This is my last post for this blog. Posting here has been an important source of hope for me. Being at times isolated from an ethnomusicological community in small towns in Spain where the discipline does not exist, writing for the blog made me feel connected. It pushed me to get in touch with colleagues here in Europe and to talk to them to propose them to collaborate with some of our projects. Although right now, as my period as collaborator of the SEM SU blog has finished, I am not sure whether or not the blog is the appropriate outlet to engage in conversation with, and to encourage dialogue among ethnomusicology students, I am definitely certain that writing for it does help feel the power of the discipline’s net. And I am not saying “net” meaning a trap where things get stuck to be fed to a giant spider, but as a safety net where we, ethnomusicology students and actual circus acrobats willingly walking through the abyss of future unstable employment, bounce into to get back walking the Ethnomusicology path. So, if you are a student and you do not find time to read the blog, or you find it to be an old fashion media, I encourage you to at least write for it, and get this wonderful net going.
I’m terrible at endings and even worse at goodbyes. Give me hellos and all the excitement, curiosity, and connection that they imply. In my family, it takes forever to say goodbye, but prolonging the inevitable is nearly as bad as the actual parting.
I have had a wonderful time writing, editing, and facilitating projects/series for the SU blog. This has been an amazing way to experience different aspects of ethnomusicology as a field and as a reality in the lives of its students. I have met so many fantastic people who have introduced me to new ideas and ways of thinking and being in the world. Working with Ana, Liza, Jennie, and Alice has been an honor, one I am so humbled and gladdened by.
But the time has come—in all its clichéd glory—to say goodbye. I am graduating in May. I’ve been a student for *mumble*cough* years. It’s coming time to say goodbye to that too. Thank you to the Student Union for your encouragement! Thank you, Ana and Liza, for your support, ideas, laughter, and questions! These past four years have been precious to me, and I hope we move on to other projects together. Thank you to everyone who read the blog, who had ideas or comments, thank you to everyone who wrote for us!
I’m prolonging the goodbye, aren’t I? It’s tradition in my family. But thank you all, and I’ll see you again!
Along with Heather and Ana, I’m so happy that I’ve had the opportunity to help edit and write for the SEM Student Union blog from its beginnings. I got involved with the project during a few liminal months between college and graduate studies in ethnomusicology, in hopes of getting to know more ethnomusicologists and engage with the field. It was a wonderful way to do both. Now and then, established professors will tell me and my colleagues at the University of California, Santa Barbara, that we are the future of ethnomusicology. This blog, along with other notable student publications like SEM Student News, are to me, windows into that future. I look forward to reading, watching, and hearing all the directions it travels next.
On February 11, 2014, we published our first SU blog post: “Musicians on What Helps Them Get Through.” This initial post set the stage for everything we wanted in and of the blog: students helping each other, voicing concerns, sharing experiences, and surviving grad school. The blog was initiated by the Student Union’s Network and Communications Committee and run by members Ana Maria Alarcon Jimenez, Liza Munk, and Heather Strohschein. Today, four years later, it’s time for us to say goodbye. Ana graduated last year, Heather is graduating this May, and Liza is preparing for her doctoral exams. Thank you all so much for your readership and support! Cali Alexander, the new chair of the NCC, will be taking over the blog, so be on the lookout for new posts, projects, and ways to contribute!