This article advocating for changes to pay university students for undertaking placements is important. I have been hearing directly from students who have been withdrawing from courses or moving into different fields because they are unable to afford long unpaid placements in social work. Students also tell me they are working long extra shifts in order to build a ‘buffer’ for when they are on placements. This impacts on their studies, it is impacting on their families, and it is impacting on their mental health. We need to do better.

Week 11 of the trimester today and going into the biggest period of marking. Always difficult to get through this part of the year, but looking forward to getting to the end of trimester.

“Competition and domination, exploitation and exclusion, minority rule and class hate: These aren’t problems capitalist technology will solve. That’s what it’s for. In the proper language, they are features, not bugs.”…

About to start my online teaching for the week. This is my screen set up before I launch Teams. OBS is on the laptop for scene transitions. I feed Teams from the OBS virtual camera.

Two computer screens with multiple applications in seperate windows.

Finished reading: Tune In by Mark Lewisohn 📚A must read for any Beatles fan. This history of the early, pre-fame years of the Fab Four is incredibly well researched. What strikes me most is how different The Beatles were even at this stage and the combination of personality and ambition that drew people to them.

Currently reading: Tune In by Mark Lewisohn 📚Reading the chapter on ‘the Boy’s’ first trip to Hamburg. Love this quote from Klaus Vormann about the effect Ringo had on the band “every time Ringo came near the Beatles it was happiness “.

Better Things: Finale

Watching: Better Things. Finished the final season last night. It’s always fun to see how a long running show ends. No more ratings to worry about, plot lines, or characters to develop. This wasn’t the greatest ending ever, but it was a nice celebration none the less.

Overall, I really enjoyed seasons 1 and 2, 3-5 was more patchy. Gonna miss Sam’s house and her cooking though. 📺

Lighthouse Song (Live Demo)

This is a live demo of a new song called Lighthouse Song. It was recorded in my old apartment just before we moved and the lyrics are a reflection of it being a turbulent time in my life. The song was recorded live onto my Tascam Model 12 and I am playing my Yamaha YC61. The mic is an AKG C1000S.

To create the file, I imported the raw tracks into Logic, added some compression and a little reverb to the piano and edited a small section to remove a really bad timing issue caused by the fact I was still learning to play the song while I recorded. The vocal is completely dry with only some compression added. I exported to an AIFF file and then converted to mp3 to allow me to upload it to within the data limits.

Even though it is only a rough demo, I like the sparse arrangement and the somewhat loose tempo. I also like the descending motif in the verses and the way it switches to an ascending motif in the chorus.

One final thought. I was recording with the door open and I like that you can hear a bird calling outside. It was a complete fluke, but it really helps to reinforce the nautical theme of the song.

I look forward to recording a more complete version in the future, but think I will always have a soft spot for this original demo. Please do tell me what you think. I am very much an amateur songwriter, but I do love making something myself that speaks to me in some way. 🎶