Winter break

This break I want to do two things. Focus on having fun, and work on my project. The good part is that, they intertwine. I find working on my project fun, so that makes it easier. Now I’m sure you’ve heard the statement “working on my project” from your students so many times now that it hurts. So let me go into abit of detail.

I’m at the point in the process where I need to start applying for gigs. So far I’ve had two, and I’m loving it. I am so proud of the songs I’ve written this semester, my skills have shot up. My songs actually make sense now and I don’t use the “it means whatever you want it to mean” excuse anymore. My songs mean something, usually something specific. And I’ve gotten pretty good at getting my ideas across.

This break I have three specific goals, I want to post two new live performance YouTube videos, apply to 3 gigs, and make the track for Alice Cooper man. If I can get those three things done, along with having some well deserved time to rest and relax, this will be the best break yet.

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Starts With Pressing Snooze

The alarm went off while I was lying in Bed. For the first time in two months, I resisted the urge to press snooze and jumped out of bed. It was 5:00am and I had to be out of the house at 7:00am. You’re probably wondering why I would give myself two hours to get ready. The answer to that question is, the morning is the foundation to my day. If I don’t start my day organized, the rest of the day won’t be organized either. So after feeling just a little too unorganized for just a little too long, I woke up at 5:00am to get my day off to a good start. I am going to make it one of my goals to give my self enough time to breathe in the morning, because we all know how stressful rushing is.

When it comes to my project, my Gant chart has been such a useful tool. I’ve used it to stay on track more than I’ve used any other tool this semester. I have made song writing my main priority. As of now, I am on track. I check in with my Gant chart regularly and check off the things that I have done. Having a visual representation of my progress has really shown me where I am, and where I want to be. I have one more song to go, and I cant wait to check off that box on my Gant chart.

I have also found writing down the things that I need to remember to be useful. It’s a way to get down important thoughts, without stressing about having to remember them. Every day I have a list of the things that I need to do. It is easy though, when looking at those lists, to relax a little too much and say “Ill do it later”. When you say that, you’re running the risk of procrastination, that will lead to stress and rushing. I hate rushing, so I want to create good habits. I want to do things right away, and it all starts with not pressing snooze in the morning.

 

 

Conference

As I pieced together my Gant chart, I wondered if there was an error. 57 days left? Eh must be a mistake. No, cant be, Mr. P is the most organized person, these 57 days on my screen must only account for half of the semester then. I had a mini rush of panic, when I got an answer from Mr. P. That this is in fact the amount of days left in our semester together. 57 days, no more, no less. I realized what had to be done, work, and lots of it.

Yesterday I sat down in my conference and went over some of the things I’ve done. We realized that I was on track, and not only that, but I was ahead of being on track. It seems like my realization of the few days we have left at propel had pushed me to get things done. I finished my first song, and have already started working on my second one. I performed at an open mic last night and got a video of it to put on YouTube.

As happy as I am about being ahead of the game, I won’t let that make me too comfortable just yet. If I get comfy in being ahead, to me that almost feels like a door to slowly falling behind. I am happy with where I am at right now, but with that comes the reminder that there is always more work to do.

With the responsibility also comes a great pressure to give this semester the amount of work and heart that it deserves. By hustling to stay ahead of the game if possible, and most of all, writing music and getting out there to perform. There is always more work to do, to get to the place I want to be.

Unwanted orange flower

It was the first class of the day, and I was there to work on the painting I had re-done over and over again. I needed to paint over the orange flower I added last class because it didn’t feel right.

I never paint sitting down, I only paint when I’m standing. why? Good question, I don’t know. What I do know is that when I paint, I don’t plan. When it comes to me, painting and planing don’t mix. Just like purple and yellow don’t mix, you’ll  get a weird colour. The even better part about not planning when you’re painting is that if you create an orange flower that does’nt do the job, you can just paint over it the next day.

I told my art teacher that I had to paint over the orange flower. Some might suggest that erasing my orange flower would have made the full hour and a half that I spent working on it, nothing more than sheer time thrown straight in the trash bin. I was concerned with what she was going to say.

Was she going to make me keep the flower even though I knew it did nothing but damage my painting? Was she going to make me plan out every brush stroke of my next painting?  Some might suggest that I should before I go wasting time painting unwanted orange flowers, and that’s fair. Was she going to tell me I should sit down when I paint next time? If she did, I would tell her that I needed to stand and paint for reasons I don’t even understand. I know that wouldn’t be a very good point. So would I end up painting a perfectly planned out picture, sitting down, and mixing purple and yellow because I was told to?

“What are you working on today Victoria?”

“I’m going to paint over the orange flower, I don’t like it anymore.”

She didn’t question me.

“I’ve watched you work, You get an idea, and then you just go. You’re a free painter.”

The corners of my mouth curled upward and my heart fluttered with the freedom of the process. I grabbed my brush, dipped it in blue and said,

“Goodbye orange flower.”

Proof of Concept

The Proof of Concept piece has been a useful addition to the propel system. It gives you a chance to explore your opportunities and allows you to see what works before you start your project. I was given the task of singing on my classmate’s track. We are both new to what we are working on. I have never sung over a track quite like his, it is less acoustic style like what I am used to, and more R&B techno. He has never recorded analog before, so this is new for him. We are helping each other out, and through that, a pretty bumpin’ chorus to a new song will be born. He’s made the track, I have experimented different melody lines over it, and written a set of lyrics that match the intense tone of the song. We ran into a bit of a challenge when we first stepped into the recording room. We couldn’t figure out how to get the mic to record properly. We recorded some melody lines as a test anyway, and it worked but was much too quiet. We didn’t always have time to record, it wasn’t possible every time we wanted to because we have other music students who need to use the room as well.

We worked through our first challenge by consulting Mr. Hansen, he helped us fix our mic problem. I talked to Izzy, another music student about the issue we have all been facing when it comes to sharing the music room. She came up with a great idea, she created a schedule. Now we can fill in when we want to use the room. knowing when we get the room, we can plan out our days more efficiently and ultimately be more productive. When I wasn’t in the recording room, I dedicated the rest of my time to writing lyrics for my POC song. I also spent time looking for inspiration for my project by watching YouTube videos and taking note of what I liked. I also spent time updating my list of what I want to get from this semester. I looked on the Manitoba music website and looked-for gigs. I learned some new useful information, including the fact that you can’t just search up “Gigs Winnipeg” and click on the first thing that comes up which was craigslist. You live and learn, which is exactly what propel is all about.

 

 

What Better Place to be?

Nothing is wrong, but nothing is just right just yet, but this early into my life’s career path that’s probably an acceptable place to be. Grade twelve has begun and thus far I’ve experienced feelings I’ve never considered or thought of previous to this peculiar year. This year is designated to finding yourself and getting prepared to do something with your skillset and ambitions.

Two weeks in and I’ve already adopted a cat, melted the letter “B” key off of my laptop with a hair dryer, worked the longest Goldeyes game in history (17 innings), bought a banjo because I felt the need to, wrote a new song, played a gig at Manifest, and stayed up too many long nights thinking about how I don’t know what I’m going to do after I leave grade twelve.

It’s been all I’ve been able to think about this summer, and it’s hard for me to tolerate not having a plan to do something great, when it feels like so many people around me already have their own. I have a lot to consider and a lot to learn, and knowing that I have to leave Winnipeg stings as much as it makes me smile. I’m not ready to leave home the year directly after high school, so I’ve decided to take a gap year in between and put out an album. It’s time to start writing more and more.

Right now, I’m exactly where I need to be; in an environment that will help me to discover my path, and figure out a more refined plan. Planning can only get me so far, and maybe it’s time to just start. What’s a better place to just start than here?

Wrong Bus.

After a long and anticipated last day before the break, I went to catch a bus to head to St. Vital mall to pick up some Christmas gifts. I caught the wrong bus on the wrong side of the street and ended up downtown. At first I was scared because I usually don’t bus alone, it was getting dark out, and I didn’t truly know where I was, because I’m not very good with streets. Nevertheless, I was determined to get to the mall. I crossed the rode and got to a bus stop where I then entered a heated bus shack (I love the heated bus shacks; I wish every stop had a heated bus shack). I was fortunate to find a really lively and fun group of women in there who were all headed to different places. We all started chatting, the jokes and friendly conversation distracted me from the fact that I didn’t know where I was and made me feel at ease. I found out that the next bus that would take me in the right direction broke down on the way so it wasn’t coming anytime soon. I was starting to feel worried until one of the ladies in the shack was kind enough to tell me how to get to the mall. I thanked her and told her how I need to get better at bussing independently. She then made me feel better about my lack of bussing skills with stories of how she got lost bussing many times over, and how she always had to find her way. I never got her name, but we became friends quickly.
Our bus finally came. It was behind schedule due to the rush hour traffic and packed with people to the point where we couldn’t fit behind the yellow line. The bus driver said,
“Sorry everyone. You’ll just have to squish back as far as you can so we can let on these people. I’m sorry I promise I won’t pick anyone else up after this.”
Legally since we didn’t fit behind the yellow line, the driver didn’t have to let us on. But she didn’t have the heart to leave us on the side of the street, so she let us on anyway.
As the long and backed up bus ride went on, slowly but surely, more and more people got off the bus. I had finally had a chance to sit down but I didn’t want to, because I felt a tad bit lonely and wanted to chat with the bus driver and thank her for letting me on the bus when she didn’t have to. I told her how I got lost and that I appreciated her squishing me onto the bus. We talked for the rest of the ride about how she loves her job, and about how experiences on the bus are always eventful and never boring. She said she loves knowing that each person who gets on her bus has a different story. We laughed and joked and I told her how I ride the bus alot, so I’ve seen interesting things on the bus and know what she means. From stories like when that big biker guy came storming onto the bus I was in, yelling because someone in the back threw something out the window at him. Or the time when the drunk old lady whispered into my ear that she really enjoyed her “special tea” that she just drank (I can only imagine what she put in her tea). The bus driver told me she rides the bus herself and knows what it’s like to be a passenger, I told her that’s what makes her such a good bus driver.
We finally reached the mall and I was able to pick up the Christmas gifts I needed. I was starting to get hungry and had enough money left for a meal at subway. It was a long line up, because the mall was so busy with last minute Christmas shoppers like me. It took about 15 minutes just to order my meal. Before it was my turn to pay, a man with his daughter looked at me and the lady before me and wished us a Merry Christmas. So we wished them one back. The man then told us that our subs were both paid for already and then he and his daughter left. It was such a nice surprise. I took note that throughout my whole unintended lost and unplanned evening, I had been cared for by complete strangers. It gave me a warm feeling on such a cold night. I sat down and enjoyed my paid for sub at a table where an elderly lady and her husband asked if they could sit with me because there were no more tables left. I was glad to have some company before my dad came to pick me up after his day at work and brought me home.
Today I got lost, but I didn’t feel lost, because what I found in return was a warm place to wait for the bus, help from a fellow bus rider, a long conversation with a very sweet bus driver, someone to sit with, someone to laugh with, and a free sub.