Monday, 21 June 2010

Pictures at an exhibition

104 days until my next attempt to qualify for the Boston marathon.


Today at work I had to process some data and run some statistical analysis on them. Largley, this work requires doing the same thing over and over again, and doesn't require much thought.

The place where I work was relatively quiet today, as the students are now gone. It seems like many of the staff have chosen this time to take their holidays (vacations) as well. The sun was out, and it felt relaxed. It was like being at work on a Saturday.

To help pass the time when doing repetitive stuff on the computer, I sometimes listen to the radio over the internet. I like to listen to Vermont Public Radio, a favourite from when I lived in Vermont. I like hearing the weather forecasts - the "eye on the sky" from St. Johnsbury - a regular feature from my few years there.

My analysis, however, required just enough of my attention so that I could only have music in the background. Thus, I chose the Vermont Public Radio Classical feed.

At some point during my work, I heard the haunting promenade of Mussorsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. It was played on a piano.

Somehow, the breeze through open office window, the sunny summer day, the music, brought a strange sense of contentment. I was taken back to my time as an undergraduate student - reminded of my time spent taping music in the music library while I studied - of the summer days at the university when I stayed on to work, and then walked through the leafy campus in the evening, with the breeze in the trees, and very few students around - of finding a good book in the basement library of the English Department.

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