29 · non-binary (they/them) · neurodiverse · spoonie · queer femme · NSO & trainee zebra · polyamorous · burned-out activist · geek.

♥ coffee ♥ roller derby ♥ photography ♥ knitting ♥ exploring ♥ creating ♥

Feb. 5th, 2015 07:47 pm


tajasel: Katie, with a purple wig on. (Default)
Today I feel like I have small people trying to escape from inside my skull by battering their way out via my sinus cavities. Enforced night off with comfort food and Netflix, so I feel human enough to do first aid at elbow tomorrow night, cos, y'know, elbow. However, I occasionally have weird dreams when I'm sick, and last night was no exception.

I had a lucid dream that I'd overslept, despite my friend Josie (whose sofa I was crashing on) agreeing to wake me before she went to work; dream!Katie realised that she wouldn't do that because she's too excellent… and then I woke up anyway. At 04:30. Thanks, brain.

Then, after Josie had woken me at the more appropriate time of 6am, I dozed on the sofa whilst she ate her breakfast, and dreamed that I was trying to revive the expired parrot from Monty Python with cough syrup, and John Cleese was looking at me like I was crazy.

Ugh. Fingers crossed for feeling better before goodbye celebrations occur this weekend: 9 days to Finland!
tajasel: Katie, with a purple wig on. (Default)
Quote to sum up my most fun conversation today: "He only died once!"

(As much as I would love it if my stepdad had come back to life since 2008, it's just not scientifically possible. You'd think seeing the death certificate once would be enough though…)
tajasel: Katie, with a purple wig on. (Default)
I briefly mentioned about six weeks ago that I'd successfully applied to go and study in the Netherlands next year. Two weeks ago, I learned that the university I was meant to be going to hadn't signed their agreement and that people were "looking into alternatives". I got talking to a lecturer about this, who told me that she'd been working with the school of nursing at a different university elsewhere in the Netherlands; I mentally filed the information, and decided not to worry about it until I had opportunity to tell the international exchange lead lecturer (who conveniently happens to be my personal tutor) when I saw her earlier this week, and she said she would investigate.

This morning, I went into university for a meeting with her and the other international exchange students, and the other students all said things like "I feel like I haven't done enough preparation; all I've done is x, y, and z".
Of course, I have done precisely none of the things they've done, since I can't even complete the first step that is applying to my university for the travel grant, since they want to know where I'll be going… and I have no idea!

When the international lead reached me, she asked where else I might like to go, and I misunderstood, waffled a bit about the other university I'd mentioned earlier in the week (Maastricht) - and she did say that she would look into it, but since there isn't an existing agreement between the two universities for students to travel, as far as we can tell at the moment, that could take… a long time. Enough time that the small window in which train tickets are the cheapest they possibly can be may well have passed before it gets sorted out.

And then she re-phrased the question:

"We're talking worst case scenarios. Are there any other places on the list you'd consider?"

…by which she meant going to a different country altogether.

So now I am at home, where I have narrowed down the list of options to "Northern European countries" (because Spain and Cyprus = hot, and I do not like hot) that are funded by the Erasmus scheme (Slovakia was on the list, but is self-funded) and so I am poring over the options that are left:
  • Västerås, Eskilstuna and Linköping in Sweden
  • Fulda in Germany
  • Tampere in Finland

When I first did this, I kept going "Hmmm, Germany looks interesting… but the Netherlands!" and "Oooh, I think I'd really enjoy living in Finland… but the Netherlands!" and "Sweden is beautiful… but the Netherlands!" … so, well, I applied to go to the Netherlands. But now that that may be out of the picture, I'm more seriously considering them as realistic options, and… I just want to go to all of them.

If I stick with my "somewhere I can get to by Eurostar" plan that I uttered in the meeting this morning, then Germany is the only sensible choice. But it's still 8 hours on a train, and I'm not sure I would actually prefer to go to Germany compared to Finland or Sweden. I mean, I can't get to either of them on a train, realistically, and I don't really like the idea of flying short distances… but when travelling by train involves more than 6 changes and a journey time spanning multiple days… I'm not sure it counts as "short distance" anymore!

(Another concern is being visitable by a few important people from home, and whilst that is important to me, and to my mental health… all the places on offer are reasonably easy to travel to (or they wouldn't be offered) and that's got to be secondary to things like whether I want to live there for three months, and if they offer the sort of placement experience I'm after.)

On the plus side, I only have to choose between three countries… I can attempt to choose between the Swedish cities if I need to later… but I am really not good at decisions.

Also on my to-do list for today: bake cookies.

Hmm. Coooookies.

Update: made experimental gluten-free peanut butter cookies. They TAAAASTY.
tajasel: Katie, with a purple wig on. (Default)
Good bit of having a seen exam: I get to see questions in advance.
Bad bit of having a seen exam: the questions.

(Well, not the questions, because I know what I want my answers to be - it's just remembering those answers...)

The questions were released at 10am on Friday, I got to see them at 11am. By 11:35, I was on a train to the library to acquire books.

At 12:10, as I walked up to the library, I realised that because I am a total ADHD-brained spoon, my wallet, containing the student card that gains me access to the library, and permission to remove books from the building, was at home on the kitchen table.
By 12:30, my distinctive rainbow coloured hat had gained me access to the building, and agreement that I could leave any books I wanted in a locker for a few hours, whilst I went home again to get my card.

After a few hours of revision, at 15:30, I went to put the books in a locker and discovered I needed a £1 coin to do so. I had a £1 coin... in my wallet. On the kitchen table at home.

I managed to persuade a friendly librarian to leave the books behind the counter for me to pick up:
Librarian: "But you're asking to hide books from other students so that they can't borrow them. I can't let you do that."
Me:"If I had my library card with me, I'd be hiding them IN MY HOUSE and they wouldn't be able to borrow them then."
Librarian:"Oh, I suppose you're right..."

I returned home, with books, at 18:00, had dinner, and revised for another couple of hours before going to bed. At 05:30, I was up again, so that I could be on the 06:35 train to uni and get into the library. Strangely enough, a university campus is like the zombie apocalypse at 7am on Saturday morning. I had the entire three floors of the library to myself, except for the snoozing security guard.

Got home again at 08:45, did another couple of hours revision at home, had brunch at 11, went to work at 12, got home at 20:50, reheated Friday night's leftovers for dinner, did more revision.

...woke up drooling into a textbook at 09:30 this morning, because the cat was trying to eat my foot.

No, really.

Fed the cat actual cat food, did more revision. Still feel like I'm remembering nothing.

I should probably take a break sometime soon. Lunch might be a good idea.
tajasel: Katie, with a purple wig on. (Default)
Favourite moment of university so far is my anatomy lecturer's scathing criticism of vampires seen on a TV documentary:
"These self-described vampires, they use anti-clotting agents when they phlebotomise their mates, so that they don't end up like flat-cap wearing Lancashire blokes chowing down on a black pudding... the mix of intelligence and sheer stupidity is astounding."

Student life continues to be excellent. The workload is intense but manageable, I'm maintaining a social life both in and out of uni, and I'm utterly knackered but still very excited.

Tomorrow I find out where my first placement will be, which means that although I'm on a self-directed study day, I will probably be awake at an ungodly hour so that I can type up last week's lecture notes continuously hit refresh on the Blackboard site.

Mar. 18th, 2013 06:21 pm


tajasel: Katie, with a purple wig on. (Default)
So, I found out today that Salford received 783 applications to the mental health branch this year, and they only conducted 150 interviews. Of the candidates interviewed, 60 students got a place. I'm one of 8% of applicants to be studying this course this year.

I feel pretty fucking awesome right now.

PS, being a nursing student is ace!
Jan. 24th, 2013 11:16 am


tajasel: Katie, with a purple wig on. (Default)
My application to study BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing at University of Salford has been accepted, subject to producing original GCSE and degree certificates, usual health and police checks and the NHS bursary. I start on March 18th.

tajasel: Katie, with a purple wig on. (Default)
I am now a graduate of the University of Derby with a BA in Photography :)

We ordered a DVD of the ceremony, with a close-up of every graduate, so the moment that I got confused about which group of graduands I was supposed to go up on stage with, leaving me running across the stage with barely enough time to shake the Chancellor's hand, is immortalised on film and I will never live it down. Oops :)

In other news, I had this video stuck in my head throughout the ceremony, and I feel the need to share it with you all.