Wednesday, March 30, 2011


For those of you who know me, you know I absolutely LOVE flowers. These lovely things are popping up everywhere here in Aberdeen. I wouldn't have guessed that Daffodils would like a place like Aberdeen, but they apparently do. Everywhere I go I see these yellow and white flowers. It makes me smile...a lot. All a guy has to do to make me happy is bring me flowers for no particular reason.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Proof Read and Strict Markers

First day of Spring Break I spent some time with Lisa and Marlene. Now, they were complaining about the marks they received from their English tutor on the first essay. Of course at first I thought that this was just normal, "I think my work deserved a better mark" grumbling. Then they told me a few of the things their tutor wrote on their essays and it started to sounds more like the tutor is just a really hard grader. You do get those occasionally, so I asked to read one of their papers to see if I could make sense of her comments. I really couldn't. She marks papers in a way I absolutely detest because it confuses me on to how I should improve. What she does is underline and circle words...but fails to mention why she has circled or underlined said words. That frustrates me because the reason I have someone marking my paper is so that I can improve and that kind of marking makes it very confusing as to what I need to do to improve. Both got little ticks in the boxes at the "needs improvement side". Here's my "Assignment Appraisal Sheet" for our unassessed exercise. I got a 15 (on a CAS scale of 1-20) which I thought was impressive because I wrote it the morning it was due. *nods* I MEAN! I spent weeks and weeks on it and did extensive research. I slaved over the computer and didn't go out until it was finished...yeah...that one. Though, if you look at the little ticks I think I deserved at least a 16, but I'm not complaining. Anyway, their ticks were all to the right which includes things like "Failure to address the question" and "failure to develop and coherent argument". I read one of the papers and, while I wouldn't have given it over a 16 and I could see the points the tutor made in some parts of the essay, I definitely wouldn't have said that she "failed to address the question" or "failed to develop a coherent argument". It wasn't like a shinning argument that would change the course of the world, but it was pretty coherent.

Then I heard the marks they got and realised they both went down 5 marks from last semestre. That just seems a little fishy to me...unless their writing really, really went down from last semestre.

Then I read the comments she made on one of their papers. She made some comments about grammar. But do you know what I first zoomed in on?

Do you see what I zoomed in on? No? Well, here's a close up then

I don't think it's just the students who need to proof read. I always think it's funny when a teacher says pay attention to grammar and something like this appears in their comments. Especially when they were so adamant about how the paper wasn't all that good.

Really though, I think what bothered (at least Lisa) the most was that when she asked how she could make the argument clearer the tutor said, "Oh, I don't know. I don't really know why I circled those words and why it's unclear, it just is." (or something to that effect) Bad marking? Maybe. She might just be strict, but she should at least be able to say how the students can improve. I mean, that's why we hand in the essays...well, besides the fact that we would fail the course if we didn't.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Spring Break Plans

Alright guys. It's all been decided. Well, not all of it, but a lot of it. I know basically that I shall be staying here for the first two weeks of my spring break then I shall be going home on the 6th until the 14th. Hooray! I'll get to see my Arwen again! (For those of you who don't know, Arwen is my 80lbs. Golden Retriever and my best friend forever and ever) Here's a picture representation of two things I'm going to do this break.

First, I'm going to become better acquainted with this.

This is my bed. Yep, I'm thinking that maybe I'll sleep for two weeks straight. OK, maybe not the entire two weeks. But it'll be nice to go to sleep at 4am and not have to worry about getting up in the morning.

Secondly, I plan on reading a whole lot.

Lolita and Lady Chatterley's Lover are for my Controversial Classics course. We are now on to our "Sex and Society" bit of the course. Lady Chatterley's Lover is all about sex and people having sex. Well, really it's about making fun of class distinctions, but it gets more people's attention when you say it's all about sex. It was banned in the early 1900's though, so you can image how racy this stuff actually is (i.e. not very). Lolita is one that I have not started reading yet, but I've had the lectures about it (the lecturer was very boring though so I really didn't pay any attention). It seems like it'll be an interesting book though it's about pedophilia. Hey, when the said controversial they meant controversial. Now, you see the George R.R. Martin book? This is the second part of the third book of the series Ice and Fire. I'm in love with them and fully plan on finishing this one and the fourth by the time the HBO series premiers and Jamie has his "Game of Thrones" night after the holiday. And there are two books on Kindall my Kindle that I want to read. I'm also going to be reading Smellorama so I can hopefully give Arwen a little confidence by teaching her how to find lost items.

Besides reading and sleeping, the first two weeks of holiday will include researching for my essay due in Week 9 for English and house hunting so that I have a place to put my stuff this summer and a place to live for the next three years. I'll also be hanging out with Marlene and Lisa and doing this new drawing project I have titled "Project Mufasa". I'm just drawing a lot of lions because I think lions are cool. Movie watching will happen as well I believe. And I'll hopefully play a lot of board games...well, if I can borrow some. I'm resisting the urge to buy a few different card and board games right now.

After that I'm going home for a week and spending time with friends and family. Should be relaxing...hopefully.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's Almost Here

It's been a while since I last posted, so I thought I would give you all an update. Spring Holiday is just around the corner. Tomorrow is my last day of classes and I simply can't wait! I'm so ready for this three week break. Even if most of my friends are going home it will still be lovely. Marlene and Lisa are staying over the break as well. What's that? Oh, me? No, I'm not going home for break. I thought about it, but I came to the decision that I would really like to go home and see my friends and little too late and the flights are kind of expensive. I might still go home after the first week. But that's a big IF right now. It would be nice to spend two weeks at home relaxing. Maybe if I get the housing situation for next year worked out in this first week then yeah I will. But...well it might also be nice to stay here. We've been having such LOVELY weather lately and I hear California is suffering from surprise rain. Ohm decisions, decisions...

Anyway, I shall post tomorrow as well. I hope you're all having a good time doing whatever it is that you do. Happy spring!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Eye Movement Study

Alright guys, so I've had a fairly good day. Besides having to wake up early for my one class which is at 9am (couldn't have been in the afternoon, oh no!) and a complete bother when it's your only class of the day and a class that you really can't skip, nothing else has gone amiss. Well, I did have to spend money on food, but I hear you need the stuff to live. I have tried to go without in the past, but it's only ended in problems for my body. Needless to say, I'm not too bothered by the fact that I was completely out of food and needed to buy more...too bothered is the important word there.
Anyway, my life's trials and tribulations are not what this post is about. This post is about what really made my day. So, for my Practical Psychology course I have to partake in a few studies through the "Sonar System". The Sonar System is basically a site where Psychology students at Aberdeen can find studies to participate in for class credit. We're expected to do at least 6 credits worth. I did one last Thursday called "Dining on Your Imagination" which was worth 1 credit. I was suppose to do one about Blind Communication and how two people communicate when they can't see each other (this one was particularly interesting to me as I have and interest in the blind and visually impaired). It was worth 2 credits, but the researchers never showed. I still got the credits since I was there, but still, I wish I could have done it. Today though, I did the one I was really looking forward to. It's called "Eye Movement and Emotion".

Basically what happened is I went into the room and got hooked up to electrodes on both sides of my eyes and on my right ear. The researcher was my Practical Tutor, so I had no problems with her scrubbing my skin down and placing tiny things on my face. Then I faced a monitor and was told that a few faces would appear on the screen really quickly and all I had to do was move my eyes towards the faces as quickly as I could. I was warned before hand that I wouldn't be able to notice anything in particular about the face as it would be on the screen for too short a period. There were 5 rounds of *I believe* 80 faces. We took breaks in between each trial because it is tiring! After all of those trials were done I was asked to look at the faces again and rate their emotions and how emotional they were on a scale of 1-5. Again, the faces popped up on the monitor far too quickly for me to actually see them, so I just guessed for a few of them. Then I was done.
The point of this experiment was to judge whether or not we can tell the emotion "FEAR" apart from all other emotions even if we aren't aware the fact that we are seeing a scared person. It has to do with a survival technique. Here's a bit of my debriefing sheet: "Previous research has shown that emotional facial stimuli resul in faster saccadic eye movements." In this study the "not knowing that the person has a scared look on his face" was taken farther in that they also tweaked the faces ever so slightly. Some were upside down and others and different spatial frequencies.

It was pretty fun, but very tiring on my eyes. But, I really enjoyed getting to know my Practical Tutor a little better during the breaks and she was able to help me in writing my report. It's my first one whereas most of the class have done one from last semestre.
All in all, a good day. If I can get two more sections of the report done today I'll go to the pub quiz tonight!
Oh, and guess what came under my door while I was gone doing the study today?
What is this you ask?
Why, it's a census. Erin is filling out her very first ever census. Otherwise I get finned a lot of money.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I'm Back

Well, I sort of did a fasting of the internet for a week. But I realised that there are things that I just have to use the internet for. Like, my friends and I coordinate going out on facebook so I didn't have to go on there to see what we were doing this Saturday. I was also dealing with housing and what not through facebook. We've found a few places and it looks like that I'll not only be living with Lisa next year, but if we can find a place with a HMO licence then I'll also be living with Marlene and Amy. It would definitely be nice to have the 4 of us in one place. It might be a little cheaper as well.

Anyway, I did learn however that I don't need to be on facebook all the time and that I have the power to only go on when needed. I don't know if I feel any better about where I am right now. I still have this odd feeling's not loneliness. But it's sort of like loneliness. I can't explain it properly. It is quite odd, but I'm sure it'll go away soonish.

Well that's all for now. Just giving you all an update of what I've learned.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Well, today I participated in Superteams. I'll post pictures and the story about what happened today on a later date.

I have decided to go offline for a couple of days. I shall only check my email once a day and answer anything urgent and put up the picture for my 30 Day Challenge on facebook. I want to see if I can go a week without going online every time I'm home.

I might even become a bit of a recluse and not go out this week with people (besides girls night on Thursday). We'll see if that bit happens or not. It might not, I do like to be sociably, but maybe I won't do a whole lot this week.

Anyway! Have fun without me for a week. See you next Sunday!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Some Time to Think

I'm considering going offline for a week starting on Monday. For my facebook 30 Day Picture Challenge I would probably load all the pictures for that week at once...or maybe I'll just start once the picture challenge is over and done...or maybe I'll get online long enough to upload the picture and then go offline again. That last one will probably be the one I do.

Why am I thinking of going offline?

Well, I need some time to think. I need to get back on track with my studies (I've been slacking a little this semester), I need to decide whether or not I'll be going home for Spring Holiday (which would be helped a whole lot if my brother would answer my facebook messages), and I need to think about my life and where I'm going. I would get a whole lot of reading done which is good, because I'm expecting a book (Smellorama:Nose Games for Dogs by Vivane Theby. I heard about this book from Martha G) in April and I want to study up on all the Smelling Games I can play with Arwen and Rosie when I get home over the summer. With Rosie I'm hoping to dispell some of her energy, with Arwen I hoping to increase her confidence.

A lot of thinking needs to go into going home over Spring Holiday and I need to buy my tickets by next Friday if I'm going to do it. *actually I should have booked months ago, but I'm with paying a little extra* If I go home, I could see Rocco again before he's recalled and I wouldn't have to worry about buying food for two weeks. I would come back a little before Holiday ended to look at places to live. And there's a part of me that misses Arwen a whole lot. The pros and cons are about equal right now, so maybe being offline will help me balance them better.

I also haven't been feeling myself for a while. I don't know why, but I haven't been sleeping well and I've generally just been in a sully mood. I get happy streaks, like today, but when I get home and am alone...well...I have more time to think and it gets me down. So, I kind of want to soul search for a week and see what's up with me.

Anyway, I'll let you know tomorrow if you should be expecting to hear from me for a while.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Flat Viewing

Last night after a wonderful girls night in with Lisa, Marlene, and Vera I curled up under my nice, warm blankets. As I cuddled against my pillows and wrapped the blankets tight around me, it occurred to me how fickle life could be sometimes. A few days ago I was feeling really homesick and thoughts of not being able to find a place to live next year kept going in and out of my head. Needless to say it was a sad few days for Erin. But, I got over it. I'm surprisingly chipper now and have decided that I won't worry so much, because worry only gets me stress and unhappiness.

Surprisingly...this has already worked to better my situation. After calling up a rental agency to ask for a viewing after I was called and said that I should start looking 2 months in advance instead of a year (that bit was my fault as I put down the wrong dates on my enquiry form) and then being told that I was being silly for looking 2 months in advance I decided to call back. I said that there should be no harm in viewing the flat. I said that I was aware the owner was most likely looking for someone to move in at the end or March and that I cannot move in until the end of May but that just in case no one came up (which I'm sure that no one will because it's the middle of a semester) we would like to view it. (Let's get real people, this flat was open when I started looking back in January. I don't think they'll find someone who will want to move in sooner).

So, Lisa and I are going to the viewing today and this excites me. If the person likes us enough and realises what I have about no one coming to Aberdeen between March and May who would need to rent a flat long term, then hopefully we'll at least have a place to think about for the summer. :D Hooray!

Wish Us Luck!!! (please)