Shuttle Piano

At last it feels like we’re getting down to business. I’ve been back in Hull for two weeks now, but it was only yesterday that the first lessons began. After my lengthy four day weekend (Monday now being renamed as “Sunday 2”) which involved very little other than watching too much football on telly, it was nice to actually be doing something.

I just know that once I get myself into a routine the weeks will begin to sail by. My plan is to make Thursday a “work day”, with two lectures in the morning, a visit to the library following them, and then doing all my reading and preparation for the tutorials the following Tuesday. That makes Tuesday a half day of work. Leaving Monday, Wednesday and Friday with nothing going on. Friday will be dissertation day, with Monday also joining it later in the year when I get busier, and the option of working through the weekend will also be open as the deadline draws nearer.

But I still feel like I will have plenty of free time. Which means I need something to fill it with. This will be my last chance to do something like this. Once this semester is over my road to a normal working life is extremely close ahead. Come next academic year I’ll be working pretty much 9 to 5 (and more), and then after that, of course, with a bit of luck I’ll have a job that keeps me busy most of the time. So free time is soon to become a scarce commodity.

This is a really scary thought for me. Student life has been easy. Not the best training for real life routine. Though I did have a glimpse of “real life” last year when I worked in London. That will soon become the norm for me. I’m sure I’ll adapt to it easy, but it is a scary thought that my free time is fast running out.

So I must do something with it this semester. I would like to take up piano lessons, but the cost is putting me off. The only way I could afford it is if I was fit enough to go back to refereeing once a week. My knees are feeling OK at the moment (maybe the other day was just a setback), so perhaps another few more weeks of rest followed by getting myself fit could do the trick.

Alternatively, I would like to play badminton on a regular basis. I’ve always liked playing that sport, but never had the opportunity. I used to play it all the time when I was in sixth form inbetween lessons. I wasn’t any good at it, but it was something I enjoyed. That would be good to get back into. Otherwise, I could go swimming more often. Though I don’t see these two options as leaving me with a “legacy” – the kind of thing I could get from piano lessons. Or indeed, driving lessons. Though the thought of that worries me for some reason. It’s probably the test at the end of it that concerns me. I’ve seen my sister fail four times. The cost to her is enormous. The stakes are so high. I’m not sure I could handle it under such extreme pressure.

So I’m in a bit of a quandary. I think I would mainly like to do the piano lessons, because I think this would give me real satisfaction and it would be enormously helpful when I start teacher training and (hopefully) being a teacher for real. I have reached a ceiling in my playing beyond which I don’t feel I could go past because I really don’t know what to try next. I need some help. Such a shame that help has to cost me £20/hour.

Of course, there’s no reason why I couldn’t do that and the badminton. That wouldn’t exactly cost me much more. It would also be good to keep me fit for the refereeing.

Either way I need to decide this soon. Because time really will be running out.

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