At this very moment it is 3:25… in the morning. Perhaps not unusual for a student, but for someone who is usually nodding by half past midnight, this is pretty late. I am working on an essay about music in the postcolonial world. It seems pretty inventive right now, which feels like a good thing, though I worry that it won’t make sense in the morning. So I am writing here to take a break and convince my caffeinated mind that it is getting sleepy. (Where are those psychology experiment hypnotists when you need them?)
First, before I forget: the “where pens come to die” part of the title refers to the number of pens I have gone through being here. My notes are thorough and paper outlines unbelievably detailed despite the fact that I change what I write as I go anyway. The three or four hours of concentration that go into making the outline are part of the writing process, I suppose. At least it helps me get started. The rest of the essay can take between ten and twenty hours to write. I won’t finish this one tonight… Better get crackin’ tomorrow since it is due at “tea time.”
Now, besides not sleeping for the sake of an essay, I have been spending my evenings at the theater. It seems like a long time has passed, but just one week ago I did go and see Cabaret. (That night I stayed up late too for an essay… Noticing a pattern, anyone?) It was a-maz-ing. I will definitely see it again someday. Then this past Monday I went to Stratford Upon Avon (the original home of Shakespeare) to see Antony and Cleopatra performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company. The student special was just 17 quid for the transportation and the ticket, which was a steal. The show was excellent, as should be expected, though I did succumb to quite the fever during the performance and was thus not able to enjoy the show as fully as I could have. I have been a bit under the weather this week, though the worst of it is over. (Just knocked on wood.)
Then last night, Vanesa and I went to see a production of Sweeney Todd. It differed from the movie slightly though the plot was still the same. Vanesa has been a chorus member in the show before, which gave her a different perspective on it. I liked the production well enough, though there was no standing ovation at the end. Critical theater commentary? … Not feeling like it right now.
What I do feel like is commenting on daily life at 169A Woodstock. Especially the radiators. They make clicking noises that can be quite loud and long in duration. I mention this now because the one in the TV room where I am working just started up. Ugh.
In true student fashion, my desk in here is actually a box placed on top of the coffee table. The table is too low to comfortably type for long periods of time, so I found a box that raises the laptop to a more comfortable height. Voila! Problem solved. (Hey, I’m not here for nothing…)
Hmm… last comment before having a go at getting some sleep (I had coffee for the first time in a few months late in the afternoon and felt a bit jittery afterward, which is probably why I don’t feel particularly tired yet. Sleep is more of a form of breaking from writing than fulfilling any pressing human need) is that tonight we had a family dinner of beans and plantains. Vanessa’s family is from Guatemala and she knows how to cook plantains, so when I saw some at the market last week I got them. A week and a day later they were black and ready for eating. And I must say: they were delicious. With homemade black beans, some bread, and mozzarella cheese… Yum. And incredibly filling.
All right, time to address the last item in the title of this post… zzzz
One thought on “Oxford: where pens come to die, theater comes to live, and students don’t sleep”
Thanks for keeping us posted. Hard work will pay off. Glad you are goong to theatre events, its part of the culture there.But you must get your beauty sleep. How it get it all in is the trick, isn’t it?