A researcher’s life

I overheard a conversation the other day where a person commented that university researchers have such a relaxed life, only sitting in their offices reading and writing books all the time. This claim involves (at least) two parts: 1) quiet/relaxed and 2) reading/writing. My own experience as a university research fellow tells a very different story:

Quiet/relaxed: Except for a couple of conferences, this summer was, indeed, quiet. That was mainly because I chose to work when everyone else was on vacation… But looking back at the last week, which happened to be the semester opening week (universities and schools start early here in Norway), I don’t think I ever had more than a couple of minutes of “quiet time” in between the rush of e-mails, telephones, meetings, lectures, concerts, etc.

Reading/writing: I know many people in humanities feel differently about this, but for me writing is a documentation process not a research method. My main research activities involve exploring new devices and computer programs, developing new devices and computer programs and using those devices and computer programs in various ways, both for analysis and synthesis. This forms the basis for what I will be writing. That said, I guess I soon need to start writing since I approach 10 months left of my research fellowship…

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Alexander Refsum Jensenius is a music researcher and research musician living in Oslo, Norway.