Friday, April 22, 2005

What a day!

Yesterday was my busiest day of the week, and contrary to all my expectations, it was great! These were the best bits:

• Despite S. forgetting to give me the wake-up call he’d promised me, I managed to get up in time for my 9am lecture.

• After discovering on Tuesday evening that the trains have altered slightly, thus rendering utterly impossible a previously difficult journey to London for my fortnightly conversion course, my rabbi emailed me to say that she’s willing to do a correspondence-type thing with me instead, which will save me a huge amount of time, money and aggravation.

• I spoke to the final two of my lecturers, so I now know exactly what I have to do to catch up in each of my units after missing 4 or 5 weeks at the end of last term with M.E. Although I have half a rainforest of handouts, lecture notes and assignment briefings, it seems much less daunting now it’s a known quantity, so to speak.

• I had my first German seminar since before I was ill, and after 5 weeks at home having daily conversations with our German lodgers, it was a breeze.

• I spoke to my grandparents and wished my grandad a happy birthday.

• When I got to the orchestra rehearsal in the evening I found I’ve been moved up a desk to second desk of the first violins, which is a nice confidence boost (even if it is only because two people quit!). People I didn’t think even knew I existed said how nice it was to have me back and asked if I was feeling better now. This term’s programme is the best yet, AND I managed to sight-read all the music reasonably convincingly.

• I managed to get a whole load of work done in between lectures and seminars.

• S. finally heard that he passed a course he’s been doing for a couple of months, so he’s over the moon about that.

• We got our information booklets so we can decide which units we want to study next year, and I managed to pick mine out with almost no difficulty – they nearly chose themselves! I need 8 units, so I’m doing Joint Performance Tuition (that means lessons in modern violin and Baroque violin, with a recital at the end of the year for each) and German Language (next stage up from this year), which are both double units. Then on top of those I’ll do Introduction to Medieval Music, Performance Practice, Classical Music & Society and Music & Exoticism. Something tells me I’m heading towards the Music History/Musicology route (as opposed to Performance or Composition)…

• And finally – I’m going home today! One seder-filled Passover weekend, and I don’t have to be back at uni until Monday or even Tuesday.

Yep, definitely a good day! If I don’t blog again before, Chag kasher v’sameach l’Pesach (Happy Passover) to those people to whom it applies!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I'm impressed

A couple of months ago I received a form allowing me to apply for a postal vote. All well and good, especially for students studying outside their home constituency, but given the fiasco of the postal votes in the last few elections, I wasn’t at all sure I wanted to take up an opportunity for my vote to be conveniently ‘lost’. So I um-ed and ah-ed and put the letter to one side.

By the time the election date was announced last week, I had managed to lose the letter. The election will be on a Thursday, so there is no way I can get back home for the day and miss four or five lectures and a violin lesson. I had a suspicion that the deadline for applying for a postal vote had passed, and was toying with the possibility of voting by proxy and wondering how to go about it…

…and then on Saturday a polling card was delivered to everyone in my university accommodation. It appears that somehow, without any of us informing anyone (either here or at home) that we have moved, we have all been registered to vote here. Impressive, if slightly spooky in a Big Brother kind of way.

Having said that, I’m not entirely sure I want to be catapulted into a new constituency without being asked first, but at least I get to vote. Granted, I have more interest in what goes on in my home constituency, but I don’t really have a leg to stand on there since I never quite got round to putting myself on the electoral role for the constituency that S. and I now live in (as opposed to my parents’).

I’d still be interested to know how they managed to automatically register all of us here. It seems to show a level of common sense and forethought not usually displayed by politicians or local administrators in this country.