Message Board Posting
David B Rosen
I’m sorry not to be able to join you tomorrow—we’re leaving for Italy in less than a week and there’s much to do before then. In some previous reunions there was a site where we could share our news (or sometimes better at our age, a lack of bad news). Is that up and running?
All best to all,
----------------------- Message from 50th Year Class Reunion ------------------
I’m sorry that I won’t be seeing you this weekend—I’m on the other coast and I’ve got to be in Southern California starting a week later for a couple of conferences, including one with a paper still to be written. No time for backing and forthing in the style of Jack Nicholson in Prizzi’s Honor.
I’ve had a pleasant and (some would say but) fairly uneventful life, which can be quickly summarized. At Lowell, like Sally Ann, I spent lots of time in the band shacks—that was before Sputnik, and we weren’t yet under pressure to do “useful” things like math and science, instead of the arts and humanities. After Lowell I went to Reed College in Portland, Oregon, majoring in history and social sciences but pursuing music strenuously, as a medium-sized frog in a very small pond: chamber music and a senior piano recital. I’d planned to go to law school, but in a series of rapid metamorphoses in the middle of my senior year I decided that I would instead go to Graduate School, get a Ph.D. and teach history, followed by the realization that I’d be happier doing musicology (the history of music). At the Freshman Orientation I had met Carol Gilson—we were married in 1960 and remain so. No kids, but some cats.
After Reed I went to Columbia for a year, taught in a private high school for another, then we migrated to UC Berkeley. I shifted from history to musicology and Carol from math to Romance Languages and Romance Philology. Anyway, to make a long story somewhat shorter, Carol has been teaching Linguistics at Cornell University since 1978 and I, after short stints at various places and a longer one at the University of Wisconsin, joined the Cornell Music Department in 1989. I’ve just retired, though I’m still working with Ph.D. students and will teach one course this spring (a graduate seminar on Puccini) and another in the next.
Hobbies and work are hopelessly intertwined. I play the piano for pleasure but also used it in classes. My main field of specialization is 19th-century Italian opera, and I enjoy going there for conferences and research. I’ve become interested in film music, and so I’ve subscribed to Netflix and watch more movies—oops, films—than I used to. I’m even deducting Netflix as a business expense..
Another interest—I wouldn’t call it a hobby—is not connected with my day job. I’ve been getting angrier and angrier at the current political mess, and in fall 2004 I spent 10 days in Miami getting out the (Democratic) vote. Alas (from my point of view, anyway), the Republicans were better at it than we were. So we try again. And I thought that we were supposed to get more conservative as we got older...
My health is good, though I did the 60ish guy things back in 2002: radiation treatment for prostate cancer and a hip replacement. So far so good.
All the best to all of you.