Accidental Research: The Queen's Doctor of Music

Several weeks ago, I appeared as a guest on  Musicology Now, the American Musicological Society's official blog. I had discovered, quite by accident, that the Queen of England holds an Honorary Doctorate in Music from Bangor University. I say by accident because the discovery happened while I was relaxing and browsing through old photograph in the internet's many rabbit holes. As I was writing up my discovery, it made me think about the continuously debated life/work balance question. 



It seems that some of the greatest discoveries are made through unintended or unintentional actions. I for one tend to be thinking about or engaging in something connected to my research nearly all day long. During my walk to work in the morning, I am thinking about what I read the day before, analyzing my thoughts by working through problems that I couldn't quite solve at the moment. Sometimes I will be cleaning the house and doing the same thing. For some reason, showering is an action that really gets my mind moving and engaged.

I have alluded here before about how I like to segregate my time into different chunks and work without distraction. But in reality, I actually believe that I am always thinking about something concerning whatever project I am working on at the time. 

There are so many connections between what comes across my screen and what I may be working through in my notebook. To segregate life from work, or not thinking about work during my other daily tasks, is nearly impossible for me. 

It is far more interesting to connect the dots and find ways that interlink all different aspects of what I am interested and curious about at any given time. I enjoy finding out that someone famous has a special connection to my own life. In the case of this discovery, it was a connection that I didn't anticipate and likely would have not found precisely because I wasn't looking for anything even remotely like it. My evening that night turned from one of relaxation to "work" almost instantly. But it was exhilarating work.

As the year comes to an end and I reflect on past experiences and future plans, I look forward to another year of mixing work and life because for me it has nearly always resulted in the most interesting discoveries. They seem to appear almost out of no where while I go through my daily tasks. I would hate to miss out on such fascinating discoveries. 


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