So there is a reason that I didn’t major in science or engineering.  The reason was because I passed chemistry by the skin of my teeth, barely paid attention in Introductions to Physical Science, Force Motion, and Energy (remembered as IPS/FME), and only because dropping classes is nearly unheard of in homeschooling circles did I even finish biology.  My math skills were also not very strong.  But because high school is pretty much four years of required general ed, I finished everything, and gathered a small knowledge base of science.  One principle that I remembered (or, thought I remembered) was that sound waves are magnified over water. (I read that in a children’s book about a moose.)

Since my violin practice assignment was to practice scales with a tuning drone, I recorded about 5 minutes of a drone sound on my voice recorder (vr), because that tiny thing is a lot easier to carry around than my computer.  But then, because I wanted to make the sound bigger and I only had a wireless speaker that didn’t work, I decided to try to use water and a coffee cup to magnify the recorder sound.  I gathered some junk on my desk to balance the vr, and voila! Precariously, the vr lay top of the cup with water.  But since the sound change wasn’t as dramatic as I wanted, (and also I wasn’t sure how long the precarious balance would hold), I thought I’d move a few things to make a better arrangement.

You know the feeling you have when you’re about to do something clearly stupid? Well, I ignored this gut instinct and went ahead to do this experiment anyway, and I think you know what happened.

I had a couple of violin lessons on the recorder, as well as some dinner conversations and roommate conversations–data I was collecting for my conversation analysis class. I also recorded some of my violin practice sessions and other music to listen to while running.

I’ll be taking it to the electronic repair shop tonight, but since it’s so small, I’m kind of doubting that it can be fixed.  Now I have to start my data collection again.  And I’ve lost my recording of me playing the Vivaldi concerto with my teacher.

When things like this happen, I console myself with the thought that at least it makes a good story.  And since we are talking about storytelling in conversation analysis this week, I will have plenty to contribute, even without my data.

Conclusion: But really, don’t do stupid things.


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