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2007-04-22 - 11:33 a.m.

entry 2 ... stewing...

It's cold today, and cloudy, but the sun may ultimately peek through...but I still have cloudy weather in my head.

Last night I dreamed that I was asked by my university to conduct Beethoven's 7th Symphony. The orchestra was full of students from our department, but also held general members of the university community - lots of middle-aged bearded men with glasses. I began conducting, and realized that I was just letting the musicians do whatever they wanted. I hadn't had time to think through what *I* wanted the music to sound like. They were essentially playing on autopilot, all at one tempo, with no change in dynamics, and there was no control. I signaled for them to stop. But they didn't. I signaled again. They kept on playing, ignoring me completely. I had no control.

Finally I started yelling, thinking "this is not really professional conductor behavior, but how else do I get their attention?" I was on the verge of stamping my feet in frustration, like a 4-year-old who doesn't get her way. But I just kept screaming for them to stop, and they just kept ignoring me. Finally most of them stopped, except for a few violinists in the corner who continued playing. I was trying to explain the feeling I wanted to convey in the last five notes that lead into the final movement. But the violinists wouldn't pay attention. I walked up to their music stands and yelled directly at them to leave. The bell rang, and everyone started packing up to leave, and I realized that I had never had any authority in the first place. I felt completely defeated.

At that point, a member of my department came up to me (he was a cellist), and started to talk with me about my conducting. He told me that he was impressed by the way I had summarized the orchestra's interpretation of something...but it was impossible for me to focus on the content of what he was saying because I was so astounded that he could have found any order from the chaos that had just preceded.

At this point, I slowly slid out of the dream and realized that Beethoven's 7th Symphony had been playing on the radio, and as I was coming out of my sleep the announcer was discussing the piece. Sigh.

Sheesh, no stress THERE. Wonder what THAT could mean????

I received another email clarifying that the university still has not approved a lock change for my labs in spite of these ongoing problems. There is one guy in security who says that this is his top agenda item tomorrow, and that he hopes to get the higher-ups to agree to lock out the university staff by the end of tomorrow. I can't even put a word to my frustration that it has taken so much to get a simple lock change. Why should the heads of three offices need to approve this? Just lock the f*!!ers out of my lab (she says, as the viola players play on....)

The official building opening will occur next week, and I just wrote an RSVP to the organizers turning down their invitation. I stated that I didn't feel I could attend in the proper spirit, given that ongoing security problems still prevent me from accomplishing anything. For me the building is not yet open. K said that this was a very direct statement. I felt it was honest, and actually to their benefit not to have me there feeling resentful and angry. I am certainly not feeling very celebratory. Besides, if past experiences are any judge, it is entirely likely that my comments will go completely the orchestra plays on.

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