Monday, 21 September 2009


Well the new academic year has started, and I'm excited. This morning I went to the first lecture of the day 'Women's writing', and was not that suprised to learn that the majority of the class are female apart from two lads who looked a little bewidered. Other than them actually having an interest in women's writing - which they probably do, my guesses as to why they chose the module are a) thinking 'oooh yeah that will be full of girls', or b) due to timetable clashes and picking modules that are the best out of a not so good bunch this module was the best. Which to be honest is why I am studying it.

I hope it turns out to be a module that I like though, right now it could go either way. I can't say I enjoyed the lecture but then again I have sat through worse things, so I shall see how it goes. Anyway time for triumph of the day - The module guides were given out listing the four key texts we have to read by week 8, by my calculations that works out to be a book a week from now until week 8. As my loan hasn't come in yet and probably won't do for another month or so, and with the majority, infact all bar five of the class saying they will buy the books off cheap internet sites I headed off to the library.
There I found all four books to have two copies available, lucky old me. When I got to the shelves I was suprised to see that no one else had bothered to come and get the books. This is the first time in a long time that I haven't been beaten to a book by another wise thinker from my class.

Lauren 1 - everyone else 0. Atleast I won't have to pay for them, the only annoying thing is is that they are only on a one week loan so i'll have to remember to keep on renewing them which I will probably forget about, therefore incurring library fees. So to be fair in the long run i'm probably best buying them, but for new renting them will do.

I've got another lecture in a while, ' texts and practices', I hope it's good/not that long. I like learning new things but my brain is too tired today, then off home via ASDA to stock up on cold and flu tablets and loo roll for snotty noses, as both Ben and my flatmate Nikita seem to have come down with some rotten freshers flu thing.
I hope I don't get it.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Student loans

It isn't often that I write about topical news,well actually I never do to be honest but I felt I had to after reading this.
The university helping out first year students with emergancy funding is all well and good, but students in 2nd and 3rd year will be affected just as bad with the delays of loan payments by student loan company. Personally I am having a fight with the SLC to get my loan. I filled it out online as I was told it would be processed faster than if i was to fill it out the good old fashioned way by pen and paper, what a load of bullshit.

Apparently they were going to send my mum a letter in the post with a password in so she could gain access to the loan site and confirm the details that I had already given for her, she has yet to recieve that letter. But last week she got a letter saying they are waiting for confirmation information off her so that my loan can be processed. My mother is a lot of things but she isn't superhuman, how is it possible for her to have gave information without having the password to gain access to the site.
I bet the people who work for SLC are just an evolutionary step above cavemen. Utter useless idiots. I appreciate that it is not their fault a record number of people have applied for university, but making stupid mistakes like this slows down the whole process.

The university have not mentioned anything about giving emergany loans, or atleast I haven't heard about it. Im assuming they would have told you by letter if you had been one of the lucky ones to have been given the emergancy grant. I'm guessing I'm not one of them. Probably a postcode lottery or something.
This leaves me in a bit of a pickle, I had banked on getting my loan on time and had allocated money from it to be spent on books for my course, as I do English books are something I have to spend money on. Even if i get them second hand, they still cost, and without a loan being able to afford them is a bit of a non starter. Especially as I have just spen my hard earned wages on things that I need for halls such as duvet, pillows, cleaning things, food etc. So until my loan comes whenever that will be, I'm just going to have to hope the library has the books that I will need for my modules. My guess is though is that there will be people with the same idea as me. In the past I have had mad after lecture races to the library with people from my course who have wisely had the same idea, thing is though they always win.

Things happen when you least expect it.

After having moved out of university halls I went back to Yorkshire with Ben and stayed with his family, it was really nice and just the break I needed out of this concrete city. I loved the fact that even though he lives in a little village that the coast and grassy fields are only a few minutes away depending on how your mood takes you. For a start the air feels fresher.

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. On saturday we moved into Victoria Hall, its very nice and plush well for students anyway. The flat we have is 7 storyes up and I have a view from my room that looks over towards Bentley bridge, so maybe not the best view of them all but I'll live with it, atleast it's better than a ground floor room. So far everything is going great, although I have noticed a few pros and cons.

Three minute (maybe 4min) walk to uni.
Once you have paid rent you dont have to worry about paying bills.
We are recieving freeview on the tv and although we should have a t.v licence we don't (YET!).
Living with three really nice people who I know I get along with, therefore allowing me to bypass doing silly things like writing names on food boxes having own shelf in fridge etc..
Having the choice to either sleep in the big bed in my room or the big bed in Ben's room.
Having a big bed.
Having a sofa, kitchen/dining area.
24 hour caretaker - I realised the benefit of these people when my door shut and locked me out of my own bedroom - five times! Eventually the next day they fixed the lock.
The feeling of being safe.
We have been provided with a henry hoover, well its called numatic - we have yet to think of a name.

The £150 price tag for the internet.
The £1.50 for a washer and the £1.50 for a dryer
The price they charge if anything of theirs is broken, so we decided on getting our own plates cups etc so if they break we wont care.
When the lift broke the other day when I wasn't feeling well, I didn't appreciate having to walk up seven storeys.
Having to take the rubbish bags downstairs in the lift to the bins, it's a bit eurgh.
Not being allowed to put posters up - not even with white tac, unless it's on the pin board, although the pin board they have provided us with isn't even that big.
Stating that we are provided with stuff for the kitchen, and then not providing us with essential things like a chopping board, baking tray or potato peeler.

I suppose everything has its positve and negative points, and so far it has turned out how I expected, lovely jubbly. Now I'm just waiting for uni to commence, I'm feeling nervous and exciting I dont really know what to expect of 2nd year world, but I'm not expecting it to be easy. Well my theory is if I expect something to be dificult, then I'll like it when I find it isn't as dificult as I first thought. My modules still need changing, but I can't print out the module selection form to take to my school office as my printer card doesn't flaming work.

We have gone out a couple of times since freshers week started, it's more relaxing this time round. It is really nice to know people from your year and to just chat to them over drinks or whatever, I also find it reassuring to have old friends even when you are meeting new ones. I prefer quality over quantity. So even though I may not be an absolute social butterfly and have 1000 friends, the friends I have got I know are quality and will always be friends with.

A few new deaf freshers have started uni this year, it was nice to see them all together and seeing Ben signing to them all last night, it made me feel really proud of him and bought a smile to my face, it it is not often that he uses sign to communicate, and without sounding patronising I sometimes feel bad that he sometimes has to struggle at times in the hearing world. So it was really lovely to see him relaxed and signing with people who understand it. I could do with learning BSL, thinking about it its probably the best way to communicate in a club, the music in Oceana last night was so loud.

On a sad note, I heard news last night that the boyfriend of my friend back home has died. I had only met him for a few days back in June when we all camped at Glatonbury and he was violently ill off drinking too much pimms, but he seemed like a real nice guy. Most importantly I could tell he loved my friend, they were one of those couples that when you look at them made you go aww rather than urgh. Hayley has been my friend since we we started secondary school and we can chat about anything and I can be honest and tell her to shut up when she's annoying me, she is the type of friend that since moving to uni I haven't really seen all that much. But the type of friend that will always be a friend, no matter how many times you may or may not see them.
I struggled last night to find what to say to her, I wanted to be tactful and comforting without being patronising. It's hard to know what to say to a friend whos 20 year old boyfriend has just died, you shouldn't really have to be saying it.

Words are a funny thing, they can be beautiful comforting sometimes hurtful, I find it amazing the way in which something that is written down can have such an effect upon our emotions. Words aren't a living entity they don't have a heartbeat or feelings so how do they make us feel a certain way. I think the answer is thinking. Writing something down actually makes you think more about the words and what is being said, the thought process that went into expressing emotions or thoughts through words. Saying something is brief it can be throw away, whereas something noted down by pen is permanant. That is why I am stupid at writing things like sympathy cards, either sounding like a moron or writing something that is cliched and therefore not comforting at a time when it is most needed.

Life is a funny thing, and sometimes it takes things like the horrible news last night to make you take stock and evaluate where you are going with your own. It has certianly made me appreciate my own life much more.

Rest in peace Dale.