Sunday, February 26, 2006

Carnival Sunday

Starting to feel the fever pitch, the sense of being alive. It's Carnival. I may be a world away, but it's still Carnival. I can't go to work tomorrow! That's just so wrong. Doesn't anyone realise what day it is? I'm ready to go out at 4 am (which it 2 am here), ready to stay up all night to listen to Dimanche Gras. But I won't. I'm sleepy enough as it is, I have to get a good bit of work done for tomorrow, and I have to get an abstract in by Wednesday for ESA. Who came up with the bright idea of putting the abstract submission deadline on Ash Wednesday? What were they thinking? :)

Friday, February 24, 2006

Carnival Friday

As far away as I am, it's still Carnival Friday. I could blame it on having access to Trinidad radio, but the truth is that it's there no matter what. Carnival is Carnival. You can be happy about it, or you can let it break your heart - but you can't ignore it. It's in your blood. The fact that I have access to Trinidad radio means that I can enjoy the feeling instead of having this immense sense of being excluded, of the biggest thing in the world happening, but you can't be there.

It's so difficult to not be home for Carnival. Sure, not being home for Christmas sucks too, but there is so much more to Carnival. It's the high point of the year, and no matter how long you spend in exile, no matter how many Carnivals you miss, I can't imagine it not being the high point of the year. Listening to a flood of chutney soca only makes it more intense. Kaiso is something I feel strongly about, but I don't feel the sense of "ownership" of kaiso that I do of chutney. Still, no matter how much of a sense of immediacy the radio can give you, it will never be the same, and it will never fill the sense of longing, the knowledge of what you are missing.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Wot a ting

The day after I spend my money for Homeviewtnt, 101 decides to stream for free, at least for the Carnival season. I'd say their free stream is better quality than the paid stream. No complaints - complements what Homeview has. Real chutney. Now I happy.

Monday, February 20, 2006

HomeView and Filmi

Finally (rather too late) subscribed to Homeviewtnt. So far so good - except that the only real kaiso available is 105, which seems to be covering pan-round-the-neck competition. Not exactly meeting my desire to figure out what's in play for Carnival 2006 (can't believe that in just a week I will be missing yet another Carnival).

So what do I find myself listening to? Filmi on 103.

I remember when I used to hate this kind of music. It was just too inaccessible to me. It didn't seem musical, it seemed terribly discordant. Now, hearing it for the first time in so long - I can't imagine anything better. Ok, I would probably prefer chutney, I would probably prefer dub. But other than that...and yeah, this one is about as inane a film song as I have heard (because the chorus is in English - I wonder how some of this stuff would suck the rest of the time if I could understand it).

In a general sense, listening to music in a language you can't understand seems strange to me. It's one thing is Spanish, where I can still figure out a good few words, here and there if not everywhere. Hindi is another issue. I know the odd word here and there, I know a number of other words that I don't understand...but for the most time I have no clue what they are saying. And yet the music still says something to me - there's the music, the sound of the words, and the intonation of the singing.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Review Sessions

It would appear, based on the comments I have come across in the past, that the best feature of my teaching is my review sessions. This is unfortunate, since I would rather be better at engaging students than at helping them cram for exams - but the truth is, I have been taught to cram, to spot, and all these other good things, so it makes sense that I am able to model the behaviour I have learned.

The issue now is how to make that into a useful pedagogical tool. Rather than working against your strengths, can you work with them? Anyway, first exams are today. Let's hope they do well.