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Sphinxi

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(no subject) [Aug. 21st, 2006|09:19 pm]
Sphinxi
[Current Mood |boredbored]

Today I sat around in the office with virtually nothing to do apart from some filing which took about five minutes and a couple of emails to deal with. It was very boring indeed. A long day. I was tempted to read my book and started to but I really didn't feel comfortable doing that when people were working all around me. I can't get onto to the internet properly either. The person I am supposed to be working with is on holiday for two weeks and I have been left in the admin office to generally help out but there's nothing. Luckily though the people are quite friendly and chatty.
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(no subject) [Aug. 15th, 2006|07:16 pm]
Sphinxi
[Current Mood |tiredtired]

New job seems to be going quite well so far (touch wood). I find I rather like going about officiously in my jacket while clutching a serious bag.
The people seem very nice and friendly as well which is always good.
Tired though.
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(no subject) [Aug. 13th, 2006|06:59 pm]
Sphinxi
Back from a few days in Llandudno with my mum.
Llandudno is a genteel Victorian holiday resort in North Wales where my ancestors seem to have holidayed for a few generations. I last went age three. I have suprisingly vivid memories of that time so it was strange to be back. The jetty matched my memories of walking on lots of planks over the water to go on a boat trip and I was pleased to hear the jingling of donkey bells as the donkeys left the beach as I remembered donkey rides from that time. I may be very wrong but I don't think donkey rides on the beach are cruel- there are much worse lives, it seems for both humans and animals.
Explored huge Conway Castle, climbing many narrow stairways to different levels and also saw the smallest house in Britain though did not wish to go inside as it seemed a rather tawdry attraction. It was indeed small.
Visited museum and neolithic sites on Great Orm. Circumnavigated Great Orm - saw goats and sheep.
The food though was not good- went in horrible restaurant one night and had nasty mushroom pizza that wasn't properly cooked!

Tomorrow I begin a new job working for social services. It is only 18 hours but it is a start. It goes on till the end of September. Luckily it looks like a fairly short bus ride from where I live. This is particularly lucky as I start at 8am on Wednesdays! Travel will be expensive though £4 per day which is a lot for such short journeys. Manchesters fare system mystifies me - I was charged £1.60 on bus coming home this evening when before I seem to have been charged £2.60 or £2 variously for the same journey. Not very fascinating facts admittedly but it adds to the bemusment content of my life.
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(no subject) [Jul. 26th, 2006|01:23 am]
Sphinxi
Got back yesterday from weekend in London. It was wonderously hot! It is hot in Manchester but not like London where you can feel the sun prickle and burn the skin as soon as you step outside.
It was a good weekend - I met up with some of my friends and wandered round Camden including the Lock and Regent's Park which we reached via the canal. Stoppt at various cafes and finally dined at a Thai place in Camden High St where I had green curry. Got Peter Ackroyd's biography of Thomas More from Black Gull which I am getting a lot from - not a period with which I am so familiar.
Stayed the night at my friend Tina's in Camden.
On Sunday me and Tina went to the sales at Oxford St where I invested in a pink corset top with hooks and ribbons - reduced to £10 and a pink dress with a sort of medievally look bodice, a strangely cut skirt and a sort of bejewelled favour at the shoulder. There seems to be something sinister and pink going on... I find myself drawn to cheerful colours during the hotter months.
On Monday Tina went to work so I let myself out of the silent house in my own time. Met my friend Tami and we went to my favourite Euro-med which alarmingly seems threatened by Camden Council which says there are too many eateries in Camden. In that case they should target the new ubiquitous Subway which has intruded itself on Kentish Town Rd.
I would have liked to go on a longer nostalgic wander round Kentish Town but for some reason my rucksack was ridiculously heavy and digging into my shoulder so seeing my old house, school etc will have to wait till next time.
I did go into Kentish Town Library which had been redone. It was peculiar to see something changed when I had such strong visual memories of how it had been all my life (and for decades previously). I quite liked what they'd done - brightened and opened it up with lots of plate glass - still plenty of books. Got 10p withdrawn Lindsay Davies Falco book.
The relations one maintains with place to which one has strong connections but then move on from is an interesting subject I think. The important thig to remember is that places continue to exist and can be revisited even after one appears to have definitively left. Of course, certain moods of certain times and places can never be recaptured however much one revisits one's old haunts. But still I feel that there will always be part of me and part of parts of London that will on some plain remain one and the same.
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(no subject) [Jul. 18th, 2006|04:43 am]
Sphinxi
I'm back!
Since the breakdown of my ESOL placement in April things just seemed too formless and unclear for me to feel like writing somehow. I'd have driven everyone mad - I went round in many circles -one minute convinced that I had no interest in going back on the course because obviously ESOL wasn't for me - coming to the conclusion that as changing to a classics placement would mean another year of study unsubsidised with no particular prospect of a job at the end of it this would be a bit pointless - feeling guilty about having been paid to do ESOL and not doing it so deciding to do it after all- deciding I didn't want to do it so pointless doing it and then back round again all the while conjuring up bright new lives for myself in a variety of professions.. turning 30 in the middle of all this hasn't helped I have to say.
In the end, I decided that I am going back to the course and will probably start a new placement in January and be all finished by the end of next May. The logic, in so far as there is any is that at worst, if I fail this time no one (me) can say I haven't tried and I will be no worse off than now. At best, if I succeed I will have confidence that I can actually do something other than write about dead people under my bed very late at night and I will also be able to prove this to employers whether I actually decide to stick with ESOL long term or not. In vulgar terms my time will be worth £20 an hour rather than £6 in Manchester.
In other news after many corrections and sendings back and forth from the examiner about 10 months after what I had thought of as the finishing date, the thesis is actually bound and formally handed in! Nothing more to be done on it in this context.
I have been enjoying the sunshine and wandering around Manchester - when I went to have the thesis bound at John Rylands Library I wandered round the university area and went in the museum. They had a vivarium with tiny orange frogs which pleased me. There was also a full scale model of a Tyrannosaurus which hung menacingly from the ceiling. Also had a look in the Egyptian gallery which was impressive though I felt somewhat uncomfortable about staring at captive corpses so I didn't stay too long (possibly lack of sleep had hieghtened my sensibilities).
Now I must launch myself bravely back in the world of temping...
Probably had enough to say for myself for now - deprived myself of the pleasure of LJ for too long.
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(no subject) [Apr. 24th, 2006|11:46 am]
Sphinxi
[Current Mood |confusedconfused]

I have been quiet on LJ lately because something of a situation has built up and at the moment I don't really know what is happening with my life at all (in terms of career,purpose etc). I am writing this in Bolton Uni library waiting for a meeting with my tutor about what is going to happen.
Basically on the last week of term I got kicked out of my placement college for reasons which were partly my fault, partly not. (I got the impression they were more interested in demoralising me than supportng me -they got the impression I wasn't interested.)

It was all rather sudden and catastrophic - not very good for the self-esteem. Anyway in the process of trying to make sense of all this and in the course of a meeting with my tutor who was very supportive, the fact emerged which I had been staring me in the face but which I had dutifully tried to ignore, which was that I wasn't really all that interested in teaching ESOL. I liked the students and the teaching but something wasn't right. All the time I was thinking; but maybe I could teach English lit, maybe I could teach RE... the whole discipline of language teaching just doesn't really absorb or enthuse me. I said to myself that I have spent years doing what I want studying classics, now this ESOL isn't too bad so just get on with it and earn a living but this is not the attitude to bring to a new profession.
My tutor is suggesting that I transfer to the generic PGCE and specialise in humanities but I have had a meeting with the humanities tutor this morning and she seemed baffled and unenthusiastic about having a classicist on her course - she didn't think I would find a placement and didn't think I'd find a job. I am going to meet my tutor again this afternoon and maybe she will be able to clarify things a bit. I also have a list of colleges in the North West that do classics so I am going to trawl them to beg a placement.

At the moment I really don't know what's happening at all. If anyone has any constructive suggestions about what someone who has spent her life studying classics can do with herself (in the absence of academia throwing open its doors to me which I know is not something to be expected)I would be interested to hear.
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(no subject) [Mar. 19th, 2006|07:07 pm]
Sphinxi
Had Monday and Tuesday off college as choking cough was keeping me awake all night and leaving me feeling weak and vague. Strangely I feel more worried and guilty about having the time off for legitimate reasons than if I had just decided not to go in. I think it is because I know I have already missed too much college through messing about over deadlines and general inefficiency and hadn't wanted to miss more.
Also haven't finished assignment. I have done quite a lot of work on it but don't feel quite sure how to relate the little assessment I imposed on my students with all the academic stuff about assessment in general. We are supposed to have 15 separate citations to different sources - this seems quite bemusing for a 1500 word essay! Either I'm taking it all too seriously or else not seriously enough or some twisted combination.
Taught classes on Wed and Thurs which went well though it was a bit irritating that there were only 2 or 3 students per class. This makes one feel a bit resentful about the work one has put in which now can't be repeated with this class. On the other hand, small classes are quite relaxing and chatty and you can find out more about and help each student.

Yesterday we went into Manchester and joined the public library.It was a very impressive building but the book selection wasn't so good.
I got a book out called "Women and the Genesis of Christianity" or some such by Ben Witherington. I was reading it last night but was dismayed to discover it was actually some vile polemic which claimed to position itself "between" patriarchy and feminism but went on obssessively about how the teachings of Jesus and of Paul were intended to reinforce traditional gender roles and women's subordination in marriage. He kept using the phrase "headship". That he was not merely offering his historical interpretation was made evident by the fact that he twisted everything to reinforce his point for example the fact that Jesus mentioned women using a handmill was taken as evidence that Jesus was not a feminist and did not question traditional divisions of labour. If that is not a crude transposition of 21st century preoccupations onto a first century setting I don't know what is. That he aligned himself personally with these views came out in the fact that in the introduction he said he was a committed Christian who believed in the Bible -which he then chose to interpret in such a way as to reinforce models of male dominance even when such an interpretation was not the obvious one. More sickeningly, he dedicated the book to his wife whom he eulogises as possessing all the virtues of early Christian women, thus by implication boasting that his wife accepts his "headship" I hope noone thinks that this book has rattled me in any way at all.
After spending time in the library, we went to Waterstones where I treated myself to Karen Armstrong's new book about "the axial age". This is interesting me so far. It is a fine big red book.
Sat evening we saw V for Vendetta which we liked. I will have another go with the graphic novel though it is a bit tiring to have to peer at so many little pictures.
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(no subject) [Mar. 3rd, 2006|05:38 pm]
Sphinxi
[Current Mood |Inappropriatly Christmassy]

I have just been caught in a blizzard of snow on a shopping expedition. On the way back, the Memorial Gardens looked quite beautiful blanketed in snow and with the tree branches also hung with whiteness. I would write a commemorative haiku if the words would come right - perhaps try later.
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(no subject) [Feb. 28th, 2006|05:33 pm]
Sphinxi
[Current Mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

Had my viva on Saturday in Swansea and passed though with a list of corrections to complete. This is good news indeed. Went out for a meal with the people in my department which was good.
Got back to Manchester on Sunday evening. Now I am trying to catch up with lesson plans for Wednesday and Thursday.
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(no subject) [Feb. 4th, 2006|09:58 pm]
Sphinxi
[Current Mood |cheerfulcheerful]

Finally got broadband here which is good.
Went out on Thursday with friends from college to see "A Cock and Bull Story" related to the novel Tristram Shandy. I wasn't very impressed. It was ok and mildly funny in parts and the bits which were actually based on scenes in the novel were engaging but I could have done more with the actual novel. I appreciate they were attempting to imitate the inconsequential, frustrating style of the novel itself but I would have preferred that they had done so through the actual novel rather than assuming that they themselves must be funnier and more interesting than Laurance Sterne.
On the other hand I had a really nice evening out- went to pub after. The only thing was the vague stress of getting home on my own late at night when Salford seems deserted and strange. There was no problem in actuality though so that was ok.
It will be good when Gwil gets here and we can explore this city together.
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