Friday, 11 March 2016

To do… or Workers' Playtime, Academic Edition

Today's duties:
1. Write next week's lecture on The Duchess of Malfi, along with a seminar task and a forum discussion theme.
2. Individual tutorials with the first-year students who are writing about A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing and About a Boy (did you see what I did there?).
3. Read another chapter of the PhD on Romanticism and Translation I'm examining next month.
4. Read the validation documents for a Greek university I'm external at.
5. Design two new modules.
6. Read my young cousin's A-level extended essay
7. Read my sister's best friend's MA essay because he's disputing the grade awarded.
8. Hold a budget meeting for this region's fencing committee. At least we have the unexpected luxury of too much money!
9. Come up with some funding applications for my (unsurprisingly stalled) research.
10. See one of my final-year dissertation students who is writing a fascinating piece on Queering Shakespeare in performance.
11. Find some way to gently encourage students to complete the NSS even though they're sick of being asked, don't see the point and most of us think it wouldn't pass muster on an undergraduate Research Methods module.

As you can see, all of these are interesting and many of them are important, but after yesterday's 13 hours at work – fast becoming normal – you might understand why I read Liz Morrish's latest with an appreciative eye. She and Kate Bowles should be put in charge of everything.

I'm going to need a soundtrack. On days like these, I go for minimalism, metronomic repetition or ethereality: Stereolab's Emperor Tomato Ketchup, some Kraftwerk, Harmonia, Can, Cluster, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, John Adams, Canto Ostinato,  Allegri, Esenvalds, Tallis, and so on. You'll notice that the vocals are in French, German and Latin: I can understand them if I pay attention but they're not so insistent that I'm distracted from work (Radio 4 had to go I'm afraid: either too interesting or too infuriating).

(I often put this on when I do a session on the turbo trainer).

I also have new music in by Julian Anderson with the London Philharmonic, The Gloaming and some Aphex Twin but I want to listen to them properly rather than have them on in the background.

See you on Monday.

1 comment:

Dave M said...

I love Reich and Glass for concentration. Spotify has some good 'minimalist' playlists for working under headphones.