Just mess around and see what happens

OK, this post ought to be a good one, if only because I’ve gone through so much to be able to post it. Call it adventures in Mac land.

I’ve been staying at my Mom’s house since Dad passed away a month ago. Mom has a MacBook that’s probably less than a year old, and also an eMac that’s probably 5 or 6 years old. I often use the MacBook, which she’s never quite gotten the hang of, when I’m here. Tonight it won’t turn on; it starts to and then goes black. Power cord is attached, the green light is on, so that’s not the problem.

After several times I decided to go to the eMac. The only browser is an old version of Safari. I went to wordpress.com to log in, but when I tried to type in my username and password, it wouldn’t accept the typing. I quite Safari, restarted it, same thing. Tried to download Firefox, but the operatng system on the eMac is OSX 3.9, and Firefox needs 3.4 or higher.

Tried Safari again. Still wouldn’t work. Hit the “login” button to see what would happen. Got a screen with new boxes, but a message saying cookies were blocked and wordpress couldn’t work without them. Tried to find the security settings in Safari 1.3.2, to enable cookies, and never did–there’s no security pane in the preferences window.

So what the hell, I thought. I’ll just try putting my user name and password in and see wha happens. And whaddya know, it worked.

Earlier, I got the TV and home theater working. Mom had the power strip turned off; said all it would do was make a horrible noise and that my son had been over and thought the cable was out due to weather. I turned the power back on, found the TV was on the wrong channel to get the cable signal, pushed buttons on the cable box, and got it working.

I really didn’t know what I was doing, but I experimented and tried things. And that’s the secret to so much in life.

Earlier today, I was helping a student develop fingerings for some tricky passages in a contemporary orchestral piece. Sometimes students want the answers. Sometimes it is appropriate to just give out fingerings. Other times the important thing is to coach someone through the process of developing fingerings. Analyze patterns. Identify the challenges. Imagine a fingering that might work and try it. Imagine another. See if one works better than the other. Weigh the advantages and disadvantages. Experience the occasional awful truth that there may be no “good” fingering; it’s just going to be awkward no matter what, because the writing is not only not idiomatic, but seems almost purposely anti-idiomatic.

Get in there, mess around and try things. Try things you think won’t work. Just like entering my login data on a screen that said things wouldn’t work and discovering that it did work, a fingering that seems as if it won’t be playable sometimes surprises you and turns out to be great. Practice it a few times and an even better fingering may occur to you.

It’s an adventure. It’s fun. Frustrating as all hack at times, yes, but in the long run, it is fun.

OK, mission(s) accomplished.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Just mess around and see what happens

  1. fireandair

    Reminds me of the following:

    This is pretty much it.

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