Incidents and Accidents: tripleshot

I accidentally downloaded nearly 200 songs today. I know you don’t believe me. How could one accidentally download 200 songs?

Fair enough. I guess only about 15 of them were really by accident. But all were free. Beat that.

Anyway, you probably know how these things go: watch one YouTube video, be reminded of… that one band. Look them up on eMusic, go see if they’re in your Saved Items folder. Get preoccupied with cleaning out your saved items, then in the process, get preoccupied with organizing iTunes. In the meantime, you remember that thing you were going to look up on FrostWire, and then FrostWire tells you that they have all these immediately downloadable folk albums for free. Say wha?! You get some of those folk albums, which remind you of more stuff you had on eMusic. Then you look up that stuff on YouTube, and then you find some online software that will convert YouTube audio to downloadable MP3s. Lifesaver.

In the midst of all that, you update podcasts, subscribe to some NewsU courses, make dinner, eat chocolate, check Facebook, Tweet, write a coupla emails, do some jumpingjacks, make tea, text, and contemplate life and death.

Please tell me this sounds familiar; otherwise I’ll keep thinking I’m a freak.

Here are a few of the things that so grabbed my attention:

I don’t like the intro of this song, but once it picks up, it’s delightful. I don’t usually listen to music like this in the summer (ditching mellow electro-folk for more upbeat, dance-y things), but it’s nice for a cloudy summer afternoon.

Haven’t decided how I feel about this song, but I fiercely admire the animation.

And one more, because of the artistic, intimate portrait of the artist (literally):

And, just to complement the title:

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Incidents and Accidents: tripleshot

Friends in high and unlikely places

So sometimes, I tend to get extremely overwhelmed by barbershop. Mostly, this is because i have no idea how to convey to people how much I love it and how much it means to me. Also, it seems a little strange that it’s so specific. Like, I could be just in love with singing in general, or by karaoke or something, but no, I have to be utterly obsessed with barbershop. It’s just weird.

However, in the barbershop community, it is completely normal. I challenge you to find someone in this organization who is just sort of so-so about barbershop. Someone who can say “eh, I can live with or without it. It’s just sort of a hobby.” No. That’s not the way it works. You may not be obsessed with it when you enter the org, but you sure as hell are after two months, if not after one visit.

So, here is my absolutely fantastic barbershop story for the day.

About a year ago, this woman in my chorus said something like, “oh, you’re going to Evergreen? You should look for this police officer who sings barbershop, Tom or Tim or something… I can’t remember his last name.” Of course I thought, “well, gee, isn’t that specific,” and I didn’t try too hard to find him. Plus, their uniforms just say their last names, so I didn’t have much to go on, and I didn’t want to go to Police Services and ask for some guy who sang barbershop. ha.

So today I was sitting at the Student Activities fair with my roommate. I was representing the CPJ and the Police Services booth was right next to ours. She pointed at the officer who was at that table, and said that she’s heard him sing at this drug and alcohol presentation thing she’d gone to, and that he was quite good. Then I heard the EIC and biz manager of the CPJ talking to him and calling him Tim.

Long story short, once everyone left, I said to him, “so, I hear you sing,” and he said, “yeah,” and I said, “do you sing barbershop, by any chance?”

He said, “Barbershop is my life.”

And with stars in my eyes, I’m sure, I said, “meee toooo!”

Thus began a long conversation during which we discovered that we know many of the same people, but it turns out that he’s actually WAYYYY high up in the organization and so is his wife, so he’s, like, friends with the lead of OC Times and stuff, and coaches by ex-director’s quartet and stuff.

MY GOD am I excited. I never want to talk to people at Evergreen about Sweet Adelines, because let’s face it, it’s just weird. Sequins and energetic faces? Definitely not Evergreen-ish. So I cannot tell you how amazing it is to have this resource and be familiar with this guy. Unfortunately, it’s led to a bit of a stalking tangent on my part, so I found this video of his quartet (two of the members are former Kings, which means that they have won International before. Five times, in fact. SO amazing). Enjoy :)

… and I just read back over that post, and it’s awful. I think the more excited I get about something, the less articulate I am. So, I’m sorry about that. But I’m not going to change it because you all deserve to see my blunders.

Friends in high and unlikely places

The past can be the future. Why go back?

Introducing the first thing I have posted on my wall (REAL wall, that is–NOT Facebook) since I have moved into my apartment:

The very first issue of the Cooper Point Journal (CPJ), the paper for which I am the print managing editor (there is a web managing editor for, obviously, the web edition). The CPJ is a weekly publication put out by the CPJ student group, but more broadly, it is a paper by and for the students, which is most important. The CPJ accepts any type of content from anyone enrolled as a student at the Evergreen State College, which is very cool. We have two advisors, but they don’t have any say over what goes in the paper (nor does any other faculty member). The student group is comprised entirely of students who put out the web and print publication, as well as students to manage and maintain the business side of things. We only receive a certain amount of funding from the Student Activities department of the school, and the student activities funds come directly from students through tuition, so the paper is quite literally BY the students, in all senses. Students in positions of responsibility receive a learning allotment most weeks of the quarter, which enables them to spend the time that they do at the CPJ.

The CPJ is not a “job,” and we do not get “paid.” We don’t even “work.” We have responsibilities, and are held accountable for those responsibilities by the mere fact that we are members of the organization. We don’t need to know a certain amount before coming into a position at the CPJ (seriously, I am a managing editor after only 3 years of being involved in journalism of any sort; that tells you something), but we are encouraged to learn while we’re at the CPJ–hence the designation of the CPJ being a “learning laboratory.”

Anyway, as my position indicates, I am responsible for the print edition of the paper, which is weekly. The first paper came off the presses today, and I got to watch it happen. I was given a copy right then and there, with that picture on the cover that I took and the cover design that I did. I was (and am) so proud of that thing.

So… why do I feel guilty? The thing about the CPJ is that, since we don’t “work,” we don’t have hours, so technically we are at liberty to leave whenever we want. But since we are responsible and accountable for certain tasks, they should be priority. Plus, there is always the chance that more may come up, or tasks may be delegated, and there is the real looming responsibility of the actual publication. So “leadership” (the business manager, associate business manager, editor in chief, associate editor, web managing editor, and print managing editor) are usually under the impression that other members will be (or should be) as dedicated to producing the overall result as we are. Well, frankly, sometimes they just aren’t.

That should be fine with us. I mean, technically their position has certain responsibilities assigned to it, and if they take care of those they are free to lead a life. The problem is that we get so caught up in what has to be done, and usually we are so short-staffed, that we feel the need to delegate tasks to these people that somehow have gotten done with their section early.

…Ok, I’m tired of explaining this, so the short version is that there is A TON of guilt-tripping in the CPJ. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone.

I felt the guilt pressure almost all of last year in my various positions, as well as this past summer when I was at home having a normal life when everyone else was at the office having responsibilities in which I was expected to take part or share.

So though I never told anyone when I came back this year, my ultimate goal is to never guilt trip someone. If someone is done and says something like “…so…I think I’ll head out now,” I can respond with no more than, “all right. If you find you have more time, let us know if you’re free and we can give you something to do.” That’s it. Because I am so fed up with these people being presented with that situation of someone wanting to leave and saying, “well… ok… it would be great if you could stay a while longer, because there’s a lot left to do…”

What BS. Suck it up and do some work yourself. Last night was production night, and I felt like I did a ton because we were short-staffed and people left. And I was fine with it. I am at the CPJ because I have an extreme passion for journalism. And I want that passion to show through my drive and motivation to put out a quality paper without too much perfectionism. Actually, I can’t imagine what it would be like if we had a full staff. What would I do?!

Our advisor once said, when we were anticipating the switch to our primarily online medium, that “Jo can put out a print paper by herself. So what you guys need to focus on is the website.” And, though that probably wouldn’t be something I’d prefer in the heat of the moment, it sounds a little daringly awesome.

It won’t happen. The CPJ is a students’ paper, not a student’s paper. [If you don’t understand that line, please leave this blog. Now.]

And I don’t want it to happen. I am so caught up in the awesomeness of the ‘voice of the students thing’ that I never want to give that up. Why would a publication function any differently?

It seems like every time I find something new about Evergreen, I react to it like I did when I got my Mac: Why would ever go back to how it/I was before? In fact, that happens with many facets of my life.

Why would I ever go back to a school that gave grades and pushed a competitive learning environment?

Why would I ever go back to a life without barbershop music?

Why would I ever go back to being involved in a newspaper that wasn’t by and for the people?

It’s so important. I realized this when the EIC was working on launching the website today. Before, I had been rather caught up in how the site would look, and how it would function, blah blah blah, just so that people would want to look at it and come back to it and become a member of the site, etc. But now, I want it to look very rustic and work-in-progress-like, so that people will instead come up to us and say something like, “btw, that website of yours… uh… sucks.” Then, I will be able to tell them [quite honestly, mind you], “I’m so glad you think so! We would love to have your expertise, or at least some input about it!”

Does that sound dorky? Because I think it sounds really exciting.

Orientation week issue

The past can be the future. Why go back?

Waiting is the hardest part

So right now, I am lamenting the fact that my suitemate started blasting her incredibly annoying music MUCH too early. Well… it was, like, 9:30 ish. But still, I intended to sleep til 11! Maybe it was karma… it’s probably for my own good… but the annoying music? Not the best way to get the point across. (*Curses the heavens*). Seriously, it was like screamo Native American music. WTF, mate?!

Anyway, seriously, it was probably for the best. Now I have my own, really awesome, music on (Cat Stevens–who can argue with that?!) and I’m working up to revising an essay and working on the first draft of my self evaluation. 

In accordance with Evergreen’s unique system, they skip the whole finals week thing in lieu of Evaluation Week. Yes, it’s deserving of capitals. And for those of you who may be from other schools, and may be thinking, “psshhhhh, it can’t be worse than what I’m undergoing for finals week!” think again. Eval Week is at least as strenuous.

Before I go all out in describing what Eval Week entails, understand that this is specifically for my program and most other freshman programs I have been hearing of. Other upperclassmen have had other experiences, but for the most part I think the administration tries to keep things uniform for freshmen. 

First, one must put together a portfolio for the class. This is usually a binder with everything one has ever been handed, ever completed, ever written, etc. For me, this includes handouts, “sincwas” (seminar in class writing assignments), essays (we have four), and critiques of our and others’ essays, all in chronological order. 

Lovely.

brb

Waiting is the hardest part