Eggplant Wreath, Q. Cassetti, 2012 Adobe Illustrator CS5

We have been in Amherst for a day with visits to the music department and special services at Hampshire. We have eaten and coffeed. We have endlessly been turning over the what if, why and hows…trying to help Alex make his college decision that needs to be made. We have walked the campus, viewed the tennis courts, driven through all the other campuses. We have toured the music and drama facilities of Smith, Amherst College, University of Massachusetts Amherst and Hampshire. I read the five college consortium offerings for music out loud as we drove early yesterday. We have read bulletin boards in all schools learning about drumming opportunities, piano and bass lessons and the endless choral groups from Madrigal choirs to Mens Glee Clubs. We visited both UMass and Amherst’s rowing facilities on the Connecticut River—marvelling at the sheer wealth of shells (and opportunities to row) that is offered here in the Pioneer Valley.

We are all positively exhausted from all of this. I do not think its a physical thing, but more that we are all feeling like this is the end of the road…that feeling of exhaustion from the process to get us to this decision that descends like a velvet hammer and knocks us all to the ground. This is an exhaustion that endless cups of tea and coffee cannot really help. It is a boneweariness from the entire process of change and discussion for over a year and a half. It has evolved from tests and testing to really delving into the types of programs, the type of learning, the type of people and the type of musical experience Alex wants and can flourish in. Alex’s college choice is a decision that is the beginning of a path and journey—and it may be the path that Alex stays on, or derivates from…but it is a point of beginning. None of these decisions are sure bets—like we would all wish they could be—but a measured choice that we have to have confidence will manifest change and happiness for our boy and allow him to grow. Perhaps part of that growing may be changing institutions, but we are ready for that. Action is going to be translated to change….and with that more decisions.

I know its a wretched thing for parents to compare which I will not do. But reflecting on our girl two years ago was in this same place, Alex is more focused, more directed and more confident than she was. He doesnt have to see the students passing by to understand his place—and his participation in a tonal theory class was affirming and positive for him. And to see the transformation that Kitty has experienced in the last 10 months in this type of program gives my heart hope and confidence that this will be similar for our boy should he lean towards Hampshire.
We have done the diligence. Time for some decisions. The drive home is going to be interesting.

Kitty is really rocking. She is building a head of steam around costume design—regaling us with fascinating factoids I could hear all day. She is focused on the work and really is identifying with all she is learning. There is hope that she will spend both summer sessions at FIT this summer taking some sewing, draping and garment design related courses. She is planning and taking it all in…to our delight. She also has started writing a blog, The Girl in the Newspaper Dress (on Tumblr) which should be great to see what she is relating to, connecting with, inspired by and her funny insights around the world as it spins around her.

Changing topics. I am going to ramp up the research on seeing if I can do some licensing. I think that a lot of my work…and the bodies of work I can do quickly could have traction in the licensing arena—so I plan on a few phone calls and maybe a trip to NYC to walk the floor of the licensing show to learn a bit about the business and begin to make inroads into this world. This should be interesting, and I will certainly keep you abreast of that.