summer depression things
  • sleeping in way too late
  • “oh no it’s 4 am and i’m still awake”
  • mindlessly refreshing the same apps over and over
  • picking up a book only to put it down because the words aren’t processing in your brain
  • listening to the same three albums repeatedly
  • either eating every snack you own within an hour or forgetting to eat for like half the day
  • “if i don’t do my summer homework it doesn’t exist”
  • wearing the same sundress three days in a row
  • watching your friends hang out with each other as you stay at home and stare at the wall
  • consistently forgetting to respond to people who text you
  • reminiscing over past summers and how much fun you had then
  • wanting the school year to start but also feeling Crushing Anxiety when you think of how soon it is
  • drinking like a gallon of water every hour or not having any water all day and dehydrating
  • unbrushed hair
  • lying down on the floor
  • “what day is it today”
  • mosquitoes make you feel downright murderous
  • watching movies only to get distracted
  • even sitting around at home makes you tired
  • this is not fun
Back to School: How to Get an A*/8 or 9 in an English Lit Essay!

Happy September, everyone!

As we all get our gears in motion to start a new year, I thought I would share my top tips for scoring the highest marks in English Literature essays. 

(P.S. Lots of these tips are applicable to other subjects too)

1. Don’t write about the character as if they are real

Unfortunately, this is a common error in English Lit essays. It is absolutely imperative to remember that a character is not a person, but is a construct of the writer in order to present an idea or theme. No matter the question, you should be linking your answer back to the writer’s ideas and theme of the text, even if it doesn’t seem obvious what the theme is on the first inspection of the question. Using the author’s name frequently in your essay will demonstrate that you recognise the character is not a real person - ‘Shakespeare portrays Macbeth as a tragic hero, as defined by Aristotle as…’

2. Don’t analyse the plot

Avoid analysing the plot or when things happen in the text. Don’t write ‘When X happens it makes us think Y’. Instead:

  • Analyse the writer’s use of language, structure and form to create meaning
  • Do a close language analysis of specific words/phrases, including a sound analysis (plosives, assonance, etc.)
  • Do a structural analysis of what happens when and why that’s important (Freytag’s pyramid)
  • Do an analysis of form (stage directions, dramatic monologue, etc.)

3. Keep your answer relevant throughout

You need to be explicitly answering the question - not going off on a tangent nor trying to change the question to suit an answer that you want to write. One way of avoiding this is by starting each paragraph with a topic sentence, summarising what that paragraph is going to be about and how it answers the question. Another method is simply by rewording the question into your answer at the start and end of every paragraph. At least. For greater impact, include synonyms of the word, which can also help with the readability of your answer.

4. Avoid PEE/PEEL/etc. where you can

Thousands of students are taught the same, basic Point-Evidence-Explain (or variant) analytical paragraph structure. If you want to stand out, show academic strength, and achieve the highest marks then you must break free from the chains of PEE! (This also applies for your introduction format. ‘In this essay, I will argue…’ gets pretty dull after reading it 100 times)

For my students, I will be teaching them to write What-How-Why paragraphs:

WHAT has the writer done?

HOW have they done it?

WHY have they done it/is it effective?

This way, your focus is always on why the writer has chosen to use that specific language/structure/form, but it allows you to be creative in crafting your response. Being able to discuss the ‘why’ of literature is the key to unlocking the highest grades. Reading through examiners’ reports this summer has made one thing clear - it is not enough to merely spot linguistic devices or structural features. You must explain why the writer has chosen them and why that is an effective choice (or not).

5. Avoid sweeping statements about context

The main advice here is to only include comments about the context of the text if it adds to the analytical point that you are making. They should not be a bolt-on sentence, but they should enhance your answer.

Further, sweeping claims like ‘All Jacobean women were oppressed by society’ is far too vague. On the other hand, a comment like ‘Lady Macbeth is a disturbing example of womanhood because she denies her gender at a time where the role of a woman was clear-cut, even patriarchal, in Jacobean society’ suggests that you have a greater understanding of how context can influence the writer’s choices.

6. A plan is your best friend

Always, always make time to plan your answer. A method I recommend is, first, circling the key words in the question (character/theme, what you are asked to do, where in the text you are asked to look, etc.). Secondly, write all of your ideas down onto the page, highlighting parts from the extract if you have that in front of you. Finally, select a judicious number of points that you are going to talk about (quality not quantity here) and number the order in which you are going to make them.

If you are writing a comparative essay, each paragraph must start and end with a comparative point about whatever it is you are comparing (characters/themes/etc.) I suggest the following format:

X is presented in both text A and text B. However, in A the author uses device 1 and 2 to demonstrate X. On the other hand, in B, the author demonstrates X via use of device 2 and 3.’ Then write one paragraph for each text. Repeat this again for another similarity. And again for a third - if you think that is appropriate.

Click HERE if you want more top tips/resources/essay advice/study motivation!!

Click HERE if you want more top tips/resources/essay advice/study motivation!!

Photo credit @eintsein 🌻

The Sprinkler

El sits back in the hammock and lazily swings, toes skimming the overgrown grass below. Her half-finished Boxcar Children book lies on her chest, an old pair of Nancy’s sunglasses perched on her nose. The afternoon sun is hot, the air almost oppressive. Joyce and Jonathan are off at work and Will left the hammock a while ago.

She’s half-asleep when she hears noises coming from across the yard. She looks up to see Will leaving the shed, carrying a coil of green hose and dressed in his swim shorts. He lays something in the grass and works to untangle the hose before pulling the end toward the spigot.

“What’re you doing?” she calls from the hammock.

Will looks back at her with a glint in his eye. “Setting up the sprinkler.”


“It’s fun. Trust me. Go put on your suit.” And he turns back to finish screwing on the hose.

El is a little confused but she likes when Will is happy so she skips into the house and grabs her suit. Most of her clothes are hand-me-downs from Nancy, but her swimsuit is new and her very own, pale pink with white polka dots. When she wears it, she feels like a normal kid, one who goes to the local pool with the boys or the lake with her brothers.

By the time she’s back outside, the sprinkler is shooting water high into the air. She stands on the stoop and cocks her head quizzically at Will. The boy grins from the other side before barreling through the spray with a whoop. Wiping a hand across his eyes, he calls for her to come down. “It’s like taking a shower outside!”

Hesitating only a moment longer, El runs and hops over the sprinkler, laughing as she passes through the water wall. The cold feels good with the sun beating down and soon she finds herself hopping back and forth, taking turns with Will. The dog joins them, barking in glee. A few times they slip on the soaked grass but the tumbles only make them laugh harder.

They’ve been running through the water for maybe an hour when Will bends down to unscrew the hose from the sprinkler. El stands before him, unsuspecting, and he lifts the hose, holding his thumb over the opening to spray water at her. She shrieks in surprise and he pauses for a moment. He’s always careful to make sure she’s okay, all the boys are. But she just grins and turns to run, yelling, “Can’t catch me, can’t catch me!” Will giggles and follows her.

Jonathan gets home to find that his mom has just beaten him. She’s standing at the window looking into the backyard and silently beckons him to her. They watch as the two kids run around the grass, shooting water at each other and squealing, the dog at their heels. Joyce’s and Jonathan’s eyes meet and each knows what the other is thinking: they haven’t heard Will laugh like this in ages. Joyce blinks back a tear and goes to the kitchen to make sandwiches for a picnic dinner. Jonathan runs to his room to collect his camera.

Several pages of an photo album are eventually devoted to this day, mostly of two skinny kids and a shaggy dog and water droplets all around them. One of Joyce carrying a plate of sandwiches, her hand trying to cover her face but her smile visible underneath. One of El and Jonathan, taken by Will. One of Hopper walking around the house from the front yard, clearly surprised by the camera. One of El and Will wrapped up in towels in the hammock, sound asleep.


It all starts when Karen asks Mike to watch Holly each day that week. Well, tells Mike is more accurate. She’s helping with a charity drive at the Y and Ted’s at work. With Nancy out of town for her summer internship, that leaves Mike. And with Mike come El, Will, Lucas and Dustin.

Monday goes smoothly enough, racing bikes with Holly around the cul de sac and covering the sidewalk in chalk. Tuesday they get too ambitious and take Holly to the local pool. It’s a disaster - completely overrun by little kids and their harried mothers. Wednesday brings rain and is spent watching cartoons and playing Candyland. But Thursday is also rainy and cabin fever sets in. Six-year-old Holly is full of energy but too old to be told to run around the house until she’s spent. They’re lying around the living room flipping channels when the weatherman tells them that tomorrow will be “sunny and hot hot hot”.

Lucas thanks the man as if he’s God and Mike is struck with an idea.

“Holly, do you want to have a lemonade stand tomorrow?”

Keep reading

Houses as Summer Things

Hufflepuff- Eating ice cream, sundresses and shorts, teen romance, juicy fruits, toes in the salty in water and slurpees

Ravenclaw- Reading in a hammock, hair in beachy waves, neon lips,shorts and bingeing Netflix’s  

Slytherin- Getting a sun tan, highlights in the hair, cool summer nights,frappes and hair in messy braids

Gryffindor- A day out on the beach, bright nail polish, camping under the night sky, water fights and sleepovers

The Mower

The grass is always a little overgrown at the Byers’ house. Between double shifts and school, Joyce and Jonathan rarely have time to mow and they’ve been spoiling Will and El a bit now that they’re back safe and sound.

“Ok, well, maybe we’ll see you tomorrow,” Will says before hanging up the phone. El looks up from the floor where she’s painting her toenails (a little sloppily - she’s still learning). It’s a summer day and Joyce and Jonathan are at work.

“Mike has to do chores today,” Will says as he shrugs.

“What are chores?”

“Well, like how we help wash the dishes after dinner.”

“Mike has to wash dishes today?”

Will plops down beside her and replies, “No, he does other chores. Like mowing the lawn.”

El simply cocks her head and Will explains what mowing means. The girl furrows her brow and asks, “Is that why their grass isn’t as soft as ours?“

Will chuckles and replies, “Yeah, I guess. But it looks nicer.”

“Should we mow the lawn?”

“Well…we could try.”

They dig through the shed before finding the small push mower. Starting in the corner, they take turns pushing the machine up and down the backyard. The yard is big and after a while they retreat to the hammock and El resorts to her powers, moving the mower back and forth until it reaches the other end. She purposely avoids the area around the hammock, having always enjoyed the long soft blades against her toes

Joyce is delighted when she gets home from work, ignoring the large swaths of overgrown grass. She ruffles WIll’s hair and hugs El close before exclaiming that the two have earned a treat.

Mike is majorly jealous when he learns that their chores earn ice cream.  

The new writing staff of Rick and Morty is not only keeping the previous two seasons in mind with its script building, but they are also just wrecking shop with these episodes.

Dr. Wong’s monologue. The casualness of Morty knowing just what Rick does when black out drunk, and how it’s almost a throw away concept (but it’s not! It sticks the landing and is so fucking good!) The whole Summer visiting Jerry thing after becoming her mother in a round about way. This season is kicking ass and taking names and I am SO on board.

WELL… I was supposed to draw this last year, and this year’s summer is almost over, but I guess better late than never! ᕙ(⇀‸↼‶)ᕗ
so yeah, here’s the last part of the “seasons aesthetics” thing - summer vibes!
[autumn] [winter] [spring]


Thank you for sending sooooooo many birthday messages ☺︎☺︎
Also, thanks so much for the tag; I’m so happy!!
I saw all of your comments in the tag!
Thanks for the wonderful art ☺︎︎︎︎︎✌︎︎︎
My first photos to kick off this birthday!
Rhino beetle and Shuka. (It was crying “gyaaa”)

anonymous asked:

fic title: ankle porn

(send me a made-up fic title and i’ll tell you what i would write to go with it!) 

l o l omg I love this. Okay, so this takes place either late in the Summer of Mutual Pining or early in the Autumn of Soon-to-be-Requited Pining.

Victor gets Yuuri a sponsorship with Uniqlo. Although really it was more like Victor (with a translation assist from Minako) just kind of asked “do you want to sponsor Katsuki Yuuri,” and the Uniqlo reps were like “oh holy shit yes we’re huge fans of Skater Katsuki, actually we’ve sent him several messages about sponsorship and he’s never responded so we assumed he wasn’t interested.”

”I thought those were pranks,” Yuuri says. Victor takes several deep, calming breaths.

Yuuri does a photoshoot in their fall line. He wears his hair ungelled and his look is soft and natural, though they have him take off his glasses. (“Maybe not so much of a glare,” the photographer tells him. “Try to look gentle, like your lover has just come home.”

To the photographer, Yuuri says “Okay.” To Victor, he kind of grimaces and mouths “I can’t see shit.” Victor’s heart skips a beat.)

The clothes are all big sweaters and knits and cropped pants. Victor thinks he’ll be fine. Victor is not fine. Victor is driven to distraction by the clean line of Yuuri’s ankles from the soft tapered cuffs of those pants. Yuuri curls his bare toes and Victor suddenly has the urge to lie down, or maybe scream into a pillow.

Do I have a foot thing, he texts Chris in a panic.

Chris very kindly does not tell him that he has a Yuuri thing. 

list of cursed things that have happened 2 me in the three (3) weeks of college i’ve done so far:

  • an old man in my art class hissed at me i think
  • while doing critiques, that same old man would point to any girl that made a piece he thought was v good and would say “we might need 2 get rid of her”
  • a different old man in the same class gave me a ? textbook?? about short stories and one page is just moose facts. he said he gave it 2 me bc i like cartoons
  • a girl told me that my still-life drawing of a plant reminded her of anime and then asked me if i watched naruto
  • a man came into class 2 tell us about tutors but ended up telling us about his dog’s facebook page 
  • a boy showed me a video he took of our local burger king burning down