Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
August 2020
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Odds and ends 3

Thursday 26 Nov

The joy of specs: Your eyeballs don’t freeze while cycling to work when it’s 5°C.

No specs please, we’re British: On the other hand, if it’s raining—as it often does—then windscreen wipers would be a useful accessory.

Gone … for now: Very late (well, early Friday morning) I finally submitted one of the papers that I have been working on. I can’t believe how long it has taken, and how much difficulty I have had conceptualising, writing, and editing it (a long time ago it was 15000 words in length; it is now 10000 words long and almost completely different).

Sublime to the ridiculous: From one culinary extreme to another: 1. Very nice lunch at a posh venue to celebrate and congratulate my new-found friend Nick’s new job success, followed by 2. doner kebab from a street van at 7:30pm on the way from work to a rehearsal. It’s important to round out one’s education.

First rehearsal: I attended a rehearsal for a performance of Messiah this weekend at St Matthew’s (in Marlborough Rd just south of Folly Bridge). Due to the excess of altos (rarely a rare species) I decided to sing tenor. I have sung this part previously, but the last time was three years ago (with no rehearsals) and the time before that must be over a decade ago, with occasional alto renditions between times. So, last night I was sort of sight-singing and sort of refreshing my recollections. The slightly scary thing was that there were only three tenors, and the other two guys were about on a par with what I was doing sight-singing and so I couldn’t totally rely on them (or me!). (I should note that my sight-singing isn’t too bad, and it is a familiar enough work that you know where it is going to end up!) The other voice parts occasionally got lost, which didn’t help recovery manoeuvres when I got lost myself, and the piano accompaniment did some disappearing as well, which meant a capella lostness! And—as I discover every time I do this work that I keep assuming is very familiar—every so often I hit a bit where I go “What? That’s not what I remember. Am I sure I am using the same score? Who changed the word distributions? Who changed the notes? Have I actually ever done this chorus?” … the answers to which are “Yes. Nobody; they haven’t changed. Ditto (you can even double check by sneaking a look at someone else’s older edition). Yes; several times” respectively. Despite all these seeming concerns, there actually seems to be sufficient competence to be confident of a moderately tolerable job on Sunday night, because there are two more rehearsals to go, and we’ll have a small but decent orchestra for the last rehearsal and the performance (and Handel “doubles” the parts a lot of the time, with the orchestra duplicating the vocal lines). I’m looking forward to it.

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