Sunday, November 18, 2007

Coming up for air.

Apologies to readers who may have wondered where I've been the last week and why a promised update on Lauren and Tony's wedding has taken so long to materialize. (The wedding was great, incidentally, as was my stay at Georgetown.) In some ways, the past week was the busiest I've had this semester - not mainly in terms of schoolwork, though the two (really quite easy) assignments I had to turn in this week took far too long to complete. On the contrary, most of what I've been busy with has been outside of school.

Each day this week I've had various meetings go attend, with everyone from Fordham faculty to the rector at Ciszek to my spiritual director. Helping in the New York Province's efforts to promote vocations to the Society of Jesus, I spent all of Thursday speaking in theology classes and meeting with students at Regis High School in Manhattan. Though I came home very tired, I enjoyed my visit to Regis and found my positive impressions of the school abundantly confirmed. Taking some time out for recreation, I also went to Carnegie Hall twice in the last week. It's highly unusual for me to make it to two classical concerts in one week - though I like to go when I have the opportunity - but in this case I have to thank the scheduler of events at Carnegie Hall for booking two acts that I wanted to see within days of one another. On Monday I saw the young Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel and veteran Sir Simon Rattle take turns directing the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela in their New York premiere, and then on Friday I saw Rattle conduct the Berlin Philharmonic. Both conductors and orchestas lived up to their respective reputations, and the two programs offered adequate variety: on Monday, the SBYOV played Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra (led by Dudamel) and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10 (led by Rattle), while on Friday the Berliners presented pieces by Mahler (his unfinished Symphony No. 10, in the 'performing version' by Deryck Cooke) and the contemporary Hungarian composer György Kurtág (his Stele, a Berlin Philharmonic commission).

This week I enjoy a brief idyll before the rush to exams and prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving here at Ciszek. My parents will be here for the holiday, and I look forward to spending some time with them. That's the news from Lake Wobegon, at least for now. AMDG.


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