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Classes begin tomorrow, and I will be there.

In 2005, StFX having turned its back on me, I managed to re-enter the classroom by registering for a course at Bishop’s University. I was taking piano lessons and my teacher introduced me to Professor Eby, a musicologist.

What musicology! Yes, Medieval Music.

So I pounced and asked if I could take that course. Dr Eby accepted me as a student despite my having a PhD. One cannot imagine to what extent some people in our society marginalize women who are also scholars, particularly if said women scholars are also rather feminine.

But let’s continue.

As I was saying, in 2005, I found my way back to the classroom, but as a music student, an undergraduate music student. I soon realized that even at the undergraduate level, studying music is a challenge. However, I truly enjoy my courses. I take one course per semester, but I also study on my own. Studying on one’s own is something most undergraduate students cannot do easily. However, they learn  faster than I do and their memory is generally superior to that of more mature students.

Surprisingly, I have bonded with the students. They are full of life and they have been very helpful to me and extremely kind. I enjoy sitting with them and chatting away.

Bishop’s is a jewel among small universities. It is one of Quebec’s three mainly English language universities, but that does not deter French-speaking Sherbrooke students from enrolling in music classes.  In fact, those who do are very lucky.  They are learning English while also learning a fascinating subject.  As a result, I have both French-speaking and English-speaking classmates.  Besides, among my classmates, there is at least one student who is adding a little zest to retirement by taking music courses, so I am not alone.

As well the University is an old university, by North-American standards.  Some of the buildings are or should be historical monuments. As for the Department of Music, it has a lovely little concert hall, Bandeen Hall.  Not only is Bandeen lovely, but it also has perfect acoustics.

At the moment, the Music Department is in some trouble. A few weeks ago, the people hired to repair something on the roof (I do not know the details) left the site without covering an exposed area. How irresponsible!  It rained and several offices, as well as other rooms, were flooded. These were beautiful rooms and at least one office had a large fireplace.

So the professors have been moved to practice rooms until restoration of the building is complete. Moreover, Irene extended one or two nasty fingers in the direction of the campus. Bishop’s University is located next to one of the rivers that cross Sherbrooke. In fact, the campus is on one side of Sherbrooke’s main river: la rivière Saint-François or the St Francis River.

I hope the practice rooms were not affected by Irene.  One of the practice rooms contains a harpsichord made by Yves Beaupré (see the Internet). That harpsichord is a treasure and it is located in the same room as a German organ.  So I have been learning to play the harpsichord, an instrument revived by the legendary Wanda Lawdowska (1879 [Warsaw]-1959 [Lakeville, Connecticut]).

In short, here I am sharpening my pencils.

P. S.  Lennoxville is a largely English language part of Sherbrooke.  In fact, it is mostly bilingual

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