Wednesday, November 30, 2011

an education

it's not exactly a state secret for me to reveal that i did not enjoy law school. i was very, VERY lucky to make the incredible friends i did, but the academic experience was, simply, bewildering. the socratic and case law methods made absolutely no sense to me and lacked any relevance, immediacy, or applicability.

now that i have this nerdy/wonky job that requires me to read dozens of law review articles every week (and which i sometimes do, i almost wish i could go back. the law makes so much more sense now, probably because i see so vividly how it permeates everything and that human beings can affect its course.

why am i bringing this up? not to bore you to tears, but i was listening to a podcast that discussed "music for 18 musicians" by steve reich.

i went to one of those colleges that thought you needed to study certain subjects to be a well-rounded person. i actually welcomed the opportunity to study in a structured environment, though my friends and i derisively told each other that we were learning merely "jeopardy" or "cocktail" knowledge through the core curriculum. as with most things smug 18-year-olds say, it's wildly overblown, but somewhat true.

so i am quite sure that i studied steve reich, except that i remember only his name, nothing more. but maybe i learned some critical listening skills, which may have come in handy, finally! listening to the above piece immediately reminded me of this:

or maybe this even more:

as the podcast said, reich seems almost quaint because that pattern and melody are used in virtually everything, including pharmaceutical commercials. so perhaps it's mere ubiquity, not my overpriced education, that helped me make this connection?

anyway, remember when sufjan stevens said he was going to make an album about each of the 50 states?

Sunday, November 27, 2011


i'm not one for super-overtly cutesy stuff, but this is a relaxing way to ease into the week.