Sunday, 24 November 2013

The Confessions Of Lecture Dynamics...

You get 3 types of students.
1. The student that attends every lecture (The Full Timer)
2. The student that attends most lectures until it slowly gets to the end of term or an upcoming deadline, in which they then take a optional approach (The Part Timer)
3. That Student you don't see until finals in your third year. (The Absentee)



From the perspective of the lecturer, they most likely look across the lecture hall for an hour, book bashing their latest edition of made up theories whilst inside despise the invention of the mobile phone, tablet device and Facebook as they fully well know no one is really listening. This kind of environment you can find in any lecture, in any university, in any part of the world.

Yet to the students, it's a whole different story.

The Dynamics.
Where you sit in a lecture all varies on what type of student you are. Lets start with the full timer. The full timer seeks comfort in the front rows, leaving enough space between them and the rest of the student population therefore to avoid any shrapnel incidences as they quickly erode their pen and paper in fast paced note taking.

The part timer you tend find in the middle of the lecture hall, sat on their iPad and iPhone, flicking through last nights club photos on Facebook assessing who went home with who and who is stalking who. They vaguely take notes but don't stress too much as they know they can catch the lecture slides online. This is the type of student you wouldn't find at a 9am nor a 5am. The part timer occasionally walks in late and has no choice but to sit on the front row, deeply shamed in an ocean of red as the lecturer shoots daggers from the podium.



High up in the gods, right in the far back, so far it's almost dark, you will find the occasional group of Absentees. You don't make eye contact nor do you attempt to look cool to fit in with them. You'll only fail. In the rare appearances that they do make it to lectures, and when I say rare I mean the day you see an absentee in a lecture you know you're in your third year about to hit exams, they tend to be the ones that will actually address the stunned lecturer with an extremely intellectual and philosophical point. The rest of the student population internally die, knowing all those hours put into attending lectures could never generate a statement as flawless as that.

Rules to bare in mind before you enter a lecture hall as follows:

  1. Always check the room is empty before you walk in. Nothing says 'stupid' like opening a lecture hall door to see a room with 300 economics students staring back at you.
  2. Always check you've walked into the right lecture. Nothing says 'ground swallow me up whole' as you settle into your spot on a seat only to realise this isn't 'Introduction to the Hsitory of Art' and is in fact 'Advanced Social Theory'. You quickly scarper only to be followed by a full lecture hall of laughter. 
  3. This ones for the ladies - If you have been to the toilet before you enter a lecture, ALWAYS check your skirt isn't tucked into your tights. Heaven knows, you don't need an audience for that endurance.
  4. This one is for all you social networkers - At least TRY to make it subtle that your sat tweeting or 'poking' your mate who's sat three seats up. No one naturally stares at their crotch for two minutes only to glance across the lecture hall and give a cheeky smile. That's a thought none of us need in our heads.
  5. Don't be a know it all. No one likes that guy who puts his hand up and tries to disprove the point the lecturer has just made. Just because you've spent one term studying 'An introduction to Philosophy' doesn't mean you know more then your lecturer who has been in the profession for over twenty years. That's just embarrassing. 

Stick to these rules and remember these dynamics and you'll be just fine. Oh and one last one, no matter how hard you tried to cover it, your lecturer will always spot who went out last night and who didn't. So at least have the common courtesy to not show up to the lecture in stead of sitting there, front row (Yes you were late as you overslept) yawning with a 'I love Vodka Tuesdays' stamped across your forehead making it obvious you really don't want to be there.

It's a jungle out there in the world of academia ;) 



L.Bel xoxo
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Thursday, 21 November 2013

The Great British Class Education Divide

As a Sociology student I find studying class division extremely interesting and well, lets face it, without class there would be no Karl Marx and no Sociology. Putting that point aside, no matter how hard you try to deny it, the study of social class is extremely relevant in today's society, especially when it comes the education system.

Before I go on to the main topic of my post, I'll give you a bit of a background from my world. Firstly, I gained my GCSEs from a state run comprehensive school. I had the choice to go to private school but quite frankly, didn't see the point. I was more concerned with where my friends were heading and my own convenience. I gained my A Levels at a college, which personally I felt was one of the best experiences of my life. Now I attend the University Of York and I am currently in my final year. Overall I feel like I have had the best education I could possibly want.

I didn't realize 'class' was an issue within schools until I began to study sociology and A level. I didn't think 'class' played a role in your position at university or your background. Well, that was until I attended university. It wasn't my course that highlighted my naivety nor was it university itself, it was my fellow peers. I hold no judgement on what school you went to, what fees you paid or even what colour your uniform was. However I found myself sucked into conversations with flatmates and course mates about what schools they attended, how high up in the league tables they were and how much they paid each term. There were even discussions of what universities people had applied to with one of my flatmates making a snide remark about myself getting an offer from Durham. Quite frankly I could not care less yet a large population of students seemed to feel the need to express their educational history. I then began to notice things more intently. The attitudes, behavior and even beliefs of surrounding students. For example, if I disapproved of the certain laddish behavior of a particular club/society, in my head I began placing it down to their particular 'rich boys' upbringing as did many around me. If I found someone condescending towards me I would judge them on their sheltered private school education. I had gone from 10 years of not caring to suddenly, and wrongly, judging people based on their background.



All of which leads us to this weeks current headline on campus. It has become such an outrage that it has reached national headlines. A small group of students painted themselves black for a costume event in order to impersonate characters from the popular 80s movie 'Cool Runnings'. They then proceeded to cause over £2000 of damage on campus property during a drunken rampage. What caused most outrage was the later reference in one of York universities student run newspapers as 'Eton Mess' 'Old Etonian' and 'Public School boys' as a label when discussing the deviants (You can read the article here). Readers were more disgusted with the reference to the boys educational backgrounds then to the actual deviant acts committed. Similarly, British tabloid papers such as the Daily Mail also often criticize students by rooting the cause back to their 'public school' background such as Oxford students and Eton alumni.



In my eyes, the focus on class is an archaic approach and sets us as a society in a backwards way of thinking.  Why are we not focusing on the actual criminal acts committed and the offence caused to surrounding students? In my eyes, we strive so hard to reduce inequality in schools and higher education yet we are the ones reproducing this labeling. I can't quite get my head around it. Obviously this isn't the sole cause of inequality, for example the constant need to rise university fees is another stupid move by this country. If our focus is on improving social mobility then sometimes I feel we're going the wrong way about it.

I want to hear your thoughts on this whole issue and whether you have faced any experiences in this area.

Well, look at me writing a semi serious and almost valid blog post. How did I do?.....Okay I'll just stick to writing about falling over and embarrassing myself in public like usual, in the future.

Thanks for reading!

L.Bel xoxo
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Monday, 18 November 2013

Turning 21...Does this mean I have to grow up now?

No seriously, do I?

So I turned 21 last week, no big deal. No I lie it was a massive day, you should have all stopped in your tracks and celebrated the day I entered the planet with great big crash and a bang. In all seriousness, I had a lovely day, I was spoilt with lots of presents, my creative housemates made me a Tiffanys cake and I went out for drinks and a meal where I received lots of free alcohol. I couldn't have asked for a better day.



Now before you ask, no I don't feel any older. If I'm honest I just feel like I'm having a quarter life crisis. I have no confirmed future, I have no money and at the moment it feels as though my degree is going down the potty. Apart from that, It's all good. I thought I'd weigh up the pros and cons of turning 21 and if anyone has anything to add, I'd like to hear it!

Cons:

  • You're old. Like this is the last birthday where it's okay to  be treated like a kid. Next year I'm 22 and the only good thing about that is I can actually sing Taylor Swifts '22' and mean it.
  • Everyone expects you to be married and preggers by 23. Like seriously. I can see my Christmas being spent explaining why I'm not engaged yet. Ouch.
  • Your next big special birthday is 30. *runs for the hills*
  • I'm getting ID'd less. Am I aging already?!
  • It's the last year I can use 'Woops!..oh well, I'm just a kid!' exscuse. I don't think 'Woops...but I'm just a twentysomething...my bad!'
Pros:
  • I can legally go everywhere. All those places that are for some weird reason 21 and over are now my places. Mommy I'm a big girl now.

  • It's actually expected of me to start wearing Bridget Jones big knickers. And I'm totally cool with that.
  • Adult clothes are fun.
  • It's acceptable for me to be in bed by 8 in my PJs and brew. I'm totally cool with that as well.
  • 21 sounds hip and young.
  • I'm old enough to date a member of Busted, Johnny Depp, Ryan Gosling and Ian Somerhalder

  •  without it sounding weird. Just waiting for my phone call anytime soon now...
  • I can legally drink in the USA...(only 3 months too late).
  • I'm a young independent women and I don't need no man to make my own way in the world, dayum straight....although I wouldn't say no to a wealthy business man....
  • I'm still young - snaps for me!
Sorry this blog has been  short one and I aplogise for my lack of blogging recently. I'm mostly asleep by 8 I'm so tired and busy! Third year is hard! On another more exciting note, myself and housemates have booked a mini break to London in December and 'The Grumpy Waittress' and myself are hoping to pop in and meet the famous glipho lot! Hopefully all will go to plan! I feel like I'll be meeting celebrities! *giggles*

I'll try and get my arse in gear with the blogging shinding

Thanks for sticking around!

L.Bel xoxo



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Saturday, 2 November 2013

Life Forgot To Come With Instructions...



Hello there fellow bloggers,

I have to apologise on my behalf of being so poor on the blogging front of recent. Unfortunately due to a heavy workload from uni, job hunting pressure and circumstances in my personal life, I have hit a wall. If I'm really honest, life at the moment is a bit crap as is my mood on a continuous basis. It's effecting me in so many ways and I have become quite disengaged with the world around me. I'm dealing with a loss as well as academic stress in which are stopping me from going through each day like I normally would. I wont go deeper because I wouldn't want to burden you all on such a cosy autumn afternoon. I just wanted to let you know that I may not be blogging for while with so much on my plate. Lets face it, life doesn't come with instructions and so I have to work my way out this one by myself with the help of close friends and family.

So as this post holds no direction I thought I could at least give you an update on what I've been up to and maybe a little giggle.

Now unless you live under a rock, you know we've just had Halloween. In the words of Mean Girls

'In the regular world, Halloween is when children dress up in costumes and beg for candy. In Girl World, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.'

My housemates and myself decided that this was possibly the last Halloween where we can dress up in outfits that would cause our mothers to question our future career aspirations and just get silly. So in true Mean Girl form, we donned the animal ears, the fluffy tails, the short shorts and hit the town. Unfortunately for me and my current circumstances, I could no longer hold my drink. Therefore after 3 slightly large Gin and Tonics, I lost my balance and adapted to a walking style of a baby giraffe. I often hold dignity in my pride....Halloween was not that day.




Not that there was anyone out there to impress...or maybe there was.....well lets just say after face planting the streets of York on numerous occasions throughout the night, there would be no romance for me in the air any time soon.  I only hope that one day my Birdget Jones gracefullness will win me true love. But like I said, Halloween was not that day.

Did anyone else embarrass themselves on Halloween or was that just me?!

Farewell for now, I will try to blog over the next 2 weeks but with so much going on plus trying to coordinate my 21st birthday, I don't know how active I can be. Take care fellow bloggers and keep me updated with your antics.



L.Bel xoxo



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