Back at university

Another blog post, another gig. A spontaneous last minute decision to go watching Andrew WK at the Academy really paid off. For those of you who don’t know him, he’s basically a crazy American guy with a rock band who used to hang around with the guys from Jackass. That pretty much sums up his show, just an hour and a half of jumping around like a sweaty idiot, so much fun. It was one last splurge before university started again after the Easter break, followed by a weekend of hard work and then the inevitable Monday morning blues. Everyone was pretty pleased to see each other again but the early morning combined with the miserable Manchester weather (yes, the rumours are true, it rains a lot) didn’t put many people in a good mood. The rain continues but so does the work so we all soon stopped whining about the weather and started worrying about getting it all done. Some of the work is quite fun though. For example, we are working in groups to write a detective story in Italian and then we have to mark another group’s work. The possibilities are endless and there have been some pretty interesting variations; murder and disguises galore. Also, for the oral class we have been given role-playing scenarios and my group’s is about two girls who go on holiday and have all their belongings stolen so I have to play a distressed young girl; not sure how well I’ll cope with that one.

As usual, it’s not all work though. I had a visit from a few friends at the weekend so I showed them the sights and shops of Manchester. They raided Afflecks Palace of practically everything that it has to offer, including Vanilla Coke which we paid the extortionate price of £1.35 for. The shopkeeper was a 9 year old boy however, so the novelty value went through the roof. For those who have never been to Manchester, Afflecks is a weird and wonderful place full of everything from posters, tattoos, piercings, clothes (of every colour and design you could ever think of) and of course, Vanilla Coke. It’s a student landmark in Manchester. I then showed my friends the nightlife and, considering they live in the tiny town of Ormskirk which has one club, they enjoyed being able to go to more than one place in a night.
That’s all for now, I’ll write again when I’m in the midst of the deadlines with the exams looming, hopefully not going too crazy from all the stress. Bye for now.

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Easter break

So the Easter holidays (or break, as the tutors would prefer us to call it) are upon us. We had a bit of work to hand in in the last week of term; an essay on either a book or a poem and, wisely, most people chose the 14 lines poem as opposed to the 120 page novel. It was only a 1000-word essay, but with it being poetry, we get to use lots of complex fancy words. With that handed in and a small class test done, we can start to unwind and enjoy a bit of time off. Most people seem to want to rush home from Manchester to see their families and so on, but with me not living too far away I’m not in such a rush. Instead, I’m working as much as possible, trying to build up the bank balance after the recent spending sprees. It’s not all work and no play, though. My friend from college came to stay for a couple of days so a few of us had our first barbecue of the year and then we went to watch Korn, an absolutely unbelievable show, such a strange mix of people in the crowd but everyone was mesmerised, one of the best gigs I’ve been to. It seems that most of these posts contain something to do with a gig of some sort, but that’s what I love about Manchester, there’s music everywhere you go, whether it’s my friend’s new band at the pub around the corner or someone as globally famous as Korn at the Academy. We loitered around the bar next to the gig, Big Hands, hoping for the band to show up like so many others have before, but we felt a little bit desperate so soon moved on.

Korn gig at the Academy

Korn at the Academy

I’m not staying in Manchester for the whole of Easter, though. I decided to grace my parents with my company for a week or so, 3 meals a day prepared for me, a nice clean house for a change, a nice pleasant week. I did abandon them for a day or so, though, to see my friend again, who has a lot of piercings and she’s slowly influencing me and so I ended up getting my nipple pierced! I’d never known nerves like it when I was in the waiting room, but it wasn’t too bad actually. Obviously a needle hurts but it was over pretty quickly and I managed not to faint, which is always a bonus. It feels a bit weird but I’m glad I’ve had it done.
About half way through the Easter break now, it’s time to start concentrating more on getting my work done. I’ve been doing little bits as I’ve been going along, but now I’ll have to knuckle down and get my assignments done and also prepare a 12 minute oral presentation in Italian. 12 minutes of me, on my own, talking and hopefully keeping people interested. A daunting prospect but I get to choose the topic so I should be able to cope. So that’s all for now, Happy Easter everyone and enjoy all your chocolate!

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Exams and festival plans

So the exam results are in! A massive relief all round I think. Whether people have done as well as they had hoped or not, it’s just good to know. I’m personally pleased but also know that I made a couple of silly mistakes so I could have done even better, but I’ll live and learn and pay more attention next time. It’s time for another change at university for me, too. I was taking a Russian language module but it wasn’t exactly going too well, so thankfully I’ve managed to change to a new module. I now do Reading Renaissance & Medieval Culture, bit of a mouthful, I know. It sounds fancy and it actually is. We spent the class last week working, and inevitably playing, on iPads on an app about Dante and his many, many extensive works (and believe me there are a lot). I do have quite a bit of catching up to do after missing the first couple of weeks but as long as I put the effort in I’ll be fine. All the other modules are going well, too. A couple of small assessments have been handed in and have gone well, so that adds 3-4% here and there to my overall grade, which is nice, taking the pressure off the summer exams a little bit. The longer, more important assessments are coming up soon, too, but we’re given plenty of warning and information about what we have to do so they should go quite smoothly, I hope.
I delayed writing this entry by a day so I include the drama and excitement of the Leeds Festival announcements. Arguably more tense than the football transfer deadline day, I’m sure many of you have spent the night infuriated at the crashing websites and painfully slow internet signal. After seeing a line-up that includes some of my favourite bands (and the number one favourite, Foo Fighters), I spent the next hour or so just staring at the payment screen, convincing myself that I wanted to pay a grand total of £211.50, once all the fees and delivery costs are added on, to sleep in a field for 4 days. In the end, the choice was clear, so I’d better get my wellies ready. My bank balance didn’t take too kindly to the costs, especially not when I want to go to another festival, too. But the next instalment of the student loans is due just after Easter so that can ease the blow somewhat. Oh, to be a student!

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