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I just can’t stop talking…

1 Oct

Well, I guess I’m getting better at this updating thing… It’s only been three weeks, not eight, so a marked improvement I have to say.

Anyway, I’ve had a busy fortnight! I’d thought getting settled back into Uni life would take a bit of time, after my hectic summer (believe it or not, I didn’t spend every day in bed reading, despite my serious intention to do just that after Uni finished last year.) but it was actually a painless process, relatively. I’m not particularly enjoying the whole ‘get up on time’ thing though. Which is strange, I managed to do it effortlessly during the summer to get to work. Now though, even though ‘on time’ is a whole lot later than over the summer, I’m seriously struggling to get out of bed in the mornings. Possibly because I have the most comfortable bed known to man, but most likely because I know I’m going to actually have to think during the day, which is enough to make anyone stay in bed. I haven’t done much ‘thinking’ during the summer. I’ve sort of gotten out of the habit. Now, I’m right back in the deep end. Urgh, learning. Yuck.

Well, the last few weeks have consisted mostly of catching up with friends, making the most of having a kitchen all to myself, and reading. Lots and lots of reading. Again, something I’d gotten out of the habit of over the summer. Unless E.L. James’ crap counts, which I *seriously* doubt.

I mentioned some of my texts this year in my last post, but what I failed to mention is that the interesting ones don’t come up for a few more weeks. Right now I’m stuck reading Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Achebe’s Things Fall Apart in English. For those of you who don’t know, they’re books about colonialism, from two pretty different perspectives, both completely new to me as I’d only ever heard of ‘colonialism’ and ‘imperialism’ in passing, and only found out what it really was about two weeks ago. I know, this is shockingly bad. I can’t believe that I’ve gotten to this level in my education without having realised that. But I’m finding lately that I actually knew very, very little about history, or literature in general really, before the start of this year.

Mostly it’s incredibly obvious things as well, things that, when I say I don’t know what they are or mean, people look at me like I’ve said the world is flat. For example, and I can’t believe I’m even writing this, because it’s that ridiculous that I made it to the second year of my University education without knowing this, but I didn’t realise that the Victorian era occurred during the reign of Queen Victoria, or the Edwardian era occurred during the reign of King Edward etc. Now, for most of you this is just a fact, it’s something you don’t even need to think about. I bet you don’t even remember first being told this. I don’t. I never was!

I honestly don’t understand how, but nobody, not my English teachers at secondary school, not my history teacher, not my R.E teacher, not even my primary school teacher ever mentioned what that means! I imagine a lot of people knew it before, and it was probably just assumed that everyone in the class would know it, which is why it was never mentioned. But I still think it’s absolutely crazy that I’ve gotten to 2nd year English at Uni and still didn’t know this!

Sorry, I’ve just been thinking about that a lot lately. I feel I’m so totally overwhelmed with things I don’t know that I have to start at the complete basic level. I mean, I genuinely feel like I’m barely reaching levels in English that I should have reached three/four years ago. I have to go over everything again, from sentence structure to basic history (and I mean basic ). There’s a lot that I do know, that I’ve learned myself over the years. I pretty much know instinctively by now how basic grammar works (although you may not believe me if you’re reading this post…). But mostly it’s things I was never taught at school.

I’m not sure if that’s the fault of secondary education, or earlier, in primary school. I don’t know when you’re meant to learn that. I do know that in a lot of aspects I, along with most of my classmates, hit secondary school without the basic knowledge of a lot of things, maths, history, biology, punctuation, spelling. All sorts of thing that I’d assumed you would have learned by that age. Maybe I’m wrong. I don’t know. But even so, surely it would come down to the teachers you get after that to help you catch up to the right level?

For the most part they did. Maths, biology, all the ‘science-y’ subjects, were very quick to bring us all to the right levels. But for the social subjects, history, r.e. geography, English, they all started to build on nothing. I always found history and geography etc quite easy, but that was because we were taught on a specific subject, we were never expected to link what we’d learned into a timescale or imagine it within a general picture. We learned about the world wars, we learned about the discovery of America, we learned about different countries physical and economic aspects. But we were never told basic things, which we probably should have at some point.

We weren’t told when things happened in relation to each other, or other big events in history etc. It was assumed that if a time was mentioned, like Victorian era for example, we would know when that was, be able to situate the events being described into that era. But as I’ve just mentioned, a lot of wouldn’t know when this was!

So, I guess the summation of this rant would be that pretty much everything I learned in secondary school was learned out of context, from history and not knowing the basic time periods, to English and not knowing how to put together a sentence.

I guess I’m making an exception for English though, because I did have one teacher who explained it to us (and still has to explain basic punctuation to me on a regular basis, despite me no longer being her pupil…) but again she built her explanations assuming that my previous teachers had taught us certain things. Which they hadn’t. AI was already very far behind what I should have been so even though I grasped what she was saying, I didn’t have the previous knowledge to put that into perspective. So e.g., she might have explained word order, noun goes here, verb goes there, but given I didn’t know what a noun or a verb was (which by second year I bloody well should have! What were my primary school teachers thinking!!) To be fair, it is in a big part, down to the fact I never asked for help with these things, when I should have at the time. But to be honest, what twelve year old kid is going to realise they don’t know something, if they don’t know it exists in the first place? Also, if it was this teacher who taught me word order I owe her a huge *ginormous* apology because, as the entirety of this blog shows, I didn’t listen to a word she said. I still don’t know where the noun goes….

Anyway, the whole point of this long, completely unnecessary rant was to say I think I’m pretty much completely and utterly bogged down in trying to learn the basics, which I should have learned years ago. I’ve managed this far just learning the specifics to each book, to each event etc., but even having only come to this revelation a few weeks, trying to get a grasp on the basics, I’m already beginning to find it easier to understand a little bit more every time I read secondary sources etc.

So, I didn’t intend to get into that because I have so many other things I wanted to blog about!

As I said, I have a kitchen all to myself!!!  I’ve been making lots of nice, healthy meals with fresh veg and also baking lots of unhealthy cakes and biscuits! It’s been absolutely brilliant!

I’m bored out of my mind by most of my texts at the moment. The two above mentioned are growing on me (as most texts do once I’ve studied them enough. Hell, I grew to like Thomas Hardy, which for most people who were on the receiving end of one of my ‘I hate Hardy’ tirades would know, this was damn near a miracle) but the two I’m studying in Comparative literature are definitely not. Sir Walter Scott’s Lay of the Last Minstrel is pretty much the bane of my life right now, with it’s equally evil and gore filled sidekick, The Tain. Why, why on God’s earth, would you prescribe these two texts in a level one course for anything!? There’s nothing more likely to put you off a course than bad texts. And these two are bloody awful.

In theology we’re studying mysticism, Sufism for the last two weeks, but now moving onto female Christian mystics, where I’m once again realising I know practically nothing about religion. Our lecturer today said twice, about two different saints ‘you must all know saint such and such by now…’, while I sat silently shaking my head and weeping. I’m seriously going to struggle with these topics. I’m considering buying ‘an idiots guide to Christianity’. (when I suggested this to my friend she brilliantly replied ‘isn’t that called the bible?’. While as a theology student I should not condone this blatant religion bashing, I have to admit I was pretty impressed…)

I’m going to have to do some serious secondary reading this term.

I realise I’ve gone on for ages, but I’ve got so much to talk about right now!!

I’ve been out to a few different things while catching up with friends, a literature pub quiz, an LGBT launch night, a few nice lunches, I tried sushi for the first time and loved it!

I’ve also developed a complete obsession with Sarah Waters, which I’m sure I’ll bore you all to death with by the time I’ve finished her novels and watched all the adaptations and described each one in minute detail. I’m turning into a fangirl. *gushes*

Anyway, I’ll stop writing now, even though there’s loads I still want to say. I think this may be the longest post yet. I’m not sure whether that’s a good thing or not…. I’ll let you decide I guess. If it’s as poorly written and boring as I fear I’m sure you’ll have stopped reading by now. Or have zoned out completely as I’ve done every time I’ve started reading The Tain. I could be saying anything right now.  Pineapple.

Right stop Jennifer, you’re going insane.

Bye guys!

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The end of my first year at University.

16 May

Well, my first year at university is now over. It’s been both the best and worst year I’ve experienced for a multitude of reasons. So much has happened and yet I’m still sitting here wondering how the hell a whole year’s passed without me noticing.

 

I’ve been wondering what I should say in this post, how can I summarise exactly how much this year’s changed me, made me stronger and at the same time pointed out my flaws. I still don’t know how to do this.

 

I guess that’s not a surprise though, in fact I’d say it’s been the trend throughout my first year here – not having the slightest idea what to do.

 

I don’t regret for a minute my decision to go to Glasgow. Yes, it’s been terrifying and at times I’ve doubted if it was the right things to do, not because I wasn’t sure about this as a career move but because I’ve felt so lost, isolated, overwhelmed and inadequate. Plenty of times I’ve been so close to giving up, falling apart and just running back home. Once or twice I’ve done so. But I got right back up, forged through the worst bits and finally started to enjoy my experience at University.

 

Sure, I’ve made a lot of mistakes – I’ve not handled situations as well as I would have liked to, I’ve done things I’m not proud of, things I should have known better than to do, I’ve spent too much time wrapped up in myself, I’ve lost friends I thought I’d have forever, I’ve let people down, at times I’ve forgotten who I was and tried to be who I thought I should be.

 

But in the end, I’ve gained more than I could have imagined. I’ve gained freedom. Freedom in myself, I think, freedom to live my life on my own terms. Freedom to make choices that, even though they may not end well, are still my own. Freedom to chose who I want to have in my life and who I don’t want. Freedom to do what I think’s right, not what I’m being told to think. Freedom to think.

 

With regards to my course work, being given the freedom to explore new ideas, to hypothesise, to prove myself right, or more likely wrong, to explore my own beliefs, in all my subjects. It’s been an eye opening year, realising that learning, or what I’ve taken for learning at secondary school level, is just one interpretation of a vast array of meanings. I would never have thought that it was even possible to learn like this, to learn by just thinking things through and seeing if you can agree with it.

 

During my last two years at school I noticed a shift in the way I learned things, more emphasis was put onto understanding at least the basics of an idea, not just spouting off a list of points. But at this level of study there’s no place, at all, for memorising bullet points or making strange mnemonics. Everything you learn is open to interpretation. Everything you learn is interpretation. You can’t just rely on knowing something; you’ve got to be able to analyse it, understand, question and deny things which, if you’d been given it at secondary school you’d have taken for fact.

 

Trying to learn this way has been one of the hardest parts about my course this year. It’s like trying to undo six years of classes and take a whole new perspective on, well, everything. But even after just one year I’m beginning to appreciate why this is a better way to approach not just my course, but learning in general. Too much emphasis is placed on examinations and answering questions in school, to the point that even subjects such as English and Religious studies could be past if you memorised enough facts and bullet points and put them together into coherent sentences. Now I’m learning things I know I’ll remember just by thinking it through, rather than forcing it into my memory like I’ve done for the last six years. It’s given me a confidence now in my own work that I’ve never experienced before.

 

I guess it’s this confidence, not just in my work but in myself and in my relationships with other people, that’s been the biggest benefit of this year. It’s completely changed me. I trust my own opinion now, whereas I was always doubting myself and seeking validation from others before this experience. I have the confidence now to face difficult situations without crumbling. I can handle the bad parts of this year because I have, for the first time, a confidence in myself that, no matter what has happened, or will happen, I’m strong enough to get through it.

 

So, although it’s been hard, and will only get harder, I think this has been a good start to my University career, and my ‘adult’ life. It’s not been plain sailing but I doubt I’d be the person I am now if it had been, and I doubt I’d have the resilience I do now when faced with tough situations if I hadn’t had the experience this year has brought me.

 

I guess what I’m trying to say is that, even though it’s been hellish in parts, I’ve had the chance to meet new people, try new things, become a new person and learn to respect myself.

 

But I still haven’t figured out how to use a semi-colon.

Doubt : On God

1 Mar

Image

I’m not sure about anything anymore.

I feel like someone’s come along

And replaced the floor

With Jelly.

I feel like I’ve lost all stability

I feel like I’ve lost all the pieces of reality.

I don’t know anymore.

I just don’t know.

Perhaps I should have just let it go?

Perhaps it would be better to forget,

Better to pretend.

Put to an end

This doubt.

Doubt

That’s changed

Everything.

Perhaps it would be best

To put an end to this quest

To find truth? Any truth at all?

Perhaps it’s better to just let you fall.

Someone should exist purely to stop me ranting on this blog. It’s for the good of all man kind.

1 Mar

**A little warning that this post does talk about some sensitive issues, primarily abortion. If you’re not comfortable, then I’m afraid this isn’t for you. **

Also, I’m really sorry mum and dad! I know you’ll read this and, yes, I have talked about sex, masturbation and blow jobs…. Don’t hate me. 😦 (It’s in a philosophical context! I’m allowed!)

Okay, so I know I’ve been a bit crap with posting on here lately. I have no excuses really, just way too much on my plate. I’ve been completely over run with essays and, as per, my organisational skills have been absolutely crap. I have one more to go and I’m proud to say that, despite it not being due for over a week, I’m halfway through it. To be fair, if I had finished it the day it was set I still couldn’t have made up for how atrocious the first three were,as far as time management goes. I’m hoping I’ve done all right on them, but I’m going through the traditional ‘Oh my god, that was the worst essay I’ve ever written, I’m going to fail Uni and become a poetry reciting busker’ routine. (I can’t play any instrument very well, by the way, which may help to explain the poetry. Also, I like poems…)

Anyway, Philosophy was a nightmare. But then it always is. I’m pretty sure everyone’s predicted the upcoming rants on this semesters main Philosopher already, but I’ll save you from that for a little bit longer. Anyone fancy having a guess who it is? I’ll give you a clue, he’s an absolute pain in the arse (but to be fair, that would describe every philosopher that ever walked the planet. Ever.) and he wrote a book about Socrates. (Who I actually adore for some reason. Perhaps his ability to troll the life out of every conversation?) Well, the essay was on abortion, which is quite a controversial topic and something I haven’t really given much thought to. I had kind of hoped that after studying it in so much detail I would be able to make my mind up about how I felt about it but I’m still not sure.

I can kind of reason with myself that either pro or anti abortion would be a good stance to take but then I think of all the arguments against that argument and I just can’t find a reasonable reply to them. I think that writing an essay on it has actually just made me more confused as to my own opinion, it’s given me a lot of arguments but hasn’t lead to an answer which I’m comfortable with.

How can you say that it’s right to kill, or ‘let die’ a child that has done no wrong to anyone? But then, can you really define a foetus as a child? At what point does it become a ‘life’? 12 weeks? 10? A lump of cells? The argument that a child has a life from the moment of conception really doesn’t sit right with me. That’s like saying that sperm has a ‘life’ and how would that work?

I mean, I know that for certain people of the Catholic religion they’re often against contraception for this reason, that it’s stopping a child from being born, that it’s essentially killing it. (I know that there are many other reasons why some Catholics, and people of other religions are against contraception, I’m not trying to make that argument sound unreasonable by pointing out only that fact. To be quite honest, the argument itself does more to sound unreasonable than I ever could.)

Another interesting, if a little crude, point that I’ve came across is that if you can reasonably say that sperm is a life, could you say that giving someone a blow job was cannibalism? I mean, I know no reasonably minded person would think that, but where exactly do you draw the line? If you can’t use contraception because it prevents sperm from reaching, or at least having the potential to reach an egg, does that mean that masturbation would mean the same thing? Essentially, you’re ‘wasting’ life the same way you would do if you used contraception.

So no, I don’t agree with the idea that a child has a life from contraception, because I don’t see how turning from a sperm/egg into a blastocyst simply by multiplying out your cells can make the difference between having a life, and therefore a right to life, and not. (Yes, I DID learn, and remember, something in Human Biology!) So, because I don’t know how to define having a life and not, I can’t say it’s ok to have an abortion at an early stage but not after a certain time. It’s not okay at any point if I take that route, because the foetus could ‘develop’ a life at any point.

But then, I’m not comfortable with this either. I don’t like the idea that if a woman has been raped she should be forced to keep the child of her rapist when she is not at fault and not responsible for the baby. Or if the mother’s life is at risk. Or for another reasonable and just explanation. And I am fully in support of the fact that a woman should have the rights to her own body.

But then, shouldn’t the baby have the right to life? And wouldn’t that be more important? And, actually, something that’s not talked about as much as I thought it would be: Don’t the fathers have some sort of right? I mean, say that a woman and man are trying for a baby, conceive, but then she decides she doesn’t want it? Or worse, decides to abort the baby deliberately to hurt the father, something I know has happened on too many occasions? Does the father have no rights to his child? I mean, a father has equal rights when the child’s born, does the fact the mother’s carrying it make them any less relevant?

Oh dear. I’ve just stopped typing to remember what I was doing…. It was definitely not this.

So, I’ve went WAAAAY off track here. Erm, was not meant to go on an abortion rant. Right, well, so Philosophy essay was clearly destined to be rubbish. If I don’t have a clear opinion I can’t argue for or against it. English, I’d like to hope, went slightly better. It was about gender roles in Hamlet and Orlando and, although I was incredibly panicked at first, I managed to settle into it, and almost understand half of what I wrote. By about 4 o’clock the morning it was due in.

My last essay is for theology and I was going to go for either ‘Describe the Caste system in Hinduism.’ or ‘How can Hinduism be understood as the world’s oldest religion?’ but I decided that after not doing so well on my essay as I’d have liked last semester, I thought I’d do something different and go with the outrageously vague question, giving me a bit of scope to put my own spin on it. So, I’m writing now about ‘what it means to be Hindu’.

I’m quite enjoying it actually. I can either go two ways with it. One would be to describe as many of the key concepts as possible without going into too much depth, say a paragraph each, and the other would be taking three or four of the key, key concepts and be really detailed. I’m not sure what would be best. I could do both of them easily enough now that I’ve taken so much notes. (23 pages for a bloody essay!!!! I’m losing my mind) I’m not sure though, that with it being such a vague question I could really link just 3 or 4 and manage to answer it fully enough. But then, I also don’t know if I can put enough detail into the other option to be able to get a better grade. I could try and find a middle ground, but I have no idea where that would be.

Yeah, I get that you probably zoned out after reading that crap about an essay you’re not having to write/read so I’ll quit that rant too. Hmm, what else? I guess it’s been a hard few weeks. A lot has happened to make things unreasonably difficult. I had a pretty bad fall down two flights of stairs. Actually, that’s a lie. I had a pretty bad fall down one set of stairs. Then I tried to stand up, lost my footing and flew down the other one. I’ve ended up black and blue, again. My hip’s still gross and swollen. (’cause obviously you all wanted to know that). And it means I’ve been hobbling all over the place, which has not been fun. I’ve become addicted to facebook games, which is really not healthy. I just can’t stop! Oh yeah, I’m still unreasonably obsessed with vegetables!! I don’t think any of my ‘I will be healthy and eat good things and lose weight and exercise and stop eating beetroot’ have lasted this long!! Hopefully it’s a good sign! Yeah, I’ve also been reading HP fanfiction again. I feel like I’m betraying everything good about literature by doing this. In fact, I feel like I’m betraying myself, cutting out my soul a word at a time. But I’m allowed. It’s been an awful few weeks for numerous reasons and if I’ve succumbed to my weakness of slashy goodness then I’M ALLOWED. DON’T JUDGE ME. (**Edit** I’ve been told this is ‘gibberish’ so for those of you who are obviously not cool enough to know, hp fanfiction is Harry Potter stories written by fans about what happens after Deathly Hallows or a different spin on canon (Rowling’s plot). And slash is between same sex pairings. Some of them are actually quite good. Ok, they’re all right. Well, I mean, they can be good if you like that sort of thing. Look, I like them, STOP LOOKING AT ME WITH YOUR JUDGEMENTAL EYES.)

I actually stopped writing this post earlier to go to a debate at the QMU, which was really good! But now I have no idea or motivation to rant to you all any more! Well, I guess you had a lucky escape! I will post again soon. Yes, I will. I will. I’ll try. Ok, bye! Image

P.S. a friend sent me this photo. It is an incredibly accurate portrayal of my life.

**I AM NOT A POEM** ;) Am I being too subtle?

8 Jan

It’s been a while since I’ve actually ‘blogged’ anything on here other than poetry and while I’d like you all to think that this is because I’ve had far more interesting things to be occupying my time with, it blatantly isn’t. So all I can do is apologise, for what must be the millionth time for this now, and promise I’ll write again sooner! (Brilliant use of the English Language right there.)

But you see, I’ve found myself in a bit of a conundrum with this blog lately. I’m kind of writing two blogs in one, which is never a good idea. I love both parts of it, writing ( ie. whinging) about my day (or week (Okay, month)) and all the things that happen, and writing poems and (hopefully soon, although I also say this all the time, but I actually mean it this time. Really. I promise. **crosses fingers behind back**) short stories.  However, I know that the people who read this are split into two main groups, one group read my poetry and don’t want to put up with my every day life drivel, while another group, mostly friends and family, actually want (for some unfathomable reason) to read about what I’ve been up to, and don’t want to read my poor attempts at being poetic.

Now, I’ve been trying to work out how to fix this. Should I make a sign or a picture or something to differentiate between different posts? No, too difficult, and confusing for myself. Should I make my blog two columned to show the different parts separately? Again, no. Should I have a separate blog for one and the other? Absolutely not, way too difficult. And then I came to the conclusion that a couple lines in you would be able to tell for yourself anyway so I’m overcomplicating. Still, I feel kind of guilty that you would waste your time looking at poetry when you don’t want to read it, or vice versa, so if someone wants to leave a comment with ideas, that’d be grand!

Now, back to business. You can all probably see that my writer’s block, at least regarding poetry, has been well and truly booted. I have been writing non-stop for days now without once having to suppress the urge to stab my dictionary to death with my fountain pen. Yay! My short story writing is coming along too, if a little slowly. I have slightly less vague ideas, several plans, and about two pages of a couple of them written. So, again, Yay!

The last time I posted was before Christmas. Oh, last year. Oops. Now I feel guilty… Anyway, I can’t remember what I wrote about and don’t have internet access at the moment, so I’m winging it and hoping I hadn’t said I’d write something and forgotten it.

Well, my holidays have been good, mostly quiet with a couple of hectic, drunken nights and a few rows thrown in. Typical Christmas really. Santa was good to me, but not as good as I was to myself before hand, going mad on Amazon and coming home to find my mum staring in annoyance at a knee high pile of books, wondering how the ‘couple’ I’d warned her might be delivered home turned into a couple dozen. Again, oops.

New Years was great too. I went out this year, for the first time, on New Years Eve, and I’m proud to say I stuck to my pre-New Years resolution and didn’t drink as much as I’d expected. After Black Friday, I’d promised myself never to drink again. Ever. Okay, so I only kind of kept my resolution, but I did try!

I think the Friday before Christmas is probably the drunkest I’ve ever been. I’m not planning on turning this blog into a diary of my drunken escapades, so have no fear. I will, however, make a pledge to never drink Vodka like water again, never drunkenly confess my deepest secrets to my ‘new best friend’ (who has actually turned into a good friend), never consume so much alcohol my legs become completely useless, never lose my I.D and find it in my shoe the next day, never eat donnor meat, ever again, and never, ever, ever, fall asleep next to a basin of my own vomit and then roll over. I may be scarred for life.

I don’t want you to get the wrong impression, I’ve NEVER been that drunk before, and once in a lifetime is more than enough. I think I’ve scared myself out of doing it again, to be honest, because I’ve had my first experience with black outs and memory loss. This is something I never want to experience again. Waking up in the morning, wondering what the hell you’d done on the walk/drive home is not a good sign. Not to mention, I could have gotten myself into a lot of trouble.

So, other than that, I’ve had a great holiday. I’m so looking forward to 2012. I’m determined to see it as a fresh start. I’m going to start getting out more, and make more of an effort to be social, I’m going to keep ahead of my course work, I’m going to write at least a dozen short stories and I’m going to bloody well be on time for my blog posts!

A belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!

Jen

P.S. I have a couple more poems to go up tonight! Keep an eye out for them. If you want…

You know you’re a student when…

21 Dec

So, while trying to write a poem about student life, I thought I’d make a list of things that make you feel like a student…

You know you’re a student when…

  • your hair straighteners are used not to straighten your hair, but to iron your clothes.
  • you can no longer afford toilet paper and stealing from the Unions has become perfectly acceptable.
  • you have an endless to-do list but Scrubs, drinking and sleeping take precedence.
  • the dirty washing on your floor passes the ‘sniff test’ even after Three Days.
  • your fire alarm goes off and your hangover tells you, burning to death is preferable to leaving bed.
  • mince, tomato sauce and rice are the constituents of your fanciest dinner of the month.
  • you sneak handfulls of sauce sachets out of the restaurant in your bra.
  • there’s no clean spoons so it’s acceptable to stir your tea with a pen.
  • after using your chopping board the underside is dirtier than the top.
  • being sober for more than four days feels physically painful.
  • cheese is expensive but cheap Vodka is not.
  • the Primark Onsies alleviate any need for central heating.
  • loan day is more exciting than Christmas.
  • you use a vodka bottle as a rolling pin and a shot glass as an egg cup.
  • you have frozen veg in the freezer that’s never actually eaten just used for injuries.
  • you see the sell by dates as a challenge rather than a warning.
  • you stick your slippers back together with duck-tape.
  • it’s too much effort to microwave beans and make toast, so you start eating beans on bread.
  • you hoover the table before you wipe it
  • anything before noon is considered early
  • 6am is when you go to sleep, not when you wake up.
  • you realise anything can be cooked in the microwave.   **(except chicken!!!!)

I don’t know why you’d want to know this, but it’s here anyway…

17 Dec

So, THREE people now have told me off for not having an ‘about me’ section. My response is always, ‘who the hell would want to read about me’ before I realise that they’re reading my blog… Then I fall back on my claim that my about me page would be a sentence, at most, as I have nothing decent to say about me. And one of my lovely new friends who I’ve met on here, Janet Burns<<(If you’re reading this, I hate you for making me do this), decided not to take that as an excuse and has sent me a list of questions to answer. So, for anyone who’s interested, (WHY?!?) here it is…

 

**Okay, so I feel a MASSIVE apology is due for posting this on here. I saw the length of the list and thought a couple of glasses of wine with my friend there to discuss them with would actually help. Turns out when I read this again in the morning, drowning myself in tea and staring regrettably at the two empty bottles, this was a BAD idea… My grammar, spelling and answers in general are atrocious. I would just delete it, but I think a couple of the questions, though badly put, are actually quite nice to keep. As I said earlier ‘It may be drunken nonsense, but it’s true drunken nonsense’. **

 

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Not my first name, but my middle name is Catherine, after my Granny Rena.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? On Monday when I was sitting at two in the morning surrounded by notes on Much Ado About Nothing and realised I was probably going to fail English, drop out of Uni and become a busker, then I realised I couldn’t play guitar or accordion (instruments which I seem to associate with busking), so I would just end up being a plain old bum. 😥 Ok, so I wasn’t in the best of moods…

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? What a strange question. Yes, I do, because it is illegible to everyone but me. It’s like secret code.

4. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? No! I had them removed when I was wee. I remember getting to play in the kids bit, but I was too shy to go talk to the other kids, and I just sat with my doll, Petal, and made little people out of pegs…

5. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? What? Why would I do that? That’d just mean I had to tie them again when I want to put them on.

6. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? If they have eye contact, and if they smile.

7. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? Well, this is probably the easiest to answer. A lot of things. Particularly? My lack of confidence, my looks, my fainting, my self-doubt, my squint smile. I could go on forever, but I think you get the picture.

8. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Um, embarrassingly enough, it’s Aqua, Doctor Jones. It’s part of my ‘cheer the f*ck up’ playlist on youtube. Don’t Judge Me.

9. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Why would I want to be a crayon? Black.

10. FAVORITE SMELL? The Butcher’s (as in the shop, not the people, although I’m sure butchers smell good too.) I love the smell of raw meat.

11. IF YOU COULD SIT DOWN TO DINNER WITH FIVE LIVING PEOPLE WHO WOULD YOU CHOOSE? 

The Dalai Lama (His laugh makes my insides melt. Also, I would like to ask him whether the chicken or the egg came first)

The Pope (He’s be an interesting dinner date. Wonder if I’d manage not to offend him greatly. Probably not)

Nic Vujicic (If you’ve not heard of this man, you should. He’s one of the most inspiring people on the planet)

J.K Rowling (Who wouldn’t want to know the woman who invented Severus Snape??)

Alan Rickman (I would sell my soul to this man. I’d just spend the whole of dinner staring in awe, and wondering how I could get him naked. His laugh also makes my insides melt.)

Also, I’m going to cheat and say Stephanie Meyers, ’cause I have more than a few choice words for her…

12. IF YOU COULD SIT DOWN TO DINNER WITH FIVE DECEASED PEOPLE WHO WOULD YOU CHOOSE? 

My granny and papa (they count as one person… Because I’ve never had the chance to meet them and I just want to know if they’d approve of what I was doing with my life and if they were still watching me. Also, I’d like to know if I really did see my granny’s ghost when I was little. My mum thought I had a imaginary friend who I’d sit and talk to called ‘the lady’ (clearly I was inventive..) but one day my dad was showing me pictures and I pointed to one of my Granny when she was younger and said ‘look, there’s the lady’. My mum’s now convinced she was visiting me from heaven.)

Jesus (what a cool dude. Who wouldn’t want to have a conversation with big J Chrimbo? (I’ve been referring to him as that in my theology notes.) )

The Buddha (Obviously, I have a million questions for this man. Also, he too is super cool)

Jane Austen (I REALLY NEED TO KNOW WHY SHE WROTE MANSFIELD PARK!!!! Why, Jane, Why?? Fanny Price destroyed my soul.)

Hitler (I just think it would be interesting to have a snap shot into evil. And I’m too afraid to invite the devil to tea)

Also, Elvis would be nice, but as he’s obviously not really dead….

13.HAS ANYONE EVER SAVED YOUR LIFE? Yes. Numerous people. Most notably, Sarah, my friend stopped me fainting in front of a car the other week. Also, Pamela has no doubt prevent my demise in several ways by now. Oh, my teacher Miss M, though she doesn’t know how, and I don’t think I’m ever going to tell her! But she did. And thank you, by the way, for doing it.

14.NAME FIVE PEOPLE THAT HAVE INSPIRED YOU.

Okay, so I’ll again have to list Nic Vujicic. I’ll try and link >Here< to his site.(YAY! It worked! I’m a technological genius!!) He’s amazing.

Erm, Pamela Dutch, who I don’t think reads this blog but she has been one person in my life who has inspired me in so many ways. She’s had such a lot to deal with and has always been so strong about it. Also, she’s always got some wacky idea for me to write about. I’d love to spend a day in her brain, but I doubt I’d survive such genius.

My mum and dad (again, count as one person) ’cause they just get on with things, nothing ever stops them doing what they have to do for me and Bethany.

Um, probably the buddha, though it’s a bit of a cop out answer. It’s true, with out him and his teachings my life would be far duller. Far simpler too! But that’s not necessarily a bad thing!

Finally, I’d have to show my incredible geekiness here and surprise no one by saying that the people I’ve got the most inspiration from is my teachers. That’s a bit general, I know, but every teacher I’ve had, right through from primary school have done more to inspire me, in class, and in life, than anyone else. I know that being a teacher is one of the most difficult jobs and I admire anyone who dedicates their lives to teaching others. It is, ultimately, what I want to do with my life, and I want to do it because I know that without my teachers, all of them, I would never have made it to where I am. If I hadn’t had not only the learning, but the support my teachers have offered me, then God only knows where I’d be right now. If I could be to one person what my teachers are to me, then it would validate everything I’ve been through up to now, and everything I’m going to go through to get there. I think that, although every teacher has ‘inspired’ me, there have been a few, four actually, who have done more even than this.

Three of them I was lucky enough to spend the majority of last year with, but the first was my P2 teacher, Miss R, who sadly moved to Canada, breaking the hearts of many doting school children. She was fantastic and SO encouraging. I think she really helped boost the confidence of everyone in her classes and, though I didn’t realise it at the time, she actually was the first person to introduce me to meditation, through our class ‘quiet time’ which was in fact just a guided ten minute meditation. These were meditations with a twist though, as she made a point, during each one, to have us do something creative, imagine ourselves in a far away place, make a picture on a blank canvas and the like. It was really a great year, my favourite in primary school actually, even though I was a bit young to actually remember everything properly! The other three, anyone who was with school to me can easily guess.

My English teacher Mrs J, was absolutely great. She helped me so much when it came to my course work, even just sitting chatting to me about the novels we were studying when she offered me sanctuary in her room when I was ill due to my fainting. She also helped a LOT in building my confidence with my writing, she was the first teacher I had, (save my second year teacher, who actually is on this list) who took an interest in my writing, praising it and offering valuable criticism and help and wouldn’t let me get away with thinking of it as crap.

The second is Miss M, who is absolutely fantastic. I honestly can’t think of anyone who has helped me progress more in English, both in my critical abilities of analysing and writing but also with my creative writing too. More than that though, she was always there if I needed her, just to rant to or, as with several occasions, have a good cry and then be told everything will be all right. As I’ve said above, she has done so much more for me than she could realise and honestly has inspired me by just being there and being so kind and nice and lovely and I’m going to stop now before the sickly sweetness of this makes me vomit.

Okay, lastly, but not least, is Mrs C, who was my guidance teacher at school and who helped me through a RIDICULOUS amount of stuff at school. She was just brilliant. I can’t even describe how much I owe this woman, and how I honestly would not have managed without her. So, she’s inspired me with that and also by somehow managing to be every where all at once and handle everyone’s problems and be everyone’s guardian angel without even seeming to break a sweat. God only knows how she manages it, I still hold onto my belief that she’s either learned how to time travel or there’s actually three of her.

I know that nobody who reads this actually knows these teachers, but I couldn’t have answered this question without mentioning them, as they have inspired me more than anyone else. Also, I got to cheat and say four people in one by just saying teachers. 🙂 I’m a jammy git, I know.

Now, the rest of the questions are… interesting? If I’ve managed to answer any of them legibly by the time I post this, be VERY impressed.

  1. Which is worse, failing or never trying? Failing, but honestly, I have such a fear of failing, I’d probably just never try.

  2. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do? Life is too short because of these things, not the other way round.

  3. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done? I will DEFINITELY have more said than done.

  4. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world? Probably, people’s opinions. I think if I could change one person’s opinion then it would be amazing. Oh, also death, poverty, sickness and all that jazz.

  5. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich? Reading EVERYTHING. And listening to people, anyone really, but especially really old people with things to say that actually mean something.

  6. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing? I’m trying to… Maybe not succeeding as well as I’d like.

  7. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently? I would spend more time doing nothing. I think nothing is something we don’t do often enough.

  8. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken? Not much, but I think that’s changing.

  9. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things? Doing things right, even though I know that’s wrong.

  10. You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire.  They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend.  The criticism is distasteful and unjustified.  What do you do? I wonder why I respect them in the first place. And ask them to stop, politely. *cough cough*

  11. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be? Remember that when you think you’re always right, you’re generally always wrong, and when you think you’re always wrong, you’re generally always right. And when in doubt, ask mum. Or Wiki.

  12. Would you break the law to save a loved one? Yes, without hesitation.

  13. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity? Yes. Pamela Dutch, although I do still see insanity…

  14. What’s something you know you do differently than most people? I wash my hands before going to the toilet, as well as after.

  15. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy? Don’t start a question with ‘how come’.

  16. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?  What’s holding you back? Told someone a secret I have that I’ve never told anyone before. Myself.

  17. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of? Yes, I am. I think my belief in God and Christianity fits into this category, but I just can’t seem to just stop justifying it, even if I’ve stopped believing it.

  18. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why? India, I think. Or China.

  19. Do you push the elevator button more than once?  Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster? No. Who the hell thinks that?

  20. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton? Worried genius. Happiness is not happiness if you don’t understand why you’ve got it, who caused it and how to keep it. Only a genius knows that.

  21. Why are you, you? Because I am not really me. *Search Sunyata, may explain this, as I cannot. Too confusing.

  22. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend? No. I wish I was though.

  23. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you? The latter, it’s happened far too often and you don’t even have an excuse for it.

  24. What are you most grateful for? My family, My friends, Sarah, and Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough icecream.

  25. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones? I have no idea. Both sound awful. I can’t chose.

  26. Is is possible to know the truth without challenging it first? No. Never. Ever. But then, haven’t I just done that by believing this to be truth automatically? Mental.

  27. Has your greatest fear ever come true? Yes, but someone important stopped it before the consequences broke everything.

  28. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset?  Does it really matter now? Yes, and Yes, but only because I get to laugh and realise I’m better than that now.

  29. What is your happiest childhood memory?  What makes it so special? My sister falling into a pile of poo at a farm, and obviously because it was HILARIOUS.

  30. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive? When I was first told by Mrs J, my English teacher, that a story I’d submitted was good. Genuinely could have floated over the moon that day.

  31. If not now, then when? Later, if I can be bothered.

  32. If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose? Everything, and nothing. See, I can be vague too.

  33. Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever? Yes, actually, most Thursdays last year.

  34. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars? Religions don’t people do.

  35. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil? No. There’s always a grey area.

  36. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job? I don’t have one, so no. But IF I DID and it was being a teacher than no, not for all the tea in china. (I don’t even like tea… Ah, the power of the cliché)

  37. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing? The latter, I love being busy. Even if I don’t like what I’m doing, I’d rather be doing that than nothing.

  38. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before? Parts of it, yes.

  39. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in? I refuse to answer this question. It’s just horrible.

  40. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today? Well, I’m already with my family, so I would have to say I would try and visit the people on the list I wrote above who’ve inspired me and thank them. I’m sure in the Dalai Lama’s last day he’d be happy to waste it with me… 

A statue, not a meditating dwarf

21 Oct

I’m afraid to say that the threat I made last week about spending the entirety of this post whinging may end up being carried out. I’ve spent the entire morning, while walking about the city centre, trying to find positive things to write about. I’ve watched the interactions between parents and their children, I’ve eavesdropped on conversations, I’ve even spent the last hour in Central Station, watching to see if there would be a happy reunion or some such drivel. While I’m not saying that I haven’t witnessed some beautiful, and moving, moments today, I can say that each and every one of them has been proceeded with some dire, depressing occasion, seemingly to occur precisely in order to balance out the happiness of the moment before. The beautiful moment of happiness when the children spot their dad coming out of the office from work is cut short by their mother’s screeching over missing money. The mother finding her young, teenage daughter in the crowded platform, runs joyously up to her, only to be confronted by a bulging belly and a Mothercare bag.

So, my attempts at finding something happy to tell you about has completely backfired and has just depressed me more than I was when I started. You’re just going to have to put up with a rant today.

As I’m sure you can figure out, after my last ditch attempt at finding inspiration for my post, I’ve had a pretty crap week. I’m still loaded with the cold, overdosing on Lemsips and eating far too many Soothers. In fact, it’s been so bad that I’ve had to skip my lectures on Friday. Those of you who know me will know that I do not miss classes. Ever.

I didn’t used to mind skipping classes. I had a lot of health problems and regularly had to take time off from school. Now though, I would never take time off if I could possibly avoid it. I suppose it’s actually because of having been absent so much before that I never miss a class. I used to get told off by a couple of my teachers quite a lot, who were less understanding about my health problems, and used to get called a skiver by my classmates. It completely changed last year though, to the extent that, rather than moaning at me about not being at school, my teachers repeatedly ‘had words’ about me being at school!

The fact that I missed a whole day of lectures speaks volumes about how rotten this cold is. I’m still determined it is a cold. I do not get flu’s!!

Anyway, other than coughing up half my lungs I’ve not had a very interesting week. I’m still struggling with my essays but I’ve now got a whole week to spend trying to get them sorted out. I’ve decided to go home for reading week, it’s my best friends birthday party tomorrow, and my birthday on Tuesday so I’ve managed to convince my self it’s a good idea to drag more than 20 course books all the way down to Eastriggs. I’m absolutely dreading the return journey!

Oh, something interesting did happen! I almost forgot! Well, I found it interesting, anyway. On my way back from the centre shopping on Monday, (only 65 days until the ‘C’ word, oh dear God) I fell over getting off the Subway. That in itself isn’t interesting, just an every day occurrence, however, I had actually tripped over something on the floor which ended up completely weirding me out. (My amazing English skills…) It was a little Buddha on a keyring. (A statue obviously, not a meditating dwarf). This was so strange that day because, for the last year I’ve been seriously reconsidering my religion, and trying to decide if I did, in fact, have one.

I started to do this after Fifth year, having had a very bad time of things for quite a while, I began to really doubt my faith. Up until that point I would have classed myself as a Christian. (Protestant to be precise, and I have to be precise, my family’s from the West of Scotland, enough said.) I had never, up until that point, considered that I could believe anything else, or disbelieve what I thought I did. However, when I started to feel that perhaps things weren’t as clear cut as they seemed to be, I decided to look into religion more, and ended up taking RMPS at higher.

I learned a lot during this class, about my own religion as well as about Buddhism, which, right from the very beginning intrigued me. It was only when I decided to read the bible over the summer that I decided that I could not call myself a Christian as I didn’t really believe in God.

I had been talking to my mum, only the night before I found the keyring, about my increasing interest in Buddhism and had mentioned that I was considering going to the Buddhist temple. She suggested I wait and see how I feel about it when I was a bit more settled.

Now, I’m not really big on ‘signs’ or ‘fate’, it’s all mumbo-jumbo to me, however, my mum seems to think me finding the Buddha keyring was a sign, not mere coincidence, and I’m a little inclined to agree with her. It’s just a bit spooky!

Sorry, I’ve went off track, into the rocky grounds of religion. Well, I don’t think I have too much else to tell you about. I had a very flattering request by an English teacher in Falkirk, who asked if she could show one of my stories to her higher class. She’s also offered to let me bounce some ideas for creative writing off her, and has actually given me a few good ones already, so hopefully they’ll be up here soon. (I know I kind of already promised this last week but I just can’t seem to get over this writers’ block!)

Anyway, I’m going to go finish reading Another Country for English Lit, given it was meant to be read for three weeks ago I figured I’d best get a move on with it! Bye!

*** Oh MY God! I’m tacking this little paragraph on at the last minute because another really weird thing has happened! On my way back from getting my book out of my suitcase, I sat down and jumped right back up, screeching in pain after sitting on a Buddha!!! (Again, a statue…)A little silver statue was sitting in my seat!!!!! I asked everyone around me if it was their’s, or if they’d seen who put it there, but it didn’t belong to them, and nobody had passed!! How weird!! Maybe I should go to the temple soon after all… ***