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What don’t I do that I should be doing?

(First posted 31st May 2014)

I am supposed to be packing. I am no where near halfway packed, and I have 9 hours to finish. So obviously I am going to write a blog right now…

Okay so I just watched a video on youtube by SoulPancake where they asked people on the street “What don’t you do that you should be doing?” and while the video was loading I was thinking of what my first off the top of my head answers would be. I made a mental list. Here it is.

-Floss regularly.

-Blog regularly.

-Eat healthy breakfasts.

-Exercise

-Go swimming.

-Ride my bike.

-Call people out on being awful (e.g. transphobia, homophobia, racism, sexism, ableism)

And then I started to struggle but then the video loaded and I thought about some of the things the people on the video were saying and they were talking about things like helping people, calling their families, following their dreams, appreciating themselves, along with exercising and staying active and encouraging people to love one another.

I was thinking, I totally help people a lot. But then, i don’t know if I do. I mean I donate money to charities on a regular basis, and I support and promote a lot of charities and causes both on social media and in conversation, but I don’t’ actually help people on the ground. I don’t go to those people who need help and actually help them. I don’t know whether that is something I should maybe start doing more. I mean, by just fundraising and raising awareness does that make me all talk and no game? Or are those things more important than actually going to those in need and chatting to them and asking how you can help them. How do you decide who is in need? Is that not something that a person has to decide for themselves, and wouldn’t it be patronising of you to assume that they specifically would need your help? I don’t even know. I think I need to consider getting more hands on in terms of helping people. Any suggestions, feel free to comment or whatever. I might need to wait until after the referendum because that eats up any spare time I have right now. But should it? Is it right that I am dedicating all this time to the referendum when I could be helping people? I mean I honestly really believe that in the long run all the work that Yes are doing will help people, once we persuade enough people to vote yes and secure better future for them, but should I be doing something now? I don’t know. I mean all forms of helping and charity work for good causes must be a good thing, but are their like levels of good? I am going to think about this a bit more.

Also calling my family, I call my Mum and my Gran a lot. But I rarely call my Dad or my Papa or my brother or my aunt Fiona. I never call my other aunts or uncles or cousins. Would they/I be happier if I called them more? Should that be something I endeavour to do? I think it would be a bit weird if I called my brother everyday. “Hi” “Hi ”How are you” “I am fine, how are you.” “Fine.” “Cool. I don’t have anything to say.” “Okay good, neither do I. Bye!” “Bye.” Maybe I should call the ones I don’t see very often and let them know I am thinking about them. But then they might think I wanted something or I was dying or someone else was dying or something, because it would be so abnormal. Oh well I think I will continue with my current call scheduled, but if any family members read this and decide they would like to talk to me on the phone more then please feel free to call me more, and I will call you more too!

Okay I really need to go pack now. Enough distractions. Good bye. Sorry for this pointless blog.

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I’m back.

(First posted 12th May 2014)

Hello. I’m sorry I have been away for so long. Life happened.

So, I finished my degree. That was a thing that just happened. So that’s done, and that’s a nice feeling. It’s gone. I don’t need to do anything for it anymore. I can start concentrating on important things like Scottish Independence, finding a job, finding a new flat, and how to make the perfect seitan burgers. All these things are very exciting and I hope to write a lot more about them in the next few weeks, but for now I think I should probably update you all (all one of you, hi Daniel…) on what has happened in the past few months. A lot of it has been very samey, so there might not actually be that much. Don’t really know what I am about to write to be honest, I am just going to go in chronological order starting at my last post and working my way back to here. My last post was on the 4th of March. Okay, how am I possibly going to remember everything that has happened since the fourth of March!?

I will go through my facebook posts and expand on all of the important ones, that seems sensible.

4th of March: I finished my last ever essay and went out for pancake day as I said in my other blog but ALSO I discovered I probably have a bell pepper allergic. I have never liked bell peppers because they make my throat feel like it has a weird plastic coating, and they make me feel like I am going to throw up. I did an online search and it turns out people are legitimately allergic to them. Who would have thought! I am also allergic to blueberries too. So now you know.

5th of March: I started my dissertation and my pals Amy, Sophie, and Zoe sent me some motivational messages. It was thoughtful and only slightly intimidating. My flatmate Emily made vegan mince and tatties and it was awffy braw. She has crazy cooking skills, like she has the intuition to just know what and how much needs to be added, its magic.  And, probably the most exciting thing from the day (not that tatties and dissertations aren’t exciting) was that this video was released: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SvdecwnYJ4&feature=youtu.be and I am in it a few times and it was quite exciting because it sort of went viral (at least in the Scottish politico world) quite quickly. It was so much fun to be involved in and I hope I get a chance to do more things like this before September 18th!

6th of March: There was an election at the Student Representatives Council at uni. I told myself I wouldn’t get involved in caring this year since I am not going to be a student next term, but I couldn’t help but be bitterly disappointed with the election results. I won’t go into detail about this because it will make me mad, and I don’t need to care about this anymore. Anyone who cares about Glasgow University politics will already know anyway!

Apparently I didn’t think it was important enough to write about the event I was involved in for International Women’s Week on the 7th of March! It went well and we raised £30+ for Rape Crisis Scotland, so that was cool. We got women chatting about Independence in an informal environment, and we got a lot of positive feedback. I should have made a facebook post, but I didn’t make any that day I was quite busy because my best friend from home was here. We went out for lunch, tea, and dinner! And then we went to see the Vagina Monologues, they (it? I’m not sure..) were/was quite impressive. My chair was not though and I was wearing really uncomfortable jeans. Seriously, who ever invented skinny jeans was a sadistic, evil, human being.

Okay so nothing really happened apparently for a while. On the 14th of March a member of staff from my department at the university who I (and many other people) nominated won the award for best support staff. We were all really happy for her because she is truly a wonderful person. :) For the rest of March I wrote my dissertation, ate seeds, listened to some bangin’ tunes and poems, posted some nice wee videos for some excellent charities/causes, and had recipes posted to my facebook by my foodie flatmate.

I was supposed to hand in my dissertation on the 25th, but that didn’t happen because I got sick, so we moved the date forward, but that didn’t happen because I was still sick, and then when that date happened I was still sick too so we moved it forward. And I handed my dissertation in on the 8th of April, and then I slept for a day, until I needed to go to the library and write a further 3000 words for my Humanities in the Classroom  placement portfolio, and I wrote that and it was pretty excellent, I was quite proud of it. I am never proud of my work because I am too caught up in flaws, but this is one thing I can say I am very proud of. I still haven’t got the grade back for that one yet, so keep your fingers crossed!

Okay so we are in April now apparently. This blog has no structure. Maybe it’s a metaphor for my future. Oh wow, please don’t let it be a metaphor for my future. I want structure in that. NEXT:

April 10th was #YouYesYet day and I nominated a bunch of people to post why they were voting yes, and they did and it was very nice. One friend decided to spam my twitter repeatedly, and then spam my Facebook with exactly the same thing. She didn’t really understand how it worked…

April 11th I went to Fife to see my family and they were there and I were there and we ate a lot of food and went for some dog walks and it was nice. I went there at some point during dissertation hell too, and that wasn’t so nice because I was sick and had lots of work and it was bad, so it was really great to have time there when those things weren’t happening. My humanities teacher says I use too many comma spices, I’m not sure that’s true, do you think that’s true? It might be true, but I’m not sure, so I will just keep going…

I had like an existential crisis or something at some point where I was like “woah I feel exactly like I did 5 years ago when I was waiting for my exam results to get into uni”. I still sort of feel like that, only if failed my exams I didn’t get into uni, whereas if I fail my dissertation/degree I don’t get into… life. But that’s not going to happen. Right? Right.

Right….?

Anyway. So. I started my revision, but I also did some Yessing at Strathclyde Uni, because they were having an on campus referendum. It was great to be back out again, but I am so bad at giving people leaflets it is embarrassing. Seriously, I cannot approach people. The reason being is that when people approach me with a leaflet I get really annoyed, but I have to try and remember that the rest of the world isn’t actually socially defunct like I am. Okay, I am not socially defunct, but nobody ever has leaflets for useful things. I don’t care about no 24 cocktails for £1 because I don’t drink, and I am not interested in your half price burgers because I don’t eat meat, and I don’t need my hair cut because when I want a hair cut I get it done, I don’t just wait until a guy with a leaflet outside St Enoch’s centre hands me a leaflet. Give me a leaflet about something important and I might actually care. Sorry, rant over…

Okay so nothing much else happened for a while except revision, I listened to this playlist a lot http://8tracks.com/mvdison/wake-up-and-take-on-the-world  and I discovered a website that emails your MSPs and MPs for you, and wished I had found it before because it would have come in very useful! It still will. Here it is, in case you want it. https://www.writetothem.com/

18th April: I took the weekend off studying and friend Jodie came up from England to visit me for my birthday. It was chilled, we ate Chinese food and watched Frozen.

19th April: Went to the Gatsby Club Speakeasy at Steampunk Cafe for my birthday celebrations, we had a wee Charleston class and spent the night pretending we were in the 1920′s. I didn’t even need to hold any doors open for anyone.

20th April: It was my birthday. I turned 23. I felt exactly the same as I had always felt. We went for a picnic in the park.

21st April: I revised all day and then I went to the stand at night to do a flash mob with Lady Alba. It was good craic. I wore an Alex Salmond mask.

Nothing really happened between then and now except revision. On the 28th of April I had an exam and it was fine, but I also made vegan macaroni and cheese and it was delicious, and seeing the picture on my facebook just now has made me pure hungry. No food. Too late for food. Finish egotistical blog post and then go to sleep.

On the 30th of April I went to Ayr with Shayna because she had an interview at UWS. It rained. We went to the beach and got an ice cream/lolly anyway because we were “HAVING FUN WHETHER WE LIKED IT OR NOT!”. It was tremendous fun. We then visited our pal Stuart and came home and ate Chinese food…

Also on this day a video that I am in was released as part of MS week  http://youtu.be/4y2Hllx_09A. It’s pretty self explanatory. I got to go to London to make it, it was great fun. The following Wednesday the second part was released https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dk3ZwDFwR0A . Nothing much happened in between those two Wednesdays.

Then, on Friday I sat my last exam. It went pretty well, considering. Then my course mates and I went out for lunch to Oran Mor and half of River City and Winston from Still Game were there. We didn’t talk to them or anything, but I was excited anyway.

So, this weekend I have done a lot of sleeping and catching up with friends. I got a hair cut and put henna in my hair…

That’s it from my egotistical update. From now on my blogs will hopefully be less self involved.

Almost there.

(First posted 4th March 2014)

Sorry, dear readers. I have been doing lots of things/been too ill do do things and so haven’t been able to write a blog in almost a month. I don’t actually have time just now, I am just procrastinating from going to sleep because it is 1:30am and I need to be up  at 6am and I am a self sabotager.

I have lots of ideas for things I want to write about ao I will do that soon. I will post something that is like decent and worth linking to Facebook so I can lure all you fair weather followers back to me.

I am handing in my last ever essay tomorrow (today  now!) and I can’t wait. Going to go home and sleep for a few hours afterwards and then go meet my wee pals for some pancakes because it is pancake day :)

After this hand in I only have three more hand ins. Two port folios and my dreaded dissertation. Which I haven’t started yet. I will start it on Wednesday(tomorrow now). It is due in three weeks… That information is freaking everyone in my course out and, as you can see from my last blog, it would have freaked me out too if I hadn’t had the realisation that I really just want it to be over. I just want to not be doing this anymore. I am ready to move on to doing real life with like actual meal times and bedtimes and visiting my dog. I think that finishing uni is going to make me so happy.

I am going to be like my friend’s dad who suddenly became this really happy optimistic person when he retired from work. He took on all these projects and he is just having a great time. I am going to be like that when I finish uni. I am going to smile and wear hats and wave at people on buses. I will have a job and a filofax and it will be full from 9-5 with some sort of really rewarding job but outwith those times it will be all dancing and romancing and having a rare old time. Well, it will mostly be going to my friends houses or reading books, but it will be grand either way.

Anyway this was supposed to be like a oh I am so so sorry blog and it has turned into a rant about the future. I better go to sleep. Good night fair readers. Or reader, since you can assume everyone else has stopped reading by now. It’s just you reading this blog now. That means its just me and you. How personal! Let’s be best friends. Okay, I love you, bubye.

Plate is overflowing.

(First posted 5th Feb 2014)

Okay so I have too much on my plate. That is obvious. But the plate is full of completely essential things so there is nothing I can do to make their be less things on my plate other than eat the things that already on it, because I can’t put anything in the bin or I won’t get any dessert… The dessert is my degree/future happiness. Okay I have gone too far with this plate metaphor.

Things I need to do:

  • 2000 word Pragmatics and spoken discourse essay, I have chosen the question  ”How do children develop pragmatic and conversation skills and how might their communication be affected by a disability at this level of language?”. I need to get an A in this essay and I need to complete this essay  by next Thursdayish. The deadline is the 4th but I have too many other things to do around then so I want this essay done and dusted by the 13th.
  • 2000 word Semantics essay, I have chosen the question  ”Why is the semantic category of FEAR so full of metonymies?”. This question is so interesting and I am sure I could write something brilliant on it if I had enough time, the only worry is I don’t think I do have enough time. I need to have it done by around the same time as the essay above. I already got a B1, one mark off an A, in my last essay so I could just submit that essay and if I do well in all other course work I could still be on track for a 2.1, but then that leaves it up to everything else and I have never been the sort of person who takes chances when it comes to something I really care about. I don’t know whether I am taking a bigger chance by cutting down time I could be spending on things that I really do need to up my grade on over an essay with an adequate grade, or on the assumption that I will do well on everything else and the B1 will carry me to a 2.1 anyway! Stress.
  • 3000 word Humanities in the Classroom essay. I get to choose any question I want as long as it relates to classrooms somehow. I am thinking I will do something on prejudice against Scots language in schools as that’s what I know, but I am worried I will accidentally plagiarise myself because my dissertation is on a very similar topic. Oh my wooly word, I just went to confirm that this essay was due by the 28th of March like I thought only to find out it is due by the 21st of February. Oh gosh. Oh wow. Oh panic. Ahhh.
  • 25-30hours of HiC Placement at a school. I have already done 12 hours, and I have 6 tomorrow and 6 on Friday. I might ask if I can stay for after school club and that will bring me up to 26 hours and then  I won’t need to go back. It is really fun, but because I am so stressed about the rest of my course work I am finding it really exhausting. Also because kids are hard work! Tomorrow I am going to be in a class with a deaf teacher though so I am very very excited about using my BSL. I love it so much, BSL is one of my favourite things to do ever.
  • 2000 word Humanities in the Classroom Portfolio about my placement. That should be fine because it is about my own experiences and I don’t need references etc. Not too worried about that. That is also not due until the 28th of March, so after dissertation. That’s fine.
  • 3000 word Humanities in the Classroom Reflective Log. It’s fine with that, we just submit 300 words a week. I have already done 900 words of it, and at the end we just tweak it so it flows better. Not stressed about that. That’s for the 14th of March.
  • 11000 word dissertation. Oh wow is this stressing me out. I am writing about something that is pretty much entirely my own research so I can’t even beef it out with extra sources. I haven’t got my ethics approval back yet so I can’t start my own research yet, and if I can’t do my questionnaires then I can’t analyse them and then I can’t write about them so I can’t do anything. Until ethics approval is back. And who knows when that will be. Ahhh. Freaking out about this a lot. Like a real lot. I have already read everything I can read about it and I can’t use any of it until I am writing up my own data. I might start writing about how I am going to carry it out as though I have already done it because then I will at least have written something. Like seriously, I haven’t even written the heading in a word document yet. Ahhh. 25th of March for this bad boy.

So that’s everything I need to do. 2×3=6 + 3×2 = 6 . 6+6 =12. 12+11 = 23. 23000 words. Woohoo. And then when those are all done I have a 15 minute presentation and two 4 hour exams. And then that’s it. That’s it all over. I am done with education. And I cannot wait.

Sundays.

(First posted 2nd Feb 2014)

I grew up on the Isle of Lewis, and so Sundays were a day where not much was supposed to happen. There were no shops open and you weren’t supposed to play in the swing park. I loved Sunday’s until I was about 13. They were the best day. My Dad and brother and I would have adventures, sometimes mum would even come too. We would get in the car, no matter what the weather, and we would go somewhere exciting like the West Side, or Tolsta, or Point, or Ness, or sometimes even Harris.If it was raining then we would wear wellies and big wooly jumpers underneath massive waterproof jackets, the kind with draw strings that you pulled tight under your chin. If it was really sunny we would wear loose fitting tshirts and shorts, because we would be pulling them off to go for a swim in the swimming clothes we wore underneath. If it was raining then it would usually be windy, and to this day I can think of few things as satisfying as the salty buzz on your skin as the sea spray hits your face. The way your cheeks would turn into tomatoes, and your slevers would taste like saline. We would collect things too, in our pockets. I had a shell pocket and a stone pocket in one of my sky blue anoraks. Both pockets had a lot of sand in them too. My brother used to collect things in his jumper, and then get distracted by a ball or a dog and drop them all absentmindedly. He and my dad would chase me down the beach with massive stalks of seaweed, and I’d get fed up and throw myself down in a huff, running sand through my fingers until I found a pretty shell that would cheer me up again. I was a moody child. After we came home from the beach on a rainy day we would get our jammies on and play Tomb Raider or Worms or Earth Worm Jim and eat hot soup and plain loaf. We would watch the Antiques Roadshow or Dad’s Army with our dinner, and then I would go for a bath to get ready for school the next day.

On sunny days we would have to do the awkward “getting changed behind the car door so nobody can see you” dance, I did this until I was about 9 when I decided that I was not getting dressed outside and either I would just not go in the sea or Dad would have to put up with wet seats. My Dad was always more keen for me to have fun than to have dry seats, so he let me go in the water as long as I sat on a towel on the way home. I remember the scratchy feeling of sand on the back of my legs as they rubbed against the towel for the whole journey home. As soon as I got home I was the first person in the bathroom, and if I was not then I would make a massive fuss because I was soooooooooo uncomfy. Sometimes when we were at the beach we would make exciting discoveries, like dead animals. We saw dead sheep, dead birds, dead porpoises, and even once a dead cat. Once my brother found a dead starfish and he kept it under his pillow for weeks. Other beach discoveries included things like rope and fishing line, which I would sometimes put in my bag and carry around with me in case of emergencies. Occasionally we would see shoes, and I would worry there was still a foot inside. Dad always checked for me, and there never was. Sometimes at the beach we would bring salt in hope that we could tease out a razor fish, but we never managed. In retrospect I am quite glad, poor wee razor fish.

Sometimes on Sundays we would go to the castle grounds instead of the beach. We went there most days after we got our dog Tess in 1999, but before then it was a treat. We would pretend we were going to visit Winnie the Pooh and we would sing songs about going on a bear hunt. We would climb up big hills and down long paths, and we would tell stories about everything and nothing. Sometimes we would go to the harbour, and because it was Sunday the fishermen would be away and would have left loads of fish lying at the side of the pier. We thought this was a waste of the poor wee fishes so we would throw them back in the water where they belonged. Usually there was a hungry seal waiting near by. One of the seals only had one eye and we called him Sammy.

I loved going on adventures with my Dad. To be honest, I still do

Things I know to be true on the 1st of February 2014

(First posted 1st Feb 2014)

I don’t have anything to say today so here are ten things I know to be true on the 1st of February 2014. I might do these quite often, because I quite often will have nothing to say but will really want to write something.

  1. People are more likely to accept flyers from me if they have a beard.
  2. I have 52 days until  dissertation hand in , 31 until essay hand in.
  3. If I wake up between 8 am and 10am I will be in a bad mood.
  4. I don’t need anyone else to be whole.
  5. Fear is a tricky thing to describe without metonymy.
  6. There is nothing more attractive than having confidence in your convictions.
  7. I am terrified of being out of sight and out of mind.
  8. Names are important.
  9. My love for poetry is a giant cliché, but I don’t care.
  10. Everything tastes better deep fried.

Independence and Stories.

(First posted 18th January 2013, re-posted 28th Jan 2014)

“It’s not about the past, it’s about the now.  Independence I mean. Well the past is important to a lot of people and that is great, it is nice to have an interest in history. If you don’t look at history then you never learn from it’s mistakes. These things are pretty obvious and over said. Scottish History excites me, I can’t deny that,  but so does any good story. Stories are what make life worth living as far as I am concerned.Scotland is at a really important part in her story, where either she gets independence and can then decide what is going to happen next by herself,  or everything stays the same and her story continues to be written by someone who isn’t living it.  Someone who doesn’t have to live it. Someone who would never want to live it.

Mostly everyone cares about politics. You might not think it’s true, but everything in life relates to politics. What a lot of people don’t care about is party politics, and that is okay. People need to separate party politics from the independence referendum. I don’t read everything about the independence debate because a lot of it bores me. There is nothing anyone could say to me to persuade me that Scotland shouldn’t get independence,  and you might say that is narrow minded or what ever but it is something I believe with every fiber of my being, something that I have always known and believed since a very young age. I just know. And that puts people off. How can you just know? Well isn’t it obvious,  it would make the story better. What happens if we don’t get independence? We stay the same. What happens if we do? We can let Scotland decide.”

This is from an old blog post from the 18th of January 2013. It is from before I got really involved with the Yes campaign. This is what I started out thinking, and really I still think the same with the exception that I do try to read everything about the independence referendum because nothing excites me more