Two lists, and some photos

Dear readers, dear readers, have you missed me? I’m sorry for this long hiatus, with no warning given. I have been in a kind of self-imposed Lock-Down mode, writing my thesis, reading literature, writing Lit Reviews, trying to break the back of the thing.

I have been enjoying it, too. It’s been fantastic to be able to work in such a focused way. I am also proud of myself because let me assure you, it hasn’t been easy! It’s summer! the sun is shining, my friends call to tell me their Happy Plans for Weekends away, and I remain in Lock-Down, writing, writing.

But I’m making progress.

Still, I can’t resist offering a couple of lists as a way of reminding myself that I am still here and still present.

List No. 1 – What I am Working On and What I have Finished

  • Reading up on Vygotsky – it is a revelation. I love this stuff. All the things I am trying to do in my work, he is labelling and naming and analysing. It’s great.
  • Reading up on Artist Pedagogies. It’s so nice. Originally I thought I would have to include all sorts of writing on the psychology of culture shock, or language acquisition, or brain stuff… but in fact it is really important I look at things like Artist Pedagogies and student engagement (things I actually know something about). It makes the Lit Review so much friendlier, somehow.
  • I have finished at least 2 chapters, with some descriptive writing as well as summaries of each of my three ‘cases’ (the student participants).
  • I have finished a description of my own music teaching pedagogy. (I need to weave the Vygotsky references in there now).
  • Lastly, I am working on a paper to submit to the 2009 ASME conference (Australian Society of Music Educators). I’d love to have a bit more time to get my head around this task, when I am so in the midst of thesis-writing… but the deadline is Monday and so I must do it now.

So yes. things are going well. I have also been going into work at the Orchestra each week – but that is its own story. I’ll share it very soon. Most interesting!

List No. 2 – The Things I plan to do when I finish my Masters

  • Learn to tap-dance – how fun! I shall practise on my balcony and entertain my neighbours with my rapid progress.
  • Buy a smaller accordian than the one I currently have, and have some lessons. See if I can get a few Italian or Bosnian folk songs going.
  • Work much harder at my Italian – do more homework, chat with my Italian neighbours, listen to local Italian radio and rent more Italian DVDs.
  • Learn to play cello? I’d love to do this. I don’t even own a cello! But I could get one. I just want to draw sound out. I love watching people bow.
  • Play my clarinet a whole lot more. (I think that once I start learning other instruments I will miss clarinet. I will long to be able to play something well, and seeing as I already play clarinet well, I will be drawn back to it.)
  • Go on a holiday. Maybe back to Byron, maybe to Far North Queensland. Learn to surf.
  • Go on a Vipassana meditation retreat (you know, the ten day silence retreats you have probably heard about).

I think I will have to stagger the commencement dates of all these plans. I should add in there, find a new job. But more on that next post!

Lastly, it hasn’t been all work, cooped up in my little inner-city flat, getting hot and stuffy. I have managed to get away a bit. Most recently over the Australia Day Long Weekend. Lovely friends Victoria and Simon (who I sang carols with at Christmas time) invited me to stay with them and their friends and family. I did holiday things in the mornings, then worked hard at my reading and writing in the afternoons. I think it was good for me to have a change of scenery. Here are some photos, to close off this post.

The photo of the Mud Girls (looking like members of a long lost tribe) was taken after these two lasses had got stuck out in the marshy shallow inlet in their kayak, and had to walk it back into shore, waist-deep in mud. Half the town took photos of them. The local Anglers have apparently stuck one in their club house. The photo of the bright blue strip of sea is looking towards the inlet, across the marshes and wetlands. The photo of the broad beach is from one of our early morning walks with the dogs (accompanied by a swim).




1 comment so far

  1. […] This post that I wrote back in January suggested some of things I would busy myself doing when I finished my thesis. One of them is ‘learn to tap dance’, but I have already started that, as the school I wanted to learn at didn’t have a Beginners class starting midyear. Also I thought I might ‘do more Italian homework’ – well, there is still time for that new habit to start. Other things on the list feel much further off in the distance – such as buying a new accordion, or having some cello lessons. I find I am still working in the evenings – the current project is to write a detailed history of all the composition projects undertaken by the MSO ArtPlay Ensemble. Another is to get stuck into the project plans for the little pile of compostion projects I am leading for various organisations in August and September. I ahve one long run of days where I will be interstate, then in regional Victoria, and then in the heart of the city, in a ten-day marathon. A different school and a different project, pretty well everyday. I will be truly fried by the end of that, so I am trying to get the preparation for it all underway, long before kick-off. […]

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