In Which Ryan Is Vaguely Aware A Year Has Passed

September 2021 | 2:9

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Koopa and Goomba would like you to know that feather toys and chewy banana toys are an important (and yellow) part of a balanced breakfast routine.

What's Been Happening

This month marks one full year of doing this newsletter, which in the new tradition of time no longer feeling linear or having standard benchmarks I thought was last month and then forgot about it until I found a post-it note to myself this morning reminding me to do an “anniversary review” post. Shout out to past-Ryan for having the presence of mind to know both that I’d need a written reminder and where to leave it (on the appropriate page of my “page a day” calendar). After going back and reading the first newsletter, I’m struck by two main things.

First, Koopa can be proud that in general I’ve kept things shorter than the first month. Plus I’ve actually kept up with both the “progress bar” and the newsletter even though I’m back to my “of course I can write a concert band piece by Thursday” schedule.

Second, I’m due to update my website again so I’ve just set aside some time to do that this month (read as, “I set aside time that will then get pushed back because a project will come up, then I’ll see something shiny, then I’ll really need to beat some more levels in Lego Indiana Jones, then I’ll remember again and do it when I find the post-it note I just put in my calendar”). Also I need to explore some of the ideas I haven’t done yet like album reviews or interviews, so I look forward to seeing how I can make those happen and catching up with people as I do.

Obviously we all wish that things were even more back-to-normal at this point, but I for one am counting my blessings that I can travel, see people, and make some funny noises with others safely.

Chart O' The Month

I Mean YouMedium Ensemble
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I’ve always liked the music of Thelonius Monk, if nothing else because anyone with the middle name “Sphere” probably writes some interesting stuff. However, I’ve also always struggled to do arrangements of his music because it either ended up being in essence an orchestration where I didn’t do anything of musical interest, or it was such a departure that I failed to capture or retain anything of the original. This arrangement was the first time I ever felt like I accomplished the middle ground where good arrangements live so I’m really proud of it, although now I can never remember how to play the original melody correctly so my apologies in advance if this gets in your ear the same way.

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Look, Nature!

This is a Night Heron, and I have never seen a bird look more like it is an assistant to a turn-of-the-century mad scientist.

Education Notes

Happy fall! May everyone in the education world be safe, as sane as possible, and have the efficacy to accomplish what you are asked.