This week’s article is by Leandro Borges Lima. Leandro is one of IBCoM’s newest lecturers who studies video games and teaches several BA-1 courses. Enjoy!
As an expat lecturer, I moved to Rotterdam last September with some great plans: rent a cozy apartment, preferably with a balcony and a good view (made it!); have a more organized and balanced everyday life (almost there); play more games (I am a videogames researcher, after all!); and get back to music. What I certainly did not expect was to be suddenly lonelier than ever, stuck inside my (very comfy, at least) apartment, unable to do, face to face, what I love doing: teaching. Oh well, fork you, corona!
It’s been almost 4 weeks now without meeting colleagues for a chat and a coffee to (complain) talk about our lovely students; without seeing the curious/sleepy/annoyed/excited faces of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd years of IBCom; without the cheap but surprisingly acceptable Spar vegan cappuccino. That can be daunting, right? Even more so when you are away from your family, in a foreign country where you don`t really know that many people outside work – and can’t meet them anyway! To deal with it, I set myself a few goals in the meantime, having the absolute trust that I will fail to accomplish most of them (exercise more, really?? ? it’s not like you were even doing any exercise before mate!), but nonetheless, I shall try.
I want to share the one that is indeed working: playing a musical instrument. On a whim, despite my current dire need of a new smartphone and iPad for work purposes, I bought myself a bass guitar. It has a name even, Tobias. Toby, if you feel close enough to it, which you will after slapping the bass chords for a couple of minutes.
Brief backstory: the year was 2006 and I wanted to join a band that played Anime music (yes, geek). I had just started to play drums and found an ad online for a band searching for a bassist and a drummer. I thought “there’s the opportunity!”. Messaged them, they replied “oh, we just found a drummer, sorry. Do you play bass, by any chance?”. Despite never ever touching a bass guitar in my entire life until that point, I boldly answered: “Sure do!”. And yes, I joined the band, and the first time I ever played bass was in the first rehearsal we had. Lesson 1: take chances! But please avoid lying shamelessly about something you can’t do, that can go really wrong (Lesson 2!)
I stopped playing the bass about a year after the previous events and dedicated myself to drums and my heavy metal band. But then back in 2016, I picked up the bass again, and since then owned 3 different basses in 3 different countries – England, Brazil, and The Netherlands (Lesson 3: bad idea to move out of a country with your bass guitar, cheaper to buy a new one!). I love the bass – as my students from CM2550 know by now, right, slappers? – and it has been my trustworthy companion in times of quarantine. More than games, preparing classes, skyping/zooming family and friends, what is keeping me sane is the Power of Bass. It is still lonely, but that is okay, everyone thinks a band can survive without a bassist, so we are used to being cast aside *insert tears* (Lesson 4: a band without a bass is a band without a soul, just sayin’).
What is keeping you sane these days?
(Also, listen to this Power of Bass playlist I created – all sorts of music genres there!)
Author: Leandro Borges Lima
Editor: Kat Nivera