March

Film

I am still watching all of the films. I went to Rich’s and basically spent an entire weekend watching films. We watched Beasts of the Southern Wild, Contagion, Tyrannosaur and Alien. As I seem to want one of everything when it comes to social media thingies, I now have an account on Letterboxd, if you care or want to join me.

Books

Perhaps the trade off for all the film watching is that I can’t seem to read a novel to save my life. I started The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy and while I’m not saying for one second that it is bad (it is certainly not), I think I’ve just read too much contemporary fiction lately that classic literature has been a shock to my system and sort of sent me back to reading like a student. As in, at one point I skipped a few pages and then started reading the Spark Notes. What the hell is that about?

However I did manage to finish The History of the World in Bite-Sized Chunks by Emma Marriott. I won’t pretend this was particularly exciting, but it did exactly what it said on the tin. Now, for my non-fiction selection, I’m reading The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia by Andrei Lankov.

I’m trying to impose a personal embargo on buying books for a while. This will be hard because I love buying books. But I feel like I should stop buying so many when I am not reading so many. What I’m hoping is that this will spur me to read lots more, and then I can return to buying every nice book that crosses my path (or passes my Kindle).

Learning

I finished my course in Critical Thinking in Global Challenges, with a mark of 83% – not bad at all for a loser like me who averaged around 65% at real university. I flunked Introduction to Philosophy because I quite frankly didn’t have time for it, couldn’t understand a lot of it, and then missed the deadline for the final assessment. I’m now signed up for Democratic Development from Stanford University, and International Organisation Management from the University of Geneva.

I’m also still making a relatively genuine effort to improve my language skills. I’m mainly focusing on German, and I’m actually beginning to enjoy it.

Work

I have created an Excel document that logs my various professional (or somewhat less-than-professional) responsibilities. One page has jobs I’d like to apply for/have applied for, another has freelance writing opportunities and commitments, another has the online courses I’m taking, and the last one has volunteer opportunities and commitments. This document is very exciting and may revolutionise my life. (It’s up to you how much sarcasm you want to read into that sentence.)

Friends

Yes, I have friends! Who even knew that one. I’ve seen some of them, and planned to see some other ones. I don’t discuss my friends very much on here because I’m not so sure that they want to be discussed. But I have a few, and they’re all very lovely people. Two of them are moving abroad soon, for extended periods of time, which is awesome for them but means I won’t see them for ages which is sad.

Snow

It’s snowed for pretty much every moment of 2013 so far. Nobody has shut up about it. I have very little of value to contribute to these endless discussions of the weather, so here’s all I’ve got.

c-addision-tory-narnia

1. We’re in Tory Narnia, folks. I am of course not taking credit for this joke/idea but I am repeating it often. If you voted Conservative, it’s your fault.

2. The word for snow in Slovak is sneží. This is not pronounced ‘sneezy’, perhaps unsurprisingly, but it is a very lovely word. The ž is pronounced something like j – maybe. I’m not very good at either linguistics or Slovak language. The best thing about this word is that it doesn’t just mean snow but also means ‘it is snowing’. (People who speak Slovak better than I do, feel free to correct every wrong thing I have written here.) How much easier would life be for people in the UK if there was one word that meant ‘oh look, it’s snowing again’?

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4 thoughts on “March

  1. That’s so cool that you’re learning German! I learned a bit in college and I really really really want to start learning it properly. My ancestors are all from Germany and I feel like I could have a much better appreciation for the culture if I could speak the language.

    Also, how is the North Korea book? I was really interested in reading that one because I’ve heard good things!

    • I was learning it with the paid software LingQ but it just wasn’t sticking, but now I’m using Duolingo which is 100% free and it’s working pretty well! I still couldn’t hold down a conversation in German but everything’s looking more familiar whereas after 5 months with LingQ I was still utterly lost.

      I’m only 7% in on the Kindle but it’s pretty good!

  2. Oh I really want to watch Beasts of the Southern Wild, did you enjoy it?

    I’m seriously impressed at all these courses you’re taking, are they expensive/time-consuming? And I’m also impressed at your spreadsheet, it sounds like the sort of thing I need in my life (is that sad? haha)

    As for the snow, can it just leave now please! And take the cold with it too! I want lovely warm spring weather…

    • Beasts of the Southern Wild was bleak but beautiful – I really enjoyed it. It had a strange magical feel which I loved.

      Sophie, all the courses on Coursera.org are completely free! Unless you want to track them for college credit or something, which is only offered for a few courses, the majority of them cost absolutely nothing. Some are more time-consuming than others, but a lot of them run for less than 10 weeks and have an estimated workload of less than 7hrs a week so most people could fit one in if they really wanted to. My spreadsheet is really very sad – but so very useful!

      We seem to be past the worst of the snow… fingers crossed. It’s quite bright and sunny today but still super chilly.

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