When I got back to school after my vacation, something I’d been worried about happening had finally happened.
My headphones had broken.
I’ve grown so used to the fact that I find it difficult to get into ‘work mode’ if I don’t have some kind of noise in my ears. But still, no big crisis. I always have earphones of some or other variety with me, so I could just use those.
The problem with earphones is that people can’t immediately see that one is wearing them. Therefore I acquired these:
The other thing that happened this year was that my office was moved. One of the saving graces of my office last year was that my handler (my former handler, now) was downstairs and I never had to see her. Anytime she was in our office, I couldn’t get anything done, as her voice pierced right through whatever I was listening to. Imagine that intensity of a voice that can reach your brain while you’re listening to Slipknot. The kind of voice that can distract you Tool. The kind of voice that overpowers Nine Inch Nails.
Now she’s in the same office I’m in, and her voice has now progressed from annoying me to making me flinch every time I hear it.
This year, my headphones are better than the pair I had last year. I’ve also fiddled with the settings on my computer and music player in order to block out as much external noise as possible.
And I put my headphones on the moment I sit down.
The music on my computer isn’t the usual music I put on in order to work. It’s the kind of music I put on when I’m angry. I’ve gone from having loud, angry music days to having not loud, angry music days.
I promised myself that, while Korea would change many other things about me, it would not change my taste in music. I’d like to say it hasn’t, but I do find myself listening to something new and thinking “It’s good… but it’s not loud enough.”
This has two effects.
- Everyone can see that I’m busy, and that they need to get my attention before they start speaking.
- There will be noise to block out the other noises.
So if you have any suggestions about what loud music I can listen to in order to block out the rest of the planet, they would be much appreciated.