06 December 2010

Affordances

One affordance of being a student is time to read. It's required, actually. You have to read. So today, after finishing some coding work on my data (which perhaps I will try to explain to the uninitiated one day) I took two books to the cafe section of the refectory to get one of the 'homemade' biscuit/ cakes they are selling and do some reading. I was successful and actually got through one book cover-to-cover. Words upon the Word: an Ethnography of Evangelical group Bible study. It's a winner. Lots of stuff I need for my work. It did, however, mean that I didn't get to the other one, Visual Methodologies. Tomorrow, I suppose.

What am I learning? Well, I'm learning that the world is what we make it.

I am writing an outline for my literature review for my thesis. This is a good next step for me. I feel it will be one of the harder parts to get right as there are so many disparate things I have to follow up to be successful, but I will do my best. I have about three small holes to fill in it with some reading that I have not done (or haven't done with the right focus). There is some chance I will have this more-or-less done by March. This will count as making good time, as far as I'm concerned. We'll see how the analysis works out, but I have now looked at 4 for the 25 transcripts I need to, with the two longest ones coming up this week. If can get through ten before Christmas, I will be really happy. Something can always happen.

Affordances: in Niigata and in Japan in general, the houses are not especially well-insulated. So there are things you have like kerosene space heaters and low tables with space heaters under them called kotatsu. The need to be close to the heater draws people together: you spend the evenings sitting under the kotatsu with your family, reading, drinking tea, and watching TV. It's a question of what to remember, the cold house or the warm space heater.

Nikuman. Coffee in cans in vending machines. Twenty four hour diners. There were all these things that got me through the winter in Japan. Question: What gets me through the winter here?

Answer: The XX record, which by the way, is like being heavily sedated. It's so good for this weather. I am becoming someone who likes winter a whole hell of a lot. I wonder how long this will last before I start to hate it. I'm really savouring the darkness right now though. Another affordance: the weather matches my melancholy.
Maybe I had said, something that was wrong
Can I make it better, with the lights turned on
This record reminds me so much of being 15/ 16. What a gift.
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