The Rubin Museum of Art

Posted in Uncategorized on February 23rd, 2011 by J Prime

I am taking an intro to design course this semester and part of the current projects research was to go to a museum to find an ’emotional response’ piece of art.
I went to the Rubin Museum or Art

150 W. 17th Street between 6th and 7th avenue in Manhattan.
Student admission is only $5 with your ID

Go see it. There is so much amazing art from Tibet. Get yourself familiar with some of the art of a whole other culture my friends. It will be time well spent.


First Day

Posted in Uncategorized on January 29th, 2011 by J Prime

Well Yesterday was the first day of the Spring 2011 semester here at Queens College. Welcome back friends, and welcome to you new students as well. I am looking forward to raising the old GPA this semester while boosting my knowlege and comfort level with computer applications. Piano skills are also a goal I have for this semester.
What will you be working toward this semester?



Posted in Uncategorized on December 11th, 2010 by J Prime

The scene shop in the Theatre Department on campus is about to undergo a renovation. I work in the scene shop as my work study, which means that much of the reshuffling of tools and equipment has become my responsibility.

Wow, can I just say that there is a lot of stuff packed into that shop!

Luckily there are a handful of shop helpers in the form of students who take classes in the department. They are required to put a certain number of work hours into the scene shop each semester as part of their major/minor. I will say this here and now without naming any names. There is a work ethic that is just about non-existent in most of the students. Yes I know that you have to be here, and yes I realize that you are not being paid, but…. You need to realize that you are demonstrating a lack of drive, motivation, focus, and work ethic that is going to hurt your chances in the ‘real world’ greatly.

When in the future you are seeking a position with any school or company in your chosen field of study, chances are that there will be other people that already know you working there as well.

Do you really think you are going to land that job when the powers that be hear the stories about when you would take forty-five minutes to complete a five minute task back in the scene shop? Wait till they hear about how you spent the better part of your three hour work shift texting your BFF and shouting your OMG’s to your co-workers, halting their work as well. I would never ever be willing to hire someone like that. Your texting needs to happen on your own time, not your departments time.

Realize that your future career starts now. If you want to make money and have success when you graduate, then you need to start now! Show your work ethic and make your peers and professors eager to give you a glowing letter of recommendation. Make them have no other choice but to admit, “We should hire this person. They are a work horse, and just about the most reliable person I remember from back in college.”

Do you have any stories about how not caring about some sort of required volunteer, unpaid work (internships and such) came back to haunt you later?


Road Trip to Rochester

Posted in Uncategorized on December 10th, 2010 by J Prime

Prime time…

So this past weekend I went on a road trip with three friends from the Music Department here at Queens College. We went to Rochester NY for a music educators conference.


High points of the trip were many. I have to say that when you get four young guys on a road trip (well three young guys and me that is), life tends to stray away from being “G Rated”


We got to see and drive through some of the first snow of the winter. I am always pleasantly reminded just what a beautiful state New York is when I get to travel by car up state.

When you spend around six hours on the road with three other men you start to talk about silly things. I told them about some of the funny road signs I have seen both in person and online. Here are some examples:


Anyway, thanks for checking in with old Prime

What’s the coolest or funniest thing you have seen on a road trip?

My Thanksgiving

Posted in Uncategorized on November 27th, 2010 by J Prime

Thanksgiving goodness.
I made thanksgiving dinner for the second year in a row. Let me tell you that this man can cook! My turkey came out tender and juicy, and honestly I can’t recall ever tasting a better bird (no offense mom).
I like to think of cooking as an art. Experimenting with a touch of this, and a dash of that. Altering the flavors of each dish I create to suit my mood. Perhaps just a little more salty, or sweet. Maybe a bit more garlic, or basil.
Redskin garlic mashed potatoes or pureed sweet potatoes with a dash of brown sugar and cream? Pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream, or cheesecake brownies? Raisins, cranberries, or roasted chestnuts in the stuffing? So many options so little room on my plate. That is why we go back for seconds I guess.
Anyway, I better stop before I give myself a stomach ache from just thinking about it.

Tell me, how was your thanksgiving meal? Is there any traditional dish you enjoy that may be out of the ordinary? I would like to read about it. Maybe post a recipe if you think it is really good.


Two years till turmoil…or, remember when…

Posted in Uncategorized on November 8th, 2010 by J Prime

One of my classes this semester is Introduction to Music Education. It is the first course that launches me into my declared major field of study (Music Education). The class requires twenty hours of music class observations of grades K through 12. I must observe a variety of course settings such as general music, band, orchestra, chorus, and so forth. So far I have been able to observe a couple of eighth and sixth grade classes at a middle school in Queens.

First of all let me say wow what a difference between sixth graders

and eighth graders!

Maybe not ‘wow’ in the way you may be thinking though. Let me explain…

The first day I was observing both grades, there was a guest speaker there to give a general music presentation to the students. The presenter was introducing the kids to the concept of music in relation to a theme, story, text, or idea. We tend to call this ‘Program Music’ here at the college level of study, but these young students were just getting their first taste of the concept of program music. Some movie themes were played for them as examples (Jaws, Star Wars, and Harry Potter) and then they were asked if the music was happy, sad, fast, slow, and how it made them feel. The eighth grade classes visibly enjoyed the music and presentation, but for the most part as a group these older kids were putting out a somewhat ‘too cool to be here’ attitude. Now here comes the part where I almost fell out of my chair from the surprisingly insightful comments the sixth grade class made! They were totally into it! Not only that, but the questions that these kids asked and answered were about subject matter that the older kids seemed to be oblivious to. So I am left to ponder… what happens in those two years difference in age that stupefies mankind?

The question buzzed around the back of my head for a few days as I focused on other pressing matters (like my own studies, the grocery list, and the price of a one month unlimited metro card). Eventually my mind came to rest on the difference between eleven year olds and thirteen year olds and it was as plain as the nose on my face. Hormones! Of course! These poor eighth graders couldn’t be bothered with such trivial matters of academics when there were more earth shattering matters at hand. Matters like what Roger said to Lee about Susan in gym class, or which brand of shoe was un cool to be seen wearing this week. These matters of gossip, and fashion which form an amorphous, gelatinous, and constantly changing set of rules of dress and conduct which must be strictly adhered to least one become a social pariah.

I laughed to myself as I remembered my own days in the eighth grade. How not ‘in’ I was because I didn’t wear Levi’s button fly 501’s,  spiked jelled hair, white Reebok sneakers, a popped collar Polo shirt, and a Members Only jacket to finish the whole look.

That was back in the year 1986 for me.

Tell me, what was it important to be seen wearing when you were in the eighth grade?


cheer cheer for … umm….

Posted in Uncategorized on October 26th, 2010 by J Prime

This past weekend I was part of a family outting to the new Meadowlands Stadium (aka Giants/Jets stadium). It is one heck of a nice looking place with its new stadium smell and such. We were there to watch the Navy vs. Notre Dame football game. Wow what a great match up that was! …. well not really. ND got stomped but it was still fun to be there. Here is a little backstory for you. My Fiance attended the university of Notre Dame for her undergraduate degrees and I have been a fan of the schools football team by default since we started dating. Here is the catch. My grandfather and his two brothers all served in the Navy during WWII. Grandpa is still alive and kickin’ around out in California today but my two great uncles both gave their lives in the line of duty. You can imagine now how torn I may have felt in deciding just who to root for.

Well a good time was still had by all. Next years ND vs. Navy match up is going to take place in Dublin, Ireland. Thats a lot better than New Jersey huh?
So… what did you do this weekend?


Must have more time!!!

Posted in Uncategorized on October 6th, 2010 by J Prime

Here we are in October already. Mid-terms are breathing down our collective neck and the stresses of student life at QC are building up at a slow but steady rate.

I noticed that over the last couple of weeks my French studies are dominating more and more of my time. I am not majoring in French, nor is it my minor. I am simply trying to satisfy the three semesters of foreign language required of every matriculated student at Queens College. Okay so here is the thing… you can’t cram a new language. You must learn a new language little by little, day by day just like you learned your native language as a small child. Consider now that you didn’t have to learn so much grammar and vocabulary in such a short amount of time as a semester back when you were a wee small kid and you may start to realize as I have why just about all of my spare time needs to be devoted to French. I like French. It is a beautiful sounding language and I am increasingly happy at how much I enjoy it. The problem is that I feel that I am being forced to neglect my other courses of study. My study time with core curriculum classes is almost non-existent! The very classes that are supposed to be preparing me for my chosen career as a music teacher are being pushed to the back burner by this side bar requirement of the college.
I want to know if you are experiencing a similar situation. Is there a required class you are in that you feel is causing your coursework in your chosen field of study to suffer?


The Great Gust of 2010

Posted in Uncategorized on September 19th, 2010 by J Prime

Gather ’round and let old man Prime tell you the tale of the Great Gust of Wind of 2010!

I was deep in my studies at the time on that day of days, September 16th around 6:00pm. Sealed away in my micro fortress of solitude, a practice room in the music building working on my piano skills. I glanced down at my watch and noticed that I had just about enough time to pack up my study materials and walk across campus to my French class. I stepped outside and froze dead in my tracks. The pathway leading to my next class was obliterated by felled trees. Looking slowly around me it became clear that it was going to be easier to count the trees that still stood than to count those that now lay in pieces on the ground.

It was so quiet outside. I knew that this was storm damage. The buildings around me seemed unharmed so it had to be the wind that caused this destruction. I am from California and damage of this magnitude out there tends to be from earthquakes, but this was something I had never seen before.

A group of fellow students stood nearby and were talking in hushed voices, as though being loud and boisterous might draw the unwanted attention of the storm back to campus. They took note of me and I could only mutter at them, “Did this really just happen?”

I slowly picked my way to French class, unsure that there would even be any students there. As I navigated my way through the wreckage the magnitude of destruction came into greater focus. I saw sixty-some-odd year old trees that had fallen and destroyed parked cars. I saw the child development playground half buried under fallen trees and debris. I thanked God that there were no little kids playing in there at the time. The size of some of the branches in there would have easily crushed five strong men, let alone a few little kids.

Later in the evening I found myself having to walk to down town Flushing. I have walked there before on a more pleasant day for the exercise and that took about forty-five minutes. This was much different. I was weaving my way around fallen trees, crushed cars, damaged store fronts, and downed power lines. An endless dissonant chorus of car horns assaulted my ears as hundreds of motorists trapped on the impassable roads chose to express their frustration in this annoyingly typical New Yorker pastime.  It took two hours to walk to the 7 train and then almost another two  hours to get the rest of the way home.

Here  is a nice look at a small amount of the damage. This video was taken shortly after the storm by a student I don’t know, but my thanks to him for posting it.  This footage is taken mostly in the main quad across campus from where I was at the time, and the damage you see seems to be just a little less intense than the damage near the music building, but that is just my opinion.

What was your storm experience like?


Try before you buy.

Posted in Uncategorized on September 10th, 2010 by J Prime

My fiancé and I have been together for years now. She is a Theatre teacher and with my background in both music (sax player for a quarter century now) and wood working (just over twenty years in manufacturing) she tends to tap me as a resource for productions she is involved with. Sometimes I find myself designing and constructing props and set pieces. Other times I may be playing music, conducting a group of musicians to accompany a musical, or musical directing a youth theatre company. Most recently I even had the chance to perform as a puppeteer in the New York International Fringe Festival. Constantly being ‘dragged’ into the world of theatre leaves me with only one regret, and that is that I wish I had more expertise or training in the theatre arts so that I could contribute at a higher level. This has driven me to strongly consider a minor in Theatre at Queens College.

Impulsiveness being rarely a good thing, I do not wish to charge headlong into a Theatre minor without finding out if I will be both happy with, and passionate about the program. To this end I have been lucky enough to have been awarded a Federal Work Study grant and have chosen a position in the scene shop on campus. By semester’s end I should know if the Theatre minor is right for me.

The concept of ‘try before you buy’ is one which I have preached to friends and colleagues for years now. Here is what I mean:

Want to be a nurse/doctor/first responder? Try and arrange a couple of ride-along sessions with a paramedic unit. See firsthand what it is like when a life is on the line. Don’t wait till you have gone three years into medical school to find out you can’t stand the sight of blood.

Want to be a teacher? Volunteer with any number of youth organizations to find out if you can stand other peoples kids for more than an hour.

Want to be a mommy/daddy? Babysit/Foster.

I could give countless more examples. Basically I am saying, if it will be a big part of your future, find a way to ‘sample’ it first.

What are your future goals, and how are you going to try before you buy?

‘till soon,

J Prime

Spam prevention powered by Akismet

Skip to toolbar