The future is bright; Post Graduate

Postgrad

I’ve been trying to get my brain to function well enough to write this since my exams ended two weeks ago, but thanks to a raging sinus infection it has been delayed. Usually the post-exam entry is me panicking about my exam results, especially as these are my final exams. I’ll admit I am a bit, but not nearly as much as I should be. BECAUSE I’VE ALREADY been accepted to study a post graduate course at  University of Strathclyde in Information and Library studies! I was literally jumping for joy when I was accepted, and since I already have a 2.1 degree classification I was accepted straight away. I’m also the first one in my family to get to Post graduate, and it has been a very hard won victory for me personally. So yes, I am feeling very proud of myself. I’ll feel even more so when I’ve actually done it of course, and I’m excited to enter into a new realm of career possibilities! The course itself is a mixture of information, law, computer labs, individual and group coursework and exams. I’m sure there will still be some essays in there, but it will be nice to be doing some lab work as well. The law side of things is different, however, I’m hoping my background in sociology helps with that.

 

It meant that I could go through my exams with a certain reassurance in regards to my future. I didn’t flunk my exams, but knowing that if they did go tits up it wasn’t the end of the world was very freeing. The exams went ok, with the exception of the last one – my body finally screamed ‘I’ve had enough!’ and flung a tantrum. So the end of the second question ended up a rambling mess and I had to leave early due to a pounding migraine. Our results usually come out in a few weeks, and I’ve heard rumours of the 12th June being ‘the big day’. Honestly, I’m not expecting a great classification. This year has been insanely difficult and the year before wasn’t exactly a peach either. I wouldn’t have gotten through it all without an amazing amount of love and support from friends and family, that’s for sure. Honestly, I am most looking forward to finding out my dissertation result, because it was my first original short story work that has been looked at critically. AKA a big deal.

 

I have more to write about (such as summer plans) but it will need to wait for another entry, my sinuses are making my brain go mushy again. I will finish on this note though; since my last exam I have successfully stuck to a strict diet! Now just need to add in the exercising 🙂

Need to do x, y & z

Uni Updates

While thinking about writing this entry I couldn’t help but think ‘I really need to get better at blogging’. It’s a thought I had just under a year ago, and many times before that. There are so many things I need to do, so many I have done and the last year really has just felt like an ongoing list of things I need to do. I guess that is what life is about, moving from one thing to another and on a positive note at least I am progressing. It’s especially important that I remember that right now because since September I have been quite seriously ill. Not at death’s door or anything like that, but my god did I feel like it a few times. I caught the flu and for three weeks it was absolutely awful. I’ve only ever had flu one other time I can recall and I had the same reaction. It’s why I am such a big fan of the flu vaccine and have been getting it since I was 16. Unfortunately the flu vaccine isn’t a cure, and every year the doctors need to choose which flu strain they think will be the most prevalent. Apparently this year they made the wrong choice and one of the other strains turned out to be more widespread, so my flu vaccine did nada.

 

As if flu wasn’t bad enough my body decided to add to the fun; I developed tennis elbow in my left arm and had sinusitis. The flu took such a toll on my body that I developed became post viral which basically means my immune system got smashed to bits. For a while there I had pretty bad fatigue and every day I’d get up for an hour or less before having to collapse into bed with crippling fatigue. I’m still feeling post viral, which basically means I’m really run down, have not been able to concentrate for more than 15 ish mins at a time (end of term essays were great fun…), and generally feeling really crappy with every symptom under the sun. I’m  slowly regaining my health back because I have exams in May and being able to concentrate for 15 mins at a time ain’t going to cut it in a 2 1/2 hour exam.

 

I missed pretty much all my classes, including the creative writing workshops I have been looking forward to for years. Fortunately I managed to persevere and got my dissertation completed, as well as all my assignments on time. The past few weeks have been incredibly difficult and stressful, but I did it. Now just my exams and that’s my final year over with and I graduate. What I’ll graduate with is yet to be seen. I had planned to go into teacher training, however, my Maths GCSE grade doesn’t quite cut it up here in Scotland. I could go to college for a year, struggle with the one subject I find terrifying and still not get the grade. I’ve also had time to think about it and have decided for various reasons not to pursue teaching. My dissertation supervisor, the author Laura Marney, was very supportive of my writing and teaching takes an awful lot of time up. If I want to seriously pursue my writing I don’t think I have the time to do both. So I am applying for a postgraduate course in Library and Information studies which leads to working in libraries (duh) as well as publishing.

 

At present I am coming to the end of my ‘week off’ before hitting the revision. I really enjoyed the selection of texts from my term 2 courses, Children’s literature and Science fiction, to the point that they both added a pile of more books to my ‘to read‘ list. I’ve also registered with our local library at last, which is handily located at the end of our road 😛 So I am catching up on some much needed reading for pleasure 🙂  Also playing some WoW and catching up on various online projects.

Memories are just a memory (Things are looking up)

Memories

There! You see I did get to use the title after all… sort of 😉

I may be a little hyped up on coffee right about now. I had some after waking up from a nap feeling really yucky and while I do still feel sleepy, the coffee and food helped a lot. So instead of heading to bed here I am right now writing a pretty damn perky blog entry. The positive mood is not just down to the caffeine though; it’s a general feeling that hit me yesterday when I realised how much better I was feeling. Physically I’m not doing so good – ear/sinus infection & my dodgy knees playing up – but emotionally I’m good. It’s the first time since the start of this god forsaken year that I have felt happy and confident. I still feel guilty considering what happened to Az… how can I be happy when something so horrific has happened? I am still mourning him, I probably always will because the loss of a loved one – human or animal – never truly leaves us.

But you have to go on living, looking to the future rather than the past. That has been a very hard lesson for me to learn, especially as I have a photographic memory and can picture unhappy memories in a flash. It isn’t a flash back, it’s just a memory in great detail. I remember the first time I was bullied when a kid stuck pencils through the hole in the school chair when I was 5. I distinctly remember 5 years later when I stepped oddly on a stone while walking to Churchfields park and had my first hypermobility caused injury; a hairline fracture in my ankle. What I don’t remember is which ankle it was because that was the first of many ankle/foot related injuries that eventually stopped as my foot became strengthen through years of physiotherapy and wearing sports support bandages for years on end. My first day at St John Rigby and the years that followed, making crazy friends who are still with me to this day. The good memories and the bad memories. Then Hayes, Leeds and the last six years with my amazing fiance.

I’m tearing up as I think back over all this – but they aren’t tears of sadness. It isn’t my depression raising it’s ugly head. They are tears of joy, of understanding of being able to lay some demons to rest. Why has all this suddenly happened recently? It’s been a stepping stone of different stages, of long term and short term events that have built me back up from rock bottom. I’m far from perfect, far from healed and as I have always known, my depression will still be there. You can’t wash away all the bad things, you just have to learn to handle them with the help of others.

I’m probably feeling even more philosophical tonight because I just watched the first episode of the new Rizzoli & Isles series which starred the actor Lee Thompson Young. For those who don’t already know; the actor was found dead this week from apparent suicide. The details are still a mystery but it does seem that it was depression that led to his death. I know how it feels to feel that bad, that alone and that powerless. I am fortunate that people have been there to help me up, to support me and kiss away my tears. I will always be grateful to those people. When I hear that someone was unable to stop the pain and felt that their only option was death… it breaks my heart. It’s one of the reasons why I always offer people a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear and I speak openly about my problems. I’ve even heard someone crying before in a toliet at university and asked if they were ok. I know it sounds stupid but my hope was that the girl might register that even a stranger could care about her, that she wasn’t alone.

Since officially being accepted for honours I’ve had to sit and twiddle my thumbs, waiting for my academic profile to be progressed onto the next year. It has apparently been fixed, however, until mycampus (the system) has been updated after a major error happened, I won’t know for sure. It means I’m stuck waiting to find out what classes I actually have as no one has confirmed anything with me at all. I know I have creative writing both semesters and in semester 2 a course called “humanities in the classroom” which includes a work placement. I only know this because I had to apply separately for both of these. So I have no reading lists, which is a good and a bad thing. It means I get to read whatever I want to read – currently the Iron Druid Chronicles – but it also means less time to read stuff before the beginning of term. I’ve also heard that one course – the vampire literature one – may not even be happening this year *cries*. This means I may need to find another course from somewhere as well… but I will know nothing until mycampus is sorted. I am hoping – just like everyone else – that this will be the start of next week.

Wow.. this entry is going on for ages. I still have two more points to get through before I finish and head to bed. The first goes with the general feel of this entry; the future. Next wednesday I have my first physio appointment and I’m hoping praying that they can actually offer me something useful. This will be the third time having physio on my knees… having is actually the wrong term as the previous ones didn’t actually do much apart from show me how to do exercises and send me off to do them. The one in Leeds spent most of his time lecturing me on how I wasn’t standing/bending/moving correctly. Dude, you try having this condition and then tell me it’s easy to re-teach your entire body to stand/move/bend differently. Guilting someone into fixing their body when they cannot help it – my body thinks what it is doing is the natural normal behaviour of a body – doesn’t HELP. Anyway… rant over 😛 I was supposed to be talking about how I noticed this week my sudden vocabulary changes from “if I do creative writing, my novel/protagonist will be…” to “my novel/protagonist is going to be…”. No honours went losing out on the chance to start down the official creative writing road and while it is scary, it is damn exciting too. I can’t wait to get started!

And the last point finally; work and how well it has been going, and then that rant stole the show. Everyone is really friendly, and the only down side is the lack of stuff to do sometimes. However, the next few weeks will see that changing and I’ll probably find myself wishing for the good ole quiet days.

Summertime begins!

Goodbye April

Well, not if you go by the weather, which in Scotland changes every five minutes. But my exams are now finished and so for now it is officially summer time for me. It means that the great big mental to do list has now been put down on paper with everything I can remember at the moment. I’m sure I’ll find more stuff to add to it as time goes on. For now though it keeps me busy and stops me worrying about exam results and finding out about my creative writing application.

I’ve already been busy and completed one of my tasks. I’ve imported everything from livejournal to dreamwidth which was remarkably easy and I can see now why people love dreamwidth, it has so many awesome features. I’ve also got my blog importing to dreamwidth, insane journal and tumblr. All profile info and stuff has been updated at all three journal sites. The list below is mainly online stuff, computer realted and/or creative activities. I have a munch of stuff to do around the house and loads of out the house activities planned for summer. We’re off to Majorca in May and Devon in July. But no one needs to read a list of my household chores 😛

I also intend to catch up on some much needed reading and will probably blog more about this another time. Ditto for stuff in World of Warcraft.

Continue reading “Summertime begins!”

Essays & Exam Time

Postgrad

I’m not sure whether to celebrate that it’s only been two months since my last entry, or to slap myself on the wrist again. There have certainly been much longer breaks between entries and one of the reasons this one was so delayed was general laziness on my part. I was having issues with some wordpress plugins (which have hopefully now been fixed *crosses fingers*) and frustration won out.

Now with just under two weeks until my first exam, I figured it was time to blog again. Compared to my December exams the dates have worked out much better. There is also no Saturday exam (hooray!). My essays went as well as I expected; a B1 for my comparative Lit essay which I knew as the strongest of the two. English Literature was disappointing with a C1 but it was to be expected considering how ill I had been and I had to get an extension for it. It means I really need to push for a B or higher in my exam to gain access to honours, although it does say that you can substitute another literature subject grade. So if I get a low grade for English Lit but  a B or higher for Comparative Lit, I may still be able to get into honours. I can always resit, but after last summer I am really looking forward to a stress free summer where I can concentrate on other things.

I have one essay grade still to get; English Language. It was only 10% though and I only need to pass this course to get into honours. The exam is 50% and at first it seemed pretty scary, but once I started revision I realised it isn’t that bad. The good grade for Comparative Lit means I can focus more on English Lit. As if the exam wasn’t scary enough, our course leader has chosen to change the exam this year. Previously we had section A and section B and this year he’s removed Section B, which in my opinion was much easier. Especially when you look at the past exam papers and most of section A is riddled with random quotations (not from the set texts) and then one line “discuss with reference to two texts”. Great.

I’ve sent in my application for honours and along with it an application for Creative Writing. There are only 18 places for this course and we had to send in a portfolio for it. The portfolio was only 1000 words, but it was incredibly difficult to just choose 1000 words of my novel. I got opinions from several people, including my dad who isn’t a fan of that genre, and I got very positive feedback from all of them. It was a nice confidence boost. I only have to wait until the end of the month to hear back, but the wait is stressing me more than my exams!

Chris and I spent a week down in London with my mum, and it was a mixed experience. It was great to relax, spend time with family and friends and finally get to visit Kew Gardens. But it was marred by the passing of one of my cats Ginger. Ginger was 16, he was one of a litter of four kittens that my first cat Tammie had. She died when they were 3 and a 1/2 weeks old due to a heart defect. We had to hand rear them, I was 11 at the time and so excited that we finally had a ginger cat. He was the runt of the litter but you’d never believe it. You could understand why his mum took so long giving birth to him; he was so much bigger than the others. He was always a stupid ginger tom, with a big nose and big ears when he was a kitten. He always got into fights, coming home with his battle wounds which left you wondering what had happened to the other cat.

As you can imagine it wasn’t a pleasant experience and I guess I was lucky to be able to spend his last days with him as he lived in London with my parents, where as I’m in Glasgow. He was my companion from childhood to adulthood, always came when I called and I just can’t believe he is gone.