I had good luck with the reeds I scraped my way- one turned out very nicely, all dark and full. I have also had a few reeds belatedly turn out nicely from Patty's scrape.
Having just stated that I'm having good reed luck, I better tie on some more blanks tonight...just in case the reed gods get touchy. (I took a picture of a wonderful reed once...had bad luck for weeks afterwards.)
I've continued to play in the wind ensemble at work. Yesterday I brought in my English horn to demonstrate and then play in lieu of a French horn, and today I mostly helped the kids with their chamber groups. The one I was coaching consists of all beginners, so the piece they were working from was "the easiest one in the book", Angels We Have Heard on High. I tried to get them thinking about balance, and direction, and contrasting dynamics, and then I had them pick another song to read through. Originally they picked the Allegretto from Beethoven's 7, of which I heartily approved (that is one of my most favorite movements/pieces in all of classical music), but it was too hard for them, and also "sounded kinda weird". ...not that the speed they'd picked, despite my best efforts, really helped.
Also, as we were having a very slow day in the office, I snuck off to practice by myself for about half an hour before wind ensemble. It was brilliant. (Plus I got my reeds straightened out for rehearsal, so I sounded much better...more like myself, and less like a high schooler.)
The other music IA and I decided that we needed to be proactive about getting into classrooms, so we put little notes in all of the music teachers' boxes. Hopefully it worked, and there will be less aimless sitting around in the office tomorrow.
I'm taking my oboe and English horn to get looked over by my old teacher, who knows a lot about oboe repair, especially for Howarths. Plus she does it for free. It makes me a little nervous, though, because while she is a wonderful person, and a very talented musician, she always manages to make me feel, well, disappointed in myself and my level of abilities. But I can always use another kick to get me started.
I asked her advice about grad schools as well, and she gave me a mini-lecture about "name brand", "ego-inflating" schools, but she also got me thinking about something I hadn't, going to get my masters with her. I hadn't really considered this at all, partly because I hadn't thought of it, but partly because a) I don't want to go to school that close to my parent's house and b) while I think that for some things, I agree that "name brand schools" don't matter: orchestra jobs, for example, things that are nearly solely based on auditions. For teaching positions, at colleges and such, and also when getting more casual gigs, though I do think it gives you a boost.
But, now that it's been brought up, I can't get it out of my head. A couple of my very close friends commented to me that, despite my very strong aversion to going to school in this area, it might be worth it for the long term gain. Because she would be an awesome teacher for me. She would be hard on me, but I would do it.
So, I'll see. I think I should at least apply. Because hopefully I would get in, and it does have a good overall music program as well.