the spinster

Dear college students...

Congratulations, you’ve made it through the worst of the semester doldrums, and the end of term is in sight! It is also time for more unsolicited advice from me, harried college professor and spinster aunt of Tumblr.

For the love of all that is good and holy, COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR PROFESSORS. Professors like this. We find it reassuring. This is because we care about your well-being. Note that I say "your well-being” and not “your academic success.” We totally do care about your academic success too. But on communication hang, as it were, all the law and the prophets. Why do I find it necessary to write this blog post? Because struggling students tend not to come to me until assignments are overdue, and we’re both stressed out and anxious about the situation by that point. Also, I see a lot of students very hesitant to come into office hours without “something to show” or “ideas to discuss.” In response to these phenomena, I wish to say this:

THERE ARE NO PREREQUISITES FOR COMING TO OFFICE HOURS.

If you’re struggling to find ideas or create “something to show” or… anything, really, then that is a good time to talk to the person who is an expert in the subject matter you’re working with and who is responsible for designing the assignments you’re working on. There is no bad time to visit office hours. You can set up appointments if the usual hours don’t work for you. Some professors even have tea on offer. And popping into a 10- or 15-minute meeting can really pay dividends, I promise… not least because it communicates to your professor that you are serious about developing skills and/or mastering content. Talking with students about work is literally what office hours are for. In theory. In practice they’re for me drinking too much coffee and worrying about the students who aren’t coming to see me.

Additional communication strategies include:

  • Quick pre- or post-class questions to clarify small points
  • Drawing the professor’s attention to tech glitches, if you have an LMS you’re using for the course (I am always, always grateful for this)
  • Sending emails
  • Responding to emails

All of these things demonstrate engagement, and that is a good thing. Also, re: responding to emails… for the love of all that is good and holy, answer your professors’ emails, even if it’s only to confirm receipt! This isn’t necessary for a general message to the class, but if you’re being sent a list of references, or a question about field trip registration, or a missing assignment… answer the email. I’m not gnashing my teeth in my professorial lair, waiting to assign demerits if the answer to the email is something along the lines of “I’ve been really overwhelmed and have barely even started the assignment; can I come to your office hours?” 

Please. If you’re struggling, or if you’re not; if you want a little extra help, or just want to talk more about Wednesday’s reading… communicate with your professors. And consider coming to office hours; there might be tea.

Anxiously and affectionately yours,

A College Instructor With a Stress-Induced Twitch

Okay, so I see a lot of posts floating around Tumblr about how awful/exhausting/stressful adulthood is. They make me laugh and they’re relatable and sometimes I reblog them. The thing is, though, for me, adulthood is actually way better than being a teenager was–so I wanted to share some things I love about being an adult, just to even out the balance. I don’t think I have any teenage followers, but maybe some in their early twenties? Anyway, I don’t want people to fear adulthood, because there are amazing things about it:

–Normally, I end my evenings by sitting on my sofa in my flat in pleasant solitude, drinking herbal tea and reading and listening to that morning’s Essential Classics on Radio 3. This should be the dictionary definition of bliss.

–Even though I have experienced bullying as an adult as well as when I was a child/teenager, I feel like my internal resources for dealing with it are better now and growing all the time. I no longer feel like the bad things people say to and about me define me.

–Buying my own laundry detergent means I can finally pick one that I’m not allergic to. I am no longer 110% covered in red itches at all times.

–I have friends who are boys and my dad isn’t in my house to constantly harrass me about them.

–Last year I went to a concert of science fiction scores played by the Royal Philharmonic with someone I know slightly from church. It was the actual coolest.

–My brother and I are friends now that we live in entirely different cities. He texted me the other day for advice on his CV. It was nice.

–My friends either share my interests or love the fact that I’m so interested in those things. It’s been years since I’ve said to anyone “I learnt an interesting thing today!” and they’ve replied, flatly, “define interesting”.

–I just feel so much more like myself than I did when I was a teenager. I’m okay with hating make-up/loving Disney films/being super career-driven/being great with kids, and the fact that those things would seem to make me a contradiction, and that I’m actually just me.

–My mum keeps defending my right to be single to anyone who tries to commiserate with her about the fact that she doesn’t have grandbabies. Adulthood, for me, has meant becoming friends with my mum.

–I know enough about myself and the world now to realise that understanding social/relational stuff is a real weak point of mine. When I don’t understand those things now, I say “I don’t understand this” to my friends, and they help me without laughing at me. (Then I help them with their CVs and knowing where their apostrophes belong. Turn and turn about is fair play).

–Enough bad things have come and gone in my life that I know dark seasons will pass, and even the things that aren’t temporary (my dad will probably never not be a borderline-homeless misogynistic conspiracy theorist again) are just part of my life, not the whole of it. They don’t consume me. When awful things happen, I am sad for a few weeks or months, but I know that one day I will be not sad for a while, and that is worth hanging on for. This is something I never could have known when I was a teenager, because not enough bad things had come and gone from my life.

–I would not trade the worst day of my last six months (which was awful and heartbreaking and I think I literally cried for 24 hours straight) for any day from my life aged 11-16. I have been sad, this year, but I also knew it would pass. It gets better. It gets so much better.
Essay-writing PSA

Dear Students: as Spinster Aunt of Tumblr and sometime College Writing Instructor, I have unsolicited advice for you. Do sit down and have a cup of tea.

  1. Writing is a learned skill.
  2. Writing is hard.
  3. Writing gets easier with practice.
  4. The quality of your writing does not automatically reflect the quality of your ideas.
  5. By the same token, a critique of your writing is not the same thing as a critique of your ideas
  6. (I’m putting that in bold because I think it’s very important; I have seen lots of creative, insightful ideas hidden in bland or unclear prose.)
  7. Essay prompts are designed to help you.
  8. Office hours are designed to help you. (If your teachers don’t have office hours, it’s probably because they cannot afford to. It’s a long, sad story.)
  9. Time spent with your own ideas is always worthwhile.
  10. Time spent revising your own writing is always worthwhile.

Go forth and conquer! Send your ideas out into the world! And remember: writing is a learned skill. Writing is hard. Writing gets easier with practice. Oh, and tea helps.

kickstarter.com
The Little Spinster (Feature Film)
'The Little Spinster' is a drama/LGBT romance film set in small-town Australia in the early 20th century

A heart-wrenching lesbian romance/drama movie set in early 1900s small-town Australia, written & produced by a team of young women??? Yes, but only if you donate to our Kickstarter campaign!

Please help us reach our goal by December 16th.

We have a very low budget for this production but we think it is a story worth telling, especially in light of the debates concerning LGBT+ rights in Australia over the past months. Donate now!

Me, an INFP: I’m such a hopeless romantic. I dream of falling in love at first sight, marrying on a cliff overlooking a beautiful view of the ocean, and living happily ever after.

Me, also an INFP: Meh. I have strong fears of rejection, betrayal, and loss of passion. I don’t currently feel that I could actually handle the emotional struggles of being in a relationship. I’d be better off single, with a dog or two (or cat).

  • me: okay so this next dress I make is going to be in nice light colors like most young unmarried women wore back then
  • me two days later: this next dress I make is going to be in red/black color-change silk with black trim because fuck you I'm gothic trash
My Puppy | 1

Originally posted by rapnamu

CHAPTER ONE

Chapters: [1] [2] [3]

Pairing: Taehyung X Reader-First Person View

Genre & Warnings: SMUT, fluff, pet play. 

Word Count: 4,406

NOTE: Pure Filth. Turn back now if you don’t want to see. Turning Tae Tae into my Fuck Puppy (Thanks, Anon). Soft femdom. Let me tell you, it was an EXPERIENCE writing this, and I am still not entirely pleased with it. Mostly because I’m never happy with my own smut writing. I had to do so much research, so Google probably thinks I’m freaky naughty af. Which I suppose I am considering I wrote this lol. So, for those that are hardcore into this and believe I didn’t portray it well enough, I’m sorry, I tried. And I learned quite a bit about myself, like the fact that if I ever get my hands on someone like Tae, I am so going to try this. Now enjoy, and excuse me as I go drench myself in holy water to cleanse myself of sin. 


“You know, I hate the winter. It reminds me of your cold heart.”

My now ex-boyfriend mutters this line, looking into the snowy sky. He sighs loudly and saunters off, without looking back. What a fucking drama queen. I can’t help but snort as I watch him disappear into the light snowfall, and wonder what movie he got that line from.

Cold heart.

I don’t have a cold heart. He was just a damn bore. He never wanted to do anything but watch movies and freaked out if I suggested anything besides missionary. I’ve been thinking about breaking up with him for weeks now but was putting it off because I knew he’d cry. This saved me all the hassle.

Note to self: Don’t date actors.

Keep reading

I AM A FEMINIST

“Feminist: A person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of all genders, regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, religion, ability and sexual orientation.”

I am a feminist because I am too scared to walk alone at night.

I am a feminist because I got lined up in a classroom in order of who had the nicest arse, aged thirteen, by all the boys in the class.

I am a feminist because everyone asks me if I’m feeling OK on the days I don’t wear makeup.  

I am a feminist because a man I was managing was paid the same as me.

I am a feminist because every girl I know was sexually harassed before the age of sixteen.  

I am a feminist because women write insightful and beautiful books about relationships and they’re labelled chick lit. I am a feminist because men write insightful and beautiful books about relationships and get longlisted for the Booker prize.  

I am a feminist because 50% of the films nominated for Best Picture Academy Awards did not pass the simple Bechdel test.

I am a feminist because whenever I watch a movie, music video, or open a magazine, I feel instantly insecure about my body.

I am a feminist because my two-year-old niece pointed to a picture of a blue hat in a book and said, “Boy’s hat”.

I am a feminist because I am regularly interrupted by men whenever I dare to open my mouth.  

I am a feminist because when I do mixed-sex school visits, the girls never, ever put their hand up to ask a question. But, when it’s just girls, we usually have to leave extra time for questions.

I am a feminist because I feel I need to hide my tampon up my sleeve on the way to the toilet.

I am a feminist because teenage boys come up to me at events and ask if they’re “allowed” to read my books.

I am a feminist for all the boys I supported, working at a charity, who would rather harm themselves than cry.

I am a feminist because my wonderful, caring, brilliant feminist father has still never cleaned a toilet in his life.  

I am a feminist because this is only the tip of it. The tip of it in my privileged, first-world, pale-skinned, straight, fully-abled life.  

I am feminist for all the women for whom it is unimaginably harder than it is for me.

I am a feminist because I am angry and exhausted and terrified and frustrated and confused. And even though it’s so much harder to fight, so much easier to roll over, I am a feminist because… how can you not be a feminist?  

I am a feminist for all the things I’m damaged by that I don’t want to share here today.  

I am a feminist. And I’m not saying that to make you feel guilty and defensive. I’m not saying that because I think you’re a bad person. I’m not saying that because I hate half of the human population and want them all punished.  

I am saying that because I believe every human being should have an equal shot at a healthy and happy life, no matter what body they are born into. And that’s not going to happen unless we fight, unless we speak up, unless we occasionally make people feel uncomfortable, unless we – at the very freaking least – TRY.

That’s why #IAmAFeminist. Now, how about you?

This handsome young man has taken up residence on my porch in an attempt to woo my 4 indoor only lady cats. Unfortunately for the gentleman caller (affectionately referred to as Thomas) my ladies are all avowed spinsters.

In all seriousness despite the fact that he looks well fed I worry about animals that are strays, particularly during hurricane season, so I’m trying to woo him with food, water and shelter in order to get him comfortable enough to come to the vet. He’s a sourpuss but is slowly warming up via kibbles and bits.