Whence Cometh Help

In some ways, I feel like this week has been the deep breath before the plunge. The calm before the storm. The split second before you realize you’ve run over a chipmunk. In other ways, this week has been a plunge, storm, and dead chipmunk. Allow me to elaborate.

This week has marked the beginning of assignment-turning-in season for us REC folks. Of course, it really was last week with the research proposal, but I’m choosing not to think about that because reasons. Anyway, this week’s assignment, completed and submitted this morning, was the first of many for actual classes. And I’m glad this was the first one because it sort of eased me into it–I wrote it like a blog post.

Also, last night was the first performance of Elijah and I think it went really well. It really is just such a fun piece to sing–it runs the whole spectrum of violent-triumphant-sorrowful-comforting. I don’t know about you, but it’s definitely worth a listen if you’re able to find a good recording somewhere. I think my favorite movements are It Is Enough, a bass solo sung by Elijah. Tremendously touching and sad. In terms of choral movements, it’s tough to say, I might go for Behold! God the Lord Passed By or Then Did Elijah. It’s just really a remarkable work, I love it (if you hadn’t gotten that yet). Anyway, tonight’s the second and final performance, should be lovely.

And, sorry, but the incredibly depressing is sort of unavoidable in my course of study. Today, we had a wonderful guest speaker talking about inequality and the wealth management profession. Basically, wealth managers are the people who work for the unbelievably rich to protect their wealth and anonymity. Part of that includes things like tax havens, which are often talked about, but a variety of other things. It’s no surprise that massive wealth enables people to do basically whatever they want. But this talk just fleshed out some things that I frankly can’t fully comprehend because I’m not fabulously wealthy and probably never will be. I know it’s a thing to talk about money influencing government and things like that, but in some places wealth managers have been contacted directly by governments or tax representatives in order to negotiate laws and policies that work best for their wealthy clients. What.

And, interestingly, we hear a lot about the Cayman Islands and Switzerland but a lot of this sort of thing is being done in the US and UK. Also, just a note, wealth and income are not the same. So we talk about income inequality often, but what about wealth which isn’t income and can be passed between generations? The speaker actually used the term feudalism to describe some parts of what is going on. How did we get here? Anyway, I can’t give a rundown of the entire talk, but suffice to say it was sobering, angering, and sort of baffling. The world, guys. The world.

I don’t even think I can write any more about it right now. It’s just such a thing. I can’t handle it. I sort of get that capitalism and things. Inequality is and will be with us. BUT INEQUALITY IS BAD. Even if we’re going to live with some, these levels are unconscionable. Horrific. And indisputably getting worse. Guys. Ugh.

I’m going to take a second to transition to the next paragraph. Deep breath.

Okay.

So back to dead chipmunks. Things have sort of been crazy. Lots of assignment-doing (and even more procrastination). Things are getting done but it’s been sort of torturous. Loads more assignments on the way. Also, last week was St Patrick’s Day, this week is concert week, this weekend is Easter… lots of things. The first week of April is the last week of classes but the month will be full of essay writing. Very full. Then full-time dissertationing.

On the note of this weekend, though, I will write a brief note and you can expect a thorough description in next week’s post. Not only is this Sunday Easter, but it is also the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising. If you’re not familiar with the Rising, look it up. I will also probs give some background next week. But basically the country has been going insane in the run-up for it and there’s going to be plenty to say, I expect. Also, I’ve decided that April’s going to be another poetry month here. So if you’re into that sort of thing, get pumped. And if you’re not, I don’t really care. I have some pretty great selections in mind. Not necessarily spring-themed, just poetry.

Anyway, I’ve got to get changed for the concert. Until next week, then.

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