The one where he moves back to North Carolina by way of Chicago with a marimba (& tons of new clothes) in tow...

I’m sad to say that this, my one-semester sabbatical from “real” life, is quickly coming to a close. It didn’t really hit me until this afternoon as I was in my office disassembling my marimba and loading it in my car how much I would miss this place that has been my home for the past 4 months. I hosted a very successful Percussion Studio Holiday Party at my temporary abode last night at which we exchanged Secret Santa gifts (see photo on right for my gifts... that's an OU keychain & an OU hat).

It was a pretty ambitious semester with many goals accomplished, including 3 percussion ensemble concerts, 1-1/2 solo recitals, 3 5K races, 2 half marathons, and 2 completed commissions. I’ve already written about all of these things in previous posts, so if you want more details, please check out my 10 other Oklahoma posts. I just have one more full day here in Norman filled with 6 hours of percussion juries (for you non-musician readers, this is when each student comes in and plays 10-12 minutes worth of music they’ve been working on this semester). Tuesday, I’ll be winging my way up to Chicago for the Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic where my piece Power Struggle will be performed by the Valdosta Middle School Percussion Ensemble, directed by Travis Downs. As soon as I return to the OKC, I’ll start the 2-day trek back to the NC (assuming I don’t get snowed in at O’Hare).

So, I’m a bit of a dork when it comes to making lists, whether bulleted or numbered, so bear with me as I share three with you:

5 things I’ll miss about Oklahoma

  • Students in the Percussion Studio (teaching, directing, chatting, playing Rock Band)
  • Campus restaurants (Café Plaid, Freebirds, even Greek House)
  • Campus Corner Starbucks baristas (I scored a lot of free coffee from them)
  • Flat terrain for running (as unrealistic as it is)
  • Campus clock tower chimes playing “Oklahoma” every day (yeah, it grew on me)

5 things I will not miss about Oklahoma

  • The “wind sweeping down the plain” (it’s not all it’s cracked up to be)
  • The constant organ playing in the lobby of the School of Music (some people love it, but it drove me batty!)
  • Sleeping on a twin-size mattress (don’t ask)
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Lack of good grocery stores

5 things I’m looking forward to returning to in NC

Okay, I’ll wrap it up now. If you read this far, thank you for indulging me.

And Happy Holidays!