auld acquaintance

So here we are in Anno Domini 2023. I turn 50 in 53 days.

I like seeing expiration dates on food products. It’s a sign of hope, of a future.

Last year was professionally one of the best I’ve ever had, with three solid premiere performances (including one in Australia, so yay for “international reputation for full professor”) and the SMT presentation. Work on the opera continues, though not at the pace I would like. Gonna sit with that and with my textbook quite a lot over the next two weeks before classes start up again. I am proud of the work we’re doing in music – and the work we’re doing on assessment – at UMN Morris.

Of course, last year we suffered a tremendous loss as well, with the passage (on the one-year anniversary of my own mother’s death) of my mother-in-law, Lauretta Beck Philhower (May 26, 1951 – June 17, 2022). We spent the holidays with Amanda’s dad and with my dad, and I’m grateful for the chance to still have both of them in my life. Dad will be 88 in four days. Expect some kind of tribute.

I do not know what the future holds. If I did, I would build Biff Tannen’s Pleasure Paradise. All I know is that I must and shall keep learning and keep doing. I encourage all of you to do the same. Cynicism is no way to approach life.

Be well in 2023. Let’s meet back here on January 1, 2024 and talk about how it went.