8 Things I’ll Miss About Reading Town

Now that I’ve started winding down from university, and namely living around universities, I’ve been thinking about what I’ll most miss about that atmosphere. Potentially the first in a series.

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A photo from the main Wantage building across the second quad to the second set of room where we stayed as first years.

  1. Walking to class…

From both my first-and-second-year and third year accommodation, it was a half an hour of walking to classes, morning and afternoon. Although both my accommodations were based outside of the campus, they were in the perfect places for a daily walk in. Through the sports fields in one direction and through the outside lakes/wooded areas the other side.

2. …Then walking across campus to other classes.

Many new students might be surprised by my fervour at the idea of having five minutes to cross from one end of campus (philosophy classrooms) to the other (psychology building), but an invigorating walk is great for the brain and mind. And then there’s the walking through the gardens and the lakeside walk and seeing all the student buildings that I wouldn’t normally go near. Reading University campus is a darling in the midst of the frumpier campus and city universities.

  1. Wantage Formals

Apart from the food and the Agrics* setting off fire alarms and making us lose our deposits, I loved the prestige of living at Wantage Hall. And with that came the formal meals. Once a term, we put on our finest, traipsed over to our dining hall (called the Harry Potter hall, to my chagrin, because it really doesn’t look that much like the Great Hall) with a bottle in hand, and had a three course meal and toasts and all that like. That is what university meant to me before I arrived.

*Agriculture Students. The downside of living in the hall most dedicated to the Agriculture side of Reading.

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Wantage Hall front entrance

  1. “Oh, hey Sam, you playing Binding of Isaac?”

Sam was the first person I met when I moved into Wantage, coincidentally enough living in the room opposite mine; and in that first year we became great friends, thanks to a shared habit of propping our doors open when we’re both ‘at home’. He was also the first person to inspire my interest in video games and, essentially, Let’s Plays before Let’s Plays existed due to his habit of playing video games and my habit of curiously watching what was going on as I edited.

The creepy-tastic room-random-generated game The Binding of Isaac in particular was a game that fascinates me.

  1. RUSDS

I didn’t realise how much I loved Reading University Swing Dance Society until I became a member of the committee, the Treasurer for two years, and, at one point, the pillar of keeping the society running when my fellow committee members one-by-one dropped out (!). I guess it was because being a committee member meant that I had to be there at classes consistently, and thus I got more involved with the actual learning and teaching.

  1. Some gorgeous buildings.

And some totally tacky ones. Looking at you, URS building, now being utilised as the library as the actual library undergoes renovations.

Image result for university of reading urs building

But, in general, Reading’s campus buildings are glossy and gorgeous and traditional brick structures and cohorts of the same.

  1. Uni Grill

Now closed, of all things! Well, this is something we expected – as one ought to expect from all of those kebab and friend chicken that are only kept open by the alcohol-infused brains, rather than stomachs, of students. But there was something about Uni Grill that made it more special than the other Reading chicken shops. Maybe because it was a mere walk from our accommodation.

8. An accessible town.

I could walk to the centre of Reading from where I loved, walk to the shops and have an evening out, and get back in at a reasonable time because I didn’t have to wait for specific buses or, namely, not going 10s of miles back home.

 

Until next time, readers…

🙂

7 Quick Takes: In Which Research Takes over my Life

It’s time to pop over to This Ain’t the Lyceum for Quick Takes Friday. 🙂

seven quick takes friday 2

~1~

Well, my week dashed past. Anyone else feeling that? I have so many tasks to complete, including a presentation for next Weds for which I have a block load of reading anyway. *phew*

~2~

I have started my Psychological testing! It’s very exciting, because this is part of my third year work, and entails a great deal of my final mark.

Plus, as I was reminiscing with my lab partner earlier, it was a long two years ago that the tables were turned, and I sat in the cubicle room, working on computer tasks. Now, I’m here. Wow.

~3~

It does, however, feel like all I do is work, dance, and watch murder mysteries. Which is frustrating, to say the least. Not the murder mysteries part, just the whirlwind of readings, submissions, and swing responsibilities.

~4~

Speaking of Swing, you may have heard (or not) of Scott Cupit, a swing teacher who runs the London scene. Reading University are very excited (and blessed) to have him teach us tonight in a one-off guest workshop.

Scottie was the one who ran the World Record Charleston – for which I am an official holder now – and it’s fair to say that I am in awe of his skills, especially as he’s been taught by the legendary Frankie Manning.

Here’s a clip of him dancing.

~5~

I may not remember to talk to Christ every day, but I know that he is here beside me, guiding me. When I have a rough or busy day, like yesterday, with multiple things not going my way, it’s definitely comforting to know that His plan is leading me somewhere. I just don’t know where. Keep the faith, wanderers. Deus vobiscum.

~6~

Editing. I did a bit more this week, yippee! *insert jumping animal here*

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Thank you, Facebook stickers! 😛

Granted, not much has been done, amount-wise, and most of my thoughts have been on structural edits/upping the tension.

~7~

Here’s a favourite new line of mine. It’s probably the most explicitly aggressive Rion has been to his family. I never thought he would actually pull a pistol on anyone, but – innuendos aside – considering the amount of warfare training he has, raising a weapon is actually a natural reaction.

RION1_AlexandrinaBrantcopyright

Photo of the Week: Lipstick

With essay writing and editing this week, I’ll admit I’ve not had much time for creative photography or stopping to catch the glimpses of subjects. Though, I’ll admit, I’ve seen a lot of ducks and squirrels on campus.

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Instead, I guess I treat you to vicarious champagne drinking through an image of my glass from the final swing session of term. As we’d been given champagne for teaching at one of the Wantage Formals, we decided to share it amongst the swing dancers who turned up that Weds.

Of course, this being the 50s, I graciously left my lipstick on my glass, reapplied it, and carried on dancing. After taking a photo, of course. 😉

Quick Takes Friday: Editing and Essays

Well, the term has officially finished for everybody, but I’ve still things to do. Seven Quick Takes is hosted this week by Written by the Finger of God.

seven quick takes friday 2

~1~

Why? Primarily – an essay for Typical and Atypical Reading due on Monday. I’ve really enjoyed this Psychology module for this term because it links nicely into my interest in linguistics. I am learning so much more about the science behind language – about Phonological Awareness and phoneme-grapheme correspondence.

~2~

It’s funny how quickly the year goes, though. Funny to think that my first time of the last year or my undergraduate is over – it’s been three months, but that’s only 12 weeks if one thinks about it. And it feels as if I have done so much, but at the same time, it has been hardly any work at all.

Sometimes, we all need God to ground us in the present day even when we get swept up in our surroundings.

~3~

This week, too (well, last Friday) I had the dance show with my university, which was so much fun. We performed three different strolls from three different eras, the Shim Sham, the Charleston Stroll, the Guaglione.

~4~

There’s no official video of our part or the entire show, but this is one of the original recordings of the Shim Sham, featuring the amazing Frankie Manning, who died only a couple of years ago.

~5~

As such with everything that has been going on, even with the end of term changing my extra-curricula activities, I’ve not had much time for writing. I just have to prioritize, even though it saddens me.

~6~

I’ve been editing my fiction, though, and I’ve made progress with SoS, hopefully to the point of finishing it for now.

~7~

Although I had doubts about this short story, I’ve come to love it, most because of its two voices. With an American character and a Brit, I’ve tried more than usual to vary the way the different POV narrators speak, make observations, and use vocab. It’s been a good learning experience for me in terms of my writing.

7 Quick Takes – A Pinup Wishlist

Don’t you find it frustrating when you plan to write a post or reblog something and you don’t even give your blog a glance on the day? I mean, even this is two days late this week… *sigh* With my swing dance, uni, and [sometimes unsuccessful] writing commitments, I have been finding more and more lately I have not had the motivation to do a blog post, or even sort out a reblog of one of the many fantastic blogs I read and partake of.

seven quick takes friday 2

~1~

So for this week’s Quick Takes, I’m going to do something different, as I have to rush off to a friend’s afternoon garden party. I’ve recently been really inspired by vintage fashion and repro[duction] clothes, and so I have a kind of ‘wishlist’ for pieces that I’d wear. (And can’t currently afford because I am a poor student).

~2~

I may slightly be fixated with cherry print vintage. I love it to pieces. This pencil skirt is different from the usual cherry print dress, and I’d like to mix up my pencil skirts from my current situation of just black.

Lisa skirt by LindyBop. I haven’t worm any LindyBop before, but a friend recently got a LindyBop dress that she loves the quality and fit of, and I’m eager to share her love of the company.

Lisa Cherry Pencil Wiggle Skirt | Vintage Inspired Fashion - Lindy Bop [wantsies]:

~3~

Look at how yellow this is! I love the cute addition of pockets as well. It’s a swing dress in cut, but with a studious twist to be able to use in day-to-day business.

Dee Dee dress by PinUp Girl Clothing

Dee Dee Dress in Pastel Yellow and White Pin Dots [wantsies!]

~4~

Is there anything cuter than a Christmas jumper? I mean, I’ve never been a huge fan of Christmas jumpers because they’re seasonal and get forgotten about, but this reindeer in profile along with the sturdy Christmas brown makes this jumper onto my wishlist.

Chrissie Deer Jumper by CollectIf. I love CollectIf, so no arguments here!

CollectIf Chrissie Deer Jumper [so cute! Wantsies]

~5~

I do like a tulle underlayer or two on my swing dresses – keeps me warm whilst walking to and from classes and events in wintertimes, and negates the need for a petticoat (though, one could wear one if one felt so) – and the use of mesh on the shoulders gives this dress the perfect vintage edge.

The Garden State dress in Mint Green by Unique Vintage is all kinds of adorable, and it’s similar to a dress I’ve bought recently in cut/fit, so I know that my figure suits these kinds of fuller swing dresses. Even if it is on the pricier side…

~6~

Of course, every outfit deserves some lovely pinup heels to match, with heels short enough to dance in, but high enough to be classy.

These are the red t-strap heels by Chie Mihara, and I love the hint of circus in the beading-effect. Though, I’d never buy them for the price! I just think they are nice for looking at.

Red T-strap heels [wantsies]:

~7~

I’m hoping to do more reviews of vintage and repro clothing on the blog, as they’re easy and quick for me to do with my now hectic life! Plus, I love to share how vintage fashion can be worn. I have an entire Pinterest board for vintage clothing and the like—in which slips a dollop of Downton Abbey, because why not? For more information on Swing Dancing, see my society’s website.

7 Quick Takes About Contemplating Consciousness, Birthday Business, and Anticipating Arrivals

Oh, look ^^ alphabetic alliteration. 😛 Another Friday has crept upon me, but I am glad it is the end of the week. 7 Quick Takes is hosted by This Ain’t the Lyceum, and you can see the rest of the blog-hop participants there.

It's Friday, so that means Seven Quick Takes! @emily_m_deardo

~1~

Exams: 2 down, 3 to go.

~2~

General poll for anyway passing who has an opinion: what is consciousness and how does it link to the concept of the mind?

Philosophy of Mind is proving a trickier module to revise, as I find myself falling into contemplation at every little question of the state of consciousness and how it ties into the actual question most philosophers are asking of whether and how the mind (or the mental) and brain (or the physical) are linked. I actually finally got myself to settle by asking my neighbour, who studies Systems Engineering and Cybernetics, and he gave me a satisfyingly empirical-evidence based answer that also involved squids. That will do nicely.

For now at least.

~3~

In Chamber Choir, we are cracking through Mozart’s Coronation Mass in C. Yesterday was quite a testing rehearsal for me, though, as I wasn’t on the game and got called out for at least three faults – and not even on the movement I didn’t know and was sight-reading on the spot. With my mental condition, it is moments like those that shock my confidence, which is only just beginning to revive me. I keep telling myself that others’ reassurance is irrelevant to how I view my singing, but after years of bullying for being a singer, I feel like I need to hide behind a crowd, rather than indulge my desires to be soloistic.

~4~

The Coronation Mass, as it is so elegant and summery. My personal favourite movement is the fourth, the Sanctus. I seem to have a soft spot for Sanctus movements in big choral pieces.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NP_z6LmscI

~5~

For my birthday week, I’ve actually not being doing that much. Revision as a priority, and then I joined the rest of the Swing Dance committee for a few drinks after our Weds lesson, as it coincided with my birthday. It was nice, and I wouldn’t really have wanted to do much in any case. I am 20, and it is inconsequential.

~6~

The Boyfriend is joining me this weekend – squee – and we’re attending a Swing Dance workshop focusing on footwork and British Collegiate style variations. It’s an all-afternoon thing, so I’m a little nervous, but it should be a fun break, as I know most of the other attendees. *looks to the sky* I will leave my room! 😛

~7~

I’m also doing a really mature thing and cooking dinner tonight. I have a frittata recipe I tested out (for one) last week, and it worked pretty nicely. I will be tweaking the recipe when I do it for two, but I reckon I can come up with something nice either way. Fingers crossed! I think one of the biggest misconceptions about university students is that we are always low on food (I always have too much food) and (okay, two biggest misconceptions) that we somehow fail at cooking or don’t like it. I definitely fall into the contrary of that.

Thanks for reading. See you next week!

7 Quick Takes: Shakespeare, Swing, Subjectivity Research

The busyness of my weeks barely permit me to have time to write a post, and I’m squeezing in each as I go, stealing spare pennies.

7 Quick Takes Friday is hosted by Kelly of This Ain’t the Lyceum.

seven quick take friday 2

~1~

As usual, I start with the work. I’ve been doing research for my third year project, which is likely going to be something along the lines of investigating how types of language can change people’s perception of the world and objects.

Subjectivity is weird.

~2~

On the leisure side, we had so much dancing this week. Saturday was the Swing Jam social as I mentioned on Monday. Looking through my photos, I didn’t manage to get so many clean-cut and precise ones as I would’ve liked, so I will have to stay dictating to you the fun I had that evening.

~3~

Thursday we went to see jazz band The Silver Heels and swing dance to them in a local bar venue. More great fun, especially as so many of the society turned up, and we said goodbye to President Chris as he goes to Cyprus on army business! We were told that if as many dancers arrive next month (Silver Heels is a monthly gig, and God bless everyone for that!), they’ll move the sofa and budge the tables to give us a bigger dancing space, yay! I don’t have a visual clip of The Silver Heels’ work, as normally they’re being listened and danced to, but their Reverbnation page has a nice selection of their songs and covers.

~4~

The Annual General Meeting has been on my mind as the committee prepares for it, and I have to compile a list of things that have been and need to be done. I’m working on it, and, actually, the more thought and confidence I let God provide me, the easier I’m finding it being. I have come to realise that too long has come to pass of me letting others speak first when I have an idea. I must not suppress my ideas any more, for the suppression is what lack of confidence has taken me from my dreams.

~5~

A rehearsal picture from the official Facebook page

 

I went to see the Reading Drama Society’s The Tempest this evening. It was wonderful, but what struck me the most was not the lively costumes and makeup, the amazing direction, or the creative acting, but the music, dazzling and heartbreaking. I would love to return to the theatre, and, in particular, back to theatrical music. I have a start in just listening as I work, I guess…

~6~

And as I sit here with my tea and thoughts a-brewing, the fiction practically writes itself. I don’t know if I mentioned before my inspiration of A City of Ember, but that has been stirring, and, as I watched my friends and thespians perform, I saw the characters beyond them, I saw the players be my hands and take to me my work.

And that is inspiration.

~7~

Alchemist siblings Brielle and Pierre

Alchemist siblings Brielle and Pierre