This is one of my favorites among Barbara's sadder songs. The words speak of piano-playing and grief (at the loss of a daughter or younger person)
I'm in the mood for sad music because 1) Ralph Nader is running for President, and though I get the point (and even agree) I still think it's going to play right into the hands of the Republican Party and 2) Our chosen candidate from the three finalists at the end of our year-long faculty search has turned us down, not because s/he didn't like us (s/he did, and we would have made a great team) but because we pay much, much less than the other place that offered him/her a job. And there's more I can't discuss on that score. I am not a happy puppy.
I'm not sure what this will mean or how we will proceed, and I probably won't be at liberty to say for a while.
[Note from the technical staff at Acts of Hope: YouTube is up again and the link to the song above works. Take a listen.]
I am having a bunch of seniors over later on for what I have called the "senior freak-out dinner." (Note to non-U.S. readers: a "senior" in this case is a fourth-year college student, completing his or her bachelor's degree, the first U.S. university degree, at the end of this academic year.) I invited every senior I knew and told them to bring friends and come and spend a couple of hours here (early, before they and I all repair to our studies and libraries to do the usual Sunday night hours and hours of homework) eating soup and talking about what it's feeling like to be a second-semester senior. I remember that when I was an undergraduate at a small liberal arts college not unlike this one, this time of year my senior year was exactly when I freaked out. Endings, beginnings, life decisions, going or not going on for further study, identity crises and all the rest. So, I ran the idea past one of my former teaching assistants (a senior herself) and she thought it was dandy, and I sent out a big group e-mail and a reminder, and the little darlings are coming over in a few hours. One group is even bringing homemade cookies. I told them they didn't have to be freaking out to attend; all the better if they are feeling happy and relieved to be graduating. But there is such a mix of emotions at this time in one's life that it's good to have a place to acknowledge this.
We also have adult students (about half our students actually) but these are, except for a few younger "adult students" who are in their twenties, people in a different situation when they graduate. They usually have clear reasons, professional and financial, for getting a college degree at age 30 or 40 or older, so the issues senior year are very different -- and they are rarely full time students. So this will be a group of the young 'uns.
I'm going to go weep into my mug of organic fair-trade locally roasted coffee now.