Tag Archives: English

D’Leaving

I’m worried, just ever so slightly, but worried all the same. With only one exam left, and a four day gap between now and then, I have lulled myself into a false sense of security in which I think it’s all over and I can go out, drink coffee and get drunk. Not necessarily in that order. Pre-drinking saves you money after all..

The past week has been a bit of a bitch. The hype surrounding the first two days and the speculation as to whether or not dear Ms. Boland would make an appearance (she did, but it was a manky question) died down very quickly and we were all left to struggle on, sourcing strength, support and encouragement from our good friends Berocca Boost and Red Bull.

Every evening at about 8pm, Facebook would be taken over by multiple statuses all saying the same thing: ‘Tips for Geog tomorrow pleeeeeease? SO FUCKED.’ ‘Boland Dickinson Frost. Boland Dickinson Frost. Boland Dickinson Frost.’ ‘Topics for French essays? Alcohol? Cyber bullying? Heellllpppp… :(‘ ‘All-nighter for Bio anyway.’ etc. Facebook: an uncannily accurate portrait of a procrastination-loving generation. Think that’ll be the title of my third book. (Two other ideas I gotta deal with first..)

Most mornings, I’d set six alarms, beginning anywhere between 6am and 6.30am, depending on the amount of cramming required, and scheduled to go off at 5 minute intervals so that I’d either eventually get up or else fuck the phone off the wall and return to my state of slumber. I think the fact that the phone’s only a week old dissuaded me from employing the latter technique and, instead, I’d begrudgingly drag myself from the bed at times I’d never before seen on the face of a clock.

Tuesday was not a good day. I’d now like to express the intense dislike I feel towards whoever thought it would be a good idea to have Irish Paper 2 and Business on the same day. Do they not know that it is genuinely impossible to study both of those courses in one evening? I focused my attention on the masses of Irish literature I had yet to learn, and planned to use the ever-popular exam technique known as ‘winging it’ for Business. By now, some of you may have worked out that I like to ramble. A lot. So, yes, there is a very high probability that my answer on the ways in which managers can use Maslow’s Theory to motivate staff reads much like one of these literary masterpieces that are my blog posts.

I quite enjoyed the rush of adrenaline that pulsed through my veins as I ‘winged it’ right through the short questions, only faltering slightly at a financial ratio calculation, before continuing with more of my meaningless babble in the Applied Business Question, and finishing the paper with the highest concentration of bullshit in the long questions. And then I went home and collapsed. Trying to sound like you know what you’re talking about is actually rather exhausting.

Actually, come to think of it now, winging it seems to have been my general plan of action since Business. French study consisted of watching Hors de Prix, while Biology was just a bit of a write-off, apart from a brief venture into the never-before-seen world of genetics. Having said that, I feel the paper seemed to slightly favour those of us with a ‘erra fuck it shur’ attitude to the whole thing. I mean, there’s nothing about migratory ducks in any LC Biology book.

And now I find myself in bed before midnight for the first time in over a week, not exactly sure how I used to waste days upon days on the Internet. This is the reason you’ve been treated to this highly coherent and witty blog post which most excellently displays the stability of my mental condition at this moment in time.

Come Dine With Me’s on in ten. Gotta find some energy and put on the kettle, although it’ll be a bit weird having tea instead of a heart-palpitation-inducingly strong mug of Nescafé Gold Blend..

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Journalism, or am I crazy?

Last week, I came home to news of The Sunday Tribune’s financial difficulties. The vast majority of my Twitter stream alternated between tweets about The Tribune and others about the impending closure of two Waterstone’s outlets in Dublin. While both pieces of news were as bad as each other, and reminded us of the real effect of this recession, the Tribune story struck more of a chord with me.

Not a week goes by anymore without someone asking me what I put down on my CAO or what I want to do with my life. I usually babble on for a minute or so about how I was torn between choosing a science course and a humanities course, but eventually disclose the dream of one day getting paid to write.

Each and every time I answer this question I ask myself where this whole journalism idea came from. The only relative of mine who ever wrote anything was my dad’s second cousin, who published two novels for pre-teens, along with a primary school textbook and a school play. So writing’s not exactly in my blood..

It’s hard to pinpoint when I first got this dream of being a journalist into my head. I suppose I always liked writing. Many a time as a young wan I tried writing a book, and for a few years there kept a diary religiously.

Being editor of the school magazine in TY is probably what made me seriously consider a career in publishing or the media. There were, of course, other people involved with the magazine, and there’s no way it would have ever happened without them, but I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t do a hell of a lot of work to get that magazine printed and sent off to The Irish Times before the deadline for the competition closed.

Having been taught the basics of InDesign by an art teacher in school, I spent my mid-term painstakingly putting the magazine together, bit by bit, before flying off to Paris for a school trip. Last year was much the same, only Paris was replaced by an even better trip to London. In some ways, though, last year’s magazine was a more influential experience. It’s hard to say which magazine was better overall, but if I had to pick one, I’d probably choose last year’s ‘Snap!’ While ‘Ink’ from the previous year was impressive, the bit of experience we had shone through in ‘Snap!’ Above all, I put together every single page of it, and maybe even more importantly wrote an award-winning article about Plugd’s closure.

I know that sounds quite conceited but it’s not. If I could write about Plugd for the rest of my life, then my articles would all be pretty good. It’s easy and enjoyable to write about something you know very well and love even more. And as much as this would be a fabulous career, I don’t think it’s very feasible. Having said that, if you know someone who’d like to hire someone (i.e. me) to write a regular column about Plugd, then do pass on my details.

I remember going to the school magazine awards in the Science Gallery in Trinity in TY. I think it was Shane Hegarty of the Times who told us a story of how his career in publishing started when he put together his 6th year yearbook. It was a nice story to hear because it reminded me a bit of myself, only my ‘career’ started even earlier, in 6th class when I designed the cover of out primary school yearbook. And it wasn’t that I was the only one willing to do it, because everyone in the class had to do one, and then there was a vote among the class. If, one day, I become a mighty successful journalist, this will be my story of my beginnings in journalism. I could embellish it a bit though, and claim that I knew from that very moment it was all I ever wanted to do. How romantic..

Now though, I’m eighteen and need to be a bit more realistic about job opportunities. I could have done the sensible thing and went for Medicine, but when have I ever done the sensible thing? I probably should be contributing to this whole smart economy lark, but instead I’m aiming for the most insecure career possible.

It worries me that I’ll spend my life writing the odd article here and there, struggling to find permanent work or make ends meet. I’m scared that I’ll regret choosing this airy-fairy future over a solid, well-payed, highly-sought-after job. The current vogue of blaming the Irish Government for everything doesn’t really apply here, unfortunately enough. The newspaper industry was changing long before the IMF arrived in the country, so I can’t go shouting at politicians who come canvassing to the door that they’ve ruined my chances of being a journalist. That’s a bit annoying really, because it would have been nice to have someone to blame.

Last June I spent one amazing week working with the Irish Times, and I’d have given anything to stay there and not have to come home and face the raucous music that is the Leaving Cert. When I do imagine my future self, it’s not in a hospital or a lab but somewhere else, less concrete, but there’s usually a notebook in hand or laptop in front of me.

I don’t think I’m in any way gifted at writing or English which sometimes make me reconsider this whole ‘plan’, if you can even call it that. Yes, I’m well able to ramble on and successfully bullshit my way through an exam, but this doesn’t mean I’ll be pumping out literary masterpieces any time soon. Or any time at all.

I may be deluding myself. More than maybe, I’m probably deluding myself. But I think I’ve got to at least try to achieve the dream first, and if it doesn’t work out, I can always marry a farmer…

 

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Hello again..

I am such a bad blogger, I do know that. There is no regularity whatsoever to Wintertime Clothes anymore, so much so that I don’t think I should bother trying to make anyone read it. If they do, then I’ll be delighted but it’s like it’s always on the back of my mind if I haven’t written a post in a while. It used to be sort of a daily blog, and I was good at keeping that up for a while but I can’t seem to do that these days. I love writing, I love it a hell of a lot, but if blogging’s going to become a chore then I don’t think I should bother trying to pretend that I do a post everyday. Maybe if I say right now that I’ll do one post a week, or two posts a week then I’ll manage to stick to that. I read somewhere once that blogs should be regular. That doesn’t mean posting everyday, but just post at the same time every day/week/month so that your readers know when to expect a post.

I also know that blog posts should be short. I’m not good at keeping things short though. Once I start writing I don’t want to stop and then I think of a topic that would make a good blog post but I don’t know whether to throw it into the middle or do a separate post straight afterwards about that topic. I usually go with the former meaning that this blog has no structure whatsoever apart from the fact that the post title will most definitely not be applicable by the last sentence. If you get my drift.

I think I first started blogging just to keep me writing regularly. An English teacher told me that you can’t just not practice writing and expect to get an A in your essay. She said just write, about anything and everything once you’re forming words into sentences and sentences into paragraphs in some coherent manner. Hopefully this is semi-coherent anyway.

If you like reading all this stuff that has no logical sequence whatsoever then I’m a very lucky blogger. Recently, I’ve kind of started thinking about trying to build up a bit of a portfolio or something. Some day in the near-ish future I’ll need to be sending CVs to newspapers looking for a bit of freelance work and I’ll need something to show them. I write here about once a week but to be quite honest this isn’t something I’d want to be sending to a newspaper editor. It’s fine for a blog, but that’s what it is. There are two articles I could include in my ‘portfolio’ so far, namely a piece that was published in the ‘Go’ travel supplement in the Times, and an article I wrote about Plugd Records which won an award in an Irish Times competition. This blog isn’t exactly on par with that stuff like..

Speaking of journalism and all that jazz, I’m beginning to think I should just do what I said I never would and do journalism in DCU or UL or somewhere. Forget that whole get-a-solid-degree-and-then-do-a-masters shite. Media studies in NUIM looks very tempting too because you can combine it with a arts degree so you take media and two arts subjects in first year, drop one of the arts and continue to degree level with media and one arts subject. There’s Irish and Journalism in DCU too but I don’t think that’s exactly what I’m after. Maybe I’ll completely change my mind by CAO time but at least I’m doing some bit of thinking about it all.

There’s two other things I was going to mention but I just found out that Reeling in the Years is on Youtube and I now feel like looking back on simpler times. Ahhh..

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Sorry, teacher.

So here’s my newest excuse. For you, not the teacher.

I took lots of photos over the weekend, because I like doing photo posts after the weekend. It’s nice to look at some pictures instead of having to read lines and lines of text. But I haven’t had any time to actually get around to uploading the photos and whatnot to actually do the post. So I’m now devoting a whole post to pure nothingness as I attempt to explain myself to you. I can only hope you are more understanding than my teachers.

Reasons as to why I have been so busy include, but are not limited to:

  1. Six page essay on the poetry of Robert Frost
  2. Planning outfits for London, baby!
  3. Chemistry lab manual has to be handed up tomorrow. Fuck that shit.
  4. Biology exam papers on transport, blood, lymph and one other topic that I can’t recall at this present moment in time.
  5. Irish essay on Faoiseamh a Gheobhadsa
  6. This never-ending maths proofs thing. Every chapter. I swear to God.
  7. Mick Flannery
  8. Shopping. In town. On Saturday. With nice people.
  9. Dinner with my parents.
  10. Coffee in Kinsale

I do think that is the majority of what I have been doing. Oh wait!  How did I forget. Gossip Girl – Season 2. It takes up most of my waking hours not spent doing homework. All of them actually. So blame Nate Archibald’s hotness if you’re missing my words so much.

Actually, speaking of words, in the past few weeks I have really started loving English. It’s kind of strange because I always hated it, even though I did well in it due to my most important talent of being able to ramble about everything and nothing and still seem to say the right thing. I’m just loving this blogging thing. It kind of just flows and once I start I can’t stop. Like now, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. See how all my posts deviate completely from the title? And how I appear to be extremely fond of going off on a tangent?

And while I was doing my Frost essay earlier, I actually kind of enjoyed it. I found it pretty hard to keep to the six page limit. That’s a bad thing though, because I focused completely on his ideas and not his use of language so that’s like half the marks gone but I’m not a big fan of language and I love just rambling about various topics so I knew it was always going to end up like that.

London on Thursday! Woo! Check-in at 6am in the morning though, so I’m starting my going to bed early regime so that I won’t be all tired and crochety. 10pm is my new bedtime, so that gives me exactly three minutes to finish this post, check Facebook one last time, get some toast, pack my school bag, clear off my bed, change, brush teeth etc, read the paper and finally close my eyes.

I’d better get started.

P.S. Posts in the coming days about my weekend, accompanied by beautifully blurry pictures!

P.P.S. I’m now down to two minutes. Oíche mhaith.

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Wake me up..


..when this week ends.

Greenday were onto something there I’d say.

Christmas tests tomorrow. I’m fecked. This Patrick Kavanagh stuff is refusing to go into my head. Not so much the general ideas and themes within his poetry, which I actually like, but moreso the techniques he uses to portray this subject matter. I know he consciously used rhyme and alliteration and allusions and all that jazz, but perhaps, just perhaps, he used these because they sounded nice and not because the repeat plosive consonants are actually saying he’s lonely and feels separated and isolated from the community? If I entitled a post ‘Problems with Back Packs’ (note plosive consonants) do you automatically think “Well she’s detached from everyone. How sad.” I think not.

Not that I’m saying his techniques are just coincidental; clearly they’re not. His poetry is too good for that. I’m not a narrow-minded ignorant prick who thinks poetry is a load of rubbish. I just think we’d be better off gaining a really good understanding into what the poetry means and how this is relevant or whatever, instead of going into the teeny tiny minute details. But than again, that’s just my humble opinion.

Biology is after English. I really don’t know how that’s going to go. Our book is a pile of crap, no joke. It doesn’t cover half the stuff that’s actually asked in the exam. One would learn more from the introductions to each experiment in the Lab Manual book than you do from a chapter in my lovely Biology book, which will remain nameless, for now.

I’m hoping I have a good enough general overview of things to get by in Biology, but we’ll have to wait and see how that all turns out. Fingers crossed anyway.

I’m sitting on the couch next to the tree and it’s so pretty. The lights are so small, but yet they give such a warm, glowing light to the room. I have a rule of only allowing red and gold decorations on the tree so it’s really rich looking. I love it. 🙂

I also did a bit of a display thing on the mantlepiece. There’s a pretty big stone fireplace in this room with a thick, dark wooden ledge, so I put branches of Christmas tree and a few pieces of holly, along with some baubles and pinecones on it, and it complements the tree pretty nicely, even if I do say so myself.

There are still a lot of boxes strewn about the room, which I’ll have to organise sometime soon, but there’s still a hell of alot of decorations to be put up, and I am kinda busy this week. So maybe someone else would be kind enough to do it for a change. Although, on second thoughts, it probably wouldn’t be satisfactory, so I should just do it.

Yes I am picky regarding decorations. I do want the place to look nice..jeez.

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