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With the season’s first fire in the fireplace, I sip a Taylor Fladgate 10-year tawny port while a 20-year awaits.  Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue fills the air.  It’s a perfect setting to cozy up with a good novel because – tonight, I have time.  Home alone.  No studying, no blind tasting, no facts to recall or information to learn.  The crackle of wood mixes with trumpet improvisations.  My mind drifts in scattered directions.  I am, at last, unfocused.  This is entirely sacred.

For the past three months, I spent countless hours reading, researching, watching videos, tasting, writing, making flash cards, holing up at the library, analyzing, and having nightmares about missing class.  Last week I took two exams in Philadelphia as part of the WSET Diploma – Unit 4 (Fortified Wines) and Unit 6 (Spirits).  Each had three blind tastings and three essays.  And now, I am done.  Results come in ten weeks.  That’s a long time to wait and wonder.

So now, I enjoy the leftovers and simply relax.

Kind of Blue is the best-selling jazz album of all time, a fact that resonates with me.  Apparently, America agrees.  In a 409-0 vote by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2009 a resolution passed to honor this album as a national treasure.  And I know why.  It leaves me floating, not falling.  Up, not down.  Sorry Miles, but I’m not kind of blue.  I’m not dispirited or melancholy.  I hear notes of nonchalance, realize feelings of freedom.  The album’s first track is entitled So What. My sentiments exactly.  At least until January when my next unit begins.