Thursday, February 25, 2010

Special Olympics!

This is me in the parking lot of the Alliant Energy in Madison.  You may notice that I do not have readily visible pants.  Well, I'm not wearing any, and it's for a good cause!
This year was my second year of jumping into Lake Monona to raise money for the Special Olympics.  Elizabeth's cousin Jenny participates in the Special Olympics, and she asked me last year and this year to do it.  To be honest, jumping in a frozen body of water is not my idea of a good time, but I did, and it was fun.  Last year I raised $75 and this year I raised $100 (my team, Jessica, Elizabeth, and me--raised $765 total!!).  I get so caught up with practicing and making reeds and watching TV series online that sometimes it's good to have a reality check and help people that seriously deserve some helpin'.  Elizabeth forgot her shorts, so I lent her mine and went without.  Penn State T-shirt and old-lady swimsuit is not a great look for me, but it's for a good cause.

(Team Jenny in the middle)

As you can imagine, jumping into a frozen Wisconsin lake in the middle of February is no picnic.  When you shore up the courage to actually jump in, it is insanely cold and dark and scary, and sometimes (like this year), another jumper will push off your shoulder with their foot to propel them to the surface.  It's over in a few minutes--what's a little discomfort to help some friends?

"1-2-3-Plunge!"  (this year I didn't even cry!)

I think this photo expertly captures the reality of the situation.  Did I mention I got a free longsleeve t-shirt?

My Juilliard audition is in three days and I feel good!

Friday, February 19, 2010

To Juilliard!

What a winter I have been having!  I have been all over the country, playing the bassoon and eating the food.   It's been crazy, to say the least.  I played for Kim Laskowski and Frank Morelli in New York City (I ventured for the first time into the upper west side, and then onto Harlem accidentally), Keith Sweger at Ball State, and Nadina Mackie Jackson when she came to UW for a recital and a master class.  I feel so humble and grateful.  I have been working really hard lately and it seems to be paying off (I guess what I'm saying is, I think they liked me!).

Now I've got this audition, which is exciting and terrifying.  Two years ago, Juilliard seemed like a distant impossible, dream.  For a variety of different reasons--including but not limited to my wildly supportive friends, family, and teacher, I feel like I can do anything.  Even if I don't get in--which is a distinct possibility--I'm so excited to get the chance to play for the Juilliard faculty and be in New York City.  And visit with certain people :).  I'll be playing the Tansman Sonatine, Vivaldi Concerto in C Major RV479, and some excerpts.  WOOOWEE!    

Wish me luck!