Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Third Time Lucky...

I can't believe I'm already on my third blog! Truthfully, I was sceptical when the idea of me doing a blog was first mentioned. I didn't think I would have anything to say, but now it’s hard trying to stop myself from typing...

I do have to say a big thank you to one of the supervisors for the contribution of “Rogue Bunny” on my previous instalment, because it was totally appropriate (and extremely cute – I wish I had thought of it). The Pirate Bunnies of Greenwich have now appointed Rogue Bunny as their leader and as such, I am now avoiding Greenwich Park - I have enough sneezing to deal with from my cold for the time being, thank you very much!

Soooooo. Priscilla. Was. Awe-some! Although I don’t imagine it’s to the taste of everyone (it is rather crude in places). I had been terrified it was going to be like the night that almost destroyed my love of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, but it totally surpassed my expectations - I’m so glad I got to see it. Fingers crossed it goes on tour so I can see it again, at least once. :) I was mouthing along to pretty much all of the songs - and I’m not even a huge fan of disco, but I do like shiny, shiny things and I do like to sing. As much as it embarrasses me to admit - and hopefully I am not the only one who has ever done this, but if so, I hang my head in shame - the songs have been stuck in my head ever since. This has meant a few impromptu moments of me, when my flat mate has been out, bursting into song. A little too loudly. I think I should probably go and apologise to all of my neighbours at this point... Or wait, then I can pretend it’s my flatmate, should anyone come and ask. I have also been finding lots (and lots and lots) of excuses to use my shiny, shiny Priscilla QOTD (Not QOTSA, Homme fans, but QOT -D) mug... So much so, I have now rechristened it Priscilla, Queen of the Chai Latte. “Chai Latte? What happened to the coffee?” I hear you say. My answer is this - I have a lot more chai teabags left than I do ground coffee, so the coffee is on a strict ration until payday. Then I’ll be back to the cafĂ© lattes and Priscilla the Mug won’t even have to change her initials.

So, beyond my visits to Cambridge Circus and the glitzy, glamorous world of the fictional drag-queen, I have been focussing on the thing I’m really here to do. Sleep. Eat. Earn money. Study(!). I’ve been working hard on a piece of coursework that I’m glad has had some formative feedback of “Excellent”. This is good, as up to now, I thought I might have wandered off the path and was worrying I might get a “needs significant improvement”. Good inspiration to carry on and actually get it finished. To me, feedback is vital, especially at this stage of my degree, when every single mark counts!

*Project Update*
I have a new idea, which is all about e-learning on the mobile web, using devices like iPhones, Nokia Lumia or iPads. Need to get it approved by one of the supervisors - make sure it's web techie enough for them!
So, not a very long update, but I did promise. ;o)
Anyhew, time is getting on and deadlines draw nearer. Including the one for my contextual report. The report that in fact relies on me having picked a project topic… Oh dear. Until next time. Stay shiny. (o:

Friday, 2 December 2011

Pitched into the abyss...

That’s how I felt last Friday after going through the epic fail that was supposed to be my project pitch.
For once, I was super cool and calm before going in, because I totally knew my stuff and I had lots of research to discuss. It went downhill from the moment I entered the room and I don’t know why, but I’m now seriously reconsidering what I want to do. But I don’t want to continue dwelling on it, now that I have shared my misery with everyone else. Whining is wonderfully cathartic for the self in the short-term, but it can lose you some friends in the long-term if you don’t keep it in check. I think I should have prefaced the start of each conversation with “I apologise in advance for the whining and whinging that may follow”, but then that kind of warning could have had people running away. Not good for the self-esteem!
Life has mostly been about deciding if I want to stay on this project train, to destination “classification unknown” or to make the leap onto the platform of indecision and wait for the train towards somewhere more appealing and desired classification friendly. The problem with this procrastination is that the platform of indecision is finite in length. With my face firmly pressed to the glass, nose bent at an undignified and painful angle, I can see the big red “point of no return” sign, getting closer much faster than I would like. Once that sign zips past me, my course is set and there are going to be no other opportunities to get off. Except a derailing. And that would be very, very bad. As much as I enjoy studying at University of Greenwich, I don’t relish the thought of having to retake my project next year. If I’m here, I want to be studying a Masters programme, not fixing a failure. And I don’t deal well with failure.

Oh dear, how doomy-and-gloomy do I sound?! Honest, inside I’m all rainbows, bunnies and lollipops (I just don’t like to show it too often). Ok, maybe not so much bunnies, they play havoc with my allergies.
On a brighter note, I am off to see Priscilla Queen of the Desert (I so nearly wrote dessert) soon, before it ends. I loved the film, all that sparkle and song, so I’m hoping the stage show is just as good. I know I will be silently singing along with all the songs.
Anyhow, I shall sign off for now. Thank you for reading, until next time...

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Ships that pass in the night...

I feel like this is my current relationship with sleep. Some of this is genuinely self-inflicted, as I have seriously been over-dosing on the caffeine, after finding a new joy for this special bean. It’s also because I have a new coffee related “gadget” (I say new, I’ve had it for months and only just figured out what it’s really for) and there have been some nights I’ve needed to stay awake just that little bit longer. I'm a student, so did you really expect anything else? On the nights that have not seen me mainlining Starbucks, Costa, NescafĂ©, Carte Noir or Douwe Egberts (or a combination thereof), sleep has still been elusive. This is because it is TOO COLD! I have been spending my evenings (and weekends) as a lame imitation of an Eskimo. But enough with the sleep-deprivation and the blue fingers, on to something a bit more interesting.

Recently, I was fortunate enough to see Immortals, at a special screening, the day before it was released. I was really looking forward to it because I immensely enjoyed 300, which was made by the same people. Like my friend Emily (see her blog here), I enjoy a good film. I don’t generally analyse films in the same way – but then she has studied cinematography and visual effects, so it just comes naturally now. I just watch for fun. I’m also a “re-watch it because I found out about the goofs” kind of girl, rather than being a “goof” spotter. But, for the first time ever, I actually spotted a goof all by myself! Not wanting to spoil the film (and hopefully this wont), but there is a shield banging moment quite near the end and the bang sound is out of sync with the action. I’m hoping that this really is a goof and not just cinema employees being inept, otherwise it would just be embarrassing now I’ve announced it. All in all though, it was a reasonably good film. The effects were pretty cool, but can’t say it’s one that I would go out of my way to watch again. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but I’d definitely suggest seeing it if Greek Gods and unbalanced battles are your thing. Oh and if the thought of seeing Mickey Rourke wearing a hood that makes him look like a human-sized Venus-fly trap (in my honest opinion) makes you crack a smile.

So, I suppose I should probably tell you a bit about what I actually do, degree wise. I study BSc Web Technologies and I’ve been learning all about PHP, JQuery, ASP.Net and lots of other fabulous web technology. Who’d have guessed, with a programme title like that? Anyway, over the last two years, I’ve discovered that I’m a reasonably competent programmer and have a new appreciation for all the truly amazing web pages out there that don’t rely on Flash. Being a third year, it’s less about learning new things and more about expanding on what I already know. This means really putting the last two years into practice. My final year project encompasses it all. I’ve made it pretty tough for myself, integrating a bit of HCI, with developing technology and a big dash of psychology. Watch this space for sporadic updates on the mammoth task that is my project.
Anyhow, thanks for reading my blog. I’d like to be able to say “Next time I’ll mostly be talking about...” but I have no real plans, except for Project, coursework, more Project, different coursework, even more Project, over the next few weeks... Until next time, when I will most probably be talking about “Project” :o)