Saturday, January 07, 2012

Seize the fluffy, small, stumpy-billed moment

This lot were among those waddling around UWA's Arts courtyard when I had business being there a month ago.

I am of the "fluffy = adorable = where's my camera?" persuasion, which can be awkward on days when you've chosen to use the oversize tote with but one compartment and are holding abstracts from the conference on music and emotion in one hand, tea and a scone in the other.

But you do what you have to, because ducklings don't stay ducklings forever.

It isn't that the conference was such a drag that I had to go looking for fowl to photograph, or stay awake by posing donkey and conference materials just so. It was an interesting, eclectic three days. I made friends with an Iban girl studying music education in KL and an Australian Chinese doing her PhD in Spanish piano music at my alma mater. ("Friends" of the sort you have animated, stimulating conversations with at lunch and tea breaks but know you're unlikely ever to meet again.) Made contact with music therapy types. Listened to findings from music therapy studies on all sorts of populations: old, intellectually challenged, dying, friendly. Revised a long-ago lesson: People who can write up an interesting session abstract are not necessarily as gifted at making the actual session work. Watched a Japanese dude concentrate really hard on a score as a computer read his brain waves and played the music for all to hear.

And yet, when it was all over, I didn't wish that I could keep on listening to talks and learning from people who've done the hard yards with their clients... what I wished for was time to return to the courtyard soon with a book, beverage and sandwich, and all the time I wanted to sit and read and listen and watch ducks. A wish that has high chances of coming true.

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