TBR Update // books with lgbtq+ characters

Yes! I’m talking about books! A new and exciting thing! Okay, not really. I’ve been feeling pretty exhausted so far this week because of exams, so I thought it would be nice to just sit down and be excited about books. ūüėÄ Also, it is Pride Month, and I am feeling Extra Queer — WHAT COULD BE BETTER?!

There are so many awesome books with LGBTQ+ characters that I hope to read in the near future. (Mostly YA.) I started compiling a list of books for this post and I ended up with SOO MANY. There’s a lot of wonderful LGBTQ+ YA out there!

wild beauty

Wild Beauty by Anna Marie McLemore¬†I’ve talked about it several times here, but I absolutely¬†loved¬†When the Moon Was Ours by this author. It was one of my favourite books of last year! Wild Beauty sounds amazing, and I can’t wait to read more of McLemore’s beautiful writing when it releases in October. The cover is also SO BEAUTIFUL, AAH.

little & lion

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert¬†I found this book scrolling through my TBR on my tumblr, and I’m so glad I did. It’s girl who falls in love with the girl her brother is also in love with; the MC is black and Jewish, and although I haven’t heard much about it I really look forward to its release in August!

we are okay

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour¬†This is another author I’m returning to — Everything Leads to You was a wonderful queer girl story which made my heart sing with joy. This one sounds like a really interesting and nuanced read, and I also absolutely ADORE the cover. (What can I say?)

queens of geek

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde¬†I LOVE NERD BOOKS. I think that cons and nerd spaces are really cool because the experiences I’ve had have been pretty queer-friendly. AND I AM JUST EXCITED FOR GEEKY STUFF, because yay. Also, this has an Autistic narrator, and one of the MCs is Chinese-Australian which is cool!

peter darling

Peter Darling by Austin Chant¬†A trans retelling of Peter Pan! Aah! I admit, I don’t have any particularly strong feelings about Peter Pan, but I’m super excited to see what this book does.

our own private universe

Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley¬†I love reading happy queer stories, especially ones with queer girls! This sounds super cute, and I’ve heard that it also discusses safe sex which is awesome. (Because my sex ed at school basically only explaining straight/cisgender/allosexual things in terms of sex. We did have one lesson on, like, LGBTQ+ stuff though? So I guess it’s improving.)

juliet takes a breath

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera¬†I HAVE BEEN WANTED TO READ THIS FOR AGES. It’s about a gay Puerto Rican girl, Juliet, figuring herself out, in which there are many queer ladies. YAY.

the midnight star

The Midnight Star by Marie Lu¬†I’ve actually already read the first two books in this trilogy, but for some reason I never finished it… So I need to do that! The last book finished on a bit of a cliffhanger, if I remember.

the color purple

The Color Purple by Alice Walker¬†I feel like I’m really missing something reading this… It’s one of the Important Books You Should Read, and I JUST REALLY WANT TO READ IT. *nods a lot* (Yes. This entire post is essentially just ‘I REALLY WANT TO READ THIS AND THIS AND THIS.’)

tash hearts tolstoy

Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee This reminds me that…I REALLY NEED TO LOOK INTO WAR & PEACE THINGS. I love the Great Comet of 1812 musical which is based off War & Peace, but I do find the book rather daunting. Anyway. Not actually this book. This book is about internet people! I love people on the internet. And from what I understand, there’s asexual representation, which is awesome since I haven’t seen that very often.

There were SO MANY other awesome books that I didn’t get the time to include in this post, alas! But there are many wonderful books with LGBTQ+ characters around and that makes me super happy. If you have any recs or just want to chat about books then I’d love to hear them! ‚̧

Revision Week & Self Care // #evestudies

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I’m currently in the middle of my school half term, which is also what ends up being my revision week for exams. (Next week I have 5 days of internal exams, as well as two extra English exams the week after because there is just Too Much English.)

So… how has my revision been going? I’d been intending to do about 4 hours a day; whilst I know these are internal exams, I’m also about halfway through my GCSE course and I thought it would be good to consolidate information. But I think this is also partly down to me putting pressure on myself to do well, since I just…feel like I need to do well? I am trying to do that less, but I’m not very good at letting go. I always want to do my best, even at the expense of other things.

But I’m trying really hard to be more kind to myself! Revision was pretty difficult, especially at the start. I felt pretty horrible and overwhelmed. I still do feel a bit overwhelmed, since I’m covering topics from last year too for many subjects. I’m currently still going to be doing revision into exam week which isn’t ideal, but I don’t want to do any more than I need. (Also: yes, since you asked, this post is pretty much going to be me talking over my thoughts.)

Probably my most stressful subject to revise is History. For me, I feel so overwhelmed with all the content — there’s always more that you can revise and learn. The exam is also a very condensed test of all the skills and knowledge you’ve learnt over the course so far. I find that pretty daunting. However, I’ve been trying to really break down the detail into only the very necessary stuff so that I can actually learn something instead of just feeling bad.

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History revision (of my Russia course)

Although sciences, in particular Biology and Chemistry for me since we have more content, have also been quite stressful, I find them a lot easier to revise. I get to make pretty mindmaps! Which is GREAT. So I think they’re subjects I look forward to.

I mentioned that I’m trying to take care of myself more… I’ve been feeling pretty tense and gross at times. I’m trying to do more exercise like swimming in the morning and jumping up and down to songs I love. I have been thinking a lot about London Pride, which I think I’m going to be able to attend this year!! I’m also motivating myself with chocolate between revision. (I LOVE DARK CHOCOLATE SO MUCH Y’ALL.) I’ve been doing some meditation and yoga too — which I’m sort of new to, but I think they’re helping. Yes.

Currently I’m watching Brooklyn Nine Nine, which I’ve just started — I like it a lot so far! I don’t really watch many (or any) comedy shows so it’s kind of fun for me. Plus, I’m watching a Spanish show called Cable Girls with my mum which I’m loving. The production is just SO AESTHETIC and I can pretend to learn Spanish haha. Everyone is just, like, really attractive, and it is unfair?

My exams start Monday, and I don’t think I’m going to be very active on the blog during the next week, so here is some advance notice. I’m least looking forward to Tuesday (which has both Physics and History, yikes) but the other days are mainly okay. I’m also nervous for the election, and I’m frustrated that I’ll probably be extra worried about that on top of my exams. If you’re doing exams, I hope they’re going well, and good luck for any future ones you might have! Take care of yourself, my friends. ‚̧

 

Spring Favourites!

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Yes! We are reaching the start of summer which means TIME FOR A SPRING ROUND-UP. Today it has been very warm and I am generally feeling happy, which…well, makes a change. You may notice that I’m missing my usual picture with all my favourites; this is due to a combination of a) I don’t have loads of time now because reVISION *flails arms* and b) I don’t have any physical objects to arrange this time so it would just, be like, photoshopped images. And I’m not good enough to do make all of that work.

1. Twelfth Night¬†I saw this play at the National and WOAH it was so good! The production was honestly stunning — as in, like, the set was beautiful and the live music was beautiful. It was just so pleasing to the senses. Malvolia was…really different to what I was expecting, and two years since reading the play I am still mad at the ending, but overall I loved it a lot.

2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas¬†I couldn’t stop thinking about this book, even once I had put it down.¬†Beautiful, writing, a powerful story — it definitely lived up to the hype, and it’s one of my best reads I can remember.

3. Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg To be honest, I initially downloaded it because it was cheap on Kindle, but I ended up enjoying it a lot! I NEED TO GET THE SEQUEL NOW, GODAMMIT.

4. Dodie¬†Soooo, in March I was lucky enough to be able to see Dodie on her UK tour with my friends, and it was SO FUN. I’d actually never been to a concert before, and it was so lovely to see Dodie just generally being wonderful and great and music. The band, including the warm-up act Rusty Clanton, were also great, and now I’ve been introduced to some new music!

5.The Good Immigrant, edited by Nikesh Shukla¬†I’ve wanted to read this for a while, so I was really excited to see it the school library! Each essay was different, but each one¬†brought something different, and made me think hard.

6. Las Chicas del Cable¬†Both me & my mum are learning Spanish, so we decided to watch this show on Netflix about women in 1920s Madrid. (It is dubbed, but I’m watching in Spanish with English subtitles.) The production is just gorgeous, and although at times it feels a bit melodramatic there is feminism and queer women and so much to love!!

7. Hidden Figures Aaah! This was awesome! It was great to see the stories of these super smart & inspiring black women told, and I also feel like a learnt History Stuff. *nods*

around the internet:

in the diary:

  • Well, I had a music exam… It didn’t go quite to plan, but I think I still passed, so fingers crossed! I might even get my results by the time this post is actually published. *winces a little at the thought*
  • We had a big family gathering for my aunt’s 60th birthday over the bank holiday, which was super nice because we rarely ever get together — my mum is one of 7 — and I got to see my super cute little cousins!
  • Exams are coming up so, erm, I have some fun revision to look forward to. -_-
  • I managed to survive my overnight walk for cadets at school, which I’m pretty pleased about! I’m rather ache-y now, but we did¬†walk 35k, and¬†our team only got super lost once which I think is impressive haha.
  • I went to a Witch, Please meetup! *screams a bit* Although I had to leave early, it was SO COOL AND WONDERFUL.
  • ALSO IT WAS EUROVISION. IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL AND EXCELLENT and basically just a nice thing in the not-great world. Plus, I managed to convince my friends to be Eurovision fans, hehe ūüėČ
  • Probably some other stuff happened, but quite frankly I can’t remember it at this point. I’m off to see the new Studio Ghibli movie The Red Turtle tomorrow, which I’m rather excited for.

how have you been? seen any good movies recently? are you taking any exams?

Les Mis: A Crash Course

les mis a crash course.jpg

This April marked two years since I fell down the rabbit hole of Les Miserables, and by extension many other musicals. TWO YEARS. It feels like a long time ago. I’ve changed a lot since then. Les Mis became, and still is, a really important part of my life!

Thus, to mark the occasion I bring you my guide to Les Mis, for people who know nothing about Les Mis. I am currently listening to the musical and I am READY FOR THIS.

so what is it???

Les Mis refers to the book Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, covering a failed revolution and a reformed convict in 19th-century Paris, and its subsequent adaptations, most notably the Broadway/West End musical.

les misérables, the book

les miserables book

Our journey begins with the novel Les Misérables-with-the-e-acute novel by French author Victor Hugo, published in 1862. The main characters are:

  • Jean Valjean,¬†an escaped convict leading a life of extreme coincidences. Stole a loaf of bread.
  • Javert,¬†the policeman hunting him for breaking parole. He was born with scum like you. Lawful but…well. Misguided.
  • Fantine,¬†a kind & lovely girl who got abandoned by this guy and ended up in prostitution.
  • Cosette,¬†her blessed daughter and my wife. Sappy, but hates not being told stuff. Deserved better from the musical.
  • Marius Pontmercy,¬†a rich boy who get thrown out by his family and then lives as a poor student in Paris. He’s an absolute nerd and he loves Cosette. One time he hit his head for two hours against a tree.
  • Eponine Thenardier,¬†a girl born into a not good family but doing her absolute best to kick your ass and overcome her unrequited crush on Marius.
  • Also¬†some students¬†called¬†Les Amis de l’ABC.¬†If you’ve seen the musical, you’ll probably only know their leader, Enjolras. (He’s the guy in red.) However, if you go into the book internet fandom, you’ll probably find it focuses more around these students. If you only know the musical you probably haven’t heard of them, but never fear. I’ll cover them in more detail later.

It’s a pretty long book, but I do think if you love Les Mis then it’s worth it! Lots of people call it The Brick due to…well, its very brick-like nature as a book. (That is to say, it’s very long.) Other things you might need to know are the Infamous Waterloo Section, which is an essentially an essay about Waterloo, ¬†and the time that Valjean broke out of a convent in a grave. There are many different translations, ranging from modern (Donougher, ose) to old-timey but free (Hapgood). You can even do a Les Mis tour of Paris in which you visit the original sites. DON’T WORRY, I’M COMING TO THE STUDENTS.

les amis de l’abc

Yeah, I’m giving them a separate section because I LOVE THESE KIDS. The main things you need to know are that they have an extremely minimal/sometimes even non-existent part in the musical and…still quite a comparatively small part in the book. HOWEVER THEY ARE VERY IMPORTANT SYMBOLICALLY. (Or so I hear.)

Anyway. They all like jokes, and their name is a French pun (for l’abaisse which is apparently like the abased/degraded, thanks internet). They have so many French puns. I don’t even understand them most of the time. From the sometimes few information Victor Hugo gives us, the fandom has sort of interpreted personalities, which somehow absorb into one’s brain through Collective Fandom Knowledge, which is pretty epic.

  • Enjolras,¬†who as Victor Hugo goes to great pains to tell us about is Very Very Handsome. His girlfriend is France. (I’m telling you. This is a canon joke.)
  • Combeferre¬†is very chill, but will outsmart you. His main book attribute is just be SUPER SMART.
  • Courfeyrac sometimes acts like a douchebag but has a good heart. (This part is also actually canon. Maybe paraphrased, but.) Probably would be the lead singer of an indie band if he was alive today. Ray of annoying sunshine. These first three make up the ‘triumvirate’, which seems to basically just be a fancy word for group of 3.
  • Grantaire,¬†the drunk cynic who goes on long drunk rants about intellectual things that I don’t understand. In unrequited love with Enjolras. (I don’t want to spoil you, and you know, interpretation and all, but there are some pretty gay moments.)
  • Jean Prouvaire, or Jehan,¬†is the shy poet who actually has Many Opinions, probably would wear a flower crown.
  • Bahorel,¬†who would probably either get in a fight or do other dumb stuff for the memes.
  • Feuilly,¬†an optimistic orphan who works¬†super hard. (Not actually a student, but still part of the group.)
  • Bossuet,¬†whose name is based on another obscure French joke and can’t grow any hair. Always smiling but has terrible luck. Also known as Lesgle, L’aigle de Meaux… I mean, I don’t eve know how we got here.
  • Joly,¬†a hypochondriac medical student who is a cinnamon roll.
  • Musichetta,¬†a ‘superb and literary girl’ whom Joly is wild over. She can wreck you.
  • Oh yeah,¬†Marius¬†is also part of this gang but he’s definitely not the leader as the musical suggests. He’s a TERRIBLE revolutionary.

Excuse me whilst I feel a bit emotional here. This hasn’t included Eponine, Gavroche, and Cosette, who I sometimes group with them just for ease even if they’re not technically of the ABC, but OH WELL. MY KIDS. ;-; And just for good measure, here is an amusing post of “Les Amis as stuff the students living next door to me have done”.

les mis, the musical

les mis musical.png

This is probably the more well-known and accessible form of Les Mis. It’s a very popular sung-through musical now, but when it was released the critics were like OMG NO IT’S TOO SAPPY AND TRAGIC. I Dreamed a Dream and Do You Hear the People Sing? are among the best-known songs. The Confrontation, a duet between Valjean and Javert, is also very much a jam in my personal opinion. However, the musical does cut a lot of the book, in particular Les Amis, the details of Valjean’s life and Cosette being an absolute badass.

Some things you should know about various different forms and productions:

  • The original French concept version is SUPER different and even features a…disco version of Red and Black? Which is pretty hilarious to be honest.
  • Original cast is rad. I would recommend.
  • Other cool things to watch/listen to are 10th anniversary and 25th anniversary, although a word of warning: Nick Jonas plays Marius is 25th anniversary and he is nOT GOOD.
  • The 2012 movie made the musical a lot easier to follow than just listening to a cast album, which is great! Personally I think that after listening to cast recordings, the musical singing definitely isn’t as good *coughs*Javert*coughs* but you can get a solid idea of the story. (I saw this before I saw anything else.) I actually think Eddie Redmayne is a solid Marius. Sadly they cut some parts from the musical, but. Grantaire has a veeery small part in this but his actor George Blagden appears to be, like, a complete Les Mis nerd? which I still find amazing? (Like, is that an Enjolras/Grantaire fansong on Youtube? IS IT??)
  • It did produce this TRULY EXCELLENT VIDEO, which I am just going to embed for good measure:
  • I’ve also listened to some of a Spanish version, Los Miserables and I liked it a lot! I still think this version or Red and Black is super excellent. (I’ve fallen into the hole of watching Les Mis in different languages, and now I’m watching Daniel Diges in Les Mis Brasil? I mean, who even knows anymore.
  • I haven’t watched many Les Mis Broadway things since of course I’m nearer to the West End production, but this performance at the Tonys is wonderful! I particularly think Eponine, Marius, Enjolras, and Valjean are great. ‚̧ (That was like…half the people haha. THEY’RE ALL GREAT.)
  • There’s probably a lot more stuff I could say, to be honest, and I will undoubtedly regret not putting something in later, but OH WELL. Here’s an In The Heights/Les Mis mashup.

tv series???

Last year the BBC announced they were making a (non-musical) Les Mis miniseries, written by Andrew Davies, and in February this year he stated that he had just finished writing the first draft. It’s due to air next year, and for one I am very interested to see what it comes up with! I even wrote about the stuff I’d love to see them put in if you want to check it out. ūüėČ Other Les Mis-related content of mine includes a Jehan cosplay tutorial,¬†Les Mis v Hamilton fandom battle, and the Les Mis book tag.

There are, of course, many other adaptations, including several movies, radio plays, and TV series, and it’s very easy to fall into the hole of internet searching. As you can perhaps see by my myriad of links and 1.5k post on this topic. (Me, a Les Mis fan? I mean, maybe a bit.)

do you like musicals? what do you think about les mis? is there a particular fandom which is important to you?

Bullet Journalling & Revision Techniques // #evestudies

bullet journaling revision evestudies

Yes! It is officially exam period and I am back again with study updates. (Even though I am writing is while I probably should be working. The irony. OH WELL.) If you missed my last #evestudies post, I’m not taking public exams this year but I still have internal exams and I’m hoping to keep a record of how I revise for them. ūüôā

It’s two weeks until half term, which is going to be my main revision week. But I’ve already been doing a bit of organisation and revision because¬†some¬†subjects *coughs* History *coughs* have a lot of stuff to learn.

The main thing that I have been doing is¬†keeping a bullet journal. I’d heard of them before, but I after I spent an afternoon looking at pretty pictures of them I thought it might be fun to start one! I’ve always found to-do lists helpful, and basically my bullet journalling is just a slightly more formal and pretty to-do list.

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As you can see in this picture: I mark off every new week with the date and week of the school term. Then I draw in things that I want to do each week; currently I’m trying to engage with the news at least four times a week, and I was also trying to do clarinet practice. For each day I write everything I have to do in colours corresponding to various themes (school, blog/online) and…well, tick them off as I go along.

I know it’s not very beautiful compared to some people’s, but I think I’d just spend so much time trying to make it look a way that isn’t achievable for me haha. And it’s still nice to look at! In general I do feel as though writing this has made me more able to manage my tasks, especially when I have a lot, and I feel a sense of achievement when I cross them off.

The other thing that I want to chat about today is¬†revision techniques,¬†and the various ways I revise ¬†for different subjects. I’ve mainly so far been working on sciences, so I’ll probably be focusing on them more!

1. Note taking and adapting my notes style for the topic

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My way of revising mainly consists of looking through my lesson notes and then making condensed notes from that, and this is the style I’ve gone with in the past. I use a colour scheme for each subject and write key words/equations in a colour that stands out, but otherwise I basically just adapt them for the topic and what I think works best. I might illustrate a diagram, draw a mind-map, and then for the next little chunk of information use a different style.

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2. More mind-map-y notes style

Here I’ve got two different mind-maps. I used mindmapping for the poems we’ve studied in English because I think so many parts of them link together, and it makes it easier for me to look over the major themes of one poem. I’ve also started using more of a mind-map style of notes for sciences; I’m still writing similar things to before, but formatting it in smaller chunks of information. ūüôā

3. Using Quizlet for vocab

Quizlet is my NUMBER ONE lifesaver for vocab during the year. I think I’d find it really difficult to work without it! It’s a great way for me to test myself and keep all the vocab I need to learn stored in one place. I’ve also used it to learn definitions and key words in the past.

I’ve also been reading some useful things online about revision which I’ll for sure using in the future: a guide for revising¬†Maths by Megan @ Probability Reading (whichI definitely need!), how to study for the new linear A Levels by Em @ Adventures of a Lost Teen (not directly relevant to me but still some great general revision tips) and an alternative to flashcards for learning key vocab (I’m not a massive flashcard fan because I find them fiddly so this appeals to me). I enjoyed this A – Z study tips post by Nusha too. ūüôā

I hope you enjoyed reading this update on my various school and revision things, and good luck to you if you’re doing any exams right now! ‚̧

do you have any revision tips to share? what techniques to you life to use?

The Goodreads Book Tag

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As far as I am aware, I wasn’t directly tagged to do this (who even knows at this point) but I spotted it on The Writing Hufflepuff and thought I’d give it a try! It also gave me an excuse to update my Goodreads, so. ūüėČ

girl of ink and stars

What was the last book you marked as read?

The last book I marked as read was The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, which for once actually is the last book I read haha. I thought it was beautiful, magical and wonderfully-written without being really over the top. I also loved the characters! Just in general a lovely book. (And it’s SO NICE to hold in the physical copy, oh my goodness. Not only is the cover beautiful but also the paper is super nice quality and it has map drawings??)

the stars at oktober bend

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading The Stars at Oktober Bend by Glenda Millard. I’m still doing Carnegie Medal Shadowing at school, even though a) it’s at a very inconvenient time this year and b) I’m not super impressed with how Carnegie picked an all-white longlist this year. :/ So, I don’t really know why I’m still doing it. BUT. Here I am. It’s okay, although I…don’t really understand what’s happening, and I really hope it isn’t going to be a ‘romance makes everything okay!!’ narrative because those are deeply frustrating.

Do you use the star rating system?

Mostly, yes! I haven’t got round to rating most of the recent books I’ve read though, since I’m mainly just trying to keep my Goodreads up to date and that takes some thinking. *sweats*

Are you doing the 2017 reading challenge?

I am! I think I’ve picked 100 books for this year, although I think it’s very likely that I’ll achieve it since normally I read about 120 books a year. But I don’t want to stress myself out, and 100 is a nice number, so I think that’s a solid goal. ūüôā

Do you have a wishlist?

A…book wishlist? I mean, ALWAYS. But not a specific to-be-bought list on Goodreads. Just a mental one.

Who are your favorite authors?

HOW CAN I CHOOOSE. Probably Alice Oseman, VE Schwab, Rainbow Rowell, Leigh Bardugo, Malinda Lo, Jandy Nelson, Patrick Ness… But SO MANY MORE. And I also really love individual books by authors, even if I haven’t read their other work. (Like When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore, and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and The Miseducation of Cameron Post by em danforth.) (Honestly, I just¬†know¬†I’m going to miss some glaringly obvious thing out. THIS IS SO MEAN.)

Have you joined any groups?

Nope, I don’t think so. I have no idea how they work haha.

How many Goodreads shelves do you have?

Er, apparently twenty plus the to read, read, and currently reading. This comprises of genres, reread shelves before the reread function existed, random stuff like cool covers, and Carnegie Shadowing shelves. I should probably organise them better, but.

I’m not tagging anyone but if you feel like doing this then please do go ahead, it was great fun! ‚̧

how are you? if you’re a reader, do you use goodreads? and do you like star rating books?

Complaints About School English

English at school is something that constantly frustrates me. I don’t know exactly if it’s the way it’s taught, or if it’s the fact that I just don’t enjoy it, or both, but I DON’T HAVE FUN.

As you might have guessed, I love to read and write and everything else wordy! They’re some of my absolute favourite things and I don’t know where I’d be without them. But this definitely doesn’t translate into a love for GCSE English as some people might think…

My major issue with my current class is that I don’t particularly enjoy the text we’re studying. (Spies by Michael Frayn.) Obviously this is different for everyone exam board but I just DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY WE ARE STUDYING IT. It’s deathly boring and the writing style is…really weird? I kind of like the things going on with memory and perspective but apart from that I‚Äôm just meh.

I genuinely wish that we could study something more inspiring — I understand that it has to be complex enough to study or whatever, but there are SO MANY great books out there! Heck, there are some far better “typical classic/literary/GCSE English-y” books. This one is just a complete bore.

I’m not sure if I’d enjoy analysing texts more if it were a text I enjoyed. Perhaps I just don’t really enjoy analysis! (Which obviously is fine.) But I do quite like reading analysis things about books I enjoy. Like, sometimes I actively go and read academic-y articles because they’re interesting. Can our English lessons please just…be more like Witch, Please. (I KNOW. I know I talk about it a lot. BUT I LOVE IT.)

I really wish that there was more scope to be creative in English. I understand that later things sort of separate out into literature and language but it frustrates me that we haven’t really done much free creative writing work since, like, year 7. (Oh my god, I WISH I could go back and redo that poetry book assignment. THAT WOULD BE AMAZING.)

I‚Äôm not all the way through the course yet, but it is a bit frustrating to not really enjoy something that I think I should like. Although I‚Äôm sorry but ‚Äď the rules on comma splicing are SO HARSH. Even the set text would only get a Band 6 haha. Sorry, Michael Frayn. There‚Äôs a bit of a grey area that so many authors cross but our exam board is like NOPE.

I think we spend quite a lot of time listening to the teacher analyse without actually getting the tools for analysis ‚Äď and I do love my teacher, but still. I also think it‚Äôd be really fun to look at more popular culture or modern stuff, because they are cool too. But I feel like that‚Äôs not very likely to happen, alas. It‚Äôs all just about improving the grades.

Having said all this: I definitely could have a better mindset! Writing this post did actually give me a bit of enthusiasm for being more positive about English. Part of it is also that I have a set idea in my mind and I just switch off during lessons when I decide it‚Äôs not fun. I’ve actually been enjoying it a bit more recently now that I’ve been actively trying to engage, so, who knows. PERHAPS THIS COMPLAINING WILL HAVE RESULTED IN SOMETHING.

what’s your (least) favourite subject at school? do you enjoy studying english? any feelings about comma splicing?

General Election 2017

As you might know, here in the UK there is due to be a snap General Election in June. The next one was due to be held in 2020, but the PM and then Parliament have called for an election early. Thus: an election we have.

So, this is all very new and a bit of a surprise. It seems pretty crazy that there’s going to be an election in under two months from now; I haven’t had all the time to mentally prepare for it as I might have. To be quite honest with you, politics over the last year has made me feel a little numb. But I don’t think switching off is something that I personally¬†should do, because so many can’t.

I’m a little sad because this means I probably won’t be able to vote until 2022 — I would have been able to vote in the 2020 election — but I still want to be engaged and form an opinion of my own. ūüôā To be honest, the only thing I know right now is that I don’t want a Conservative majority, although currently it does look like it might be that way. I don’t yet know which I’d vote for out of the other major political parties. (UKIP is discounted because it is gross and also currently is not really a major party.)

Alas, I cannot vote due to still being a Child‚ĄĘ, but I can still choose someone to support. Even if I’m not really too keen on any of the options. My own constituency has been Labour for AGES, and also they seem like they have the best chance of keeping the Conservatives out….? But I am also not a very big fan of Jeremy Corbyn and some of the current stuff the party. :/ I didn’t really have an opinion when he was elected but now I’m just???? annoyed at his actions?? Yeah. Lib Dems seem okay, but I don’t know much about them. I need to research that. I NEED TO RESEARCH EVERYONE. Please don’t hate on me for my vague unformed thoughts haha.

Yeah. One of the things that I would really like to do more this election is GET INFORMED. Having been comparativrly quite politically aware in the run up to the EU Referendum, I didn’t read the news much after that because of feeling sad and also doing stuff over summer. But I would like to have an opinion based on fact which isn’t just looking at social media trends, because I’ve slipped into that and it’s not great. So, I’m going to try and read the news at least three times a week! Hopefully more, but I also don’t want to start checking the news 24/7 and feeling crap about everything, so.

Frankly, I don’t feel great about the current state of the UK, but the only thing I can do is to keep learning and keep talking to people. With that in mind: if you are over 18 and eligible to vote, PLEASE REGISTER TO VOTE. Especially if you’re a young person, since the EU referendum turnout wasn’t great for the younger age group. The last date for voter registration is 22 May, which is only a month away. Of course I would hope that you would vote for something I support but I know that loads of people won’t. Above everything: get informed and make a choice. USE YOUR DEMOCRATIC POWER.

I am eternally sad that I can’t yet vote, but that is our current system. I’m so passionate about people using their ability to vote — you have the option to have a say! Please take it! I’ll probably be posting again about the election, whether during or after, so stay tuned.

Playlist: Hey April

I haven’t made a new playlist in what feels like absolutely¬†ages — okay, I just looked it up and AUGUST; I need to find a playlist prompts thing —¬†and I have also been listening to some rad new music lately. This is a bit of a mixed playlist, but I suppose it’s just a collection of songs that make me think of April! I hope you enjoy ūüėÄ

hey april playlist cover

Hey April

for the of threading daisy chains on the damp grass. for the ripening citrus summer. for the sun through the clouds as it rains, splintered but bright.
listen on spotify / youtube

i love you (but i’m leaving) – rusty clanton

absolutely smitten – dodie

past lives – b√łrns

don’t take the money – bleachers

happy with me –¬†holychild

bwu Рtegan and sara

don’t kill my vibe – sigrid

feel it still – portugal. the man

the wire – haim

edge of town –¬†middle kids

I KNOW. TEN SONGS. More than usual, right? But what can I say, I’ve been hearing some good tunes. Last month was pretty cool for me because I got to go see Dodie on tour with some of my friends which I am STILL SCREAMING ABOUT. Rusty Clanton was the opening act, and I hadn’t heard of him before but I really liked his music, so!

I actually sincerely want to find a music playlist prompts thing, because I used to love doing the one that went around this corner of the blogosphere. MAYBE I SHOULD JUST MAKE ONE. Hmm. *strokes beard*

An Attempt at Organisation // aka #evestudies

an attempt at organisation evestudies

It’s getting close to that time again, the one we all love…exams! *manic laughter* I’m not taking any life-changing exams this summer, but I do have some GCSE mock sort of things, and I also need to be consolidating my work from the last year since we’re halfway through the course already. ARGH.

I’ve done internal exams every summer since I started secondary school, and I’ve vaguely developed an exam technique, but since work has got more serious this year I thought it would be a good idea to ACTUALLY PLAN WHAT I’M GOING TO DO during the Intense Revision Period‚ĄĘ. And what better what to cement my plans than by writing a blog post about them? (I also plan to take some pretty pictures of revision materials, because mmmm fineliners.)

If you’re a little curious, the subjects I’m taking in addition to English and Maths are triple Sciences (or whatever it’s called now, I’m not sure haha), Latin, Spanish, Music, and History. Out of all of these, I think I’m probably going to have to work the most on History, Maths, and Latin, but that’s just a guess!

So it’s currently the Easter holidays, and over this period I’m hoping to:

  • look at all the revision lists & specifications, marking how confident I feel about topics
  • check what revision resources my school has put up and, if necessary, print them out
  • organise my folders in a logical manner (not looking at my maths folder….ahaha…)
  • ensure I have all my notes or ask a friend
  • sort out what and how I am going to revise during the Intense Revision Period‚ĄĘ (i.e. revision timetable)
  • write some blog posts for when I get super busy and don’t have the time to love you all *cries*

In addition to this, I also have some homework for various subjects — which includes memorising these summaries we call blob sheets for one of my History topics, eek — but that’s basically what I’m doing for the next little while.

Because I was feeling ~artsy~ this morning, I got out one of the many journals I have sitting in my drawer and made a list of these things for all my subjects! And then I spent like half an hour looking at pretty pictures of bullet journals, productivity amirite. I’m hoping to keep a vaguely regular list of things I need to do in there, and with any luck I’ll also put my revision timetable in there when the time comes. I may as well make work at least a little fun, right?

This has been a fairly short post, but hopefully I’ll be updating you with what I’ve been doing and various methods for studying I’m using in the future! I mean, maybe. I am hoping that writing this will sort of motivate me to keep vaguely organised and not just manically try to scribble down stuff.

how do you study? are you taking any exams soon? do you also have a love of pretty stationery?!?