Ok, so this is going to be an entry of EPIC length, because no matter how much I try to get around to updating, I find I'm just too damn busy. In fact, I'm too busy now, but you know, I've handed in an essay and got stuff ready so I can take an hour or so out to write this. I think. I will also write in sections - go thematically. Consider this a dissertationesque entry.
Kids Say The Darndest Things
On Monday, it'll be my fifth week at my primary school placement. The children I'm working with are 6 and 7 and it was obvious from my first morning with them which ones would be the trouble makers, if at all, and which ones would need constant prodding to get them to work now and day dream later.
Got the classroom alpha male (not the sharpest, either, which I find amusing), the classroom 'fairy', the classroom (I hate to say it) wimp, and the little soldier. The little soldier was coming back for the first day on my first day, after a hip-realignment op and is on a walking frame all day. She was back a full 4 weeks prematurely and she does her best with the steps and is easily tired, but she stays all day anyway. She's spunky, too. Had to remind her that when the teacher was joking about what she'd told the children's parents at parents evening that "Miss is just joking. She doesn't mean it" - Little Soldier had got her fists clenched and was ready to defend her friend's honour when the teacher had joked about the friend spitting gum everywhere or something. Sweet.
I love child's logic. My first morning, we were working on non-fiction articles, and learning about the third person. We had to label aspects of the article, saying what the headline was, the sub heading, the paragraphs, examples of third person. I really don't remember learning all this, but they seemed to be doing ok for 6 year olds. Until we reached the issue of the third person. The article was about Labradors. "But dogs aren't people. How can it be third person?" - fortunately, he was asking the teacher who was just checking on all the groups so I did not have to deal with such an astute question. o.O
Just the week before last (it's half term at the moment), the Alpha Male of the group was complaining cause another boy in our group had the same name dinosaur for their activity - they named the dinosaurs themselves, and both boys had gone with the age-old classic, ''Smellysaurus". He told me to tell the boy to stop copying him. I told him to be quite, sit down and to just do his work, pointing out that it's perfectly ok that they'd ended up with the same name, and that perhaps it wasn't the most original name" - Alpha Male gave me a look of pure insolence, pretty much silently saying "You kiddin' me?!" with his eyes. o.O He questioned my authority with his face and ''whatever''s under his breath, whilst all the other students were happy to call me 'Miss' and hope that I had the authority to say ''yes, you can go to the toilet'', when asked.
The Teaching Assistants in my classroom are very helpful and willing to get me to get my hands dirty, so to speak - from leading Maths Feedback to cutting out "6 random lengths of string x 10 bags". Ok, whatever. I won't ask what the hell that is for...
Apparently, though, the Classroom Fairy reported the TA for saying ''innit'' and not ''speaking properly''. This tickled me pink, this did. For starters, I didn't realise people that had lived in Morcombe all their lives said ''innit'' in the same context as someone from outside London, but that this girl at 7 had seriously told on this TA for saying it was just adorable.
I am really enjoying my time at that school, and I hope to get some extra time over Easter, and after my exams. Perhaps even go in for a whole day once all my essays are in. =]
TRIP TO THE ZOO
So yeah, I saw loads of stuff - mostly indoors, cause of the INTENSELY COLD RAIN that Lancaster likes to show off whenever I choose to leave campus for any reason.
Saw gibbons fighting. Blonde gibbon actually finished fighting with Black Gibbon, and then after slumping for a bit, went and poked a second gibbon in the face and then carried on poking him and provoked him into a fight as well. Absolutely amazing. It was like being at home and seeing the Chavs in Linton starting on people on the other side of the street for glancing the wrong way.
So after two days of nursing a cold in bed, my computer decided to crash whilst I was half-way through the second half of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 3 finale. Yes, how inconsiderate. It was about midnight, so I figured I'd just switch the damn thing off and call it a night. The next morning, the pc loaded windows but froze - the screen, anyway. Everything else was working. Slowly, it deteriorated, and I took it to the Computer Man on campus. He looks at pcs and only charges if he's able to fix them.
After a week, he could tell me that my PSU wasn't working - it was powering stuff, but the fan wasn't even turning. Not good.
When I got a new PSU that did work, the processor decided it didn't want to work. When it DID let me load the BIOS so I could sort out the weird fan speed settings, it froze before I could do so, and then it ''over heated'', so you know. That screwed me over. Can't be fixed. So I'm just going to get a new pc. I've got my laptop coming up with my Granddad who's going to the Lakes for a week as he does every year, and he likes to stop by mine on the way home for lunch, so that's what's happening there.
Meant that I have had to do aaaaaall my work on public computers, which has not proved great for my health. I eat less and more poorly. I am often forced to spend hours staring at a monitor that's dark and too shiny and is only 15cm away from my nose. (No, I can't just push the monitor back, it's attached to the weirdass 'modern' tower that is itself screwed to the table :D)
Magical adventures, romances and modernisation
Because I can't just watch stuff on my pc, and I can't do work in the evenings in my room, I've been reading more fiction again :D Yay me.
I read the Spike Milligan version of Wuthering Heights, which has convinced me that the original must be the most DEPRESSING GODDAMN "ROMANCE" EVER. Jeebus.
Then I read Beastly, by Alex Flinn, which is, coincidentally being released as a film this year. It's interesting. It's from Beast's point of view in a very modern Americanised Beauty and the Beast. Good-looking bastard at school thinks that if you want to be anybody or get anywhere in life, you have to be beautiful looking. He gets cursed by a witch (to be played by Mary-Kate Olsen - yes, they're still alive) and he is all fuzzy and claws and teeth and hated by his equally shallow father. In the film, he just goes bald and has weird ass scars and tats all over him. Ugly, but not quite the same degree of ''freaky''. Then again, maybe they only had enough budget to make him look like a 1980s Ewok or something. Ooo get me, a Star Wars reference.
Anyway, he gets a blind tutor, and this maid who's nice to him and a massive house with about 4 stories to himself, since his dad didn't want him around once he realised plastic surgery couldn't fix what his son ''got''. One day, some junkie breaks into 'Adrian's' green house (yes, he still likes roses) and tries to sell his daughter in return for not being reported to the police. Turns out to be a girl that Adrian had been nice to once in his horrible life at school, and he tries to get her to love him in less than a year. It's quite nice and the way he does things is interesting in a modern setting. He rescues her from junkie father's dealers at the end of the book, which is when the curse is broken. Good times. The film will be starring Vanessa Hudgeons (urgh - she's not beautiful in the book, just pretty and a bookworm) and Alex Pettyfer, with Neil Patrick Harris (lol) as the blind tutor.
I read Pegasus by Robin McKinley, as well. It was really good - I've read some people complaining about the 'slow' build up and back story. I found it fairly interesting, personally. I got completely engrossed in the book, and loved the relationship idea between Pegasi (which are a people, in this, though still horses with wings and strange fingers) and the Humans. I was so into it, that I only half noted that as I was nearing the end of the book, and the pages were thinning, I was getting not much closer to a satisfactory resolution. In fact, this is just half a book. I had to flee to a computer lab in order to google that there would be a sequel, cause Robin McKinley just leaves it on a horrible sentence, not wrapping up the strange occurrences, the arguments, or anything! I felt as though I'd had my best friend torn from me - in fact, it felt a little like the way the post-break up numbness wearing off. It was such a cruel way to leave it that I just had to know that there would be a sequel. There will be: 2012. D: !!!! Nyuuuuuu. Too long!
I also reread Virgins of Paradise by Barbara Wood at the same time as Mubarak's fall (coincidence I assure you). So I read the history of Egypt (if fictionised) from the fall of Farouk all the way to Mubarak's rise. I joked on facebook that since Gadaffi made a speech in Egypt in the book, he must be due to fall as well. And now Libya's all over the place and Benghazi has been liberated from Gadaffi's rule. o.O It's all very exciting, I must say. Bit worried about the spill-over to Palestine and Israel, though. That's just a whole different kettle of fish. (Cliché ftl.)
I also read Night Dance by Suzanne Weyn, another in that Once Upon A Time series. It's... ok. I loved the Twelve Dancing Princesses book that my primary school library had. Most taken out book in library history, I think. This version mixes with Arthurian legend (and gets some of it wrong - The Lady of the Lake was NOT the sister of Lady ''Ingraine'' - it's Igraine. Get it right). There is also a pretty bad typo, where Morgan Le Fay says something about ''Vivienne's brats'' but it's attributed to Vivienne herself. Either way, it's got a mediocre ending, and I felt the Dancing Princesses part was rushed a bit - it's a short story, sure, but perhaps too much of the back story and Arthurian padding took too long.
I then read A Kiss In Time, also by Alex Flinn. It's based on Sleeping Beauty. It's told by both "prince" and Talia (she's not called Aurora in this one), princess of Euphrasia, a little country next to Belgium that disappears off the map for 300 years because of her stupidity in getting her finger pricked. It's modernised, again, with 17th-century princess being flung into the 21st century world and getting into scrapes and living (temporarily, to start with) with Jack, the youth who kissed her cause she was "hot". He'd only found her cause he and his friend were on a boring tour around Europe and they were looking for a beach. He's shallow, tired of living to his parents expectations and plans which weren't interesting to him. Talia, used to talking to everyone and knowing how to draw out interesting conversations without televisions or books or anything modern that is dominating our lives today, manages to bring about communication improvement between Jack and his family, and to draw out the best in he and his sullen sister, who is also unable to communicate with others well.
It's interesting reading Talia's 17th-century comments on modern life, and the contrast even between what most people consider beautiful and sexy and that of the fashion industry (she is too busty and curvy to be a model, and is not 'couture', whilst Jack's sister with her 'boy's chest' is perfect). It's all very strange and got me thinking more about fashion and our modern culture. Doesn't mean I'll give up the television and internet of course, but perhaps there really were better communication skills back in the days where it took 2 days to ride a 2-hour bus route. The end is a bit... odd. But it's workable and believable of a young couple who *finally* fall in love and prove it through the test of the witch that cursed her originally, and have to carry on growing up in separate countries whilst maintaining a long distance relationship. I guess.
I also borrowed Flora Segunda of Crackpot Hall from my friend, and it's a good teen book, too. =] I'd write about it, but I can't be bothered now and just want to get to the next bit of this entry.
Vegan Chop Suey
Same friend and I got together at her flat and made a vegan chop suey using her new recipe book. Spinach, noodles, ground ginger, peppers, onions and that. It wasn't great... well, it was nice. Just that the ginger part was perhaps a bit strong, and it was a lot wetter than I'd like my noodles to be. It wasn't exactly a sauce, either. Perhaps if we'd given the drained stuff a quick fry to boil off the excess water. Thank god for the ice cream after, is all I can say.
Then we watched Patrick, Age 1.5 which is a really good, heart-warming Indie film. Yeah, it's in Swedish, and yeah it's about a gay couple with a fairly predictable plotline, but it is genuinely a good film. I bought it on dvd. :D
The Three Pauls
Paul the Deacon is the name of the dude I wrote my first chapter of my dissertation on. I wrote three and a half versions of the first chapter, because Paul The Tutor panicked when I mentioned I wasn't sure whether I should go thematically or chronologically. This was at a point where I would have had over 5000 words done 9 weeks in advance of my deadline. I need 10,000. Can you see my frustration?
Anyway, Paul the Tutor decided, upon reading my three and a half versions, that my original plan (chronolocial) was the best course of action. Ever since then, however, he has been pressuring me to do more work, more research and more writing. He tells me that he is worried about my dissertation. Even when I told him that I'd nearly finished my second chapter and had planned to go time period wise for chapters 2 and 3, since then I'd have compare and contrasting and it'd cement the argument I need to put into my first chapter (which I sense will be rewritten to some extent) and that if I assume that a conclusion and introduction = 2000 words, I'm well over half-way there, anyway.
I could have it printed and bound and he'd still be worrying about me. Tosser. I'm at the same point as another girl on my special subject course, and we have the same amount of work and have done about the same amount and Paul goes on and on at me, instead. Whatever. He's a flake. He forgets what he's told you, what you've told him, tells you to get books you've already read and just generally picks on you for no reason. There are about 4 people he's not had any work from or seen in nearly a whole term - does he seem to be worrying about them to the same extent? No. If I ask him what sort of level my first chapter is - whether it's even a 2:1, he won't tell me, saying that since he can't see where I'm going (ffs it's unfinished for a reason!) he can't judge what level it is at. Christ all mighty. He's got a fellowship at Princeton in the US. They can bloody well keep him when he goes next year - it'd do a lot of people a favour.
Paul the Third is of course Paul, the alien. I'd rank it at a weak 3/5 stars. It's nice that Nick Frost plays the high-strung character this time, and it's lovely that he and Simon Pegg are heterosexual Life Partners. <3 It's sweet.
And I liked the cracks at the crazy hyper-religious section of American society in the outskirts of civilisation... if a bit surprised that it got past the censors (for the very points that the cracks were making).
I was a bit confused at first, cause the ice cream that Simon Pegg has is green, but it's not a cornetto, but on checking the wiki page for it, it says that the final film of the Blood and Ice Cream trilogy hasn't been released yet, and is not to be confused with Paul. Yay. Makes me feel better, cause I felt pedantic... not to mention it'd be a very weak link in the trilogy.
Spontaneous Reel Big Fish Gigs
On Tuesday at about 3.30, I found out that Reel Big Fish were playing at a place near the train station in Preston. I was soooooo annoyed that I'd not heard about it. But I could still get tickets. And I had someone to go with - the person from whom I found out about the damn show in the first place, and a guy I knew by site in the bar, but not by name. Two hours later, I'd printed off directions and my ticket booking number and was showering to get ready to get the 6.44 train.
I don't do spontaneity to places I've not been to before - I like to know where I'm going and have my escape routes planned. So this was pretty weird for me, but you know, I've missed so many RBF shows that would have been relatively convenient either cause of Uni or because of other stuff, so. I didn't care at the time that I'd be knackered, possibly hoarse-throat'd and half deaf the next morning during my 3 hour seminar. I just went. And it was a great night.
I'm still hoarse-throat'd though. Turns out my hoarse throat wasn't from yelling. I aggravated a chesty cough and cold. It's only my 4th this year. I don't know why I'm so sickly - I was sickly before the bad eating and computer lab over time, so I can't blame it entirely on my diet this time. =/
Reel Big Fish were great, and supported by a shitty little local band, (New Riot) and The Skints and Suburban Legends, who are good performers.
RBF played Sell Out, Thank You For Not Moshing, Ban the Tube Top, Drinking, Beer, Suburban Rhythm (Ska, Punk, Pop, Country and Metal), Where Have You Been?, Trendy, 241, She Has A Girlfriend Now, F*You, You Don't Know, Good Thing, I Want Your Girlfriend (To Be My Girlfriend), Everything Sucks, The New Version Of You, I'll Never Be, Take On Me.
That's not quite the right order, but they started with Sell Out and ended with Take On Me.
And the crowd went wild when Suburban Legends played the entire song of I Just Can't Wait To Be King, rather than just a crappy little medley version.
The Fuzzy End of the Lollypop
That cute Marilyn Monroe line in Some Like It Hot. It's the History Society Charity ball next week, and I have this red dress I *have* to wear at least once this year cause my grandmother spent ages over the summer readjusting the shoulders for me. So I thought I'd go for Marilyn Monroe - just buy a wig, some make up, not that expensive, right? WRONG.
Wig isn't that expensive, sure, but I spent about the same on the eye shadow alone. I still have to find a decent shade of lipstick - either borrow from my friends or find one to buy - and to buy some false eye lashes and use my friend's eye liner and stuff.
Anyway, this is what I look like messing around with only half the make up and the wig fresh out of the postbox.
And I think that's all I can think of that I was going to talk about at some point in some entry or other. I've been writing this on and off for an hour, so I think I should just... stop.
Also, all that stuff that the reviewers said about The King's Speech being amazing and fantastic? Not hype. Definitely not. <33333