Friday, April 29, 2016

sucker dad and smart dad

SUCKER DAD: [makes smoothie]
PRECIOUS GIRL: "I'm thirsty."
SD: "Here's a smoothie."
PG: "No, thank you."
SD: "But it's good."
PG: "No, thank you."
SD: [jiggles it tantalizingly]
PG: [unmoved]
SD: "It's delicious and fruity and it's basically like a shake."
PG: "No, thank you."
SD: [again jiggles, despite concrete proof of this move's ineffectiveness]
PG: [still unmoved]

SMART DAD: [makes smoothie]
PRECIOUS GIRL: "I'm thirsty."
SD: "Here's a mermaid smoothie."
PG: [glows with delight] "A MERMAID SMOOTHIE?!"
SD: [smiles]

Smart Dad says, "You're welcome. Happy Summer."

Saturday, April 23, 2016

these new-fangled visible parades

I'm so glad. I hate those parades with long stretches where no one can see them.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

a kind of test

I'm teaching a college Intro to Jazz class. What's nice about it is that, though the students almost all came into the semester completely ignorant of jazz — the genre, its iconic tunes, its sound, its main artists — it's an upper-level Music School course rather than a general-interest (general-disinterest) requirement for non-majors. This means that they have real musical knowledge under their belts and so I can use technical terms and dig in to the nuts and bolts of a piece, and they'll know what I'm talking about.

During the first test of the semester, I noticed that one student had his phone out and was looking from the phone back and forth to the test, writing and copying. I wasn't worried at all: I make cheat-proof tests. There's simply no way you could cheat; you just have to do the work and prepare. Nonetheless: interesting.

Later, I was grading the tests, and came across the one from this student. I noticed that here and there on its 3 pages there was tiny writing. It was Chinese, obviously translations of the words I'd used in giving the test. In describing Ella Fitzgerald's sound as "ebullient," or a player's playing as "melancholy," I was going way beyond the capabilities of foreign students, even ones fluent in English.

Test taken, grade received. Lesson learned.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

haas effect

Daaaaaang!!!!! I finally understood the Haas effect and, in general, the precedence effect — technical stuff that has to do with where you perceive a sound to be coming from.

(Remember, you only have 2 ears, so theoretically you should only be able to place something left or right, but you have zero problem telling that a sound is in front or back of you, or above or below. How? Ah, your brain has clues that it follows.)

I'd studied this before, and encountered the concepts many times, and in fact plugged in these concepts in live audio settings as well as studio recordings... but never really grasped it — never really Saw The Matrix — till just this moment.

Zow!! I understand! This changes everything!