Info. Sys. Exam and American String Quartet Concert

I got dropped off at the mall this morning with plenty of time to spare. I got my usual from Dunkin Donuts and went to the lab to browse eBay and wait for class to start. Unfortunately it never did because there was no English class today. A session appeared on the syllabus but I suppose the exam is Wednesday. With no class to worry about I wandered the mall for a short while. Tulane’s newly formed concert band was performing Christmas music in the mall and I got a few pictures. I left the mall around 12:15, thinking I might catch the hour’s shuttle uptown. I missed it but it hardly mattered with all the time on my hands. I walked to a hotel next to the Tidewater building and sat in the lobby for a while and tried to study for this evening’s test. I didn’t make much progress given the cryptic curriculum. After about 45 minutes I left to catch the shuttle. I got off in front of Rosen House and went the Frostop and got a burger and fries for lunch. After eating I walked to the library. I took a seat on the second floor and opened my info. systems book again. After about an hour I got tired of trying to memorize three chapters and closed the book and relaxed for a while and listened to some music. Having nearly drifted off to sleep I got up and walked to Gibson Hall and went to the lab in there for a couple hours. I went to the classroom a bit early so I could take a last look at my notes. Several people were already there. I didn’t have much luck with the exam, mostly because I had trouble remembering numbered lists of vague IT terms. The curve could give me a passing grade though, and I’ve done reasonably well on my other tests so I’m not worried. After class I walked to Dixon Hall to attend a concert. Richard Stoltzman and the American String Quartet performed this evening. I got there pretty early. The concert wasn’t to start until eight. Dad met me there and we went in when the doors opened at 7:30. I took a seat third row center. Melanie arrived about 10 minutes after we sat down. The concert started on time. The opening piece was Mozart’s Quartet in D Major, K. 575. The music was good and the musicians were incredibly talented. There were two violin players, a viola and a cello. This was my first chamber music concert. I was a bit confused at first as there was no applause between the movements. The music stopped only briefly, allowing the audience to cough and adjust their positions in their seats. I suppose I’m adjusted to the liberal applause that goes along with jazz performances where some applause follows each solo. The audience makes up for it at the end of each piece. Following Mozart was a piece by Shostakovich. The opening movement sounded like a train wreck, loud and violent. The piece calmed down as the movements passed. I must say Mozart was a far superior composer. Following Shostakovich was an intermission of about 15 minutes. This gave a chance for the performers to rest their arms and the audience to breathe, cough and move around. Following the break, clarinetist Richard Stoltzman joined the ensemble for a quintet for clarinet and strings by Brahms. I thought the clarinet was being drowned out in the first movement but the instrument later got a more prominent role. After the last piece and a few minutes of applause, the performers came back for an encore with the last movement of another Mozart piece. The concert concluded at about 10:20. I was surprised that it had lasted so long, although it didn’t feel like two hours, which I suppose is a credit to the performance, which I though was excellent. The American String Quartet is widely regarded as best in the country. After the show, Dad and I went to The Boot for a late dinner. We invited Melanie but she said she had to get to bed so we took her home. Dad and I both got a hamburger and fries, my second of the day. The Boot makes pretty good burgers. We watched the better part of the second half of the Seahawks and Cowboys game. It was a pretty good game with the Seahawks coming back from behind. The lead changed hands a few times in the last few minutes in the game and the Cowboys came out on top, winning by four points. After the game we left and went home. We got back at 11:30. I was tired and went right to bed, knowing I would have to get up early tomorrow.

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