When blogs become public property

Hmm, just realised that this blog is public and that my puerile comments are there for the world to see! I’ve been on holiday in France and not thinking about my research at all. As is usual when taking a holiday, I can’t bear to think about my research. Interestingly, at times like these I feel that my research is all a big crock of shit and that I should instead just be travelling and seeing the world. Then, of course, I get a little tired of travelling and my work starts to intrude on my brain again.

I started thinking about my research again today. Not quite two weeks of holiday and my head has had a lovely relax from the stress of thinking. I’ve read some appalling crime fiction, I’ve eaten far too many croissants and baguettes, and I have managed to completely relax. I’ve also managed to overindulge in the wine department. Mostly reds. My husband and I have gone to castles and cathedrals and have tasted wines in “caves”, and I have driven and driven and driven on the right hand side of the road in a left hand drive car. I feel happy and cheerful and the only drama is when someone leaves their dirty dishes on the bench.

On the plane to Hong Kong, I spent 6 furious hours writing a newsletter that was due. I felt remarkably virtuous, but I had been working at full steam ahead for several weeks. I had managed to submit my confirmation document, and I think I overextended myself rather, on that one.  The eventual paper was 116 pages including appendices, and was several months overdue. I had foolishly taken my notes from my presentation to my supervisor who had written all over them, despite me clearly noting that these were just working notes and not to be written on. I had said that I needed help in drafting the document but my supervisor had gone all micro on me and looked at each individual comment. It’s funny. It’s as if she doesn’t realise that I know when I’m being generalist or flippant. I certainly know when I’m not substantiating quotes, but she would insist on writing against them. Which is incredibly annoying when you are at pre-draft stage. So I spent 2 months being very annoyed at her and trying to find my way through on my own.

At the same time, I took an incredibly micro look at the history of singing education, which meant that I then had to look at music education, and I spent months trawling through conservatoire history. Interesting but hardly relevant when one has a confirmation draft due.

And of course I had my teaching and other research to complete. It was a trying time, but only in my head. It is fun being completely immersed in the research, and coming up for air feels like a blind mole blinking in the sun. When I am in the research I can be deaf and blind to the world. My husband, who luckily supervises PhD students, notes at times how selfish I can be when I’m deep in the thick of things. Not selfish, I say, merely preoccupied.

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