All entries for February 2005

February 26, 2005

Insults, Sleep and Suits

Thursday night killed. I started to get really tired at about 5am so stopped doing work and played games on the computer until it was time to get ready for uni. I found it really hard to concentrate in French but thankfully it was more of a revision session than going over anything new. Algebra was awful as I couldn't see the board and just wanted to go to sleep so more or less did. After that I had to play my darts ladder match which I not so surprisingly lost … well if I am honest … I was absolutely caned.

I came straight home after that and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror … I looked like death so I decided that I would allow myself a little 1-hour nap which turned into a 3-hour nap. When I got up everyone in my house was getting ready to go out to Soul Nation. I asked Jenny if she was going, and she said yes, so I then asked what she was wearing and she said what she had on … oops!! She and Jen then started joking around about what I had said so I thought she was joking about what she was wearing so asked what are you really wearing and it turned out that she was going out with what she had on … I am such a fool sometimes but at least she doesn't take offense that easily. I then chilled for the rest of the night before going to bed at a decent hour. I don't particularly want to do an all-nighter again but at least this one was worth it as it has got my body-clock sorted out.

I haven't really done that much today except go for chinese with bowling people again. Afterwards, Emma and I popped into see Stu at River Islend. I was only intending to say hello but ended up walking out with a suit that for the "Maths Ball" I am going to tonight. Between him needing to reach his target of 4 suits and Emma saying I should have one for tonight I had to get one. Though, if I am honest, it will be used quite a bit over the rest of this academic year so will be worth it in the end. Anyway, best get ready for tonight!

February 25, 2005

Let the all nighter commence

So I ended up not getting any sleep last night again which meant I had another massive lie in this morning but thankfully my first lecture didn't start until 2 so I actually managed to get to it. It seems that this virus has messed up my sleep patterns something rotten so I am being forced to do an all-nighter to try and get it all sorted. I'll probably regret it tomorrow when I go into my 10am French lecture but by doing it I should also get a good bit of work done so will be worth it I feel.

I have finally got properly stuck into my essay. I was a bit worried that there wasn't much maths in it but I am slowly turning that round and what is even better: I am actually doing the maths all by myself and not copying it from the book (mainly cause it just gives solutions and not the working out). But I think this what they actually want you to do so hopefully mine won't be all that bad after all.

February 23, 2005

Getting better!

It's quite nice to be able to look at the computer now without having to squint and as a result getting a headache. I felt so so bad yesterday. I got virtually no sleep again so even though I woke up in time for my first lecture I was just so god dam tired and sore that I stayed in bed and therefore missed my first 2 lectures. I struggled in for the last lecture of the day, mainly cause I wanted to grab the notes that I had missed but if I really should have just stayed in bed. Going out into the cold just fucked me right up so by the time I got back I felt as if I was close to death. The rest of the day was spent in bed.

Again, I didn't get a great deal of sleep last night so missed my 2 lectures today. However, I was feeling a little better so I decided to go bowling cause I really needed to get out of the house and I have never missed a wednesday's bowling session since I joined the club. When I got to the Bar where we meet all my friends shouted at me for not being in bed and I knew they were right but I didn't really care.

My first few practice bowls hurt a lot as my muscles ached a little but once I got through them it didn't seem to bother me at all. I wasn't bowling brilliantly which wasn't that big a surprise but I still got some decent scores somehow and ended up with a 466 series. I don't really know what is going on but over the last couple of weeks I seem to have discovered how to control hook bowling. Anyway, despite having only 3 people in our team we managed to get a 3000+ handicapped team series and won our match 6–2 and more importantly topped our group in the team knock-out competition.

More surprisingly, going bowling has made me feel a lot better. I am guessing it cause I have actually gone out and done something. It is not all that pleasant a thought but whilst bowling I did seem to sweat the virus out of me! As a result I have managed to actually get some work done tonight which I am rather pleased about. I just hope I feel ok tomorrow so that I don't miss anymore lectures.

February 21, 2005

Stupid Flu!!

Blah!! I feel so much worse today than yesterday. I think it is the flu I have this time. I didn't get much sleep last night as I had the whole being cold one minute and then boiling hot the next. I gave up trying to sleep at about 2:30am and turned the TV on and watched some French football on Channel 4. I must have dozed off somewhere near the end of the match as the next thing I remember is having to get up for my morning lecture.

I hate mornings with the flu. All I have been doing is sneezing and coughing up all sorts of shit which was not pleasant at all. It didn't help that it was absolutely freezing as well so everytime I had to go outside I froze which can't be helping me at all. I really wished I could have stayed at home in bed but I can't really afford to miss anymore lectures so looks like I am just gonna have to battle through it.

Anyway, got home at about 7pm and just collapsed into bed. I really wanted to sleep but forced myself to stay awake as I really want a good night's sleep tonight. So watched some television. There was a really good programme on Channel 4 about "Freedom of Speech" and "Religion" but will talk about that in another post. Once that was over I forced myself to go and play darts for the pub team I play for. I would have stayed in bed but they really needed me as they wouldn't have had enough players and it was worth it in the end as I won my match and the team actually won its first match in good knows how long.

ill again!!

I am feeling ill again. It is really beginning to bug me that I seem to getting ill more often and for longer over the last few months. I am guessing it is because I haven't really being eating properly this academic year and am not doing any proper exercise. I am pretty sure that I have also put on a bit of weight which normally I would be happy about but not when it is all fat so I have decided to get myself back into shape so that I am less vulnerable to illnesses.

So I actually went for a proper food shop yesterday. Everything I bought was healthy and mostly fresh. I didn't quite realise though how much I bought till I got to the cashier and found out that I'd got £40 worth of shopping (though a fair amount of that came from toiletries and the food for the meal I was cooking for all my coursemates). I had 6 bags of shopping to carry home which was not much fun, especially as it was freezing so not only did I have the bags stopping the blood circulating in my fingers, they were going blue cause of really cold weather.

I was so glad when I got in and just dumped everything in the kitchen while I rested for a few minutes. I didn't quite realise how much it had taken out of me so when I got round to putting everything away I wasn't really focusing properly and ended up knocking over the kettle which Ellie had just boiled over the floor and me which wasn't much fun as I didn't have any socks of shoes on.

As a result I just chilled for a few hours till I was feeling a little but if I am honest I was really using it as an excuse so that I could procrastinate further from doing uni work. I don't really know what it is but I really find it hard to start doing uni work but once I do I can't stop myself and get loads done. I finally got started at about 8pm last night and worked solid for about 4–5 hours so I have more or less caught on the Algebra II module and think I understand a good bit of it now.

Woke up today feeling really rough. It seems like the cold weather yesterday hit me hard so I have had a really nasty cough all day. I could have done with a lie in but I had to go to Nuneaton to learn how to operate the bowling machines for the world record attempt. It was a complete waste of time and have no idea why we were made to it but suppose rules are rules.

Got back from that, grabbed some lunch and then had to dash off to campus to play my warwick uni darts championship quarter final match. I wasn't really up for playing giving I wasn't feeling too good but thought it was better to just get it out of the way. Needless to say I wasn't playing great and lost the first leg but then managed to win the next 5 to go 2 sets up and have a 1–0 lead in the second. Mark (my opponent) needed to win the next leg to stay in the match and it was at this point that almost everyone watching starting cheering him on everytime he threw, especially if he hit a good score but if I hot a good score than they said nothing. I know it wasn't anything personal against me, they just wanted to see a come back from Mark but given the nature of the event we are playing in I thought it was a little inappropriate. I was also starting to feel really weak from playing so many consecutive games so Mark went on to win that game and the next one to take it to 2–1 in sets. He then won the next leg to go 1–0 up in the fourth but somehow I managed to regain my composure and won the next 2 legs to win 3–1 overall. This means I have reached the semis of the tournament which was my aim to just hope that I am a lot better for my next match.

Once I got back from campus I had to start making dinner for all the maths gang. I decided to treat them all to my veggie chilli using Quorn mince and loads of vegetables. It's been a while since I cooked for so many people and I was a little bit worried that they may not like the Quorn mince but thankfully it all went ok. There was enough for everyone and they all seemed to enjoy which was good. The only downside is that Emma now thinks I should cook for us all the time when we live together next year :s

Almost once I had cleared everything away and done the washing up I had to go to play more darts in the Leamington singles thing I am part off. I was getting bored of it but it ain't so bad now and there is only 1 more week to go. The one thing I won't miss is all the smoke. No matter where I sit there is always at least one person smoking around me. It means I always come home smelling like a chimney and it certainly didn't help my throat today. Oh well, at least I won my 2 matches and manged to get away early.

February 19, 2005

Interesting programme on the feminist movement!

I have just watched a really interesting programme on TV about the feminist movement and how it has actually hindered older generation women. The basic concept of the programme was that the fight for gender equality over the last thirty years has seen some great achievements but the women who fought so hard for the improved equality now see themselves facing a different kind of injustice which is a direct result of their campaigning.

The show started off with an interview of a 48 year old woman who had a high profile PA job but was unfortunately made redundant. When she applied for other jobs in the same field she found herself being constantly rejected in favour of younger prettier girls despite her being more than qualified for the job. As a result she ended up having to settle for a lower paid, less qualified job in a supermarket so that she could pay the bills.

After this they did a little experiment where a load of business students had to choose who they thought was the best candidate for a job between 8 different, youngish women with similar experience and a ninth with a little more experience but aged 53. Rather surprisingly the 53 year old woman was almost instantly rejected by everyone, despite her experience, simply cause of her age.

The feminist movement has achieved a lot over the last thirty years and has helped women get more out of life than they would have done 10, 20 … 50 years a go. It has given young girls the self belief that they should be equal among men, and rightly so. However, the movement has been a disaster for middle-aged women. The equal status for women only seems to be working for the younger generations. The movement has also caused the attitude of young girls to change from dolls, ponies, and so on to make-up, looks, boys etc.

This has seen a dramatic increase in the cosmetic and plastic surgery industry as it appears that to get somewhere as a woman you have to be slim, pretty, good-looking etc. The scary thing is that girls as young as 11 start to think about plastic surgery as they think it is more important to be pretty than to be a nice person with a good education. Even more surprising was that while young girls look up to women who are pretty, young boys look up to older men who have skills (of any kind) rather than their actual appearance.

I do think it is quite strange that this is happened and I think it goes back to what I said when I got involved in the big "gay movement" debate a good few months back. No one can take away the immediate benefits of all the major equality movements of the past and present but there comes a point when you have to be more careful with what you do because you can come to a point where you create a different kind of inequality that could be that little bit harder to get rid off.

February 18, 2005

Socs Day update

So yeah, The societies day was great. It started with me helping out in the running of the bullseye competition that darts was doing. Despite being stuck in the Graduate it was a much better success than the last time we attempted it though it did take several attempts to get rid of all the prizes as all the darts people were playing badly :s

After that I had to man the Society Federation stall for about 2 hours. It was the most boring, mind-numbing thing ever and it didn't help that I was the only one on it and had a busting headache and no ibuprofen. Thankfully it eventually went away on it's on accord so I went to the "Animal testing: Where to draw the line debate?" It wasn't really all that good as it was simply filled with a few people from thte bio-medical department and some animal rights activists so there wasn't actually any real debating going on so I had a go at them all for being narrow-minded and not being prepared to at least entertain the other sides idea so that we could have a proper debate on the topic.

I left the debate early as it was getting boring and also had to go back to the Union and set it up for the Awards Party. It was really hectic getting everything put in place and looked as if we would not be completely finished by the time we were supposed to start but thankfully all the sabbs helped out and we got there in the end. The night started off quite slow as not everyone arrived at the start meaning that it was hard for the Brass Band to make much of an impact but everything picked up by the time Street Vibes were performing. The committee were able to chill for a while which was nice. We were generally sat together with the sabbs which I found a little weird socialising with them despite doing it a lot when they were being trained over the summer.

We were meant to give out the awards at 10:30 but as the Big Band were playing some great stuff we let them continue on for an extra 30–45 minutes. They were absolutely amazing and I think highlights why I like being involved with the wide variety of societies that Warwick has to offer. We rattled through the awards quite quickly so that everyone could get back to enjoying themselves asap. The winners were:

Best Society: Photo Soc
Best New Society: Table Football
Most Improved: Codpiece Theatre
Best Social: Chinese Society
Best Non-Social: MORSE

I think the whole night was a major success and much better than last year's Societies Week. Lets just hope that next year's is as good.

February 16, 2005

Working chris :)

I didn't really get off to a good start today as I managed to stay in bed so that I missed both my morning lectures. As a result I made a huge effort to get into the last one of the day but the dam bus went through Kenilworth meaning that I was late so there was no point on going to it. However, I was a good child and went to the library instead where I started sorting out my Algebra II notes. As I went through them I slowly began to understand some of the concepts which makes me feel a little bit happier about getting something out of this year. I just have to make sure that I keep putting the effort in.

Once the lecture was supposed to be over I got all the notes that I missed off Katie and went back to the library and got them all copied up. I think I will have to go over the Differentiation ones again as it is a little complicated but the Intro to mathematical biology ones were easy to understand. I am really loving that course as we are two weeks in and I am still following it easily (I am even pre-empting some of the stuff in it).

I stayed in the library for a good few hours before coming home. Once I did I sorted out my room and did a load of washing. I even got round to cooking for myself (the 1st time in about 3 weeks); I had the best pizza ever. And after that I did more work … I just hope it all continues :)

Hectic weekend, failing my degree!

It's been another hectic weekend. It's weird that I have stopped working in Yates', yet still find myself far too busy to do any work.


Friday started off badly with my test on Metric Spaces at 9am. I was nearly late for it but thankfully just made it in on time. However, it would have been better if I just didn't turn up as I could only answer one question which happened to be the one that wasn't marked … ggrrr. After that I had french, but the teacher forgot to tell us that she wouldn't be able to make it so we were left sat there for a while before someone told us that she left us work to do. I didn't get through it all because of the not knowing at first which means I have more to do this week.

I got home with intentions of doing some work but ended up playing a load of games on Yahoo which meant I got bugger all done. I was supposed to go into work on Friday night but could not be arsed as it was my last shift so ended up going round to Emma's as she was ill and I hadn't seen her in a few days. WE just sat about and watched TV which was really nice.

~~Saturday and Sunday~~

I had the BUSA ten-pin bowling tournament over the weekend. I was very worried about it as I hadn't been bowling well recently and this was a scratch event representing the uni so I didn't have my handicap to fall back on.

We had a 2-hour coach journey up to Nottingham which flew by in no time (ever since I flew and travelled around Australia, a 2–4 car/coach journey feels like nothing). When we got there I was given the choice of whether I wanted to bowl in the 1st, 2nd, or 4th set of games. Rather stupidly I choose the first as I wanted to see Emma bowl and didn't want to wait until the end. That turned out to be a big mistake as Ben and I were the only people bowling so had a good few people watching us and the lanes were extremely wet meaning I found it hard to get any hook. I was terrible and could not hit the head pin to save my life so ended up with a 374 series which I was extremely annoted about. The only real good point of the day was that the C team (which I was in) were beating our B team and the ladies were winning their section.

We had to get up at 5am on Sunday to make sure that we got back up to Nottingham in time for the start of bowling. I was not all that happy about that but I seemed to waken up relatively quickly which was good. I managed to convince Laura to not put me in the 1st round of matches which meant when I bowled some oil had been taken off the lanes. That meant I was getting a good bit of hook on my ball which for the first time in ages I was able to control. I didn't miss the head pin at all in my first 3 games, though I did have a lot of trouble sparing up but thankfully was getting a good few strikes to make up for it. I ended up getting a 116, 146 and 189 to get a 451 series which I was extremely pleased with.

Afterwards my first set of games, myself and a few others decided to go into Nottingham's town centre to get some lunch. We went into a Yates' and I have to say that Nottingham's Yates' is so much nicer than the one in Leamington. It had much better decor, better furniture, the food was served better … everything about was great. On the way back I was beginning to get a little worried about my next set of games as the lanes had been re-oiled which meant I may not get much hook on the ball but that was not the case at all. I started off with a 153, then a 185 meaning I just needed a 162 for a 500 series. I wasn't really thinking about it at the time but I managed to close the first 5 frames when James mentioned it to me. I kinda slipped up after that and just couldn't get any spares on the right hand side of the lane and I was getting too much hook on the ball so ended up with a 159 game which I was still happy about but a little annoyed at just missing out on the 500 series. Oh well!

I am not really sure why everything went right on the Sunday but am pleased it did as I needed the confidence boost. I don't wanna say I had luck on my side as I think it was more the absence of bad luck that seems to have plagued me this season (ask any of my team mates and they'll tell you how bad it has been). I just hope that I can transfer it over to wednesday league bowling. I am not expecting to get close to 500 every week but just start pushing my average up would be nice.

~~Failing my Degree~~

As I was so shattered from the weekends bowling I slept right through my alarms meaning I missed my first 2 lectures. When I finally did get in I realised how bad I did in the Metric Spaces test and how close I am to failing this year. I managed a whole big 1 out of 25 in the test and handed in an assignment with only question done.

The only good thing that I think has come out of today is that I now realise that I really need to get my ass into motion and sort this mess out. If I work hard enough over the next few weeks and over easter, with a bit of luck, I can pull it all back. fingers crossed

February 11, 2005

Can you buy happiness?

posted on livejournal in april '04

I was browsing some philosophy site last night and came across a philosopher called Epicurus. I had heard of him before but as most of the philosophy that I have been looking at recently is from the modern era I hadn't really had much chance to look at his ideas in any great depth. His philosophy was mainly about how we achieve happiness in our lives. He didn't believe that material objects can bring you much happiness but true happiness was achieved if you had the following:

1. Friendship: Epicurus says that 'Before you eat or drink anything, carefully consider who you eat and drink with rather than what you eat or drink: for feeding without a friend is the life of a lion of a wolf'

This is a little extreme but I think what he is trying to say is that it doesn't matter if we have all the worldly goods we want, if we have no one to share them with then what's the point. And conversely, if we have little it doesn't really matter as long as we have someone to share what little we have with, then we can be happy.

2. Freedom: For this he says that 'We should free ourselves from the prison of everyday affairs and politics'

By doing this, the simple life you would lead does not affect you or friends status because by distancing yourself from the commercial world you cease to judge yourself on a material basis. By living this way you have nothing to prove.

3. Thought: By thinking about a problem that one may have, we are able to find its essential aspects emerge. Once we know these aspects then we can remove the problem or the secondary, aggravating characteristics.

Given that Epicurus in 341BC I thought this was a rather interesting way of thinking considering the emphasis put on material possessions in today's society. To a certain extend I believe that this Epicurean way of thinking about achieving happiness is more relevant today than in his era. But this would mean that a lot of the developed world are unhappy, most of the people in the developed world think that having beauty treatments, going on nights out, buying themselves that fancy house will make them happy. Often it doesn't, I wouldn't be all that surprised if they did lack one of the three properties of Epicurus' philosophy (most likely the freedom one).

I suppose this could mean that the only way to be happy in Epicurus' eyes would be to live in a commune and more or less be self-sufficient and give up your job. You would be among friends, have nothing to prove to anyone and have all the time to think that you desire. This does seem a bit rash and I am sure that people can live happy lives without being as strict as Epicurus was, I think we just have to not be worried about being judged and not feel the need to give in to the social pressures of having all the material things that we are expected to have. To a certain extend I feel that the saying 'Being a student is the best days of your lives' because generally students have all an equal status, and they are not as worried about material things compared to when they were a teenager and after they graduate. And they are more accepting (don't look down at those who have little) and hence live a more happy life then. Just a pity it only lasts for three years!!

February 2005

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