Friday, 15 April 2011

So last night I began and had almost completed another cynical post. Apparently blogspot doesn't like such posts, and crashed my server.

After having deleted one myself, and the provider deleting what I have written once, this third time it will probably work.

I don't feel so secure of myself, my role nor my abilities. It happens around exam time. I had a friend over for the last few days, the girl I will be living with next year. She is Russian but has lived in Lithuania for most of her life. We did a lot of walking, studying, chatting and cooking, beside watching some films in Spanish language. In a few days time yet another friend will come up to the sometimes sunny highlands. Believe me, as of recently it has been warm and sunny. There are daffodils everywhere and the deciduous tree are beginning to turn green, there are pink and white blossoms in just about every park and garden.

I'm currently reading a rather disturbing book, 'let the right on in' by the Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist. Whilst normally I tend to watch the film after the book, this unusual book was introduced to be by the Swedish film. It was a somewhat art house production, they massively tamed down some of the more gory scenes in favour of a more artistic feel. The book itself is very readable, I have been reading it on my recently acquired kindle for the past few nights. The more I read, the more difficult it is to not believe that the author is a psycho, or sympathises with psychos, or is projecting his own character onto the protagonist, Oskar. Oskar is a young boy deeply affected by his almost daily experiences of being bullied at school, he dreams of revenge and collects sadistically newspaper cuttings, detailing horrific murders. Ultimately, it's a grotesque vampire story though there is something which feels fresh about the story. I shan't give anything away, but I can say the author takes time to write of some of the foulest type of things that go on in the world amongst humans, things which we often like to pretend don't happen. Read it, then watch the film, but please don't watch the American remake. I started and quickly discontinued.

I am so overtly ready for the summer. My mind is restless yet tired of absorbing facts, which it knows will quickly fade or vanish completely. The next post you will see here will be an attempt to use all the vocab from the semester which I can remember in sentences. Why can't I do this in my own private note book? Because I want this to be a blog of progression. I want to see how stupid I am now from a hopefully more intelligent perspective in three years time.

Tomorrow I will start studying Netherlandish art.... Well, revising it.
I will no doubt walk up the mountain and sit transfixed by the river, staring at it whilst kidding myself that I am thinking, when I am infact completely blank and without thoughts.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011


I am desperate, too many distractions and I need to memorise a chronology of art history from early christian art onward to the early 1700s, dipping into Islam and China (meaning I have to learn about their religion, philosophy, social history etc), besides also studying a broad overview of the imperial reign. Naturally, I need to go over and improve my ability to comprehend intermediate Italian texts and master the pronoun, comparative, several new forms of verb conjugation.

Okay, I understand that if you're a university student reading this you will also (probably) feel the same, it's majorly tough and overwhelming, all these facts we have to somehow absorb. I suppose you are also finding it difficult concentrating, given that you are in the process of reading my mundane ramblings. I am putting off important issues with not so important plans, for instance, today I followed a rather lengthy recipe to make melanzane alla parmigiana, and for dinner ratatouille with naan bread. The two hours spent in the library were perhaps more productive, though I would in all sincerity say cooking is productive in great Britain. I went scouring the supermarket shelves this morning, looking for Scottish delicacies. They do exist, I can assure you, but the traditional dishes are often of an obscure nature; Macaroni pie! Yes, macaroni cheese in a pie. I fear my studious nature has been debauched.

On from that little discovery, it's time I wrote out a revision timetable and stuck to it. If not, later will always seem more convenient. That said, tomorrow I will doubtlessly make sultana scones, watch a movie, continue reading goodbye tsgumi. Whilst not as as Kitchen, again Yoshimoto writes in a very intimate, adept style, of personal relationships. There isn't so much a plot, as a narration held together by the connection between the frail and sickly Tsgumi and her cousin, Maria. I had watched 30 days of night the night before I began reading the book, there was a gail outside and the noises were echoed through my chimney. Feeling a little vulnerable, I picked up this book, unfortunately the first chapter was entitled 'the haunted mail box'. My transformation from a country to city girl seems to have been both rapid and effective. There is a strong likelihood I'll also experience compunction.

Tuesday 7th April TONIGHT-reach at least page 338 in roman history text book. Watch a documentary on a Roman emperor to get in the mood. Look over italian vocab lists and print outs of key images for history of art. Upload onto kindle e-books I need to read.

Wednesday 6th April- read more of roman history text book and religion in roman empire journal. Add to notes for history of art using Jstor. Complete 'ancora un po' di pratica' in italian book. Bake scones.

Thursday 7th -Again, read more of roman history text book. Review notes. Start testing self on grammar rules up to part 5 of the Italian text book and using flash cards to test knowledge of vocab. Send to kindle (after touching up) notes on 2 topics from east semester for history of art. I pick Medieval art and Islamic art from the first semester, Renaissance and Netherlandish from the second. Start reading!

Friday 8th More reading for history of art and ancient rome. Review progress on grammar from topics 1-5 in italian text book, proceed to 5-10. Continue learning vocab.

Saturday 9th Review vocab and grammar AGAIN. Practise some compositions. Reading for history of art. Review images and test progress so far.

Sunday 10th Continue reading for ancient rome plus read another journal on kindle-this time the city, economy and culture.

Monday 11th More reading for history of art, followed by more reviewing of images. Review Italian, read through text book.

Tuesday 12th Dentist appointment, picking up Ksenija in dundee or Kirriemuir. Stil find time for more roman reading and reviewing of images. Glance over italian book.

Wednesday 13th

Thursday 14th Morning, review images. Read Italian. Ksenija returns home in evening, half-day in Dundee and cinema?

Friday 15th Watch film in italian after reviewing grammar. Listen to songs in italian and sing-a-long. Find online site and use it to test grammar. Review history of art key images.

Saturday 16th Continue reading for ancient Rome. Mind maps. Review history of art. Mind maps.

Sunday 17th Continue making mind maps and stick them around my bedroom. Read through italian vocab lists and grammar specifications.

Monday 18th Identify words I'm having difficulty remembering in Italian and stick to bedroom walls. Read AGAIN through notes. Continue reading for Ancient Rome.

Tuesday 19th More history of art reading. Try writing an a4 page in italian putting into application all the different grammar rules in the curriculum. Then grade it and learn from improvements. Review images (basically, do this every day-test self on names, dates, patron, contex).

Wednesday 20th I predict a long day, topped of with cream and a cherry. Glasgow, mum's birthday, Glasgow airport ;) The next few days will involve lots of fun learning of italian and brief early mornings spent studying.

Thursday 21st Un po' d'italiano.

Friday 22nd Try guessing what's in the exam and brainstorming key points required for a multitude of different essay questions. Practice writing image description for the images with the most notes from the lectures (guessing these will be the most likely to come up?)

Saturday 23rd Tell someone about the key images.

Sunday 24th Storia antica, prova di imparare qualche dato. E' Pasqua, e cosi' questo e' un giorno per le uove di Pasqua. Anche i hot cross buns.

Monday 25th Storia dell'arte-leggi ma anche studiare. Ovviamente posso studiare l'italiano ogni giorno :)

Tuesday 26th Review notes. Tackle problems.

Wednesday 27th Read.

Thursday 28th leggi ancora. Scrivi se c'e' qualcosa che non puoi ricordare.

Friday 29th :( Oggi sara' triste. Forse anch'io tornero al mio appartamento a edimburgo? Oppure tra alucuni giorni.

Saturday 30th


Monday 2nd

Tuesday 3rd

Wednesday 4th

Thursday 5th

Friday 6th

Saturday 7th

Sunday 8th

Monday 9th

Tuesday 10th

Wednesday 11th

Thursday 12th

Friday 13th ANCIENT ROME exam, 2 1/2 hours

Saturday 14th

Sunday 15th

Monday 16th

Tuesday 17th ITALIAN EXAM, 2 1/2 hours

Wednesday 18th

Thursday 19th

Friday 20th-FINAL EXAM! 4 hours of history of art...

Saturday 21st I'M FREEEEEEE! Study Italian and French, but I don't need a timetable for that. :)

The first of June-Rome.

I can do this, though this isn't the limitation to what I will do.
Supplements: Collins verb and grammar books, italian movies, books, websites, wikipedia, metropoliton and british museum websites, and any other reliable website, documentary, journal, book that I can get my paws on.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Productive Procastination

After giving up after two hours of revision-religion and culture in Ancient Rome by the way, I decided to make a vegan chocolate torte, with rose strawberries. My mother suggested I should become a pudding chef. Thanks, I guess that's the beauty of a classical university education...


From England to Scotland. I now live here, it's a far cry from Edinburgh, the city in which I study. No cars, just birds, rabbits, and the occasional tractor. This could easily be a landscape from lord of the rings, and I mean a real location from the book, middle earth was certainly not in New Zealand in Tolkein's mind! I thought without all the distractions of city life, spontaneous trips to galleries and museums, explorations of undiscovered districts, that returning home for easter would be an ideal method to study, no distractions in the middle of nowhere, right?

Wrong. I could easily lose myself for an entire day, staring out at the rivers, mountains and streams, hidden by pine forests just around the corner from my home.