29. May 2009 · 2 comments · Categories: Ramble

I just wound up with a lot of free time at UCSC: my first student showed up saying he wasn’t feeling well. When he complained about how bad his throat felt I said, “Let me have a look.”

White spots.

Now I suppose it could be something else, but I told him to go to the health center right away. I’m thinking strep. And he has to play in the UCSC opera performance tonight. (Or at least he’s supposed to! I suppose if push came to shove I’d wind up in the pit in his place. I was planning on attending in any case.)

So I have some free time, and I’m attempting to catch up with email. I have been negligent so I have a lot of catching up to do.

I’ve found a very “good side” of the ear problem; it really hurts if I bite my nails! Perhaps this whole ear problem could cure me of my ridiculously immature and bad habit. (Doubtful, though.) It also hurts to whistle. When I have music on in the car I frequently start to whistle … and since I am so forgetful I manage to continue to try this, each time being painfully reminded that whistling hurts. Funny how playing the oboe, speaking and singing don’t hurt, but whistling does.

Maybe that’s just saying something about my whistling, though. (And, by the way, I can only whistle by “whistling in” rather than blowing out. Weird, huh?)


  1. patti with an i

    i whistled “in” for years, though i did eventually learn to do it the other way.

    i personally dealt with the nail-biting thing by adopting a technique i read about somewhere. i’m still allowed to chew on one nail, but only that one. for me it’s the right thumb, since that’s the one that has to be the shortest for viola playing anyhow. and i’ve let the left thumb grow kind of long, since that one doesn’t matter for playing. everything else has to be clipped fairly short, of course.

    be sure to tell your student to throw out every reed he’s been playing on recently, or is there a way to sterilize them by soaking in peroxide or something?

  2. My student DOES have strep and he’s sitting in the pit as I type … yes, he is playing the opera even so. (I brought clothes and instrument just in case, but I guess he opted for spreading strep and being miserable. Sigh.)

    I’ve heard that if the reeds dry out completely they should be fine, but I’d sure trash ’em all!

    As to nails … I DO try not to chomp at all, but it’s sure not easy!