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nobody cares

This is starting to become a theme, but I was at my organ teacher’s house and we (him, the lady from the choir who is the widow of the late minister, and I) were in the kitchen, and mostly talking about Scottish things. They were both saying I should get a kilt, but I really don’t have a clan affiliation. Yes, my family name is loosely linked to a clan which is not really an active clan, but the last member of the family who would have been Scottish, if there even was one, would have been so many generations ago that I can’t say I’ve ever felt myself to have more than trivial Scottish roots. English family history – absolutely, German, definitely, and also a small amount from some European ethnicities that can grow melanin. Also, wearing a kilt might give some people the idea that I am willing to wear something other than trousers, which would be misleading and only cause me more grief later as they start imagining that I might do things which I would not do, against all sense, and I’ve got to either suffer through wild imaginings in which I magically morph into a different person, or set them straight as vaguely as possible. Aside: when some people say things like “the boys will all go chasing after you”, they are trying to pay me a compliment, but they are also disconnected from my personal reality, which is generally quite obvious to most people under the age of 40. Usually when boys, or “the lads” go chasing after someone who looks like me, it’s to beat them to a bloody pulp (or worse) for the crime of being themselves out in public.

Because I am easily irritated and have the internet, I looked up a few key family names. I looked up the main family name from my mother’s side of the family, which is the one accused of being slightly Scottish, and a family-name history website tells me that it came out of Yorkshire. Then I looked up the principal family name from my biological father’s side, and it turned out to have also originated in Yorkshire. Huh. So I guess I have lots of Yorkshire roots. So there.

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Part of being a student at a new university, I discovered, is that I’ve got to deal with a new student number. I’ve had it for almost a month, and I still cannot remember the bloody thing.

I’m also still sorting out my courses. I wonder if I’m going to hate myself, because I’ve found a bunch of courses that look really, really interesting, which I won’t get to take again, and which will likely be incredibly difficult. That said, they’ll make final year at Queen’s look like cake, I suppose. It’s between those and a literature review course. Initially I was excited about the literature review, but now I’m thinking that it might be a better idea to do more actual courses, because literature review is only three hours with the lecturer in the entire semester, and the entirety of the course is a single essay. I want to take advantage of the ability to take actual psych courses while I’m there.

I also feel kind of amused, but also kind of bad that I accidentally used something that sounded suspiciously like “me” as a personal possessive twice in the past couple of days. I used to do something like that basically no more than once a month. I’m not even in the UK yet. Bad things happen when I talk fast and don’t moderate output. I just use my poker face and hope nobody catches it. I need to talk to more real humans.

One of my friends gave me the complete Father Ted a while back. I was only just thinking about how I probably watch too much british TV, but I really wanted to watch a show, and I had it. So I started watching it, and it’s actually Irish, so I’m fine. It’s also hilarious. I would recommend it. 

 

Today was disgustingly hot. There was something like 85% humidity, making the felt temperature something like 35 degrees. So, when my parents got home and my dad said he was going to go golfing, my grandma said “Well, you know what they say…!” To which my dad said “Only mad dogs and Englishmen, and I’m not one of them”. I immediately cut in with “So you’re a mad dog, then?” Because he’s really not English. Then he said something about being pretty sure about his pedigree, and I said that I was pretty sure about him being a mad dog. After all, he’s barking…(joke completely lost on him). He also happened to be the only person in the group without some form of UK citizenship.

Completely unrelatedly, I solved the paradox of why my sister can wear smaller shoes than I can, even though she has longer feet. Her feet are shoe-shaped, and mine are not.

 

 

 

I have lost the method of finding Google’s profile of what it thinks I am. Also, there may be the odd reader here who doesn’t know a thing about me, so I will tell you what Google thinks about me:

Formerly, Google used to be under the impression that I was a heterosexual male between 18-24 who liked science, body modification, computer hardware, gaming, all instruments, and classical music.

Up until very recently, the ads alongside my Facebook, and the ads I saw period, were for smoking accessories, various kinds of substance abuse rehabilitation, criminal defense lawyers, bassoonist/organist/oboist associations, and made-to-measure suits.

Now…

Now I’ve got to sigh, for Google has surely lost it. Now my ads are for plus-sized dresses and blouses, nursing programs, and diplomas at very shady local colleges for things like “therapy”. My Facebook ads are more plus-sized clothing, weight loss, christian dating…

What happened? I do not feel as though I have changed. How does someone start out as a  tech-literate, pipe-smoking, impeccably dressed male junkie bassoonist/oboist/organist/violinist, and morph into a plus-sized christian woman trying to change careers to a soft-skills, helping profession, and find a loving, traditional man?

As a teetotaler whose suit size is 34 Short, I’m as likely to want plus-sized dresses as I am to want a DUI lawyer. Verily, the internet has developed a strange picture of me. Perhaps it is because of my interest in feminist causes? In that case, good job, internet, assuming I need plus-sized clothing. That was sarcasm, internet.

 

Addendum: By no means do I wish to knock plus-sized clothing (I am aware that there are very limited options for larger women, and approve of manufacturers who make styles in all sizes) or nursing (nurses are awesome).

I feel the need to make a post about the name “Edinburgh” and how much it irritates me. If I didn’t know better, I’d pronounce the last syllable like “burger” minus the “er”. I’ve mostly heard “Edinburrow” and “Ed-in-burra” from other Canadians. However, I have had the correct pronunciation drilled into me by, well, here’s an excerpt from the essay that I got an acceptance with:

“…, and had me repeat “Edinburgh” an uncountable number of times until I could say it to his satisfaction.”

You know who you are. Look at the beginning of the excerpt, implies a laundry list of offences, yeah? (Make all the faces and noises you like, you may never know). Incidentally, said individual seems to also have hilariously lost the ability to say “Edinburgh” properly upon getting me to say it properly, indicating that there may be some principle of conservation operating here. The irritating thing is that I am the only Canadian I know who says it like that, and it’s really annoying, because I get this weird feeling that I’m faking an accent whenever I say it. I cannot win, because if I said “Ed-in-burg” on principle, I’d be saying it wrong. Bah. Though I was vindicated, some person introducing a University of Edinburgh video said it close to the way I do, so I don’t suppose that I’ll go there and people will give me weird looks for the way I said that one particular word. The other annoying thing is that my mom has taken to trying to copy me, and keeps saying “Edinburrrr”. Deleting that one syllable to make “Edinbruh” seems to just be a problem for Canadians. It also was slightly tricky for me to make my mouth do that last sound “properly”. Incidentally, the “bruh” in Edinbruh is supposed to be the same vowel that goes in “foot”, but that is damn tiring. That’s what comes from learning “Edinburgh” from someone who says “strut” with the same vowel used in “foot”, I still haven’t stopped feeling pretentious about it. The trick to feeling less ridiculous is changing the final vowel to a lazier one, because I have a theory that Canadian English has basically evolved for great speed with minimum effort. 

It occurs to me that once I’m there I won’t have to say it as much. Hooray! The way to stop saying “Edinburgh” might be to go there, who knew.

People have been ending their correspondence with “cheers” for a while, which is another overseas import. For some reason I find it irritating, probably because though it’s normal enough now, it seems quite affected, though this is me saying all of this. I’m not exactly a cheerful person, and the idea of putting something above my signature that cannot possible by construed as grouchy seems a bit disingenuous.

On the other hand, I was reading something today off one of my favourite medical blogs, written as advice to MD applicants on their personal statements. (I do not plan on applying to medical school, sadly I haven’t the grades/ubermensch level of achievement). She said that a lot of people make the mistake of sounding stuffy, and sometimes trying too hard backfires. I got a bit worried for a second, because I tried very hard, and gave it what felt like my best shot. That said, a lot of the “trying too hard” she referred to was trying very hard to sound as smart as they possibly can, usually done by spewing out the thesaurus. I don’t insert fancy words for the sake of doing so. They usually come out on their own, my dad’s been making fun of me about it for years, so here’s to hoping it doesn’t sound forced.

I’ve also graded essays, and I can tell the difference between students who try really hard and are sincere, students who work really hard at sounding “smart” and think they are (obviously insincere), and students who write in an overly colloquial style under the delusion that it is charming. Personally, I find it incredibly irritating, somewhat offensive, and usually those students don’t have great ideas. I often give this advice to such students – write like you are trying to convince someone of your idea, and you really care. So, I should trust that because these people read tons of personal statements, they can tell the difference between sincerely trying very hard and arrogance. It occurs to me now that the right way to do this can be summed up as “always do your best”. I did my best, now I just have to wait and see if it’s good enough, and that’s the part that kills me.

Cheers.