Recently, my son said to me after seeing a ballet on television: ‘It’s beautiful, but I don’t like it.’ And I thought, Are many grown-ups capable of such a distinction? It’s beautiful, but I don’t like it. Usually, our grown-up thinking is more along the lines of: I don’t like it, so it’s not beautiful. What would it mean to separate those two impressions for art making and for art criticism?
“59. it’s beautiful, but I don’t like it” from 100 essays I don’t have time to write: on umbrellas and sword fights, parades and dogs, fire alarms, children, and theater, sarah ruhl
a comprehensive list of every harry potter character i want to know more about
hannah abbott - is she doing okay? how’s her and neville’s relationship going? do they have any kids? does she make like the best butterbeer ever? i want to know
bathsheda babbling - apparently she was the ancient runes teacher at hogwarts and truly i just want to know more about her because look at that fucking name
katie bell - how’s my girl katie doing? hopefully not too affected by that whole dark curse thing she had to deal with? also i just want to know more about her like how’d she get into quidditch what were her stats like when did her and oliver wood get married
phineas negillus black - truly it’s tragic that whenever i picture him in my mind i see phineas from phineas and ferb with black hair and a very large black wizarding cloak on but like besides that how was he as a headmaster? what was he like? does he take joy in being a little dick head? i truly want to know
susan bones - how is she after her aunt’s death? what’s she doing with her life? susan bones sounds like the type of girl who’d be really really good at braiding hair. is she really really good at braiding hair?
lavender brown - i hope she’s doing okay and that she’s learning to live with the scars greyback gave her and hopefully she’s not a werewolf and listen she just liked ron is that really such a crime jk rowling did her so dirty!!! also i want to know everything about her and parvati’s relationship “friendship” and all the crazy make-outs shenanigans they got into
charity burbage - how’d she get into teaching muggle studies? was she scared those last few moments of her life? was she a good teacher? why the hell did jk rowling never let us witness a muggle studies class
alecto & amycus carrow - damn tell me everything about these two what was their childhood how’d they get into the dark arts literally how far were they willing to go because like torturing children is just fucking evil
the cattermoles - did they actually grab their family and get out of britain?? i sure hope so
penelope clearwater - how’s she doing??? did she get like fucking awesome grades?? how’d she react when percy was being a Dick? important questions
dennis creevey - legit how many times did collin write to him about harry? i bet dennis was like “jesus fuck mate shut up”. is he doing okay? i sure hope so. i hope he got into photography too
fleur delacour - listen i just want to know MORE what kind of student was she??? how many friends did she have??? i want more elaboration on her relationship with her sister. i want a whole god damn book just about fleur’s life. god damn it
dedalus diggle - how did anyone let him become an auror with a name like that
the dumbledores - please, for the love of god, i’d die if jk rowling gave us a book on the dumbledores. think about all that information. wow.
arabella figg - how did a squib get in contact with dumbledore? how was her life growing up being a squib? what were all her cat’s names? did she go play bridge every night with her friends? these are questions i need answers to
seamus finnigan - “me mam” oh you sweet boy how i love you. when was the first time he and dean kissed and was it as magical as he thought?? i won’t rest until i am answered
mundungnus fletcher - so like did he become like he is because of his name or did he change his name to reflect the fact that he was an utter piece of shit
filius flitwick - how’d he get into charms!!! what were his favorite teaching methods!!! favorite students!!! literally anything!!!
florean fortescue - i want to know every single damn flavor of ice cream he had in his shop. also, did he ever reopen it??
astoria greengrass - how’d she and draco meet? what are her political views?? her family life??? what kind of mother was she to scorpius?? i bet she was a damn elegant one
rubeus hagrid - like i want DETAILS about his life at hogwarts. every damn one. and about his life afterwards. i want a tour of his cottage. transcripts of every date he went on with madame maxime or whatever. a list of every single pet he ever owned. i want stories about him going to romania and visiting charlie. i want EVERYTHING
angelina johnson - my BITCH how’s she doing???? how’s life after hogwarts for her?? is she kicking ass and taking names?? i sure hope so. is she playing quidditch? or maybe she’s like a wizarding lawyer or something like stone cold bitch!!!! love that girl. what kind of mother is she? when did she and george fall in love?? does she still meet up with alicia spinnet and katie bell every once in a while for tea and biscuits and a chat?
lee jordan - IS HE A PROFESSIONAL COMMENTATOR. THAT’S ALL I WANT TO KNOW
bellatrix lestrange - i honestly just want to know everything about her. how was she growing up? her relationship with her sisters? when did she like fall in love or infatuation or lust or whatever with voldemort??? is like the no nose thing a kink? when’d she lose her mind? important questions
frank and alice longbottom - how’d they meet? how’d they fall in love? how’d they get married? they deserved better
ernie macmillan - did he ever stop being such a little bitch?
minerva mcgonagall - LEGITIMATELY EVERYTHING I WANT TO KNOW EVERYTHING i want a 1000 page essay detailing her time at hogwarts
cormac mclaggen - did he ever stop being such a big dick?
the patil sisters - listen tell me about like hinduism and magic and indian culture and hindu mythology and magic and also just everything about these sisters and their sisterly bond and how they were both underestimated and taken for giggling girls even though they were smart as fuck i love them
kingsley shacklebolt - okay i wanna hear how awesome he was at school and about how everyone loved him and i wanna hear about his adventures in the ministry and him talking to the muggle prime minister and basically how fucking awesome he was
dean thomas - his love for soccer!!!! tell me all about it!!!! his love for seamus!!!!! tell me all about it!!!!
ted tonks - how did he and andromeda fall in love??? did he try to convince her he was worth it???? was he Smooth As Fuck??? important questions
the weasleys - like i KNOW we know a ton about them but i just want MORE. i want more charlie and bill and bill and ginny’s relationship and all the siblings hanging out and i just want MORE of the dynamic
Jake English is the most intelligent character in Homestuck. And he hides it deliberately.
For a given value of “intelligence”, anyway. I don’t hold that much truck with the concept in general–there are different kinds of intelligence that run the gamut of human skills, and reducing that to a single concept is reductive, to say the least.
However, it’s hard to deny that there are real cultural forces in our society that do treat intelligence as a monolithic descriptor of skill and worth, and it’s a cultural idea as pervasive in reality as it is in Jake’s character arc. For that reason alone, I’ll be using “intelligence” as a term referring to Jake’s awareness of and competence at identifying and solving problems throughout this sequence. The term as I am using it here is only relevant in the context of the themes and language Homestuck sets up.
Intelligence, competence, and awareness are key parts of Jake’s relationship with the people around him, and particularly with the way he is dehumanized, taken for granted, and abused.
In fact, almost every character Jake is close to in canon questions his intelligence at some point:
And this dynamic isn’t just present in the characters. It’s in the fandom as well. Fandom perception of Jake English often considers him comically unaware of his surroundings and reality, dense and slow or even straight up unable to pick up on ideas that come naturally to many of the other characters.
This is true across the board of opinions of his character: Some consider Jake a self-absorbed, thoughtless asshole, others still consider him a helpless victim who isn’t quite quick enough on the uptake to keep up with how he’s manipulated by others.
It’s hard for us–the fandom, I mean–to be sure of just how much Jake understood about how badly Lil Hal treated him (and by association, Dirk, in much of the fandom’s eyes). Or that Jane liked him. Among other things. It’s part of the general air of helplessness and incompetence that surrounds Pages, I guess, and air set up around Jake for quite a lot of his narrative:
(Note: This is Brain Ghost Dirk specifically questioning Jake’s intelligence. I hope you’ve got some good note taking pens, because this is going to be important later.)
It’s pretty much accepted that the degree and reach of Jake’s intelligence is, at the very least, a matter of debate. I am here to say that it is not. At all. And I can prove it. By allowing ourselves to doubt Jake’s intelligence, we–the fandom– have performed the equivalent of deciding Dave’s cool guy act is the real deal.
We have fallen for Jake’s bluff. I’ll explain.
Plenty of people are aware that Knights, as a class, tend to act out personas that reflect ideas about how they think they should act. For Dave, that’s the stoic Cool Guy archetype, which he eventually grows out of:
For Karkat, it’s his ideas of being a Ruthless Big Shot Leader, which he also outgrows by the end:
And Latula has the thing about being a R4D SK4T3R G4M3G1RL!!! I don’t really think we need a quote to establish that–Dave and Karkat prove my point well enough, and this is pretty much common fandom knowledge.
What I don’t think is common fandom knowledge is that Pages do the same thing, but for a different purpose. Pages and Knights both set up Personas that they project into the outside world. And both of them do it to control how other people perceive them. But for different reasons.
Knights do it because they want to be perceived as capable, in control, and unflappable, basically. Karkat wants everyone to rely on his executive ability as a Leader. Dave wants to be admired and validated by his friends, or. Well. Anyone. In essence, Knights want to be relied on by others.
Knights use their aspect to benefit others. Pages use it to benefit themselves.
Horrus develops a strangely blank persona, so conspicuously fake it is hard to tell if he even reacts to input–so it’s easy for him to just pretend he didn’t hear it when Rufioh tells him he wants to break up–again, I don’t really feel like going through all of Openbound to get all the screencaps and I don’t think they warrant that much space on this post.
Tavros does the same thing, enveloping himself in his games and fantasy so much that he veers away from almost any responsibility in the session, and does only what he wants to…unless Vriska is stealing that ability from him. However, even through her abuse, Tavros manages through sheer presentation of his person to encourage the other trolls to help take care of him.
Specifically, by giving him increased mobility–mobility and freedom of movement being concepts closely related to Breath. It’s worth mentioning Tavros is able to inspire this care not just in Kanaya, but in Equius, who looks down upon lowbloods and whose culture would have encouraged him to KILL Tavros for his weakness rather than help him.
But because of Vriska’s exploitative and cruel influence on him, I’m not sure to what extent he really lives up to his full potential. That said, he DOES manage to completely live out his own personal fantasy, coming to embody both his childhood image of Peter Pan…
BUT ALSO being the only one of the Alternian trolls to accomplish his original childhood goal: Becoming a Cavalreaper.
Get it? He’s literally cavalry.Ha ha. Is this kind of a fucked up victory? Maybe, yeah. But it’s fitting that the character obsessed with the Peter Pan fantasy of leading a troupe of “Lost Boys” never really grows up with the goals he sets for himself. Maybe it says something about Tavros, or about the nature of Ghosts–either way, it definitely seems intentional.
Anyway, the Ghosts are another essay for another time. Time to talk about the kid I actually want to talk about:
Jake English has a fabricated persona, too. For Horuss, it’s nothingness. For Tavros, it’s endless childhood and Peter Pan. But Jake’s persona is a contrast to Dirk’s (and Dave’s) Cool Guy persona. Personas that, for each of them, sit at the dead opposite end of the spectrum from who all three characters actually are.
And for Jake’s constructed persona is that of the Hot-Headed Hero.
And like Horrus and Tavros, Jake indulges this fantasy version of himself even when he actively knows it makes no sense to do so, simply because it’s the fantasy about his life he wants to live out.
But like Dave and Dirk’s presentation of themselves as cool guys unphased by anything, this persona is a complete lie.
And also intelligent, curious, and good at evaluating the potential consequences of his actions–traits he literally willfuly holds himself back from.
His Modus is by far the most complex of all the kids. He uses a Puzzle Modus that allows him to fit any amount of items he wants in it’s storage space…so long as he can successfully spatially fit every single object within a finite space.
And Jake captchalogues a LOT of shit. Meaning he has to keep all of this inventory and know how to spatially navigate it to fit everything he wants at all times. And he does this casually, as a part of his daily interactions with the world around him.
But perhaps more telling than that is how Brain Ghost Dirk describes his own creation:
Brain Ghost Dirk implies that he is a Dirk splinter, but specifically a Dirk splinter that exists entirely through the ideas Jake has about Dirk.
In other words, Jake knows and understands Dirk so well that he can pretty much perfectly remember his body, movements and mannerisms on command. Again, not even actively, it’s just kind of how Jake English rolls-thinking about Dirk all the time is the status quo.
And Brain Ghost Dirk claims to be Jake’s literal brain, talking back to him.
Which means when Brain Ghost Dirk calls Jake out on something, he is forcibly communicating important information to Jake that Jake is actively choosing to ignore. It’s Jake talking to himself, not Dirk giving Jake information he doesn’t have by talking to him through Brain Ghost Dirk.
We have reason to believe the Ghost about this, since Dirk never expresses having any awareness of Brain Ghost Dirk’s existence.
Because we don’t need to guess at this by reverse-engineering Jake’s well-established feelings for Dirk. Roxy literally tells him Jane has these feelings before Jane herself does:
Jake recognizes what Roxy is saying, and guesses what she was alluding to on her own. Roxy doesn’t deny it by any measure, and when she asks Jake to drop the issue, Jake says he understands the dilemma this puts her in with Jane.
To stress: He received this information in confidence and knows it for a fact. And he trusts the information he receives so much that he then ACTS on it. After talking to Roxy, Jake messages Jane himself, OPENING by mentioning Roxy told him Jane was going to be contacting him.
And then he himself broaches the subject of their romantic feelings for each other:
But when Jane outright asks him if he has something he wants to say to her, Jake expertly dodges the question, keeping his options open while putting the onus of taking the first step and revealing her feelings on Jane again.
And then, once he’s got her trying to answer…
He KEEPS asking her, interrupting her several times while she starts to try sorting out her thoughts. He puts Jane under a LOT of pressure here, which…considering Jake literally KNOWS the answer, is a pretty shitty thing to do! Even if Roxy hadn’t LITERALLY TOLD HIM mere minutes ago, Jane’s reactions here would have confirmed Jake’s suspicions beyond a reasonable shadow of a doubt.
Unless, of course, one has a reputation for not thinking things through or being aware of their surroundings.
Once Jake has his answer, he doubles back, making sure to ask her AGAIN while she’s off balance….
And he then shuts her down when she tries to take the initiative on taking it back and being honest, quickly following up by IMMEDIATELY letting her know he’s relieved about this–signaling his disinterest BEFORE she has a chance to reveal she actually does have a stake in the matter.
He then uses his goofy, unaware, trusting persona to set up a status quo where Jane continually helps him by acting as a sounding board for all his thoughts about Dirk–essentially, putting Jane inside a gender-flipped version of the laughable stereotype of The Friend Zone.
But wait a minute. Jane is one thing. But if Jake is actually this smart, aware, and capable–then it kind of has ramifications across all of his character interactions. What else changes if we read Jake this way? I know I said my next post would be on Roxy, but, uh…yeah. This one kind of got away from me.
In our next entry, we’re going to talk about Why Jake does what he does, and Why he seems so genuinely confused about it later into his narrative. We’re also going to look at some of the other consequences his Jake’s approach to his friendships has for his friends.
We’ll also make a case for Why exactly Jake ultimately falls in love with Dirk Strider, how and when Jake demonstrates and acts on that love, and if I can manage to squeeze it in–maybe even uncover the way the Heart aspects’ two different themes of Souls and Romance/Shipping are conceptually connected.
And on that note, it’s worth pointing out that there’s one notable exception to the list of people fooled by Jake’s presented persona. One character who not only never talks Jake’s intelligence down…
But instead talks Jake’s intelligence UP when he talks badly about himself.
I wrote an essay to convince my teacher to let us watch Lilo and Stitch in class.
A few weeks ago in my math class everyone was really tired. So someone suggested we watched a movie instead of
doing work that day. Then I immediately said that we should watch Lilo and Stitch (because why
not). For the most part everyone in class agreed with me. But my teacher
wasn’t buying that I was being dead serious about wanting to watch it. So he
said as a joke that if came to school the next day and had written an essay on
how Lilo and Stitch relates to math he would consider letting us watch it in
class. I told him that if he wanted a paper, a paper he was going to get. But he
still didn’t believe me. The next day I walk into class with this paper.
It didn’t work. We still haven’t watched Lilo and Stitch. I’m still salty.
writing an essay in college is very different from writing an essay in high school. personally, i write more research/history papers than literary essays (the liberal arts life and curse), so this is going to be a post on how a general research-y essay that has a thesis and arguments.
don’t open with a quote and don’t be overly broad.
your intro should address the topic of your essay (ex. the significance of gardens in renaissance society), and then narrow down to what you want to talk about in regards to your topic (ex. the political influence of the Medici gardens during the renaissance)
thesis! it should include the argument you want to make about the narrowed down topic, and three (or however many your class requires) reasons to support it. I like to think of it as W = X + Y + Z.
your thesis explains who, what and why in a concise manner.
topic sentences should not be a word for word copy of your thesis.
the order of arguments in your thesis is the order of your paragraphs
depending on the length of your essay, there should be at least two justifications to your argument.
so, just as the intro has a formula, X = A + B, and so forth.
A and B should be backed up with some sources/quotes. don’t forget that if you are quoting from class notes to put either the prof’s last name, or (class notes)
be sure to have clear and concise arguments, don’t be flowery
USE WORDS THAT ARE ACCURATE. thesaurus is great but if you use a word that sounds cool but doesn’t capture the meaning you want to convey then don’t use it, because it may just change the meaning of your argument
quote whatever isn’t yours. it is completely fine if 90% of your sentences are quotes. its weird to get used to, but don’t worry about it.
the worst part in my opinion.
synthesize don’t summarize. show how your arguments relate back to the thesis.
try not to copy paste your thesis into the conclusion, word it so that the readers understands that through XYZ, you were able to conclude and support argument W (referring back to the thesis formula)
do not add any new information, do not add quotes.
your final sentence should tie up the essay in a pretty bow, but try to avoid clichés
when writing the body paragraphs, your ‘weakest’ paragraph should be in the middle, strongest as your last, and the second best as your first.
if you’re stumped on the intro, skip it. write out the body first, then the intro and you’ll be able to concisely word your thesis
think of your essay as an infomercial. your intro is the loud and clear HERES MY PRODUCT, the body is blasting information on why the product is so cool, and the conclusion is the final push for the viewer to buy that product. make your teacher want to agree with your thesis!
use a mix of paraphrase and quotes!
don’t forget your works cited lmao (the MLA Handbook is a gr8 tool, also OWL Purdue)
prime time for essay writing is in the morning or at night, but make sure you edit it meticulously
student info: Junk, the student assistant librarian
The library is an odd place, and the librarians are an odd bunch. There’s the research librarian who hunts monsters; there’s the one who smells like fig newtons and seems to live and breathe books and only books, as if bound somehow to the library itself; there’s the… some guy, you think, who helps with reshelving (and “some guy” is not at all an accurate description of… whoever or whatever he is, but you don’t dare risk any other description) and, of course, the head librarian. The head librarian is called Irons, and her name suits her. Mrs. Irons is rarely seen, but when she does show up, everything- everything- falls silent. They say Mrs. Irons once shushed the Wild Hunt. You almost believe it. They say she learned the true name of one of the Gentry, and put him to work in the library as an unpaid intern. You don’t know about that, but you don’t look up when you hear some guy shuffling a book cart around the shelves.
And then there’s the student assistant librarian.
The student assistant librarian is exhausted and stressed all the time. Usually she says her name is Junk, but sometimes she gets confused and introduces herself as something else instead- not ever her true name, no, just whatever she happens to blurt out. She’s used to false names. She wears boots with iron hobnails and sweaters inside out and cargo pants with a hundred things in their pockets; her hair is usually uncombed but always smells of witch hazel. She’s tall, but she has the sort of permanent stoop you get from keeping your eyes on the ground all your life. She’s personable, but she doesn’t do well when conversations go off script. She never makes eye contact, and her dark eyes move oddly when she looks around- as though there are things in the room she wants to avoid seeing. She lies as often as she tells the truth, seemingly without reason. Her lies are always either entirely inconsequential or unconvincing to the point of absurdity, but she always delivers them with the same impossibly straight face.
The job is minimum-wage work study; you’re not sure how many hours they’re even allowed to give a student each week, but it seems like Junk is always in the library. There’s a dingy old microwave behind the circulation desk and a pile of clothes from the lost and found that could conceivably be a bed, if you’re an exhausted college student who doesn’t want to risk the trek back across campus at three in the morning. (Any time but three in the morning, freshmen quickly learn- you can be a night owl all you like, but three in the morning is not our time.)
The student assistant librarian, whose name is usually Junk, is on the brink of flunking all her classes and always behind on reshelving. This is understandable. She is a student and an assistant librarian, but the real task of the student assistant librarian has little to do with either of those things. The library is an odd place and it is full of odd things, things odder even than the librarians. It is the task of the student assistant librarian to provide protection between the library and the students. She wanders the shelves with silver studs in her ears, washers on a chain around her neck, salt in her boots, a hand-crank flashlight in her pocket, and a crumpled guide to the Dewey Decimal system in her hand. She recites a poem as she walks, not because it keeps her safe but just because it’s her favorite stim: feeling the rhymes and rhythms on her own tongue, finding the patterns, finding the sense. It helps keep her calm- and she needs to be calm when she walks the shelves.
She finds the students who have wandered into danger; she finds the danger that has wandered into the library. She sorts things out. She chews her lips bloody inside every time she goes into the deep shelves, but she sorts things out. She knows exactly how to deal with the Gentry, and exactly how to avoid dealing with them. She is not all-powerful, nor does she think of herself as particularly heroic, but she is smart and she is stubborn and when you are in her library you will be safe.
There’s a rumor that Junk was born with the Sight. You’re not sure if that’s true- you’re not sure if that’s possible- but when you look at her, this strange gangling girl who strides into the deep shelves every night for minimum wage and strides back out again with lost students at her side, this girl who knows every rule for every interaction with the Gentry, this girl that lies as easily as breathing and once accidentally introduced herself as Captain Kirk, this girl that you once saw crying into a cup of E-Z Mac behind the circulation desk… when you look at her, you think that if anyone was ever born with the Sight, it was probably Junk.
You do not envy her that.
She has a cat, officially registered with the school as a support animal for her autism. It is grey, a bit chubby, incredibly loving, dumb as a box of rocks and about as energetic, and all in all one of the most aggressively mundane animals you’ve ever seen. Perhaps that’s why the Gentry have never messed with it- or maybe that’s because Junk has always ensured that the cat is as protected as it is possible for any animal to be: an iron-buckled collar of brass bells, fur washed with witch hazel water she’s left in the moonlight, salt packets sewn into its support animal vest, no name given, and always at her side. It does not chase mice in the library. It does not chase anything at all, nor has it ever attempted to drink or eat from the offerings that students leave out. Maybe, upon reflection, it isn’t actually that dumb.
On the occasions she actually manages to make it to class, she usually falls asleep on her tiny desk within ten minutes. Even in small classes, most of her classmates don’t want to wake her. Student assistant librarian is not an easy job, and it is only decency to allow her rest where she can find it. Her grades suffer, but she will return to the library for her shift, and when you are in her library, you will be safe.
Junk doesn’t have a major. Even after two years, she’s still muddling through her gen eds. She doesn’t often talk about her family- at least, she doesn’t often tell the truth about them- but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t love them. Sometimes, at Elsewhere, it’s best to keep the things you love secret. Her family, whoever they are, wherever they are, are proud that their daughter made it to university. They do not know about her job, or the duty that comes along with it. They especially do not know about her grades.
Finals week is hard on everyone, but it also means that the number of students in the library increases tenfold- and so does the number of other things. Finals week is the most dangerous time of year, more dangerous even than the ravages of Spring Break, and it is the duty of the student assistant librarian to provide protection between the library and the students. She stays up all night herding the desperate studiers out of the unsafe places; she takes her exams as quickly as she can (too quickly) and then races back to the library to fetch those who have gone missing in her absence. It is not uncommon to see Junk full-on sprinting down the campus sidewalks during finals week, lanky limbs akimbo, hair wild, cat peeking out of her backpack. As hard as she runs, though, she never cuts a corner from the safe pathways.
Not a single student has been Taken* from the library since she started work- an unprecedented record. She’s proud of that, even and especially on days when she’s too exhausted to put three sentences together, let alone write a timed essay. It seems unfair to give a job like this to a full-time student, and it is- but there is something about it that’s vital that the student assistant librarian must be both student and librarian. They must be a go-between. They must walk both worlds. They must provide protection.
(*She found a philosophy student halfway to the Barony once, miles past the marble palace in the reference section. He was lost and glamour-dazed, but not yet Taken, not all the way. She gave him half the sandwich she had in her pocket (the other half went back into the pocket, just in case) and led him back to the circulation desk in time for the end of night shift- the journey had been several days, she was certain, but time passed differently in the library. Two weeks later, the same philosophy student went missing from a party, and never reappeared. Junk couldn’t do anything about that; he wasn’t in her library. But no one gets taken from her library.)
Junk never asks for anything in return from the students she rescues from the deep shelves- it is her duty, after all, and duty means a bargain bigger, more binding, and more sacred than any trade between students. Still, it might be a good idea to help her with her classwork. After all, if she flunks out, the school is unlikely to get another student assistant librarian like this one.
((Hope this is alright! Wasn’t sure how to submit this but… Junk and Mrs. Irons are original characters of mine, sliding into Elsewhere University AU-wise. Anyone who wants to can find out more about them and their other lives (and talk to Junk!) at my blog @deweydeadcimal.))
“Hamilton I am telling you, if you don’t keep on criticizing my handwriting-“ You threatened, staring down at him. He crossed his small arms, sitting on the top of your eraser. You rolled your eyes at him, continuing your essay.
“You missed a comma,” he said, taking a small piece of the lead off the table and fixing it. You sighed, slamming your pencil onto the table. He jumped, looking up at you. “Hey! Are you trying to kill me here!” He yelled, but it was more like a squeak.
Spent a good portion of Shabbat thinking about this for the first time since I was a kid, but…
You know what’s another way to interpret Hermione Granger - with frizzy brown hair, big teeth, not especially tall, dentist parents, a deep love and respect for books and learning, passionate social views, and belonging to a social class demeaned for having “dirty blood”, being liars and thieves with false power, discriminated against by both societal racism and government policies, serving as strawmen villains, and eventually outlawed, hunted down and murdered?
04.04.17// A mini collage of my day. Started off in the library doing a timed English essay, then moved onto a history essay but did it in Cafe Nero for a cheeky hot chocolate ☕️ When I came home I did poetry annotations and some background notes 📚Feeling very productive but I could also have a nap right now💆🏼
I have been meaning to do this post for an awfully long time, and have had numerous messages asking me about how I revise, so it is about time I got down to it. I think the main reason why I haven’t done this post until now is because I myself have actually also been figuring out exactly how to revise. Last year, I feel that I didn’t really nail a set revision technique, and although I did fine with my prelims, I didn’t feel like I was prepared at all, and vowed to find a revision technique to make me feel satisfied this year.
I’ve found that using different methods for different papers is currently working for me, so I will try to give you an overview of what I am currently doing. I’m not saying that these methods are going to be 100% successful for myself or for anyone else, but if you are interested in what I am doing right now, then read on.
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I’m currently splitting 3 of my 4 papers into a revision technique with 3 stages: STAGE 1: collating quotes on post-it notes, collating notes from previous lectures, essays and supervisions; defining topics or ‘themes’ to gather them into. STAGE 2: creating a series of colourful mind-maps on these topics, using my quotes on post-it notes to stick on the paper in relevant places/move about the page. On the paper, I will arrange my notes and thoughts into logical trains of thought which flow into a mini ‘argument’ that includes these quotes. I will then do the same kind of mindmaps on past paper questions, creating mini essay plans that include my portable quotes. STAGE 3: PAST PAPER TIMED ESSAYS. There’s no real explanation needed here, only that I will probably first allow myself to look at my texts/notes during a timed essay, before then removing them from my sight/grasp at the final hurdle. I hope these stages make sense to people, and I will try to post pictures on here as I go. As you can see from the top image, I am currently only at Stage 1, but I will move to Stage 2 next week.
In my Medieval Paper, we have to complete translations, so, additional to the above method, I have written out the passages we need to work on for translation (see the image with my two copies of ‘Sir Gawain’). Here, I have found that translating gradually with the help of both the Middle English version & the translated version has helped. I haven’t looked at the translated version yet, and have instead written out the Middle English in black pen, before going over the text, referring to the Middle English glossary, picking out any words I found difficult individually before writing them in light green alongside the Middle English. I will next go over the translated version I own, and come to a conclusive translation in dark green at the bottom of each page.
For my fourth and final paper, Practical Criticism, I have found that the use of flashcards is probably the most helpful for all the critical terms that we need to know (see third image). After creating a set of flashcards and learning the terms, I will go through my past notes on different critical/theoretical schools of thought, creating more colourful mindmaps on each set topic. And then again, its PAST PAPER time.
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That’s it! I hope it makes sense. I am awful at knowing how to revise, possibly the worst person to ask if I’m honest, as nobody really tells you how to revise at university, which can mean that you waste time flailing around (that’s what I did last year). So now, I’ve just thought of various ways to change-up my revision technique and make it really dynamic. We’ll see if it works in the long-run, but it is working at the minute!
This term, there are also revision lectures, classes and supervisions on in the English department; I have attended these so far, and I have felt that they have really helped me to identify what I need to get done in my own revision time, so I will definitely carry on attending. Ultimately, so far this term, I have been keeping myself busy with revision, and I am really starting to feel like I am making progress. I’m actually quite enjoying it, so hopefully this feeling will last.