quote: Tony Blair, talking to Nick Robinson

2006-04-30 at 23:46 (quotes)

In this business, in the media culture we have today … there’s no problem which isn’t a crisis, no difficulty that isn’t a catastrophe, no week that’s not going to end up being the most terrible thing that’s ever happened… you do the job, get on with doing the job.

(about the triple problems of the week at the end of April)


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2006-04-27 at 17:03 (poetry)

you’re cleverer than i by far, you seem so perfect, talking’s hard.
you have your dreams and your hopes, well nothing’s as it seems and hopes fade away…
i’ve never wanted much at all.
never wanted any prize, never dreamt of pale blue skies.
i don’t want you to leave your hopes behind for me.

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insomniac blues

2006-04-26 at 21:52 (poetry)

hey, insomnia
leave me tonight
let me sleep once more
— let me be once more —
cos i’ve not been sleeping
i’ve got insomniac blues.

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2006-04-26 at 09:43 (poetry)

(Not the best example of my poetry ever, but it’s been hanging around, isn’t going to get much better with time, so I thought I might as well publish it.)

i lie and sign myself to lies
i have become everything that i despise
god is dead i’ll shout again
as i sign away my soul and name

how can you call heaven when you’re so close to hell?
i shall cut off my hand before i reach for you again!

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(soft lapping of water on a beach)

2006-04-25 at 22:19 (poetry)

waves of despair wash over me
a despondency i never knew.
when things are so broken
it’s hard to know what to fix.

what i say never sticks,
preaching to an empty crowd.
when i voice my thoughts aloud,
i get cut off before i even begin.

it must be true, then, that all change comes from within.

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how to learn, relearn, and revise for exams

2006-04-24 at 23:46 (in-progress, musings, notes)

  1. Get an overview of everything you need to know for the exam, and nothing more (if you’re with an examination board, at least in the UK, the examination board should have a specification for your subject online, listing this).

  2. Get a book which covers the entire topic, and possibly any other related material. Read it through as if it’s a light girlie novel. Find any other, related, interesting and hopefully not too dry books which take your fancy and read them too, as if they’re light girlie novels. Don’t worry about learning anything, or memorising, but think more about trying to understand. (In some subjects, this is more important than others. Physics, for example, understanding is more important than the other two.)

  3. Leave that subject alone for a week or so. This lets your subconscious brain figure things out, arrange, rearrange, change the furniture, the tiles and maybe get some new lights fitted. Basically, you’re letting yourself forget most of the detail. Don’t worry about the subject at all during this week. Rest at ease, knowing you can leave it alone.

  4. Now you get out your specification, textbook, any course notes, revision guidelets or worksheets or anything that you have related to the subject, really.

  5. Get your course overview/specification, and split it up into useful chunks. Topics and subtopics kind of thing. Keep this on paper somewhere fairly close by; it gives you an important guide to progress.

  6. Get some little bits of paper/card to write on. Go through each subtopic on your list and write the bare essentials on these cards, using your textbook/other reference materials to figure it out. One subtopic per card only, and preferably in big writing. Keep as little as possible in each one, and use the simplest possible words.

  7. Leave to simmer for one week.

  8. Read through your cards. As you do this, get another set of (empty) cards and write things out again, except this time simpler and bigger. This is the final set of notes; you’ve done most of the work now. Relax for a bit.

  9. Read through these sets regularly, comparing with textbooks, adding memory aids, etc. as neccessay. By this, you’ve probably got an understanding of most of the material, and you’ve probably learnt and memorised quite a bit without actually trying. Now is the time to attack the bits you don’t grasp so easily and use more aggressive techniques on them.

Yeah, this is quite a lazy way of doing things. It relies on the idea of forgetting three times before you remember things (semi-)permanently, and relying on your natural ability to learn and memorise (which are different) with repetition, and to gain a better understanding whilst learning. While doing your card notes, you should probably employ mnemonics where useful, and silly drawings to grab your attention, or over-the-top language to achieve a similar result. Don’t try to consciously memorise, though, because that builds up stress when you can’t recall straight away.

If you can set aside distraction-free chunks of time, this is a fairly efficient way to learn, too. You can memorise multiple subjects at once by doing them in the gaps between the others. This way you might be utilitising your subconscious mind better, but it’s still a good idea to leave in some breaks.

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2006-04-24 at 23:05 (poetry)

(Note: this was actually written quite a while back, but I’m not sure of the original date, so it gets posted today.)

watched her as she wiped her eyes
with a sinking feeling inside
when will this madness end
i never wanted to be “just friends”

drifting on the clouds
reaching out for you
until we start anew

paint my way in yellow
so i can follow you to my doom
let me fall for you
don’t want this to end so soon

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is it you?

2006-04-22 at 14:45 (poetry)

is it you i see floating
door to door, through the halls?
a slivery wisp in ethereal clothes
always crying, always alone.

all night i hear your treading pace
but of your footsteps i can find no trace
the dust lies unmarked, unmoved, untouched.

your face says how you feel
you loved a man with a heart of steel.

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2006-04-12 at 12:05 (poetry)

everybody thinks i’m
some kind of abomination
cos i sleep around with
everyone who’ll give me
conversation – but it’s
something i can’t stop
it’s built in too deep
it’s tearing me apart
rip piece by piece
i can’t make it stop.

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