Go on, grab some coffee and pull up a chair...
An Old Man's Advice to Sophomores...
1. Remember that everything is hard at first. You're going to suck, so there is no need to be upset by this.
2 Anything you say after "but" does not count.
3. The thing that makes you weird as a kid, could make you great as an adult.
4. Just because it's not your fault doesn't mean it's not your responsibility.
5. What others think about you is none of your business. They probably aren't thinking about you at all.
6. If you think you saw a cockroach, you did. And there are others.
7. A lie we tell ourselves is, "I don't need to write this down because I'll remember it."
8. You are the worst person to make decisions about your life. Always seek advice from others.
9. Take pictures of your parents doing everyday things. That's the way you'll want to remember them.
10. If you aren't sure you can carry it all, make two trips.
11. Denying or changing the subject when you are given a compliment is rude. Accept it with humility.
12. An apology is not an apology if it comes with an excuse.
13. Things don't have to be perfect for you to have a great time. Perfection is a damaging illusion.
14. If you are doing something you don't want others to find out about, it's wrong.
15. If you are doing something you've never done before, listen to an album you've never listened to before. That way you can always remember the thing or place when you hear the album.
16. When you’re beginning a writing project, give yourself permission to write badly. You can’t fix it until it’s down on paper.
17. If you meet a jerk once a month, you’ve met a jerk. If you meet jerks every day, you’re a jerk.
18. Never pass up an opportunity to hang out with musicians.
19. Don’t try to figure out what your life is about. It’s too big a question. Just figure out what the next year is about.
20. When you read a text or email, reply or delete it right then. Why do it twice?
21. Pause. Then respond.
22. You can always tell someone to go to hell tomorrow.
What do I want from you? I Expect You to Save Our Planet!
"You’re not here to become an entertainer, and you don’t have to sell yourself. The truth is you don’t have anything to sell; being a musician isn't about dispensing a product, like selling used cars. I’m not an entertainer; I’m a lot closer to a paramedic, a firefighter, a rescue worker. You’re here to become a sort of therapist for the human soul, a spiritual version of a chiropractor, physical therapist, someone who works with our insides to see if they get things to line up, to see if we can come into harmony with ourselves and be healthy and happy and well.
Frankly, ladies and gentlemen, I expect you not only to master music; I expect you to save the planet. If there is a future wave of wellness on this planet, of harmony, of peace, of an end to war, of mutual understanding, of equality, of fairness, I don’t expect it will come from a government, a military force or a corporation. I no longer even expect it to come from the religions of the world, which together seem to have brought us as much war as they have peace. If there is a future of peace for humankind, if there is to be an understanding of how these invisible, internal things should fit together, I expect it will come from the artists, because that’s what we do. As in the concentration camp and the evening of 9/11, the artists are the ones who might be able to help us with our internal, invisible lives.”
~ Dr. Karl Paulnack
Read the entire inspiring and enlightening speech to the freshman class of the Boston Conservatory here.
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