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Definition: despotic abuse of authority.

I first envisioned this post to be about iTunes Match.  I made the mistake of signing up for iTunes Match in a moment of stinginess fiscal responsibility.  I did not want to upgrade my phone yet, and I had no room for my music on the phone.  iTunes Match seemed the PERFECT solution!


iTunes Match “matches” your music library with its fabulous library in the cloud.  In that way, you can “free up” your phone storage, and just use the cloud version of your music.

Until you try to reclaim your music.  Then the “fabulous cloud” decides it OWNS your music, and unless you bought it on iTunes, or want to manually reload any music you may have loaded from CDs (all of my music), your music ain’t yours no more.  Period.

But like I said, this is in the past.  After a one hour appointment at the Genius Bar, I negotiated a truce with iTunes Match, albeit a hostile truce.  Somehow I convinced iTunes Match to let me download my entire library of music (checking each album or song one by one – no “select all” option available), and now I have turned off the cloud for my music.  I think iTunes Match believes it owns my music, while I also believe I own my music.  It is a Cold War detente at its finest.

I then thought about TRYANNY and my current work situation.  Fitting.  Especially the “despot” part of the definition.

But Debby Downer went home for the day.  (You really DON’T want the details.)

Tyranny.  A tyranny from which I am now freed:  the school and bus schedule.

I recently found myself looking at travel options to a certain island to which we US citizens cannot easily travel.  (Ahem.)  June seemed the month.  Others in our group weighed in on when they were and were not available.  It seemed the last week of June was the only option, and I balked.  That was unacceptable.  I pushed back, trying to see if fellow travelers might move other commitments around.  It wasn’t until I was pressed that I realized I was still succumbing to the tyranny of the school and bus schedule.

When you become a parent, you at first completely stink at the school and bus schedule.  You don’t realize that you need to shop in early August for a yellow single subject notebook, a green folder with pockets, as well as a 1″ binder that has plastic covers, but is not a “Trapper”.  If you don’t buy it in early-mid August, there will be none left by September 1.  You are also completely unaware that there will be half days on Fridays throughout the months of October and November, when you will scramble for daycare options.  You start to get into the groove of that 7:15 am bus, which beat the 8:15 am bus in elementary school and set you up for a commute at the absolute worst time of the day.  The alarm goes at 6 am, that crazy 30-45 minutes happens getting the kids out the door, and then you race to work.  You get used to taking kids to work in the February and April breaks, greeting other parents who are also unable to flee to Disney in those sacred weeks.

I have been free of the school and bus schedule for seven months now, but I was still living under its spell.  The alarm goes off at 6:30 am now, not 6:00 am, because, as it turns out, it is pretty simple to just get yourself out the door in the morning.  But the assumption was that I had to be up and out.  Even though my first class on Tuesdays and Thursdays begins at 11:15 am.

It didn’t click until working on this group trip in June.  I did NOT want to travel in the last week of June.  “That is just a real difficult week.”  “There is a lot going on.”


There is no longer “a lot going on” in the last week of June.

Free at last!  Free at last!  Thank God almighty we are free at last!

As we head to a communist country.


About Claire Ziamandanis

Claire Ziamandanis is Professor of Spanish at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. Over her 20 years at the college, she has been a champion for study abroad, establishing the first affiliation for Spanish students, and then working with the Study Abroad office to open the doors to students from other majors. Claire loves travel, food, wine and Spanish but not necessarily in that order!

One comment

  1. Uggh, iTunes Match. I am glad I did not sign up for that as an hour at the Genius Bar needs to be followed by at least one hour at a real bar. I’m excited for your adventures in June . . . I just had two guests at bV come back from a trip. The wine is terrible, but the rum is great.

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