Thursday, 1 September 2011

Love at first sight

Yesterday was the last day of Ramadhan and after waiting patiently I might add, it is finally Eid. Now imagine for the last few days (because it was a bank holiday weekend) you sleep late and wake up early. Well I used the same sleeping concept for Monday night and here I am on Tuesday morning at work ready to go to sleep any minute now.
Before I go to sleep, it is Eid and most of us dressed up, including me. I wore something other than plain black. I wore a bright red scarf and bangles. I think that’s as far as I would let myself go in terms of dressing up at work. But fear not readers I will get dressed up when I get home.

The last event which I want to tell you is about something that happened to me.


It was a magical story. It is something that you would only find in a fairy tale. I was with my friends and was looking just to have fun. I wandered into a shop, mindlessly and not expecting anything out of the ordinary. All of a sudden I turned around and my heart skipped a beat. It was love at first sight. My head did a double turn and this time my heart began beating faster and my blood rushed to my head. The shape caught my eyes and the tone was divine. I practically drooled on the spot. Very unladylike but it’s not every day that something makes my head turn. No readers, it’s not a person; I fell in love with a sari! A wine coloured sari with heavy gold and diamante embroidery. Thankfully the person that was eyeing up my sari no longer wanted it. Next thing you know I exchanged the goods (don’t worry readers I didn’t snatch) and took it home with me.

And I lived happily ever after.


The End.

Friday, 5 August 2011

MA Literary London

I have just realised that I have been writing blogs just over a year and I rarely write about the programme I am studying and what the course entails. Rather my blogs contain random events or how I always dread starting coursework. Well readers, since I am almost at the end of my programme, here is your personalised blog of my experience on the programme.



AUGUST 2009
It all started in 2009, when I decided I wanted to expand my education and explored courses that the University of Greenwich offered. I found the programme MA Literary London and contacted the programme director, Jenny Bavidge, who just happened to be my personal tutor in my first year of my BA English course. After speaking to her, I realised I wanted to study on the course and applied around early 2010 and was given an offer.


FAST FORWARD SEPTEMBER 2011.
I enrolled on the MA Literary London and met my fellow Literary Londoners. It was a different experience from the BA programme which I started at the mere age of 18. I was now 24 and full of worldly wisdom! We had an induction session were we introduced ourselves and our views of London. There was a wide range of student who all had their own opinion of what London was for them. The first session was an induction and we got to find out what is it about London that makes it London through listening to opinions put forward. Me, who never really ventured outside the city much, found it fascination when comparisons were drawn to other cities. Even when I was a child, I never really needed to venture outside of East London, so when I did start the course it really opened my eyes and I fully appreciated the city in all its glory.

In the first term, we studied four modules:

Foundations for Postgraduate Study (15 Credits)
This module prepared us for the Masters programme in general. It taught students how to research articles using specialised academic search engines and how we could structure our essays to put forward a strong argument within the essay. There were two assessments, the first assessment was to demonstrate how well we were able to find related articles and use search engines. The second assessment was a critical evaluation and we had to evaluate an essay and how academically strong it was.

Theory & Research Methods (15 Credits)
This course was studied throughout both terms. In the first term we looked at theory behind the city and what research we could include. We were also introduced to the Literary London website, which is a website that includes articles on the city, dating from 2003. It would be a recommended read for anyone interested in broadening their horizons of the city and is available on the following link: www.literarylondon.org. You will be happy to know there is no assessment for this module in the first term.

The Commerce of Vice (30 Credits)
The topic has two assessments, one coursework and one presentation. The module was divided into two parts. The first part explored London art and the industry. We explored how London was presented in art and the effect of the industry on the city. The second part explored plays that centred around London.

Imagining the Metropolis (30 Credits)
This topic explored the city through texts and films (woohoo!) dating back from Dickens era to the present time. We may have explored earlier texts but my mind is hazy and it seems like a lifetime ago. The texts we studied mainly looked at how the city was represented and the formation of the city. The railway line comes to mind as we had to read Dombey and Son. With this module there is one essay per term.

FAST FORWARD TO JANUARY 2011
Aside from the presentation for The Commerce of Vice module and the first assessment from Foundations for Postgraduate Study, the deadlines for the essay were at the end of January so we had the winter holidays to work on them. The set date may vary year to year as sometimes additional lectures may be needed.


In the second semester we studied the following three modules (some overlapped from the first term).

Imagining the Metropolis (30 Credits)
In the second term we studied a different set of text. These were recently published texts and contained a range of themes within them. Topics included eschatological events, post war, modernism and the presence of the “other” in the city. The “other” could be ghosts, monsters or anything else your imagination can think of.







Theory & Research Methods (15 Credits)

The second half of this course consisted of exploring writing approaches and looking at topics for dissertations. We had lectures and individual tutorials. This was useful as it helped mould ideas up into a suitable topic for the dissertation.

The portfolio for this assessment was not intense but there was a lot of work involved. The portfolio needed to contain an annotated bibliography, a critical evaluation of an essay and the abstract for the dissertation with a preliminary bibliography.


Landscape/Dreamspace (30 Credits)
The topic has two assessments, one coursework and one presentation or those who hated presentations had the option of writing two essays. The module was divided into two parts. The first part explored London and the uncanny. This module was interested as it gave me ideas for my final project. The second part explored postcolonial poems and novels.

The deadlines for the second term assessments were in May and that gave me plenty of time to start the reading for the dissertation. Unfortunately I still have not started writing anything.

LECTURE HOURS
It may seem that there are a lot of modules but once put in a timetable it seems more manageable.




FINAL PROJECT
The final project is a dissertation on your chosen topic and it is 12,000 to 15,000 words. I am quite excited as my topic explores the representation of the underground and how many perceived the underground. As exciting as the topic is as it is summer the lack of motivation to sit in front of the computer is greater but I will start soon. The deadline for the final project is on 30th September so I still have time.


ME, MYSELF AND I
I came on the course naive and it really did broaden my horizon on the city and changed my attitude towards learning. Unlike the undergraduate course, it is intense and there is a lot reading that needs to be done and a lot of work and effort that would need to be put in. The reading list is usually emailed to students before summer by the programme director.


However do not let the intensity of the course put you off, as it is a great course with excellent tutors. Also some lectures contain films and poems so you get a week or two to relax and catch up! I hoped you enjoyed reading about the programme and if it does make you want to enrol on the course, then the blog has not gone to waste.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Back in MY days...

So the month of July has flown past and I had two weeks off. They were good times; I abandoned all things related to coursework.

I did have time to catch up on childhood; my sister found a game we used to play on Mega Drive or was it Mega system?

Seems like an eternity ago. Well young people, it wasn’t like the ps3 or the x-box but it was the best thing to TV back in the days. As you can tell, it was the time when people only had channel 1-4, and at times when you woke up at 6am and turned on the television there was only a girl standing there with chalk. Yes, it was a still picture as well.


We sat there playing Gauntlet, otherwise known as Exit (simply because there were exit signs the players had to go through to go onto the next level).

Other than that, I went to the last wedding of this month a few days ago. The bride looked stunning but sad because she was moving far away (a few hours’ drive away from her family). It has been a long month with tons of mendhi parties and weddings. Yes everyone for some reason decided to get married this month. It was exhausting and fun and sad at the same time and I look forward to the long awaited r&r in September.

As for the dissertation it is still there and will be done eventually. It’s summer now and time for fun!!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

PANDA CRAZE!!

Do you have one picture that sums up the entire you? I know I do now. I saw the picture and it made my day. It is part of the WWF new marketing scheme and might I say works wonders.

But before I knew it was the advertisement, I thought it was made especially for me and that someone spent hours working on this new image.

Other than that I finally started my dissertation, I started on Monday. It was the worst possible day to start. The weather was unbelievably hot and humid and eight minutes into the assignment I gave up. This was a shame really as I had set aside time this week to get it done.


It is now day two of coursework and I am still struggling with starting the coursework. It’s really due to the lack of motivation. I mean it’s the first time in ages I’ve stayed home and I have two choices: watch TV/movie or do get started on coursework. You can see my predicament there. ARRRGGGGHHHH.

Whilst coursework is heavily playing on my mind, I weirdly enough had time to write this blog and now writing about writing this blog I have made up my mind. It is too much of a beautiful day to not laze around. So movie it is. But first thing first: coffee, it’s been ages since I’ve had coffee and whilst the cravings have mostly gone, I still feel incomplete without it.

So au revior readers, I’m off to have coffee and set up the movie. Now if only there was someone to make the popcorn and hand me food on a platter. Shame really, it would have been perfect.

Friday, 17 June 2011

T’is the month of June

It is June already and the promises of working hard to complete the dissertation have gone awry. In fact shamefully I must admit I have not read a single book or done anything coursework related.

I have however made attempts to still have the fun that I missed out on during April and am continuing very well. So many things and so little time.

I mean I have gone back to watching my dramas, yes the Korean and Japanese dramas which I had to give up due to the need to focus on assignments. I mean I still have the panicky feeling that I won’t get my assignment done on time, but it becomes a distant worry with the viewing of these dramas. At the moment I am watching Hana Yori Dango, (the Japanese version of BBF and finally I might add) and as of today I have one more episode left to watch. It has gotten to the point where I wake up, go to work and have the urge to go quickly back home to watch the episodes. But I guess readers you’re thinking I’m crazy and maybe I am. But I have to say it was time well spent especially since I would sacrifice my sleep to watch the episodes.

Other than watching endless dramas, I have found a place where I can go to relax and just watch the time fly by. It’s known to Summi as the Meridian Square, buts it is really actually the steps of Stratford (the ones that lead up to the central line).

Okay this is obviously not the steps, I mean for one it looks like it is cleaned regularly. But the steps are just a nice place to sit and unwind after a long hard day of working.

So readers that it what I have been up to the last few weeks and don’t worry I’ll be back soon with more stories of how my life just seems to fly by.

Arigato!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

The long awaited catching up!

All work and no play has affected me badly. It literally meant I cooped up at home leaving only for work and sitting on the laptop for up to 10 hours a day, working my brain away.

So this month whilst I will be working on my dissertation (fingers crossed) I will take the time out and enjoy life.

Plans for this month

Get blood test done: I got the request for the doctor in March and needed to arrange time to go. Now that I finished the coursework I had no excuses. So yesterday I went with a mate as we both needed to get it done. She went in first and came out...telling me the nurse stabbed her skin with the needle and rummaged around. Now to a person who last got an injection at the tender of 15, imagining what was running through my mind with that imagery. I went in bracing myself for the worst possible pain... It actually wasn’t bad, turns out I’m full of blood and there were plenty of veins pumping blood around. It was quicker than her one as well. (I can tick this off, woohoo!)

Catch up on missed movies: Whilst I have been working hard, I missed the new movies that had come out and have plans to go see them. After waiting almost 3 odd weeks I made plans and saw Scream 4. Next movie on watch list is Insidious and Fast and Furious 5.

Get outfits made: Too many people are getting married and it’s annoying they’re all together. Wedding fever has gripped my family and friends and for some reason they all have decided to get married within the next few months. In fact some of the wedding dates are already starting to clash! “What to dooo?”

See the babies: Like wedding fever there has also been a baby fever going around. I need to go see the new babies. Also there are other babies who are ageing a little too rapidly for my liking. Some have already turned one; it seems like they were only born the other day!!

Road Trip and Reunions: Summer is almost here and it’s been ages since I have met up with a few dear friends. This month I plan to see them, hopefully all of them. And also carry out the long awaited road trip that I have been planning for what seems like eternity!


Sleep more, drink less: My sleeping pattern did mess up and that left me with an unfocused brain. This month I am thinking of dedicating 10 hours a day to sleep. I also at times get really bad migraines. I am a regular, I mean a healthy coffee drinker. Doesn’t that sound so much better? Anyways I think my migraines could be linked to my drinking habit and therefore am taking steps to curb coffee drinking. It’s the second day. So far so good!

Anyways reader that’s the plan in progress and I’ll keep you updated!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Essay Deadlines Looming And I’m Going On Holiday?

So readers the last blog mentioned how much coursework I had due in on the 4th May and for once I was really really stressed out. Unfortunately the plan for the coursework plan did not go ahead according to the plan. Hahaha.

That is what happens when Raz does all work and no play. I stayed at home and it took its toll as I spent up to 10 hours a day in front of the laptop, which made me crazy. But the other reason why it didn’t go ahead was because I had a mini holiday. I wasn’t going to go but... everyone in my family was going on holiday that I became unbelievably jealous and booked my ticket. In hindsight that was four days that could have been spent wisely...


But the booked holiday was made with good intentions. I took a reading book that I needed to read for my essay. However 3 hours later and 10 pages in, I gave up. It wasn’t my fault as the language lacked the standard literary writing which engages the reader. Also it was too hot and humid to sit inside and read.

And then I came back...with food poisoning I might add... I was in agony for days and lost my appetite.

Mini Facts of Food Poisoning

Negative point of food poisoning: The sight of food made me have panic attacks...

Positive point of food poisoning: I lost a few pounds without working hard or going to the gym!!!!

Anyway with food poisoning over by Sunday I got back on track and finished my essays by deadline. It was a real struggle to complete the final assignment. My brain was tired from overworking and taking no breaks. It got so bad; I literally sat on the laptop for an hour just trying to understand the question. It just didn’t go through in my head and I actually cried in desperation!

However there is a lesson learnt. I have learnt a new way of working and must now accommodate my body and mind rather than my body and mind accommodating my lifestyle. Never again will I try to complete four assignments in fewer than two- four weeks. The bad point is even if I spent a month locked indoors, I feel I could have done better with the assignments, whether it was to read more texts or proof read my essays for the zillionth time..

Either way its handed in and now I’m making plans (in good faith) to start dissertation!!! Oh mannn