June 16, 2022 by Kyle
Several things that are bouncing around my head these days:
First off, let’s talk about the summer schedule. Hopefully this will be a productive working summer. But in between that work, some interesting projects:
For ten days in June, I’ll be in NYC to help run the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival (NYCEMF). I don’t have a piece on the festival this year, I’m just working. That should help me get my mixing, troubleshooting, and gaff-taping fix for the year.
The first week in July, I’ll be teaching Audio Technology at the International Music Camp. Lots of firsts for that one—first time at the International Peace Gardens, first time teaching at IMC, first time using Cubase…
At the beginning of August, I’ll be presenting a paper on composition program curricula at the Aspen Composers Conference. A few days later, I’ll be teaching a seminar on recording technology at NDSU’s Music Education Summer Symposium.
Next: Social media. Ugh. I’ve never really liked it. I feel like I always have to be “On” to use it—as in, everything I post has to be amusing or witty or something more than “I’m eating a sandwich.” I’ve long suspected that it’s the cause of most of our recent societal problems. As I teach freshmen every year, my believe that being constantly catered to by algorithms isn’t healthy. And my recent reading list hasn’t helped things.
Dave Eggers, The Circle
and the sequel that I’ve bought but am too scared to read: The Every
David Heinemeier Hansson’s articles on how it’s hard to escape being ordinary in a connected world and how growing apart and losing touch is human and healthy. That last one really makes you think.
Those led me to this fantastic and fantastically-titled article in the Atlantic: Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid.
Now, I haven’t gotten out the tinfoil hat and I’m not saying that I agree with everything I’ve just listed. But these things have been on my mind for a while.
This is part of a larger thing I’m going through right now, where I’m realizing that I don’t have to be good at everything. I’m not good at contributing to social media (and consuming it isn’t good for me) and that’s okay.
I’m not good at email either, but that’s a project and a story for another day.
This leads me to my third thing—the scarcity mindset. This came up in Beyond Talent earlier in Entrepreneurship this spring, and it struck the students (and me) differently than usual. For much of grad school and my early academic career, I’d say “Yes” to whatever project or job came my way. And this never really stopped—even though I have full-time employment and several side projects, every time I see a job posting I think “OOH! I could do that too!” Not “instead.” “Too.”
Diversification and risk management are good things, but there’s a point of diminishing returns where you’re spread too thin. I just need to calm down and focus on the plates that are already spinning.
OOH! Or I could go back to school to become a CPA!