Reading University – English Literature Applicant Day

So the quest to get accepted by a half-decent university continues, with Applicant Days being the next bump in a very bumpy road. Applicant Days are run by universities, to candidates they’ve offered places to, and showcase a little bit of what you’ll be doing during the course. The other day I attended my first applicant day at the University of Reading.

So the day started at about 10, with a tour of the campus. Whilst I’d already done one of these at the open day, it’s was nice to see the campus again, not to mention the bloke trying to flog us the premium accommodation options (cheaper options were ‘unavailable’).

image

Then we had some talks, the first of which was given by a professor of English Literature, explaining the course and the division of study over the three years. The second was given by a student and concerned student life. I must say it was rather amusing when she showed a photo of the sports centre and admitted she’d never been inside. #futureme

Then we had what was probably the most fun part of the day. A mock seminar. We were all given a pack of poems and asked to read them through before discussing them as a group. Finally, thought I, fellow poetry enthusiasts. The poems we discussed were Catherine Dickinson’s poem 764 (famous for introducing the ‘Loaded Gun’ metaphor) and Kai Miller’s ‘Some Definitions for Night’. Both of which were interesting poems, especially as I’d never heard of Kai Miller before. Some say that means he’s a randomer. Others would say it’s just ‘cos I haven’t heard of him.

image

So all in all a lovely trip. Learnt a lot about the course, especially getting to experience the feel of a seminar for myself. Let’s hope Reading gets into my top choices then!

A Lesson in Apostrophes

I walked into a classroom the other day and, as you do, went to have a look at the random mumbling comments on the whiteboard. What I found, changed my understanding on apostrophes forever.

Apostrophes

So for those of you who’ve never understood those weird upside down commas which float above certain words, you have now reached enlightenment.

Indiscernible Graffiti

We’ve all seen graffiti, be it on the inside of a train tunnel or on the walls of a school toilet. In fact now days I don’t pay much heed to graffiti, however this particular piece was noticeable to me for many reasons.

Graffiti 1

First and foremost, it was written in pencil. Pencil! I’m no graffiti expert or anything but surly anyone can realise that if you’re gonna do graffiti in pencil, it won’t be hard to get rid of, and I’m hereby making the assumption that artist wants their work to be a permanent as possible. In fact if you look at the left hand side of the piece, somebody’s made a good start at removing it. So who is this madman, going around graffiting in pencil? Well firstly they’re an amateur for, and again I’m daring to presume, seasoned graffitists would prefer more professional utensils (*cough cough* sharpie).

So what else caught my attention? Well obviously the meaning, or lack of. What on earth does it mean? A question, in fact, that others had asked before me.

Graffiti 2

Let’s analyse closer, the first character seems to be a ‘H’, although its half-cleaned appearance makes it hard to tell. We’ll keep the letter ‘U’ as a possibility. The next letter is more discernible; a lamda (ᴧ). Now a seasoned student of classics like myself knows this to be a reference to the Spartans, who carried the mark of a lamda on their shields (anyone else would take this to mean wavelength). This interpreting is easy; ‘H’ or ‘U’, then a lamda.

The next letter is easy; a capital ‘T’, however character number four confuses me. Hours of scrolling through word’s list of punctuation and I have finally found it: ‘ʇ’. An interesting but obscure choice I think. On the one hand it does look quite nice, but on the other it does mean a ‘dental click’, a feature of articulation which I do not for the life of me understand. The final figure is a ‘˩’. If anybody knows what this character is don’t hesitate to tell me.

So what have we got? Either ‘HᴧTʇ˩’ or ‘UᴧTʇ˩’. Ok, my analysis has told me nothing.

So we’ve gathered that this piece caught my eye due to its lack of meaning, and the fact that it was written in pencil. But thirdly, and lastly, it came to my attention because of the words written underneath it. firstly the question ‘What does this mean?’ and then the words:

Graffiti 3

Hmmmmmm, what originally seemed to be harmless scribblings go a lot deeper. Satanic even. Who is the Eypt Devil? What place does he have in my school? Is this just some kid who can’t spell Egypt? Maybe we will never know, or maybe this is proof that the illuminati exists!

A Work Experience Chronicle

IMG_4395Over the last two weeks I did a bit of work experience. Exciting or what? Basically just teenagers diving headfirst into any given workplace and pretending they’re good at doing, well nothing.

So I did my work experience at a Primary School. An obvious choice I know but I did it not because I’m woefully unoriginal but because I actually want to be a teacher.

It was lovely there. The children were lovely (annoying but lovely). The staff were lovely. Even the automated doors were lovely. To open them you needed a staff clearance card, something I didn’t have meaning I would have to buzz reception anytime I wanted to go anywhere.

IMG_4392If you don’t know what you do when you do work experience in a school. Its mainly just sitting in classrooms answering annoying questions like “How do you spell ginormous” or “What’s the date?”.

No despite all that stuff I did enjoy myself. I even got a chance to read the child protection policy. ALL OF IT! It’s quite funny actually. There’s a whole 6 pages devoted to the bomb scare procedure.

It has go far as to encourage my stupid ambition of wanting to become a teacher. Whoppe-do.

 

 

Roaming the empty school

Like the nice and dedicated little student I am, I have just come back from a second day of my half term spent in school trying to catch up on coursework.

Well I say catch-up, I was never given the chance to do it in the first place as I am doing six hours a week of science instead of the mundane five meaning that I am left with half the time everybody else had to do a whole ICT GCSE.

CIMG8819

But that’s not the reason of this blog article. I just want to say how absolutely amazing it is being in school during the holidays. Everywhere is empty. The classrooms, the corridors, the halls. Its spooky, as if everybody has died and the school is now haunted. Dotted around the place are cleaners who are evidently idylling away their days cleaning the walls (why would you need to clean walls?).

There are also the teachers who have stupidly given up their time to help us with this; I think they’re mad personally.

Anyway, must do this again. I wonder if the school will be unlocked tomorrow.

CIMG8814

A Mock Interview

DSC01119Oh I am getting old aren’t I as it was only one week ago that I had my first interview. Not a proper jobby interview just a mock one at school but still very daunting.

We had known about it for month, the date January 23rd being branded into our brains however when its still early September you seem to forget about these things until suddenly time has flown and the thing is upon you. I had to get a suit (which I looked very handsome in J) and also had to write a CV!

So on the day we were all lined up, and all the interviewers (essentially a bunch of old and tired people with jobs) were sitting in the hall looking up at us. My guy, a Mr John Wareing looked very stern although when you get to know him (as much as you can in an interview) he turned out to be a lovely guy.

He asked me some questions – “What words would your three best friends say about you?” and “Would you say you work better on your team or on your own?”. Evidently I came out with the perfect answers excluding – “Would you say you are a truthful person?” “Yes I don’t lie often.” At which he looked at me weirdly.

So the moral of the story is, nope no moral. ‘twas fun though.

Picture1