The itch that needs scratching
I don't know why I am even blogging about this, since it will likely end up in a fruitless ramble and totally uninteresting. It just rolls around in my head all the time. I'm always thinking about "when I get back into research/into a PhD program". I'm not working on anything now. Not a thing. Quiet moments I steal for sewing. It feels more productive, and it has instant gratification status. Something research doesn't have. I don't feel gratified about my thesis and the stupid thing is signed, sealed, and delivered. In fact, as I was dusting this morning, I had the thought again, "was it even any good?" Obviously I passed. And my committee members aren't the type of people who would "just be nice" and let it pass. So it couldn't have entirely stunk. But still, it's not the taste that I want left in my mouth on this hiatus from brain work. Whatever. It is what it is.
Anyway, the thesis aside, it is done after all--I do think about other things. I think that I ought to be keeping up my chops in some areas, medieval/Ren notation, Latin, languages. I should read those books that I never got to. Linger over passages I never had time for. It's more than just an "i ought to". I do want to. I miss the ol' repertoire I was starting to get familiar with, starting to make a home in. I've missed it for awhile, since it wasn't anywhere near my thesis topic. I feel like if I sit down with it, it will start coming back to me, like riding a bike. I have a very solid foundation in reading mensural notation. And I love it!
In the Christmas season, I went to hear Anonymous 4. I should've blogged about it, because it was a fantastic concert experience. Partly due to the fact that I simply cannot remember that last time I had gone to a concert. The time is measured in years, for sure. It may have been when I went to hear the Emerson Quartet in spring 2004. I'm really pathetic. But anyway, back to Anon. 4, they sang a medieval mass the parts of which they had assembled. It had a little something of everything, early polyphony, chant, tropes of varying sorts, songs. A nice showcase of 13th/14th century liturgical music. It felt really good to listen to it--and thrilling to be hearing it live--partly because I knew what was going on. Even after this break in even thinking about it, I really understood the different parts musically as I listened to them. (And I kind of felt like giving a music appreciation class to everyone around me, but I managed to restrain myself.)
Sometimes I feel annoyed. Why do I know all this stupid, esoteric stuff? What was the purpose of slaving away in grad school for 5 years? All that work is hardly making a difference in my life now. That's not to say that it won't possibly someday. It just feels annoying now.
Other than reading a little and possibly working through my facsimile, which has a great variety of 14th/15th c repertoire, I'm not sure what else I could be doing right now. There's no way I could work on an article. I do have a couple of ideas, but they would take a major investment of time and energy that I'm not prepared to give. If I do ever reapply to PhD programs, though, I don't want to have a big fat blank in these intervening years. I guess if I ever got to the point of writing a personal statement, I would've figured some of this out anyway. You can't just apply in an aimless sort of way. You have to be someone worth investing in. Whatever. I'm just not that person at this phase in my life. Especially since I'm having another baby in a few months. Yes, can you believe it!? I'm still pregnant!!
I don't want to sound dissatisfied with where I am right now, because I'm really happy to be doing what I'm doing, raising my babies. I want the freedom I have to spend hours playing cars with E. And it's hard to think of splitting my precious mental energy. It's just that, well, I am the sum of my past, I suppose. I can't just break off that bit of me I invested so much and totally shelve it. But it's there on the shelf. And sometimes I think I could be happy just leaving it there forever. I don't know. *shrug*