Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A step in the right direction

The Fairbanks Symphony holiday concert is this weekend. Hurray! It's the only real fundraising concert because it's the only one that sells out (despite the tickets being $30--ouch!) and it's just really fun to do. I think I've stated before how much I love Christmas music. In addition, one of my good friends is in the choir that will be joining us so I got to laugh at how chastened he looked when the conductor scolded the choir. "I was told that this is sight-readable music. You do know what Christmas carols sound like, don't you? Then why are you all singing different things?" Concert week is always stressful for the conductor, and every one I've ever played for can get rather cutting the week of the concert. I think Dr. Z sounds even angrier because he's Russian. I was just happy that he was happy with the orchestra. We would have heard otherwise if he wasn't, and he wouldn't have been as gentle with us as he was with the choir. :)
The rehearsals are 3 hours, which on a Tuesday night can make life really hectic. I only have half an hour after getting home before I'm rushing out the door again. So dinner has to be ready and I need to gather my gear (music, violin) quickly. It's totally worth it, don't worry.
But because the rehearsals are so long, and it's difficult to concentrate so hard for that long, there's a break in the middle when people can get coffee and tea, and there's usually coffee cake and/or cookies to nibble on. (The sugar really helps to keep energy up for the second half.) Naturally, since no one's going to do all of the dishes for the hundred + orchestra members, there are disposable napkins and Styrofoam cups. The napkins are easily avoided, since I'm going to be eating the cookies right away and I keep rags in my case for cleaning off my instrument. (So I don't get grease and crumbs on my violin.) And you'd think that the disposable cups would be easy to avoid as well, but that requires me remembering to bring an alternative. When I've only got half an hour at home, that could be not so easy for me. However, I've been doing it. Last year I'd either have to not drink anything at the break (which meant flagging energy during the second half, or being inattentive due to thirst) or to berate myself for using the Styrofoam. I was determined to do better this year, and I am. I think I'm finally getting into the habit of remembering to bring a mason jar with me to hold tea. The only downside to this is that the jar gets very hot, so I'll have to make myself a little jar cosie. I should be able to crochet one in about an hour.
What made me feel really good about remembering this last night, though, was that someone else noticed. One of the trumpet players was in line for hot water behind me and as I was filling up my jar he said, "Ah, you brought the green alternative to Styrofoam. [pause] I did not." I got someone else thinking about their choices without having to say a word! So I smiled at him, nodded, and said, "And this holds more." I hope that I can subtly inspire others this way.
In other positive news, my plan to propagate as many plants at work as possible is really taking off. We have four new jade plant starts, and the begonia start, which I was afraid I'd killed, has perked up now that it's got roots started. So I'll plant that just after Christmas. (If I plant before, no one will be here to water it.) We'll continue to have a very green library even after the botanical gardens take their plants back.

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