This Summer

In response to my tiny little sister saying 'Ughhh, Becca, I look on your blog everyday and you haven't posted anything since May', I feel that I should probably post something (and considering it's now September, it only makes sense that this post should be a long-winded review of summer). 

Since I last posted - in April, not May - I have finished my undergraduate degree, started an internship, started a part-time job, graduated from university, turned 21, visited the Harry Potter Studios, been accepted on to a Masters course, and barely slept... 

I'll begin where I left off, and where I left off was 'I'll be handing in 14,500 words of work', which I did. My dissertation was titled The Representation of Women in Female Indian English Literature, which sounds quite specific and academic, but the highest mark I got in third year was a language analysis of Legally Blonde and Clueless - so there you go. As far as the whole leaving uni thing goes, it was quite a painless experience. Having spent my second year in a different country, I didn't have too many friends at uni (cue sad music) and Ormskirk isn't the most exciting town to live in. I do miss Edge Hill campus though, and the surrounding countryside. I graduated with a 2:1 in English, so I'm very happy with that. Graduation was a bit of a strange, sweaty day - it was the height of summer and everywhere was full of people wearing thick black gowns. In celebration of that, here's a picture of me and my sister being hilarious in the photobooth...

Because I graduated with a 2:1, I managed to get a place on the MA Postcolonial Literatures and Cultures course at the University of Manchester. It's a bit daunting because I've never really been to a proper city campus uni before - but I'm sure it'll be fine. I'm very excited to start classes as they all sound really interesting (the best thing about being a Masters student is that it's just assumed that you're a bit of a geek anyway). I'll be starting there in about two weeks, so expect lots of posts about that.

For the most part, I've spent my summer holidays working. I began an internship at The Reader at the end of May, and it's been great. My role within the organisation isn't specifically fixed (I'm the Arts Admin intern) and so I've been doing a lot of work for a lot of different people, I've just started volunteer training, and I've obviously managed to worm my way into writing for the blog. The organisation focuses on weekly reading groups in both community settings (in libraries, for example), but also within criminal justice settings, with older people and those living with dementia, and in schools. You can find out how beneficial the groups are here. I also work at a supermarket, but that's a different story for a different day.

For my sister's birthday (although I'm pretty sure I was more excited than her), we went to the Harry Potter Studio Tour, which is just outside of London. The tour is in Leavesden Studios where the films were filmed, and a lot of the props and sets created for the film have been made available for the public to view. If you know anything about me, you'll know Harry Potter is my thing (everyone has a favourite series like this) so obviously I had a great day and I'd recommend it to anyone. Although the Butterbeer isn't as good as the frozen stuff at the Orlando park - just sayin'.  

For the most part, I have spent my summer lamenting the fact I wasn't able to see my friends (I needed money to see them, but I had to work to earn the money), sleeping on trains, and quietly rejoicing about the fact I've become an early riser.

I promise there'll be more posts soon. I just have to make the time to write them. 


Don't Judge Me...

It's a Tuesday afternoon and I'm ignoring all of my uni work and I'm browsing BuzzFeed (naturally), and then I discovered this. I'm not normally one for soppy videos, but if you were wondering what a year abroad is actually like, this is a pretty good representation of one:

Hope you enjoy!


3 Months Later...

It would appear that I said I'd write another post about my 'overall Erasmus experience', but I think we can all see that I didn't. And to be perfectly honest, it's been so long since I got back that all I can remember is eating excessive amounts, barely any rain, lots of sun, swimming, incredibly cheap rent which included bills, and complaining about my workload which is absolutely nothing on this year (did someone say dissertation...?). Put simply, take me back right now.

I instagrammed a picture of me working but I took it at this angle
and put a filter on it because I'm moody and deep.

I don't really know what to say here. I was expecting to continue writing about university and its differences with Spain (and of course there are a few) but it's blindingly obvious that I haven't. So... I think I might as well start now. 3 months late... At least I'm consistent in my terrible time management skills.

My Year Abroad Grades:
I think I just about scraped a 2:1. The end of year marks aren't averaged out into a grade in second year, but you can all go away if you think I'm showing the actual awful grades I did get, however, if you average the marks out, I think I get about 59.8/100, which, when rounded up, is just a 2:1. And I'm accepting that. I don't know how I'm doing this year as yet, although I'm desperately hoping it's slightly more than a 59.

What are you studying now?
I'm studying the Victorian Poetry and Culture and Imperialism modules this year. I'm equally writing a dissertation on South Asian women in literature. To be honest, I'm actually meant to be writing an essay right now for Victorian Poetry...

Has your time in Zaragoza influenced your work in England?
Definitely. I wouldn't be studying Culture and Imperialism or be writing my dissertation on the subject I've chosen if it wasn't because of Otras Literaturas at Zaragoza - I'd never studied literatures from other countries before that, and it was almost an overview of the most prominent postcolonial literature (from India, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand) and the various reasons behind it. It gave a really good springboard to learn more about the colonial process and its outcomes. Equally, I actively didn't choose the Modernism module because there's only so much Modernist writing that a person can study in their lives. Not again. Never again.

How does Zaragoza compare to England?
Ormskirk is cold and rainy; Zaragoza is cold. I can't pop to various Spanish cities for a weekend without paying an arm and a leg anymore (I don't think you can understand how badly I want to just go somewhere - my year abroad's given me a terrible wanderlust). Rent is extortionate in England: I'm paying more for my room here than I did in Zaragoza - which is smaller and the building is a lot less pretty - and then on top of that, I have to pay bills. Brilliant. If we can just put Edge Hill in the centre of Zaragoza, then my life would be so much easier.

Anyway, I'll be trying to keep posting regularly (regularly definitely translates to intermittently in this case) however I won't give a specific timeframe as, let's face it, this has happened this time. If anyone has any other questions, feel free to harass me over the internet.
Let's do this again soon though, yeah?