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Dry Spell – Shane Porter

October 22, 2012

After a dry spell in Campinas that lasted three months, it finally rained the other day. Since then, the weather has seemed to normalize a bit.  It’s moved to just dry and hot to more varied climates, more moisture in the air, cooler during the night. The semester is in full swing at this point, and as I’ve fallen into a rhythm, the time seems to speed up.  It’s already halfway through the semester.

In general, things seem to become more normal, mostly due to myself becoming more accustomed to the way things go here.  The acceptance of tardiness is something I’ve gained, to the point where I am an enthusiastic participant. Unless you’re an hour late, everybody seems to roll with the punches, so strolling in five or ten minutes late is commonplace, and I’m no longer the guy standing outside of the locked classroom door ten minutes before class.  The real difficulty now is readjusting to the more rigid American schedule, where lateness is a reflection of one’s lack of professionalism rather than a difference in culture. It isn’t only the schedule I’m used to though; communicating, particularly with colloquial phrases, has smoothed out a bit, as well as the humorous way Brazilians pronounce English words.  I no longer laugh in my head when I hear people refer to “facieboookie” instead of “facebook”, nor does it feel strange to use to word myself.

Before coming to Brazil I was wondering if whether I’d be spending most of my time playing jazz or Brazilian music, or if one would be compromised by the other.  While the balance between the two could be better, both are prevalent. Jazz is the music the I most often perform; it’s what I’m better at, and it’s what my fellow musicians would prefer to play (I love the song “Wave” and most jazz musicians I know like it as well, but most musicians here cringe at the idea of having to play what they consider to be a cheesy old song). Most of my education in Brazilian music comes from my own independent study, taking recommendations from other musicians and noting the differences in different styles.  Either way, I get many more performing opportunities here than in the U.S., though maybe that’s because I’m STILL not allowed to play in bars back home.

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