I value social connections very highly. Aside from adding the best things to life – friendship, affirmation of my own humanity, etc – social connections also provide surprises like free concert tickets. A Quest alumnus currently working on a masters degree in the Netherlands sent an e-mail saying that she had two tickets to a concert at Paradiso (iconic local music venue) that she couldn’t use and offered them to us Questies currently at AUC. Zoe accepted the offer and I defied my study guilt to tag along. I’d never heard of Bear’s Den before but their show was fantastic: three guys, three part harmonies, a drummer that plays bass while drumming, and the occasional banjo.
Sometimes I forget how good live music feels. I forget that I can smile honestly with my eyes closed and feet stomping in time to snare and bass kicks surrounded by strangers. It was fun.
This week has been stressful and I needed that music. I spent last week in Berlin and haven’t caught up yet. The group presentation I have to do on Monday hasn’t received nearly enough attention and I’ve had consecutive late night tea dates with neighbours down the hall.
Rationalizing my lessened productivity I realized I could do book learning anywhere. With five classes to divide my attention, I’ve struggled to find the depth of classroom experience I grew accustomed to at Quest but I’m trying to engage with the AUC and European experience more generally. Tuesday night I volunteered and performed at an AUC Open Mic and had dinner with friends down the hall; Wednesday night was my shift with a charity and the Bear’s Den show; and tonight I had a keystone interview, ate dinner with my room mate and had a lazy study session with Quest kids. I don’t know how long I’ll carry the knowledge I’m gathering but I expect I’ll carry these relationships for years if not for the rest of my life. They’ll give me support, couches to sleep on, and maybe even free concert tickets. I’ll return those favours when I can and the world will spin round. Looking at this larger picture makes me feel a lot better about neglecting my homework. Besides, who can turn down free concert tickets?