Sunday, 13 March 2011

A collection of thoughts on a Sunday evening in March

Dissertation proposal done. Being Human season finalé watched. Two extremely tasty meals eaten. All in all this Sunday's turned out alright, which was far from guaranteed when i woke up.

I have to say i was more than a little nervous this morning, despite my best intentions i really didn't make the progress i was hoping for on the work yesterday, meaning that it was still seeming pretty damn daunting. Gradually though today, despite many distractions, some worthwhile, others less so, i chipped away at the word count until at about half past 8 i saved a final draft of it and made some food, chicken kiev's as it turned out. I'm quite happy with it so far, but at the same time i am glad that it isn't binding, i'm not ready to commit to the topic yet. If i'm being honest i don't think it's a question of the topic so much as just not being ready to commit to any particular future.

My parents and sister came to visit today, we went for a meal and basically just had a good catch up. We spent quite a bit of time talking about the ideas i have about what jobs i could see myself doing. I think it was partly inspired by the journalism assignment i completed, where i wrote about the challenge facing people like me, coming towards the end of their second year of university, the challenge of deciding what exactly they want to when their degrees come to an end. I've been giving it quite a bit of thought and right now there are three career paths which appeal to me, all of them perhaps slightly naively aspirational, all of them probably a far distance from where i will eventually end up.

1) First up, this kind of a continuation of a career i've had in mind for a long time, that is of course to be a journalist. I've been wanting to do this for years, i've always wanted to write for a living and i've always believed that journalists play an important role in society. It's the natural conclusion i guess to that second element that i would love to work for someone like Reuters or the Associated Press, an organisation that is global, committed to trying to present balanced and objective coverage of events. They're not perfect, they have their faults and their aims create some limits in terms of creative scope. I'd love to work in some far away country, covering events and making sure that people whose stories might never be told are heard by a potentially global audience. As aims for a future career i go i reckon that i could do a lot worse.

2) A lecturer in American Politics at university. This is a new one, a career born out of a realisation that i have a passion for the subject and that maybe if i continue to study the subject, to post graduate or masters level, i could turn that interest into an occupation. I'd find it fascinating to keep studying the politics of the country, with all it's fascinating and contradictory details. I'm less certain about that career path, i guess because it's only occurred to me as an option over the last few months. I quite like the idea of teaching, though it's hard to put that appeal into words without it sounding cheesy, even by my standards. So i guess i'll leave it at that and move on to job 3.

3) This one is certainly the least feasible and realistic, but i would love to find myself in a position where my primary occupation and source of income was writing either novels or writing screenplays for film or TV. I loved doing the screenplay writing task in film studies, and anyone who even vaguely knows me will be aware that i have some aspirations to write novels. The story i wrote when i should have been revising for my A-levels is probably the one thing i have ever done that i am most proud of, not because i have any misguided notions about the literary merits of the story itself (it was distinctly average in all honesty) but instead i'm proud of the fact i wrote something of that level, i'm proud that i followed through on an idea that i was passionate about and i'm proud that for once i managed to put one of the myriad of ideas that float around my head all the time into a more coherent and corporeal form. It was a hugely satisfying experience to print it off and hold the physical copy of my story in my hands. I still have that copy in my room at uni now, i look at it every so often just to remind myself that if, and it's proven time and time again to be a frustratingly big IF, i can maintain enthusiasm for something, maintain a degree of focus, then i'm capable of creating something i can be proud of. I'd love it if one day i could create something that lots of other people appreciate, but for now, it's enough that i am happy with it.

As usual i'm going to end the post with a music recommendation. I don't post these assuming people haven't heard of them before, or that they're the greatest thing since sliced bread, merely that they're a band or artist that i really am enjoying at the time that i write, and i believe music, like anything that can make someone happy, should be shared.

Today i'm recommending 'The Boxer Rebellion' and more specifically their most recent album 'The Cold Still', not sure how to describe it, because it is, in my opinion at least, a quite entertainingly varied album. I hear the influences of Mumford and Sons, Radiohead, Mando Diao and possibly a bit of Band of Horses. If you listen to just one song, i'd say listen to this one -

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