Wednesday, November 18, 2009
A few hours before leaving for Arizona, I printed my dissertation, punched holes in the side, and put it in a three ring binder. I then place the document on my desk and stared in disbelief and said, "Did I write all of that!" Even more sobering, realized that my life for the last two and a half years was distilled in an inch and a half to two inch pile of paper. All the notes, interview recordings, transcripts, videos, and pictures squeezed into 230 or so pages. They say writing a qualitative dissertation is like making syrup, "You harvest 10 gallons of sap to get a pint of syrup."
Everyone has been so kind with words of congratulations and support. I have been pretty low key at school, only giving my students tidbits why I have been missing school lately. When I returned to school, most of my older students congratulated me, wondering what to call me now: Sam ? (I allow my high school students to address me by my first name), Dr. Sam?, Dr. Tsugawa?, Doc? I specified the protocol: "You may continue to call me 'Sam' and Mr. Tsugawa. You can call me Dr. Tsugawa or Dr. Sam. Please don't call me just Tsugawa or Doc (reserved for a special colleague). Finally, please don't call me Dr. Tsugawa aloud in a crowded room or an airplane. If someone drops of a heart attack, they may point to me and say 'Hey, he's a doctor!.'"
To all my doctoral colleagues, thank you for your friendship, support, and example. The most fulfilling aspect of my graduate school experience has been the people I have met and worked with over the last three and a half years. To the members and conductors of the Desert Foothills New Horizons Band and the BYU New Horizons Orchestra, thank you for allowing me into your lives. It was an honor sharing your stories with the world. Also, thank you to my professors, Drs. Marg Schmidt, Sandy Stauffer, Jill Sullivan, and Jeff Bush. I will be eternally grateful to their commitment of time and treasure to help me find my research voice. Their dedication to the profession of research and to the success of their students is an inspiration to me. To Dr. Schmidt for her constant concern for my personal welfare, paving my way to attend ASU, allowing a trombone player to teach her string methods class, and her tireless editing (even the table of contents!). And to Dr. Stauffer for her kindhearted demeanor, scholastic integrity, providing the resources for me to write this dissertation, and giving me the confidence and opportunities to write, present, and publish. Thank you all.
Lastly, I could not have completed this journey without Trish. She transcribed all 33 hours of interviews, saving me months of extra typing an analyzing. She made the loneliness of dissertation writing bearable as we were able to talk about the participants in the study together. Also, the personal sacrifices made during my year in Arizona while she stayed in Utah will assure her a place in the Doctoral Spouses' Hall of Fame (she is already a member of the Orchestra Director Widows' Hall of Fame). "If music be the food of love...play on." ST
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Look out! Look out!
FIBER! FIBER! FIBER! FIBER!
Pour in water. Pour in water.
(As sung to the tune Scotland's Burning)
If you don't know the tune, click on the link.
ST & TT
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Because it has been months since we have updated our blog, our family wanted us to add to our blog. So here it is.
Trish and I have been mulling over all the news over the economy vis-à-vis furloughs, taxes, home prices, and especially health care. We could not help but laugh at the Cash for Clunkers Program. Let me see if we understand this program. The government will give us $4500 for Trish's 1993 Honda Accord so that she can buy a Ford Neon-like vehicle; however, the gov't is running out of money and Congress will throw another $4,000,000,000 of funny money into the program. Right? Sounds like Ronald Regan was correct when he said: "The government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it." ST & TT
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
This week Fox 13 Good Day Utah chose Springville High School as its "Cool School of the Week." Big Budah spent the morning with students and featured the marquee programs at SHS. Budah spent time with and featured the cheer squad, drill team, choir, and the Philharmonic Orchestra. The orchestra played Pirates of the Caribbean and impressed Budah, producers, and anchors Keri Cronk and Dan Evans. Impressed, the Fox 13 folks decided to tape two 60 second promos of the orchestra and the choir to show on the 5 o'clock news later in the day. All in all, the orchestra received just over 4 minutes of time on Fox today!
Honestly, when I watch the "Cool School of the Week" segments on Wednesday mornings, I always say to myself (out loud sometimes), "Suckers!!! You had to get up at 4:00 am to do a handful of 60 second segments." Well, as one of my students declared, "It is reverse Karma." I admit that I was not looking forward to getting up at 4:00 for a 5:30 am call time. I am sure that the orchestra kids did not want to show up at 5:30 either; however, they showed up, worked hard, and played very well. The orchestra received complements from Budah and anchors Keri and Dan. In fact, Budah mentioned to me after the broadcast that he thought the Philharmonic Orchestra was the best orchestra he has heard in the nearly 300 schools he has visited in six years of doing "Cool School." Budah's kind words and the extra 60 second segment made the 5:30 am call time worth it. When he announced to the orchestra that the producers wanted to do an extra 60 second spot for a 5:00 pm news promo, the kids were visibly stoked and excited. I definitely had a good time this morning.
You can click on the link below to see the orchestra's segment on Fox 13 Good Day Utah.
Big Budah and The Springville High School Philharmonic Orchestra
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
I did not realize how long it took to publish a 25 page paper in a research journal. I began research on this paper over two years ago, presented the paper at an ASU graduate research symposium and music educators conference in 2007 and 2008. I then submitted the first manuscript in June of 2008, received word that it needed some revisions in October, turned in the revised manuscript in December, received word of its acceptance in February, only to have to wait another year and half to see it published. All in all, the process of publishing this particular paper will have taken nearly four years! Now that I know the system, I should be able to shorten the process to two years on my next article :o
I have enjoyed the research process since beginning doctoral work at ASU. I find it exciting coming up with new ideas and stretching the limits of teaching through research. I also have found writing agonizingly exhilarating, almost like auditioning for a musical group...or standing in front of a firing squad.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Also, thanks to the talented and lovely Liston girls for motivating me to start a blog! So easy. I love reading their blogs and staying in touch. You are all amazing. :) TT
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
As people find out that I went to school with President Obama, they ask if we knew each other. That would be a negative. He was a jock and I was a band geek. Punahou was a big school and I wasn't the most socially mobile student in school. I knew who Barry was. He was the only African-American student (I think) at a school full of haoles (whites), orientals, and polynesians. He is candid about his struggles fitting in at Puanhou; however, he credits his Punahou education as world-class. I would concur. I am sure that the President and I would agree on the value of a Puanhou eduation has been on our lives. Although I disagree with most of the President's politics, I share the pride felt, along with the entire Puanhou community, as a "local boy makes good." I wish the Puanhou Marching Band luck, and warmth, as they perform at the inagural parade.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
We can't believe how much work, and money, it takes to keep a little place like ours up to date. It seems like we moved in last year and everything was brand new. Even though it is just the two of us, the both of us have put some wear and tear on the place. With the housing market on the decline, it will be a good idea to spend the next year putting some money into it.
I hope to finish my dissertation this summer. Trish has worked hard transcribing interviews for me to analyze. I hope to get a few chapters done in the next couple of months and the entire document finished to defend by the end of the summer. Time has flown by so quickly!!! It seems like I need get on a plane to fly back to Tempe to begin spring semester. Even though our Arizona period was an exciting one, we are glad that we don't have to hop on a plane every weekend to see each other. It looks like 2009 will close the ASU period of our lives with my graduation. Then again...
Sam and Trish