Goodbye February

Goodbye February

February was the first month of my new blog content and I did better than I expected, although not as well as intended. I’m struggling right now with an unknown viral illness on top of my normal 6 health issues. It started at the beginning of October and despite numerous blood tests, all the doctors have managed to tell me is ‘it’s a viral illness’. It has all the same symptoms as Mono/Glandular Fever but because the test for that keeps coming up negative the doctor I saw refuses to call it that. So I’m in limbo. I’ve been trying to see my normal doctor, who on other occasions has proven to be caring and straight forward to talk to. Even that hasn’t been simple. I’ve either been too ill to attend appointments, or had to wait for weeks for one because she’s only in 1-2 days a week or has been on holiday. I am hoping to see her on Wednesday, as on top of the other symptoms I’ve either developed new ones or caught an infection in my chest as well. I literally feel like my body is falling to pieces right now.

Amazingly I am actually managing to keep up to date with university, including completing the first assignment of this term and settling on a dissertation topic. Here’s the topic summary:

Dementia is a growing problem in Scotland and around the world because the number of people who have it is increasing so rapidly. Friends and family who care for people with dementia have many demands on their time and energy. As they try to manage their lives and care for their loved one, they naturally have a need for information to help them make decisions about their loved ones and their roles as carers. Little is known about how to better meet their information needs as they change throughout the progression of their loved one’s dementia. This dissertation will look at information needs of these carers and how information agencies can best help them meet these needs.

 

I am really excited and a bit humbled by my dissertation. This is a topic near and dear to me, something I have experienced first hand and as a disabled student the idea that I can actually do something, anything, to help people with chronic illnesses is extremely humbling to me. The more I do of this course, the more I learn about what information and library studies is about… honestly it is mind-blowing. It is very scary, and may lead to something amazing possibilities and opportunities, so I’m trying not to get overwhelmed.

 

It goes without saying that this all comes before my blog. I’m sure it probably seems like a stupid idea to relaunch a blog while this was all happening, however, I needed to do something productive, something to keep me connected with people and it is helping. Taking part in Fandom Five each week in particular has been fantastic, and every comment I get (especially on those entries) makes me smile. However, I have failed to complete two tasks for this month; review and look book. I am currently trying out some new products specifically for reviewing, so there will definitely be a review next month. The look book is a little trickier because I’m having problems finding a way to get decent photographs of the completed look. I think I am going to have to ask my fiancé very nicely to help with that one. But otherwise the first month of new content didn’t go terribly and I look foward to the next month!

30 thoughts on 30

30 thoughts on 30

In less than 3 days now I turn the big 3-0, The last few months have been a crazy whirlwind of mysterious illness so I’m only just posting this now – 3 months after the fact. Turning 30 isn’t nearly as scary as people would make you believe. As my 20s have progressed I’ve grown into them, into adulthood and into myself. Now as I embark on my 3rd decade I feel a confidence that I honestly never thought I would feel. It isn’t the only thing that I’ve learned or that has changed in the last 30 years, so here are 30 thoughts on 30 – lessons, thoughts and anecdotes from my life.

 

1. I can do anything and be anything.

Yep, lets start with the biggest broadest statement out there. There are things I’ve done in the last 10 years that I could never have imagined myself doing. I’ve done things I’ve been told I couldn’t do, or shouldn’t be able to do. I can do anything and be anything I want to be if I put my mind to it.

2. Limitations.

My limitations have changed in the last 10 years, and while I feel like I can do anything, my health conditions mean that some things aren’t possible. I’ve had to learn to live with them and more importantly to accept them and how they have shaped my life.

3. Change.

Change happens. Well, duh, right? Yet there are so many people in the world who cannot handle change. I grew up watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I think that helped my adolescent brain incorporate the big issue of dealing with change. In Buffy change happens constantly, and sometimes it feels like the end of the world, sometimes it IS the end of the world. Sometimes people die – or come back from the dead – and life goes on. Life always goes on.

4. Someone for everyone.

I am a nerd, always have been, so you can imagine how my dating was non-existent when I was a teenager. My heart got broken, ripped to shreds, stamped on and so forth and I often believed that I would grow up to be a crazy cat lady (ok, maybe I still did, but I’m not an alone single crazy cat lady…). I am fortunate to have found the one for me, the person that completes me and helped me heal the wounds others made. It sounds like a cliché, but I firmly believe there is someone for everyone in the world, that one person who will complete them. I know a lot of people who haven’t been as lucky, haven’t found that person or believe that they have so many problems or emotional baggage that it will never happen. It will. None of that makes a difference when you find that person because they will love you for who you are, every part of you including your faults.

5. Trust your instincts.

This is another cliché and one that I still fail at sometimes; if someone gives you the willies or gives you a bad feeling, trust your instincts. We are taught so often that if we have a problem with someone then the problem must be us. No, not always. Sometimes first impressions are correct and that person who seems like bad news, IS bad news. Just because everyone else loves them doesn’t mean they’re a good person, it just means they’re good at hiding their true colours.

6. Loving Faults

Love is about loving every part of someone, it isn’t about loving just a few parts of someone. Someone who truly accepts you will love you for your faults, they won’t turn it into a ritual of emotional abuse. You have the power in any relationship to speak up and say ‘please don’t do that, it makes me feel bad’ and if your partner laughs at you or argues with you – run. That is a part of emotional abuse and it is so easy to not even realise it is happening, especially if you suffer from depression or anxiety. Even if your partner doesn’t understand what is wrong their concern should be not harming you, not arguing their side of the story.

7. One day at a time.

Whether you suffer from the black dog of depression, chronic pain or are just going through a rough time, remember to take one day at a time. Nothing matters except for that moment, getting through it and moving on to the next. Take your time, relax, and ignore other people’s expectations. Do what you need to do. It isn’t selfish, it’s looking after yourself.

8. Take a chance.

Life is scary, people are even scarier and lets not start on relationships. It is very easy to just curl up in a ball and hide from the world, avoiding people and never taking a chance. Taking a chance is scary, but it can be amazing and life-changing (in a good way). The worst thing that can happen if you approach someone is that they say no. And if you don’t take that chance? You’ll always wonder, you’ll never know what could have been and you’ll be wasting time on something that isn’t worth it. Once you’ve taken that chance, for good or bad, you’ll know where you stand and that can be a very uplifting and freeing experience.

9. Good does exist.

It is so easy to be overwhelmed by the negativity and horrors of the world, or just by our own personal experience with others. I was bullied a lot from early childhood and even at one point as an adult, and it is very easy to just push people away after those negative experiences. It becomes difficult to trust in others, to offer yourself up to new people and not worry about being judged. Yet there are people out there who are different, who are loving, caring and supportive. It may take some time to wade through all the bad apples, but good people do exist and good things can happen to you. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

10. Religion doesn’t necessarily mean good.

There is this assumption that everything good, that every good gesture must be the result of religion and a religious person. If something good happens and is posted on social media the amount of comments about “God” astounds me. I’ve met religious people who have not been the pillars of the community that they claim to be, and have been examples of the worst types of people around. In recent events religions, especially certain middle eastern religions, have been brought to our attention again. Religions are complex organisms, communities of people, not just a few. I was taught non-Christian religions at Primary School, I had a classmate who was Hindu and celebrated those holy days. To me it was just a part of life and that experience as a child stuck with me.

11. We all judge.

We all want to believe that we’re truly open minded, that we don’t look at something/someone and judge them instantly. The fact is that we do, we all judge. Sometimes we judge based on experience, sometimes we judge based on what we’ve been told. Is judging a natural behaviour? Can we unlearn it? Those are questions far bigger than this blog post, however, I will offer my opinion on it. For me, judging happens but it is how we react to it that defines whether it is a problem or not. Treating someone differently because of something you’ve judged about them is wrong; get to know them and then judge their actions. One definition of judge is “to infer, think, or hold as an opinion; conclude about or assess”. Nothing in there says it’s a mean action, it’s simply a way to think about something and make a conclusion. One thing I have noticed over the years is that people have very different responses to this, and someone you think you can trust or appears to be even more judgemental will quite happily throw you under the bus. 

12. People will always hate you for your successes.

It doesn’t matter what you do, why you do it; you could just be doing it to better yourself and your life – because you put the hard work in that they couldn’t or wouldn’t, that makes you a target for their anger and hate. You could be the nicest most humblest person on the planet and someone will still hate you for doing what they couldn’t/didn’t. Stop worrying about them and enjoy your life; you earned your successes!

13. Age doesn’t define us.

I grew up in a period where teenagers were viewed as hooligans. I distinctly remember one time I was sitting on a bus, minding my own business and some old man decided to pick on me. He looked straight at me and started ranting about young people not respecting their elders. My hypermobility syndrome had already been diagnosed by this point and I couldn’t give up my seat even if I wanted to. Yet he chose me, made me feel extremely guilty despite the multiple people on the bus who could have also given up their seat. That is just one example of the elders we’re told to respect. Now I’m 30 I know that being an adult is not really that much different from being a child. Age doesn’t define who we are, it doesn’t make us better people or due more respect.

14. Everyone should learn about internet safety and filters.

I’ve lost track of the many times the internet has been blamed for things. I’m honestly wouldn’t be surprised if someone claimed it was the reason for global warming. I grew up in the early days of the internet, and navigated my own way through everything. Children today have so much more to deal with, and it is their parents/guardians responsibility to ensure they stay safe. It used to be the unwritten rule that you never used your full name online, now everyone does on social networks. If you’re an adult, fair enough, but it worries me how many kids do this without understanding the consequences. Not to mention how many kids and adults have no idea how to use filters to limit the amount they share to strangers.

 

15. Some idioms are correct, others are silly.

Experience has shown that some idioms are spot on, while others are pointless. People can put a lot of stock into these, especially ones like ‘a leopard never changes its spots’ or ‘blood is thicker than water’. Life is different for everyone, we all meet different people and experience life in our own way. Pick what works for you and ignore the others, don’t stress that you’re not normal just because an idiom doesn’t work for you.

16. If you don’t say something, who will?

There are so many ways now to complain, yet no one ever does. It has become a societal norm not to complain, not to be seen as being too serious or a whiner. If you complain to a business or organisation you can often feel like your concerns are being ignored rather than followed up. In more personal circumstances a complainer is often labelled as being unable to take a joke, causing a fuss and other negative issues. What scares me is that if we all give in to this social pressure bad behaviour will continue. If you don’t tell someone they’re being rude or hurtful, how will they ever know? Everyone has the right to complain, to tell another person they don’t want to hear that, or be treated that way.

17. There’s no such thing as normal.

Pretty simple really; the world is so obsessed with being normal. Wearing the right clothes, having the right hair cut or acting the right way. None of it matters because normality doesn’t exist. It’s a social concept that exists to alienate anyone who doesn’t fit into what people define as normal. And not being normal? It isn’t as scary or as bad as you might think. It can be quite liberating actually.

18. The school yard doesn’t end at school.

The older I get, the more dismayed I am to find so many of my fellow adults have not left school behind them. With age is supposed to come wisdom, or so they say. Many people just can’t let go the pettiness, the squabbles and more importantly the desire to one up their fellows in an imaginary league of coolness and elitism. All we can do is hope they eventually catch up to the rest of us and realise they don’t have the time or energy to devote to their childish antics any more.

19. Most people who teased you about your glasses are probably now wearing them too.

A few years back glasses became the cool thing to have with celebrities and fashionista’s wearing them even if they didn’t technically need them. Likewise, many people have grown older and their eyesight has deteriorated. Those that once laughed at your four eyes are now part of the same club. You could even say it was karma.

20. Everyone should have a pet.

Pets are awesome. They provide so much love and happiness (unless of course you’re allergic or phobic) and can help with stress, anxiety and depression. They love back, they need you and give you purpose in life when it feels like there isn’t one. Everyone should have a pet.

21. Everyone is human, perfect does not exist.

Perfect is one of those words in the dictionary I absolutely hate. I frequently tell my fiancé that he is as close to perfect as humanly possible. It is quite scary how much in our world revolves around the idea of looking perfect, acting perfect, having the perfect family and career. None of which actually exist. No one is perfect, and if you know someone who seems to be then recognise that they either have major issues they’re denying or are very talented at portraying a façade.

22. Everyone is different, especially those with the same illness.

On the one hand we’re taught to value our uniqueness, with various religious believes underpinning this ideal. Yet people constantly treat others as if they are the same people with the exact same feelings and experiences. Worst of all is when someone suffers from the same illness as another. I had one physio tell me that all my issues were down to my weight, and as someone who had the same health condition, she knew this was so. I promptly walked out of the appointment. She didn’t care that my weight had increased as my pain got worse, or that I used to be tiny. She just assumed it was because of the weight that I was unhealthy.

23. Illness is not a competition.

Not only have I found disabled people/invisible illness sufferers comparing symptoms, I’ve also had people tell me how difficult their life is in comparison to mine. Any illness sucks. It doesn’t matter what it is, how long you’ve had it, or how much it impacts your life. If you’re ill, you are ill. Mental or physical, something is NOT working right in your body. Those people deserve your love and support, not your frequent attempts to compete with them.

24. Nothing ever goes the way you plan.

I’ve given up making long term or detailed plans, especially with my multiple illnesses. Even without them I doubt anything would go as planned. It’s the nature of life and chaos. Learning to roll with the changes isn’t easy but also a necessity. Give it ago on a small scale and slowly build upwards.

25. Gender equality doesn’t exist.

Gender equality and especially the pay gap between genders has been in the news throughout 2015. Many people claim that gender inequality doesn’t exist, that women can work and vote and that’s enough. As a young woman I distinctly disagree. I get stared at by men, not because I look amazing because I really don’t, but because I have breasts. They do it without shame, and when you stare back most just keep staring. A few may look away guiltily when they’re caught. If workmen come to the house to fix something I can guarantee they will be male and will treat me like an air-headed house wife. If I go to a video games store the male staff will talk directly to my fiancé, or talk down to me. Hell, I’ve even had female staff do it to me. These are just a handful of circumstances.

26. People from the past know the past you.

This didn’t really come to me until very recently when I saw a similar statement on one of those words of wisdom things shared on facebook. I have always been very concerned with the past, with what people think of me and what I had done. While I knew I had changed and overcome past issues, I found it difficult to let go what others thought of me. But that is just it; they don’t know me now. They knew me then, in difficult circumstances and a different stage of my health.

27. Real friends will stick with you through everything – and I mean everything.

It infuriates me when I hear people speak of being badly treated by those who are supposed to be their friends. The fact is that real friends will do exactly what that idiom says; they’ll help you bury the body. I’ve dealt with a lot of teenage angst and mental health issues so I’ve not always been the best friend ever. That means I value those who have stuck with me beyond measure.

28. Harm ye none and do as ye will.

As a Pagan I follow the Wiccan Rede, but this line has always been something I think everyone should follow. Do what you want, live life the way you want to – but don’t harm anyone else while you do it. If you live your life that way then you’re not wrong or abnormal. No matter what society or religion says.

29. Try things for yourself.

While I listen to recommendations, I believe in trying things for myself. I frequently find myself loving movies or books that are slated by others. This goes for other experiences in life; try it, don’t just listen to that friend or relative who tells you it’s a bad idea just because they heard so from a friend. Everyone’s different, remember, so what suits someone else might be perfect for you.

30. Be yourself.

And the final lesson of my 30 years; be yourself. It is very difficult to do, especially with so much pressure from society to conform and act like everyone else. Maybe that works for some people, but others were born quirky with imaginations that need to be unleashed.

From Prague to Masters

From Prague to Masters

It has been a crazy September and even now it’s almost at an end so much is just beginning! I spent 10 days in Prague, Czech Republic for our World of Warcraft Guild meet 2015 and for a celebratory holiday for graduating/my 30th birthday in a few weeks. It was fantastic to see our friends again as we’ve not been on a guild meet for a few years, and Prague was a gorgeous city. We went to a few specific places but most of the time we just picked a direction and walked. It is literally one of those cities where you feel like you are walking through a living breathing art gallery. The people were so friendly as well, and the food was amazing. Massive portions of gorgeous dishes. It’s taken Chris over a week to stop saying ‘I miss Czech food :(‘. Munich was at the top of my list of places I’ve visited but I think Prague has either taken over or is resting in joint first place. We only saw a part of the city, staying in the Old Town, and there was so much more to see. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for somewhere to visit.

 

We came back from Prague and I jumped straight into my Masters degree at the University of Strathclyde; Information and Library Studies. The weirdest part of this is suddenly finding myself a computer science student. I have always been an Arts student. I’ve only had one week of classes, and half the classes were cancelled due to it being week 1, so next week is my first full week. I am in Tuesday and Wednesday all day, which is a long time but there are two bonuses to this; 1) I have no 3+ hour breaks in which to get bored or feel ill in, and 2) all my classes are in a nice neat block and not across the campus from one another. I’ve already found the places to eat, drink and rest in those buildings and in the next few weeks I’ll start exploring the rest of the campus bit by bit.

 

I’m hesitant to say the next bit, because I’m aware I’ve said it before in regards to teaching… but… I really feel settled already. I feel like this is the right thing for me. I enjoyed teaching, but as my placement went on there were parts of it that began to wear away on me; the politics, the two-facedness of some people, the endless critiques and the huge amount of work. A lot of the teachers were welcoming, but some were not. However, everyone I’ve met so far in relation to my course – teachers, students, library staff at the Mitchel Library (placement) – have all been really nice, friendly and enthusiastic. And more importantly, I don’t feel overly geeky. I am a self admitted geek, it is who I am, and I’ve noticed teachers come in all flavours, often not geeky, sometimes looking down on geeky. However, when you’re sitting in your first lecture and the lecturer says ‘I think we’re all geeks here’ in response to a student apologising for being geeky.. I think I’ll be ok 😉 I also like looking around the class and seeing marvel t-shirts, harry potter necklaces and so forth. I need to break out the Star Wars and World of Warcraft t-shirts 😛 I just don’t feel judged and everyone I met at the Mitchel Library, which is the base of our placements (1 day a week in both semesters) they all welcomed us with open arms. Like, this is the next generation of librarians and we want to help them become a part of this amazing tradition and profession.

 

One thing that has been really important to me is that among the jargon and technical stuff, the point of what a library is, what it should/can be and it’s impact on the whole community (whether it be local, academic and so forth). It is important. It can and will change lives. That was why I looked at teaching; I wanted to make a difference in young people’s lives, I wanted to help those who were ill or bullied and show them that they can do it. However, teaching only covers one subject and one aspect of people’s lives – being a part of a library means helping everyone and not being limited to one subject area. One of our assignments is to do research in 3 subjects, one arts, one sciences, and one engineering, to prepare us for working outside our comfort zone because we could be asked to research/find information of any topic at any time.

 

My placement really excites me because it feels like a continuation of my time in a school and a combination of all those thoughts. I’ll be working in the schools in Glasgow, and in simple terms, evaluating the current system the library is running in the schools. Basically the librarian is a part of Glasgow Libraries and then visits the school so many days a week. This means a lot of travelling around, and I’ll be splitting the huge list with my placement partner and doing it over both semesters. I’m going to be talking to the students, teachers and library staff to find out what they need and want. The most important part of this is it isn’t just an assignment, it is actual work. Everything I do in this placement matters and will be used by my supervisor to actually evaluate the system. So when I go in to a school and talk to the kids, I could be making a huge difference on their lives. But also I’ll be helping the teachers too. It is something that fits me and my desires/ideas/etc. for contributing perfectly.

 

I am also now a member of two libraries; Glasgow and my home council. Yes, that means exactly what it sounds like. MORE BOOKS. I now have access to a huge range of resources for my Masters, but we are actively encouraged to use the library for pleasure reading because that is what libraries are for! So I went through my massive to read list and now have two lists on goodreads:

There were some cross overs, and local library is still easier as it’s literally at the end of my road, but I will definitely be grabbing some from Glasgow libraries. I’ve already ordered two I have been dying to read and hopefully will be able to pick them up when I’m there on Thursday.

In other geeky news I have been playing Guild Wars 2 again. I will be popping back into World of Warcraft for bits and pieces, such as holidays like Brewfest, but otherwise my motivation has just ceased up and died. I went in to do the 5 pvp pet battles for pet battle weekend and just ended up going ‘meh’ and logging out again. I go through phases with everything, gaming is no exception. I will probably post more on GW2 and gaming in general soon.

2014 so far

World of the Year 2014

Where to begin? As you can probably guess from the lack of posts since December it has been a busy and chaotic 2014 so far. Health has been up and down, lots of changes and moving home. The later came as a massive shock and couldn’t have come at a worst time. We’re all settled in now though and life is moving onwards. I am currently in my exam period for year 3. All assessments have been handed in, although I’m waiting for grades for them still. I have 3 exams; two from Semester 1 and one from Semester 2. I was fortunate enough to have the exam gods bless me with one exam a week, which gives me plenty of time to revise for each one individually. The downside? The Medieval Literature one is first up. It’s not too bad; it’s just the translation part of the exam which has me pretty nervous. I’m not to bad reading Medieval English – in my head. But I need to write it down in modern prose… not so easy. The other two are a matter of re-reading, remembering themes and planning questions.

 

At the beginning of the year I was invited to choose a Word of the Year by Haley. To read more about this idea see this useful blog post. Googling word of the year gives you a range of different websites; dictionaries mainly but also spiritual and it isn’t specific to one religion. For me it’s spiritual, it has it’s roots in Paganism but this is something you can do whether you’re religious, spiritual or not. At the end of the day it is about positivity, making steps towards something better for yourself.

 

Change

 

That is my word of 2014 and it has so far been an apt choice. This year has already brought about some changes, whether I’ve wanted them or not. I chose it because I knew this year I would be starting two things which would have big influences on my life; teaching placement and creative writing dissertation. I’ve been at my placement at a High School since February, initially starting for just the required 25-30 hours for my Humanities in the Classroom module and then being invited to stay on for the rest of the year. I’ve also been offered the chance to return next year, which I would love to do, but I need to take into consideration that it will be my final year and that means insanity in general. Plenty of time to decide about that anyway 🙂

 

I am absolutely loving my time at the school. I really lucked out and have had the opportunity to work with an awesome department full of supportive and friendly teachers of all levels and styles. It really helped to be working alongside two student teachers currently working on their PGDE as a lot of the work they had to do, I was also doing i.e. reflecting on lesson plans and working with certain classes. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience and I can finally say ‘I found it’! That thing I want to do for the rest of my life. I’d love to end up an author full time, but I’m nearing 30 and it’s time to settle down into a career that will last. It has been a long time in coming but I have finally found it; Teaching. After the first day I had fallen in love with it.

 

I had been worried that I wouldn’t be able to handle it physically but another change, a positive one, is that my Physio is working. I have the loveliest Physio and cannot recommend the team at Glasgow Physio Center highly enough. They’re awesome 🙂 I have a 30 min session every week in which is usually spent 15 mins working on my problem areas with massaging techniques and stretches and then 15 minutes pilates. I’m hoping to move up to 30 mins pilates over the summer.

 

This should hopefully break my lack of blog entries record now. I have a growing list of topics I want to blog about so I’ll try and get started on them soon! 🙂 At the moment I’m getting over a bug that I’ve had for 3 weeks – yep my entire easter break, which sucked – and during my recovery I have gotten addicted to pinterest thanks to Haley and Claire. You can find me over here.

 

 

 

All Change

Uni Updates

In the past few weeks I’ve had to change my class timetable several times, so the post I previously wrote about classes is now pretty much null and void. One of the changes I had expected; Creative Writing Dissertation is for 4th years or 3rd years doing a general humanities degree. Since I am neither it means that I don’t need to take it this year. The good news is that I don’t need to resubmit a portfolio next year; I just need to email to say I’m still interested. While I was looking forward to it, I have to admit I am a little glad of the delay. The last year has been very difficult and while I’ve been planning my novel out in my head, I’ve not actually touched it for months. So a year of getting involved with it again will really help 🙂

The other change is that I am no longer taking comparative literature courses. I received a very unprofessional and condescending email from one of the senior lecturers. There was a specific bit where my disabilities were mentioned and that is all I am saying. I felt extremely uncomfortable after this and have therefore chosen not to take the courses. I’m disappointed because I was looking forward to them, but the bad outweighed the good. It has actually worked out in my favour because it meant I was taking an extra course due to the weird 20 credits for comparative literature modules, where as english literature ones are 30 credits. That means two courses per semester, where as with the comparative literature I was doing 3-4 – the comparative literature ones lasted 2 semesters. Each english lit course is just one semester. It likewise has given me a much nicer timetable; I’m off both wednesday and thursday, with one 10am lecture on fridays.

So what am I actually taking now? I’m still taking Victorian Literature. This term it is accompanied by Medieval English Literature:

On this course Honours students will have the opportunity to explore texts from the period of Chaucer’s lifetime, when English literature exploded into life. The texts selected will be contextualised within the fourteenth-century cultures and societies within which they were produced and received. Themes and theories covered will be based on topics such as authorship, patronage, sexuality, gender, piety, personal identity, historicism, legend, medievalism, audience, manuscript production. At the end of the course, assessment will give students the opportunity to demonstrate their ability (1) to translate and comment on select passages of late medieval literary texts; (2) to discuss and locate select texts within the culture, society and linguistic and literary milieux in which they were produced; (3) to discuss the approaches and techniques available to and used by critics and commentators in the interpretation of these texts.

 

For those of you who don’t know; I did my history of art dissertation on manuscripts. Apocalyptic manuscripts to be precise. I also really enjoyed a manuscript based course I did in third year, so this is essentially looking at manuscripts from the opposite side; literature rather than art. I also took a previous medieval studies course during the same degree, so I figured this would be building up on knowledge I already have.

In term 2 I still have Humanities in the classroom, and now also Modern Literature 1945 to Present.

This course offers an opportunity to study the key writers, genres and movements of the immediate post-WWII period through to the contemporary moment. Through an extremely varied programme of lectures and seminars, students are introduced to a range of literary texts (poetry, drama, novels and graphic novels), placed in relevant historical and cultural contexts and critical debates. Students will be encouraged to read widely in order to understand the diversity and innovation that characterizes contemporary writing. Lectures will address the impact of a range of important cultural and political concerns (e.g. war, racial and ethnic diversity, national identities, changing attitudes to sex and sexuality, ecological crisis) as well as changes (and continuities) in the forms and genres through which writers have engaged with these issues.

I like my literature the opposite way to my art; I prefer modern literature, especially this time period. Plus getting to study Angela Carter, Neil Gaimen and graphic novels is just awesome.

The class changes are not the only changes. For the past month and a bit I have been working at my university as a part of the enrolment and registration support team. And as of today, that job is officially over 🙁 I really enjoyed the job and met some amazing people who I intend to stay in contact with. It just feels so weird now that it is over!

I also had my assessment with the private physio and wow, just wow. I don’t remember ever not feeling some sort of pain or discomfort, and she did some nerve work on my arm/shoulder/neck where there is pressure on the nerve. I felt pain free for a while and it was blissful. She was lovely, so understanding and not at all judgemental. So I’m just starting a new period in my life; she’s the first person in 8 years to actually help me battle against my hypermobility syndrome. I have my first proper appointment on monday, and I just hope I can go. All that time around freshers has inevitably given me Freshers Flu. I’m due a new flu vaccine and it only covers the most popular forms of flu, so this one has managed to slip in under the radar and I feel terrible.