December 28, 2012 § Leave a comment
Happy Christmas! I am currently in Dublin which has been a lovely change from Scotland; although, it has resulted in the consumption of far too much food. I would not blame Ryanair if they told me I was over the baggage limit – definitely carrying a wee excess since my arrival.
It is not only a time to stuff ourselves silly, open presents enraptured (whether you have a sack-full or one wee thing under the tree) and generally be thankful for our lovely friends and family. It also brings about the idea of a new year looming; a fresh start starts soon. Every year I think of my new year’s resolutions; every year they are pretty much exactly the same thing: get a boyfriend; lose weight; be successful. I think last year I was a little less specific and told myself to seek happiness (clearly I was in a sentimental mood). I think I have achieved two out of three of these resolutions, in some roundabout way or other, whether deliberately or accidentally (apparently dissertations are great for weight loss so small that I couldn’t really notice). We’ll ignore the boyfriend thing…
Anyway, forget this year – being of a rather pensive and internal temperament, thinking of the future is quite important. One of the biggest (or smallest – I’m not sure) changes I can make is to stop reading the Daily Mail TV & Showbiz. I haven’t migrated to their news section (yet) but reading their TV & Showbiz section is not healthy. Usually I read the title, skip the story due to its being poorly written and head straight to the comments which are always funny and often reflect my own views e.g. “Leave the poor woman alone/this is invasive/no one cares”. These are my exact thoughts; yet I find myself on their website, almost daily. Its effect isn’t instantly felt; but I often wonder how nourishing these scathing dissections of ‘celebrities’ lives and bodies can be for my own life and body. Truly – who does care? In short, if I stop reading the Daily shite on that website, then perhaps it will free up some more time to focus on myself and my own… development, basically. All of that time spent on vapid, vacuous websites could (and will) be spent reading James Joyce. So, that is resolution #1.
The second resolution is to buy a bike. Basically, this will be an attempt to become a bit fitter. I have (sort of) conquered yoga: I enjoy it; and I can remember some of the exercises. But cycling will be a nice thing that I can do to and from the library. Plus, Fife has some beautiful areas, especially that surrounding St Andrews, so I should make the most of it and go off on day-cycles.
Write more. Be more creative through writing. I’m taking a Creative Writing module for my final term in St Andrews, so perhaps this will provide ample opportunity for my creative er, juices to start flowing! And who knows, maybe I’ll post them up on here – what a treat! In fact, this resolution should include posting on my blog far more frequently than I do at the moment…
Learn more French. I want to be fluent which is a challenge – quite a big one, actually; my memory seems to be appalling. Seriously, I cannot retain any interesting fact and go blank when asked a question that, really, I should (and do!) know. That is evidently a sign that my memory is not being worked enough. Ooh, perhaps my final resolution should be to take up Sudoku or something similar. CROSSWORDS! Yes!
In brief, my resolutions are as follows:
1) Stop reading the Daily Mail TV & Showbiz
2) Buy a bike
3) Write more: creative writing; on here; poetry, prose, articles, everything and anything.
4) Learn French (ambitious hope is fluency; realistically, buy CDs and a book – and use them!)
5) Start doing crosswords or Sudoku.
Of course, another resolution shall be to read as much as possible; but, really, that shouldn’t need a bullet-point. Happy New Year! x
December 12, 2012 § Leave a comment
Well, it is holiday time for most undergraduates. Hurrah! The new structure of St Andrews’ semester has meant that I receive a whopping seven week Christmas break; pretty jammy. To be fair, most finish at the end of this week or middle of next, so I am one of the lucky few. Whilst such changes have ended in happiness, the actual lead up to now has been less than fun. Numerous Facebook statuses have been published decrying our inhumane treatment; imagine these words being continuously chanted on social media and in our several news publications – “Bring back Reading Week!!!” The exhaustion, the fall in grades – frankly, the only thing I am dreading more than the obligatory weight-gain over Christmas (nice annual present for me, thanks Santa/my own greed) is receiving my grades back. I’ll try not to dwell on such matters.
Amidst all of this upset raging within this small town on the edge of the East Coast, the rest of the world has been (tumultuously) continuing on; they don’t call this place the Bubble for nothing. I feel as though I have been marooned on an island for months and only now have I been brought back to ‘civilisation’ (e.g. Tom Hanks in ‘Castaway’), blinking furiously in an attempt to adjust my eyes to the ‘real world’. And what should I find but this extremely important article written by the founder of the Everyday Sexism project (http://www.everydaysexism.com/):
Well, okay, so I haven’t exactly been in hibernation this whole time; but this story, in my view, must be read. To some, it may not be as pressing as other issues (North Korea; Syria; Gaza and Israel conflict); but it needs to be addressed. These advertisements were produced through a lack of thought and foresight; but they should not be dismissed. The very fact that they were made thoughtlessly and flippantly suggests the ingrained nature of rape culture, one that I think truly does pervade our current culture. What frightens me most are the responses to these articles, the comments that contain people telling everyone to ‘calm down’ (bit like David Cameron then) and asking ‘what all the fuss is about’. Well, the fuss is necessary. Of course it is true that women are finally treated more equally in society now; it is also true that reverse sexism occurs, with misandry arising. Yet this does not mean that there is no place for feminism. As I have mentioned previously in this blog, Caitlin Moran’s marvellous ‘How to be a Woman’ proves the necessity of feminism in today’s world; furthermore, this article in the Independent reveals the need to address the normalisation of misogyny. Read it, pass it on, take it in. We need to learn from this and it needs to change – who knows how.
December 5, 2012 § Leave a comment
Well, it is finally over. The Dissertation is in. I feel a little lost, like there is something missing. For days after handing it in, I kept opening the PDF, skimming my eyes over it pointlessly and somewhat stupidly. Thus far, no mistakes have been noted except for my sudden realisation today (a whole six days after giving it in) that I failed to write my tutor’s name on the cover. I’m sure they will work it out. I know the finished version is not perfect and I am not holding out for a very high mark. Sending it to my parents and my friend Liv (whose dissertation I read over; so I thought I’d redeem the favour) was a good decision because it renewed my enthusiasm and enjoyment of the work. Beforehand I was wallowing in self-pity, considering it with a disdainful eye and truly believing that it was the worst thing I had ever written. But their responses sparked my optimism again; honestly, I am really happy with it. We’ll just see what the markers think…
I promise this will become more interesting once the holidays begin – as of Monday at 4pm!