Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Tuesday, 9 October 2012
Anyway. Procrastination. Yes.
(As an aside, there is something slightly ironic about the fact that I had to put myself back to track to talk about procrastination, of all things...)
Yesterday I bought a book for my Creative Writing course called "The Art Of Writing Fiction" by Andrew Cowan. Whilst procrastinating from reading "The Pilgrims Progress", which continues to be exceedingly dull, I began to flick through it's pages. Exercise two caught my eye. It goes pretty much as follows:
Imagine you are sitting at your work space ready to write, what things do you to before actually putting pen to paper or fingers to keys? Each activity is worth certain points.
Fiddling (straighting sheets of paper etc): 1 point each
Almost-work-related-distractions (tidying the folders on your computer): 2 points each
Stalling (tidying your room, making coffee etc): 3 points each
Dreaming (more than ten minutes out of a window, more than five with head on desk): 3 points each
Skiving (writing emails, making phone calls etc): 5 points each
Absconding (gardening, decorating etc): 10 points each
0-10: Completely abnormal, relax.
11-20: A necessary amount, but beware of relapse.
21-30: Perhaps these things should have been done earlier...
31+: Completely abnormal, worry.
Tallying up my points I found I was in the 21-30 category... so not too bad but room for improvement. However, it was an interesting exercise to perform, being self-analytical of things you normally wouldn't notice. It also made me consider how procrastination can sometimes be a very helpful thing, how it can let you get round to those jobs you've been putting off for months or allow you to open your mind to something creative that you wouldn't normally do- which could very well be the inspiration for a new venture.
Speaking of which (classy little segue, I know) I was at my Creative Writing Societies (CWS) first open mic night Monday last week. It was fascinating and totally inspirational. Now, I'm not much of a poet, but since then I've written two pieces, both of which I might perform tonight at their Extra Virgin open mic. Scary stuff. One of the pieces is about rape culture, and I want to discuss it in more depth, so I might post that another day, but this piece I'm happy to post now. As I said it was inspired by the showcase, and when walking home from that the fella said "I can imagine you up there reading poetry about pretty boys". This was the result:
Feel his eyes
Caress my skin.
Catch an eye;
A cheeky grin.
He bites a lip
Try to pluck
The courage to speak.
Offers a drink,
A proper gent.
Place my hand
Upon his knee.
Then Pretty Boy
Cuts his hair.
Think I’ll find
A Pretty Boy instead.
So there you have it. My first "creative writing" output on the internet. Although, as we discussed in my first Creative Writing Workshop, was even constitutes as "Creative Writing"?
By the by, as much as I would love to I can't really discuss the content of either of my Creative Writing classes on here. It's a "sacred space" and all that. Y'know. Gutting. But I am LOVING them with all my heart and soul, despite it being early days yet and all that.
Currently Reading: The Pilgrims Progress (Oxford World Edition) by John Bunyan
Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde
The Art of Writing Fiction by Andrew Cowan
Tuesday, 2 October 2012
Day 1: Sunday night Ice-Breaker Party. Being a home-student (and with none of the other home students I know going) I turned up all on my todd. At the same time as I walked in, so did three other girls, so I started talking to them. We soon found out we were all home students - so I made my first Uni friends! Really fun night, everyone just wandering up to each other saying hi and chatting and dancing. Although, apparently, a lot of people's idea of an ice-breaker is to dance up to someone then make out with their face. Which, y'know, is fair enough I suppose. So long as both parties are willing. Didn't really appreciate the random guy who lured me in by ballerina-twirling me trying to shove his face into mine... Although the two guys me and the local ladies were dancing with didn't seem to mind it too much when two random girls started rubbing themselves up and down them. If you're imagining the Baloo back-scratching scene from the Jungle Book mid Bare Necessities, you're not too far off. If Baloo was in a skin-tight LBD that is... ANYWAY. Yes. Good night.
Day 2: Monday morning at the sprightly hour of 10:45 I have to register to confirm my attendance etc. For most students this would involved rolling out of bed at 10 maybe? Showering and getting them selves together because its early-days and everybody wants to make a good impression, then stumbling down to the Congregation Hall to register. For the home student in involves getting up at half-eight to make the half nine train, then running from train station to bus stop and a half hour bus journey. Yeah. Not as fun, right?
So I registered fine, went and picked up my campus card, then met up a boy from my college as well as a girl I used to know. We hung out in one of our Uni's cafes (known as The Hive) for a while, then went into the Fresher's Fare. It was mental. Easily one of the most crowded room I've ever been in, a mass of bodies, a collection of currents that were constantly in battle, vying for dominance, and the brave souls who jumped from stream to bustling stream. I got separated from my friends pretty early on, and trapped in the mass had to let myself be taken around the room, picking up free food, drinks and vouchers (and a shed load of pens) as I went.
By the time I escaped, had sorted out my possessions and met up with my friends, it was pretty much time for my first introductory lecture. In the lecture theatre I sat next to a boy who, as it happened is on my course. Since then, I have seen him around a lot and we always say hi and have a chat. Yay for new friends! After the lecture I met up with one of the girls I had met the night before, then headed home. No night out for me this night, which I was a little upset about at the time, but do not regret at all now.
Day 3: Tuesday was a crazy busy day for me. Loads of introductory lectures that simultaneously terrified me and excited me. I love being back in a learning environment. Had lunch then went to the SOC Mart with some girls from my course and signed up for a couple of societies (notably Creative Writing) then went back to their halls with them and hung out for the afternoon.
In the evening I met up with the girl I had met at ice-breaker and together we went to the T-Shirt party. The premise of this was you got a t-shirt and had to write various bits of information on it (your name, where you come from and what you were studying). This was, as it turns out, a great idea. It made meeting people really easy. Top night.
Day 4: By this time I felt pretty exhausted from meeting so many new people, but luckily I didn't have a busy day. The only thing I had to do was to meet with my personal adviser (who was lovely) and have a look around the Sports Mart to see if I wanted to sign up to any societies. I signed up for Yoga and Pole Dancing. Whilst looking around I met up with some girls from my course, which was nice.
In the afternoon I met up with my best friend to help him buy a bracelet for his mum's birthday and to say goodbye as he was off to uni soon. We had hot chocolate and shared a brownie. Pretty emotional.
That evening was Zane Lowe. Me and my clubbing buddy from day 1 showed up fifteen minuets late, but the place was dead. As we were sitting with our drinks a couple third years clearly on the lookout for fresh meat came up to chat. They were really nice, but so obviously flirting. Me and one of the guys exchanged numbers after he bought me a drink. Which was probably a bad move - as he then used this to blackmail me into giving him a kiss on the cheek. At the bar he kept putting his hands on my waist and playing with my hair, and when we sat down he started stroking my leg. It was only after I kept talking about the guy who I'm seeing that he finally stropped off. It was upsetting, because he was funny to talk to (he reminded me of my ex who would flirt by winding the other person up, and I knew exactly how to counter it - take them seriously).
The first half of Zane Lowe's set was dire, but the second half was sick! Most of his crowd interaction was him shouting "Put your hands up, put your fucking hands up!" but it was pretty fun. A topless guy came up to me and asked me to help him dress himself. We got chatting and he gave me his number. He was a pretty nice guy. Overall, a really fun night.
Day 5: Thank god Thursday was an easy day for me! The only thing I had on was a party 6-8 followed by a night in the city. Spent the day chilling, then dressed up and headed into the city. This was the only time time when I've a had a serious issue with buses - it was sooo late! I would have been more annoyed but my bestie-boy-type-friend called me up from Glasgow! Yay! We had a lovely chat which was lovely.
The party was fun, hang out with the girls on my course again (I should probably decide if I should use their actual names or give them nicknames or code names on here... hmmm). We got chatting to these two guys, and the group divided into two. Myself and two of the girls were chatting to a boy from Teeside, just about basic studenty stuff (eg. homesickness, missing healthy food, that kinda thing) when we overheard the conversation from the other group. They were very seriously talking about how Wuthering Heights wasn't a Gothic novel. Um? Hello! It is one of THE Gothic novels?!? (Again a time when we need an interrobang on the keyboard). Anyway. We then got chatting about more serious Englishy-stuff then moved on to the local area. One guy joked that he's only been sent here to improve the gene pool, not "because I'd got three A's at A level or anything" *guffaw guffaw* That kinda thing really winds me up. We are ALL on the SAME COURSE more or less, so we ALL got GOOD GRADES. For all he knew, we could've all got better than him. If I'd wanted to, I could have said "yeah, the reason they wanted me to stick around was because I got three A*'s and an A" but I didn't because everyone on the course deserves to be there. ARGH!
Going into town was great, plus I got to see the guy I'm seeing for the first time since Anna Karenina and since he got back from Denmark. He kept joking about how he was going to shave his head into a Scandinavian Top Knot but Oh My GOD he ACTUALLY shaved his head into a top knot. It didn't look as bad as you might think, but still. I miss his old hair (a thing I keep telling him, although I should probably stop because it's his hair, at the end of the day). His bestie, who had also been to Denmark, was there, and I swear to god he is one of the loveliest guys I have ever met. So genuinely kind. Little bit of a crush on him, truth me told. Tall, dark hair, basket ball player...
We also met up with my one of my bestest lady-flavoured-friends and a guy who she had just split up with but was trying to stay friends with... which was a little strange and TENSE to say the least. Our favourite Ninja-Russian friend also came along. I love him more and more with each meeting.
The night ended with me going back with the fella and his mate - safest taxi ride ever!
Day 6: We pick up where we left off, with me waking up in a house that wasn't mine all alone - as the fella and his mum had both gone to work. Strange. I didn't have to go into uni, but I wanted to go to the first Creative Writing Soc Meet (as well as get my bus pass and pick up my first dossier (huge and green but also kinda exciting)). The CWS workshop was amazing! I loved it! Everyone was so lovely and friendly and ahhh. They are all ME! Yay! We went down to the union bar afterwards - so nice. I got chatting to the treasurer (who was a PhD student) as well as couple of Freshers.
I didn't go out Friday night and ended up crashed out by 9pm. When the little sister came home at 11, she was stunned when she was told to be quiet so as not to wake me: "What?!? She's HOME?!?"
Day 7: Saturday night was the last official Freshers thing. I went round one of the girls I'd met at Ice Breaker and her dad gave us shots before heading out to get the bus. When we arrived there weren't many people, but then The Regurgitator from BGT came on stage to perform. It was pretty impressive: he swallowed a load of fairy liquid and cigarette smoke then blew a bubble of smoke. And he swallowed a load of gas and blew a bubble of that too, before setting it alight in his palm. Mid way through the performance, topless Zane Lowe guy came up and we started chatting. Turns out he's a super nice guy, and we chatted about football and his girlfriend and my fella and stuff. It was a really nice conversation. I had to leave shortly after as I had work the next day, but all in all, a super fun evening!
So that was pretty much the end of Freshers. Overall I had a good time, but no crazy Freshers stories really. I would have loved to have been in halls, but I managed to get on fine without it. It perhaps made me a little more sober but after the previous week I don't think that was a bad thing. I met a load of lovely people who I will hopefully be friends with. Yay!
Currently Reading: The Pilgrims Progress (Oxford World Classics Edition) by John Bunyan
Shades of Grey (Hodder) by Jasper Fforde