Building an audience

I have a question for you, that my title made sound like a blogging-related question, but it totally isn’t.

I sang in a concert on Sunday. We’d been working hard towards it, as usual, and had a fantastic fun programme which was a bit different from our usual (Jazz, rather than Classical). We had an audience of about 40 people, less than half our usual.

Now, there were some obvious reasons for the drop.

1) It was daylight saving day and probably it was just too confusing for people, or they turned up after we finished (concert was only an hour long);
2) It was a different style programme from usual (though I would have thought it would have more appeal, not less);
3) It was at a different venue from usual,
4) At a different time from usual;
5) The time was 1 pm on a Sunday when a lot of people would be having their lunch.

Besides all that… and here’s where I’d like you all to answer…

How can we build our audience?

… or more specifically…

What makes you go to a concert? What do you want to get out of it? How much are you willing to shell out and what for?

Where do you hear about the things that you go to?

If all 50-odd of my followers respond, I’ll have a pretty good sample! ūüôā I promise I’ll respond to your reply.

Studying for exams. And writing a research proposal.

NOT.

You know that moment in George of the Jungle, where Ursula’s mother says “oh God”?

That’s what my brain said when I went to open YET ANOTHER research methods .pdf. I swear it would have been audible to an outside observer, even though my lips and vocal cords did not move.

Like the time I was talking to someone and watching his lips and my brain suddenly yelled, “God you’re beautiful!” so loudly I was amazed the man I was talking to didn’t hear it. I then blundered away, trying the wrong door to get out, you know the kind of thing.

Anyway.

I am at that moment, like when you’ve been on a long tramp or a long stay in hospital, when you’re about three quarters or more of the way there and the end is almost in sight and you’ve STILL GOT SO FAR TO GO and you STILL have to keep putting one foot in front of the other, or one word after another, or have yet another dinner of reconstituted egg quiche and wobbly pudding and¬†another blood test.¬†

I’m having bad dreams of conflict with my husband and weird concatenations of the TV I’ve been watching and my studies and the news, although that may have more to do with the warmer Spring weather combined with winter-weight bedding.

I am not tired of psychology, or brains. I’m tired of assessment, of having tasks set for me by others, which have nothing to do with the needs of real people. Writing pages and pages and pages which in the end will only be thrown away. I want to be writing reports which doctors and patients and families will read and which will help them and make their lives a little better, a little more understandable, make sense of the past in the present,¬†give hope for the future.

I want that so bad I can taste it. (Kind of metallic, as my throat tightens and I carefully don’t cry.)

Unfortunately my coping strategies are not all that great. But I’ll come through, I always do. I’ll probably get As. It’s just the getting there that’s a pain in the ass. I may be here a bit more often in the next month, to try and get the conversational writing out of my system so I can settle to the dry academic style where I have to. I do get in minor trouble for being too informal sometimes.

Anyway, I better go, I have to take the cat to the vet and then pick the kids up from school. See you all again the next time a paper makes me scream.

Awesome little movie

Awesome little movie

My son (known here as Mr 10) entered a short film competition at our church, with the awards ceremony last Saturday evening. ¬†Their film, “Shrinking: The Movie” was nominated for six awards and won just one additional one … BEST PICTURE. You know, the supreme award. Because they were overall good at, like, everything.

He is 10, I said before, I think. One other film was made by high-schoolers and all the rest by university students and young adults.

And we won. 

Can you feel the glow of pride that’s still radiating?

We need your help now, though. There’s a people’s choice award, which we’d quite like to win as well. Please follow the link above, “like” the YouTube movie, and share it with all your friends. You won’t regret it! And you’ll make a bunch of kids very happy.

Thanks heaps. ūüôā

The best medicine

Nervous Systems Plasticity-induced boredom and screaming heebie-jeebies is much alleviated by conversations like this:

[1:58:07 p.m.] Anna : Think I’ll suggest morphine, not heroin, since there’s a lot more research about it
[1:58:27 p.m.] Anna : or heron. No-one’s done research into the effect of herons on the mouse nervous system
[1:58:39 p.m.] Anna : i mis-typed it to begin with, you see
[1:58:51 p.m.] Sam : Excellent! It must be done!
[1:58:56 p.m.] Anna : i don’t think herons would be very good for them
[1:59:02 p.m. | Edited 1:59:07 p.m.] Sam : The hidden dangers of snort[h]ing heron!
[1:59:06 p.m.] Anna : they eat fish, mice aren’t very different
[1:59:16 p.m.] Anna : SNORTHING!!!!
[1:59:22 p.m.] Anna : HAHAHAHAHAAAAA
[1:59:35 p.m.] Anna : that’s when you try to snort something but you have a blocked nose and it just goes all down your shirt
[1:59:57 p.m.] Anna : <giggling aloud in the silent lab trying not to disturb other student>
[2:00:18 p.m.] Anna : Imagine having heron all down your shirt
[2:00:25 p.m.] Anna : <crying with silent laughter>
[2:00:36 p.m.] Anna : my tummy hurts now
[2:01:05 p.m.] Sam : ūüėĬ†My job here is done
[2:01:09 p.m.] Anna : Awesome
[2:01:15 p.m.] Sam : <flies off to rescue some other poor soul>

Getting the cogs grinding

I woke up this morning at 6.30, thinking about my assignment, so I got up, grabbed my laptop and did an hour’s work on it. ¬†This has never happened before.

You may notice the effect of my current glut of assignments on my punctuation: double spaces after full stops were requested so now I’m doing them everywhere. ¬†I correct myself on Twitter but otherwise, meh. ¬†Whatever. ¬†It looks right when your paragraph is double spaced, somehow. Otherwise, it kind of gives the impression that you’re hyperventilating. ¬†TOO…MUCH…BREATH……

I’m writing a blog post now because I am at the point in my Annotated Bibliography where I have a conclusion to write, probably looking at about five pages, and I have an outline with stuff to hang on it and my mind is blanking out. ¬†This may be because it is 3.30 pm and I have already spent three hours writing, one and a half hours in class (I bailed before the student presentations) and at least half an hour wrestling with Word and EndNote. ¬†I’m hoping that blogging will unstick the old word machine and get that vocabulary flowing juicily.

How does WordPress’s editor think “unstick” is not a word? ¬†Bizarre.

You may also notice the odd sentence written in the passive voice. ¬†I do my best to avoid it, but it’s hard in academia. ¬†I swear some articles I’ve read were written¬†entirely¬†in the passive voice. ¬†Which makes me want to turn on the ‘read aloud’ function on Adobe Reader because they just sound like a robot wrote them, and it seems appropriate that they should be read in a mechanical emotionless voice.

This is one of the things I like about interpretative phenomenological analysis, which is the style of qualitative research I am planning for my own thesis. ¬†You actually get to hear real people speak. ¬†I will record my conversations with my participants, and my data will be the transcripts of those conversations. ¬†I will use quotes instead of graphs. ¬†I will let the people I’m studying speak for themselves. ¬†I can’t wait.

But in the meantime there are conclusions to write based on summaries of articles and the stuff I’m meant to have learnt in class about levels of intervention and public health perspectives and what-not. ¬†And then there’s the research proposal for next week, for a topic I only vaguely understand. ¬†I’ve never designed or run a lab experiment in my life. ¬†This may be ridiculous. ¬†

I’m quite good at faking it, though. ¬†Wish me luck.