Monday, 31 October 2011

The Romantics...

So I didn't go to bed. Well I did. Just after midnight. But I was lying there like I have done every night for the past week and I didn't feel tired at all. Well, I did. I was shattered. My eyelids were drooping. But my mind was racing and screaming and dancing and shouting and singing and refusing to turn the music down. I got up at about 1am. They say that if you've been lying in bed for over half an hour, unable to fall asleep, you should get up and do something mundane until you feel sleepy. Like read a book.

I went on my laptop.

The sleep didn't come. So I made myself a cup of tea, listened to Ludovico Einaudi and Taylor Swift and other songs from my first year of medicine that brought back some strange memories and worked on my philosophy essay. Like a boss.

It's funny how fast time goes sometimes. I didn't get anywhere with my essay but suddenly it's 3am, then 4am, then 5.30 and I'm starting to feel a little sleepy but if I go to bed now I'll be a grouche when I'm woken up after four hours sleep.

In conclusion, I haven't slept. I'm currently sitting at my window waiting to watch the sun rise over the rooftops and planning breakfast at Starbucks.

I spent some of the night reading the stories I'd written growing up and have saved on my computer. I did this last night too, although, not until dawn. I always find it fascinating reading back on things I've wrote. Half the time I can't remember writing them. I can't imagine that I managed to manipulate the words that way. It doesn't sound like me. Some of it sounds...well, good.

Reading some of it tonight made me realise just how ill I was, even in 6th form, even in my first year of medical school. I didn't write anything last year, nothing fictional. I really wish I had. Because reading some of my stories opened a window on all the emotions I've felt over the years without pulling me back in. It's almost therapeutic.

The sky's turned lilac and grey. I can hear the birds.

Anyway, I found something I had saved as "The Romantics". I don't know if it's because I haven't slept but I found it hilarious. I remember writing it, not where I was or what the weather was like, but the sensation of the words hurtling down my arm so fast my hand couldn't keep up. It's autobiographical. I remember thinking it all. I know exactly which boy I'm talking about. And I thought I would share it with you. I've tweaked it a bit, but otherwise it is how I wrote it on the 20th December 2009 at 00:50.

Enjoy. It's not perfect. Most of it isn't grammatically correct. But it's a tiny insight into the mind of a first year medic with a crush and an obsession with happy ever after.

The Romantics
There’s a problem with liking the Romantics – be it the Victorian Romantics, the Modern ones, the books, the poems, the movies, the songs. Sometimes, all the time, you get a little caught up in them. You daydream. You hum as you walk down the hall. You concoct elaborate story lines in your head and then blink and realise that guy thinks you’ve been staring at him for the entire lecture. And then you realise that it’ll never happen and you have to accept the fact that you are just you. You’re not Jane, not Bridget, not Natalie and the Prime Minister isn’t Hugh Grant, nobody will ever sing to you, be it at your window or at a party or over candles and lobster, you’ll never dance with that one special person at prom, or at your engagement, and that guy who you were inadvertently staring at will never talk to you because he thinks you’re stalking him, when you’re not.

What do you do then? What do you do when you’re not looking for love even though part of you really wants to? How do you advise your friends when he breaks up with them, or upsets them? Do you give advice based on what you’ve seen in the movies or do you tell them to pull themselves together – we’re too young to have found the one, there are plenty more fish in the sea, he’s a bastard and you’re better off without him.

But then there’s that guy. The one who thinks you’re stalking him. It’s not your fault you're both on the same course, in the same halls, both come down to breakfast at exactly the same time. You didn’t time your departure from the Medical School to the second to ensure you would bump into him at that exact corner as he returned from the opposite direction. It was coincidence. Really. Because when you realise you see someone everywhere your brain automatically picks them out. Fact. I suppose it doesn’t help that you go all stiff and awkward when he walks past. How do you deal with that without looking like a total spaz? Especially when you know you can never have him, not just because he’s way out of your league or he isn’t actually the guy you think, he is just the guy you’ve projected this perfect image onto, but because you’re not looking for love. Not because you’ve had too many bad experiences in the past and have decided that the right guy will appear if you stop looking for him, but because you can’t have love till marriage and marriage is definitely not on the table right now.

This could go one of two ways. Either it could be a fairytale and you’ll be swept off your feet in perfect accordance with all the rules and regulations of your religion or, real life could happen -  you never talk because it’s too awkward to start now. You forget about him. And love is made when your parents agree and you marry the other him, even though he isn’t the one, with the hope that he’ll become the one but it ends in divorce, as all marriages do.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

The Philosophy of Studying Philosophy...

So my course this year - Medical Humanities -  is almost like doing Joint Honours in English Literature and Philosophy (which has a bit of history thrown into it) in a year. And so far I'm loving every moment of it. Doing first year English modules is something like a dream; I love how I've only got a compulsory two hour seminar for Critical Issues AND THAT'S IT!!!! In medicine we would have at least five hours a week per module, with four/five modules a week. Naturally this year is bliss :) There is a lot of reading to do, and I'm finding it hard to concentrate on anything for any length of time (a side-effect of the joys of last year) but there's a Starbucks up the street and I'm happy so everything is peachy :)

If I'm being honest I mainly wanted to do the degree for the English side of things. Most of you know that English has always been a passion of mine. The philosophy was just an added bonus. And it is. Don't get me wrong, I'm loving the philosophy. I'd much rather get out of bed to attend the first year Intro to Philosophy lectures (optional) than I would to go to the Approaches to Poetry lectures (also optional). But philosophy is so...mind boggling.

Seriously, that's the only adjective I've been able to use to sum it up.

Our compulsory philosophy module this semester is Philosophy and History of Medicine, which is a third year/Masters module. That kind of scared me. How were we meant to attend lectures/seminars with people who have done/almost done a whole philosophy degree?? So I thought I would go to the Introduction to Philosophy A lectures, a compulsory module for the first years (don't tell anyone - I'm not technically allowed to my defence the lecturer said it was fine for me to attend, as long as I don't tell the admin staff...). I thought it would...well, be an introduction.

It's not.

I hoped it would ease me into philosophy.

I feel like I've been thrown of a cliff and told to fly.

Like I said, it's interesting. I love it. But I come out more confused than when I went in, which I suppose is the point with philosophy. After all, it's all about the big questions. But on Tuesdays we have lectures about Descartes. Descartes decided to pretty much re-write and question everything we as a race "knew" up to that date. Do I know that I'm sitting in my room, typing out my blog. No. Do I know that my hot water bottle is on my right and there's a pile of dirty dishes on my left. No. We can't trust our senses. Everything may have been fed to us by a demon. But apparently he can prove that God exists and, what more, that we exist. The rest is questionable.

As an aside, if a demon/higher power/super computer is feeding information into my mind to make me believe that I'm in Bristol, studying Medical Humanities and sneeking into first year philosophy lectures, then why would he let me believe I'm being lectured on the possibility that all this is false and there's a demon telling me things? Surely that's risky for the demon. Or maybe he's just a sadistic bastard who likes to watch the first year's heads explode.

Anyway, I get my first Philosophy and History of Medicine essay question tomorrow. It's due in on November 7th, which is a Monday. I forgot this and decided to go home for Eid at the weekend. I leave on Friday 4th and don't come back till the Tuesday. The essay has to be handed in at the office, in person. Which means it really needs to be pristine by Thursday. Yeah...this weekend is going to be...well, mind boggling :)

Lexie :D

Sunday, 23 October 2011

The Student Room...

So I've just realised that somebody posted a link to my blog on a thread on the Student Room.

First of, go look at blog of the postee. He's a real inspiration :)

Second, hi! Thanks for dropping by. I hope you like what you've read/you weren't too disappointed! Leave a comment, let me know what you think/any questions/Birmingham interview tips...

That is all. I want to promise a new, proper post in the next few days but everytime I've made that promise I've broken it...


Monday, 10 October 2011

Some wonderful snippets from my first poetry lecture...





By ee cummings, 1958

"Not to be interested in poetry is not to be interested in humanity" -- (I didn't write down who said this! I thought it would be on Google...I was wrong)

"Of all writers under the sun the poet is the least liar, and, though he would, as a poet can scarcely be a liar...for the poet, he nothing affirms, and therefore never lieth...though he recount things not true, yet because he telleth them not for true, he lieth not" -- Philip Sidney, "A Defense of Poesy" (1595)

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Finally settled...

So, after a year of darkness, anguish, emptyness and disappointment, and a summer full of pain, uncertainty and guilt I am, FINALLY, at Bristol :)

I moved in on Saturday. I've been given a room in the only flat on the 7th floor (in our block anyway). There's a lift but it only goes up to the 6th floor. That, plus the fact that every road in Bristol seems to be a really steep hill, I'll be so much fitter come Christmas.

The view from my room is beautiful. It's all rooftops and trees. I can see Cabot Tower :) It's all very Parisian, or at least how I expect the view would be in Paris. All that it needs is a few balconies and I would feel like I was in a rom com, or a perfume add.

Cabot Tower, almost exactly how it looks from my window

Registration today was a bit of a fail. I haven't got a student number. I'm not on the system. I've yet to find a list with my name on it and I haven't been given a tutor.There's another girl from my course in the same position. But the School of Arts and the Faculty of Arts (they're different things, aparently) have been made aware of the position and so, at some point in the next few days everything should be sorted. Then I can access my timetable and the Blackboard system and the internet in my room. At the moment I'm using a visitor log-in, which is better than nothing.

I feel...settled. No homesickness. No regret. There was a brief moment earlier after visiting the School of Arts with my fellow stranded coursemate that I felt how I did before. We had separated and I suddenly felt alone and insignifanct. Drifty. But it passed. I was pleased with how I managed to pull myself together and get over it but it was a reminder that everything isn't peachy perfect yet.

So, hopefully, lectures and things start next week. I have a lot of reading to do but I'm kind of looking forward to it :)