Portia Placino

Repository of my thoughts and images of art, literature, travel, and life.

Diary of a Grad Student: Leap Year, Cartoons, and Opera

Google Doodle for Rossini and Leap Year

I looked to the coming of the leap year with dread. It was supposed to be the deadline of my thesis proposal’s first draft. But, maybe the leap year has its magic. Alas, the deadline was extended. With a sigh of relief, I wasted time again.

If you’re a reader of this blog, you will know of my fondness for google doodles. I wanted to write about it during the day, but as it was, I was terribly busy. My voices column went out in The Shakespeare Standard, then spent part of the day procrastinating. It’s an extra day of the year after all, right?

And so it was, it was also the 220th birthday of Gioachino Rossini. Unfamiliar with his music? You’re not. Listen to this…

The things we learn everyday, right? Gives us some Loony Tunes and Lone Rangers memories. I was reading comments on YouTube, saying that if Rossini was alive, he’d be so rich because of all the royalties due him. They’re right, of course. It’s probably why older, popular cartoons choose “classic” music instead of contemporary ones. Not that I’m saying it’s a bad thing. At least children of the generation are familiar with the music and are regularly exposed to it. Nowadays, sigh…

Who didn’t have cowboy fantasies? Especially after listening to that? And of course, in another incarnation, is Mickey Mouse! As I said, it’s very educational and helpful for children to listen to such music. I grew up with it. It makes me sad that children today rarely see this. It’s just one spectacle after another today.

Going back to Rossini, he’s also the composer of The Barber of Seville. Yes, you are familiar with that. It’s the first part of The Marriage of Figaro trilogy. Yes, it’s good with cartoons too. I only wish we could still be as cultured as before. Even cartoons were thinking cartoons. We were geeks without even knowing it.

Here’s a leap, to another year.

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Love talking about modern art. We started with theoretical essays, now we're discussing the -isms. The story of art that eventually lead to The Fountain is very interesting--world wars, development of capitalism, institutionalization, and rise of market industry. This class takes me on a journey, from the classroom to New York and Paris. I still remember seeing these works in the Louvre, Musee d'Orsay and Pomidou. Building the student's canonical knowledge of art, at the same time teaching them to challenge the canon and canon-building, is difficult. I don't know if I will ever strike the right balance. Rewards of being in the teaching profession despite of all the challenges it presents. #art #artstud #modernart Let me lead the story with baby and I are just fine. But it didn't feel like it when I felt sharp pains at 2 am today. I woke my doctor and #gamerchef up, to ask and decide if we should go to the ER. Then the pain started subsiding. Doctor said I can just have a regular check-up later, as I was scheduled to have a check-up in a few days anyway. But if the pain returns, I should call. Everything was ok, except I felt exhausted. My weight and blood pressure are fine. Doctor listened to baby's heartbeat and it is strong. Apparently, baby is horizontal right now and probably jammed her feet on my rib cage, thus the sharp pains. As I am small and baby is getting bigger and stronger, kicks and movements are bound to cause me pain, lots of it. As long as the pain subsides, it is fine. One of those false alarms that rather scared me. To cap things off, we shopped for some necessities, saw some friends, and had a nice dinner. The coming weeks are gonna be challenging. Rest is essential. #babynarratives Sleepy baby girl keeping me company this Sunday afternoon. Been feeling exhausted the entire day, I think she shares the sentiment. Cute baby Bunny really loves the comforter. #bunny #toypoodle #dogsofinstagram Baby shower and house warming. We missed you Raquel! Next time just bring Alex. Catching up over pizza, donuts, and our first tikoy gift. Lol. Can't believe we've been friends for about two decades! Part 2 should definitely happen. #shower If there was any doubt to a new phase in our lives, there isn't anymore. We received brown tikoy for Lunar New Year. Lol. Singing 'we are family'.... #cny #newyear #2018 #gamerchef One of the awesome things we bought in Myanmar. Love it. Hope we can find this here also. #lentils #travel #myanmar
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