Thursday, December 20, 2012

The End (and a New Beginning)

It's been about two-and-a-half years since I wrote anything music-related on this blog. When I stopped, it wasn't all of a sudden, but more a realization that I wasn't having as much fun with the blog as I once did. That, and the knowledge that if I was ever going to finish my PhD, I needed to get serious. I was serious about this blog, and serious meant time and energy, which took away from my dissertation writing. And dissertation writing is HARD.


But I finished it, defended it, and graduated just this past June! Awesome! I've continued to go to shows but much, much less so. In fact, the last time I was really out was in late September. Weird/not weird.

Here's the thing: I don't listen to much music at home. I LOVED going out to see live music, but that wasn't because I was obsessed with hearing it. I was never that kid who listened to records on repeat in her bedroom during her angsty teen years. Nope. The closest I got was watching MuchMusic during the 90s, when my younger siblings tuned into Nirvana and then the Seattle alt rock bands.

I started going to shows when I was 27 years old. I'd only been to a handful before that---Shaggy, Christina Aguilera, whoever played that Ottawa U frosh concert in 1997 (?)---and when I jumped in, I committed to it. I was excited to share my experiences with others, hence starting to blog about them, and my weekly listings came out of that same desire. My thinking was, "These shows are awesome! Other people should know about them. I will tell them!" So I did.

Over the years that this blog was active as an archive and chronicle of sorts of the local music scene, my life was pretty good. I wasn't super keen on my dissertation, but the scene was my salvation. Ok, maybe not quite that, but my life changed loads, and for the better. There was so much excitement, so many supportive people, new things to discover, and plain ol' fun to be had and dancing to be done. For that, I say, "Thank you!" Thank you very much, everyone.

Post-PhD Historyjen---Jennifer Polk, IRL---can now be found at, my new blog. Join me! Let's keep life awesome.


Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.

Andrew said...

It was a invaluable resource that you provided just when I needed it

michael holt said...

Hi Jen, nice to hear from you again.
I was struck by something in this last blog.
Of course I read it through my own filter as a full-time artist, writer, and community activist.
That said, this is basically what I hear is this:
you had an amazing time during your immersion in the local culture scene. it made you happy. you were at best ambivalent about academia. you experienced the two as in conflict. recently, you chose academia, to achieve the phd. you haven't said whether this has made you happy or if you intend to return to the cultural involvement side of things. that's what i read in what you have written! - michael

Jen said...

Hi Michael, thanks! You're right. I wasn't happy finishing the PhD but was very glad when it was all done. I'm not staying in academia, but I also don't intend to go back to the music scene. It was a fantastic time in my life but I'm excited about other things these days. My new blog is one of those things!

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