I have been wondering lately whether I should delete this blog. I hate to admit it. I hate even more that I am admitting it to no one. For surely anyone who flicked to this page stopped doing so after the posts dried up. To remaining stragglers - I’m sorry. All I can say is that my routine became so consumed with study that any space in my mind for interesting thoughts, musings, or inspiration, was smothered by the daily grind.
I’ve finished my degree now. The five and a half year build up came and went relatively quietly, and I’m left trying to figure out my life - a challenge faced by grads year after year. Most have a plan. I do not. So when I was thinking about this blog - between shifts watching The Wire and fretting about my lack of motivation – I realised that giving up on it could have a domino effect. Soon I would be giving up on brushing my teeth and showering. The time to act is now.
To mark this change, I have decided to dedicate this post to the top 5 harsh realities that I have realised you face when the sweet hot water bottle that is university goes cold in your arms.
You don’t have a heavy workload anymore.
Uni students love to talk about how stressed they are. I did it. All the time, every day, repeatedly. I knew no one cared. It’s really quite dull, and no one can say anything that will ease your stress, but man it feels good to vent. You feel like you’re achieving something by reeling off the impossibly large list of tasks you have to have done by 4pm Friday. Your bosses despise your excuses, your non-uni friends think it is tedious and repetitive, and your parents tolerate it because they love you. The only person you can rant to without guilt is a fellow busy student. And even they don’t really care but are just pleased because the agreement is reciprocal. They are allowed to follow your rant with an equally long rant about their workload. Then you can both fret and grind your teeth together. But once it’s done and uni experience complete, all that work become a memory. You can ride the achievement wave for a while, but too long and you become similar to a celebrity obsessed with their one hit. Bret Michaels springs to mind. Every episode of Rock of Love that I watched (which was like 2, ehem) he managed to pull out that dusty old acoustic and sing ‘Every rose has its thorn’, like he had written it in 2009 rather than 1988. Your big achievement, your one hit. As I settled in for an afternoon nap last Tuesday, I wondered – will an undergraduate degree be mine?
2. If the world was a high school, you would be a third former.
Yes, it’s true. Pack a lunch to carry in that giant backpack, because you have no money for sushi. You’re grasping for scraps. Desperate to please and make an impression. Give me a job, go on.
You are a social pariah.
Alienated from the uni clique and not welcome at the young-corporates' indoor sporting games or after work drinks. You are a lone wolf, free to e-mail hopefully and consider your options, alone.
You cannot go ANYWHERE.
You are free. Yes. The world is your oyster. No. It costs money to go on a plane, or leave the house.
Everyone is interested in your plans.
Family, family friends, friends, friends of friends.
“So, what are you up to now?”
I HAVE NO IDEA.
Hopefully all readers are feeling good about their own positions right now. But if my gloomy speel is a mirror of your own anxiety, let me know, we can commiserate together. No doubt we both have free time to kill. For now, I have Mariah Carey and her emancipation. It’s inspiring stuff. I listen to a hit a day. She had hers, I’m thinking I’ll have mine. xx
Lately I've been working on my spelling and grammar skills.
I've always been ok at that sort of stuff, but not great. It's so easy to be lazy and use spell-check religiously, but then, before you know it, you're 23 and battling over how to spell the word 'vague'. Ehem.
Anyway, I was teaching literacy, so I got confronted by my crapness and figured it was time to brush up. Now I'm quite into it!
I started reading this book today: Eats, Shoots & Leaves - it's great!
The author, Lynne Truss, points out that punctuation is generally pretty misunderstood today, and examples are everywhere. She also highlights the importance of punctuation in shaping the meaning of our words and uses this example (which I have uplifted) to make the point:
I want a man who knows what love is all
about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful.
People who are not like you admit to being
useless and inferior. You have ruined me for
other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings
whatsoever when we're apart. I can be
forever happy - will you let me be yours?
Different use of punctuation results in...
I want a man who knows what love is. All
about you are generous, kind, thoughtful
people, who are not like you. Admit to being
useless and inferior. You have ruined me. For
other men I yearn! For you I have no feelings
whatsoever. When we're apart I can be
forever happy. Will you let me be?
Ahh, I like tricky things like that. But the one thing I don't agree with in this book is the idea that text messaging is ruining our spelling/grammar skills. I think that predictive has actually made my spelling skills a whole lot better, because it doesn't let you write the word incorrectly. I have learned many a word after stubbornly trying to enter the spelling I have (for my whole life) believed to be correct, only to find - living a lie.
Not much else to say on this, because I've learned from experience that often what seems interesting in my head can turn out to be a rock chained to the leg of conversation which then gets pushed into the sea.
Last night, we were at my friend Anja's birthday party, having some drinks, some laughs, taking some photos, then quickly crowding the camera to have a look at those photos, and so on. There were only a few of us, so it was like when you go a long holiday with one or two others, and the lineup gets so familiar you have to try and get creative with poses and expressions (to mix it up). Someone suggested we all pouted, simple enough. No, not really - we had to try and re-try and re-try because the weakest link (me) was ruining it. Involuntary! I never knew, but I can't pout.
I can get grumpy,
pack a sad,
pretty sure I've kissed a couple of people,
so what have I been doing all my life?
After a series of unsuccessful attempts, the sounds of laughter and clinking glasses became a whirring blur around me as my mind began to race. Memories came flooding in of the day I realised I couldn't roll my tongue, or wink. The shame of having to whisper to my drama teacher that picking me to be the murderer in wink murder would just defeat the purpose of the game, and her nodding back sympathetically.
So I got to thinking about pouting. At home I googled it, and found out that techically it's:
'A protrusion of the lips, especially as an expression of sullen discontent'.
I remembered a friend saying that you just had to say 'prawn' and you were pouting, I thought about famous pouts like Angelina and Posh. But it was getting a bit forced, my lips were dry from all the work and my eyes beaten by images like this:
And even though I felt sulky about the fact that I couldn't pout, I had no idea how I was expressng that, since there's no pout stock on hand, I was probably grinning. xx
That's because I shouldn't really be writing posts, I should be writing essays.
So as a compromise I call on my old friend youtube to entertain. I guess you could just go onit yourself to watch clips..But no no, then you'd get lost in a haze of freakish singing children, cute animals etc, and we'd all be spending way too much time online.
Anyway, I have no idea who I was addressing before, so to the point: I like music and I'm not into downloading (seems a bit dry). Much more fun searching for songs on youtube . Sometimes you find the song you're looking for played over a weird animated clip that someone's made at home (who could be bovered?), or a bizzare photo montage (see last bracket). But sometimes you can find awesome live clips, like this one -