THE DEADLINE PARTY – an experiment in getting things done

They say the only deadline you should worry about in life is death. But “they” didn’t know about my party.

A few weeks ago, I had a party. It became known as “The Deadline Party” because the night of the party itself was the deadline for which each person invited had to have completed some personal project that they’d been wanting to complete for some time, but – due to work or the general time-sapping minutiae of life – hadn’t gotten around to doing. The impetus for the party was Rachmaninov – the Russian composer with the big hands – whose Prelude in D Major I have been trying to learn and finish for the last ten years of my life but have never had the occasion or motivation to do so.

So, I decided – why not invite a bunch of friends around to my house specifically for the purpose of performing this piece? Maybe then I will actually learn it. And why not make everyone else endure the same nerve-wracking build up to the ‘deadline’ that I would inevitably experience? And so, the Deadline Party was born…

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Rugby or rock? Music muscles in on sport

 Illustration: Rocco Fazzari
Illustration: Rocco Fazzari

As pop culture grabs teenagers, music is becoming cooler than sport at school, writes Jodie McLeod.*

School used to be about the survival of the fittest. Where you ranked in the playground hierarchy was proportional to your speed, co-ordination and how good your legs looked in your sport shorts. But now the criterion of “cool” at school is changing. As a wider variety of opportunities are opened up to students in schools, and as the instruments of pop culture increasingly infiltrate teenagers’ lives – musical involvement (listening to it, supporting it or playing it) is becoming more a marker of greatness among peers than one’s ball skills.

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