Tag Archives: Study

It’s Moments Like These You’ll Need Something A Bit Stronger Than Minties

Small moments, out of all moments, stick in my mind like tiny white strands of cat hair stick to clean black work pants.

They can be a passing thought or feeling or some tiny, seemingly unimportant incident that reminds me I’m human in the most endearingly flawed kind of ways.

Like that small window of relief you feel after finally submitting an assignment. You’re so joyous and triumphant that you got the little fucker out of the way, you’re completely oblivious to the crippling anxiety that is about to follow once you realise there is still a result, marks and comments to come. When I’m in the throws of my next assignment, I’ll remember that minuscule moment of complete relaxation, to remind myself of what I’m aiming for.

Other moments remembered don’t really serve me any purpose, however they do give me some form of amusement.

I had trouble buttoning my pants the other day – pants I’d only owned for the past couple of months. I thought that I must up my Karate training. Yes, more cardio, I resolve. But you probably won’t commit to that, comes the little voice in my head. And no, watching Dragonball doesn’t count as training, even if you are taking mental notes of Goku’s fighting technique. Hmm, we were quite snippy that day.

I locked myself out of my car on another day. I was lucky no one was around to witness me hopping in through the boot of my car and ever so gracefully crawling over my back seat to retrieve my car keys (kind of like the time I wedged myself in the bathroom window trying to get back inside the house I was sharing, after my housemate unknowingly locked me out in a state of sleep deprived anal retentiveness).  Anyways, knowing me and my scatter brain, keeping my boot open is my insurance policy … just don’t tell anyone.

My car and I do seem to be at odds lately. My stereo is busted again and I’m uncomfortable with the silence. I tried singing to myself to compensate. I sang almost the entirety of Tenacious D’s first album, finding it quite awesome that I’ve still retained that knowledge from say six or seven years ago. But there’s only so much of my own singing I can take, so I’ll probably just have to stop being such a tight ass and get a new stereo.

Speaking of new purchases, I was at the snow last week. Wait the segue will eventually make sense.  I noticed in the promotional posters around the ski resort that all the girls have beach blond hair, stylish and form fitting ski gear and actually look good in a beanie and ski goggles (no-one looks good in a beanie and ski goggles). None of them resembled a cream puff with a big melon head. And suddenly I felt inadequate in my immense lemon coloured jacket and bulging, bright green helmet – who made those brilliant purchases anyways?

Oh that’s right – me. But you can’t expect too much from someone who makes their own music when their stereo brakes for the hundredth time, can you? I felt more comfortable skiing in my Charmander onesie. It did make me look awesome, I must admit. One of the lifties was all like ‘use flamethrower’ and I was all like ‘I haven’t gotten to that level yet!’. My skiing skills are probably more comparable with Scratch, Tackle and Smokescreen – somewhat effective, but in the grand scheme of moves, pretty useless.

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I Wrote This With My Eyes Closed

Sitting at the kitchen table, waiting for inspiration to strike, I suddenly notice that for a non-religious household, there sure are a lot of representations of Buddha around the place.

When I was younger, in a previous house, Mum put a statue of Buddha outside the door, hoping it would repel Johos.

Somehow, I don’t think a little clay monument would deter them from helping us look for Jesus, but no matter. I searched behind my couch, where most lost things gravitate to, but alas, no avail.

Anyways, I digress. It was my first day back at Uni today. I had a midday short story class straight off the bat, my holiday hangover ever apparent as 12 still felt too early to function and my attentions immediately wandered from the teacher to all the new and shiny people. Particularly some Byron Bay alumni, with a floppy, maroon beanie and dead straight, sun bleached hair, compelling me to note down that I don’t like it when guys have prettier hair than I do.

The guy sitting next to him had red rimmed eyes, and I unabashedly assumed he was stoned. When the teacher asked him to define ‘short story’ on behalf of his group, he replied ‘Well, we all agree that they are short.’

Smart ass.

Anyways, he turned out to be some deep thinking, intellectual genius.

Here’s another one. ‘Short story is like a door, opened just a little.’

‘What does that mean to you?’

‘That life is like a door.’

Oh, god.

‘Why do we study short fiction?’

Thinks I, ‘Because it’s impossible to write and mark novel length fiction?’

BOOM.

Smart ass.

Unfortunately I didn’t turn out to be some deep thinking, intellectual genius.

Don’t get me wrong, I like short fiction, so in respect for the genre, let’s keep this post as short as possible.

 

 

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Just a little bit ridiculous…

Hurrah! Back at University. That didn’t sound completely believable did it? I don’t mean to come across as sarcastic, because there is a subject I am studying this semester that is actually of interest to me. Introduction to Creative Writing. Yes. Creative Writing. They still managed to squeeze an essay into the assignments, yet I’m still mildly excited. In class we had a writing exercise. It took me back to grade seven, with my favourite teacher ever, Mrs. Rowley, an actual author, and the brainstorming sessions we would have, writing in our journals, just letting our imaginations run wild. For some reason a lot of people had images of ‘pools of strawberries’ in their heads. I don’t know why, but is seemed to be a reoccurring theme. Perhaps it wasn’t an inherently twelve year old thing to think about, perhaps my classmates just thought it sounded ‘artsy’ and copied each other. Anyhow, in this particular writing exercise we were asked to complete this sentence: When I write I feel…

Hmm, I thought, thinking back to my most recent blog post. When I write I feel like I’m unlocking the gate to a mental asylum, letting all the crazies out to wreak havoc on the page. Painting green hair and bright red smiles all over priceless artwork, like Jack Nicholson’s Joker in a Gotham art gallery, yet my paintbrush is my keyboard and the art is the relative credibility of the blogosphere.

I didn’t write that exactly, but something along those lines.

And I’m secretly quite proud of my ability to smear countless, irrelevant words on to my internet page, yet a little worried how that translates into my story telling ability.

I like to write fiction, that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m any good at it. I’ve written many words, yet the quality may be a little iffy.

My motivation also leaves a lot to be desired when writing fiction. Which is a shame, because there is a kick ass movie rolling in my head, and if I could only find a way to translate it to the page I’m sure I’d be winning. I sometimes wish I could just project what ever I’m thinking on to a screen, then it wouldn’t look like I was just staring out a window for two hours with no reason, like some sort of decrepit old lady who had lost her marbles long ago…

There are many movies inside my head. I imagine my mind would look, not so much like a sleek stack of shelves with neat, ordered DVD cases, but more like an old, dusty, dimly lit room with rolls of film shoved in draws and on rickety wooden shelves. Everything creaking, because that’s what my bones do…gosh, you 21 year old old woman you, go on crack your neck then, just move your shoulders back a bit, cccrriickk…sigh. Yes, I already feel old. I have already experienced the look of confusion and ignorance on younger people’s faces when they do not get references in my jokes or conversation.

“Have you actually ever seen Jack Nicholson’s Joker?” (I don’t know why that reference keeps popping up, let’s just say with my recently acquired Bat-mobile key ring, Batman seems to be on the mind.)

“Who’s Jack Nicholson? Isn’t that other guy the Joker, the one that died?”

“…sigh”

Dammit, I wasn’t even born when Tim Burton’s Batman came out, but kids today, seriously… Soon no one will get my pop culture references and then what will I do?

Noooooooo…

But surely, surely my Simpsons references are still relevant?

Well no, not always. And, if I may say, that’s just ridiculous, or as I like to say redonkulous, or because I’m Australian and Australians like to shorten everything, just redonk, or if I want to add a little pimp/gangster flavour, redonk-y-donk, or to just mix things up a bit, redonkey-kong…

Okay, I don’t really use these turns of phrase, because they, quite frankly, are just a little redonkey-kong.

Toodle-oo.

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Get and New Plan Stan. 50 Ways to Leave Your…study.

I’ve come to the resounding conclusion that procrastination is directly linked to cleanliness. Being that when I put off doing undesirable things, like reading Flaubert’s Parrot (which is actually pretty amusing – I mean any one who says ‘I am like a cigar: you have to suck on the end to get me going’ has got my attention…momentarily), things get clean. When there’s uni work to be done – washing the dishes, washing clothes, vacuuming, mopping, spraying and wiping, obviously takes precedence. And so does brushing and walking the dog, and saving those overripe bananas, that are attracting a swarm of fruit flies, and turning them into delicious muffins. Which I will regret later as I eat them for breakfast for five consecutive mornings, and realise that you really can have too many muffins.

There’s also another effective, yet less productive way to distract yourself from reading – watching movies. Any movies. Seriously. I watched ‘The Rock’ in shiny satin pajamas and fairy wings last night because I didn’t think to use my time more wisely. Yet, sometimes watching movies is technically study…ch-yeah, for lazy people who haven’t read the book. And when you have read the book, I swear, sometimes, watching the movie adaption will just make you dumber. Or incensed with inconsolable rage…especially when you watch said adaption in your tutorial and cannot leave, curse, or throw things at the screen. I’ll admit, the novel itself, namely ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’, wasn’t really my cup of tea – but it had its moments and potential to be a more tolerable movie. Man, was I wrong. Just a warning, I am about to go on a spiel about what I was thinking at the time of watching this movie, and having spent a year studying film, which has completely ruined my ignorance and tolerance of flaws, I’m going to sound like a bit of a movie snob….Anyways, when the movie finished the classroom forum was open for discussion – about themes, about inter-textual readings, about stupid stuff like post-colonialism – and all I wanted to talk about was how freaking horrible the actual film was. I, movie critic that I am, (cough, cough) immediately after, whipped out my phone,  jumped on IMDB so I could discover who this terrible director was that created this abomination. It was a soapy director, whose main credit was ‘Neighbours’! Ah hah, my inner reviewer was having a field day with this information. The people must know my thoughts! Sure they picked up on the complete miscasting of Rochester. The actor not quite measuring up to the Byronic hero, by way of his face forcing this temperamental emotion similar to that of a toddler, his weak screen presence and how his spindly, pasty body and lack of finesse made the numerous sex scenes quite nauseating…No, but let’s not talk about how repulsive the character of Rochester is, that’s in the book, wasn’t anyone completely put off by the sickly yellow colour grade on all the nature/jungle scenes? The unflattering lighting? The overexposed sky? The way the director so desperately wanted to emulate Terrence Malick in the way he brings nature to life through beautiful cinematography, but ended up with some weird swaying grass, with some obnoxious music over the top? The unnecessary and distracting use of hand held in random dialogue scenes, where the characters are sitting and drinking tea? The overused trope of echoing voices in the characters head and flash cuts as he runs mad into the jungle? No? Are you sure? Damn, I say as I wear my black beret and black turtle neck sweater, stroke my primped grey beard and turn into that obnoxious hack of a movie critic in my local newspaper, whom I so despise, mostly because he completely missed the point of the shaky cam in the Hunger Games (amongst other things). I don’t want to be that guy. I don’t think I’m like that guy, but nevertheless I’ll put away my scathing pen for now and reflect on why I don’t normally do movie reviews.

Hmm…Obviously, I just get too worked up. It’s not healthy.

I’m thinking that maybe I should just read that parrot book now.

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I believe in yesterday…

Yesterday…all my troubles seemed so far away. Eh hem, sorry, I just couldn’t help myself. Anyways, yesterday was my first day back to uni after one week off for study week, or more appropriately, for some, ‘beach’ week or ‘bludge’ week, or for me ‘stress out of your brain how much you can’t bring yourself to finish your assignments, but get over it and do them eventually’ week. It was a big day, starting with passing an accident where some person drove into the ‘Welcome to Lismore’ sign on the roundabout, and ending with me having some sort of emotional breakdown for no apparent reason (humph, women! what are you gonna do? Blame hormones, that’s most likely…)

So, I’m back in class, listening to some post modernist, post structuralist, post colonial…stuff. When, bam! An unexpected emotion hits me – amusement. A brief moment when my intellectual, insightful lecturer describes a chair as ‘being in a material world’ and I immediately think of him as Adam Sandler in The Wedding Singer saying ‘ – and I am a material girl…or boy’, and how much I love that movie, and probably how much I’d rather be watching it at that very moment. Nevertheless, I am somewhat intrigued by the tutorial’s subject matter, and as usual, want to contribute my brilliant thoughts to the matter. Yet, my opinion, in this instance, is like a gastric brooding frog, not in the way that it gives birth to a bunch of tiny, baby opinions from its own mouth, but in the way that it is scarce and endangered. Oh, sure, my opinion is kicking around in my brain alright, self professing its awesomeness, but it just can’t transpose into verbal form, unless of course I had perfected my telepathic skills, unknowingly.

Well, that was the first disappointment of the day. Secondly, was the possibility of a freebie gym membership being cruelly snatched away. Nobody, I ah say nobody denies me what I think I’m entitled to. (And the importance of that sounding like Foghorn Leghorn, I don’t really know. When I make a point, for some reason, I speak like a cartoon character, a British gentleman or Pee Wee Herman…because they obviously hold more weight than myself…) I thought that apparently anyone playing a social sport was entitled to one month free gym membership at the uni gym, but it turned out that it only went to the team captain. I figured that pretty much sucked, as, if I had to sit on my bum for eight hours straight in class,  I should be afforded the opportunity to stave off blobbery and a soft mid-section. Because, don’t you know people, that there is an obesity epidemic in this country? And equally as important, an epidemic of poor uni students, whose boxing bags are so old they brake and nearly crush their dog? (exaggeration, we all know my dog is fine) But really, in other words, this is just me not wanting to pay for gym membership because I’m stingy. I did end up paying $10 casual rate to use the gym that afternoon, and I didn’t care if I nearly died of exhaustion, I got my money’s worth…

So…obviously this day was just too much excitement for little ol’ me, as at the end of the night I wound up getting all emo like I had just watched ‘A Walk to Remember’ or something (don’t deny it, that movie is horribly sad). Okay, so nobody wants to hear about someone bawling their eyes out for no reason, but seriously, what is it? A stress reliever? Maybe for me, but not for my mum trying to get to the bottom of some deep seeded personal insecurity I may have. Woman, your constant mood swings make no sense! (cue perfect segue) And neither does this blog…

So, tune in next time for another nonsensical dramatisation of my otherwise ordinary life. Bonsoir.

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Help…brain aneurism!

I’ve just submitted my first two university assignments ever and let me tell you, it was stressful. With shoulders so tight they were just about up around my ears, I went over my essays with a fine tooth comb, or in this case and a fine eye comb, because I don’t really see how you can comb a Word document…I checked and double checked everything before going into online submissions. There, I couldn’t find the appropriate link where to upload my paper. I began to mildly freak out, yelling at the computer screen. ‘Where is it, it should be under assignment submissions, but it’s not, why isn’t it here? This PDF instruction manual looks nothing like what I’m looking at! Max stopping woofing at me! (My dog, impatient for his dinner, I just didn’t understand why he could not wait, I was in the process of minor meltdown after all) Where the hell is it!…oh it’s right there, where it’s supposed to be…dumbass.’

There’s a certain amount of dread in uploading your work into the ether. There’s just no possibility of getting it back. It’s done, finite. What if I made a grammatical error?…dun, dun, dun. *Whirl around, dramatic look down the barrel of the camera* But after a few moments of distance and reflection there comes a sense of relief, a tiny realisation that you were completely and utterly irrational, and if I may say, a little bit of a loser nerd (and, I can say, I don’t know why I’m asking permission to insult myself) It’s not the end of the world if everything isn’t exactly perfect. I must dispose of these high school ideals I drummed into myself of maintaining A’s across the board. It’s just not practical in this new university setting, as it may turn me into a hunchbacked hermit, not to mention a spinster, my brain may explode, I just might turn into an obnoxious pseudo intellectual *shudder*, or be buried underneath a pile of papers so deep I’ll need one of those funky little helmets with the flashlights on them.

I over dramatise, yet manage to put forward a succinct and poignant argument (Hunt, 2010, p.1)

Oh, I forgot one thing, it may cause me to reference everything I write…

Until next time, bonsoir. (See, this is becoming a regular sign off…I actually have a sign off. Groovy…)

P.S. Mum, I appreciate you proofreading my every post. Please let me know if there are any spelling mistakes, or god forbid, grammatical errors! dun, dun, dun…

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I Feel Smarter With My Glasses On

This past fortnight a great many things have happened to me. For one, I broke my boxing bag. The frayed straps finally gave way, leaving me both secretly proud of such testament to my own brute strength, and deflated that I could not finish the venting of my frustrations through pounding fists and kicks of fury. I left the bag hanging there on a skewed angle, knowing full well the possibility of it coming completely undone and landing on my unsuspecting dog – which thankfully did not happen. I am in no means defending my own negligence, I just thought that Max (my ‘a little smaller than a Newfoundland’ dog) would have the good sense to stay away from a 50 kg weight crashing to the ground…

Secondly, I had a conversation with a curious lizard, that sat next to me whilst I was eating my lunch at Uni. I named him Gary. We got along swimmingly.

Gary

Thirdly, I had another bizarre dream that I was Batman – cape, utility belt, gravelly voice and all. Fighting off Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer version), the Joker (Jack Nicholson version) with a bazooka, many minions armed with machine guns, and saving children from unexplainable crates dangling from high-rise buildings. Quite frankly, it was better than Xbox.

And, oh, what was that other thing I did? That’s right, I started University. Obviously this list gives priority to the most important details first…

Today, I wrote down three things during my ‘Australia, Asia and the World’ lecture, that at the time felt important in surmising my second ‘cultural studies’  experience in a whole. I made a note that I do appreciate a good Star Wars reference in the teaching of, well anything; that I’m enjoying my peculiarly swinging, swively chair; and that lecturers like to use YouTube clips of foreign people singing to illustrate points about culture.

Another thought also crossed my mind in that lecture, namely ‘Woman! For god’s sake just calm down!’ – obviously referring to the designer sunglasses, midriff wearing ‘scholar’, who would not quit with the fidgeting, playing with the mobile phone and the constant opening and shutting of the MacBook Pro. I get it, you can take notes and look up stuff on your whiz-bang information machine, while I just jot on my totally cool Typo notebook – but the pages popping up on your blaring screen are distracting me from what I’m sure is a very interesting lecture about…something.

Actually, I exaggerate. I do listen and take notes, and participate in all the philosophising, theorising and questioning. What I don’t get is that, in one of my unrelated tutorials, we were to discuss a critical work on orality and literacy, amongst ourselves, like, you know, we were at a coffee shop. I don’t know about you lady, my inner monologue says to my teacher, but I don’t theorise about the written word at a ‘cafe with friends’, my cafe experience usually comprises of drinking coffee and perhaps talking to my mum about what’s for dinner…I can’t pretend like University discussions are just casual chit-chat between gal-pals.

So, it seems that I haven’t quite caught a grip on being all pseudo intellectual without sounding like a total pompous ass. If I’m to be a ‘scholar’ I feel like I’m in need of a pipe, a glass of brandy, perhaps a monocle, or even a fine mustache that I can tweak between my thumb and forefinger whilst remarking ‘Hmm, interesting point old boy!’ But seeing as though I’m not some sort of 18th century gentleman, I will have to adjust my view. Easy enough as I so discovered, by listening to a fellow classmate ‘articulate her thoughts’, the so-called ‘scholars’ of today sound more or less like this: “Like, like, like, individuality, like, like, creative writing, like, like, you know, like, like, like, you know what I’m saying?” Kind of reminds me of the Yip Yip aliens from Sesame Street

Okay, so that was only one person, and perhaps the ‘liking’ wasn’t to that extent. It just sounded that way – ‘like’ seemingly replacing where an intake of breath or a full stop should have been. Inner Monologue: “Just spit it out, woman! Think before speaking, it’s not that hard” aaaand breathe, let it go. End of rant.

Tune in next week (or whenever I find the motivation between reading Jane Eyre, amongst a million other texts, and French class, and touch footy, and work and perhaps Women’s Self Defense Kung Fu…? Hmm, ponderous!) for another exciting installment of… yeah, I can’t really finish that sentence.

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