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Saturday, 9 April 2011

LOL heartily at my ineptitude.

You know that thing I hinted that I might do... That thing where I was going to write a blog post every day in April? Yeah, well apparently I suck at blogging. Three days later, and let's pick up where we left off.

Today, I was required to take charge of a group of approximately twenty five 30-60 year olds, and show them around the college buildings, as part of an alumni tour. They were all alumni who had gone into teaching, and I was there, because I am shortly going to embark upon my teacher training (grades permitting). It was a farcical example of role-reversal, where neither party was particularly comfortable with the role that they were being expected to fill. I took them to the new library, and they wouldn't stop talking. I kept having to tell them to shut up, despite the fact that they are teachers, and I am not even a graduate yet. One of them snorted, "You were BORN to be a teacher, weren't you?!" with that sarcastic, derisive teacher-sneer that I might even take up praying so that I can pray to avoid developing.
It wasn't all bad though. One chap commended me on my efforts at trying to control a large group of people, a woman told me that teaching is the best thing she's ever done, and another woman told me not to be afraid of wanting to teach in private girls' schools, because teaching is a service to society whomever you end up teaching. That made me feel much better about the fact that I think I'll be a much better teacher in that kind of scenario than in an inner city London school - the kind in which I will inevitably end up doing placements on my PGCE. I am desperate NOT to come across as a snobby private-school-girl who is terrified of the real world, but I definitely have doubts about my ability to stand and scream at a bunch of 14 year olds who have an active desire to not learn!

I am still unable to fully comprehend the fact that when I return to Cambridge after the vacation, it will be for the final time as a student. The last time I decorate my room, the last time I pick up my key from the Porters, the last time I have a beginning-of-term meeting with my Director of Studies... I am going to be taking my last Cambridge exams, having my last Cantabridgian summer. I am not going to lie; there have been times in Cambridge when I have been extremely depressed, and there are aspects of the Cambridge system that I find to be very flawed, but I am sure that every Cambridge student will agree with me, that the Cambridge summer just melts all of the work-related, system-related depression away, and replaces it with an idealised, fluffy version of university life. Lucky it ends in the summer then, I suppose. At least the resounding memory will be of fun, sun, and copious jugs of Pimm's.

I will attach a couple of photos from last summer, to get myself into the mood, and take the edge off of my current exam-related-rabbit-in-headlights state.This was taken on the day that we went night-punting. We hired a punt out overnight, and punted up to Grantchester, where we had a pub dinner and then froze under insufficient blankets until morning when we punted home. I was still feeling a punt-like rocking motion, four days later. Dan and Emma are in the foreground, and in the middle is Michaela.

This photo shows my friends who are in a Barbershop group, singing Fever. James (the guy standing up) is singing the words, "what a lovely way to burn", and the guys who are kneeling/crouching, are clicking their fingers in a sultry manner. They were performing at the Music Society garden party, at which I also performed, with my choir. They are always a crowd-pleaser. Strapping young lads...
And here I was, posing like a buck-toothed idiot with bingo-wings, and a battenburg. Look at me go. I had a whimsical picnic with Tilly and Dan, and we made tiny little sandwiches and everything, before gorging ourselves stupid. It was glorious.

Now to get through my exams and have an even better summer, this year!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

BEDA late than never! HAHAHAHA.

I crack myself up.

So, I've been enjoying five days of BEDA (Blog Every Day in April) posts, mainly from people who I enjoy watching on the Youtube community, such as Kristina Horner, Hayley G Hoover, and Kayley Hyde among others. I tried so hard to be a successful Youtuber, a few years ago, and became incredibly disheartened when my most popular video was removed, due to copyright violation. I had made a video about my favourite French Language songs, and had a really good response in the comments, with hundreds of recommendations, and people telling me that I have shown them new songs that they now love. I didn't realise that promoting songs constituted copyright violation, so it was a huge blow when my video got taken down.

I still feel depressed when I watch videos made by prominent members of the 'Youtube community', because I feel like that's something that I want so much to be a part of, from which I am mostly excluded. I watch the videos nonetheless, because like so many others, watching them makes me feel a little bit like I am a part of these people's lives.

Of course, I have enough of my own internet friends to keep me going. I have my own internet community, where I have made some of the best friends I could ever wish for. I spend so much of my time thinking about my friends, and writing to them, that I sometimes take them for granted. I realised this last night, as I perused another internet forum, this time one about teaching. Everyone on that forum seemed to be bigoted, closed-minded, and conservative. It really upset me, how so mahy of them seemed to be there simply to practise their sarcastic teacher remarks on each other. I retreated to my usual forum, and felt the warm glow of a community who understand and accept one another.Here are some of my beautiful friends, when we met for the first time, last summer. So much has happened since then, and I can't believe we have only been friends for such a short time. I am a very lucky lady indeed. I have learned so much from these wonderful people, and I have become a nicer person for it. I am still so jealous of Vic's clothes, Annis' pink hair, Rowan and Claire's enthusiasm for academia, and Ruby's sense of humour!

A couple of years ago, if you'd told me that I spend my time on an internet forum, chatting to people I'd met online, I'd probably have told you that "I'm not that kind of person". I cringe at my naive outlook now, as I've probably spent more time interacting with my internet friends than with my 'real life' friends. I have put 'real life' in inverted commas, because I despair at the thought that your internet life isn't your 'real life', and that somehow every interaction you have on the internet is invalidated by the fact that it isn't face to face. Almost all contact that humans have, aside from face-to-face conversation is mediated by some form of digital device. This includes telephones, and in some ways, even letters, if they are printed from a computer. So in what way are our 'real life' friends any different from our internet ones? I've met most of my friends from the internet, so are they now 'real life' friends too? I certainly enjoy meeting them, but I don't think that they are any more 'real' now that I have. I e-mail and text my 'real life' friends just as much as I see them, so are they 'virtual' now?

There is a huge misconception, (one that I shared, before I had really experienced an online community for myself), that there is a hierarchy of human interaction. This is probably because of the novely and relative infancy of technological communication and digital media. I want to break this misconception down. The internet has facilitated my friendship with people all over the world. I have now met people with whom I can be myself, and with whom I CHOOSE to spend my time. We often can't choose the people with whom we spend our time physically, for example at school and work, we are forced to spend time with people with whom we share no commonality apart from our geographical location. The internet allows communication and relationship building with people we actually care about! I am not intending to reverse the hierarchy of human interaction, by asserting that internet friendships are somehow more valid than those which begin face to face, because similarly, I have plenty of friends whom I first met in person, and love to pieces. I just want to break down people's prejudice against the way I form some of my frienships.

So, faithful few readers, tell me about your friendships. Do you have more internet, or meatspace friends? How do you tend to communicate?

I need to go and do some dissertation writing now. If only the words flowed so freely there, as they do here!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Party Cat.

I am going to a birthday party tonight. I am rather excited to see some people outside of this house, lovely though it is to be here. I haven't decided what to wear yet, but that's half of the fun. Getting ready to go out is definitely part of the joy of leaving the house!

When I feel like procrastinating, I often sit and look through old photos and artefacts from my childhood. I am an obsessive hoarder, and I find it difficult to throw anything away. All of my little treasures and letters used to be catalogued in different boxes according to sentimentality and sender, but my mother moved them into different boxed when I moved out. I have salvaged some of them recently, and can't wait to recatalogue them. I have grand designs of an autobiography/memoir in artefacts... Which is rather self-centred of me. Below is a photo of my Dad holdng me, when I was a little baby. Look at my little round head!

See you soon!
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