November 20, 2008

I just did an update, but you are getting a 2 for 1 special here.
It’s like an all-you-can-eat buffet, without the food or satisfaction.
If I were you, I’d refuse to pay and leave the restaurant in disgust. Go to McD’s instead; at least you can get a tan under their neon lights. I’d just provide you with a lecture on the dangers of UV exposure.
Thought a couple of updates wouldn’t go amiss, particularly as that is the primary purpose of a blog.

Upon our afore mentioned return from London, James and I had to prepare a joint presentation for our Criminology class. It was being peer assessed, meaning we had to be really nice to the preceding groups, otherwise we would be penalised for being generally shit people.
There was one girl, Julia, who was very forthcoming in her opinions. I choose not to change her name, firstly because the chances of her reading this are slim to none, and if anyone in the class did find this, they would immediately know who I was talking about anyway. Pointless.
Anyway, she was taking notes on every presentation, making sure her critiques were noted by the lecturer and even telling those giving the presentation to their faces that they had not quite met the standards set by another team. She even tried to rearrange the structure of the peer assessment, saying she wanted something to compare each group to, and could we do the input at the end? No. Each group should be seen individually and not gauged against anything else, you fucking mental.
James and I went last, so we were able to see what we were getting ourselves into. She was ripping into everyone mercilessly. After doing our presentation, we left the room, so the class could talk about us, which did wonders for our self esteem. Upon reentry, we discovered they’d moderated us at 57%. A mark we felt was undeserving, but acceptable. We did write the presentation in only one night, after all.
Julia came up to us after the lesson and told us she hadn’t said anything bad about our presentation. I nearly shit myself in shock, and offered a rather too high-pitched ‘Really?!’. She then clarified it had only been because she “couldn’t be bothered, and had given up by that point.” So basically, it was so shit you had too much to say, was that it? Oh, thanks. I’m glad you shared that.

The following week, the class was positively giddy in anticipation for Julia’s presentation. I was waiting to be blown away by this wonderous piece of research, upon which clearly no other group had been able to rise to the standard of. If I was in a teen drama which sees the overconfident girl get her comeuppance, I would have predicted she’d volunteer to go first.
Which, naturally, she did.
It was a perfectly fine presentation, nothing wrong with it at all. Not amazing by any standards. Now, it had become the X Factor of classroom assessments. The American Idol of peer reviews. Everyone was a critic when Julia and her groupmate left the room.

The lecturer Nicola followed the same format as with the other presentations.
“Right, any positive comments?” Silence. Broken only by me wheezing with laughter like a geriatric clown.
“Ok… Negatives.” The room exploded. It was a beautiful thing to behold. This went on for several minutes, after which Nicola managed to regain control. It was decided their mark would be 63%, which everyone knew would put Julia’s face out of joint. The tension bristled as she walked back into the class.
After being told the mark, she said not one word for the rest of the two hour session. After being so bloody vocal the week previously, she was quiet as a mouse. And pretty much every other group got applauded, but hers. Hey, don’t piss off the people who are going to be judging you. Common sense.

If you’ve reached this far, you should be probably be doing something more constructive with your time.
Like writing about that time you put your brother in a hospital by dangling him upside down from a tree, or something equally sadistic.

I don’t normally come home from Uni on a Wednesday night. I generally stay at my boyfriend’s, as it’s closer and easier to get to. Tonight was the exception to the rule. I stood up to get off the bus, and realised I’d jumped the gun, and was going to get off too early; I’d forgotten about the bus stop that is in the middle of nowhere, and faces a field full of horses and nothing else. I could have told the driver of my mistake, but something implored me to get off the bus. I did, and immediately regretted it, because it was fucking bitter cold.
So I began the gallop down the hill to where I was being picked up, where I noticed a shape on the other side of the road. At first glance it looked like a cat. I did a double take and before my eyes were focussed, it looked like a grey piece of piping.
Then I realised, it was a badger.
Even living in a village, I’ve never seen one in the wild before. I didn’t know what to do. It was on the kerb, next to a fairly busy road. Should I go over and try to scare it away? But I’ve heard they’re vicious as anything. It looked up and clocked me staring at it. I blinked, and when I looked again it was scampering away into the bushes behind it.
I enjoy wildlife.



November 20, 2008

Currently, life is not particularly interesting.
Why then, would I be writing a blog at a ridiculous hour of the morning? Well, I have tried watching tv, sleeping, and reading (Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, Choke by Chuck Palahniuk, JPod by Douglas Coupland and Only Strange People Go To Church, by Laura Marney. A fuckton of books.) but to no avail.
I have even texted people. At this time! I am lucky to have friends.
So I am attempting to create something interesting, by blogging. I also hope that by pulling an all-nighter, my sleep pattern reverts to normal. Usually, I have no trouble sleeping, but since becoming a Uni student, I’ve been getting to bed later and later.
Not because of a hectic party lifestyle. Quite the opposite. If I had one of those, maybe I would sleep better.

A couple of weeks ago, I went on a mini jaunt to London with my boyfriend. It was exhausting, as it’s never advisable to walk ten miles in the space of eight hours, but it was amazing. I paid for my half myself, using my hard earned wage. We were mature enough to negotiate a bustling metropolis he had never visited, and I had last seen when I was about ten. What’s more, we didn’t get mugged or stabbed, and we even fit in a visit to my brother and his fiancee. Yes, we were young adults and loving it.
Upon returning home, we quickly had to resume normal life. And it was lame.
Now that I’ve had this taste of responsibility, I am loath to relinquish it.
I still live at home. Sometimes I’ll think, ‘I’m only 18, and some people don’t move out until their mid twenties. Mid thirties even.’ but then someone will mention they’ve just moved into their own place and my heart will be filled with a swell of jealousy and hatred. The sort you can only feel towards your friends.

Creatively, I think I’m a bit lacking too. On Monday, I painted for the first time in about nine months. But I don’t know if it made me feel any different. Everything’s all just much of a muchness. I like routine, but I do the same thing week in, week out.
I want to be challenged. Problem is, I’m inherently lazy. And the excuse of ‘I’m eighteen’ only works on so many issues, and for so long. I won’t be eighteen forever.
I don’t want to look back on my life and realise I’ve wasted it. At the minute though, I don’t really feel anything about … anything.
At Uni, there was a test in Sociology that I did better at than the other people in my circle of friends. I got a first, whereas they got mediumish respectable marks. Would’ve been happy with that. Did no revision, pretty much. Wasn’t that arsed. But the test didn’t count towards our final grade, so it was somewhat of a hollow victory. I just thought, ‘What was the fucking point of that then?’

Yesterday I began the mammoth task of reading Alex Day’s diary entries, starting in 2003.
Huge because, have you seen how many entries he writes a day? It’ll take me at least a year to catch up.
We’re roundabout the same age, so when he talks about Neopets and Yu Gi Oh, I’m in the right age band. The things he talks about, I know I felt at some point.
It makes me miss early teen Laura. She was whiney and a little bit annoying, probably. But she was naive, which I don’t think is a bad thing. Aah, when times were simple. I am such an old woman.

I know why I’m feeling like this!
Too much Douglas Coupland. Problem solved.

Some “interesting” facts

November 11, 2008

At this present moment, I am sat in the library of my university. I should be in a lecture. Whoops.
I thought I would take this opportunity, as I am already procrastinating, to talk about some semi- interesting things that I think are important in my life.

In Year 10 (Ages 14-15, I don’t know what grade that would be- you work it out. Yes, there is homework now.), I had a teacher called Mrs McHugh. She was a lovely middle aged woman, rather eccentric and had the faint aroma of cigarette smoke. Over the course of two lessons, she made us watch Dead Poets Society. I have to say, this is probably the greatest film that I know of. It gets me every time. Anyhow, that’s by the by.
Sorry to spoil it for you, but I have to. The teacher within the story is played by Robin Williams, who is blamed for the suicide of a boy he teaches, because he had inspired him to follow what he believed in. As he enters his classroom to gather his personal effects, after having been fired, his class is being taught by the head of the school in the interim before finding a replacement teacher. He walks past Todd, the shy boy he encouraged to come out of his shell, who wishes to speak but seemingly can’t find the right words. As Robin Williams reaches out his hand to open the door to leave for the final time, Todd shouts out, and urges his teacher to understand that they don’t blame him for the death of their friend.
The head becomes angered by this outburst, and instructs Mr Keating to leave. Todd then climbs on top of his desk, and says, “O captain, my captain”, a reference to a Walt Whitman poem. It is highly symbolic, as it lets Mr Keating know he is behind him. Soon, more and more boys stand on their desks, until the majority are showing their support. Mr Keating says, “Thank you boys.” and the film is over. It is a beautiful, beautiful moment.
This brings me to my part in this tale. Mrs McHugh was retiring, and we were her final class.
Some people may already be ahead of me here.
She left the room to pick up the ice creams she had bought us all from the downstairs canteen, and upon her return, one by one, we stood on our desks and said, “O captain, my captain.” At first she looked shocked, after all, we could have been gearing up to trash the classroom. But then she fell to her knees, and bowed down to us, tears in her eyes.
This still brings a smile to my face. After that, she stood up, we ate ice cream, and all was well.
She got me my only A* at GCSE, and that was probably no easy task. True genius.

The next tiny snippet of my life I want to put forward happened fairly recently, within the past month. There is a service where you can text any question to a certain number, 24/7, and they will answer it pretty much immediately. When we were in the bus station, waiting to go to my boyfriend’s house, he asked it, “What DVD should my girlfriend Laura Reynolds and I watch when eating our pizza later?” A couple of minutes later, it told us to watch ‘Gone Baby Gone’, and to have some tissues ready. We were disappointed, as we didn’t own it. But we had pizza, so we weren’t too bothered.
A couple of weeks later, we were going to his house again, this time walking, when he suddenly points at something shiny on the floor and, in an incredulous tone, says, “That’s it!” I thought he’d gone loopy. When I realised he was pointing to the floor, I looked and there was a DVD with ‘Gone Baby Gone’ handwritten on it.

The final input to this blog happened last Wednesday. I was in my night class of Sociology, and we were talking about domestic violence and sex offenders. Nice, cheery subject, I know. This is the conversation between myself and some girls in my class that took place:
Colleen: I think if you’re a sex offender, there should be a database that anyone can access to see if you’re on it.
Marie: But then, anyone might alter it and say someone is a sex offender when they aren’t.
Colleen: Well no, obviously only the police would have access to it. The public couldn’t change it.
Me: That’d be like Wikipaedo.

Three events that I think are relevant to giving you an accurate interpretation of my life.

Election discussion pt II

November 5, 2008

Alex, as mentioned yesterday, has changed his personal message on Facebook.
It is now, “6/11/2012; Change is coming…”
This sums up the victory brilliantly. Obama ’08, it is pretty much a reality. Within the next few hours, the USA will have their very first black president.
Change is amazing, and it is an honour to be a part of this.

Election discussion

November 4, 2008

There is this kid who was in my year in secondary school, and I never once spoke to him. Literally. Even though we sort of had the same friends, we never said a word to each other. For some reason, as is apparently the norm with people you’ve had no prior interaction with, he added me on Facebook.
My latest update read, “Laura Reynolds really, really hopes Barack gets it.”

This just occurred:
11:53pm Alexander:
why on earth would you want barack to get it?!
Why would you not? Republican policies are backward, I can’t understand where they are coming from in the slightest
12:04am Laura
Democrats want a higher minimum wage, the right to abortion, renewable energy and affordable healthcare

It is twenty minutes later and there has been no response. I’ll let you know if anything goes down.
John McCain is his profile picture, and his personal message reads “4/11/08; Change is coming…”
How I wish I was a US citizen, so I could vote.