“Joy in repetition…”

August 29, 2014

Prince and Adam Gearey

An unlikely comparison: Prince and Professor Adam Gearey

When Prince released his song “Joy in Repetition” in 1990 (as the eighth track on his twelfth album Graffiti Bridge) he could have scarcely imagined that some 25 years later it would come to directly influence the CLRI (Common Law Reasoning and Institutions) presentations by our very own Professor Adam Gearey. It is a song about a song; and deals with his experience of walking into (one presumes an imaginary but does it matter) uber-trendy night club on New York’s 36th to experience a band performing a song called “Soul Psychodelicide”. The song is a “year long and had been playing for months” and is no more lyrically complicated than two words, and there she was up on the mike:

... this woman he had never noticed before he lost himself in the
Articulated manner in which she said them.
These two words; a little bit behind the beat

So over and over, she said the words til he could take no more, (no more)

It’s alluringly simple three chord structure draws you into the song’s perfect logic and before you know where you are you are equally mesmerised; sharing the same quasi-hypnotic state that one presumes our wandering Purple Prince intended you to feel.

How on earth does that relate to our venerable studies of the Common Law and its even more venerable Institutions and how possibly am I/can one connect that with one of Professor Gearey’s presentations? But there it is Chapter 5 at exactly 4 minutes and 11 seconds; and I quote:

“practice; that’s the secret…doing it over and over and over again”

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Studying as a Form of Stress Management

August 26, 2014

Einstein on studyingDespite the somewhat romantic notion I had about enjoying a leisurely time after finishing my degree, it has worked out to be a bit different. This summer I have had very little break time between interviewing for new opportunities, IT repairs, a 180-degree shift in a work project, finishing my home redecorating project, and preparing to enter a new academic program. You would think I could see all of that coming, but, unfortunately, no. What managing it all helped me realize is that reading and studying has been a kind of stress management tool for me, in addition to being something I really, really enjoy. Studying as a form of stress management might sound unusual to you. It certainly sounds unusual to me, but while managing all the rough and tumble of professional life this week, I realized that having my reading and intense engagement with English studies is an excellent stress management tool and helps me maintain a helpful perspective on other projects.

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Tackling the serial killer of academic life – procrastination!

August 23, 2014

Procrastination is the thief of timeProcrastination itself is such a long word for lazy people that it is not even read rather just understood in the mind. But it is truly the serial killer of academic life. From postponing important assignments until the deadline, to leaving notes completion and research work until ‘tomorrow’, all such activities contribute to becoming a major procrastinator.

All students, no matter which field they belong to, or are part-time workers or are part-time studying, rely on delaying their study work, for instance, assignments, research, reading, writing etc. Although everything and many things are sometimes more important than your studies, it really helps if you manage time effectively and avoid wasting it.

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An 18-year-old with 24 years experience…

August 19, 2014

Entry to the University of London LLB programme @ 41 was a watershed event for me last year, and the six following months… a roller coaster ride. From sleepy beginnings (The snakes and ladders of study) through wake-up moments (A Journey to the Centre of the Mind) it has been pulsating, right up to the finishing line.

The last time I ran this race was two decades back during my Chartered Accountancy Finals. Those were different days though. In early 20s, youthful potential energy was in abundance. Devoid of any serious responsibility, life was relatively uncomplicated. In short, those were days when the heart thumped more in anticipation of love and life rather than apprehension of failure and fear..!

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To the future!

August 15, 2014

This happens to be the final page of my travel(b)logue, which is what I referred to my blogs as in my first post… On completion of my study, I set off for some adventure-packed fun. Launching myself off the platform and flying down the zipline was somewhat like my study experience over the past four years – a journey, from bracing myself to embracing the world!

Hema Thakur ziplining

So here’s to the ‘long and short’ of my trip with the programmes (spellcheck hasn’t got used to this word yet). I’ve expanded the word ‘trip’ itself, to incorporate some of the most important lessons I’ve learnt from it.

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Post #1: In which we meet this blog’s narrator and catch up on events in the MA Education

August 12, 2014

I think I might be a man.

Turns out that I’m completely without that well-known female quality of being able to successfully multi-task, so that instead of juggling writing this blog, catching up on a dubiously thick stack of reading and preparing for the new school year I have instead been in a state of stall for the last week when I’ve been able to do nothing more academic than watch re-runs of Frasier.

I’ve had to impose discipline on myself so I’ve come into work and I’m writing to you sitting at my desk in my classroom. Should you like to picture the scene you might like to know that it’s freezing cold in here, a testament to the fierce air-con that’s keeping the oppressive heat outside at bay. I live in Romania – which is a land of all sorts of extremes, not least in its literal interpretation of a cold winter and a hot summer. The students aren’t back yet – they won’t be back for at least another week – and the school seems very quiet and altogether too ‘grown-up’ without them.

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Transition Time!

August 8, 2014

What a week we have had here in Pittsburgh! Jelly Bean, my collie dog, and I have accomplished a lot. We spent some time digging over and planting three new flowerbeds, began a creative project, and finished our ‘spring’ cleaning that got sadly, sadly behind when concentrating on exams and some professional projects.  This week we also finally finished two big, lingering work projects. (Yes, we – she is a very good co-pilot for long stretches at my desk.)  Having professional and personal projects like this is a great thing right now.  While it is sinking, albeit slowly, into my brain that I actually completed the degree, I have not quite figured out what to do with the time devoted to study. There was a celebration and a few tears of relief and joy when grades were released but nothing like the sense of satisfaction that came with the invitation to our graduation ceremony in the spring.

Rainbow in stormy skyIt feels like transition time, and perfectly timed too with the lovely feeling of spring ripening into summer, not that it is always a process without drama.  This week we had an incredible summer storm. In just a few hours, we had three inches of rain. A building on our street was struck by lightning, streets were closed from flash flooding, people were rescued from floating vehicles, and our garden room flooded impressively. Although Jelly Bean is normally quite brave during thunder and lightning storms, she felt better sitting in my lap as we watched this one from her favorite window seat.   In an almost Shakespearean way, like our own personal ‘Tempest’, the storm arrived along with my decision to pursue new professional opportunities and set new academic goals.

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