Monday, June 18, 2007

Exams all done

La la la.

Now I just have to write this Augustine essay and go to a party. Christine Franzen, who is lovely, is giving a party for her Old English students to celebrate the end of the exam. And she brought around apple and St Swithin's cream for good luck this morning before we all started.

I'm on the downhill slope gaining speed. :-)

(Oh, and pack for a work trip up to Auckland. To all the people in Auckland [waves], I'll be there for two and a half weeks from Wedensday evening, catching up would be cool.)

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Phone Is Dead. Long Live The Phone!

I am now in mobile communication again, having gone out to buy a replacement phone in my post exam celebration phase. It has a light. And takes photos. And will hopefully not forget what time it is anytime I should acidentally jar it, all of which are features which my old phone did not have. The shop assistant at Vodaphone was weird though. He had this thing about not meeting my eyes, and seemed in general not particularly interested in selling me anything. Seriously, ReptonInfinity who had come along with me did most of this guy's selling for him.

In other news, has anyone had the experience of studying really hard for an exam and then realising just before it starts that they ought to have been studying for a different exam entirely? I just have - I twigged halfway through yesterday that it wasn't Old English today, it was Latin. So Stupid! Argggh! And it isn't like people don't tell me these things anyway. In the aftermath, and despite the panic, I think I did OK. There were some bits that I didn't do as well as I'd wanted to, but I remembered a lot more of the course work than I was afraid I would. Phew. And now I'm well ahead in study for Old English on Monday. Now that's a relief.

Hang on, my new phone has just rung from the other room...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

RIP Phone

My cell phone has died. Or at least it's refusing to charge despite all my efforts, and it isn't a nice enough phone to worry about repairing. (And I never liked it much anyway.)

I'll get a new one, probably next week when I don't have exams over my head, in the meantime don't try to call me except on the landline.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Cold Enough To...

So on the weekend I went up to Rotorua with ReptonInfinity and a nice American chap called Sam who hitched along for the ride so that Repton and Sam could go to the Brass Monkey frisbee tournament. It turns out that Brass Monkey is for Repton what SF conventions and NAAMAs are for me - he goes every year, hangs out with the same group of people from all over the country (with some new additions), and they all have a bunch of traditions about what they do, like always going to the same Backpackers, and counting the seconds for a new person to figure out how the lock to the hot pool works.

On Saturday, the two of us were straight out tourists and went to visit a thermal area called Waimangu, which over a hundred years ago held the eighth natural wonder of the world, the Pink and White Terraces, and now has lots of cool landmarks and features left over from the explosion of Tarawera in 1886. What I thought coolest, (well not coolest literally) was the lake that looked like someone had dug out a footpath around it. In fact, they hadn't, but the lake fluctuated in water level a lot, and the silica rich water had built up the ledge just as high as its overflow level. Also, we found out the joys of off-season tourism - a 4km walk, and no-one in sight until we got to the boat jetty. Also we did gondolas and luges at the Skyline Skyrides place, which had nice views and whizzing around fast and that.

On Sunday, I started off as a proper groupie and watched Repton being a black ninja spider out on the field for a while on a Very Cold Day before losing groupie status and buggering off to a cafe to get warm and do some study. Yes, there are people that enjoy running around all day in the cold and wet, but I'm not one of them. I think it's highly relevant that all the players got a scarf with their registrations. Last year it was wooly socks and the year before beanies. Not a co-incidence. :-)

I think we all enjoyed ourselves...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

So there was this guy...

...called Sejanus. He did pretty well for himself, in 1st C AD terms, came from a poor family (with some decent breeding), was liked by his boss Tiberius (the emperor), got a lot of power and prestige, had it off with the emperor's daughter-in-law even. Good going for a small-town hick. Then it all went wrong and he crashed and burned. And everybody hated him then, if they hadn't hated him already, and lots of historians said really nasty things about him, especially a chap called Cornelius Tacitus.

Then the Middle Ages happened, and people pretty much forgot about Tacitus, and Sejanus, until some guy called Boccacio found an old manuscript and thought that old Cornelius was pretty cool. Soon, lots of people thought that Tacitus was pretty cool. Not Sejanus, though. They really really hated him. Lots. Even when they'd changed their minds from Tiberius being a shifty dissembler to being a cool and cunning planner, they still hated Sejanus. You could even go to prison for suggesting that someone, like perhaps the King of England's country-bred pretty-boy favourite, was just like Sejanus. Lots of hatred, and even more comments about the thunder of heaven's rage crashing down on those pesky social climbers. Sounds like a lot of rage. But hey, this is the Renaissance by now, and there's lots of political stuff going on that no-one can do anything about, maybe it makes people feel better to have a nice simple villain to rage at. And they can even point out how he died, horribly, so they can feel all righteous about the existing social order. Gosh.

2000 words, somewhat less eloquently expressed, all handed in. Yay! (I am such a hack.)

Another project to hand in tomorrow, another due in two weeks which I've...kind of started, and then all I have to worry about is exams. Phew. It's not so much that I'm on the downhill stretch as that I can see the top of the hill. To all the students who have made it to the end of the semester in somewhat better order: I hate you I hate you I hate you.* That's the favourite phrase of my Latin teacher. Clearly, I'm learning something here. :-)

(*) The fact that many of my woes are entirely self-inflicted is entirely beside the point.

EDITED TO ADD: The Old English project is now done and being printed. My, it's a wonderful view from the top of the hill...