Archive | Rant RSS feed for this section

Rants and good things.

12 Dec

SO this post will probably end up being a bit of a strange mishmash of thoughts so be prepared for rambling nonsense.

I’m finally free from exams!! I’m so relieved just to have them finished but I’m now dreading the results. I know I’ve done my best and I really don’t think I could have done much more preparation for them as I’ve been revising for months. But I’m still really disappointed in certain aspects of each exam. My English Lit conclusions were awful, and they’re usually the sole salvation of my essays, my comp lit was a bit of a vague push towards a point I didn’t really believe in, so it was probably not at all convincing, and my theology essays were, well, where to start. They were supposed to be on spirituality in the Japanese tradition and in Sufism (Islamic mysticism)… They were actually a rant about how pointless I think flower arranging is and I mentioned (IN SUFISM!!) that I think Jesus would like my wellies. Why, you ask? I HAVE NO FREAKING IDEA. Not only was mentioning Jesus completely off the mark, there wasn’t even a possible link between spirituality in the Qur’an and early Islamic tradition and my wellies. I think I’m doomed.

I’m just trying not to think about them until the results are out. There’s no point worrying over something I can’t change now.

Anyway, I’m now spending a couple of days in bed, catching up on sleep and sorting out some blog/social networking stuff. I mentioned in my last post that I’d received a really mean homophobic message through one of my sites and I now seem to be attracting arguments from either side of the ‘gay’ debate. Not even the ‘gay marriage’ debate, which at least has some point to it. For some reason I’ve attracted some interesting and many insane comments and whatnot so I’m trying to decide what to do about it. As much as I am interested in lgbt issues and occasionally post interesting articles, I would not describe any of my blogs as gay activist or promotion or whatever else people are describing them as, and I’m really struggling to see why I’m attracting so much arguments. And I’m also pretty pissed that so many lgbt people are behaving just as ignorantly as the muppets telling me I’m the spawn of satan.

At some point this week I’m going to write a response/discussion/random airing of my views on all of this and post or link to it on all of my sites, and I’m going to respectfully ask that any homophobic/heterophobic/sexist comments be kept to yourself or else they will be deleted. I don’t like having to do that, I’m a strong believer that you should be allowed to voice your opinion, even if it’s something I disagree with, however there is a time and a place and my blogs/facebook/twitter/whatever is not that. If I had posted a comment or something that in some way started an argument or heated debate then fair enough, but I’d done nothing of the sort and I’m now being sent too many messages, particularly anonymous, vicious and hateful ones which I’m not going to put up with. But I will properly respond to this later on.

Right, so now that’s out of the way, I actually wanted to talk about some stuff.

First off, I’m a bit pissed at a couple of my friends right now, mostly because I don’t really know where I stand with them. One minute we’re really close, the next we’re barely speaking. I don’t know is we’re really good friends or just acquaintances that text/fb chat each other a lot. And I’m getting really really annoyed at the whole one word answers/putting no effort at all into conversations/forgetting I exist when they’ve got someone better to talk to. I’ve got no idea what to do about that, I feel like our friendships right now are completely one-sided and it’s too much hard work for me to keep them going when you’re not even making the slightest efforts. So I’m gonna do the thing I’ve been saying I’ll do for ages with this, I’m going to put in as much effort as they do. No point in me trying if they don’t actually want to speak to me/be friends/ whatever. So expect one word answers, half arsed sentences which invite no reply and pretty much my complete indifference to your life. If you put in a bit of effort, I will too, if you don’t, well, I guess we’re probably both better off out of this friendship completely.

Secondly, what the hell kind of person goes about picking fights on facebook? I have a couple of people I’m friends with (and won’t be just shortly) who are constantly picking arguments over nothing, being mean to people who are just stating an opinion or something and who are turning on other people writing comments that not only make them look like a complete bitch, but also actually turns them into a complete laughing stock and makes them appear completely ignorant about pretty much everything ranging from the issue they’re discussing to just generally being a decent human being. No. STOP IT NOW.

Thirdly, whoever made my washing machine/tumble dryer wants to do one. My washing was in there for a total of FOUR HOURS and it came out still stained and SOAKING WET despite it having been tumble drying for two hours. And no, it wasn’t over loaded it was THREE FREAKING JUMPERS. And it’s making really weird sounds and I’m too scared to use it more than once incase it explodes or comes alive and tries to eat me like it seems to be doing to all my socks. However, I finally manned up and started using conditioner as well as soap powder AND put these pouch things in the drum itself. For anyone who knows how genuinely terrified I am of this horror of a machine, this is one of the bravest things I’ve ever done. Ever.

So that’s some rants that’ve been brewing in my brain today. Here’s some happy stuff – – I’m starting to lose weight, I (mostly) have the best friends in the whole world (Sarah coming to look after me and get me drunk now I’m suffering post exam funk, Heather being amazing stopping me panicking so much, Livvi panicking along-side me, both Lauren’s for just being absolute babes, Kirsty who I’ve only just started talking to again after too long who’s just so ridiculously sweet it’s unreal, Hayley for her useful, constructive and slightly drunk advice on English essays, Kath for being so nice making me hot chocolate and pushing me through the bad bits and Jade buying me flowers, wine and lunch to celebrate my exams being over and just generally being her awesome, lovely self. And everyone I’ve forgot.), I just bought two bags full of vegetables and I’m gonna make soup and curries and stuff to freeze for when I can’t be bothered making an actual dinner but don’t fancy supernoodle sandwiches, I’m planning on spending the next few nights varying between drunken giggling and catatonia, I have so many good books lined up to read that AREN’T COURSE BOOKS YAYAYAY, I have no dishes to do right now, my flat is relatively tidy, I have wellies and icegrips so I’m prepared for the snow/slush/ice that’s forecast, I plan on emailing everyone I’ve been meaning to email, I’m gonna hunt out Mrs J’s spark notes books and return them because FOR THE LOVE OF GOD IT’S BEEN TWO YEARS ALREADY, I have reached level 76 on candy crush saga (a facebook game), I bought loads of new socks so my feet are dead toasty, I got to see my gran, Aunty Lorraine and Uncle Tom last weekend, which was great, I now have time ot start doing my day zero project stuff, I’m overjoyed at the prospect of going home and having my mum there to make me nice food and to eat biscuits (I’m refusing to buy them, they’re too much temptation…), I’ve got almost all my xmas shopping done, I’ve decided to start writing short stories again after stopping for so long, I’ve not fainted in forever, I don’t need to revise, I don’t have essays, I just discovered I’m actually an alright drawer (as in can draw stuff, not that I can store underwear really, really well…) and to top it all off I GET TO SLEEP IN AS LATE AS I WANT BECAUSE THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS EXAMS OR RESPONSIBILITY IN MY LIFE RIGHT NOW! YEEEEES!

Right, well, this is probably the longest post I’v ewritten to date and it’s about complete crap. Yes, my life is so exciting… Bye.

2 Nov

So, I again have nothing much to say here but have ran out of other ways to ‘relax’ and calm down a bit, so you’re all just going to have to put up with me.

Well, I tried. Actually I tried really hard these last few days to get everything back on track. And all things considered I’ve managed pretty well. Even though I don’t think I’ve managed to resolve most of the problems I had at the start of the week, I at least feel like I’m making progress.

This is, mostly, down to other people though. My friends are being so supportive, and I’ve had a couple of really nice messages from people telling me to stop being so down. One in particular, from my ex teacher, pretty much sorted me out. Honestly, it’s been years since she was actually my teacher and she still sorts out all my problems! She’ll be sick of me by now though. And obviously, H and H and H and C and L and B and S and M and K and J and oh jeez, too many people have helped me. So thank you everyone, I’m gonna not be so much of a depressed idiot now.

*********

Right, so, off that topic, I’ve been pretty much dead on my feet yesterday and today after going out for Halloween first to a Rocky Horror Show screening, then for a night out at Polo, arguably the best gay club in Glasgow. To quote my status on facebook:

‘Halloween at Polo is something you need to experience to fully understand…. Been told I look ‘fabulous darling’ half a dozen times, had a stranger pretty much get to second base with my scissor-hands, been used as some sort of scratching post by so many drunk, slutty nuns I’m thinking of converting, and was witness to about fifty or so very flamboyant men in some form of leather underwear or FrankNFurter-esque type get-up attempting to drunkenly do the Gangnam dance… WOW. JUST WOW.’

So, yeah, that pretty much sums it up. Amazing night, if a bit surreal, and the costumes were beyond belief! I was Edward scissorhands, and was pretty good even if I do say so myself. I did look like a bit of a hooker though. And by ‘a bit’ I mean I was wearing a black leather dress, thigh high boots and fishnets…

There’s actually loads I want to rant about, just people in general really, but I’ll save that for later.

Hmm, actually no, I want to complain about someone so I’m gonna.

URGH. I feel like I’m turning into a right bitch, but everyone’s just telling me I’m finally growing a back bone. And I’m not gonna lie, it is about time. I used to be the worst person in the world for letting people walk all over me. Honestly, anyone who really knew me in high school would agree, I was a complete push over. But now when I do stand up for myself a bit, especially with my friend Sarah, I feel great.

Admittedly, with Sarah it’s normally not serious, just joking about, but I think I’ve learnt from the constant abuse I get from her that I can stand up for myself. She’s just got a horrible personality and bullies the crap out of me every waking minute, but I’m now becoming just as bad, and through her insulting me and me insulting her back I am, in a strange way, getting a thicker skin and being able to not only take more crap without becoming far too upset (my biggest character flaw is that I’m too bloody emotional and whenever someone upsets me it’s like the world has ended) but can also just tell someone to fuck off. Which is a new quality, but also pretty useful at times.

Don’t get me wrong, Sarah’s my best friend, and probably my favourite person in the world. But she’s also an arsehole. And I’m sure she’s reading this and will agree with me. There are so many words I could use to describe her, and probably will. And she’d deserve every one of them. But I’ve learnt a lot from her horrible and uncontrollable meanness, and she’s taught me so much in the way of not thinking of myself as some horrible little cretin, mostly because she uses what’s really upsetting me to insult me and makes me face up to it. But at the same time, she never really goes too far either, always just enough to make me go ‘oh yeah, I think that about myself. If Sarah’s saying it, it’s obviously ridiculous and probably not true so I should stop that’. Yeah, so Sarah. Pain in the arse, best friend and general nuisance.

Yeah, so I’m not sure who I wanted to complain about, there’s so many people in my mind. That sounds bad, I’m not particularly thinking of friends or anything, actually the target of my rant would range from Kitty Butler (WHY KITTY? WHY?) to Joseph bloody Conrad. So yeah, I’m just in one of those moods.

Right, I’m gonna go before I offend everyone even more than I probably have. Bye!

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!

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.

Hiding in the wardrobe.

16 May

I’m back! Missed me?

 

I’ve been away longer than I thought I would be, my exams completely monopolised my attention, as per. Anyway, now that I’ve got the whole summer to myself I thought I’d best start by posting!

 

Well, my exams are over! Yippee!!!

 

NO MORE PHILOSOPHY!!! YIPPPEEEEEE!!!

 

Well, I hope there’s no more Philosophy, but if I’ve failed this exam (which is looking increasingly more likely every time I think about it) I’ll need to resit it in August. I’m hoping it won’t be too long until we find out what the results are. I’m really not the most patient sort when it comes to waiting for exam results.

 

Anyway, I don’t feel very confident about any of my exams, but luckily I think my memory has decided to repress them for me. Every time I try to remember them it’s all just one big blur of panic and tears. And hiding in cupboards.

 

I think this last may be a new, unexpected, and worrying ‘coping’ technique. When I was younger I made a den in my wardrobe, curling up on the shelf to read books. I even plugged in an extension cord so I could use a lamp and close the doors, totally sealing myself off. The night before my Philosophy exam found me in the same position. I think it was about ten at night when I went into the wardrobe (which was actually filled with stuff that ended up thrown about my room in the after effects of hurricane Jennifer) and it was about four in the morning before I made it back to my bed without a severe dose of hysteria. For the next two exams I sealed off the wardrobe.

 

I’m not going to write anything more about the exams. As I’ve said, I barely remember them, and I’m sure that’s for the best.

 

What else has been happening in the (really, really) long time since I last wrote, you ask?

 

A whole heap load of nothing.

 

I can’t remember if I mentioned in my last post that I’d taken not well, but I did. I ended up missing a lot of my course. About a third of it actually. It was incredibly daunting realising just how much my health managed to affect my studying. I had to spend a lot longer compensating for it when I was feeling up to it. Most people know by now that I’m really not the sort to let being sick get in the way of my studies, so I’m sure you can figure out for yourselves quite how bad it had gotten this time.

 

So clearly the lest few months have not been my best. Actually the last five months have been one disaster after another. But I’m determined, at last, not to let it get any worse. I can’t change what’s happened so now I’ve just got to get on with it.

 

Starting with trying to get in touch with my friends again. The last little while has been spent in my own little world of panic, denial and self pity, now it’s time to rejoin reality. I’m finally going to get back to my emails, facebooking and socialising, and really it’s about time too.

 

Hopefully I’ll be able to get a job this summer as well! I’ve applied everywhere and I’m just waiting with my fingers crossed now.

 

I’ve not really written much in this post but I have a feeling I’ll be updating at least a couple of times this week, so I promise to make up for it! This is really just a post to say I’m back and sorry it’s been so long!

 

Bye!

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.

Dear Semi-Colon,

12 Jan

 Semi-colons don’t like me. They never have. Not since I offended them, placing them next to a Conjunction. Apparently they don’t get on. Some feud way back when the Colon was the big shot in town. But then the Semi-colon came along, and Grammar has never been the same. The conjunction never forgave the Semi-colon for ousting its friend, the Colon, out of all the good Sentences.

I only made the mistake once, but it was enough for the Semi-colon never to trust me again. Try though I did to make it up to them, putting them between all the best Clauses, they were never satisfied.

They never behaved how they were supposed to after that day. The darn Semi-colons started turning up places I swear I hadn’t put them! Wedging themselves in between unconnected Sentences, sticking themselves to the end of them, even turning up where the Comma used to live! And then, when I put them in between their Clauses, nice and safe, they started running all over the page! Hiding, trying to disguise themselves as Colons!

Well, Semi-colons, I say enough is enough. I’m tired of you and your feisty little friends playing tricks on me. I’m taking over my writing again, and you will stay where I put, or else I’ll leave you off the page and put a Comma in your place! How would you feel then, Semi-colon, knowing you’d been replaced by a measly Comma? You wouldn’t like it, would you? Well, I suggest you remember that the next time you decide to play funny beggars, roaming around my paragraphs like you own them.

**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…

Making grown men cry…

18 Nov

So, obviously it’s only been a little while since I last wrote but a combination of my desire to whinge about stuff, how bad the last post was and being guilt tripped by my friend about not posting often enough, I thought I’d shock everyone to their foundations and get a post out, not only on time, but early!

Okay, I’m sure you’re probably desperate to hear more of the riveting life I’ve been leading… Well, I’ve spent the last few days relaxing, or as my lovely new friend calls ‘Zenning out’. It may be obvious to you that he is a Buddhist, and he replied to a message I wrote on twitter about learning meditation. He’s given me some pretty useful advice so if anyone wants me to put it on her, just leave a comment and I’ll do so!

Anyway, yes, I’ve spent quite a lot of time the last few days attempting to meditate, something I’ve never tried before. Safe to say it was a bit of a nightmare. For those of you who have ever attempted meditation, you’ll probably have experienced the same ‘mind buzz’ that’s plagued me. My brain just won’t shut up! I’m trying to follow the advice I’ve been given though, which includes attempting to ‘unburden my mind’, so here I am doing just that.

Okay, there were a few things I wanted to fit into the last post but, as is my wont, I rambled on for too long to actually say anything I wanted to.

Well, one thing which I had planned to moan about was my misfortune at bumping into a religious campaigner, intent to convert me to some rather obscure branch of a religion. (I’ll refrain from mentioning which religion, in case someone takes offence and think I’m implying that all the folk of this, while obscure, still quite interesting sect are as nutty as this muppet). This man pulled me aside while I was hurriedly rushing down Byers road, laden with four bags of heavy shopping, soaked through from the torrential downpour which had barely calmed down. Apparently thinking that this would be an excellent time to have a theological chitchat, he persistently stepped in front of me, smiling and asking if I truly wished to burn in hell for the rest of eternity. Apparently, answering that at least it’d be warmer than Glasgow was not what he had hoped to hear. As I attempted to side-step him and avoid the argument I knew was about to ensue, he then decided to tell me God would hate me for my sins and for not listening to him, who was God’s holy messenger. Now this I could not pass up.

I think it’s fair to say that, after this comment, I was justified in ‘discussing’ this with the half-witted eejit. So, he proceeded to ‘debate’ God, religion, heaven, hell, wrath, atonement and how ‘God loves you, but if you don’t do what I tell you, he’ll send you to hell and let Hitler, Sudam Hussein, Mohammed and Buddha rape, abuse and mutilate you’.

After this last comment I admit I did actually have to pause and wonder if he really just classed Buddha and Muhammed with Hitler and Hussein. By this point in the conversation I’d pretty much anticipated complete and utter nonsense to come spewing out of the man’s mouth, however this astounded me.

I interrupted him for the first time during out conversation and asked him to explain why the Buddha and Muhammed would do that. His answer?

“The Bible tells us that worshipping other Gods means that God hates you, so yes, eve n the ‘perfect’ (here he felt it necessary to emphasis his disgust by ‘air-quoting’) Buddha would go to hell.”

And why would he be abusing me? Because he’s a man and God made men better than women so even in hell they have the right to do whatever they like to women because women are subordinate and naturally sinful, like Eve. The only way to save yourself was to embrace Jesus, accept you’re naturally sinful if you’re female and donate a whole lot of money to his campaign.

And this is where I thought I should enlighten him (no pun intended) on a few things.

I started by pointing out that Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all Abrahamic faiths, and all derive from the same God. Then Pointing out that Buddhists do not believe in ANY God. Then pointing out that men did far more sinning in the Bible than women. Then pointing out a few reasons why every argument he’d said contradicted itself, taking him by complete surprise by quoting passages of the Bible (more accurately than he did).

When I then went on to politely inform him that attempting to convert someone to a religion, when they know bugger all about it is never a good idea. And it’s an even worse idea to do so on Byers road, where the majority of folks are students that are as equally likely to go through him like a dose of salts for attempting to. By the time I was finished ‘explaining’ why I would not convert to his religion, he burst into tears, stamped his foot on the ground drama-queen style and told me I was the devil incarnate, come to create havoc on earth. I decided my day had significantly improved.

Moving on, some nice stuff has happened too! I’ve spent a lot of time catching up with some old friends and teachers this week. I met a good friend of mine at the English Literature society and we had a blast trading gossip on all our old friends. This weekend I’m meeting up with some friends as well, going for a few (possibly significantly more than a few) drinks as well.

I’ve also been working on sonnets this week. I’ve written one which I was very glad to just finish, but reading it over, I’ve decided it needs some serious reworking. I’ve also got a few ideas for short stories milling about, I’m just trying to get them off the ground. I’ve been getting a bit of feedback on some ideas too, so hopefully I’ll kick this bloody writers’ block and get some things written!

Anyway, again, I’ve gone off track and said bugger all. I’ll behave next time I promise! I’ll post soon! Bye!

“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!