Posted by: thebylog | October 2, 2004

Singing and Senioring

Go check out Kon’s newest Kolumn. He’s happy and exciting and loving life. And now there are two females in his life, the newest being his baby Annika.

Last spring I went to a choir concert, a farewell for the choir teacher at LBCC. I got to sing under him for 2 or 3 years, and those were some of the coolest musical experiences of my life. I listened to that choir sing, and boy, I wanted to be back there, singing. I wanted to be singing in a choir like that so badly! I wanted my soul to be rockin’ in the bosom of Abraham, and listening, from stage, to the sopranos going, “La-la-la-LA-la, la-la-LA-a-a, la-la-la-la-LA-la…”

Well, it’s the end of the first week of the term, the choir teacher’s back for a swan song, and they are in desperate need of male singers. Even more than that, they are desperate for tenors. They rehearse Tues & Thur from 11-1. Incredibly, I don’t have class until late Tuesday/Thursday afternoon. Theoretically I could do it.

But I’m freaked out, of fourteen credits, 12+ work-hours, AND 4 hours of choir practice? Will I have time for anything else?

And another thing I’m freaked out about. For Senior Project, we had to submit three ideas by Thursday. One of the prof’s sent us an e-mail telling us the tentative decisions they had made on our projects. Dude, for our team, he picked my idea, one that could be very, very cool, but also seems very, very risky to me, for a couple reasons. The project is to try to optimize crop mix for grass seed farmers. This is a complex decision they have to make, up to five or ten years in advance, and the idea is that after consulting with a farmer or four, we can get a good idea of the things that go into this decision, quantify that information, and construct a model that allows the power of formal optimization to work for them.

The “couple reasons.” First, man, I don’t know a lot about this. I talked to a farmer and he told me a little about some of the factors that go into this decision. I don’t know if it’s a complex enough decision for the methods we’re learning to be of any value. You know, we can’t improve an obvious, no-brain decision. But then, by nature we will know relatively little about these projects going in. And the decision could be complicated enough. And it would be really cool to do some substantial work in an area that I have a little background in.

Secondly, there’s a pride issue at work. I’ve heard too many disparaging comments in farmer circles or church circles about college or academic hotshots that had their ideas and who really weren’t helpful or successful in the common sense areas that farming or maintenance work are. I don’t want to be laughed at or not taken seriously or talked about behind my back. “Oh, yeah, you shoulda seen those kids. They came out all serious and talked to me for a long time, and then I got this report, and it’s full of nothing but technical jargon and the results aren’t anything I didn’t know anyways.”

I wonder if it will be difficult to get a farmer (or more than one farmer) to really get into a project like this. I just don’t think they’re the kind that would embrace strange, technical support in their decision-making, from a group of non-farmer, college students no less. But then, once we’re convinced of the legitimacy of the project, we would need to work hard to construct a model that closely mimics reality by talking to farmers. If we do that, then our results should be legitimate, and probably helpful, provided my first concern is not an issue.

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Responses

  1. “I don’t want to be laughed at or not taken seriously or talked about behind my back.” And Byran joins the thronging masses.

    I have yet to meet someone that actually enjoys being laughed at, not taken seriously, and talked about in hushed tones.

    The question I ask myself: “Does it matter?”, or better, “WHY does it matter?”

    The answer that I found for myself: I need to be so secure in my identity in Christ that what people say or what they think does not matter, or does not consume my life and dictate what I do and who I am. I need to do what I am called to do, I need to be what I am called to be, and given I will make mistakes, but my security needs lay in Him and no other.

    We need to strive to find our full identity in Christ and just be willing to take the risk of exposing ourselves and being vulnerable to the cruel eye of the public.

    Ag

  2. “I don’t want to be laughed at or not taken seriously or talked about behind my back.” And Byran joins the thronging masses.

    I have yet to meet someone that actually enjoys being laughed at, not taken seriously, and talked about in hushed tones.

    The question I ask myself: “Does it matter?”, or better, “WHY does it matter?”

    The answer that I found for myself: I need to be so secure in my identity in Christ that what people say or what they think does not matter, or does not consume my life and dictate what I do and who I am. I need to do what I am called to do, I need to be what I am called to be, and given I will make mistakes, but my security needs lay in Him and no other.

    We need to strive to find our full identity in Christ and just be willing to take the risk of exposing ourselves and being vulnerable to the cruel eye of the public.

    Ag

  3. I’m afraid this is one of the areas into which Pride worms its ugly being.

    Isn’t it strange that it’s pride that gives us both the “look at me” attitude as well as the “just because I did something stupid doesn’t give you right to stare at me” attitude?

    What’s irritating is that I struggle with both.

    I think if we sincerely live by Christ’s agenda we will struggle much less with pride because the focus is not on ourselves but Christ and others.

  4. I’m afraid this is one of the areas into which Pride worms its ugly being.

    Isn’t it strange that it’s pride that gives us both the “look at me” attitude as well as the “just because I did something stupid doesn’t give you right to stare at me” attitude?

    What’s irritating is that I struggle with both.

    I think if we sincerely live by Christ’s agenda we will struggle much less with pride because the focus is not on ourselves but Christ and others.

  5. So Hal wants you to sing for him again??!! Cool. I know you won’t take the opportunity lightly, but man I wish I could again.

    Did they do Rock a my Soul at that concert? We first learned that when I last sang with them. I was just thinking about my old fellow-bass-singing LB choir bud Scott yesterday, wondering what he’s up to. Do you know is he at OSU for music now?

    Tom

  6. So Hal wants you to sing for him again??!! Cool. I know you won’t take the opportunity lightly, but man I wish I could again.

    Did they do Rock a my Soul at that concert? We first learned that when I last sang with them. I was just thinking about my old fellow-bass-singing LB choir bud Scott yesterday, wondering what he’s up to. Do you know is he at OSU for music now?

    Tom

  7. By, knowing how music makes you come alive, I bet if you’d sing in the choir it’d give you all the more energy for the other things on your agenda. You’d come out of choir practice hitting the ceiling, heart soaring toward God, and ready to work your head off. Maybe choir’d be part of caring for your heart. (I was just discussing that concept with a friend today.)

    ??
    Crystal

  8. By, knowing how music makes you come alive, I bet if you’d sing in the choir it’d give you all the more energy for the other things on your agenda. You’d come out of choir practice hitting the ceiling, heart soaring toward God, and ready to work your head off. Maybe choir’d be part of caring for your heart. (I was just discussing that concept with a friend today.)

    ??
    Crystal

  9. If someone is burned once, why do they always return and play with fire?

    Ag

  10. well as we were just saying today… sorry by, no offense was meant by the lunch conversation.
    Q


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