Thursday, April 28, 2011

New Blog

I have started a new blog. It will most certainly not be everyone's cup of tea as it purely all about my study material.

The purpose is not to tell the world about what I'm studying or about psychology, criminology, anthropology or African Culture (this semester anyway) but to help me to relate the information to my daily life and the people that I know as it makes it so much easier to remember.

You are welcome to read it, although you may find it rather dull and boring, and maybe your insomnia will be cured or you'll wonder what possessed me or you may find it interesting!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The "50 pointless questions" assignment

UNISA have compulsory assignments that you have to submit before certain dates in order for you to gain admission to write the exams. They count for 10% of your final mark.

All the modules I've taken always have 2 compulsory assignments and a few non-compulsory self-check exercises. Psychology, however, had 3 compulsory assignments, the last being due today. It was a 50 question compulsory assignment on how much you liked or disliked the module.

Unfortunately, there was no room for commentary, which most of us would've liked as the questions were rather obscure and the grammar was awful making their English rather difficult to understand. I suspect that having no space for commentary was to avoid having to read through many, many, many disgruntled student's spelling corrections and swearing and insults, etc.

We had 50 multiple choice questions and each number represented an answer. So 1 was "Strongly disagree" 2 was "Disagree", etc up to 5 which was "Strongly agree"
My answers formed a perfect zigzag pattern! Maybe it was all a trick and it was like those tutor systems where you have to get the answers right and then it forms a picture or pattern! You have no clue what a tutor system is, do you? Um, it's a little thingie of blocks and one side has an answer on it and the other has a colour. So you select the correct answer and put it in it's correct space and when you're done, you flip it over and the colour blocks form a picture or pattern. Magic!

Why do they waste our time like this? If they wanted us to draw zigzags for them, why not just say so?

UNISA Psych department, if you're really not sure if you did a good job presenting the module, maybe that in itself is a good indication; And ask the English department to help you out next time. Yes, yes, I make typos, I know but they're typos, not confusion or ignorance.

We have all since received the "results" of our 3rd assignment along with a copy of the "correct" answers. Most of us, myself included, failed the assignment dismally. I got 33%. Why? Because the "correct" answers were all "Super easy!". There was a huge uproar on the UNISA discussion forum regarding this assignment as we were penalised for our opinions. We weren't really, it didn't count for anything, but it was very funny at how their method of marking was totally contradictory to the way they were trying to get us to think in.

UNISA, you teach us to see past our biases, pre-conceived ideas and to open our minds, take things in context and acknowledge that ideas and opinions form for reasons and then you take our opinions, which you asked us for, and mark them all as wrong because they did not reflect what your biases did. You did not take our opinions in context nor did you acknowledge the reasoning behind the opinions. Your "argument" therefore was invalid. FAIL!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Being a good person

It bugs me when people are fake. Not all people are fake, some are very very genuine and sincere but there are those who almost like do a Google search on "How to be a good person" or "How to be nice" and then apply those rules strictly in their lives. Yes, it's nice that they want to be nice but if they need step by step instructions to tell them what to do, doesn't that need some investigating?

So, I suppose I don't like fake nice people.

I took it upon myself yesterday to peruse one of these such textbooks for people getting married. It advised "...not to talk about your wedding too much to anyone because other people may find it upsetting." Upsetting? Really? People find wedding talk upsetting? Who are these people? Single people? Divorced people? Everyone? Perhaps constant wedding talk is enough to make other people want to shoot you but upsetting? I thought that people enjoy sharing in the joy of others. Perhaps this could be worded differently if said at all.

It made me wonder about the other advice out there too and so I read up on that too but got distracted when I saw a "How weird are you" test to which I scored "11% weird".

There is so much advice out there written by who knows who and who knows what they know so I've asked genuinely nice people what they think:

Q: What makes someone a nice person?
A: Empathy, love of animals, not smoking, be unselfish but not selfless, must love cake.

Q: How do you spot a fake nice person?
A: They say all the right things at the right time but when you're really in a crises, they let you down. They're often hypocritical. They genuinely seem to think that they're nice.

Q: How should you handle a fake nice person?
A: Just smile and nod but don't take anything that they say seriously because you will get hurt and if you do, don't take it personally.

I think that these are fabulous answers, especially the one about loving cake.

First attempt at writing vows

A while ago, I wrote an attempt at vows. It was more what I'd love to say but what I probably won't get to say as most priests/ministers object to anything not conventional or reasonably normal. Although mine are, in fact, based on traditional vows:

I'll love you when the sun comes up,
and you hold out your hand, for your coffee cup.

I'll love you when you're sick in bed,
And look so bad, with your nose so red.

I'll love you when you've spent all your money,
& I'll laugh at your jokes, as if they're so funny

I'll love you when you get old and flabby,
And arthritis has struck and you're always so crabby

I'll love you and will always think you're so hot
And I'll keep all others, in my blind spot

I'll love you when you're 103
And have no teeth or sanity

What I'm saying is that it's you I love most,
I'll love you 'till I die, and turn into a ghost.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Love poems

I was thinking of ways to add a touch of something different to our wedding and maybe see if we could have a beautiful poem read out or something. Now, I'll only use someone else's poetry if I find it hysterical or exceptionally touching so generally I write my own. The problem is that I get my sense of humour or the depth or meaning I'm aiming for, whereas others may not so for now, I'll stick to posts I find enjoyable written by other people and will share these:

Red, red rose by Robert Burns (one of my absolute favourite poets for totally, totally biased family reasons)
O my Luve's like a red, red rose
That's newly sprung in June;
O my Luve's like the melodie
That's sweetly played in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry:

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only Luve,
And fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' it ware ten thousand mile.

Beautiful Soup by Lewis Carroll (wasn't he on LSD? It would explain this! And yes, it's a love poem about soup!

BEAUTIFUL Soup, so rich and green,
Waiting in a hot tureen!
Who for such dainties would not stoop?
Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!
Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!

Beau--ootiful Soo-oop!
Beau--ootiful Soo-oop!
Soo--oop of the e--e--evening,
Beautiful, beautiful Soup!

Beautiful Soup! Who cares for fish,
Game, or any other dish?
Who would not give all else for two
Pennyworth only of Beautiful Soup?
Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?

Beau--ootiful Soo-oop!
Beau--ootiful Soo-oop!
Soo--oop of the e--e--evening,
Beautiful, beauti--FUL SOUP!

And one last one:
A limerck by Anna TL (Hmmm, not particulary fond of it but it's very apt!)

I once loved a man so much
My heart would flutter with just one touch
Then he took my hand
Told me what he planned
And then I found out he was Dutch

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Peanut butter cups

I would've put these little pieces of heaven under "my favourite things" blog but they deserved an entire post of their own.

They are made by Hershey's and are just little morsels of unworldly yumminess.

Imagine little chocolate cups filled with smooth peanut butter that is more like the consistency of decent fudge. The salty/sweet combination is just perfect.

They are quite rich and them being sold in packs of 3 is sad but probably necessary to prevent rich-related food illness.

I have only ever seen them at one Spar in SA as they are imported and that was thanks to a friend who mercilessly introduced me to these addictive treats.
Being imported, they are, of course, expensive but they are worth every single cent.

If I was a terrible criminal and was caught and got the death sentence, these would be my last meal.
If I was stranded on a dessert island, yes dessert not desert, and could only choose to eat one thing forever, it would be these.
If I could choose to stare at any packaging and sniff any wrapper all day, it would be this packaging.
If I ever needed an excuse to drool, these would more than warrant it.

Yum yum yum!!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Many, many things each too short for their own blog

I'm including the above link because a. A friend asked me to for whatever bizarre reason and b. I also used to have very knotty hair as a child.
Can somebody please send this girly some decent conditioner?

Secondly, I went to the wedding expo this weekend with Alan. Yes, he came along. Half-willingly too!
What I was there primarily for was to get dress ideas, look at wedding favours and possibly pick up a tip or two about our centre piece decor. We spent about 2 hours there and in that time, we found one place that had some great decor ideas in our colour scheme and that was all.
On the way out however, I purchased an awesome wedding magazine which cost less than us getting into the expo and had so many ideas and so much advice that it was a whole expo on it's own!

The third thing I want to blog about is how naughty Fatty is. She is so naughty in the most deliberate sense that if you could ground a dog, she would be grounded.
I ran around like a mad person this morning, making myself late for work, chasing after Fatty because she'd grabbed Diana's toy giraffe and Di was on the point of tears. We managed to save the giraffe and it just needs a little stuffing and some stitching, a good wash and it'll be as good as new.

The fourth thing, something I read a while ago but which came to mind again for no particular reason this morning, was how people treat other people badly and then the treaters treat the treatees as if the treatees are such evil, terrible people because they are riddled with guilt and can't face what they have done and so instead, they lash out. Sad but true. Don't fret treatees, you didn't do anything, the treater is just a git :)

The fifth thing is that I think that psychologists are just awesome! All it takes is one little appeal on Gumtree for a free tutor for the material we're all struggling with a little and voila! They come running. Why? Because they all have a deep sense of empathy. Love it!

The sixth thing is that I have super nails. I discovered this last night and again a few minutes ago. A few months back, they were tearing and brittle and breaking and now they're so superly strong that I accidentally took a small chunk out of Alan's arm last night as he brushed past me and heavily impacted on my nail. Also now, I accidentally scratched the dry wall by accident and left marks in the paint. Oops. Gotta love those vitamins!

And the very last thing I want to blog about is how Alan's pyjama pants were in the wash and he wanted to run to fetch some water and so I threw my spares at him and said, "here, they might fit you". They didn't. They were black satin pyjama pants and they never quite made it all the way up and I was almost in tears from laughing. Luckily he doesn't read this or else I'd be giggling with my pyjama pants on the street! ;)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

To dance or to give in to nonsense

I have been doing some style of Latin and Ballroom dancing since 2005, barring this year and last year, apart from the odd dancing jaunt or two. Starting in May, I am going back. Now Al is meant to be coming along with me but he's so shy and feels a fool dancing in front of other people.

This poses the problem of how he'd manage to dance in front of our guests.

Al would ideally like to do something totally silly instead that involves a game of leapfrog or hopping on one foot or the chicken dance and well, as much as I see the, um, appeal, of this, I'd rather not. But I do believe in compromise so we may, just may, incorporate some pure nonsense into our formal dance. Ideas are most welcome! :)

Friday, April 1, 2011

On a different wave-length. May offend some - apologies

I wrote this quite a while back when I was having a particularly bad day and was finding my patience and curiosity wearing a little thin:

Are you vibrating at the right frequency? Are you able to see everyone around you? Even the people you shouldn't be able to see? Were you aware that the balloon hoaxes a while back were actually aliens and people were just trying to fool us all by telling us that they were balloons? Fools! How silly did they think we all are?!

I am here, on this planet, at my desk, on this third dimensional frequency to tell you, yes, you, that the world is changing. We are all going to become invisible and use telepathy instead of cell phones.

Now, if your kettle just broke, or your toaster, or you're getting a new phone for Christmas, then, well, your life is going to suck. You will have endless trouble with the new one. This is regardless of the manufacture date or the brand or the shop or your man-handling the product. It will suck because Mercury is moving backwards. Yes, backwards. It shifts gear sometime next week and you'd better be all stocked up on electrical appliances by then because you won't be able to buy a decent appliance until 4 January!

Now, please, tell me how to respond to this?! All I managed was "Thank you. That's something to think about."

I have never wanted to throw watermelons at somebody so badly! To clobber them on the head with a rolling pin and to send them to REHAB!!! Oh my soul, there's respecting people's beliefs but when you claim that they can be substantiated by hard evidence and the evidence turns out to be complete rubbish every time (I check...EVERY TIME), then you need to stand back and go "I am a loon and I need help!"