Marginalia, Graduate Blog

Remember What You Love Doing

Ali Porter

The Empty Bottle

The Empty Bottle

Balancing work and play is never easy, but when you throw class, homework, a job, and two internships in the mix, things are bound to get silly. I usually try not to take on too much at one time. In fact, one of the reasons I did an internship this summer was to make time for other projects (namely working on my music and starting a band). However, things have become unbelievably, unrelentingly, and unimaginably silly. When this happens, what can you do to take a break? Answer: remember what you love doing in your spare time and DO IT!

Now, I will say that it is a great feeling to have so many things going on at once (especially as they are all, for the most part, positively impacting my career prospects), but the sheer amount of time needed to get it all done is overwhelming. Here is a quick rundown of my fall undertakings: record label internship, music venue internship, Philippe Ravanas’ Revenue Generation class, Anju Ahuja’s Entrepreneurship class, Angelo Luciano’s Financial Planning class, miscellaneous homework, part time development job, and fine whiskey reconnaissance. Just this evening my calendar pulled me to one side and shyly whispered in my ear that it has “aged so fast that it feels like it is 2026, and the look on this weathered and rapidly greying face is indeed one of agony.” OK OK! Time to take a break. But how?

Can't grad school be this?

Can't grad school be this?

The problem with taking a break whilst at graduate school is that you always feel like you should be doing something. There you are sipping a Piña Colada, eating ice cream, and swinging in your hammock with Jimmy Buffett on the wireless,  when your conscience grows restless, pipes up, and reminds you about that massive paper you should be writing. Cheers! I have found that the best way to get around this issue is to remember what you love doing and just simply do it! I’m not saying that school work isn’t one of the things that you love doing, but there must be balance, or else bring on the clowns.*

Breton

Breton

With that sage advice in mind, I decided that this semester I have to go and see more shows, because a) I love music; and b) I love live music. Chicago has so much to offer to the music lover. On every night of the week there are great bands playing all over town. Pick your genre, pick your venue, and the world is your oyster. This week, I went to see the amazingly awesome Breton, an indie/rock/electro band from London. They played at the Empty Bottle in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood. Not only was the band really really good (as was supporting band The Big Sleep), but I got talking to them after the show and they gave me their latest album, Other People’s Problems, for free. FAN FOR LIFE!

Other People's Problems by Breton

Other People's Problems by Breton

In the few hours that I was at the show, the other stresses in my life melted away. The whole experience was a much needed re-calibration of my brain. In some small way, it put everything into perspective, and I remembered why I am in graduate school: to pursue my love of the arts and ultimately build a career on what I love doing.

* At this point my obscure analogies and metaphors are a reflection of my current state of mind. I apologize. It should have worn off by next week.

Remember What You Love Doing

Balancing work and play is never easy, but when you throw class, homework, a job, and two internships in the mix, things are bound to get silly. I usually try …

Arts, Entertainment & Media Management MAM Ali Porter, alistair.porter@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

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