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without analysis there's no reason to play.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

En animant peu a peu

I came across the French phrase in Debussy's Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum. The piece is part of a piano suite popularly known as Children's Corner. According to the translation given in the book, the phrase means "Becoming lively, animated, little by little".

I think it's quite apt that I've come across this phrase at this time of year. It describes what's happening in my life, and likely the lives of thousands of University students, quite well. Summer vacation is nearing its end. Soon hordes of students will be returning from scattered locations across Australia to converge at the huge institutions where they'll spend their time for most of the years reminants. Slowly but surely, the cogs are beginning to turn.

Already, people are starting to trickle back. Those students who hold commitee positions in student societies seem to be especially eager to return just a little earlier. There's good reason for this: Crowds of beady-eyed first years will soon be gracing our institutions with their presence. The clubs and societies are licking their lips with anticipation. They eye with glee the prey that they'll be trying to convert to their cause, the coveted prize of increased membership: Wolves in sheeps' clothing, luring with the irresistable candy of free goody-bags and beer.

There's some serious metaphor mixing going on in the above, so don't even try to resolve it. About the free beer: I've always liked the FSF comparision between free speech and free beer. Hopefully, O-week will contain a healthy mixture of both (free beer always helps free the speech a little), but methinks that the majority will be more interested in the latter than the former.

Oh, and apparently, chess and alcohol mix very well. We need us some of those to encourage the University spirit! I wonder if they make 'em out of plastic. If anyone knows anything about these things, please comment.


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