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Third Year here I come!

11 Jun

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! I PASSED I PASSED I PASSED I PASSED!!!!!!!!!!!! I MADE IT INTO HONOURS!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

I’ve calmed down now.  As you can probably tell, I’m unbelievably pleased with myself! I PASSED THE EXAMS!!! YIPEEEEE!!! Okay, so maybe I’ve not calmed down! *cackles*

Well, somehow I managed to get the grades I needed to get into honours!! I’m still not quite sure how though. English was B2, Comp Lit B3 and Theology C1. Luckily I’ve just discovered that you only need two C grades to get into TRS honours! YEEEESSSSSSS! I would have been just as worried if I had known that earlier though. My exam was truly awful, as I mentioned in my previous post I was *genuinely* expecting a fail, or a D at the most. The exam was *definitely* not above a D grade, I only answered half of what I was supposed to, and even then I was shaking so much it was barely legible! I must have done better in the essay than I thought to balance it out! Whatever happened, I’m just so so so so relieved! Clearly my luck’s changing!

And I worked that when you take into account my bad essay grades, to have made the grades I did I must have *somehow* manages an A5 in Comp Lit and an A3/4 in English in the exams! HOW?! I mean just HOW?! It’s really boosted my confidence, which was pretty much shattered after the essays. Now though I see that it really was just down to my own error in interpreting the question. After spending time working on that for the exams I’m a lot happier in my ability to actually *answer* the question in front of me, instead of rambling in the wrong direction! I know that being not well didn’t help much either, but I’m trying not to use that as an excuse cause then I’ll never take the blame for my own failures or realise where I’m going wrong and I won’t learn from them like I have done this semester!

Anyway, I just wanted to post this because I’m *ridiculously* proud of myself for this! Although I’m now just sitting waiting impatiently to hear if all of my friends passed/can be granted appeals and such! Especially in English where it seems like half the bloody course haven’t met the requirements. I think there’s a lot about this course that needs to be changed for next year, particularly the convenor who is so unapproachable and unhelpful for the most part. Really, I think more than anything they need to *actually* tell us what they want from us when sitting the essays/exams. Most of us went in without a clue and just blagged our way through it.

Okay, so I’m going to spend the day watching ‘The Nanny’ on Youtube because Fran Drescher is amazing and I really don’t need an excuse to lie in bed and watch old tv shows all day I AM A GROWN UP AND CAN DO WHAT I WANT STOP JUDGING ME. Bye! I’ll post again in a couple of days(aka, when I can pull myself away from the hilarious Nanny Fine!) I promise!

“Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.” O. Wilde

16 Nov

I’m afraid I can’t even start this post apologising for being late as I usually do, as I’ve no idea when I last wrote, and even if I did, I’m not too sure what day it is, so my general self-loathing at my lack of organisational skills will need to suffice you today.

Anyway, (I reread my last post this morning and realised I say ‘anyway’ and ‘so’ way too much, so I’ll try and cut it down(as you will see, I have NOT done this…)) I’ve had a hectic week (?and a bit?) Firstly, yay!! my essays are finished!!! I’m so glad to be rid of them!

They were a complete disaster from start to finish. I spent the majority of the last two/three weeks on the edge of a mental breakdown, trying to simultaneously read secondary sources, write a ‘comprehensive’ analysis and convince myself that Descartes is right and that I’d wake up in the morning and realise it was all just a bad dream.

I think, though, that by doing such a horrendous job on these essays, I’ve learned a lot about what not to do next time, which might help. Firstly, do not put it off, at all, start it immediately. Secondly, don’t plan a time schedule, you’ll never stick to it. Thirdly, if you do give in to your tendency to ‘plan the life out of everything’, make sure you give at least four days of overlap incase you screw it all up again and have to spend way too much time on one essay, leaving yourself with the daunting prospect of having only two days to do another one. Fourthly, read lots of secondary sources; they know what they’re saying, you do not. Fifthly, doubly, triple, quadruple check the deadlines: they are out to deceive you!! Sixthly, and most importantly, if you’re writing an essay on a novel, or perhaps an annoying French guy with a big nose’s meditations, read the bloody book. Under No Circumstances attempt to write an essay when you have not read the book or half of the novel. Especially if said novel doesn’t have a decent wiki page!

Anyway, it doesn’t matter now, they’re gone and I’m going to pretend they didn’t happen. Until I get the results and spend days crying myself to sleep…

So, how did I celebrate not being burdened with essays I hear you ask? I slept. ALL WEEKEND! In fact, I only left, my room to get food and use the toilet. And do you know what, even seeing all the status of amazing nights out exam free etc, I don’t regret a thing!

My classes have all been good this last week (ish?) but I’ve been too stressed out and/or exhausted to appreciate them. We’ve been studying poems in English Lit and I’ve surprised not only myself but anyone who has had the misfortune of ever having discussed it with me, by finding a new love for all things poetry.

I’ve always found it very difficult to understand poetry. I haven’t really studied it in detail that much so I don’t really know the different structures, metres etc. Also, I’ve always found poetry really hard to follow. I can’t really ‘get into’ a poem unless it’s something I’m studying and I’ve been told what it means and what it says etc (at least, my teacher’s representation of it). The only poems, actually, that I’ve ever really manage to read, understand and enjoy is Wilde’s The Ballad of Reading Gaol and Edgar Allan Poe’s Annabel Lee. The first of these is a bit surprising really, for two reasons, firstly, it’s bloody long, much longer than any other poem I had read, and secondly because, at that point I absolutely hated Wilde. It feels like I’m sinning or something to say that now, but at the time my only experience of Wilde was An Ideal Husband which, in comparison to his other works, is quite boring. Now, Wilde is one of my favourite play-writes and A Picture of Dorian Gray is one of my favourite novels.

Now, though I seem to be understanding poetry a lot better. I can easily sit down an read through a poem and not only understand what it means, but be able to appreciate some of the finer details I would never have picked up on before. I still have difficulty with the metre, though, because for some reason I just can’t seem to hear the stresses of the syllables! It’s almost in monotone when I hear poetry, I can’t hear the difference. I’ll keep working on it though, and my flatmates will just need to put up with me repeating the same line over and over out loud with several different inflections at two o’clock in the morning.

So, we’ve moved onto Christianity in Theology now, which is something I’ve really been looking forward to. Despite being raised Christian and being brought up with my morality stemming from that, I’ve actually been very shocked to realise how little I know about what I had claimed to be my religion for so long. I don’t know if I could say it’s quite lived up to my expectations but then, I wasn’t too sure I knew what I wanted it to be.

The lecturer is really good, although out of all three lecturers we’ve had so far, one teaching Islam and one Judaism, she seems to have her work cut out for her most. For the other two, they were lecturing to a class of people very few of whom were actually followers of the faiths they were teaching. However a large proportion of the class is Christian and I can almost feel the tension amongst them at times, as if they’re always waiting for a blow against their religion, or they feel that they must be paying careful attention in order to be able to correct/defend their principles. I can understand this, especially as a large amount of the class live locally and sectarianism is still at play even amongst this generation.

The lecturer, however, is really good at describing and explaining Christianity, while still being respectful but also scrutinising and stating disagreements without causing offence. It’s mostly when someone else in the class speaks up and says something which could be deemed offensive, even though it has never been meant as such, that anyone really begins to stiffen and take sharper notice.

Anyway, I think I’ve rambled for too long now, so I’ll sign off now. There’s still quite a lot I wanted to whinge about, but I’ll save it for next week! (Sooner actually!I feel guilty about how rubbish this post is, so I’m going to start a new one and get it up by the end of the week!) Bye!

Getting drunk, eating ice-cream and making children cry…

1 Nov

What a week! (Slightly over a week, I know, I’m sorry. Blame Philosophy. Or better yet, blame Descartes, the horrible, horrible man…) For once, though, I’ve actually done something to write about! **Happy Dance** Nothing you’re going to find particularly interesting, but at least I don’t have to think up something to spend this post complaining about! (If I did have to chose something, it won’t come as a surprise to anyone who I’m friends with on Facebook, it would be Descartes, the insufferable sod.)

So, on Saturday (22nd) I went to my friends 18th, which was brilliant, being able to catch up with her and some other friends. It was great to see everyone’s been doing well, even if it was a bit sad at the end of the night, knowing it could be ages before we could all meet up again. I think my friends had a good night too, although she sadly broke the tradition of getting absolutely steaming on your 18th. Don’t worry though, me and a couple of other friends more than mad up for her. This night was a milestone for me too, as it was the first time I’d ever stumbled in the door at one o’clock in the morning absolutely burling. And my parents didn’t even kill me!

My little sister told me the next morning that she thought I was nicer drunk, and that I was much more fun. I’m not sure how to take this… She was particularly amused by the fact that I was too afraid to leave the living room, believing the door was going to beat me up, after my dad told me not to let it hit me on the way out. Yes, safe to say I did not enjoy waking up the next morning.

On the Tuesday after this was my own 18th. My parents took me out to Shanghai Shanghai for a lovely meal, and I ended up walking around Carlisle with an 18 badge and helium balloon (give credit to my sister for this monstrosity) and trying not to throw up the outrageous amount of ice-cream I ate.

It was Friday before I made it back up to Glasgow. And it was an absolute nightmare having to drag my suitcase filled with over twenty books and six plus bottles all the way up to Murano from Hillhead! Definitely learned my lesson there! From now on, just bring the alcohol, leave the books at home…

Anyway, Friday night I went out with some friends up here to another Chinese buffet, which was also delicious, and I ate far too much, although not as much as one of my friends, who astounded us all by eating more food than could possibly fit inside a human stomach. I was genuinely worried for his health after that meal. We ended up stealing the helium balloon that they’d put above the table (which is still lying on the kitchen floor now) and then going to a cocktail bar in Ashton Lane called Nude. It was very dark, and very loud, but had such a gorgeous atmosphere that I’m already desperate to go back! And their Strawberry Daiquiri was amazing.

Saturday and Sunday were spent curled up in bed, eating beetroot and trying to do my philosophy essay (God, I hate Descartes…). It was due in today and I finally managed to reach the lower word limit at two o’clock this morning. Safe to say, I don’t think I’ve ever written a worse essay in my life, but at the moment I just don’t care. It’s finished, no more Descartes!! YAY!!

Oh, I went to a synagogue yesterday for theology which was absolutely fascinating. The building itself was beautiful, and the woman who talked to us there was absolutely lovely! She’s one of those little old ladies you can picture sitting at home knitting and drinking tea (I say while drinking hot chocolate and sewing a cushion….). A lot of the information she gave us was things which I had already known before, which is great because it means I’m actually remembering things from my lectures! But I was a little bit shocked at some of the things she told us. Like the fact that in her community of 4,000 Jews, only about 30 attend the synagogue regularly. This is quite a significant decline and it was quite eye open to see that, even in the Orthodox church, the decline in daily/weekly practice has taken its toll.

I’ve also decided (yesterday) to do NaNoWriMo this year. I was almost bullied into it last year by my friends and this year I thought I’d give it ago. Whatever possessed me to think this was a good idea? I have no plot, structure, characters or title and it starts today! Safe to say, I’m not going to finish this year! But hopefully it’ll at least get me writing a bit more. Even if I do end up writing some depressing story about child death or suicide.

Oh, actually, I had a comment on one of my depressing stories the other week and a couple of you asked about it. It was from a lovely woman who asked if she could show my story to her higher class, for inspiration or some such nonsense. We exchanged a few emails and she gave me some great feedback on a couple of stories I’ve been working on and also spent a fair amount of time talking me into doing NaNo too. (thanks for that Suz). Anyway, one of the emails was to tell me that she’d shown her class my story and half of them ended up crying (which amused me so much, for some reason) and saying some lovely things, which she wrote down and emailed to me. It was fantastic to get such good feedback and reviews of my story! I’m really glad as well when a couple of them used my story to guide their own depressing tale about death… Glad to know I inspire such joy in people! (The story was A Box Full of Kisses by the way, check the top of the page to read it if you want!)

Sorry guys, but I really have to go now, my English essay is demanding to be finished, or even started. Post to you soon,

Bye!

Oh, I forgot to add, I now have Meebo (at the side) so if you want to get in touch with me message me on that and I’ll get back to you. Or you could add me on twitter/facebook, which would save me the hassle of figuring out how to use Meebo! 😀

I promise I’ll work on the titles for next week…. :D

16 Oct

First off, an apology is due for breaking my promise of posting every week. I have no reasonable excuse this time, so sorry.

Anyway, I’m writing this post on the train on the way back to Glasgow after spending the weekend back home. I’m absolutely shattered, having been up for most of the night with what I’m completely denying is the flu. I’ve never had the flu before and I don’t intend to have it now. It’s just a really bad cold…

Even being blocked up doesn’t stop me gagging at the stench of nail varnish now filling the compartment, as the girl sitting opposite, currently listening to One Directions new song so loudly on her I-phone I can quite easily sing along to every word, decided it would be a grand idea to paint her nails in a stuffy, overcrowded train which the majority of people are stuck on for another hour before it reaches central station in Glasgow. What a sweetheart.

I suppose I can’t really complain, I’m pretty sure I’m suffocating half of the train with the reek of ammonia from my hair. I spent most of the morning sitting in the kitchen with my mum furiously ‘massaging’ in the Chocolate Brown dye in a last ditch attempt to rid myself of my half yellow, half red hairdo. My hair now ranges from light brown to jet black, but doesn’t look too bad! Especially not in comparison to the horrendous ‘blonde’ I ended up with. My scalp is still bright red, not from hair dye this time, but from my mum’s vicious attacks!

Other than my disaster with the hair dye, it’s been a good week. My classes are going well, if a little bit boring at times. I’ve been able to spend some time reading as well, which has been good. Oh, I finally found time to go to the library! Oh my god!!!! It’s huge! I absolutely love it, even though it’s quite complicated to understand the ordering system, and despite the fact that it took me nearly twenty minutes to work out how to use the self-service book checkout , much to the amusement of some of the older students watching me.

I’m still procrastinating over my essays and finding practically any excuse not to do them. They’re just so intimidating, I have no idea where to start. It’s not too bad for English lit, there’s several questions to chose from and they’re all comparison questions, which I prefer. Theology has three questions for Islam, Judaism and Christianity, but seeing as we’ve only finished Islam it’s still a bit limiting, not to mention I don’t even understand half of the questions. For Philosophy there is only one question and it is very, very vague. I’m absolutely dreading answering it!

Oh, I almost forgot that I went to the first meeting of the Creative Writing Society on Tuesday night. It was really fun, being able to spend some time with friends and being forced to come up with something creative on the spot, although it was very intimidating and ended up being complete and utter rubbish, has helped me to get the better of my writers’ block! So there may be some creative writing up on the blog some time in the near future!

I don’t really have much more to tell you. So far, all I’ve seemed to do in my posts is rant about something or someone that’s pissed me off, and I’m trying not to do that again. Although, if I were to do that I would tell you how annoying I find it that the girl opposite me has now decided to spray half a can of deodorant, just to add to the toxic smell in this carriage. I wonder where she’s going that would require this much preparation? I mean, I’ve seen her apply four layers of foundation in the last half an hour, redo her lip gloss twice and add even more mascara to the black clumps that may at one point in time have been eyelashes.

Anyway, as I said, there’s not much more to say to be honest. Hopefully I’ll have done something more interesting for the nest post, if not I’ll just pick a random thing that’s irritated me and write a couple of pages on that! I really hope to have a short story up during the week, but I’m still working on it. Fingers crossed! I know it’ll just take one before I can get back into writing again. Here’s hoping.

I should really start using more interesting titles…

5 Oct

Firstly, apologies for not updating sooner. I promised myself that as soon as I had written my poetry analysis, which I started last Wednesday night, I would post a new entry. It’s taken me a week to stop procrastinating and get on with it, but I’m finally finished!

So yesterday when I started to think of what I would say in this post I had absolutely no ideas at all. I thought that when I got back home from Uni I’d spend a couple of hours just attempting to make the last fortnight sound mildly interesting. That didn’t happen, however, and I instead had to spend the entire night on Facebook trying to get a hate page that was posted about me deleted.

This page, as those of you who have seen it will know, was posted by an inarticulate, unintelligent bully and his attempts to hurt me by posting this backfired on him last night when my friends, both those that I have known since Secondary school and who have gone through the school with me and the boy who wrote this page, and my new friends up here in Glasgow, responded to his insulting comments and reported the page. I’m glad to say, he’s now been suspended from facebook, so hopefully I’ll not have any more bother from him.

Even though it was only on Facebook for a few hours, it seems that everyone has heard that it was posted. I’ve had many supportive comments from my friends, which have helped me to realise that no one believes what was written and that most people can see that it was just a pathetic little boy trying to get attention.

Sorry, rant over. Anyway, other than that, my week’s been pretty boring. I’m sure that you’re delighted to hear you’re wasting valuable time reading about my boring week, when you could be out living your’s!

I’ve had so much work on that I’ve not had a lot of time to do anything interesting to tell you about! Unless you’d like to hear about my poetry analysis? Or the thrilling Critical Thinking book I’m reading for Philosophy? No, I didn’t think so.

What I am finding as a big shock is how quickly time is flying by. My first few weeks here felt like they were never going to end. And now it’s the 5th of October already! (only 20 days until my 18th Yay!) I guess the reason that time has just disappeared this week is the amount of work we’re all getting.

This varies for each of my classes; Philosophy has spent the last three weeks discussing Descartes’ Meditations and we’re still only on the third one, English Literature has basically left us to read and analyse an entire novel in this time, and Theology expects us to learn the ins and outs of the entire Islamic religion, in just three weeks! This last class, Theology, is the one I’m struggling with most at the moment I think. I know I should be struggling more with English, given I haven’t even read half of the novel yet, but I can at least grasp what’s being said in English Lit, Theology is a different matter entirely.

I absolutely loved RMPS last year, which is what prompted me to take it this year, but there is such a difference between the two that it’s like doing an entirely different subject! Last year we spent months going over the different aspects of Buddhism, and spending time discussing and debating a lot of the issues that arise in it. Now, we’re just hit with an avalanche of information and expected to find some sort of reason within it.

Despite finding it difficult, the challenge of basically learning about a religion without much guidance is absolutely brilliant!! I love the independence of being able to research and find my own way around all of the issues of the Islamic religion. I think I would find it a lot easier if I had someone to bounce ideas off of, or to ask for opinions etc, like I used to in secondary school, but I’ve not managed to speak to many people in my lectures or tutorials, so I don’t have this aspect yet.

I found last year that talking things over with my classmates, or pestering my lovely teacher, helped me far more than reading notes and things, so hopefully once I’ve found someone to discuss these things with, then I’ll get a better grasp of what I’m trying to learn. Even with the difficulty, or perhaps because of it, I’m finding theology absolutely enthralling!

Something which I can’t quite say about Philosophy. I’m finding lectures on Descartes and ‘Critical thinking’ to be the bane of my existence at the moment. I knew I would find this though; Philosophy doesn’t have an answer, and anything which doesn’t have an answer frustrates me far too much. I’m honestly not sure what I was thinking selecting this subject, when I knew I was going to get so easily worked up by it!! Actually, it was exactly this reason I chose it! And the fact that I can have debates about philosophical things, such as ‘Is the sky blue?’ of which I’ve already convinced 3 people that the answer is no.

And English Literature is just as interesting as I thought it would be! The poetry analysis I attempted completely knocked my confidence, however. I’ve never really had any trouble analysing, or writing essays, but I have to admit that I found this to be so intimidating, and it scared the hell out of me. The analysis isn’t graded, but even so, I’m sure that I’ve done very poorly, my arguments weren’t well structured and my grammar was also pretty bad. I suppose there’s nothing to do about it now! Just have to wait and see what my tutor says.

Anyway, I’ve prattled on for long enough now. I just want to say thanks to everyone who supported me with this ‘hate page’ malarkey because it wouldn’t have been sorted nearly as quickly without you.

Oh, also, thank you to my two lovely ex-english teachers who put up with my moaning and last minute panicking over my analysis! I’m sure you must be sick of this by now! And not even being a hundred miles away from me, and not even my teachers any more, means you can escape my last minute hysteria when it comes to essays and exams!!