Reading week: Hemingway, Burlesque, Halloween, Food

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My neck and legs are in agony and it’s all my fault. I can’t even look down at a book without flexing and feeling a sharp twang behind my head. Did I sleep funny?

Oh yes, I do remember. It was the hair-throwing head spins, one slow and two high-speed rotations in the routine. How many times we did the routine, I haven’t a clue. A dozen times maybe.

For all my life, ahem in the context of orchestral warm-ups, I’ve been advised to never tip your head ‘too far back’, but ‘just enough to see the ceiling’. Last night I went so far back I could have thrown my head out the window and into London Bridge station. Who’d have thought that a burlesque class could put such strain on the human body?

Ooh hoo hoo, I finally danced burlesque! In response to your first question: no, I did not take any clothes off nor did I wear a corset and nipple tassels. This wasn’t traditional, Dita-von-Teese burlesque, though that would have been a truly enlightening experience too. It was ‘modern’ burlesque class, you could say, run by a student society, and I danced in my electric orange socks. With the exception of the sole male in the class, I was the only one not wearing heels. In response to your second question: yes, it was super sexy.

Eventually…

The style was more like the stuff of music videos and dance shows like ‘So you think you can dance?’ which I had never done before. The song we danced to was had a 3am Friday night chilled groove, but in fact each pose and gesture that was paired with a percussive, determined drum beats followed the next like lightning. You had to be slick, controlled and cool.

This was hard stuff, a bit like the challenge of playing slow music.

“Haw, yeah only three long notes in the whole piece woop woop I can chill out!”

And then you realise that it isn’t possible to hold a note of that length without getting arm cramps or trembling your bow or distorting the tone, and damn you just missed the next transition.

So in a burlesque context: I looked like an idiot for quite a while. It would have helped if I didn’t have the orange socks.

I don’t know how the dancers do it. It’s amazing and I admire their talent and body strength. Do you know how hard it is to lift yourself from the floor with one arm and fling your legs from one side to the other?! Don’t underestimate burlesque dancing or pole-dancing for that matter. It’s an athletic discipline which is very tricky to master.

Thanks to KCL Dance Society for such a great class. It was a perfect way to end a day of reading Tort and Trusts cases.


That’s my main feature of today’s post done. I was going to include ‘Bourdieu’ in the title, but then deleted it after realising that this would create an expectation to explain his theory to the same depth, and that is just not possible.

Other reading week antics:

I finished a novel for the first time in about 3 years. I’m proud of myself even though it is miniscule. It’s beautiful book and I highly recommend it.

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There is free food 5 minutes from my university. I’m going to go there every day from now on.

 

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I explored East London and discovered strange things.

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Photo courtesy of Ms President.

Photo courtesy of Ms President.

I had a fun time at the Law Fair.

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I’ve been a-cookin’!
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And cycling…
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Lastly, I would like to wish everyone a good Halloween. Don’t dress too sluttily, because that’s just embarrassing, but do enough so that people can fear for their lives or laugh at you on the tube journey home. Yes, I went home alone looking like this…

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The Rise of the Superhuman

She is back, after an unintended three month hiatus.

She has returned after recovering from a deadly bout of the notorious disease, Freshers’ Flu. 

She has clicked ‘New Post’ on her WordPress dashboard after finally acquiring some basic, Sociology-For-Dummies understanding Durkheim’s analysis of modern and primitive societies, at 2:30am.

Not only is she back, but she is roaring on a new noble steed.

A BICYCLE.

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Snapshots of Atlantic City

I’m in America now visiting and travelling with family. I would have written sooner, but lately I’ve been addicted to making mistakes on the violin and playing with my five month old baby sister.

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I’ve also been occupied by my four year old cousin who is so spoilt that he has demanded to pee in the car half a dozen times and championed in doing so. Refusing this wish is suicide for your eardrums. “I WANT TO PEE I WANT TO PEE I CAN’T HOLD IT IN ANYMORE.” So he uses one of my legs which is propped on the front armrest for buttock support as he urinates into an unused Starbucks translucent frappacino cup the water and juice he drank about twenty minutes ago.

Jesus, it’s like, a teaspoon of pee. This abominable little boy can’t even keep in a teaspoon of pee?!

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First year is over: FREEDOM FOR FOUR MONTHS

I have been released.

How to describe the moment I left the exam hall? It’s a mixture of the following two clips.

Watch from the beginning of the clip to experience the journey of this year.
Then skip to 1:37 if you get bored of it.

Watch from 1:40:25

 

No more late nights at the library, unhealthy diets and panic attacks.

No more irritating people in the silent library zones. One of them was oblivious to the fact that his nose made a wheezy sound whenever he inhaled and exhaled.

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No more sights of people studying hardcore. The diagrams, textbooks and glum faces gave me one too many nervous pangs.

*Shudders*

________________

I’m not sure how to continue this post.

It’s been a while since I did anything human.

I’ve been living in a cave.

A little bit like Howl’s room:

But less dreamy and romantic.

Add a few dusty surfaces, smelly shoes and discarded plates – an overflowing laundry basket on the side.

A tower of books on my floor. A suitcase from a month ago.

I haven’t even touched my violin since NYO.

The muscles won’t know which way to push and pull.

The hands will ache during the first few practice sessions, but it will be okay.

I can have violin lessons again too.

My first rehearsal of the summer is on Tuesday evening. So many concerts to come, never mind a tour to Belgium. We even have t-shirts and stickers.

I can start on KCL Bar Society stuff. Updating the website, thinking up new pieces for the newsletter. I can contact a few lawyers and arrange some meetings.

I can plan my summer! I have so many things I want to do.

I want to read literature again.

I want to find a summer job for a bit, maybe.

I want to start watching French films and restart my mission to learn more Chinese.

I want to swim.

I wanna go back home to Edinburgh for a bit.

Meanwhile moving into a new house for next year!

I have a huge backlog of social activity to catch up on. I’m referring to the negative space during exam time, and also from over the entire year.

The fact that I can count the number of times I’ve been out with my fingers.

My, my.

Today, my first free day, I did some first-timers.

I had a coffee made from a Moka Pot for the first time.

I visited my first London cemetery – Highgate Cemetery – which hosts Karl Marx’s tombstone and other charming sights.

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My phone died by the time we came face to face with Marx himself. Here’s a Wiki image of his resting place for your interest.

Less effective in this image is the darkness which he casts with his eyes. Each eyeball must be the size of a grapefruit, which allows plenty of room for white, iris and pupil. The eyes are alive. Even the natural moisture (eye juice) is carved in.

I also had my first Magnum ice cream for the year.

I am very overwhelmed by everything. And so very, very tired.

Gonna go now. I’ll write something more substantial later.

Ciao x

It’s Me against ‘The Rule of Law’

I’m currently in the library sitting on the floor with my back against a cool, soothing stone wall. I’ve allocated myself several minutes break before I continue with studying. The chairs provided by King’s are appalling. If I’m not careful I’ll turn into the half-sister of the Hunchback of Notre Dame, so I think I deserve a bit of relief.

Also, my legs ache. This is because I have decided to go running every morning until exams are over. So far this has been two days of exercise in a local park. It takes 10 mins to run there; I run another 15 mins; then I run back home. Hopefully an active approach to living will help me power through the next couple of weeks.

(Stop pulling that smile. Don’t mock me.)

But the exercise has had a slight opposite effect, which I’m not very pleased about. Having aching legs means that it is a lot harder to frequent in the library building. Finding books is time-consuming and re-filling my water bottle at the fountain on the lower-ground floor is a task which I dread every few hours. This is proof that exercise and myself do not fuse well together.

Anyway, back into my cavern. I need to write an essay about Parliament and the Rule of Law and God knows what else.

I feel like this video, but a lot less sexual.

I don’t you can ever feel sexual about Public Law.

_____________________

COME AT ME LAW EXAMS. You’ll wish that you never existed – he, he, he…

NYO, yo, yo! Getting down and groovy into concert mode.

It’s currently day 10 on the NYO Spring Residency. We have one more day of rehearsing before we are off to Liverpool for our first concert, wahey.

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Chamber Music on NYO’s Inspire Day

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A comparison between the music of Strauss and S Club 7

I’m currently on day 4 of the Spring NYOGB Residency. There’s definitely a different flavour about this one. I don’t know whether it’s because I’m even more stressed than normal, or because I’ve been sleeping at ridiculous hours? I’ve been going to bed before 9pm every night. This is not normal.

NYO had Section Night last Tuesday. Djeikub hosted a great one for the Second Violins. He organised a ‘Children’s Birthday Party’ which involved face-painting, pass the parcel and musical chairs.

Music included the Benga Boys and S Club 7. For all the 90s kids.

(It’s scary to think that in some years all the members of the orchestra will have been born after 2000… It’s 2014. A thirteen year old born in 2001 could join. I feel so old.)

Thanks to the Section Night I made a startling revelation. It turns out that S Club 7’s chart topping song Reach For The Stars is actually rooted in music from the Romantic era, namely the Strauss period.

I realised this the day after Section night when we rehearsed a segment of Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben. 

Listen from 0:24 – 0:30 and then from 1:00-1:10.

Let that tune sink into your brain…

Now, compare with Strauss Ein Heldenleben:

Listen from 28:15 – 29:13, especially to the last ascending notes in the strings.

Can you hear it now?

“I’ve … got … you … and … you’ve … got … me … so … REACH FOR THE STARS!”

Mind = BLOWN.

…You will never think of Strauss in the same way again.

________________________

NYO are rehearsing the Ecstasio movement from Asyla today. (See this post.) You all know what this means. Relentless raving.

I better go to breakfast now. Have a splendid day everybody!

A snapshot of my mind at the moment

 

 

EU
Citizens
rights Alokpa
Third country nationals
are treated unfairly I have
exams in 4 weeks and two essays
but I have no clean clothes for NYO and I
leave London tomorrow yet my flat is in a tip
of my tongue I can feel the essay forming in my head
all those cases were worth reading all SEVENTEEN
were worth analysing because the essay will be
better however I haven’t touched my violin
since Sunday so I might fall apart too
at rehearsals from half nine till five
every day for a fortnight but no
worries dear at least you are
playing music with friends
dancing classes on two
nights it’s worth the
endless fun and
lack of
sleep
OK
:)
!

I have remedies for these things. All will be well.
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Strauss gives everyone inspiration in Ein Heldenleben. Take on the world like heroes and all will be fine.IMG_2405

There are actually a lot of high passages in the second violin part.
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Only time will reveal the outcome of the forthcoming weeks. Hopefully it will not lead to this – me being the shattered wine glass. 
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Have a happy Easter holiday everyone!

Final week of 1st year

Lectures have just ended. Just like the last drop of water from a closing tap. No more 9ams. No more soggy hair from 08:30am showers.

Came back home by 11:30 and sat on my bed doing some reading.Trying to teach myself the latter third of the Contract Law course. And everything else. Murrrrgh. Cheered up by some weird-ass judgment from Lord Denning:

I soon begin to get out of my depth. I cannot swim in this sea of semantic exercises – to say nothing of the different degrees of probability – especially when the cause of action can be laid either in contract or in tort. I am swept under by the conflicting currents.

Oh bless the lovely Lord Denning.

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Oh dear… It’s a Monday.

So I get up for my 9am and miss some of the lecture because my bus arrived late. What on earth she talking about? No worries, I thought, I’ll revise it later…

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After filling page with random pieces of information, my hand fell into a trance. The pen felt ill-tempered in my hand. All the while my hand was moving properly, and I felt confident that I was writing good, legible lecture notes.

But soon the hand had a life of its own. I lost control. The information processing ceased to function in my brain. I was going on shut down.

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I was sleep-writing.

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What even is this language?!

In the break between lessons I looked at those papers and laughed a bit too hard for a Monday morning. It’s like I wrote that with the pen held between my toes.

Law is not the subject to study when you’ve had a bad night’s sleep. Or in my case none at all. Lesson learned: do not drink a cup of tea before you go to sleep, even if you have 30 words to cut from your essay.

(Below is not my work, but a very funny first draft written by one of my friends.)

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Good night all.