Musical education

I feel a bit like Don­ald Duck, rolling from one job into anoth­er. The shoe store turned out to be a shady was a shad­owy busi­ness, where I did not get a con­tract and was back on the street after three days. For the past few weeks I worked through a recruit­ment agency for a com­pa­ny that makes card­board dis­plays, for exam­ple for mas­cara. The work con­sists the fold­ing and past­ing of card­board, with tape and glue guns. On the first day the team leader felt that I was work­ing very fast, so I was put on the ros­ter for a good num­ber of days. On those days, I am only home at ten o’clock in the evening, which makes our cur­rent rou­tine a bit odd.

At work, the radio is always on BBC Radio 1, the Eng­lish equiv­a­lent of 3FM. It makes me appre­ci­ate the Dutch pub­lic broad­cast­ing all the more, because the vari­ety of music on Radio 1 is des­per­ate­ly low. It seems like they have a playlist of 10 songs that is played over and over again. In fact, the only inter­est­ing thing is the news, being at least dif­fer­ent every day. For exam­ple, last week I heard that the Nobel Peace Prize was award­ed to Malala Yousafzai, at the age of 17 the youngest win­ner ever. She is cam­paign­ing for the right of girls to edu­ca­tion. She her­self is now going to school in Birm­ing­ham. Friends of hers who were inter­viewed said she main­ly lis­tens to clas­si­cal music. Not your aver­age teenag­er then, but some­one with a mis­sion. After she was shot in the head in 2012 by the Tal­iban and recov­ered, she gave an impres­sive speech to the UN. Mean­while, the radio plays a thought­ful song that gives its own twist to the issue: “I don’t wan­na go to school, I just wan­na break the rules”.

To stick with musi­cal mes­sages: Just like Jamie Cul­lum I some­times ask myself what all those “years of expen­sive edu­ca­tion” have brought me. I am hap­py with the job I have now, if only because I feel some­what use­ful, but it is not what I had in mind dur­ing my stud­ies. I keep apply­ing to jobs and hope to con­tin­ue job-hop­ping soon. I might have a pos­si­bil­i­ty to work tem­porar­i­ly as a research assis­tant at the insti­tute where Fred­dy is doing his PhD. At least we are keep­ing our­selves busy in Duck­burg.