GY: Progress and Tutoring

This will be my last complete gap year update before I head off to college. (Bittersweet, I know). I’ll still be posting toward the end of August until I leave, but for now, the official end date of daily posts will be August 15. After that, things will be more sporadic, and I may or may not find a new space to write rambles and updates.


  1. Completed: June goals—we’re going WWOOF-ing! First week of August. I’m nearly finished with the poetry collection; editing and assembling.
  2. In Progress: cooking, writing, drawing, calisthenics, gardening.
  3. Next Goal: a four-part schedule for July, posted below. (This is mainly for my own reference, hence the abbreviated writing).

For July:

  • 1-9: Finish learning entire Prok. 2, polish 1st mvmt, 2-3 mvmt. up to speed, 4th mvmt slow tempo. Italian grammar review, ASL review, German tidbits. Finish As You Like It and Hamlet review. Try mushroom soup recipe.
  • 10-16: Memorize Brahms Op. 119. Italian grammar review, ASL practice (phrases), German pronunciation. Read Gardiner’s Bach, review music history and theory (work through listening list). Work in grandma’s garden for the week.
  • 17-23: Finish learning/sight-reading all Chopin preludes. Italian passage reading, ASL practice (sentences), German vocab. Re-read Stegner, Bradbury, Steinbeck. Film & TV reviews.
  • 24-31: Bach French Suite or English Suite; repertoire plan w/ Ethan. Italian passage writing & idioms, ASL practice (short convos), German vocab. Re-read Nausicaa. Daily drawings.

Thoughts on tutoring:

I’m going to miss being around kids, even the unruly ones. I’m going to miss their unabashed enthusiasm and energy, their curiosity and imagination. The other day one kid asked why music note stems don’t stick sideways, to which I replied, “it would be confusing because the music staff is horizontal.” But later I thought, why not? Of course, having note stems in two opposite directions (down/up) makes everything simpler and easier to understand, but what if you could have a slanted note stem? Something that expressed more than a mere eighth note of sound? 

One kid drew me a little booklet of his “piano adventures.” It’s crudely stapled, practically illegible, but oddly reassuring. It reminds me that I don’t have to let go of genuine fascination, and the world is full of too many wonderful things to be apathetic. 


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