2021 in review

Things I learned and/or did this year:

  1. I never really understood when classmates (or students) said they were “done” with school. I get it now. Learning is fun, but I have work to do.
  2. It’s hard to balance being a human, a student, a professor, a composer, and a programmer. I have to start curating this down.
  3. I started and finished the Publishing certificate at NDSU. I learned a lot about literary publishing (and saw some book projects to fruition), and it was SO MUCH FUN. I did the program to learn more about music publishing because I thought some things would transfer over, and they do.
  4. I also learned that there’s not much structured learning with music publishing—it’s very much apprenticeship and make-it-up-as-you-go. And if that’s the case, what’s stopping me from making up more stuff?
  5. I started making up publishing stuff for my students.
  6. Are we going to start a music publishing certificate in ND? No. Are we going to nudge composers to work with the NDSU Press to get some experience in publishing? Very yes.
  7. I proposed and implemented a new BM Composition program (the first in the Dakotas), which was either the product of or the cause of taking a full-time position at NDSU.
  8. Hey, conferences are a thing again! I presented a piece at the College Music Society national conference in Rochester, NY, and at the first Jacksonville Electronic Music Festival in Florida. I also did my annual appearance at the Aspen Composers Conference.
  9. My parents decided to move to North Dakota—this one is still in progress.
  10. I started using Johnny Decimal as an organizational system, and I think it’s working.
  11. I paid off my student loans.
  12. I stopped buying stuff from Amazon. This was easier than I thought it would be. I have lots to say about this later.
  13. I moved my cloud computing to Microsoft Azure.
  14. I got new headshots made (stay tuned!) and had my sheet music covers redesigned.
  15. We adopted another cat, Lorraine.
  16. I only wrote three pieces, which is embarrassing. But I like them all, so that’s good.
  17. I took on a piece for adaptable instrumentation (flex band) and electronics, which has been a whole new experience.
  18. We installed new livestreaming equipment at NDSU.
  19. I learned how to use printing equipment from the 1880s.
  20. I learned that I like to use printing equipment from the 1880s.
  21. I found out how much money it costs to buy printing equipment from the 1880s.
  22. I found out how much money it costs to find out you’re probably lactose intolerant. But as a bonus I found out I don’t have gluten sensitivity. Either way, I still can’t have pizza.
  23. I learned that you can do whatever you want to do with commas, as long as you’re consistent. I also learned that I still don’t know how to properly use semicolons.
  24. I learned that the drive from Red Lodge, MT to Aspen, CO is something like 14 hours of mostly 2-lane roads and gravel. Only like 100 miles of that are interstate.
  25. I had two VCSU students apply and get in to grad schools in Composition.
  26. Trying to remember everything from the year in the week after Christmas is hard, and next year I’ll be making an ongoing list.
Decorative element
Kyle Vanderburg