Sunday, 18 November 2012

University Life


You’re probably wondering where the regular updates about my life have gone. If you’re not then tough, I’m going to tell you anyway!




This is now the truth
So I am back at uni and have been since October. It’s going well at the moment but the work load is intense. There are always so many things to be doing! It was nice last year as once it got to 5pm I could go home and not think about much till the next morning at 9am but now it’s 24/7. Because of this kind of workload it means that when work is due you have to work regardless of time or social convention. People think students are up all hours because they are all alcoholics and lazy but the truth of it is that we just have work to do and no time to sleep! You have to binge on sleep when you can get it because you don’t know when the next time will be! Biologically this is rubbish for your body.

I agree with Woody's expression
But working on the principle “work hard, play hard” there have been some good nights out too! The student’s union gets in some good bands so I’ve seen Tinchy Strider and Sam and the Womp as well as excellent dressing up nights such as Harry Potter night and most recently cartoon night. Going out makes me realise how far I have come since I started uni though. There are freshers wandering round born in 94! And the difference is startling. I would like to think I wasn’t that naive and stupid when I was a fresher but I suspect I was. At least this way it shows progress?
Its hard to take job finding advice from someone who never left uni


Another thing that is scary is all the careers stuff going on. There are emails almost daily advertising seminars, talks and workshops designed to get you a job. It seems that if you don’t have a job or more education lined up my Christmas you may as well not bother and wait another year before applying. It’s daunting. I have been applying to jobs and PhDs and anything that looked interesting and I was capable of doing, (and some that I’m not, but worth a shot?) I’m just hoping someone likes the look of me. Also it looks like I’m staying in the UK (or at least Europe) for a while too as I can’t apply for funding in Australia because im “international” (pfft same queen) and being self-supporting is not viable for me at the moment and I don’t think I have the skills to get in without being sponsored.


Oh my one fun extra thing I let myself take this year is pole dancing! There is a SPORTS club (for any of you thinking I’m taking slut lessons, no, it’s a sport) where I have lessons and I’m starting to get good at it now! It takes a lot of strength and a lot of bruises! My flatmates are amazed each week at the new array of bruises I come home with. I’m really enjoying it though.

And that’s about it for my life at the moment. I settled into my new flat well and thankfully have brilliant flatmates who I’m not sure how I got through 3 years without knowing!

Also, over 30,000 hits now! Thanks for your support and a shout out to the 400 new Canadians that found my blog this month!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Stuck in my head







This morning I want to be less philosophical and doom and gloom full and talk about some of the songs that have crossed my path lately and have stuck.












The first goes with the Halloween-y theme. It’s a song called The Zombie Song by Stephanie Mabey. This has been stuck in my head since I found it! I think it’s adorable and would love to hear more of her songs. The cartoon that goes with it is adorable too! I could take or leave the twilight reference in the chorus but other than that, it’s pure happy zombie fun!


This one is one I have had for a while but it’s still one of my favourites. The Life Organic is one of the videos done by the Bondi Hipsters Dom and Adrian. It’s brilliant! They are making fun but there genuinely are people like that in Bondi. They have a whole series where the characters discuss topics like exercise, shopping, festivals and how to pick up women. I like the fashion ones especially.


This one is a little childish as it comes from the cartoon Arthur. If you don’t know Arthur and you are in the UK, shame on you! This is the video about Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. I dare you to watch it and not have your brain singing “Jekyll Jekyll Hyde, Jekyll Hyde Hyde Jekyll” all day! A friend suddenly remembered this song a few days ago and it’s become my standard greeting to her now.


Recently I went to a Sam and the Womp night and it was brilliant! I wasn’t that fussed to begin with but my mates persuaded me it would be a good night and it was one of the best live acts I have ever seen! They had the entire live band complete with trumpets and didn’t mess about with talking to the audience for hours. They also taught us all how to “Womp” which was fun. Since then I’ve had their song Bom Bom in my itunes and I’ve even learnt the lyrics now which is easier said than done as they make no sense at all! - "I've brought a pie in my pocket, pie in my pocket, an eye in my socket."


Finally a nice calm song Endless Summer – Josh Pyke. This one makes me think of Australia as it was a bit like an endless summer but it’s also got some really pretty lyrics like “Now to ever be touched by the feasting tendrils of light”. It’s one of my calm down feel good songs.


I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.


Saturday, 3 November 2012

Definition


Have you ever been so convinced of who you were, and utterly consumed by your definition?

Have you ever worked with only one goal?
Have you ever believed with every fibre of your being?
Have you ever loved with all your heart?




…… Have you ever changed?

How is it possible that we can be so completely defined and then change direction and be defined by something else? Are we still the same person? If we dedicated our lives to one pursuit and then changed is it still the same life or is it a new life? Are you then a new being?

People talk of development and maturity of an individual and how this impacts their identity. But development is when ideas build on themselves and interact with the previous existence to create a related, and only slightly different, version and, through many minute changes, the whole morphs. But what about when this change is beyond recognition of the previous incarnation and conflicts directly? How can it be development when the old is not related to the new? I am aware I am asking the same question again and again but it is pivotal. Am I a development of my past or am I a reincarnation and an entirely different entity?

I used to think that I was a sum of my experiences but it suddenly occurred to me that there are key moments in my life where something has changed in me that I previously thought was permanent and key to who I was.

This sounds bizarre but think about it. I will use love as an example as it is probably the one that has affected most people. Being completely in love feels permanent. If it doesn’t; then it’s not love. But almost all couples will break up as a relationship only needs to last once for each person to have a partner forever. When a couple breaks up there is heartbreak and eventually falling out of love. So either love feeling permanent is an illusion or the person isn’t the same person any more.

If love being permanent is an illusion then how can we trust our perception of ourselves at all? And therefore any notion of identity is void. This works with any self-definition whether it is love, ambition or beliefs. What if we chose an identity? Are we really fickle enough to believe our own self-definition and become what we decide we are? Society tells us that we should have purpose and dedicate ourselves to this. This would work if everyone stayed with the same definition and they all worked together. a perfect world would not change and every individual would be totally independent as it is the breakdown of chains of reliance that create imperfection. As we are not independent is this what causes our shift in self-identity? This would create a vicious circle as cause and effect rippled through the network of people on the planet as we flux to try and create a homoeostatic balance where we can all coexist simultaneously. This is truly disturbing.

The only way for the idea of identity to exist is that our identities are not fluids that flow into each other, but are brittle and shatter to destroy the old and create a new being.

However we all are not sufferers of multiple personality disorder. Do not confuse personality with identity. Identity is the characteristics determining who or what a person is, Personality is the characteristics that form an individual’s character, (oxford dictionary). Therefore we can change our identity without changing our character.

Therefore I have the same personality but I am not the same person as I was before and may have been through many entities to get to the person I am today.  I’m not sure how I feel about this or how to end this post.

Food for thought.




Thursday, 1 November 2012

Halloween

So today is the 31st of October, otherwise known as Halloween. With this day comes a surprising amount of viewpoints. I did some googling to try and understand some of them to see which seemed most appropriate to my mind.

A lot of the different opinions stem from different beliefs on where it comes from. The oldest source is a Roman festival called Parentalia which is a 9 day festival to honour family members who have passed on. There is also a Celtic day called Samhain which was the end of the harvest season where the door to the otherworld was opened and fairies and spirits could enter our world. However it may have come from the Christian all saints day where the recently departed and the saints are honoured. However as with most things Christian, there is a catholic interpretation and a protestant interpretation.

As the day has developed it has become more commercial with supermarkets stockpiling pumpkins and costume shops probably making 90% of their years income in the weeks leading up to Halloween. At least it doesn’t require sending cards! Particularly in America it has become a major holiday with special foods and activities but in England is it slightly overshadowed by guy fawks night.

As a child I was not taken trick or treating and I agree with my parents decision not to take my brother and I. In a society plagued with terrorism, kidnappings and paedophiles its unsafe to parade your children about by knocking on strangers doors. It’s also becoming unsafe to even be at home on Halloween night as if you don’t give sweets out you may be subjected to egging, flour bombs or tepee-ing. That’s extortion plain and simple: give me sweets or I will do something nasty to you! Apparently Halloween is a big night for restaurants as many people want to be out of the house for the night. This is a perversion of all of the festivals that Halloween may have come from and it’s a sad reflection on our society.

However adult’s Halloween parties are everywhere, either private parties or clubs having theme nights. Again this has nothing to do with any of the festivals and just seems to be an excuse to dress up and get drunk. Options for girls are invariably skimpy which seems to be acceptable and become normal almost. In fact, finding a modest costume is increasingly difficult, with your options either being witch in long dress or….. no wait that’s it.

Back to the original question: Should we celebrate Halloween?

Given that the day has changed almost beyond recognition from any of its roots I have decided it doesn’t really have much religious or geographical significance any more. It’s like any other themed night out. So if I’m comfortable to go to a themed night that involves dressing up, like school night, smurf night, safari night and harry potter night, then why not a Halloween night? It just seems to be a bit of fun dressing up and the occasional vegetable carving.


p.s. I wrote this yesterday, I am aware I am a day late for Halloween now