I think therefore I am.
From candid discussions of grief and loneliness, to the resonance of body empowerment in NCAA gymnastics.
The Rosie Word welcomes conversation about anything and everything cultural.
Want some reading recommendations?
The Rewriting of George Polgreen Bridgetower
George Polgreen Bridgetower was a black virtuoso violinist, alive in the late 18th and early 19th century. This was the peak of the Classical period, and Bridgetower was a close contemporary of Haydn, Beethoven and Mozart. He contributed significantly to London musical life, and even had a hand in influencing Beethoven’s ‘Kreutzer’ Sonata.
Despite this, he has been almost completely forgotten in the Western classical music canon.
In this playlist, I ask why.
Language Learning Jealousy: Get Your Head in the Game
I so often compare myself to other language learners. I feel I will never reach their dizzying heights of fluency. Instead, I feel isolated, grasping for vocab and trying desperately to graduate to more exciting grammar structures.
The thing that Language Learning Jealousy rids you of is rationality and perspective. In reality, the only thing that separates us as non-native Korean learners is time and exposure.
Overcoming this barrier to language learning comes down to fixing your mindset, and focusing on your own game.
Confronting Perfectionism: The Anxieties of Language Learning
Perfectionism has plagued me for a long time. Instead of challenging me to improve, it cripples me. I can physically feel myself getting stressed if I make a mistake. For a long time, criticism really, really stressed me out. I thought it was better not to share than to share and be criticised.
Avoidance, I’m aware, is not the best coping strategy. So, I decided to do something about it. Maybe if I tried something new, I could try to enjoy the process of learning without worrying about being good at it.
That something new was Korean.
Music & Grief: I Got A List of Songs I Can’t Listen To
As a musician, I have got very used to finding songs that communicate how I feel better than I could myself. Sometimes these are pop songs, sometimes they are classical, sometimes they are pieces I’ve learnt in my cello lessons, sometimes they are some obscure lo-fi playlist in the depths of my YouTube history. There haven’t been many events in my life where I haven’t had a carefully curated Spotify Soundtrack to accompany it.
So, this time, it feels inexplicably jarring that instead of having songs which reflect my emotions, I have a list of songs I avoid listening to.
Some lockdown listening
When I wrote this article’s counterpart (Some lockdown reading) back in May 2020, I would never have believed that by March 2021, lockdown would be persisting in the UK and beyond. And yet, here we are.
Maybe you have got through all those spare books you had
lying around last summer, when boredom and cabin fever were new commodities. Maybe you haven’t read anything at all, and have no desire to. This is where I step in, and tell you there is a solution to all of your lockdown needs.
The Power of Ritual: Dancing Everyday.
Like many other university students, in March of 2020 I was uprooted from my nice, independent life and I moved back home. Cue National Lockdown.
As a rule, I keep myself very busy in term-time. I love being socially active, and I pride myself on how many plates I can spin at once. Once lockdown hit, this over-achieving, over-worked, perfectionist life I had built for myself came grinding to a succinct and resounding halt. I was at home, I had nothing to do, and sitting alone with only my thoughts and Tiger King to entertain me became mentally challenging very quickly.
Some lockdown reading
As some semblance of lockdown continues to reign over the planet, a lot of people are still looking to spice up their lockdown activities. While you have absolutely no obligation to be sprucing up your life and having a lockdown soul-makeover, it is a good time to maybe read that book you’ve been putting off for months.
Allow me to recommend something for you!
As inspired by Leena Norms, I have taken the liberty of sorting you all into potential reader categories, so you can happily skip to the genre you think will fit you best.
Why NCAA gymnastics should be your lockdown viewing
Thanks to the coronavirus, our worlds have all been shrunk to the size of our houses. All forms of entertainment have been confined to our TV screens and book pages, and sport has vanished from the social sphere. Saturday morning muddy football matches, browsing independent bookstores, queues outside theatres and laughs over almond lattes with friends have all been brought to a resounding close.
Despite this social standstill, there are loads of ways to stay culturally engaged thanks to the phenomenon that is the internet.
Summer reading preview
This summer I am once again taking on the challenge of trying to read one book every week! There is nothing better for expanding your imagination and challenging your mind than reading, and to celebrate this, here is a preview of some of the exciting books we are reading over the summer.
Rosie is a freelance writer and BA Music student at the University of Southampton. She loves to dance in funky trousers, and hates to read about philosophy. If asked, she won’t stop talking about podcasts and how she’s learning Korean.