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My battle-scarred laptop, which if it were a human would have almost finished primary school, got to take a break this weekend. It dreamed sweet neural-network dreams about being recycled as e-waste as its owner played New Orleans jazz in Blenheim on Friday, comedy-folk and gothic chamber pop at CubaDupa on Saturday, and French cabaret tunes on Queen Street in Auckland on Sunday. Music has been an incredibly important part of my postgrad study, because it hasn’t technically been a part of my postgrad study — I sang and played and completely ignored my thesis all weekend, and as a result, I was excited to return to my research on Monday. Having an interest that sometimes quite literally ferries me away from my studies has been incredibly important to my wellbeing and academic success. Much like my long-suffering laptop, I need to reboot after a period of intense central processor usage, and music has been a key part of this process for me.
There are so many opportunities in Wellington to become involved in the arts, as either a spectator or a performer. The Doc Edge International Film Festival, LUX Light Festival, NZ International Comedy Festival, and Wellington Jazz Festival are all coming up within the next few months, and all of them offer a number of either free events or solid student discounts. There are open mics and jam nights all over the city for folk, jazz, comedy, and everything in between, as well as music clubs on campus that welcome new members with no experience at all. Try something new, that has no connection to what you’re studying at all. Maybe you’ll enjoy it, and maybe you won’t, and maybe you’ll become the best mathcore bagpiper in Aro Valley. Your degree is one part of who you are, but it doesn’t have to be everything.
With love, your friendly neighbourhood linguistics Master’s student, accordionist, and former pun battle champion.