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Here I will periodically post random thoughts and stories about what's going on in my life and the world around me. As if anyone cared. But seriously, you've found your way here, so hopefully you will enjoy at least some of what I have to say, even if you aren't entirely interested in it. At the least, it should be a good way to waste time.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Masters

Well, I suppose it's official now. Or at least as official as it can be without having any "official" paperwork to back up my claim. Yesterday I turned in my final graduate project to the Office of Graduate Studies at Sacramento State. So, for all intents and purposes, I have finished my Master of Music in Composition.

Going to the Grad Studies office is always something of an adventure, as anyone who has ever had the experience can attest. The first surprise was actually a pleasant one; for some reason they've waived the binding fee you normally have to pay to have your project bound in an ugly green book format and stored in the dark recesses of the library. So, that was a $60 savings right there. Not exactly sure why it was waived, and no one there seemed to offer a reason. I believe it's because they are looking at taking these payments directly, and have stopped having the Cashier's office across campus take them - and they haven't quite figured out how to do it yet. But whatever the reason, I'll take the savings. I actually used it as an excuse to treat us out to Leatherby's for dinner last night...

It wasn't exactly a smooth process to turn the project in. They normally recommend that you print a draft copy and have their office review it - twice - before printing it out on the very nice and very expensive required cotton paper. So, naturally, I printed my first copy on cotton and dropped in to submit it.

Oh, the paper was fine of course. Mostly they just check the margins to make sure that it's 1.5 inches at the top and left, per their requirements. The score, however, as it's an orchestral score printed on standard size paper, did not conform to these guidelines. I suppose it could have conformed, had I set it up that way, but I produced it exactly as I would produce it for a conductor stepping in front of an orchestra.

So, that prompted discussion between the person who was reviewing my project and her supervisor, and for awhile it looked like they wanted me to re-do the formatting. As a minor aside, they also normally want to see the works cited page of your paper at the very end of the paper, after the project, as technically the project is an 'appendix' to the paper. But since my 'appendix' was 88 pages versus the 38 of the paper, I thought it made more sense to have the works cited page with what I refer to as the "paper proper".

In any case, I countered with the argument that increasing the margins would squish the score to the point of illegibility. And it really would - unless of course I went through and changed the number of measures per system (shhh! don't tell them you can do that! I sure didn't...). I did well making it sound like it would be an exceptional amount of work to make this happen. At one point the lady had mentioned that this was what they recommend, and they weren't sure if the library would accept it as is. I, of course, said that I couldn't care less if it was bound and shelved and left to die in the basement of the library. The point was obtaining the actual degree.

They also recommended that the page numbers should continue through the score, without starting over with page "1" on the first page of the score. This of course would be an easy fix, though it would require me to reprint the score. I wouldn't necessarily mind that part of it, except that I wanted the score to stand by itself - after all, THAT is the project, to me, not the paper. And whoever heard of a musical score that starts on page 39??

Well, in the end, they accepted it as is, and it was uploaded to the library's vast attic of internet depositories known as Scholar Works. And, now, I will supposedly get a piece of paper in 8-10 weeks that will say "mission accomplished".