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Creative reports

At the moment I'm trying to sort out my life for when I move to London. I am amazed at what I've racked up over the years and what has been kept. For instance, we found in the attic my hand-knitted cardigan from First School. Aww!

I've re-discovered lots of old photos (I really need to get a scanner!), but I also came across my school reports. Ooh! As you would expect, I had glowing English reports, but I shined across all creative subjects. (Don't worry, my Science reports were pretty lousy!)

Here's what was said about me in the late 90's(!):

Dance: Elle is an excellent dancer. She is imaginative, hard-working and demonstrates a high level of physical ability. She has been highly successful in both roles of dancer and choreographer.

Drama: Elle is a highly motivated student who has illustrated her exceptional skills and interest in drama. She is a quick-thinking, original and confident performer who uses her imagination to the full. She is firmly established within the group as both ideas girl and performer, and her involvement in extra-curricular drama has highlighted her directional approach as well as team spirit, patience and hard work. I am sure she will succeed in whatever she puts her mind to.

Graphics: Elle has a flair for design and continuously demonstrates this. Work is well-presented, imaginative, thorough and creative. A star pupil.

Music: Elle is an outstanding student. She copes perfectly with all tasks in music and can reproduce any given tune on the piano with accuracy. She has also composed a high standard of music herself.

English: Elle is a lovely student who is highly motivated and conscientious at all times. She displays a natural flair for the subject and this seeps through in all her work. Orally she is expressive and confident, her stories are beautifully constructed and presented, and she writes fluently with imagination.

Not bad at all! {^_^} What were your favourite subjects at school? Were you creative or practical? Arty or scientific? And have your school strengths helped you in your career?

Writing Competitions - March 31st deadlines

If you recall, my 2010 writing goal #8 is to enter at least three writing competitions.

Well, two competitions have deadlines coming up at the end of March, so I thought I'd remind people of them in case you also want to enter.

There's The Bristol Short Story Prize:

Deadline: March 31st
Word-count and content: 3,000 words maximum, no minimum. Any theme/subject/style.
Fee: £7
Prize(s): 1st = £500 and £150 Waterstone’s Gift Card; 2nd = £350 and £100 Waterstone’s Gift Card; 3rd = £200 and £100 Waterstone’s Gift Card. The next 17 shortlisted finalists receive £50; the top 20 entries will be published in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 3.

And there's also the Commonwealth Short Story Competition, found via writesofluid:

Deadline: March 31st
Word-count and content: Less than 600 words. Any topic, but there are special prizes for best children’s story and the best story concerning Science, Technology and Society.
Fee: Free
Prize(s): First prize £2,000; Special & Regional prizes of £500

Good luck if you decide to enter! x

Who I really am: Artistic Temperament

Creativity for me is a life-long habit and the day I stop being creative will likely be the day I die.

But, I'm not just creative when it comes to writing. I wanted to go to stage school after A-Levels - I love to perform - I am forever doodling abstract images over everything (I adore Kandinsky). I also had a fair few paintings exhibited as a child and, naturally, won quite a few writing competitions.

You could say I've always been a bit creative and I'm glad! Sure, it means I inhabit my own little world more than I probably should, but the end results are worth it. As Alan Alda said:

The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself.

However, there is a downside, which I think Nietzsche sums up wonderfully:

You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.

Ah, the chaos. That's the only word suitable to describe the thoughts in my head; there doesn't seem to be an off button either.

The problem with creativity is that it can you make highly strung. Because you create such wonderful highs, it's inevitable that the lows are going to be horrific. I am never the happy medium: I'm buoyantly on top of the world, or I'm in the depths of despair. It's what people label as the 'artistic temperament' and I definitely have this stormy trait.

Because of this people can find me quite a difficult person to get along with, unless you happen to be that way inclined, that is. Of course, some people would probably say my 'artistic temperament' is just my excuse to be foul-tempered, but I say pfiut to those people. ;)

Alientation is the price I happily pay for what I create because whereas I do have a fabbity imagination, I do not have the capacity to imagine a world where I cannot be creative. It may be a lonely and painful world at times, but life never bores me - I never have the opportunity to be bored. I'm not sure how many people could claim that.

This is what my world is like; this is who I am. Who are you? x

Who Am I?

Who Am I? St Andrews and Facebook: Issues of trust, friendship and communication in modern society.

For my degree, I had to undertake fieldwork for Social Anthropology (was better than writing a dissertation for International Relations, trust me!). For it, I observed Facebook and St Andrews as my ethnographic sites, back when Facebook was exclusive to certain college/university networks. My research took place in 2005-2006; interestingly, Facebook was opened up to all as I began writing up my paper in November 2006.

A lot of people have found the paper really illuminating because the research took place just before social networking really boomed. Have a read of the synopsis - the link to read all the paper is underneath it, if you want to. :)

Synopsis:

This paper considers how the internet is used in modern social interactions and how this is impacting and, ultimately, changing the way we communicate both on and offline.

By exploring the computer-mediated network of Facebook and the university-town of St Andrews, the two spaces have been related to one another, identifying the socialites that have arisen from their collision. The meaning of ‘reality’ and ‘virtual’ in modern society is explored, highlighting the impact of technological advancement. The ethnographic research methods that have been used include observations on both Facebook and in and around St Andrews, as well the conduction of an online questionnaire and further face-to-face interviews.

Firstly, the section ‘Communities, Society and Culture’ examines the effects of technological impact upon communities, society and culture, and defines the broader themes of this research – questioning the notions of reality versus the supposed virtual.

The second section ‘Friendship’ explores whether modern friendship still constitutes what was once ascertained as ‘traditional’ friendship and relates this to the issue of propinquity. It challenges whether friendship has merely become a contest of popularity between peers, or whether multiple types of friendship have emerged.

Finally, ‘Identity, Trust and Communication’ questions the fluid concept of what constitutes an ‘identity’ because of the removal of time and spatial constraints, and whether this identity is a reality or not. Issues of trust are then related to the concept of friendship in modern times. This section then links the original issue of the use of online communication with offline social interaction, detailing how communication has emerged this way because of the fusion of the two spaces in an educational setting.

You can read the full paper here; feel free to comment on this post if you'd like me to answer any questions.

Cinema March - August 2010

Continuing on from Cinema January - February 2010, here's my reviews for March - August 2010:

16. Alice in Wonderland in 3D - Seen on 07/03 - LOVED it, apart from Anne Hathaway. A real delight. If you didn't like it, off with your head!! ;) 9/10
17. Shutter Island - Seen on 14/03 - Fascinating concept and some beautifully-shot scenes. DiCaprio played his character superbly. 8/10
18. Leap Year - Seen on 16/03 - The worst film I've seen all year; the best bit was the fact Matthew Goode is attractive, which, let's face it, has nothing to do with the film. 1/10
19. I Love You Phillip Morris - Seen on 18/03 - Carrey and McGregor are *the* cutest. 8/10
20. My Last Five Girlfriends - Seen on 21/03 - Quirky story-telling, irritating main character. 6/10
21. Whip It - Seen on 09/04 - Roller derby with a Wilson brother. Enough said. 7/10
22. Kick-Ass - Seen on 10/04 - Quite ridiculous, but somewhat amusing at times. 6/10
23. Cemetery Junction - Seen on 14/04 - Awesome sauce. Clever dialogue and humour. Simply awesome sauce. 9/10
24. The Ghost - Seen on 19/04 - Slightly too long. 6/10
25. Iron Man 2 - Seen on 30/04 - Sorry, where was the plot? 2/10
26. Hot Tub Time Machine - Seen on 07/05 - Better than expected. 7/10
27. Bad Lieutenant - Seen on 24/05 - 5/10
28. Cop Out - Seen on 26/05 - 6/10
29. Sex and the City 2 - Seen on 29/05 - Dire. 4/10
30. She's out of my League - Seen on 03/06 - 6/10
31. Eclipse - Seen on 03/07 - 8/10
32. Toy Story 3 in 3D - Seen on 25/07 - Wonderful, but pointless in 3D. 9/10
33. Inception - Seen on 06/08 - Thought-provoking and visually-stunning, but it's too long and there's something off-kilter about it all. 7/10
34. Salt - Seen on 21/08 - Angelina kicks-ass credibly. 8/10
35. Scott Pilgrim Vs The World - Seen on 29/08. Incredible editing. 8/10

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