As of last night, it is officially fall in Williamsburg! In celebration, I’ve treated myself to pumpkin coffee from Aromas and a few oversized sweaters from Goodwill, our neighborhood thrift store. Fall has always been my favorite time of year, but William & Mary has given me at least a hundred new reasons to love this season. (My top three: the air in the woods by Matoaka, that tree on Richmond Road by Tribe Square that turns bright red before the others, and just sitting outside the Grind, holding hot coffee.) It’s unbelievable in the best way possible that Fall Break, Homecoming and Halloween are just around the corner.
It’s not vacation just yet, though. I’m in the middle of my midterms and I know I’m not alone in that struggle. Still, it’s hard to be stressed when the view from the third floor of Swem, looking out over the Sundial, looks like a postcard. It also helps that I’m looking forward to writing my papers, so this week is going to fly by, just like the past three weeks. Even with all my recent planning for declaring a major and studying abroad next fall, there was one highlight for me that kept me in the moment: Kareem Roustom, the composer for a piece we’re singing in Women’s Chorus, visited us during rehearsal!
The piece is called Hot Tea, Mint & Olives, and has a Middle Eastern influence in its style and text that sets it apart from other pieces we’re singing. Especially now that we’ve started working on Western holiday carols, Hot Tea, Mint & Olives has been so fun to learn. In the piece, there is a percussive pattern that evokes a Middle Eastern drum, and Mr. Roustom used his drum to show us the right balance of vowel and consonant. Having an Emmy nominee offer direct guidance was really an incredible experience, the kind of opportunity I would not expect to see at many other colleges. I know my friends in other areas of the music department got the chance to work with Mr. Roustom as well, and feel the same way. This just goes to show that even if you think you know what a day is going to look like, William & Mary is full of surprises, and I love it.
For now, it’s back to work on this beautiful Sunday, with eyes on the prize that is Fall Break. Happy Sweater Weather!