Saturday, 27 October 2012

Slight annoyance. (Big understatement.)


I'm afraid this is going to be a grumpy/whiney post. I'm using the blog as a bit of an outlet here.

A week on Monday I have two essays due in. One is on semiotic mapping in functional music. The other is about the value of it's defined. But the problem is, the deeper I delve into these topics...the more I think..."what's the point in me doing this?"

We have to do a lot of reading around each of these topics to support our arguments. It's painful. To someone who's interested in these subjects I imagine it's fascinating, but personally I struggle to maintain concentration for more that 30 seconds at a time. My reaction to whatever I read is "why does it matter? Why don't you just enjoy the music?" Sure, studying it can be useful sometimes. The functional music essay is more 'useful' in terms of composition ideas/rules, but music is SO subjective. Everyone has a different opinion when it comes to what constitutes musical value. Why try to define it? Why does it matter that I love Enya's music and you think she's boring? Your reasoning as to why she's  dull is not going to persuade me that she is, because I like her. That's that. I'm not going to suddenly fall in love with your genre because you like it, and tell me it has more 'value' than mine.

Also, I'm awful at reading. Unless I'm really, genuinely interested in what I'm reading, I'm there for 5 minutes, and then off making a cup of tea or writing a song. I used to read a lot of fiction when I was younger, and then I read the literature that I had to for English at school, but I've only read one or two apart from that. I'd MUCH rather read fiction, or an inspirational book, than a non-fiction book or one on analysis. But as I said, it's not often at all that I choose to read a book. Because if I have spare time, I normally choose to do music. Or write here. ;)

One thing that's also infuriating me recently is the way in which I feel I'm being treated due to my lack the course. I do my work on time (despite whinging at you guys about it), and I do it to the best of my ability. However, I do my work when I do it, and I don't want to talk about it when I'm done. It doesn't rule my life, and I'm not planning on a career in academia. I just want to graduate and get on with my life. Therefore, naturally, I probably do not apply myself as much as someone who wants to be an academic etc. - and when it comes to being successful at Uni, I really do feel that it's one big memory test. You have to remember all the 'facts' and 'methodologies' that are thrown at you, and apply them where and when they should be applied. Now to the part I'm actually annoyed at...

The fact that I'm not great at remembering things I'm not interested in does NOT mean that I'm thick, and therefore, I'd prefer not to be treated so.

This is going to sound kind of lame, but the other day I was sat in my room feeling quite down. I was struggling with my essays, and actually felt pretty thick after some comments that had been made with regard to my intelligence, so I took an IQ test to see if I was ACTUALLY as below average as I felt I'd been made out to be. On the test I got 132, which is actually ok, and made me feel better, but after I'd taken the test I got annoyed at how I'd let myself feel that way. I'm way too sensitive. Sometimes I think that because I smile and laugh at things that people say, they assume I don't care. But afterwards I think about things that have been said and I do really take them to heart. Then I write an angry song. Lol.

I so wish I could write a song/get on with my album right now! But I'm stuck with these essays for the time being. I just want to get on, graduate, and live my life. I feel everything I want to do is on hold whilst I'm doing something I don't want to do. Bummeroony.

I shall leave you with this song. I feel it has value because I like it. And I listen to it because I enjoy listening to it, and it makes me feel comforted. Why? Because it just does. I'm happy with that. I don't feel the need to delve any deeper.

Wow. There's the scorpio's sting.

Lots of love


me said...

I am sure you would feel better about yourself and your abilities if you had complete faith in all of your tutors and they answered your emails ~ that won't help your confidence one bit!!

You know you are not thick ~ lol ~ nothing in life is easy and if you knew everything already you wouldn't need to be at uni, learning about it.

You are one of those lucky people who can try many different things and do well in all of them ~ when you are interested in doing it!!

Do you regret doing this degree now, and wish you had done english or languages ~ where your grades were excellent? I think maybe not, as there would have been things in those courses which would probably have been really tricky too.
At least when you have bad days and evil essays, you can get back to your music to help calm you, or get out your frustrations.

Just do your best and you will be proud of yourself. Think positive!! You CAN do it!!Don't let doubters get to you. Show them how good you are!!

Remember that you only have a few more months of this and then you can choose your future ~ hopefully :-)

At least you have got your rant ~ or is it rahnt ;-) ~ out of your system!

mercury said...

"One big memory test", that's what universities often are. I personally think, your intelligence might be an obstacle, because you immediately recognize, that the issues you have to solve are unsolvable, senseless. They can only be 'solved' by reproducing a lot of humane discipline bullshit...and then your brain slips off. The art of doing philosophical issues is mostly to produce a big verbal curtain fire to impress. Semiotics is poor and phenomenology is not even better. These pseudosciences are terrible. I'm just reading things about "image theory" of Lambert Wiesing, a philsopher from Jena. This guy seems to be rather smart, but he's a phenomenologist, always stuck to the surface. So I'll quit reading and then have to recreate myself with Vilayanur Ramachandran, who has the only sensible theory of what's art about. In my opinion every theory about the effects of art, that isn't underlaid with neuropsychological substance is a waste of time. Or otherwise: theories, that cannot be proved are worthless.
OK, my opinions won't lead you any further, but this will:
You never need to raise any slightest doubt regarding your intelligence! Your sensitivity is one important part of your creativity! You might raise suspicion of being shallow because of your smiling, laughing and gestural expressivity, but this part of your personality and should never be touched in any way! Reading only one poem or lyrics of one song of you, can heal the delusion of superficiality, forever!!!

Tony said...

Exams n stuffz... this page so much represents my feelings in maths

On a practical note, how much are the essays you are struggling with actually worth as a percentage of your overall degree? Anything less than 5% and I would kind of blow them off. As you state, music is so very subjective, just make sure that the stuff you do like and enjoy you get good results in.
Ultimately you need to ask yourtself why you are doing the degree. You already state that you have absolutely no desire to go into academia so I am going to assume that you went into the course baecause you love music, you hoped to learn some really useful practical stuff to help your creative work, you wanted to be with like minded people doing something they loved and maybe that it would look good to have a degree in any sort of post uni job you applied for....

None of these involve choking indigestible bullshit down and regurgitating it to please the tutor. However, I am sure that in the long term you don't want to fail your degree, so do what I do when faced with any onerous chore.
Commit to spending 1 hour (or whatever time you can bear) each day of next week doing those essays. As soon as that time is over do something you really like to do. Do not keep going past the time you've alloted unless you actually do find it enjoyable or productive at the time. Next Monday, whatever you have done is it. Hand the essays in, MOVE ON. Don't sweat about it, enjoy the stuff you enjoy.

Ohh, and by the by, anyone who has been telling you that you are thick and/or calling your intelligence into question is about as emotionally mature as a four year old and deserves to have a very large pineapple forcefully inserted into any tender orifice they possess. So please send said persons my way, I always have a stock of pineapples handy as I love eating them but I would willingly sacrifice one, or two, to defend your honour!!
Send them to "White knights R us"


mercury said...

I agree with Tony's suggestions. It's a pragmatic way to handle the problem and to move forward. Another one, that has come into my mind is to list the benefits of a degree explicitly and replace the generalized perseverance sign with this more sophisticated list. Then and that's the clue, try to visualize the listed items for a while, eventually extend the list and repeat the visualisation for instance every week. This approach might also help you to get a diversified, but also more precise notion of what you want to do after university. :-)x

Trevor said...

Hi Holly , I hope you're feeling a little better today. :) I remember from many years ago seeing a cartoon of a young girl sitting at an exam desk with a thought bubble above her head which read ' quadratic equations are never going to be of any use to me , therefore I am not going to answer this question . '. Now , I don't think I'll have much luck , but I'm going to different tack with you . You might well not need or want to know some of the stuff you're being asked to learn but , it seems to me that , more often than not , knowing is better than not knowing .ignorance is never to be applauded . I remember lots and lots of people in the '80's declaring in pubs across the land that they hated Margaret Thatcher , but when you asked them why all you ever got was a sort of ' just because ' response . It was , and remains , a lazy and ignorant answer . It's always important to provide reasons to support or explain your views and feelings . And it's equally important to find the right language ; after all , if you can't say what you mean , how can you mean what you say ?
Take another example , Middlemarch is a great novel but should we just put it on our bookshelves and leave it in isolated and unchallenged splendour , or should we actually try to discover why and how it is so powerful ? Would this necessarily involve killing the Goose which laid the Golden Egg ? I don't think so , if the Goose is as sublime as we imagine it to be .
You hate some of the stuff you're being asked to study , but as Me pointed out , that is so often true of any area of study ....personally , for example , I found (18th Literature very difficult to stomach .... . but you've only got seven or eight months left so , for goodness sake , don't throw the baby out with the bath water . You are a remarkably sensitive young woman and there is a strong correlation between sensitivity and intelligence . A lyricist of your rare quality is anything but unintelligent . Whoever has said or given you the impression that you are stupid has an alternative agenda . What is it ? Are they jealous ? resentful ? mean spirited ? arrogant ? The point is , Holly , that the problem lies within them and not within you .
Finall , and I'm with Me on this ; indeed I can remember commenting on it a couple of years ago . You have to insist upon talking with your tutors . If necessary , to prompt a response , say that you're so despondent that you're thinking of dropping out of the course . You must find someone within the academic set up who will talk to you and help you through this fraud period . Do you have such a thing as a personal tutor ? Is there a Head of Faculty ? Can the Students Union offer advice . In other words , don't just sit back and take it ; learning , in and of itself , is a good thing and having a Degree , in and of itself , is a good thing .
You're not one to give up , Holly . You've identified why you feel bad , now reach out , and , if necessary demand , that the University help you through it . If you are willing to try , then so should they and , indeed , the moral imperative lies with them . Start making a bit of a fuss ! Sorry if it seems as though I'm lecturing or hectoring you , but it's so difficult to help from the outside .
You take care now . :-) X

Trevor said...

PS Sorry for the appalling spelling errors in my post , I didn't check it before sending . I hope you can still make sense of it .:-) x

yizhivika said...

A lot of sense has already been written in the preceding posts, Holly, and there's nothing that I feel I need to add to it. I abandoned Facebook some while ago, but if this were a Facebook page, I would 'Like' all of the preceding comments, in the same way that I like your blogpost itself. You're an intelligent, sensitive and talented woman, and that will remain true whatever becomes of your university studies. Take care and best wishes...

Jackie Pekar said...

I can't believe you don't see that you've already answered the one question in one of your songs! Love you!

me said...

Which song Jackie? ~ Who are you? :-)

mercury said...

"Bildung beginnt dann, wenn man das, was man in der Schule gelernt hat, vergessen hat." Albert Einstin

Trevor said...

I must admit , Jackie , I can't work out which song you mean either . Do you think you could enlighten us ?