Commuter Jam


Why "commute" when you can "jam"?

Why “commute” when you can “jam”?

I didn’t get around to writing yesterday, but at the time I considered it a well-earned break. It was the end of the first week of classes which felt like five days of riding a mechanical bull: exhilarating, terrifying, somewhat chafing by the end, but over-all a pretty darn big accomplishment.

If the first week is any indication, then I’m going to need to treat this semester like an Olympian in training: getting enough sleep, showering every day, not watching too much TV, eating healthy foods, etc. They seem like pretty basic things, but sometimes that just makes it more difficult to remember how important they are.

Luckily, I have today to myself. I am reading through all the paperwork that was thrown at me during the week and trying to get myself organized for the week to come. I wish that I could say that I had the whole weekend to myself- especially considering that it is a holiday weekend, but in true Graduate School style the program is playing fast and loose with our free time again and we were assigned an Not-Mandatory-But-Not-Really-Optional¬† “boot camp” to learn about production sound on Sunday afternoon. I want to complain because I want my Sunday afternoon to myself, but at the same time I also really want to learn how to do better production sound so my grumbles are really quite toothless.

And I realize that I’m doing that thing that I said I was going to try to stop doing- namely writing about graduate school to the exclusion of all else- so I’m also going to include a short anecdote that I hope you will find amusing.

I was driving home last night in rush hour traffic and flipping from station to station on the radio to find something to listen to. Eventually I settled on a classic rock station playing a song that I liked the rhythm of, but that I didn’t recognize. (I looked it up, though: “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac.)

At any rate, the song came on right as I was pulling up to a stop light. As I was waiting for it to change I happened to look across the street to where I could see the silhouette of a man against the wall of a building. He wasn’t so much “walking” along the sidewalk as he was “bopping”. Each step landed exactly in sync with the baseline of the song. At first I thought this was an interesting coincidence- that the music on the radio just happened to line up with something going on in the wider world like the soundtrack to a movie. Then the guitarist in the song struck a chord right as the guy on the sidewalk struck a pose.

I’m not sure how the gentleman in question was hearing the music- I couldn’t see any evidence that he was wearing headphones and the windows on the van were rolled up so it seemed unlikely that he could hear it from my radio. However he was hearing it, he wasn’t afraid to show how much he was enjoying it, which was fun to watch. Sometimes I wish I had that kind of confidence to dance on a street corner to music that others may or may not be able to hear.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on January 18, 2014.

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