Sunday, 30 April 2017

A new day in the library

To help catch up on my work, I decided last night that I would spend the majority of this afternoon in the library. Indeed, I did just that and wrote one of my assignments until it was time for me to get ready to head over to my mother and brother's house for a bank holiday meal. As a result of my choice for today, I am now back on track with my assignments.

For tomorrow, I'm going to again spend the day in the library and my intention is to stay in there until one of outstanding assignments is effectively complete. For Tuesday, I'll have the Media practical to contend with again and then I'll soon be writing up the assignment for my main Media module.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Just a minor infection redux

To my annoyance, what I thought was a 48-72 hour bug is persisting. I woke up this morning with a return of the sore throat (although not to the same extent as a few days ago) and have been coughing intermittently throughout the day.

I'm not convinced it's a full-on cold...just a minor infection that seems to be taking its sweet time to fully clear out. As long as it doesn't have me ill like I was in October and February, I shall be fine.

Friday, 28 April 2017

A set of lectures completed

I no longer have any lectures for my Understanding Media & Culture module, which is my 40 credit Media module (larger than the practical, which is only 20). When it comes to teaching new content, this module has been depleted.

So what's left? It has a seminar next Friday and the assignment is due the following Friday. My Media practical and American literature assignment are both due that day, also. My current goal is to finish my American literature piece on or by this coming Monday, as the other two assignments both have a lot of work left on them and I don't want to still be working on all three on the deadline day. I'll have it done (I have to!), there's just much to do.

My one and only exam for this year is on the 25th of May and is for my main English module, so I don't have to worry about that one at the moment.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

A rescheduled lecture

Before term 2 ended, a major lecture in my main English module was cancelled due to the lecturer being ill on the day. Fortunately, rather than being permanently cancelled, the lecture was rescheduled for this afternoon at 4:00. The lecture focused on queer theory, in regards to applying it to literature and to other texts (this half of the module has been about various theories in literature).

As for the attendance, I'd estimate that about a third of those who attend the lecture at its normal time on a Monday morning were present this afternoon. That's actually not bad for a lecture that's been rescheduled!

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Just a minor infection

During Monday afternoon, my throat became sore and when I went to bed that night, it was still burning and I felt cold all over my body, thus I went to bed with sock and my robe on in addition to my usual nighttime clothes. I thought I had caught a cold, which would be awful timing if so given the work I have to complete over the next three weeks.

Fortunately for me, it appears to be a bug that seems to last for about 48-72 hours. I'm glad, because the last thing I need right now is to be bedridden at critical time during this academic year. Extra rest, tea and food has helped stave this one off!

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Back to dancing

NTU's Latin Dance Society held its first session since the Easter break this evening. The session consisted of a refresher of what we'd done before as well as introduced some more complicated forms of the dances we'd practiced previously.

My main sticking point was the turns during partner dancing. In addition to the legwork being more complicated, the dances also required certain arm movements, too. I was able to manage it in the end, albeit rustily. I will improve in time! I'm much better than I was when I first started.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Ken Clarke

When I lived with my grandparents during college, the MP for my consituency, Rushcliffe, was Ken Clarke, a Conservative. He initially stated that he was going to stand down in 2020 but since an election was called early, he is running again:

Clarke is probably the only Tory I have any respect for and I am glad he is running again, which is ironic since he's so far the only MP I've voted against. He voted against the activation of Article 50 for the United Kingdom to withdraw from the European Union, which is in line with the wishes of his constituency because Rushcliffe voted 57.6% for Remain. This surprised me on the morning of the result, although it later didn't because Clarke has always been strongly pro-EU and that permeated in Rushcliffe.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Charity run, April 2017

This afternoon, three of my friends participated in the runNTU 2017 marathon, a fun run to raise money for the John van Geest Cancer Research Centre. There were two options, the 5km and 1.5km distances, for runners to choose from; my friends chose the 1.5km, which took them through the Clifton campus and past my accommodation.

Last year, the run generated £10,000 for cancer research; I hope the run this year exceeds that amount.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Needless sarcasm

This afternoon, I was out with a friend to go and see a film at the cinema. After we finished the movie, we walked back to her bus stop, which departs from the Broadmarsh bus station. While the Broadmarsh closes in the evening, there is a "tunnel" through it that is open as a way of allowing access to the station.

My friend and I made use of this tunnel and I should note that she is not a fast walker whereas I am and so I walk at her speed when with her. When we were about halfway through the tunnel this evening, I heard a voice from behind me ask, "Could you walk any slower?".

The words came from impatient person, who could quite easily have either gone around my friend and me (there was plenty of room to do so) or have politely asked us to come through. But no, apparently this required too much brainpower for them; immediately resorting to sarcasm was apparently their only option.

While I ended up letting them through (more like because I moved out of the way instinctively, not because I wanted to let them pass), it wasn't without a comeback of my own. My response was, "Why, yes I can, actually!".

Friday, 21 April 2017

Any 2017 Easter chocolate

I received as well as bought to share some Easter chocolates this year. Rather than leave them hanging around, I decided to eat mine almost immediately (not all at once, of course). The room I have in my accommodation can be warm when the Sun is over - warm enough to soften chocolate.

In addition, I am currently reducing the amount of desserts I consume, as I wrote in a recent post, and so I wanted to eat and enjoy the chocolate straightaway, then go back onto the sugar reduction.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

University year 1, term 3

Yesterday was the start of term 3 of this academic year at NTU but my first day of sessions was this morning. As usual, it was my lecture and subsequent seminar for American literature.

After tomorrow, this term will have three additional weeks of sessions and then an exam near to the end of May. Academic years at university usually end in May/early June here in the United Kingdom, as opposed to colleges and regular schools, which end anywhere from mid-June to late July.

As for my assignments, they are all due three weeks from tomorrow (on May 12th), so I'll be extremely busy for the next 21 days.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

General election 2017

Yesterday, the Prime Minister called for an early general election and today, Parliament approved it:

The reasons for this early election are because the Prime Minister is seeking a mandate for her vision of Brexit and because the polls are saying the opposition party, Labour, are polling poorly. This is a risky move, given that polling has been notoriously inaccurate as of late.

This new election will occur on June 8th.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Second accommodation visitor(s)

About a month ago, a friend from Central, who is now at the University of Nottingham, came to visit me and another friend on campus. A day later, another friend from Central came to visit but she came to my accommodation. Today, for the first time ever, my mother and brother visited my accommodation.

For the most part, it's been pointless for my brother and mother to visit me; I can visit them anytime and there's not really a lot they can do in my accommodation. We can't exactly chat in depth because my housemates and their friends, plus residents in other buildings of my accommodation, are around.

So why did Mum and my brother come today? Well, I have to move out of my accommodation in July, which is when I'll be staying with Mum and my brother for two months. As such, they needed to look at what I have in my room to see how they can fit it into their house for the time I'm with them. Both were confident we'd be able to do so and my brother stated that I had less in my room than he had expected.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Gamston Morrisons

Gamston is a small village adjacent to West Bridgford and is along my old bus route from my grandparents' house. In Gamston is a large Morrisons where my grandparents frequently do their shopping. Now, I have been to this Morrisons several times before but today is the first time I went there by myself, unless you count two years ago when I walked to the store but didn't go in because it was a Sunday and it was closing at 4:00pm.

So why did I go there, when there is a Morrisons in Clifton? Mostly because the Gamston Morrisons is larger than the Clifton one is - close to twice the size - and because I wanted to take a bus trip out to Gamston and then walk back from there to the city centre. It was a worthwhile afternoon from that perspective.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Easter 2017

This is the first time that Mum, my brother and I have spent Easter in Nottingham. I walked to the city centre in the morning, purchased some more Easter eggs at a Tesco there before returning to Clifton and spending the day with Mum and my brother. They bought me some Easter eggs, too, but I forgot to bring them back with me when I returned to my accommodation a few minutes ago.

In all, it was a good day. A worthwhile Easter, indeed!

Saturday, 15 April 2017

"Shine" - Years and Years

Here is one of the few new songs I heard during the summer of 2015:

It's "Shine" by Years & Years, from Communion, the band's first studio album. I first heard of Years & Years in 2014 when their song "King" became popular on the radio. Beyond these two songs and another of theirs, "Desire", I'm don't know much about Years & Years themselves.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Enough of a chance

So, let's look at three BBC headlines in my newsfeed, all related to the SCROTUS:

1. China is worried about a war between North Korea and the United States, which it says could break out at "at any moment".

2. The United States is currently defending its use of a massive bomb on Afghanistan; this weapon is dubbed the "mother of all bombs".

3. The White House will no longer be publicly disclosing visitor logs.

How many more "chances" does this president need before his supporters (besides the alt-right, who apparently turned against him after he bombed Syria) wake up and realize that they've made a horrendous decision by electing this awful man to President of the United States, as well as then start the process of persuading Congress to remove him from office? "Give him a chance" - how many "chances" are enough?

Thursday, 13 April 2017

An April 2017 method of breaking up, douchebag style

Remember when I wrote those posts about douchebaggy ways to break up with someone? Here's one for today:

The person on the receiving end of this breakup handled it really well but even so...

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Smiling at a thug

A few days ago, there was a demonstration in Birmingham, which is the United Kingdom's second-largest city. The demonstration was held by the English Defence League (EDL), who are opposed to immigration and want to deport everyone of immigrant origin.

A counter-protest was held and defeated the EDL goons who were present. However, the most striking images from the day came from when Saffiyah Khan - a Birmingham local - smiled at an EDL thug:

It is remarkable that this young woman obliterated an EDL thug - and his whole organisation - merely with her smile. Beforehand, Khan was intervening on behalf of a woman the EDL were encircling, so this was a volatile situation for her to be in. The EDL are notorious Internet Tough Guys - usually throwing out the usual alt-right buzzwords as well as issuing threats - but when it comes to dealing with people face-to-face, they're a bunch of violent cowards.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

The former site

I wrote at the end of yesterday's post that I'd share a picture of where Central's West Bridgford campus used to be; here it is:

I took it from a NCT route 10 bus headed from Ruddington towards the city. This housing estate is the site of the former West Bridgford campus; this picture is also out of date, even though it was only taken in the past couple of days or so, for there are more houses under construction as well as a road.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Liveland History: 10th April 2014

So, it's been three years since this happened:

Three years...Pre-Access - done. Access - done. First year of university - almost done. Much has changed since that interview, including the campus at which my interview took place; it has been demolished and there's a housing estate in its place. I shall post tomorrow a picture of where the West Bridgford campus was located.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Walking in sandals

This evening, I walked from Clifton, through Ruddington and to the city centre; this is a relatively easy walk for me and took 2 1/2 hours to complete. However, the complication for this occasion was that I wore sandals.

Why? Because my main shoes are starting to wear from my walks. I was about a third of the way into this evening's walk when my right foot pained me; by the time I was in the city centre, I needed to sit down and rest my feet. Even now, my right foot is hurting in parts but I won't find out how much until tomorrow.

Still, I had a lovely walk - it was too beautiful to stay indoors!

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Less sugar

Ever since I was really young (maybe 3 or 4 years old), I've added sugar to a cereal called Weetabix whenever I ate it with milk; when I ate it dry, I rarely sweetened it. Last week, however, I ate milk-covered Weetabix without sugar for what I think is the first time; this is how Dad used to eat it.

For this week, I drank tea without sugar. I rarely drink hot drinks but I have the occasional chocolate tea and have always had sugar in my tea. Inspired by the success with Weetabix, I thought I'd try the tea without sugar and was pleasantly relieved that I could accept it, as it meant I'd found another place to trim my sugar consumption.

The best ways to reduce sugar intake is to add it to fewer foods and to purchase fewer sugared items. Sugar-free goods often contain artificial sweeteners, which are often worse than regular sugar. Have less of the natural sweetener!

Friday, 7 April 2017

Another mess in the Middle East

After campaigning against Hillary Clinton and whining that she would bomb more Middle Eastern countries, the current President of the United States has...bombed a Middle Eastern country - Syria. By his standards, he is now the warmonger he accused of her being. Bear in mind that just a few days ago, his administration was saying that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was no longer a priority to "force him out of power" and now they're warmongering.

Perhaps the only change in perspective that was faster was the alt-right's support of the president:

Turns out, a lot of them actually are against US military intervention in other countries. As such, alt-rights have turned against the president, calling him a warmonger and a "neo-con shill". Given that he has broken all other promises he made, it's interesting they chose this one to finally turn against him.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Yep, more walking! And daylight

As sunshine-filled weather is occurring frequently and seeing as the clocks went forward (last Sunday), I finally achieved something today that I hadn't done before: Go on a long walk with my brother and mother around Clifton. I go on plenty of longs walks by myself while Mum and by brother go on theirs together but today is the first time all three of us went on one here.

The clocks having gone forward an hour really makes a difference. When I have gone on a long walk and have taken a bus back to Clifton, it's been great returning here in daylight/dusk rather than in darkness.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Walk in Arnold

I've been through Arnold several times, either on the Calverton Connection or whenever I've gone up there while exploring bus routes. Today, however, I spent some time there walking.

Not particularly far, mind you; I mostly walked along the route the Calverton Connection takes. What surprised me about Arnold is how hilly it really is; I suppose I shouldn't have been, given that Calverton and nearby Gedling village are also mountainous by Nottingham standards. Clifton is flat by comparison!

Arnold is a part of Nottingham that is worth exploring some more.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Equal Pay Day 2017

Today is Equal Pay Day in the United States. The day exists to raise awareness of the pay gap that exists between men and women; in the United States, women are paid, on average, 79 cents to every dollar a man earns.

You'd think that this would be an uncontroversial day and one that only employers who skimp on pay would whine about but no, in every online discussion I saw about the day, the trolls were out, attempting to deny the existence of the pay gap. While the act of paying women less than men is misogyny in itself, people denying it exists shows how far misogyny is ingrained in a large amount of the population.

It sheds further light on why achieving full gender equality is a gargantuan task.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Friend and walks

The plan for today was to meet up with a friend I hadn't seen since last summer; she and I indeed met up and spent a couple of hours together. Nice to have a catch up!

Besides meeting with my friend, I walked to both Ruddington and the city centre of Nottingham. I walked to Ruddington to catch a bus there to meet my friend in West Bridgford and after my friend and I parted ways, I walked to the city centre. This makes today, as far as I can recall, the first time I have walked to both on the same day.

I am using this half of the break to catch up on exercise. So far, I've been sticking to that!

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Dividing the break

My plan for this break is to take the first week off, both to relax and meet up with some people, including my mother and brother. I think that will be worthwhile and I have earned it, based on the work I've been doing over the second term. I'll also use to time to re-tidy my room and see what other cleaning needs to be completed.

For the second week, I'd like to start on at least one of my two upcoming assignments and write a few hundred words or more. The more I complete of my assignments now, the less for later and more time will be reserved for working on other outstanding projects.

That's how I'll be dividing my break. I think that's a good plan.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

John Oliver on April Fools' Day

John Oliver, the host of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, has good thoughts about April Fools' Day:

I rarely, if ever, particiapte in April Fools' Day.