Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Freakin' awesome!

That's all. Love it.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I'm Not Really a Student...

... except to the people who hold my Federal Staford Loans.

What I mean is this: what I am doing now, being a Ph.D. student in the humanities is not being in school in the sense most people think. I mean, I go to classes and get academic credit for them, I write papers (lots of papers, lots of long tricky papers). But I haven't been to a kegger in over a decade and I no longer wear pyjamas or work out clothes to class.

I am in an apprenticeship phase of my career: I am expected to begin participating in my profession, but with guidance from those more experienced at it than I am, to keep me from making any serious mistakes/ faux pas. My coursework, which at the Ph.D. level really is minimal, is to, for the first few years, give my research a direction, but beyond that, my activities are the same as any other musicologist working in an academic setting: I research, I write up my research, I submit my research to conferences and journals, and I teach. I mark papers and have laughs with colleuges.

I am not a student: I am a musicologist. I'm not even a musicology student: I know this culture now, probably about as well as I ever will. The Master's degree is about inculturation. The Ph.D. is about getting down to work and joining the discourse in the field, a discourse I am starting to shape in some small way. In other fields, entry level jobs involve a lot of supervision, limited authority, and (in good jobs) mentoring. In this university professor gig, the difference is that one ends this entry-level stage with an extra set of initials after one's name.

I have had this realization because I am at the end of the semester. Three small tasks stand between me being entirely free of formal responsibilities until September. Itty bitty tasks. I should feel relieved. I should want to throw a kegger. Nope. Not this gal. I mean I'm glad to have my papers done, but there is still a whole lot of stuff to do. I'm going to have a bit of a lie-in tomorrow morning, maybe crack open a bottle of wine tonight, then back to work. After all, the Society for American Music is having its annual conference next March, and they are looking for papers for it. The deadline is 15 June. I have to get on that.

Unless I happen to owe you money from my undergraduate degree. Then I'm totally a student. Completely.

(Next time, the knitting report)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Completely Worn Out

The end of the term draws near and I'm completely worn out.

I have run out of words. This isn't writer's block, its a complete emptiness at the well in my soul from which musicological discourse usually springs. I think I might be able to write a fantastic novel right now, but not the paper that I must needs finish by Friday. I think this may be tied to a virus, as Franklin has been enduring a similar block... maybe I caught it in the airport on my recent trip to Nashville? No one else here seems to have it, and I'm hoping it isn't catching because a few of my friends start their comprehensive exams in a week or two. I look all scholarly-- computer on lap, discarded Starbucks cup nearby, surrounded by books that make me look smart, but the words in them have stopped making sense. Actually, to be fair, they still make sense. They are not what is flawed. The words I type in the open document on the desktop of said computer are what have actually stopped making sense.

I'm going to try again for another hour. Then I'm going to knit. Or drink. Or have a good sleep. Or maybe all three.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

That's Why I Live Here...

At the halfway point of my run this morning, I had to stop and take a picture. The picture doesn't really do the day justice, but such is the nature of cell phone pictures.

After taking the picture, I went and ran down there by the river. It was lovely.

That's why I live here. There seems to be a consensus in London that almost everyone wants to live somewhere else, but it is actually a sort of pretty city. The greenway system along the Thames is great for running, biking, roller blading, or strolling. I'm not saying that Toronto doesn't have more going on or more cultural institutions or that it doesn't stink that downtown closes at 5pm, just that London isn't all bad.

I can't wait for the leaves on the trees to make an appearance.