And Over!

Hi friends! Believe it or not, my semester is over. Somehow I have gotten a reminder of graduation being less than 200 days away, gotten my senior portraits, etc. I just finished my finals and all my grad school applications that are due on December 15th, and just got back to home in Shenzhen after a 17-hour-flight!

The Toronto sunrise I took in a blur

Speaking of next semester, I knew I was gonna get all of my classes so I slept through my last enrollment (lol)! I ended up being fine, and I will be in Programming Languages, Gregorian Chant, Senior Seminar for Music, and also a class called Defense Against the Dark Arts! I’m also looking into the possibilities of auditing a New Media class as that lines up with my interested for grad school.

As I was writing my last post, I was thinking how crazy things would be in November. Well, believe it or not, my time after Thanksgiving break has been a mixture of emotions and could probably be characterized by “pure madness”. I’ll provide a snapshot of some of the highlights of the rest of my semester!

Guess what I was most involved with? Singing in concerts. What a big surprise…. There was a collaboration between the HC college choirs with WPI. We learned a traditional Scottish song together and we performed half of our set that we did in our fall concert in this concert. It was an unprecedented opportunity and it was really cool to see when a choir gets bigger, how different of a sound we are capable of making.

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HC College Choir and WPI Choirs collab!

The second concert was yet another collaboration, between the Holy Cross chamber singers and Figures of Speech Theater through the arts transcending borders initiative at HC! We sang a piece by David Lang called “The Little Match Girl Passion”, which is retelling the fairy tale of little match girl trying to sell matches to keep her from being beaten by her father, and how she died from being frozen to death despite there were a lot of richer people that passed by her. The composer took the idea and paralleled it with Jesus’s suffering as both of these characters are innocent people suffering from the unjust. The piece is fairly different than anything I’ve sang before, but it was very minimalist as David Lang draw from a simple scale to create really powerful music.  Figures of Speech theater then created choreography for the puppet girl accompanying the music.

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Here’s a photo of the little match girl puppet used. Photo creds to Figures of Speech Theater

I also sang in the Christmas tree lighting ceremony and Lessons & Carols for the last time this year. It was definitely one of my favorite Holy Cross experiences singing traditional carols as well as other more modern works, including a piece by a music major in my year as well as one by one of our chaplains! The campus has also been decorated to be very christmasy.

Decorations at St.Joseph’s chapel for the advent season!

As our final for my Balinese Gamelan music class this year, I was part of the concert on Friday following Lessons and Carols. We did six pieces that we learned in class, which has a really rewarding experience. As a classically trained pianist I have been really used to learning music with scores. In Bali, however, the musicians never learn music with scores. Instead, they will listen to the music and memorize it, which has been one of the most challenging but rewarding things about this course.

In traditional Bali clothing for the concert!

It was really incredible to wrap up the year with so many concerts. During Thanksgiving break I also got to visit Montreal for a grad school program that I am applying to. Here are some pictures that I took! I also had beef tartare for the first time without previous knowledge that it is all raw.

Some really cool art in the montreal museum of fine arts!
View from an Observatory in Montreal

You might wonder how my life is so musically oriented and what I do in my computer science classes… well, in my AI class we got to write a machine learning algorithm to build a decision tree based on underlying patterns provided by the data. As for visions, we also did a research project and we were looking at what has been done in the past in order to realize object recognition through different methods. Those are the big projects that I was working on before the finals. I also made a final video for my digital art project. Sometimes I actually get a bit lost of where the time goes when I work on these!

After I am done with all my finals, I headed to New York for an interview at NYU. We were basically asked to introduce another person that you spend about 10 minutes talking to, and one of us will ask a follow up question. My boyfriend and I therefore decided to make that a weekend trip and we got to see MoMA and had some delicious food! It was really the perfect way to end the semester.

A pano of a work by Monet at MoMA
Looking into Manhattan through Astoria, Queens

It has been quite the ride this semester, with being involved with orientation again, doing senior interviewer, taking cool classes, learning a lot about new friends and about life, having excitement for the future and beyond. Although the fears that I face as a senior from time to time is quite real, I still can’t wait for what next semester brings! If anyone wants to find me, I would have limited access to Gmail, fb and snapchat, but I’ll get back to you 🙂