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Showing posts with label university. Show all posts
Showing posts with label university. Show all posts

Sunday, 27 March 2011

"Vacation"... (ha ha ha)

Salut chums,

I packed my life into a cupboard and a box room on Saturday, and moved my sweet self (as well as a pile of books, and a suitcase full of clothes) to Dan's parents' house. I hate moving. I hate how I have to make choices about which of my items I will get to see for the next month, I hate how I have to dismantle all of my picture displays, I hate how I always break at least one of my nails really far down, and it hurts like a SHIT. It puts me in a really bad mood, to move all of my things, and pack them away. I cannot wait until I install myself somewhere at least semi-permanent.

On the other hand, after eight weeks at university, staring at the same four walls, I do become slightly stir crazy. I need constant changes of scenery, which is probably because I lived between two houses from the age of nine until I moved to university. I cannot stay for the whole day inside the house, otherwise I feel like a slob. I have never understood "pyjama days", but many of my friends swear by them as food for the soul.

The change-over between university, and "home" is also irritating in that takes away an entire day. The packing, the moving, the unpacking, and the subsequent EXHAUSTION means that there is no chance of pulling off any productivity on that day. That said, over the last two days, I have added over 600 words to my dissertation, which is something of an achievement since I have had no real direction for it, and no feedback from my supervisor. I have hit a brick wall at the moment, and feel like there isn't much that I can contribute to it until my supervisor has got back to me with some advice as to how I should proceed. I feel like I am writing myself in circles.

On a more positive note, I have rediscovered cross stitch, and have been cross stitching feminist slogans. I will post pictures when I have finished some projects to my satisfaction. The good weather, and the copious amounts of blossom everywhere has cheered me immensely, and I cannot wait until the end of exams, so that I can start to enjoy all of the things that the outside world has to offer me!
A photo I took of blossoms near college.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Une Liste

Salut encore, mes petits pois.

Tonight, I offer you a list. I am feeling bogged down with work and dissertation stuff, so I am going to write a list of things that make me happy, in an attempt to cheer mysef up. Let me know if any of your happy list things are the same as my happy list things!

- Candles wedged into the tops of wine bottles.
- Colour coded notes/folders.
- Having everything written into the calendar and into my diary.
- Shakespeare.
- The Royal Shakespeare Company.
- Pasta Salad.
- Having random heart-to-hearts with unexpected people.
- My baritone ukulele.
- Shoes.
- The fact that every surface in my room is covered with piles of books, and so is the floor.
- Saving pretty pictures onto my computer.
- Materialism.
- Getting things done.
- Washing myself.
- The Great Gatsby
- Rose perfume (I got Paul Smith's Rose for Christmas, from Dan's parents!)
- Apostrophes, and the correct usage thereof.
- Fairy lights.
- Cups of tea, pots of tea, mugs of tea.
- My cameras.
- Being told that my argument is "cogent".
- Feeling comfortable enough with a supervisor to say the word "strap-on" with utterly no context, or motive.
- Being looked after.
- Bunting.
- The sky.
- University Radio.
- Blossom.
- Post.
- Planning the future.

I might "treat" you to my ridiculously romanticised, idealised imaginings of the future, in another post, but for now, let me just leave you with a small peeve of mine. I'll be damned if I ever end a blog post on a positive note...

Etc. I use this little 'word' an awful lot. I also often see it used by others. However, it pains me to see people spelling it "Ect". I know, I know, when people say it fast, it sounds a bit like "Eksetra", and if that were the case, you might be forgiven, if you had never seen it written, to spell it "ecetra" or something similar. Perhaps you believe it to be a contraction of such a word as "ecetra". However, if that were the case, we would write it thus; ec't'. That's just not write. The fact of the matter is that when I see Etc. being bastardised into "Ect", I automatically assume that the person who is writing, is referring suddenly to Electro-Convulsive Therapy, a procedure for which the acronym ECT is used. In fact, when people say "Etc", they are saying "Et Cetera", which is a Latin term for "and so on". So, "etc" is literally, "Et" (and) followed by the "C" for "cetera". It is for this reason that we follow "etc." with a full stop. It is also often written &c. I do love the ampersand. That's another matter, for another post, I fear.

Night, etc. x

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Howzit goin'?

Salut chums,

I have cruelly neglected my bloglet again. A heinous crime, I know. It has literally been months. I use tumblr a lot these days, although I feel the constant pressure of having to cater to an audience there. I have started a thing that I call "Tumblr Rules" where I basically gently rip the loving shit out of all of the unspoken Tumblr conventions that seem to be floating around that website. Perhaps it is just the types of blogs that I follow, but there certainly seem to be a lot of skinny thigh-ed, field dwelling, flannel shirt wearing, kitten cuddling, nail polish wearing, long haired girls, frolicking themselves stupid on that website...

As I wrote in my last post, I always make these silly little lists of "How things will be" around September time, and they always go to shit by about a week later. Let's see how I did...

  • Don't spend as much time on the internet Well, that one certainly went to pot almost immediately. What can I say, I am a shameless addict. Plus, I moderate a forum. I have a DUTY to be on the internet, guys!
  • Read more (replace useless internet time with useFUL reading time) I have read many many more books so far this academic year, than I managed last year, that's for sure. I still have a tendency to click mindlessly through the same five tabs at 2AM when nothing has changed...
  • Work in the library Nope... Actually, I lie. I have worked in the library twice this year, and both times have yielded magnificent productivity. So it's all about actually GETTING myself to the library...
  • Get my essays done before 'essay crisis night' There has been so much work this year that every other night has been 'essay crisis night'. That was never going to work.
  • Cook for everyone and make them think I am a superawesome cook. This one has mostly worked. We take it in turns to cook for the whole flat, and whenever it's my turn everyone is very happy with the results. However, I am condemned to ALWAYS cook meat, because I live with carnivores who think that a meal without meat isn't a real meal at all...
  • Pluck my goddamn eyebrows more often. I used to be so dedicated to this cause. Maybe I have sorted my priorities out since then. That's what I like to tell myself.
  • File my work more neatly. Partial success. However, Dan's work is everywhere and they get mixed up, quite often.
  • Go to more lectures. I wish I could say that this year has been a wonderful success regarding my attendance of lectures... However, that would be a lie. I always start term so well. It's been a while since I went to a lecture.
  • Make better lecture notes. My lecture and seminar notes still consist of "Someone just said a word that I don't understand. It's something like Acctrecc....something...shun? Learn that word... Someone else just said a thing. Why do they always say things? Shakespeare... plagiarism... commonplace... shut up bitch you sound so nasal... bear baiting..."
  • Do more exercise I weep at how little exercise I have done.
  • Eat more healthily Mostly a success! Fallen off of the wagon a little in the last couple of weeks because I have been ill, but other than that, I've been doing well.
So this is how that list stands now. The italicised parts are my annotations, in case that passed you by.

In other news, my mother is in Australia, and my father is still in France. It feels rather strange to be alone in the country, as it were. I wouldn't dare to liken it to being an orphan, but the feeling of not having your parents anywhere nearby is an oddly terrifying thought, although it is also very liberating. I was never constrained by my parents at any point, and I had a fair amount of freedom, but it's rather nice to not have to answer to anyone. That said, I really miss talking to them, and I miss the dynamic whereby all parties had very defined roles. I was the child, they were the parents. Of course, those roles still stand, but it changes when you leave home. I can completely understand why my mother (along with all of the mothers of all of my friends) is suffering greatly from a case of 'empty nest' syndrome.

After a long struggle to get my reference, I submitted my application for my PGCE in November. I got rejected by my first choice university straight away, because my Director of Studies took so long to writemy reference, and they'd filled up. The application system for PGCEs is an utter mess, and the way it runs is that they send your application in order to your choices, only sending it on, once you've been rejected. It allows the universities to be more selective, but doesn't allow any selection on the part of the applicant. The number of places on PGCEs has been cut significantly, by the Tory "government", and so the process changed from being relatively stress-free, to a competitive hotbed of evil. I was eventually invited to interview at my second choice, and so after spending weeks agonising about what to wear, and significantly less time worrying about what to say, I set off for my interview...
Upon arrival, the thirty or so candidates that were assembled alongside me in the room, were told that there was tecnhically only ONE place on offer, for which we were all competing. Immediately, the air tasted sour, and the sound of gulps stereoed around the room. We all looked at one another. The interviewing man placated us a little with the promise of ten further "waiting list places". There were significantly more than ten of us present, a fact of which everyone was acutely aware.
There was a group task, involving us reading a year 7's creative writing story, and then critiquing it in groups of about six. We were then to produce a piece of "reflective writing" about the task we had just done. With that completed, we were allotted our ten minute interview timeslots, and allowed to leave until we were needed again.
If I am honest, I really don't know how I managed to get an offer. I feel as though I balls-ed up the interview, and that my "reflective writing" was incoherent and unstructured, but two weeks after the interview day, I received an offer, conditional upon my obtaining a 2:2 in my degree. I bloody hope I manage that. I will be heartbroken if I get a 3rd, for many reasons, the most significant being that I REALLY WANT to get into this university, and I don't want to have to take a year out.

This has been a wall of text, and for that I apologise. Let's show you some pretty pictures of things that I am lusting about. Then I shall finish, as I have to read more of Iain Sinclair's "Lights Out For The Territory" before bed, and get up for a day full of Shakespeare tomorrow!I've been fantasizing about next year. Dan and I are getting a kitten, and I have all of these idealised images of myself reading paperbacks with the cat curled up on my lap. This is just a picture I found on Tumblr. Rather emblematic of the whimsical bollocks you see on there actually. I love it really...

This is someone else's photo of a tiny keychain camera that I just purchased to add to my collection of cameras. It's on its way from Hong Kong at the moment, but I await its arrival with eager anticip.....ation.

This is a picture from my 21st birthday party. I had a very whimsical teaparty, with lots of IRL and interweb friends. My mum made all of the cakes, and everything was lovely.

Adieu. xx

Thursday, 30 September 2010

It's the Final Countdown...

I swear I have given that title to a blog post before. I was so struck with this feeling, that I went through all of the blog posts, and checked their titles. I couldn't SEE one with this title, but I think that I might have just missed it somehow.

The day after tomorrow, I move all of my stuff from Dan's family's house, to my room at Fitz. I am very excited about my new room, but that's about all I am excited about, regarding the next year. I realise that I waxed hysterical about this in my last blog post, but it is all I am really thinking about at the moment.

You know that time, every year (usually around August, September, just as the leaves begin to change colour slightly, and the air gets its first chill), when you start to think about the academic year to come? I certainly do anyway. Every year, it is the same, as I vow that it will be different. I promise myself that this year, I will finally be popular (my 13 year old self was absolutely blind to the fact that she was a very popular little girl), or that this year I will read more books relating to my studies, or that this year I will wear my hair in more interesting ways... It always seems to fall apart by the second or third day of term, where I glumly scold myself that of course I can't change who I am. I am doomed to be this way forever. But I never learn.

I suppose that normal people have this feeling around January the third, but not me. I seem to work by academic years. I suppose, given my career choice, I always will. I have a crystal clear image of myself, aged thirty, writing names into a mark book, and thinking, "This year, I will get all of my marking done on time, and I will colour code my comments on the kids' work, and I will make sure that I use more powerpoint (if it isn't obsolete by then), and I will read more books..."

So what am I thinking this year? What are my proposed (ridiculously far-fetched) self-improvements this year? My 'New Year's Resolutions' if you will?

  • Don't spend as much time on the internet
  • Read more (replace useless internet time with useFUL reading time)
  • Work in the library
  • Get my essays done before 'essay crisis night'
  • Cook for everyone and make them think I am a superawesome cook
  • Pluck my goddamn eyebrows more often.
  • File my work more neatly
  • Go to more lectures
  • Make better lecture notes.
  • Do more exercise
  • Eat more healthily

I am le tired.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Things Happen

It has been all summer, and once again, I have been awful at blogging. Why do I do these things? Why do I try so hard to be one of those "I have such an awesome life, and I blog about it" kind of people, when I clearly do NOT have an awesome life, and as you can see, I obviously don't blog about it!

Possibly, if I had more of a specific focus for this blog, then I would be better at maintaining it. Who knows.

I have spent the last few days researching PGCE providers, frantically. Applications have now opened for the Postgraduate teaching qualification that I want to take, and so I have to choose the four to which I would consider going, and then start to work on my application. I can't physically send the application until I have some work experience under my belt, so today has also been spent e-mailing the local State secondary schools, asking them if I can sit in on some English lessons... as if I haven't already sat in enough English lessons.

This year, my feelings of anxiety are overshadowing my excitement to go back to university, in a big way. I can't stop thinking about how big the workload is going to be, and how I have to improve my grade on last year, with an even bigger workload. I also have a dissertation to do, and a course to apply to. I have to read several Greek Tragedies, and Moby Dick, by next week, and I haven't even started the year yet. On top of that, it is potentially my final year in Cambridge (unless I decide to take my PGCE here too), and I want to make it amazing. Last year was distinctly underwhelming in parts, and I have been rather unhappy. There are so many things I want to see, do, cook, read, and take part in this year. How on earth am I going to balance that with my academic work? This is a major worry to me.

I will finish by linking to some of the blogs I have been reading recently:

Smitten Kitchen - a wonderful food blog, that makes me want to be a food blogger.

Pencil Case - the blog of my dear friend Sharon. She writes wonderfully, and she knows about science and shiz. I like her blog. It dwarfs mine.

Fazed Girl
- this blog makes me smile all the time. The best fashion/life blog I have read in a long time, and I like it because it is so understated. Maybe I can just relate to the 'perpetually trying to get dressed' thing.

Sushi Bandit - I don't even know why I look at this blog, but I find it addictive.

Monday, 22 September 2008

The Summer.

Well, this erratic blogger is currently in Australia!

The summer has been... eventful, to say the least! I did my exams. Some were harder than others, and that showed in my results. But all in all, I got three As! Hurrah! I am going to Cambridge!

I went to Italy with my Orchestra for a week, and we also played in exotic Birmingham.



I also went to France to see my Dad and I spent two weeks there. It seemed to fly by to be honest. My sister was on her way to taking her first steps, and my brother was... cheeky as ever! I went on bicycle rides in rural France, and did all sorts of picturesque French things...

So, results day was emotional, and the day after, even more so.

I did manage to watch a film called 'Penelope' though, which I can't work out. Is it a new film? Has it been out for a while? Christina Ricci looked really young, but Reese Witherspoon looked the way she looks now... Anyway, it was a lovely whimsical film, and it had James McAvoy in it, which I would never complain about. I also made friends with a lovely woman, whose name I forget. I don't think I will ever forget her though. It wasn't as though she was particularly remarkable, but we had a bit in common, and she was very friendly. We both wept when we saw the Australian sunrise from the aeroplane window...

Since I have been here, I have swam with sea turtles on the Coral Ree
f in Queensland, walked over the Harbour Bridge in Sydney, seen the chimney in Port Kembla, touched various animals, got a new watch, got some sunburn, broken a lamp, and cut my foot, and eaten a LOT of Thai food!


So, I am home in a week, safely in the arms of my loved ones. But I am also, orphaned in my own country. My mother has just flown out to Australia for at least ten weeks, and my Dad has moved to France...

But I suppose I am going to Cambridge, so I shouldn't complain! I don't know what to expect! I am so excited but so... nervous. Stepping into the unknown! Gosh.

Well, here ends another post from possibly the most irregular blogger ever...