Friday, 26 March 2010

Week from hell is officially over.

About time too.

Got my Physiology essay done, and kinda wish I hadn't bothered now as it was just "Give yourself a mark out of 100. Here's the marks scheme. Okay now read someone else's essay and give it a mark out of 100." Well thanks, but if I actually knew what made a good essay I wouldn't be here and I'd be writing said amazing essays. But turns out I fail miserably at them, so I was kinda hoping this lab would be a bit useful... . I suppose it was useful for revision in a way, because now I've got 3 lectures less revision to do before the Animal Physiology test next week.

Got the Conservation essay done too, although it did involve a lot of stressing last night because I struggled with finding another good journal to reference. I kept finding things that looked amazing, but then when I actually read them they weren't what I needed at all. In the end I just put in something that wasn't perfect but it'll do, but now I just hope they don't know the studies I used or bother to read the articles, because I bent their words just a smidgen, just to make it fit better into my essay. I really need to work on my journal searching *sigh*.

Polished off the Lab Techniques assessment and handed that in this morning along with my Conservation essay. 2 assessed pieces handed in on one day, one (the lab one) just under a week early. I was pretty pleased with myself.

The last item on my list was the Evolution test, and I managed to get that done this afternoon after losing all previous motivation - it was the last stretch of work before a nice long break, I had 3 or so more lectures to revise and then the test to do, but I was just... so... tired... . Thankfully the test wasn't massively difficult, and I managed to comfortably finish it within the hour.

Next piece of work is the Animal Physiology test on Monday and Tuesday, but I'm going to forget about it until then and enjoy my weekend, I've earned it!
I think through all this I've learned that it really is much better when I just get on and actually do the work. As much as I don't like it and dread getting started, once I actually do push myself to at least pick up a pen and make some notes it gets a lot easier. And I managed my time pretty well too and was able to finish everything without rushing it an hour before it's due in. After I'd finished my test this afternoon I didn't know what to do with myself, I'd been working without any leisure time for a full week so my brain had got shut in work mode, and to be honest I really didn't hate it as much as I thought I did. Now I need to work on starting work soon after I get it, not knowing about it for weeks and then leaving it until the final week before it's due in.
(Note to future self: you did actually feel like this, it was not soul destroying as you imagined it to be and it was actually manageable once you actually put your head down and got on with it. You can do it! And don't forget that you can!)

Going off for a "night exercise" on Dartmoor tomorrow with St John. I have no clue what we're doing but it should be so much fun! I'll need to be wearing about 20 layers though otherwise I'm going to freeze, I get cold enough in my room as it is without being out on a wild and windy moor haha. Pictures on Sunday, once I've slept half the day away after our 4am-ish arrival back to campus, yikes.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Help me, I'm drowning!

This has been the longest week of my life ever.

After having no work all term, it all gets piled on in the last week so I somehow have to try and cram in doing 2 essays and revision of a whole module for a test. Sigh.
One essay is for Conservation and it's assessed and thankfully it's nearly finished, I just need another 200-or-so words and another journal reference. The other essay is for a Physiology lab tomorrow, which is going to be a "let's peer-mark essays!" type set up. So it'll an hour and a half of thinking "I don't want to write negative comments on someone's essay, but I can't just write amazing all over it, I need to provide some kind of constructive criticism without hurting anyone's feelings...", so basically a morning of awkwardness. Time wise, it's the kind of question where all the information will be in the textbook so it shouldn't take me too long, which is a definite plus seeing as I have so much to cram in over the next few days.
As for the Evolution test, I have no idea if I'll be able to fit a whole module's worth of revision into one day, but I'm going to have to try as the test needs to be done today or tomorrow. I love these tests, multiple choice and open book make life pretty simple. It's worth 40% of my module mark though, so I do need to put in at least a bit of effort.

So, the plan of action for today is:
  • bust out the Physiology essay. Hopefully my £50 textbook will provide me with all the information I need
  • Revisereviserevise! I'm halfway through lecture 4 out of 18, so I've still got a pretty long way to go...
  • If by any slim chance I still have time left after all of that and haven't lost the will to live, I'll attempt to finish the Conservation essay (but this is pretty much last priority now as it's due in Friday morning whereas the essay is due 9am tomorrow and the test needs to be done before tomorrow evening)
I guess we'll just have to wait and see how much of that I actually accomplish without getting distracted, haha. I'm feeling the strain a bit now as I've been working all day every day since Friday, but the fact that I'll be completely finished for Easter (apart from a few lectures on Monday and Tuesday) by this time on Friday, and then I'm heading home next Wednesday morning, yay!

Friday, 19 March 2010

Om nom nom

The St John pizza eating contest today was quite a success. 10 people took part, and we raised £65.20 (which goes 10% of the way to clearing our £600-odd debt... I only found out it was this much today, I'd previously believed it was only £100-odd. We've got a LOT of fundraising to do). Probably not the best message for first aiders to give out ("Come and frantically stuff your face with pizza until you puke, woo!"), but £2 for a large pizza is a bargain most students won't pass up, and we managed to get some much needed funds for our unit in the process.
It was so funny, and at the same time rather disgusting, watching the different ways people were coming up with to cram the pizza into their faces. Folding it up like a sandwich, stacking slices on top of each other, washing it down with water (without much chewing, eww), dipping it in water
The fastest time was about 4 minutes and 10 seconds I think, and the longest was about 15 minutes and I think a couple of people still failed to finish. One guy looked like he was going to be sick, he was all shaky and pale sat there with a sick bowl in front of him. Lovely.

ETA: I got the role of Treasurer in our SJA unit! All the other newly elected committee members are shadowing the person who is currently doing their role, which is what I would be doing under normal circumstances, but I've been thrown in at the deep end and have taken over straight away as the treasurer before me has left uni. Eep! It doesn't look like as mammoth and complicated a task as I thought it did, but it's still going to take a bit of time to get my head round it. Even so, I'm looking forward to it and it should be good fun.

Anyway, on to a more pleasant topic...

Next year's house is sorted... I hope. I say "I hope" because people could still change their minds, but hopefully that won't happen and we'll just be able to get on with it.
After very nearly 2 weeks of "discussions" and bad feeling we've all managed to come to an agreement. I've also decided that unless next year is amazing I'll be living by myself or with fewer and different people next year, as we don't seem to work well as a group and I don't want the stresses we've already had over this house to interfere with my final year work.

In other news, I'm crocheting myself some wrist warmers using this pattern. I'm very new to crochet, but these are turning out pretty nicely. I somehow managed to lose a few stitches at one end of the first one so its a bit lop sided, but when I sew it into a tube to finish it hopefully it won't be too noticeable. Pictures will be posted upon completion!

Monday, 15 March 2010

I love these kind of things

Fill this out for me please? Be as honest as possible, you can leave your name as something like "anonymous" so if you put something negative then I won't know it was you!
I find these type of things really interesting, partly because I'm always worried about what negative things people think about me, but also because it gives me a boost to be able to go and read the nice things people say about me too.

My first attempt at embroidery

Ta-daaa! *is pleased with self*

I think it turned out pretty well, considering I've never tried anything like this before. I used what I think are pretty basic stitches so it was relatively easy, and the pattern was made up of nice straight lines so I didn't have to worry about detail work.

Stitches I used:
  • cherry stem: couching
  • cherry: backstitch for the outline, satin stitch to fill it in
  • outline of the frosting: stem stitch for the top and 'scalloping chain' (as it's called in the Sublime Stitching book) or 'lazy daisy' stitch for the bottom (I'm not sure which it's actually called, can't seem to find the right answer with my limited knowledge at the moment. Anyone with more experience care to enlighten me?)
  • sprinkles: French knots
  • case: split stitch
I've found some pretty cool patterns for birds, so I might do a couple to use as decorations in my room next year.

Speaking of next year's house, we've got our second look round tomorrow. It clashes with yet another thing on my timetable - the St John meeting tomorrow evening. It's kinda important that I go, because it's the committee elections and I'm running for Treasurer (I know I'm the only person running, but still...), and we may possibly miss radio training for the UCAS fair duty on Wednesday. Arghhh, there's always something getting in the way of this house stuff. I just want contracts to be signed and for us to move in so that it's all sorted. But before that we have to decide who's having which room, which isn't going to end well...

Wish me luck, I think I'm going to need it!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

And so, a new blog is born...

Greetings, and welcome to my shiny new blog!

I've lost track of how many blogs I've had on various sites, but I'm going to make this one a keeper. My previous blogs have been filled with emo rants from when I was about 15, and as I've got older I've realised that I need to put those times in the past and keep them there.
So I'm starting completely afresh, with a new blog for my new adult life and all the good times and trials that lay ahead. I'm going to fill this blog with all the new people, things, experiences and places I discover along the way (hence the blog name, A Tale of New Cities). There'll also be a scattering of my craft projects, as I'm always trying new things and I want to share my masterpieces (and the things that don't turn out too brilliantly!) and all the cool ideas I find.

This is by no means the layout I'm going to keep, I've seen so many cool layouts that I'd love to use elements of in my own layout, but as I'm a Blogger n00b I've got no idea how to do all the things I want to do! I also need a more flattering profile picture - the current one is of me standing in the middle of a muddy rugby field in my lovely luminous yellow and vibrant green St John Ambulance uniform after first-aiding all day at the Bottle Match. I might also change my header - the one I'm using now is a photo I took of Pendeen Lighthouse when Chris and I went there last Saturday after a trip to Penzance. It's very basic but I wasn't feeling terribly creative and I liked the photo.

With that, I'm off to try my hand at my newest hobby, embroidering! I picked up a Sublime Stitching book on TSUK as I've been itching to try embroidery for ages, and I bought all my supplies today (including 150 skeins of embroidery floss for £14.99 from Argos - bargain). I'm hoping this will be a very easy hobby that I can use to help me de-stress, and it's very portable too as it requires very few tools and materials, so I can do it on the go. Pictures of my attempts will be up some time in the next few days!