four years ago when i started my phd program, i couldn't listen to music and work. anything other than classical music distracted me. it got in my head. made me want to listen to the words, which kept me from capturing the words i was reading. its beat became an incessant, demanding irritant that made it nearly impossible to concentrate.
and now--now i can't imagine working without music. i'm sitting in the library grading papers right now. listening to the brazilian girls. and as i was typing a comment on the last paper i graded, i realized i was typing in time to the music. which made me realize the extent to which music has infiltrated my life. it's rhythms and language and energy coloring my world in ways music never has before. i'll never know it the way some of my friends do. i'll always carry with me the near-silence of my childhood and teen years (no television til i was 14; no real radio listening til i was 16). but that silence shapes and informs my listening as much as my friends' knowledge shapes theirs, and not just in negative ways.
thanks go to my friends (you know who you are) who have pushed me (gently and sometimes not so gently) towards infusing my life with music. i find myself dancing often. sometimes just inside. sometimes literally. and the old men in the library can look at me funny all they want as i do so, sitting in my chair bopping to the music while i work. at least i'm not giving in to the compulsion to sing out loud...