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Down in Albion ... young love tripped up on a Rainbow

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Oct. 17th, 2010 @ 05:39 pm

Right Brain/ Left Brain Quiz
The higher of these two numbers below indicates which side of your brain has dominance in your life. Realising your right brain/left brain tendancy will help you interact with and to understand others.
Left Brain Dominance: 16(16)
Right Brain Dominance: 14(14)
Right Brain/ Left Brain Quiz

OK, so I've done this quiz twice today (Sunday, thy name is procrastination), using different quizzes, and have had two different results. I'm going for third time lucky, but that's not the point. The point is, what does it show? These quizzes are supposed to tell you something once you've done them, even if it's only which Harry Potter character you are or what your spirit animal shows about you. I want to know about my brain, damnit!

A lesson in forethought Oct. 3rd, 2010 @ 12:05 pm
Earlier this week I noticed weird red bites/a weird red rash all over my legs and arms. Since the cat doesn't have fleas, the only thing I could think of was bedbugs. I was understandably horrified; I know how impossible they are to get rid of.

A moment of madness prompted me to check. If I had them. In the mattress. So I slashed it open.

There's no evidence of bedbugs anywhere.

On the bright side, I'm finally going to get a new bed.

Books Jul. 25th, 2010 @ 11:55 pm
So I'm going to Spain on Tuesday.

I'm trying to pack.

I have a shortlist of 9 books to take on holiday, but I fear that may be excessive even for me, even for two weeks. The question for you, flist, is this: which should I knock off the list?

1. Giovanni's Room - James Baldwin
2. Perfume - Patrick Suskind
3. Juggling - Barbara Trapido
4. The Storyteller - Rabih Alameddine
5. Sunflower - Gyula Krudy
6. Pride and Prejudice
7. The Homecoming - Pinter
8. Tsotsi - Athol Fugard
9. Possession - A.S. Byatt

I've bought four pairs of shoes in the last 24hrs. I feel a little bit dirty.

Win some, lose some May. 19th, 2010 @ 10:11 pm
This time of year is always a bit uncertain, I find. Having never really not been in education in some form or another, it has been (and will always be) exam time. Oddly, even though I am not taking the exams myself, I am almost as nervous as the kids. I keep giving them extra tips and acronyms and reminders in the hope that they will show they've made progress since last year.

It is also a time for thinking about next years teaching groups. Quite a while ago, my HoD told me he wanted me to have top set Y10 next year, which was hugely exciting and I am still holding out for it. I will however be sad not to take 9x2 into 10x2 because they are so very much my favourite class. Today one of them said "Miss, can you just make sure I get you as my teacher next year? Can't you ask to have me in your group?" which is close to the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me. Unfortunately, even though she is a great kid, she's not top set material so the answer's probably no.

Anyway, all of this is a bit of a circuitous route to talking about 6th Form. I haven't had an A-Level class this year, for which I have been grateful, however I have been given an A2 class next year. Amazingly, it seems like we have pretty much free reign over what we teach them and in what manner, so long as they can complete some insanely complex comparison task at the end of it. While that is fabulous, it also leads to a bit of a Daddy or Chips senario, since we can teach whatever we like, from any period of time, in any genre, so long as it's about love. And since all literature is about sex or death, that leaves all of literature written in English since Chaucer open to us.

That's the win some bit.

I have also been told that I have Y12 Resits next year. Resits are an exercise in forcing stupid children to repeat work they have had drilled into them for an entire year, for another entire year, because it didn't work the first time. Since I have been teaching bottom set Y11 this year, that basically means I will be teaching the same thing, to the same students all over again.

An exercise in futility and desperation I think.

Lose some.

Still, A-level though! Hamlet (not my choice - I'm not teaching it either), Chaucer, sonnets, Romantics, McEwan, Plath, Duffy, Donne, Angelou, Adichie, Marber, Pinter. So much to teach, so little time!

I like this houses thing Apr. 11th, 2010 @ 03:03 pm
I know it's not a meme, obviously, but it's interesting and I want to join in. Cut because some pics are huge.

When I was very small, I lived in rural Ireland in about 10 different houses.Collapse )

I like this idea of talking about houses, because I think architecture is quite amazing. It always surprises me when I go abroad and I cannot date any of the architecture at all, either because the styles are so different, or because they built in the same way for such a long time and therefore all the building are rather uniform. One of my favourite things about London is that you can have a tiny, 400yr old cottage sandwiched between Victorian terraces and opposite an estate comprised of flat blocks from every decade since the slum clearances.

Apathy Apr. 9th, 2010 @ 01:11 pm
I have so very much to do and yet I can motivate myself to do none of it. I have marked 3 essays in 2 days.

All I want to do (in spite of the beautiful weather) is curl up under the duvet on the sofa and have tele happen in front of my face.

Finn's Home! Mar. 19th, 2010 @ 08:29 pm
Interested parties:

My little Miaowch is home with squiffy hips and odd shaven patches all over.

You may be pleased to hear that she is currently climbing the walls of her cage in a desperate attempt to get out and giving me eyes of death in between. The vet didn't tell me what to do about this, but I am assuming 'nothing' is the safest bet.


Sad Times Mar. 13th, 2010 @ 10:09 pm
Finn was run over yesterday.

She's at the animal hospital in Wimbledon. They say she's critical, but seem quite confident that she'll be ok.

I'm not freaking out quite as much as I was twelve hours ago.

ETA: They rung this morning and said she is comfortable on the morphine and has warmed up nicely (her core body temperature was very low). They are going to wait til tomorrow to do more X-rays to see if she will need a pin in her hip.

Marking Feb. 28th, 2010 @ 12:07 pm
Sometimes the worst part of my job is not the marking per se, it's the marking of complete drivel by students who just cannot be arsed to make the effort.

At the moment, I am marking GCSE coursework. It's a media assignment: What cinematic techniques are used in the prologue to The Dark Knight and how do they create tension, and they are being marked for their writing skill (in contrast to their reading skill), which means that they have to focus both on their analysis of the film AND the way they write about it: SPG, fluency, style fit to audience/purpose, vocabulary, sentence construction etc.

My class are roughly equivalent to Set 2 in a 5 form entry school. They should be on target to get B grades, and this is the piss that I am currently marking (all sic):

The camera shots how the camera angle is important and how shots change. The mise-en-scene has tension building importants like how do the costumes and props build tension in the opening sequence. They make load noises which is one of the key factors of the props and how they build tension.

Compare that with this, written by another student in the same class:

The use of non-diegetic sounds also create a sense of tension and suspense. These sounds include: the use of tempo in the music, this builds up tension as it slows down and speeds up; it generally builds to something unexpected. Also the use of a ticking sound gradually getting louder imitates a clock drawing our attention to their time, that they are running out of time, that the clock is counting down. This initiates a response that something has to end and makes us wonder what will happen when the clock runs out.

Now, it's not perfect, but it is a first draft and most students can't use commas accurately no matter how many times you explain it.

The worst thing is knowing that I will annotate the first student's essay to within an inch of its life and they will still give me an identical essay for the second draft, while the top grade student (that is an A/B borderline piece of analysis) will make every single correction exactly as suggested, but it will be my balls being busted in the summer next year when the first kid flunks his exam.

Feb. 15th, 2010 @ 05:40 pm
Dear friends,

I think I'm dying. I went to Sheffield and came back with a reaaaaaally nasty stomach bug. But that's not actually the worst bit anymore. My back is also killing me from sleeping on my friend's sofa which means that I can't lie in any position without excruciating pain in one or another parts of my body.

Sympathy welcome :)
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