Phew, those past weeks have been busy, and I did not manage to get around the blog world as much as I would have liked to. So here is an update for you to see that I am still alive.

My thesis is making progress, and this elevates my spirits. More than 60 pages are written and proof-read already, and those are the most elaborate parts that required a lot of reading for me to be able to write them. In total, I have about 190 articles, book chapters, and books in my references list, and I cannot believe I have actually sucked in all of them during the past months. The upcoming method and data analysis parts should be done more quickly because I have protocoled the steps of data evaluation quite thoroughly, and tables of coefficients and statistical output are already there, waiting to be fit in.

The fact that a lot of experiments are currently running at the department due to the start of the winter term, and I am involved in terms of lab shifts and in part also with regard to preparations, accompanied by teaching statistics tutorials and piano lessons, has resulted in me devoting most of my evenings and half of my nights to my own scientific endeavors, and since this is the time I devoted to blogging and blog reading before, here you have the explanation why you saw so little of me recently. Well, I am doing my best to keep this blog going somehow and also come around to read your lovely blogs. If I have to choose because of lack of time, I usually go for the latter option, but still I know that I have not been the reliable reader and commenters I would have loved to be. I am very sorry for that, but I hope you can understand.

On other notes, my carpal tunnel thing is kept under control, thanks to all your lovely suggestions and the little cushion that now always lies next to my laptop. Piano playing also helps a lot with this as well because it is the perfect training without any strain, so I just decided to prescribe an hour of playing to myself every day, as a kind of medical treatment for my vexed nerve, regardless of other scheduled (work-related) activities. It is funny that when I started to see it like this, it suddenly had so much more legitimation compared to an activity I only do for fun and recreation purposes. But it also serves those purposes for sure.

The piece I am currently playing is the one I have embedded at the beginning of this post (if you have a habit of listening to the music I post, you might actually hear it right now, while reading this) – very much to my dear blogging friend Chopinand‘s pleasure, I suppose. I know that this is one of his favorite pieces and assume that he can play it perfectly himself – he even has the sheetnotes in the header of his blog – and he may have waited for me to finally start to learn it. Well, now I have, and it is so much fun! Actually, this the first of Chopin’s Etudes (which are quite challenging technically) I come to play – I played some Nocturnes and Waltzes before, and also tackled two piano concerto movements which I have not finished yet. And yeah, all those pieces I should refresh by now … Anyway, you see, I just love Chopin’s music, it gives me such a feeling of coming home emotionally. And knowing that there is enough music composed by Chopin to fill my whole lifetime of piano playing provides a wonderful security. I also want to play more pieces by Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninov, Debussy … in the future, but I have 70+ years left to do all this. The journey has just begun.

Right now, I am enjoying a glass of Pinot blanc to celebrate the progress of my thesis, and decided to just take this night off.

What has made you proud of yourself recently?

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