Well, what an end to the year! These past couple of weeks have been so busy, what with the animation work to complete, an essay to write for my lecture series, and the Christmas Fair to make work for.
Our end of year tutorials came around so quickly; it was surprising to think we have been back at university for so long. My tutorial went really well, and I've been set goals for next year. Tutorials are so helpful, as it really helps you to understand your strengths and weaknesses, which in turn helps you put them straight back into your work.
Everyone's final animations were great, and I think that we've all come along very well. I'm excited to see what happens in the new term! As for the Christmas fair, I managed to create some fun items to sell. First, I came up with an idea to create ‘Sarcastic Christmas Hairpins' which were made of multi-coloured felts and hand-sewn by myself. I also created packaging for them to make them look professional and smart.
As well as the hairpins, I also created some small hand-made books from scratch, and one of my housemates drew small illustrations of the front covers. Everyone's work was so eclectic, from prints and zines, to mugs, wrapping paper and badges. We held the fair at The Crate Brewery in Hackney Wick, and it went really well. All the money we made from selling our work goes to our third year show.
Overall, I'm really happy with the way this first term has gone, the workload has been stressful but good, as it has set me up for work to come. I'm excited to go home now for Christmas, but I'm also super excited to come back again!
I recently had eye transplant surgery for an eye condition that I have called Kerataconusis, which is a rare eye disease that effects less than 1 in 10000 people. It basically means my cornea is too steely pointy, basically like a bulging rugby ball when it should be more like a soccer ball which a normal eye should be. The surgery I had basically was to get rid of the bulging rugby steep part of my eye (the cornea) and once it was taken off, it was to be replaced with a dead persons kindly donated cornea. I wasn't able to drink or eat for 10 hours before the surgery due to the anaesthetic (fully asleep throughout the surgery).
I unfortunately had to miss a few lessons, although luckily some of my classes had already ended. However I had a piece of coursework due in that week for my database class which was due on the Friday of the week my operation was on the Tuesday. In terms of coursework submissions at Kingston University if you are even a minute late for a submission then your work gets capped at a maximum 40% which is the bare minimum passing grade. A week after the initial deadline and you get a big fat 0! However if there are special circumstances or mitigating circumstances as it's called here then you can be granted with deadline extensions/rearrangement of exams and other possible assessments. As long as you have a valid reason and can acquire some form of proof, e.g. a doctors letter then your claim will most likely be accepted and you will get a deadline extension. For me I spoke to one of the super friendly and helpful SEC (Science, Engineering and Computing) department student support advisers and she liaised for me with my module leader to grant me an extension.
I got over a week to complete it due to not being able to see at all for a while with the added pain and the fact that I can't for some reason keep one eye open at once and the other closed, it just doesn't work for me... Try it yourself see if you can with opening one eye at a time? Anyway I even got a call after which was nice to confirm the arrangement made and a discussion as to whether it will effect later on during the year as my doctor note said up to a year recovery time. There are options available to you such as becoming a part time student or deferring your studies for a certain amount of time.
Hopefully the worst is almost all over now and I'll now have my chance to typically complete my coursework last minute as usual - I just never learn. My top tip would be complete your assignments right away so then you can enjoy your time afterwards, usually it's not so bad as I can spur it in my head to be the opposite of just that, but I'll probably have to be doing this work on Christmas Day now and over Christmas! Grrrrrrr!
Anyway I hope you all have a great Christmas! Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!!!!
So no less than 10 hours ago, I was in Amsterdam! After an action packed last week of term (Christmas parties, festive meals with friends, writing those final essays and more Christmas parties...) I flew off to The Netherlands to meet my two friends from back home, one of which is doing her Erasmus year there. We had an amazing time, seeing the sights, eating A LOT of food and getting in the Christmas spirit.
On the first day there, we visited the university town of Utrecht (where my friend is studying). It was a beautiful place filled with the typical Dutch canals, bridges and bikes (I'll tell you now, that's one thing you'll never stop seeing- bikes!). To eat, we wanted to try a typical Dutch dish and went for ‘croquettes' with an Oliebollen, a round doughnut covered in icing sugar, for dessert. The food was delicious, but very heavy. We'll let the Dutch off though as it's so cold and they do so much cycling that they need the energy! In the evening we had a night out in the local student club, but weren't brave enough to ride bikes home (which most people do!). Instead we were very English and got a taxi, ready for our trip to Amsterdam the next day...
I must say, Amsterdam was my favourite time of the trip and I can definitely see why so many go there for a fun weekend away! The red light district is the one of the most surreal things I've seen, scattered randomly among the other ‘normal' and picturesque streets. Our visit to the Ann Frank House was both emotional and thought provoking, so much so that walking freely back out to the streets felt like a very strange thing to do. On the way home we had traditional chips in a cone...the perfect way to end an entertaining day in the capital!
On our last day we made a two hour trip down south to visit a very famous Dutch ‘Christmas Market'. As soon as we got off the train, the feel of Christmas was in the air and you couldn't help feeling festive. The town was such a cute place filled with cafes, stalls and ‘grotto like' buildings, all of which was surrounded by sparkly lights and Santa figures. The market itself was located in a cave, lit with fairy lights and filled with Disney Christmas characters. Spending time walking around the different stalls and having a cheeky hot chocolate and waffle felt ‘magical' and without doubt got us all in the mood for Christmas back at home.
As I write this back at home now, reminiscing about the last couple of days and preparing to give my family some souvenirs (yes, I did buy clogs!) the thought of coursework isn't very appealing at all. BUT we have got Christmas with family and friends to enjoy before all the hard work of the New Year starts. So wishing you a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! See you in 2013.