Saturday, 23 June 2012

And...back to the panic

So just when I felt that I was finally getting things under control; Finding a reasonable balance between terror-driven non-stop revision and endless procrastination, organising work experience and various activities to pretty up a CV, starting my job; I had almost forgotten about the biggest question of all. This has just changed- UCAS is open, and the realisation has struck me that, when I was looking at the university applicant stalking pages on the Student Room, that I should really be on there. And I am still as clueless as ever. Have I made the wrong decision in rejecting the idea of medicine? And is it too late? Which science is best? What's the difference between molecular biology and biochemistry? Is it acceptable to choose a course because it has a name you can understand? Or because it means you don't have to decide where your life is going quite yet? The range of choice out there is, quite frankly, terrifying, and however much teachers, parents, those for whom the whole thing is behind them, say that it doesn't really matter which university you go to , or that you can always change your career, I know that this choice matters, hugely, and that there is absolutely nothing stopping me from stumbling blindly down the wrong path.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Exams. Are. Finished!

Due to the revision madness, I must apologise for having not having posted for the last few weeks (Although statistics tell me I have had a grand total of 1 view in the last week, and I think that may have been me, the only one who really cares about this is myself), but I can now proudly announce to the world that I have achieved two things: Firstly, I managed to get through 11 exams without melting into an inert, bubbling blob of flesh. Secondly, I have, after a year and a half of searching (thanks youth unemployment...) managed to get myself a part time job. However, this does not start until next saturday, so I have had a blissful week on a house swap in brighton with absolutely no work. I have done nothing but read, eat ice creams on the pier, and play cut the rope. Life is sweet.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Revision Madness

My first exam (German Speaking, which was the one I was dreading the most) is out of the way now, and it's time to knuckle down to the general revision, which had been put on hold whilst I attempted to shove as many useful phrases as possible into my head. As usual, at school there  is the usual mixture of those who haven't even thought about opening a textbook yet (This number seems to be getting less, as people (myself included after the exams in January) realise that whereas they may have been able to get an A at GCSE with just natural ability and a little luck, the same doesn't happen at A level) and the few who have been revising 6 hours a night since mid February, and are now starting to get seriously ill from stress and sleep deprivation.  Of course, the majority of people are muddling along like me- the revision is started, but nowhere near as advanced as it probably should be, when I remember that my next batch of exams start in NINE DAYS. To be honest, the advice we get from the school on revision isn't much help either- the most important thing, according to one teacher, is just to visualise yourself getting all As, and it will happen...thanks for that.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

A Note on Religion

Religion is one topic that is seldom out of the news (usually in a bad light), and one which I've been thinking a lot about recently. However, the main issue for me is not whether or not God exists (well- on one level it is, but that is not what this post is going to focus on), but the inability of people to accept any viewpoint other than their own on the subject- and this is true both for atheists and people who are religious. Although, I feel I should clarify, I don't actually believe in God (I think- I'm still keeping an eye out for anything vaguely holy), I personally think that the attitudes of atheists towards religion are more repugnant than the other way around. This is because, although the majority of religious people do indeed want to persuade atheists and those from other religions to convert, however annoying or offensive others find it, they believe that in doing so they will help those converted, and (In Christianity anyway, my ignorance may mean I am over-generalising) save them from death, whereas I can think of no reason for atheists attacking religion, other than to give themselves a feeling of superiority over "brain-washed" believers. I agree that, perhaps a hundred years ago or more, religious leaders were a serious factor in repressing the rights of some people, and that even now, in some places the church (again, forgive my concentrating mainly on Christianity, but it is the only religion I really feel I know enough about to discuss) does pose a serious problem on issues such as gay marriage, in lots of the world the church is too weak to really be much of a threat to progress, which means that attacks on it are not only pointless, but in my opinion rather cruel. If atheists really want to change the minds of religion, they would do better to follow it's example- while the church attempts to use kindness to change the minds of non believers (and, in my experience the church IS kind- the only activities run for young people in my village, for example, are two religious youth clubs, a a (free) Christian holiday club and the Brownie unit run by one of the church elders, none of which are trying expressly to convert children), atheists should do the same, but adding tolerance and acceptance into the mixture. Even if it doesn't convince everyone that God doesn't exist, the worst it can do is make everyday life, and maybe even everyday people, just that bit more like they should be.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

University visits, selfish genes and punting.

As usual, apologies for the delay. Things are as hectic as usual around here. I've just returned from a visit to Cambridge, which was pretty inspiring. I literally can't wait to go to university (I'd love it to be Cambridge, but I know realistically it may not be- wherever I go, the new opportunities are really exciting), if only to be in an environment where you can just feel things happening. In addition, I want to go punting again. Since the visit, I've been ordering prospectuses (although I am waiting for some unntil the Higher education fair in Newcastle next week), and looking at websites with renewed interest- one of the things I have done is made a list of cambridge colleges that I may apply to based on the amount of grass you are allowed to walk on- the one thing that really bugged me about King's(where we were staying) when I visited. It's not as crazy as it seems, especially when you compare it to my friend's method of using brick sizes. Another thing that has got me quite excited about the idea of Uni, is that I recently read Richard Dawkin's "the selfish gene"- and I realise what all the fuss was about. Although the ideas were thought-provoking (and the rather aggressive atheism rather annoying), what really stood out for me was the glimpse it gave of a world in which it is normal to spend your time thinking, and discussing theories with other people. The book seemed, to me, to bring this much closer- and (whether this is realistic or not), gave me a feeling that it could me me doing that one day. I assume this is what one of the reviewers meant when he said that the book "makes you feel like a genius" (I paraphrase- I've lent it to someone so I can't check the exact wording). I am probably around the millionth person to do so, but if you have even a vague interest in science and haven't read it yet, do- it's also pretty easy to understand, so probably suitable for anyone from about 13 up.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Apologies, Resolutions and a Plan.

Two apologies to start of with.
-One, for neglecting to post nearly as often as I should.
- Two, for being so melodramatic ("Why? Why do I go on? I got a B- I might as well curl up in a hole and Di-eeeeee")
Now that's over with, here's a little update on my life. I have become addicted to fanfiction. I have been spending over an hour each evening trawling through endless pages of hilariously written (In so many ways) fics, which MAY explain why I'm not doing so well at school. So, to balance out the world, here are two early new year's resolutions. I am with the fools who still believe in the first of April.
- One, to read maximum 30 minutes of fanfiction a night, and only when I have done at least 2 hours of homework.
-  Two, to spend no more than £10 a month on books....In which case I might have enough of my allowance left to buy some new clothes, which I haven't done since last May.
Finally, I think I may have a plan. (For Uni, for a career...for life). Although I have decided that I do not (at this stage) want to be a doctor, I will study medicine, then go on to do a PhD in...something. (It's me. How likely is it that I would have done a proper plan?). I will then research it (with  the clinical degree giving more job security), retire at 60, and write my novel. I may also, at some point, move to Grenada to  party with Morgan Freeman.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

The traumas of Grade Cards

Having just received my half termly grade card, there was a bit of a shock in store. My German teacher had given me a "satisfactory" for effort. Because we receive them just before we break up for half term, I have been spending the last half week racking my brains, trying to think of anything I could have done wrong. I have never handed in any homework late, or not done any class work. Could it, then, be that I have not been helping with "tutoring" (for which, read sitting in front of a class of twenty year 9s who are on detention), because I have taken up an extra library shift? Or, perhaps, that I am not going on an (apparently optional) trip on my birthday, which involves spending 6 hours on a bus to listen to a two hour lecture in german on the European Union? What I can't help but wonder is why neither of my teachers could have told me to my face that I need to be working harder? Because that, after all is what satisfactory means in this world of inflated grades. Sometimes, I wonder why I bother..