December 20, 2008

On Friday we gathered for Julfika (Christmas coffee break) at 10am – which did not consist of coffee but rather glögg (mulled wine) and pastries – and talked about music and academia. Erica said used to think life was always accompanied by a soundtrack until she left Austin, Texas. Everyone laughed. I said I left all my CDs at home in parents’ attic which was a sad thing and now I was addicted to watching music videos on YouTube. As I type, I’m watching a 1986 video of a live Smith’s concert. They’re singing “Some girls are bigger than others. Some girls’ mothers are bigger than other girls’ mothers.” I used to listen to The Smiths in high school and college but it’s been awhile. I lost all my Smiths tapes and records when the world transitioned to CDs. I’ve been wondering lately if we acquire a taste for a certain genre of music – and particular bands – in our youth and never entirely deviate from it for the rest of our lives.  While I was reflecting on this, Erica said she wasn’t sure she wanted to stay in this world [of academia] with all its rules and requirements. Jim asked her: “Is there another world?” Everyone laughed. I was in a bad mood and so made several indignant comments about academia and its self-importance. Everyone looked at me quizzically.