Commence, recite, be graduated, take yourself seriously.

Ah, the season of final exams, recitals, commencements and graduations. Note: The verb “to graduate” is intransitive, which means that it doesn’t take a direct object. So one can say “I graduated from college” or even better, I “was graduated from” LSU or wherever. It’s the school that does the graduating, not the student.

I have just read David Foster Wallace’s commencement speech to Kenyon College in 1995, which I recommend. James Rhodes’s TEDxOxford is similarly worth listening to: plain-spoken, blunt, uncommon wisdom about contemporary society.

I played my violin in recital for the first time last month. It was ok, thanks–not great, but at least I didn’t embarrass my teacher on the stage of the world-famous Liberty Theater. That stage was the same one on which I played with the Eunice Symphony Orchestra in April. Another violinist has a music school, whose student recital was last weekend. How charming to watch well-dressed children playing guitars and accordions and violins. And the young performers were quite good also, and played folk and classical pieces–only one pop selection. There’s hope for the future yet, says the curmudgeon typing at her computer.

My piano teacher has put a video of his performance of a short Debussy piece. Since this is good cinematography as well as wonderful musicianship, have a listen. If an error occurs in the embedded video, click the link. No technology is perfect.


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