Just another pointless Monday.

This is the Monday of my timetable where I only have two lessons. So, after 2 hours at school I’d already finished all my lessons. First up was analysing a W.H.Auden poem- ‘Musée des beaux arts’- and some extracts of the Handmaid’s Tale. It was quite enjoyable, really. Lots of religious themes, obviously, and some nice sexual frustration. It’s relatively awkward talking about ‘the ceremony’ and such things, even with only 3 males in the class (including the teacher), but I guess we’ll get used to it.

Philosophy second, revisiting last lesson and Augustine’s ridiculous argument about how God isn’t responsible for evil. It makes no logical sense whatsoever, as is the case with all arguments where you start with your conclusion and cherry pick evidence. My philosophy buddy says that it’s ‘even worse than the cosmological argument’, which is pretty bad coming from him. We’re the ‘sceptics table’. A chunk of the lesson was taken up by discussions about how scandalous it is that we can only take hand luggage to Poland. Terrible, obviously. We’ll only be there for two nights, it’s no big deal. Doc Martens on my feet, couple of pairs of skinnies, jumpers, and I’m sorted. Boom; February in Poland, done.

A relatively unproductive two hours followed in my frees. I tried to do my artwork, but there were loads of people in the room so I couldn’t really concentrate. I ended up plugging my phone into the computer speakers and playing Panic! at the Disco. I’m such a great dancer. Jokes, I’m terrible; zero sense of rhythm despite doing dancing lessons for most of my life. I did do some singing, which I am genuinely good at, but not much else. Had a tortilla with 3 chicken nugget things in it for lunch, because I’m super healthy. Last lesson was spent in Primark looking for a flower crown for my buddy. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any, so u bought some more knee high socks instead. These ones are burgundy. Very exciting. I also saw a Game of Thrones tshirt, but I hadn’t brought much money with me due to the fact that I hadn’t planned on going shopping, so I’m planning in going and getting that tomorrow. Fingers crossed they’ll still have some, maybe even vaguely in my size. We can only hope.

Brownies was tedious; trying to get one of the girls to write her own invitation to this MacMillan coffee evening they’re doing. Also, the example invite had MacMillan spelt McMillian, which I totally not what the charity is called. Guides wasn’t much better, and I forgot to ask about doing my Baden Powell, though I doubt I’d be able to do it in 1 year. Dang. Another fun fact is that my 18th birthday is exactly one week today. I’m so terribly excited. Hurrah. Visiting relatives. Ignored request for cash. Rubbish gifts. Brilliant. The positivity is almost tangible.

This is Gospel.

After spending most if the day sleeping (again), I’ve been motivating myself to write my personal statement by listening to copious amounts of Panic! at the Disco. My new absolute favourite song is ‘This is Gospel'; especially the ‘acoustic’ version. Now I really want to be able to play the piano just so I could jam to it constantly. I’ve been listening to the whole ‘Too rare to live, too rare to die’ album on repeat today, which I believe is a good life choice, even if I’ve spent more time singing than working. Hey, it’s a great album.

After an odd lunch of rice pudding, I started working on my notes for English. I still don’t have anything for AO3, but it should be okay. Research eventually descended into several hours of Tumblr. After another nap of indeterminate length, personal statement #2 was under way. My first was only focused on creative writing, but I’m now thinking of going more down the English Literature route. I did look at the University of Toronto briefly, due to my obsession with Canada, but it seems very complicated. It’s a shame; I’d love to live over there. I’m not sure why, it just seem like a cool place to be. Also, it I somewhere my family are not. And all the other annoying people I currently have I put up with. Anyway…

Personal statement isn’t going so well at the moment. Maybe the whole restarting thing wasn’t a good idea. Ah well, I’ll just give up and start improving that last chapter of Stark Trek. I’ve come up with some more things, so now I’m just linking it up with the existing plot of the chapter. First world writer problems.

Party hat fun.

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As predicted yesterday, I had to attend the ‘party’ at my Nana’s house. I spent most of the morning asleep due to the lack of rest achieved yesterday. I was up writing fanfiction until about 1am, because I’m hella cool. Speaking of which, there’s a new chapter of Stark Trek up today; I think I’ll be adding to it though, I’m not overly pleased with how it’s ended up. I’ve actually started on the improvements already.

The ‘party’ was the typical family affair of my Aunty and Uncle’s barrage of questions along the lines of ‘what are you going to do with your life?’ They seemed to think that I ought to be an expert on student loans and finance, which I’m definitely not; I ended up being forced to read an sticker about it. There was also a lengthy discussion about their own uni experiences, which was relatively amusing. Some of the cheap meals they came up with were really weird. I mean, cream of mushroom soup with butter beans mixed in, cooked with a layer of instant mash for a weird shepherd’s pie type effort. It makes me feel slightly ill just thinking about it.

The obligatory party hat was donned by all but my miserable self, though as you can see above I eventually got into the party spirit. They smelt quite nice, hence the one over my lower face, and the other was put there by my sister. Somebody call Vogue. We both ended up adopting the very high-fashion look, Snapchatting and texting it to our friends that they might revel in our forward thinking design. Personally, I think we’ll be seeing it on catwalks very soon. It really is rather fetching.

The weekly curry night was livened up with various Fall Out Boy tracks, including a copious amount of Centuries mashups. I really love that song- you should all check it out, it’s fantastic. My fave mashup at the moment is the Centuries x The Phoenix. Due to the revelry and partying, I missed Doctor Who, which I shall be watching now on iPlayer. No spoilers!

Actual learning.

Unlike yesterday, I actually partook in some lessons today. I spent the first two hours of the ‘school’ day in Art, where the old lady’s helmet is now painted. I was there for the last lesson too, so the base tone for her hair is down as well. I have a feeling that this hyper-realism thing is going to get on my nerves, but so far it’s looking good. The paper is so big that I’m having to work upside down so I can reach the top of it; the struggle is real. It has allowed me to focus on tones though, which is good. Maybe I should paint upside down more often.

The first ‘proper’ lesson of the day was English. We started reading Act 1 Scene 2 of The Tempest, so the analysis notes are getting more detailed. There’s not much you can really say about scene 1. Hopefully I’ll be getting the York Notes soon, then I can look at different opinions and the context of things as we go through the play. Unfortunately, Sebastian (‘my’ character) wasn’t in the big we read out today, so I was able to focus on making notes.

Philosophy was before lunch, so I was very hungry. As I hadn’t eaten anything yet, it was hard to concentrate by this point. I know I should have breakfast, but I just don’t have time. Anyway, Religious Language and the problems thereof were on the agenda again today; the sheets we had to make notes off were relatively confusing. We each had two sheets, the other half of our pair having a different two, then we had to share notes. I’m not too keen on this because I tend to get paired with people who’s note taking style is different to how I like to do it, so I always feel like I don’t have all the information. Well, I now know all about the Via Negativa; basically, you describe God by saying what it’s not. Like, ‘God is not a human’, etc. It’s a bit more complicated than that, but that’s the general gist of it.

I got home to the news that I have U2’s new album on my phone. It’s free, so I’m not really complaining, but it’s a bit weird how everyone with an iPhone has had it forcefully put on their phone. I’ve listened to it, and it’s not too bad, actually. Also, it transpires that I can’t go to the University of Birmingham open day tomorrow because it’s my cousin’s fourth birthday ‘party’ at my Nana’s house. The joys of spending time with relatives. Hopefully it’s not a joint party for me as well; if I was getting upstaged by an only-just-4-year-old at my own 18th, I’d be slightly irritated.

Do ALL the art!

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Due to the fact that I only had two timetables lessons today, I ended up doing art for five hours. I had frees for lessons 1, 3, & 4, and I had art second anyway. I’ve organised the next few pages of my sketchbook, so I now have a few more artist pages started, and an idea for what I want to do with my photos. I haven’t taken them yet, but I at least have a plan now. I’ve started a big A1 piece of Jason Bard Yarmosky’s hyper realist painting above, which I’m somewhat terrified by. So far I’ve done the background, which looks pretty good. Unfortunately there’s nowhere to store big prices of paper in the ‘shack’, so I’ve had to leave it out on a table and hope nobody spills anything on it.

English was my second and last lesson today. I’m working on ordering the York Notes for all the texts; mother has offered to purchase them do me, which is wonderful as I actually don’t have any money. I keep saying I need to get a job, but I’d probably be too busy with all my work. She says, knowing full well she probably won’t be doing any work at all if he can get away with it. I’m quite enjoying The Tempest so far, even though nobody dies. Hamlet is my favourite Shakespeare play do the sole reason that there is only one survivor. We were looking at all the Iambic Pentameter, Trochee and blank verse, etc. which is blowing my mind; how he managed to do a play a year whilst consciously writing mostly in lines of 10 syllables is beyond me. Shakespeare was crazy, man.

While I was compiling my list of AO1-4 points for the aforementioned play, my laptop decided to update without any prior warning. Hence, all my work was lost, and the laptop nearly went soaring out of the window to the street below. It is so irritating; why I hadn’t saved it before hand is a mystery. With irritation still boiling in my veins, I have decided to give up and sleep. It’s my only hope.

Internet Slowdown

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As you may have seen in my earlier post, there’s something going on in internet land. I’m not sure of the extent of the effects because I only heard about this today, but I’m outraged to say the least. Essentially what’s happening is that ISPs could possibly get the power to limit what sites you can access, unless you pay them more. My personal knowledge right now is limited, but I urge you all to join me in looking it up, educate ourselves, and sending a message to the FCC, urging them to use their authority to save Net Neutrality. The FCC is about to make a critical decision as to whether or not internet service providers (ISPs) have to treat all traffic equally. If they choose wrong, then the internet where anyone can start a website for any reason; the internet that’s been so momentous, funny, surprising, and weird could cease to exist. In an age where the internet is so ingrained in society, it is hugely important to ensure everyone can access the net equally, regardless of household income.

Before my day was ruined, it was okay. College was vaguely uneventful; I finished my first artist piece in art, started analysis of The Handmaid’s Tale in English (where I also discovered how similar I am to Atwood) and came up with some Bible head canons in Philosophy. I forgot my lanyard again, resulting in a mild panic in the bus, but I just went to get a red one. My lanyard of shame buddy from last week had also forgotten hers today; maybe we’re drift compatible. My one free was spent in art, as is the new norm.

I had English first, where we did a quiz on Handmaid’s Tale and looked at some articles about it. Margaret Atwood said she was inspired by 1984, Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451; I’ve not read the former or the latter, but hopefully I’ll have time to do so soon. I loved BNW, so I imagine I’ll like the other two equally as much. Citizenship second was mostly comprised of looking for a room for our class to move to as the projector wasn’t working. When we eventually got to the new room, we watched a video of An Idiot Abroad and made notes for a couple of key terms.

My free was spent finishing my piece, which I’m actually quite proud of. Unlike last time I copied this artist, the subject didn’t go through a stage of looking like thy had leprosy, which is always good. My teacher has found me another artist to look at for inspiration, meaning I now have six on my list that I’m yet to look at. These new ones are brothers who stick clown faces over original 19th century prints, which is creepy but cool. Unfortunately, I can’t remember their names. Philosophy was all about Aquinas and Augustine’s theories about evil. We watched Ricky Gervais’ reading of Genesis 1-3, which was really funny, and discussed the confusing and contradictory theodicy of Augustine. It was when my desk mate asked when God made the angels that I hypothesised that it was during the interim of God creating Adam and Eve and their deaths. Like, they lived for absolutely ages; he must have been lonely up in heaven, so he made the angels to keep him company. Boom. (For the record, I’m not being serious or taking the mic.)

So yes, overall it’s been an alright kind of a day. Though, in hindsight, the hottest day of the year so far probably wasn’t a good day to wear all black. That was a mistake.

Battle For The Net

If you woke up tomorrow, and your internet looked like this, what would you do? Imagine all your favorite websites taking forever to load, while you get annoying notifications from your ISP suggesting you switch to one of their approved “Fast Lane” sites.Think about what we would lose: all the weird, alternative, interesting, and enlightening stuff that makes the Internet so much cooler than mainstream Cable TV. What if the only news sites you could reliably connect to were the ones that had deals with companies like Comcast and Verizon?On September 10th, just a few days before the FCC’s comment deadline, public interest organizations are issuing an open, international call for websites and internet users to unite for an “Internet Slowdown” to show the world what the web would be like if Team Cable gets their way and trashes net neutrality. Net neutrality is hard to explain, so our hope is that this action will help SHOW the world what’s really at stake if we lose the open Internet.If you’ve got a website, blog or tumblr, get the code to join the #InternetSlowdown here: https://battleforthenet.com/sept10thEveryone else, here’s a quick list of things you can do to help spread the word about the slowdown: http://tumblr.fightforthefuture.org/post/96020972118/be-a-part-of-the-great-internet-slowdown Get creative! Don’t let us tell you what to do. See you on the net September 10th!

via Battle For The Net.