You'd be incorrect.
I'm still waiting for the day to arrive when I summon a stale paper from my hard drive and deliver it with a patina of smarminess to an audience that I don't think that much about but am certain somehow will be impressed by my sheer Me-ness (<-- any resemblance in the foregoing to any actual living Star Medievalist is
With all that in mind I've noticed that my OCD has the odd effect of making certain songs stick in mind as permanent reminders of the conference or lecture I'm traveling towards when I hear the tune. I've decided to make an iTunes playlist called "Scholar" that will have the following songs, each of which is permanently linked for me to a paper I've given:
- Peter Gabriel, More Than This (on the drive to Bucknell in April 2006 to give a lecture on children and animals, I heard this odd song three times)
- Joseph Arthur, There is a Light That Never Goes Out (this ethereal remake of the Smiths's song was playing in a coffee shop in Princeton as I obsessed over a presentation on Derrida and animals)
- Coldplay, Swallowed in the Sea (I am so behind in the times that I never listed to this Big Pop Album until I was on my way to Leeds in 2005, when my British Airways flight had it as an option. I remember thinking about my paper and then looking down at the vast space of ocean between Iceland and Ireland just as the song came on, fixing it forever in my mind ... along with a weird image of a medieval hermit setting sail from the latter to the former and wondering if he would ever arrive)
- Capercaillie, Hoireann O (I was trying to explore some music that mixes traditional Irish and Scottish elements with contemporary instruments and settings while working on a piece on the survival of Celtic Britains in medieval England for a Dartmouth symposium)
- Robert Miles, Children (I was stuck at Gatwick as I flew from Washington to London to Naples to give a paper on William of Norwich, exactly one month after Sept. 11 2001. The Virgin Music Store kept playing this, so I bought the CD not knowing the song's title ... talk about serendipity).
- REM, The Great Beyond (something about the lyric "I'm pushing an elephant up the stairs" and the Uri Geller references stuck in my mind as I was trying to do the impossible, deliver a coherent paper at Cornell in 2002).
- There are more but you would lose all respect for me and/or take away my iPod as part of an intervention.