Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Public Transport Diaries: Day 3

Caught an early bus this morning. I’m totally pumped by the prospect of today’s masterclass. Haven’t had my usual 8 hours of sleep since I was up to the wee hours reading Professor Born’s work and the articles of the three attendees who will be presenting their work. As I walked to the river I could feel the coolness of the air on my neck, left bare by my decision to secure it within an inch of its life up on my head with a hair grip and bobby pins. It’s probably not the most flattering look for me, but it suited my sense of purpose about the day.

I wasn’t too sure about attending this masterclass. While I did a kind of made up ethnography in my work on zines in Australia, I didn’t apply initially because I thought I would be lingering in my previous work and so distracting from my current project. But now, after engaging with Professor Born’s work on the BBC and the importance of looking at agency in cultural production in tandem with the aesthetic and institutional mediations, I’m enthused about the opportunity it presents for a politically and philosophically informed approach to the aesthetics of television.

I have to thank M. profusely for sending an email to the reading group, urging us all to make a late application. It’s so nice to feel all effervescent, yet mindful and convinced of the importance of my work. It’s nice to be reminded about why I’m pursuing this career.

It’s spitting slightly. People are standing up on the bus, even though there are seats available. And now, I’ve just arrived at the University.

***
Left the University at 9pm after restoring my tired mind with pizza, beer and a casual debriefing of the jam packed events of the day with other masterclass attendees. Surprised by the number of people still around, but there seems to be a Dance Club function for O-Week going on.

Before getting on the bus, I struck up a conversation with an international student who resembled Martin Freeman from The Office and Hardware. He had recently arrived from Tennessee via Argentina, where he had begun a master’s on the leftist governments of South America. It’s a long story, but now he’s relocated to Australia, which he seemed quite pleased about, even if he has to reconfigure his project a bit to take advantage of the new geography in which he finds himself. He was jetlagged and still coming to terms with the whole ‘other side of the road’ thing. He asked my assistance for getting on and off the right bus at the right time. In ten short minutes he managed to extract from me explanations on the topics of both my MPhil and PhD. He commended me on coming up with a project that allowed me to watch The Sopranos, for study purposes, of course. Then we laughed about the South American fondness for melodramatic soap operas, which I gathered he’d had the advantage of actually watching. He was also interested in the percentage of US product on Australian television. I guessed about 60%.

We shook hands and wished each other luck before he disembarked at the shopping centre. I alighted at my usual stop and walked home without any event.

4 comments:

Lucy said...

I'm glad today's episode was a lot more pleasant than the previous 2 :)

Tseen said...

I can't believe you talk to people on public transport. ;) I usually smoosh myself into a corner and stare into the middle-distance, hoping no-one tries to be sociable. I'm such a good participator in society.

Btw, not sure if the grapevine has reached your galactic ears: I'm expecting a bub next January. :)

Galaxy said...

Hi Lucy. I think this whole exercise might reveal that not all of my travelling is a case of just-missed buses and surly drivers, which sometimes I have felt it is. I think I have a tendency to go around in a permanent state of surliness myself, so anything that makes me feel more positive about the vagaries of bus travel, must be good for me.

Congratulations Tseen, to you and S! No, I hadn't heard. How excitement.

I'm not saying I make a practice of talking to people on pt, but I have a fondness for Martin Freeman look-alikes.

There's a woman that gets on at the stop near my home whom I assiduously ignore. If I have to hear one more time about how her family used to live on Queen St in 1800 and something... Well, it *was* very interesting the first couple of times, but now I'm over it. I'm not sure if she recognises me from the last 20 times. Her conversation would suggest not.

ThirdCat said...

People say that about me, I reckon. Although not so much me as my little boy who talks a *lot* and at a very high pitch and who very much enjoys asking people questions. I let him choose which seat we sit in, and I can sometimes feel the bus going 'please not me, please not me' when we get on.