Daniel Wolfert Snapshot #8: Another Day of Living the Dream

In which Daniel realizes that counting is hard, and explains a day in the life of a Logger.

I have often made the joke, whilst among peers commenting on the difficulty of my music major, that it can’t be so hard considering the fact that I am not forced to count past four.  Unbeknownst to me, however, seven was in fact my limit, as has been demonstrated by the way that I skipped over eight while numbering these posts.  And so I thought to myself, whatever shall I do to fill in this little gap in my number posts?  It then occurred to me that, at this time, plenty of anxious students have just accepted their offers to attend this school, and they alongside their parents may in fact be the ones reading this post.  So, to assure that you’ve made the right decision and that the school will not, in fact kill you, I will now present an average day in the life of a Logger – specifically, me.  There is, of course, no typical day with respect to the fact that every day of the week is different, but a general overview would be something of this nature:

1) Grab Snacks, Skip Breakfast – As irked as I am to say this, I have too fallen victim to the terrible college habit of going straight to class without eating breakfast.  Some days – particularly my Wednesdays, wherein I have class straight from 10 AM to 5 PM – I will have no real meal until dinner, and thus will fill my backpack with all manner of goodies.  Protein and carbohydrates are usually my priorities, so one can often find a combination of oats, strawberries, bread and cookies in my backpack, and a cup of green tea in my hand.  New students, I highly encourage you to make time to eat your breakfast somewhere in your morning – you deserve it.

2) All the Music – The morning and early afternoon are a sort of blurred rollercoaster of music classes, ranging from Music 231 (Historical Survey of the Classical Period to Late Romanticism) to Music 291 (Advanced Choral Conducting Rehearsal Techniques).  The interesting thing about taking so many classes deeply involved in a single department is that one begins to see how interconnected they are.  In particular, my choral conducting class connects on many levels to my other classes with respect to how those classes are taught.  Analysis of form and harmonic structure are used both before conducting a new piece and when studying theoretical developments in Music 204 (Music Theory IV) ; rules of teaching sight-singing are applied in coachings by the conducting professor and by the professor teaching ear training in Music 202 (Aural Skills).  I have Adelphians Concert Choir every day of the week, but depending on the day of the week, I may have a voice lesson with Dr. Michael Delos, or otherwise have a studio class wherein students practice the performances of personal repertoire in front of one another and give critique (as I did just yesterday in Vocal Performance Class, which you can watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZNeDPXSUnU&feature=youtu.be)

3) Nibblies – Hopefully, a break in my schedule will allow me to sit down for a real meal in one of the school’s three eating facilities: the SUB (Student Union Building), which is the school’s cafeteria, Diversions, which is the student-run café next door, or Oppenheimer, which is a student run café in the middle of the science building courtyard.  It is also made entirely of glass.  It is very cool.  My favorite meal that the cafeteria serves is definitely the breaded salmon with veggies and mac-n’-cheese, closely followed by any of their scones, which are weirdly amazing.  The white-chocolate-raspberry changed my life a little.  My café drink of choice would definitely have to be the Duke of Celtic Breakfast (a Celtic Breakfast teabag submerged in a vanilla steamer), closely followed by the Mango-Peach Italian soda.  Yum.

4) LoggerRezLyfe – What more adventure can I ask for than being the Director of Sustainability for the Residential Student Association?  Whether it be debating the pros and cons of budget requests from the campus community during ResLife’s General Council Meetings to planning Casino Night with the rest of the executive board, the party never ends (until a new executive board is elected in April).

5) Fundatory Utimes – This refers to “fun-mandatory- Underground Sound” times, or “time in which the members of the a cappella ground Underground Sound are forced to have fun together”.  This entails our evening rehearsal on Sundays and Wednesdays, not to mention the endless hours of blood, sweat and tears from planning rehearsals with my co-director, Lisa Hawkins.  The group convenes in a classroom of the music building and, after some general chatter, cat jokes and warm-ups, the fun begins.  In many ways, I use Usound as my personal conducting lab, testing out all the tips and tricks that my conducting professor has taught the class over the year.  This is not only invaluable for my probable future career as a choral director, but is also extremely enjoyable, probably because I can go on a power trip.  It’s fine; I just need to control everything.  What?

6) Nose to the Grindstone – There comes a point somewhere in the late evening when one realizes the ridiculous amount of homework there is left to be done.  This is when the fact that Diversions is open until midnight becomes of crucial importance to my academic success, as I am strangely incapable of doing homework in my room, but I absolutely MUST be near a source of food to work continuously.  I will sit in the piano lounge just outside the café and will write/compose/weep profusely while slowly but steadily drinking my weight in any combination of delicious beverages.  Sometimes, to spice things up while writing my homework for Counterpoint, I eat a cookie.

7) Hit the Hay – At last, I arrive home to my beloved Rat Skin Thong (please consult my very first blog post if you are confused by this statement).  I shower, I stare absentmindedly out the window, I eat my weight in cereal (preferably Special K with Chocolate or Dark Chocolate Cheerios), and postpone sleep by talking endlessly with my wonderful housemates.  And what conversations we have!  Food, boys, general panic about the future… well, I’m sure that there are more things than that, although nothing comes to mind.  I assemble my bag for the next day, lie in bed, and fall asleep thinking of my dog’s large, fluffy head on my tummy.  Then it starts all over…

But let me emphasize this over everything: although I am exhausted, stressed, sometimes angry, sometimes sad, more than anything I am happy and I am learning – which is exactly what I’m here to do.  My major is, admittedly, harder than one might imagine, but I continually learn more fascinating and useful things about music, communication, leadership and all sorts of other buzzwords that I’m sure you’ve read in pamphlets.

But really, life here is good.  If you’re thinking of applying, do it, and if you are indeed coming, GET STOKED.  Jump into everything you can reasonably handle with both feet, and commit to what you’re passionate about.  And learn to count from one to eight without mishap ensuing.