May 17th, 2007

classic cylon

(no subject)

My chorus had its first Spring season performance last Friday. I think we did ok, but we will do better. There were two main problems: everyone could not see the director, and on some pieces, the director couldn't get us to follow her lead for staccato, volume, etc. (These issues are possibly related.)

Immediately after the performance ended, I was chatting with another chorus member about my job situation. In response to his statement that "maybe it's time to change careers", I said that I didn't think this was a good idea right now. He sort of looked at me as if I was crazy. I didn't have a chance to respond because he went to talk to someone else, but I did send him some email explaining my rationale for continuing to try to find work in the computer industry.

I've run into that sentiment quite often. I realize people are trying to be helpful, but I think they don't really understand how tech unemployment has become rather commonplace, especially among people who don't fit an ideal profile of a software engineer, or who weren't fortunate enough to be working on something that is a standard or best common practice. Also, they don't take into account that just because people attempt to change careers that it will be easy to do, or that in the process of trying to change careers, they might lose out on the opportunity to get a tech job that is ideally suited to them, but they don't get because they were not prepared for the interview.

After the performance, we went out to eat at a Mexican restaurant called La Estrellita in Los Altos. Part of the table conversation was on a proposed choral exchange with a choir from Madrid in a couple of years. (One of our new tenors, who was at dinner that night, was a member of that choir when he lived there.) There seems to be a lot of enthusiasm and excitement about this, e.g. chorus members speaking Spanish with each other and with the restaurant staff. I'm quite excited about it myself because I've never been to Madrid, and I know a lot more Spanish than French (although I've forgotten a lot). The more I use it, the more it comes back to me. It will be much easier, and require far less time to relearn Spanish than to learn French anew, and there are a lot more local opportunities for practice.
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