31.12.14

Reflections on 2014

To my dearest darling reader,

 So another year draws to a close and we begin the old drill of looking back on the memories of this trip around the sun.

A selection of my favourite disposables from this year
 Rereading last year's equivalent post I find myself confronted with the fact that despite so much happening and changing in 2014, my feelings about how the year has gone has changed little from how I felt 2013 went. 2014 has been wonderful, but mainly because 17 has been wonderful (although, yes, it does bring a second puberty).

This year marks my last year where legally I am not an adult, and the future seems beautiful fluid and uncertain. But next year I shall (hopefully) get a place at University and leave school and do all those other things that I will do but as of yet I do not know what they are, which will all contribute to the overall direction of my life. And that's ok.

2014 was the year that I:
  • Reacquired a fringe
  • Applied to University
  • Fell in love with German literature (after I had applied to University rather annoyingly)
  • Did most of the (limited number of) teenagery stuff that has happened to me
  • Gained some truly wonderful friends
  • Came out as bisexual/Was attracted to a girl for the first time, despite knowing I could be since year 5/Had a breakthrough when I found out about grey-sexuality
  • Co-founded a Feminist Society in a boys' school
  • Didn't post enough on here 
  • Was told my flower crowns were 'well random' by Carol Ann Duffy
As of yet I don't have any resolutions (but I did do generally well with last year's ones) however if any pop up over the next day or so I shall let you all know

Have a wonderful year sweetpeas!

Gwendolen

22.12.14

"I'm not eccentric, I'm just more alive than most people"

Hey Readers!

 I wish I had something interesting to say but I really don't.

 My time as usual has been stocked full of stuff and as ever I am amazed that I manage to do everything and potentially even do it to reasonable quality. I had the chance to speak in Canterbury Cathedral last week in my school's Christmas Carol Concert which was pretty rad. Even though religion is not really my bag.

 I've had a dip in self-perception over the last few weeks but I've realised that after 17 years there is no point in allowing myself to wallow in it as it will suddenly go and be of no consequence. Oddly, I am ready (dare I say excited) to turn 18 in two weeks and a day, despite the fact I'm teetotal. But hey, being autonomous in the eyes of law is pretty rad state to be in.

I'm doing a poetry competition in mid-January. My friend signed me up for it and I am torn between really pissed off with him because I don't have the time to commit to it, and loving the chance to perform a feminist call to arms*, Sylvia Plath, and this rather gorgeous poem by Edith Sitwell (who is responsible for the title of this blog post):


The floors are slippery with blood:
The world gyrates too. God is good
That while His wind blows out the light
For those who hourly die for us –
We still can dance, each night.

The music has grown numb with death –
But we will suck their dying breath,
The whispered name they breathed to chance,
To swell our music, make it loud
That we may dance, – may dance.

We are the dull blind carrion-fly
That dance and batten. Though God die
Mad from the horror of the light –
The light is mad, too, flecked with blood, –
We dance, we dance, each night.




Gwendolen


*ish. The ending confuses me slightly but I think essentially fits with what I think. But it was written in the late 1700s, so perhaps the differing context would explain why I don't feel totally comfortable with the point of  view of the writer.

12.11.14

#yamecansé and um, quick life update?




so, these things are going on,

• I have just sent off my first paid article.


• I am sitting in a room running a "Language Rep" support workshop.

• This evening I will be holding an MUN debate on the current issues going on in Mexico.

(Summary: Mayor asks police to do something about students who are going to protest a speech given by his wife because she is corrupt. Police say to drug gang, "hey, these people here are pert of a rival drug gang, you should do something." It comes out that 43 students are missing, potentially due to the Mayor. Mayor runs away and is caught. Charred bodies found in river. It is suspected the drug gang killed the students, burned their bodies and threw them into a river. When questioned about this, the Mexican Attorney General cuts off his speaking by saying "ya me cansé," — "enough, I'm tired.")*

• I may get to travel to two new and cool-seeming countries in the next few months!

• I have not written my Personal Statement yet. Whoops.

• I applied to NYU Abu Dhabi and I am still waiting (hoping) for an interview.

• The Taylor Swift Blank Space video, which I've literally just watched as writing this with my roommate (who is also running the workshop) and the one person who attended today, makes me laugh.

• So do these tweets from the Barack Obama - Audubon Society Twitter feud – http://www.theonion.com/articles/19-tweets-from-the-audubon-societybarack-obama-twi,32625/

• oh, and I saw Bananarama Clamcrotch / Benefactor Cucumbers stand two meters away from me in rugged battle gear, as he praised me (well, and a room full of the other teenagers that are my classmates gathering to bid for the chance to shave people's head).
Yep. That happened.



Apologies for the absence.
Over and out.
Much love,

Cecily xx

* I realise I may have neglected to mention it before, but I am Mexican. Hence the particular concern of the topic.

2.11.14

I can hear the library humming

Hey Reader,

I write to you from a University library, while I take a break to question what on earth I’m doing here at 5:30 on a Saturday evening. Year 13 (and therefore my final months of school) seems to be slipping by very quickly, months becoming moments and weeks mere seconds. I can feel myself wanting my independence more, and I’m beginning to resent everything I have to do that is imposed on me by another person as opposed to myself. Annoyingly, I know this will happen for the rest of my life unless I go off and become some atheist Ayn Rand inspired hermit where the only person I would possibly ever have to think about is myself. Perhaps I would feel this less if I had had two weeks off for half term as I may actually have had time to get everything done. At least UCAS is out the way (PS Offer from Birmingham! Woo!).

It’s my friend’s Halloween party tonight and the first time I think I will really socialise this holiday. I’m going in a joint costume with Max inspired by our favourite theory in physics known as ‘Linde’s monopole’*, which basically just involves me painting my hands and feet blue. As fun as I am sure it will inevitably be, a large part of me does just want to spend this evening curled up on the sofa watching a German film. I guess it doesn’t help I have left my disposable camera at home, which I have developed a distressing habit of doing.

My parents thought I was actually coming up here tonight to meet up with some mysterious boy. Part of me wishing I was just because it would mean I wouldn’t be procrastinating from this essay that I gave myself to do optionally over the holiday. And I didn’t bring a coat as I forgot that it is much colder at 6:30 than at 2:30 when one just needs a jumper. Ah well.

I don’t have anything intelligent to say. I feel like I stopped having anything intelligent to say a while ago. Cecily is the Queen of the Intelligent Content-Driven Posts but her digital presence seemed to disappear from this blog a while ago and I really miss it. But I assure you dear reader that she is alive and well, flourishing at school and still on track to win a noble prize.

In middle-class news, we got a new kettle today that boils the water a good few magnitudes quieter than our old one, so it is now possible to have conversations while waiting for a cup of tea.

It gets dark so early now, which probably doesn’t help my perceived speed of time. But it does amplify the feeling of being inside or outside. The former has become so much more intimate and cosy, while the latter seems so lonely, but nicely atmospheric with the right music.

The highlight of each week has become this new podcast I’ve found called Serial. It’s from the producers of the equally wonderful ‘This American Life’, and it seems so frivolous when I know I should be listening to In Our Time Podcasts about Shakespeare and the Metaphysical poets. It’s about a murder case in the 90s, where Adnon (the guy who supposedly killed his girlfriend) still maintains never doing it. Each week looks at a different aspect of the case, and you really do oscillate between feeling like he did and didn’t do it as neither side can put forth a solid argument. It sounds so stupid, just an easy way of attracting listeners, but in reality it is half an hour of brilliant story-telling, that I would thoroughly recommend you indulge in.

I should probably spend the next 45 minutes working solidly on my essay. I hate that I’m finding it so hard to construct a decent argument as this is the subject I want to do at University and really should be excelling at.



Gwendolen

*Monopoles are theoretical particles with one isolated magnetic pole. This theory suggests our entire universe is contained within a monopole, inside another universe monopole, inside another universe monopole etc. (Not forgetting of course that there will be one solitary universe containing monopole floating inside ours, also containing a monople etc). Then each of these monopoles are connected to their anti-monopole by a worm hole, which would be able to observe as a magnetically charged black hole (I think that is how the theory develops at least). 

21.10.14

A short story by my much younger self

The Tunnel

Once upon a time, in a magical village, there was a long tunnel. There were lots of families and two of the children were very famous. There was a little scaredy boy, and a tall brave girl. Everybody was taking the mick out of the boy. So he went into the tunnel. It was really dark in there, and whoever went in never came out.

 There are also lots of doors in there. And they each lead to something. One of them leads back to the village again. When the little boy opened the first door, he found a beautiful garden. And he played and played in it. But then he found a bomb! So he ran out of the garden as quickly as possible. Then, he found a unicorn in the tunnel, and it helped him find the door that led out of the tunnel. But the unicorn was quite slow.

Meanwhile, back in the village, everybody was getting worried about the little boy. So, the tall girl went into the tunnel to find him. She searched and searched - after a couple of hours she found him. And they both went looking for the door back to the village. The unicorn had forgotten which door it was. It took four days to find the right one. When he came out, everybody was really happy. They have the unicorn a rosette, and the boy and girl a medal each.

The End.


I found this when I was searching through some old school reports at the weekend. Rereading this alongside my reports was odd. They both present a version of myself which is acutely similar to the person I am now, yet seem to tell a different story to the one I remember, or at least perceived to have occurred. I wasn't an unhappy child, and certainly I had (and still do) a lovely home life. But I never had stable friendship groups during primary school - I always, as many of us do, felt like a constant outsider and never felt particularly (eurgh, to quote Willy Loman) well-liked. So it was weird to read that I was apparently a 'popular' child.

 Then there is all the psychoanalysis you can do on this story. On Sunday, the story struck me as a metaphor for depression. Typing it now, in some ways writing it alongside my former self, it still has that tone, I began to notice other things. Firstly, that the presentation of the girl as the savior means it's quite clearly feminist (woooo!). Secondly, that it centres on a sibling relationship. As much as I hate to admit it, my relationship with my older brother has been one of the biggest influences on me. Namely, it's made me into the slightly too competitive young woman that is writing this post. I wasn't imaginative enough as a child to not be writing this about me and him, and in that context it's interesting that our relationship to each other is completely reversed: I'm older and taller, and I'm the one who is brave and saves the day. Then depressingly at the end, it is not the actions of saving her brother that makes the story worth telling, but rather being given medals. It's this desire for award that I need to get out of my system, and this again ties into my competitiveness. But I am getting much better.

Gwendolen

5.10.14

August/September Disposables


The rather grim view from my room in Sidney Sussex

The time we found teapots in Fleur's sink



I got experimental with hairspray, toothpaste and disposable camera lenses to variable success







Gwendolen

PS I shall be haranguing Cecily to post

Procrastinate...

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