About Me

I write a whole lot of nonsense, really. Mostly, I babble here about music, philosophy, film, photography, books, education (mine and other people’s), food that I’ve managed not to ruin completely, and my dogs. I have a tendency to swear a bit more than perhaps is strictly ladylike.

For a good long while (15 years or so), I taught philosophy at a little private university in northwest IA, and occasionally branched out into playing music and dabbling in photography. The philosophy teaching part ended in 2017 (program elimination via prioritization) and transitioned to an administrative position, but never fear! I finished my MLIS in 2016 at San Jose State University, and in 2019 I begin a new adventure as a Reference and Instruction Librarian at a public university in a totally different state that starts with “I”.  As always, I labor as I can to support my dogs in the lavish manner to which they’ve become accustomed. Wish me luck!

The Side Hustle: Recorded Music

There are (as you’ll discover when you listen to any of the stuff below) Good Reasons why I’m not trying to make a living as a musician. It’s fun to play, though, and I couldn’t imagine life without it!

For other people

  • I’ve put violin and vocal tracks on three different Andy Juhl records. Andy is a swell guy, and I like playing his music. :)
  • I also recorded violin, viola, and vox for Bridget Durst’s first EP, From Thought to Sound
  • I put some violinish bits on Charlie Leissler’s most recent record, January Journey (although I listen now and don’t like what I did as much as I like the songs Charlie wrote).
  • An amazing student band where I used to teach wrote, performed, recorded, mastered, spun, spindled, folded, and mutilated their own first full record, and I got to lay down violin and viola tracks on a tune. The band is Liberty Hall Collective, the record is Harmonica Sounds, and the tune is called “Stars & Galaxies”. The members of the band have moved on to bigger and better things post-graduation, and they remain awesome.

For myself

I’m no recording engineer, but I’ve recently really gotten interested in learning the technology. I took up the February Album Writing Month Challenge for myself a couple of years ago, and had a great time making it happen. It’s all up (with some edits and extras) on SoundCloud: Scenes From The RoadIt’s a truly horrid sort of first attempt, but it gave me material to work with, and it was a good education in songwriting regardless of the dubious quality of my output. I started laying down some tracks for a fantasy EP with a clue-bearing recording dude a while back, and someday maybe we’ll get it done. I’ve got a couple of nice draft tracks, anyway.

Here’s what one of them sounds like:

And here’s the other one:

I’m also in a band called Laura and Josh. We play some pretty things sometimes (although we haven’t been very active recently).

3 Responses to About Me

  1. We have a lot in common—philosophy and music. I play guitar and sing, but not at all professionally. By that I mean I’ve recorded a few cover songs on my iPod in the kitchen. Nice track here…the singer reminds me a bit of the older Joni Mitchell.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A very kind compliment (says the singer)! I have to admit that the older I get, the more I come to believe that doing philosophy and doing music are inseparable activities for me. I like your post about stumbling blocks to reading philosophy — I think your experience and the experience of my own students match up pretty closely! For myself, I have to admit an unseemly love for Kant and an ongoing Wittgenstein hangover, as well as a habit of assigning Nietzsche in order to teach people how to read. :)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kant is one of my all time favorites, even though I don’t agree with everything. One of my first philosophy classes was ethics, in which we discussed Kant’s. The professor made fun of his Categorical Imperative and this really irked me. I can see why there are problems with it, but to make fun of it is absurd! I had a deep appreciation for his goals. I ended up transferring to a different school and on the class sign-up sheet, I wrote down only one class: Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. From there on, my mind was blown. Instinct told me there was a lot more going on there than the professor at the other school was admitting.

        Liked by 1 person

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