated, I cannot deny the perfect, precise beauty of my completed final as I analyze the final chord of my harmonic dictation and officially complete sophomore year.  It was a good thing, really, to have taken this class… even if it required three separate tests for each unit, and the completion of an ear training computer program named MacGamut that may or may not be evil incarnate.  How wonderful that I can hear music and understand its harmonic language; how useful all that piano practice was.  But then again, these sorts of things always look better in hindsight.


            Worn out from a strenuous evening of packing my room up, but determined to seize one last opportunity for socializing before I leave campus, I prepare to head over to a friend’s house at midnight.  “You better take the dessert food”, my only remaining housemate instructs.  “We’ve still got a third of an apple pie and that enormous container of vanilla ice cream”.  “Do we have paper plates and utensils?” I ask, and she opens her nearly empty cupboard in the kitchen to pull out a box of paper plates, forks and spoons.  “I looked at these about an hour ago and said, ‘I’m going to need these later for some reason’, and this must be the reason”.  With great delicacy, I stack the paper plates and utensils on top of the pie, and fit that pie into the ice cream container – which is so enormous, the pie fits.  “Oh my god, that is so perfect,” Rosa exclaims, “I need to instagram this right now”.  I grin as we both take a picture of this perfect little moment.  College is, in fact, the best.


            One blog post remains before I am, at last, finished blogging for this semester, but before I write that final farewell, let me say this: that apple pie was absolutely delicious.

The Making of Imbue for iOS and Android

The Puget Sound computer science capstone class is a relatively recent addition to Puget Sound’s curriculum. The capstone class involves completing a semester-long development or research project. I just finished taking the class, and my group released an app for iPhone and Android called, “Imbue,” available here:

1 2

Working on this project was hands down the best development experience I’ve had to date. I’ve developed my own software before and released a few apps, but working with this group was inspiring. It led to numerous new ideas, and working in a group made development extremely fast.

The basic premise of our app is that integrates Augmented Reality technology into existing mapping tools, like Google Maps and social media. Augmented reality basically involves augmenting one’s view of the world with additional data and information. It often takes the form of overlaying information on top of a camera’s view of the surroundings, like this:



We initially set out to design a similar app that would help facilitate campus tours for the University of Puget Sound. We provided these overlays for all the buildings, designed an interactive map to visualize campus, and also integrated the app with Facebook to find events happening on campus for visitors.

We realized a couple of months into the project that, in doing this, we had also built the framework for a much larger app. By simply adding data from points of interest databases and fine-tuning our Facebook integration, we were able to very quickly provide augmented reality views for any building or event in the world.

We also added features for identifying your current location on a map to Facebook friends. While testing the app, I was able to find out where a couple of my group members were working and go join them to work on the app.

Shortly after, a couple of our features got nabbed. Facebook rolled out the “nearby friends” feature, while Google released a similar interactive map view. But the core functionality – displaying augmented reality views of buildings and events anywhere in the world – remains unique to this app.

Plus, we designed our own lightweight augmented reality system in one semester that runs quickly and works anywhere. As far as I know, there are very few similar augmented reality systems available for smartphones.

So thank you to a great group – it was a pleasure to spend so many late nights working away in the computer lab. I was extremely lucky to work on a senior capstone project in my junior year. More than anything, this project’s rekindled my inspiration for development and software entrepreneurship.

So thanks, team Imbue!

Here is where I dance and run

In my “Conversational Spanish and Chilean Culture” class we just started a unit on contemporary Chilean music, which essentially means that going out to concerts counts as homework (at least according to me).  I went to two concerts in the past week – LaSmala, a band composed of members from Chile, Spain, Brazil, and other countries with a very lively and fun sound, and then a concert at the Municipal Theater in Valparaíso that was raising money for the rebuilding efforts for the fire.  I got there a little late and missed the first band’s set, but watched Dënver play from the upper balcony and then managed to get let in to the downstairs portion so that we could dance in front of the stage for Los Ases Falsos and Astro.  Five bucks for three good bands, an array of funky cartoons and videos they played between the sets, contributing to a good cause, and seeing some of the music that we discuss in class performed live.

Examples, if you want to hear what a couple Chilean songs sound like: and  Warning: that second one is liable to get stuck in your head.

Along with dancing, I’ve been trying to incorporate a bit more physical activity into my days.  There are many streets in my neighborhood that I have never had any particular reason to walk down, and so now I am exploring them on my runs.  These runs have taken me to rundown houses with broken car motors in the front yard and loud, territorial stray dogs to faded large houses with walled gardens and surprisingly small, yappy strays.  The hills around here can be brutal, but most of the streets have very little car traffic and the weather is perfect right now, with overcast days slowly taking over for sunny ones.  I love how with runs, the purpose is rarely to get to a destination the most direct way; it is to get there the longer and more interesting way.  So far I have never ended up getting to where I planned to go, and that’s been just fine.

Daniel Wolfert Snapshot #13: You’ll Never Get Back

In which delightfully wicked fun is found at the final Senior Thesis Festival play.

If I were to select one major achievement that I am proud that I’ve done this year, a prime candidate would most certainly be my musical contributions to the last play in the Senior Thesis Festival, entitled The Skriker.  Written in the 1990’s by Caryl Churchill, The Skriker is the tale of the eponymous, shape-shifting fairy that is intent on destroying the world of humans – and in particular, the lives of two teenage mothers named Lily and Josie – in revenge for the destruction that humanity has caused the natural world she rules.  Filled with fragmented fairy tongue and sinister wordplay, the show is a rollercoaster of mythological beasts and social commentary, and when Sarah McKinley, the senior directing this production, approached me about writing music for the show, I was immediately drawn to the script’s distinctive writing.  The incidental music – meaning the music that would play between scenes and would otherwise accompany the show without being the primary focus – and the single song that would occur in the Skriker’s Underworld would, therefore, need to be just as seemingly circuitous and illogical, yet purposefully atmospheric and structured on its own unorthodox terms.

This is where studying atonal music in Music Theory IV and Music History II: The Classical to the Romantic Periods came in unexpectedly handy.  Pioneered and brought into the public sphere in the late 19th century by Post-Romantic-era composers such as Arnold Schoenberg, atonal music has no pitch center that the music leads to, and thus, no musical goal of the sort that European audiences are so accustomed to.  As atonal composers of the 19th and 20th centuries toyed with this unpopular concept, a new form of structuring this music arose and was entitled “twelve-tone theory” due to its primary tenant: all twelve of the kinds of pitches in the Western chromatic scale must be used by a musical line before any can be repeated.  Through this system, new forms of clarity and purpose and arose in atonal music so as to create focus in the music’s creation, just as the many monologues that the Skriker has in the play are seemingly pointless but hold a unique sort of clarity.

Although I did not employ atonality or twelve-tone technique directly while writing for the Skriker, learning about this sort of order-from-chaos thinking became progressively clearer to me. Of particular use was the melodrama “Pierrot Lunaire”, a song cycle written by Schoenberg in 1912 and performed by the sole vocalist in the “Sprechstimme” style in vogue at the time of its genesis.  While often seen at first glance as exhaustingly chaotic, this song cycle’s construction is by no means frivolous.  Each poem is of the same type of poetic structure (a rondel), which entails lines of importance repeating themselves in each song, and despite the modern use of atonality, a great number of the songs are in a popular form from the Baroque period, such as a fugue or rondo.  The numbers three, seven and thirteen are repeatedly given importance, with the song cycle encompassing 21 songs (the product of seven and three), each poem containing 13 lines, and a great many songs using seven-note motifs, among other techniques used to give numbers significance.  A link to a full performance of this song cycle can be found here:

With all of this in mind, I wrote something that, to my ears that were still unaccustomed to this music, sounded awkward and uncertain, but as I continued, I could not help but begin to enjoy it.  There is something liberating about not needing to account for every aspect of a harmonic and melodic action, and instead making something that can twist in a snake-like manner through number and the mathematical structure of music composition.  But credit must be given where due: Sarah MicKinley, her cast and her crew – in particular, clarinetist Daniel Peterschmidt – brought my newborn quasi-atonal music to brilliant life.  I am most proud of my musical contributions to the Skriker not because I think that my music in and of itself was remarkable, but rather because I contributed to something remarkable alongside some very talented people.  You’d better watch out, Theater Department; I’ve gotten a taste, and there’s no stopping me now.

And just in case, dear reader, you too desire a taste, here’s a MIDI file of some of my incidental music to quench your thirst for The Skriker:

1) Into the Underworld MIDI

2) Into the Underworld PDF

This is the song sung by the Skriker’s monstrous minions when Josie, one of the protagonists, is stolen away to the Underworld to feed the Skriker’s power.  Written for solo Bb clarinet and unison voices, with voices played by cello in this MIDI file.

Until next time, dear reader, and perhaps you’d best check under the bed for monsters tonight.  Who knows what is lurking in the darkness…


crew n. a team rowing together in a racing shell

When I came to Puget Sound I thought I knew what “girl” I wanted to re-make myself into, since you know it’s college, but that vision I had is not who I am today and I’m glad. I didn’t think I would end up joining a varsity sport in college, I mean I barely even played sports in high school (Marching band is kinda technically a sport, okay?) I don’t know what I was thinking going to a Crew interest meeting, but if I had any doubts, their promotional video sold me (yay Etan!!). And then learning to row/cox with the rest of the girls was amazing (shoutout to Betsy!!), I quickly became amazing friends with Becky & McKenna! Because crew isn’t a common high school sport, there is a novice/JV level of competition that we participated in during the fall season.

Then spring came, and although I initially worked with the novice women still, an opportunity opened up and I got moved up to the men’s varsity team as their second coxswain. It was a huge shock, despite the men’s and women’s team practicing at the same boathouse, I didn’t actually know the guys well. They were all big, strong guys with set ways about their practices. But it was an amazing opportunity and as they say, from amazing opportunities coming amazing success. I took every practice day by day, learning their workout plans, working with the coach, Allison who was so patient, helping me get used to the team. Day by day I learned more, became more comfortable and got to know the guys outside of practices. Our very first regatta, a scrimmage, I panicked really badly, but the guys stuck with me, keeping me focused and part of that team atmosphere  on race days. Each subsequent regatta was so much more amazing, more laughs, more wins, more of our hard work being put to the test. It was always about being better than the day before, reaching for that height of teamwork, hard work and trust on the water.

I think I now know what crew is, it’s much more than that definition at the top, it’s indescribable. I haven’t met and I doubt I will many another group of hard-working, team, derpy, fun, strong people. It hasn’t even been a week and I’m having crew withdrawals. The intense fitness, early hours, long bus rides and music loving nature of crew has led us to many good times and many times where our team has been there to pick us up. Thanks 2014 Crew Season for being amazing, I can’t wait until next year!

Team Photo