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

28.9.14

I tie my life to your balloon and let it go

Hey Readers

 Well I guess year 13 has really begun to kick in what with my absence. I would also like to note that Cecily is also letting the side down (your publishable drafts are running very low *hint hint*).

 The last three weeks have been pretty full on, but great. Minus a very horrendous Thursday and weird hormones. Suddenly the general outline for the next few years have fallen comfortably into place (gap year inc. some time in Deutschland, then off to University to study English or Liberal Arts). My UCAS application will be in by tomorrow evening (Final choices: Manchester, King's College London, Cambridge (Ha.), Edinburgh, Birmingham*) and then I can start my applying to the odd Dutch one. I am in a moment where how quickly the future and adult life is approaching is actually kind of ok.

The lightest weekend all term

 For the first time since year 10, I have one teacher I definitely don't like, and another I can't quite make an opinion on. I am also experiencing a desire to push back against authority, in a perfectly normal and healthy teenage way. All my experience of being an adolescent seems to have been pushed into this wonderful year of being 17. This one is just a bit odder than the rest because I guess in some strange way I am also now in a position of authority.
Chatting with Mum during my family's traditional first day at school photos

I have once again become aware of how emotionally ruthless I can have a tendency to be if I don't watch myself. Actually "emotionally ruthless" is the entirely wrong phrase. On one hand, it's plain old emotional constipation. On the other hand, it's not having the time or energy to actually push out said emotions and consider them properly.

I haven't written in my diary since I last wrote on here and I can feel the emotional build up from not being able to expel all my thoughts. Every now and then I will catch myself wishing I had a completely secret blog where I could be slightly too open, and before I start saying that little bit too much I am going to go and journal.

Amber Run - I Found. They are my brother's friend's band so it's nice to see them doing relatively well

Gwendolen

*Dat offer range**
** For non-UK teenagers, they all ask for A-level grades of A*AA or AAA

6.9.14

... As We Boarded the Greyhound in Pittsburg



Counting the cars
On the New Jersey Turnpike
The've all come
To look for America,
All come to look for America,
All come to look for America.



































































































Maybe it wasn't the Greyhound (although we did travel on it at one point). It also wasn't in Pittsburg, but still.


These are some pictures from Christmas-time last year and a trip through the Deep South, which, with retrospect, had the perfect Strange-Magic-y feel to all of it and has left me a nostalgic stepping-into-Rookie-like memory.

This was when we were boarding the Amtrak in Jackson. To Britain-inhabiting me, it was super exciting 'cause we don't really get two-story trains that have special dining cars you have to book and glass ceilings in an observation car. Just to explain, as I had no idea before I travelled by it, the Amtrak is the equivalent of, say, Southeastern Rail or First Capital Connect, only cooler, in my opinion. Greyhound is the company that runs coaches, like the ones you get for a school trip only open for everyone to buy tickets.

Here is the reason for the title reference, which I think it may have been a bit obscure but was also the soundtrack to my trip. The way it progresses from their dream and the countryside to riots and violence as they feel lost is quite clever, also useful if you are studying the American Dream, although I don't have as bad an outlook on it as Arthur Miller and John Steinbeck  seem to. 

I love the old video for the song below; thought-provoking, Simon & Garfunkel and 60s/70s imagery, what else could  you want?




Cecily 

Procrastinate...

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