Friday, July 22, 2016
I never wanted to be a public school teacher, but worked for several years as an all subject substitute teacher. I remember jogging around the track at Mcateer High School in San Francisco shouting at the students that they should not let me outrun them. Adventures in substitute teaching. That day I was a PE substitute. I also remember a principal telling me I should be working 3rd street instead of substitute teaching. I had to ask around to find out what this meant. It meant I would be more suitable as a prostitute. I was a complete stranger to him.
I wanted to make more money so I studied programming for 1 semester in a junior college and got a very prestigious job with the Bechtel Corporation. I enjoyed designing software, which involved interviewing people about what they wanted the software to do and drawing boxes. Part of the joy of working for Bechtel was that the office was in downtown San Francisco with wonderful scenery and countless restaurants. Working meant I could afford to eat at them. My software is still running and has had many thousands of users.
When I started programming, the biggest shock was that everyone treated me with respect--this means sort of cowboy respect from the cowboy corporation, but I was from Oklahoma and knew what it meant. I obviously knew what I was doing and that was all that counted. Programming is a gift that you have received from your parents or you haven't. Perhaps music is, too. My father was an engineer.
At the time I decided to retire something new came into existence: the blog. I saw this as an opportunity to use some of the information accumulated from all those years of studying music. The only problem I have is that I'm not tough. If someone decided to start attacking the things I write here, I would undoubtedly just stop writing them. My opinions do not come from heaven. They are just my opinions. If you have different ones, good for you. Just know this: I am perfectly well qualified to hold the musical opinions I hold. Are you? I am also fully qualified to give opinions about software without having to provide elaborate justifications. The web pages provided by many opera companies are atrocious.
I want to thank all of you for your kindness. I don't have as much to say as I used to and may soon run out altogether. I have loved doing this. It has transformed the art form of opera for me.