Life choices and a not-quite-a-date date

Another jam-packed day today. Two uni lectures, two Masters taster sessions and something resembling a date – we just avoided calling it one.

The first of my uni lectures was really useful, but I could’ve done with the lecture last week! It was basically an overview of each essay and the key things to consider. I had already started my research and had an essay plan, but this session showed me that I was going at it from the wrong angle. My new essay plan is actually much easier to understand and I look forward to writing it. At least I hope I will!

I had a manic dash between my morning lecture and the first tasters session as I had to get some Mersey day saver tickets to post home in time for my mum and stepdad visiting next week and shower/dress for my ‘not-quite-a-date date’. Our shower has an irritating habit of creating a foot pool as you shower and takes over an hour to drain. It hadn’t fully drained from the previous use so it was quite possibly the quickest shower I’ve had yet. I managed to get everything done in under an hour, which is quite a miracle for anybody I think!

The first MA taster session for today was in Education. It wasn’t what I was expecting as I thought it would be more along the lines of a PCGE. I did enjoy the topics covered but I shan’t be considering that as a postgraduate option. I then met the lad I mentioned on Monday/Tuesday for a hot chocolate at my local Costa. It wasn’t quite a date, more a chance to get to know each other better. The hour flew by and it was much more enjoyable than I imagined. I say this because last night I was a bit unsure, the texts every so often came across as a bit arrogant. I’m really pleased I went though. We have an awful lot in common and we debated strongly on our favourite uni topics – philosophy for him and history for me. He likewise enjoyed the day, but we have both decided to stay friends for now as he only recently ended a seven-year relationship and I would prefer to focus my attention on my studies, seeing as I’m doing really well at the moment. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see where things go, and my confidence has improved a great deal over the week – apparently I have a nice ass! He noticed as I was leaving the lecture early to attend the second taster session and pulled the push door (as you always do). So yeah, if nothing else it’s made me realise that the hard work I’ve put into changing my lifestyle over the past year is paying off. And he bought my drink and a caramel shortcake slice which was a delicious surprise.

The final highlight of today was my final taster session of the week. I was pleasantly surprised. It was in history, which has and likely always will be, my favourite subject. My overall aim is to teach it in a high school because the engagement at that level can be really rewarding and the topics can be discussed in further depth. I originally thought I would go straight on to study a PCGE at either Newcastle or Durham. I can now say that I am seriously considering extending my stay in Liverpool to study a Masters in History at Hope. The course seems ideal for me and the staff are wonderful. It was the most relaxed of all the sessions I’ve attended this week, and not just because of the free wine! I have a meeting in two weeks with a careers advisor regarding my academic progression, so I will gather some more information about everything I’m considering beforehand to get the most out of the meeting.

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How do you react to meeting your idol?

Yet another fantastic day! It was definitely fate that encouraged me to start this blog at the weekend because this week has been beyond amazing and it’s only three days in. Admittedly today started like a normal Wednesday – early morning start to go to the gym, shower, research, lunch and Oxfam shift. Normal.

And then who walks into the shop to make a donation? Only my idol BETH TWEDDLE! I was unsure at first because I was cleaning the shelves and my manager took the donation. I recognised the voice and thought it looked like her from the side but was unable to move quickly enough to actually ask her. Also, what do you say to someone who looks like your idol? It might not be them. Or it is and then how do you react? Anyway, she left before I plucked up the courage to ask. My manager hadn’t even twigged, so we were still a bit unsure until we sorted through the donation and found out that it was indeed Beth. I then had a delayed fan girl moment for about twenty minutes. So yeah, that was my fantastic moment of the day. This is the proof.

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The other brilliant moments of today have been getting a lovely little teal Ted Baker sweater at a bargain price of £4.99 and two delightful Skype sessions with my parents. I’m really close with all of my immediately family, and my flatmates do take the mick out of how often I speak to them throughout the day. I’d say moving away has strengthen my relationships with my family, especially my Mum. We were close before, but now we’re best friends/sisters as well as mother/daughter.

I treasure these moments. Here’s one that I’d like to share from my grandma today. I’d sent her a moonpig card last night for her birthday on Sunday, and mum took her to the garden centre to get a joint birthday gift. Enjoy and treasure moments like this. No matter how much they may annoy you at times. And vice versa!

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Try something new today

It’s been a pretty jam-packed day and with just over a week until my 3,000 word essay on British Emigration needs to be handed in, everything is suddenly getting a tad hectic. My morning was spent working through a textbook and I’ll have finished that book by my Oxfam shift tomorrow. The debate is do I go to the gym in the morning or not? I likely will because that way I can guarantee that I’ll actually leave my bed before 8.30am! Anyway this is the list I’ve been working through, I find it easier to locate all the pages relevent to my topics first and note them down, rather than constantly flick backwards and forwards to the index. I’m enjoying this subject which always makes research a bit more bearable. Only just though! My morning was also brightened by this text. I don’t care what people say, it actually made me beam.

Work for the day  The text that made my day

The text is referring to the MA Theology taster session I persuaded him to join me on. We had a laugh and I was impressed by some of the courses available but I’d rather study History (Thursday evening session) nearer to home. We did get offered free sarnies and tea/coffee which was an added bonus I’ll be expecting on Thursday lunch (MA Education session).

After the session I had to dash off to my witchcraft lecture which was a bit dull compared to some of the previous lectures we’ve had. We went to the uni cafe afterwards for a drink and to discuss our upcoming essays. I’m a hot chocolate drinker, purely because it warms you up and I dislike tea or coffee, but decided to be brave and try a latte because they have the weakest coffee taste. It was called ‘red hot and steamy’ and actually quite nice as it also contained cinnamon syrup, white chocolate and cherries. I may be a latte convert but purely because it’s acceptable and encouraged to mask the taste of the coffee!

Red hot and steamy

I was then once more at uni this evening for a three hour band rehearsal, as we have a concert on Mother’s Day in Sefton Park. As always it was tiring, but definitely worth it. The concert is going to be amazing, especially as my mum and stepdad will be travelling down from Newcastle to listen. I can’t wait! My favourite pieces are Phantom of the Opera (the ending is fantastic despite being deafened by the tubas), Star Wars (again tubas and the conductor pulls the greatest faces, I end up spending the majority of the piece fighting back the giggles!) and the Witch and the Saint (such a beautiful melody). I’ve just got survive the next week and a half!

Good things come in threes

For it being a dull, grey Monday morning, things were certainly looking positive. For a start, there’s nothing a girl likes more than waking up to a text from the bank showing that the uni bursary has gone in. Especially when I couldn’t remember getting the letter confirming it back in September! Lovely little surprise.

I was dreading this morning to be honest though. I had to pick up two assignments from my tutors, and while I felt fairly confident about one, I was adiment that I’d be lucky to have scraped a 2.2 on the other. Even after dawdling in the house for a bit I still managed to get to uni earlier than my appointment. It’s a special talent I have, I can leave the house a little later and still be early. However this time it was just a tad inconvenient as I was at least 10 minutes early. Once I’d found the tutor’s office, it then took him a while to find my assignment – the whole time I’m getting more and more worried that the essay is going to have sucked and be a major disappointment – and eventually he finds it, smiles and says I’ll mention more on it in class tomorrow. A clear dismissal. I glance down and straight away I’m like ‘Are you sure?’, ‘Eee thank you!’. I’d gotten a first! I’m still in shock now and I don’t mean to sound uppity or anything like that, but I was super chuffed. I’d worked my backside off for two weeks researching it, but ended up spending nearly eight hours sat at my laptop writing the 2,300 odd words the day before it was due and I was unsure about the quality of what I’d written. My flatmates very kindly proof-read it overnight and I also read over it properly and edited a fair bit of it the next morning after a decent nights sleep, and while I was still unsure about it, I knew it was the best I could do and handed it in. I feel like I should also point out that I had changed my mind on which question I was going to answer twice before I settled on one because I wasn’t confident I could provide a decent argument. Even when I handed it in, I was still unsure. After all, I’d written an essay about witchcraft in England as a crime and not mentioned that the majority persecuted were female! I felt confident in my omission up until I was sat in class and it was once again being constantly mentioned. I was sat there thinking ‘I’ve failed!’. But I hadn’t. Happy days!

I was then ridiculously early for my lecture, but still walking in the clouds. The lecture, however, dragged slightly and by the end of it everyone was chomping at the bit to get out. 44 slides on Buddhism, including holiday snaps which I guess brightened it up, but I was still waiting for the tumbleweed. However, just when we thought we were free, we had a talk for about twenty minutes on how to write an essay. I’m half way through my degree already! If I didn’t know how to write an essay by now, surely I wouldn’t still be on my course?! That was when we decided we needed to go to the pub after class.

I had to meet my friends at the pub slightly later, as I had to pick up the second assignment. After waiting just under half an hour, I eventually got the mark sheet of my biblical analysis which I handed in just after Christmas. I was hoping for the same mark as the last biblical analysis I completed, as I thought I had improved. And I beat it! Another first! Happy happy.

After all the good news, it was down to the local pub for grub and, as a treat, a glass of rose. It was lovely to just gossip, natter and giggle. Pub time is almost like our comfort after a particularly crappy lecture and I think it’s safe to say I’ve sampled most of the meals by now…
imageAnyway, after nattering away for nearly two hours it was time to head back home. Before I got in the house though I nipped to the shops and bought a lucky dip for Wednesday’s lottery. It was too good a day not to really! When I got in I started to write this blog but had to leave again for tonight’s Amnesty meeting. And I’m telling you now, the meeting certainly rounded off a brilliant day. We made some adjustments to the Egg Trail we have planned for around uni and there were some newbies to our meeting. One of whom gave me his number. Ah it’s days like this that make me regret not keeping a journal as it’s mainly the bad days you focus one. This way, I’ll remember the good, the bad and the downright shameful all the better.

Adding a splash of colour to my day

After thoroughly knacking my nails yesterday morning, I decided I’d paint both fingers and toes this morning. There’s something very relaxing about painting nails and I see it as a fab way to brighten up a dull day. I love seeing other people’s nail designs, it’s a brilliant way to express your mood or personality.

Of course part of the fun is trying to remove the previous polish. I thought glitter nail polish was the worst until I tried to remove this.

Prickly pear gelly and MUA The bobbles on the signature nail are MUA Nail Constellation. While I’ve used sequins on my nails, this was another learning curve. I bought it alongside another MUA special effects nail polish as the bobbles were £3 per pot and the offer in Superdrug was 2 for £4. I would recommend that you place a tissue or sheet of paper underneath the nail while sprinkling to catch any excess bobbles. This also allows you to dab the wet nail onto the leftover bobbles to get an even coverage. I used Barry M Gelly in Prickly Pear for the nail colour, and used two coats alongside a base and top coat of OPI Nail Envy, to create a lovely dusky lilac. This will definitely be a spring colour for me! I tried the same method I use to remove glitter nail polish (ie. drench the cotton pad in remover, scrub the nail while praying that it removes the colour rather than dilutes it and covers your nail in fluff), but it simply dulled the colours of the bobbles. Instead I had to pick the bobbles off by hand. Of course this isn’t the healthiest thing to do to your nails and in future I will leave them on a bit longer. They are surprisingly resistant to daily wear, just not to wrestling with bedding!

I love having brightly painted toe nails, regardless of the season. I think this stemmed from not being allowed to have nail polish on in school, so I’d always paint my toes. It always makes me smile at seeing colourful toe nails, because bare feet can be pretty disgusting. I previously had them painted in Rimmel Coralicious, which is a vibrant cross between pink and orange. It’s one of my favourite summer colours and I used it to remind me that summer with eventually arrive once England stops having these weird snow flurries! Anyway, this time I used the other new Gelly that I bought (1 for £3.99 or 2 for £6, Superdrug), Greenberry. I was a bit unsure of it at first because it is quite a bright green, whereas I had been expecting it to be more of a cross between green and blue. I’m pleased I tested it on my feet first, and I will likely use it more as the weather improves.

Greenberry gelly

On my fingers, I decided to go for a simple block colour for a change. I used Barry M Gelly in Pomegranate, which I have used before. It’s quite a deep pinky red, ideal for feeling feminine. I find this particular paint a bit thick and only needed one coat. It took a while to dry, I even used the hair dryer on them briefly (I was doing my hair at the time), but alas I still managed to smudge one! I may repair it tonight – if I can be bothered!

Pomegranate gelly

Why make a survey so complex?

I hadn’t intended to post so quickly but I am busy completing a survey for a uni student and there was a fair bit that irritated me. It’s on nutrition, which is a matter I believe quite strongly in since making a significant effort to improve my own lifestyle back in January 2012 (I will provide more info on this in the future).

First irritation –

 I’m a combined honours student, as a vast majority of students at Hope are. Do we just pick our favourite of the two? I did.

Umm wow – too fancy for me and I know it confused some of my friends who are veggies/vegans.

This is a major bug bear for me – I loathe the word ‘diet’. Not every method of weight loss involves dieting. The word connotes negative behaviour and I promptly correct anyone who claims I am on a diet. I watch what I eat and record it in a food diary. For anyone looking to follow this technique I recommend MyFitnessPal (MFP).

Anyway…

The image isn’t as clear as I’d hoped, but it was this question which prompted me to write this post. The survey is ultimately about students perceptions regarding nutrition labels. The question is asking for the amount of sugar in half the pack, yet the answers they provide are relating to the information found in the per 100g section. At least that’s how I’m reading it. Looks like I’ll have to select the ‘don’t know’ option.

This actually made me laugh purely because my first thought was Sainsbury’s, Tesco, M&S. It doesn’t bother me how this info is presented so long it is there. I do understand how some people can get confused between the different labels but it simply a case of learning how each relates to the nutritional information and how to incorporate it into your own diet – I use this word purely in the eating food context, not weight loss (see above rant).

The rest of the questionnaire was fairly straightforward. I guess this gives a better insight into how I operate on something I’m passionate about. I did show in my previous post doodle that I feel pretty strongly about health! Now I definitely will do some research.

Oi oi let’s see how this works…

For a while I have debated on joining the blogging world. I use Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, twitter to see what the rest of the world says, and use Instagram to make my pictures look pretty. That is about as techy as I get. Tumblr, I’m not afraid to admit, baffled me. I guess I’m just not ‘hipster’ enough, which suits me to a T. I decided to take the plunge today simply because it was either this or my essay and I’m sick of researching it at the moment. However, once the sign up process was complete, I felt like I was more stuck in Tumblr. How did I make this blank web page reflect me? I played around with different customising options but still remained relatively in the dark. Then I received the email linked to the tutorial. Humbling for a 20 year old but I needed it and it’s greatly helped. I hope. I certainly enjoyed the doodling suggestions on which direction to take your blog. In 60 seconds here is what I came up with:I’m the first to admit I’m not a buddy artist. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this activity. I may even adapt it fit into a guide meeting. Maybe. Anyway, most are self-explanatory but I feel I should say that ‘rant/express without concern’ simply means I don’t really have to edit my thoughts as I do on FB and Twitter as I don’t expect many to read this. Don’t worry, nothing should be offensive! Hopefully.

The next task was to decide what I’d like to blog about:

 60 seconds was not enough to jot it all down but again I enjoyed thinking about what I generally care about when put under a time pressure. There is a bit more to my life and they will doubtlessly be recorded on here but you get the general jist.

Finally I had two minutes to combine the two pages together and this was the result:

I found this bit harder but I like things being relatively organised so I guess this activity helped. Overall, expect my own opinions on the my life, experiences, and what is happening elsewhere. I can’t guarantee that it will be interesting to everyone, or even to anybody but myself, but we’ll see how it develops. I guess I’d better crack on with my essay now. Sigh.