Posts Tagged ‘exams’

Laura Maisey, Fully Qualified Piglet and Multi-Award Winner

Well, this is a good week. Passed my exams and been nominated for two awards. I’ll do the other one in a separate post. So for now, I would like to thank Wealthymatters for the nomination for the One Lovely Blog Award. This blog is a mixture of useful info and tips on creating wealth (always a useful thing when emerging from a period of self-imposed student-loan-related poverty!).

So the rules for this award are that I tell everyone 7 things about myself and nominate 15 other blogs for the award. So I’m going to have to think of 7 new things as I swear I’ve told the most interesting stuff already. Ok, here goes…

1. Sometimes I think I might like to spend my life becoming the new Alfred Wainwright, a famed English walker, who spent his time walking the Lake District and writing fantastic books about it, known as Wainwright’s Walks. In light of this possible life goal, I’m looking into walking the Pennines for my birthday next year. It takes about two weeks apparently. A friend did it and had a heart attack and had to be airlifted off to hospital. I don’t think the heart attack was related to the walk.

2. I once walked the Great Wall of China. It took about two weeks. It was exhausting. A lady in one village tried to sell me a Great Wall-themed t-shirt and when I said I had bought the exact same one at the previous village so didn’t need another, she said, in desperation, ‘But I have extra large!’

3. When I was travelling in Namibia with a friend and her family, we were staying in the middle of nowhere in a tented camp. As we walked in the pitch black from the dinner tent to our sleeping tent, we looked back up the path and shone the torch, and we had walked straight past a huge HUGE male lion with a massive mane. It had been lying down next to the path, clearly not hungry enough to have a go. If any of us had reached out an arm while walking past it, we would’ve touched it.

4. When I was younger, I named every single cuddly toy that I had, and I had a lot. When I was supposed to be going to sleep, I gave them all personalities and created a little life with them. My favourite doll, which I’d had since forever, was called Yvonne.

5. After I’ve been swimming, I eat far more than is really necessary, to get my energy back up. I’m probably burning enough to have two or three cereal bars. I tend to eat four or five, then a bit of everything else I find in the fridge. I know this is silly. And I know overall, the swimming can’t be having that much effect, due to my massively increased food intake, but I have decided to pretend that it’s not happening. If you would pretend too, then that would be great. Thanks.

6. I love a project. Love it! If someone says ‘I need to file all this stuff by tomorrow, I’ll never get it done’ I love it, I get straight in there. Or if we need to check the best before dates on everything in the shop, I’m on it, I’ve already started! Re-organising a drawer or re-arranging furniture, I love it. Let’s get the garden looking pretty, someone says. I’m your woman! I love it. I get excited thinking up projects for myself to work on.

7. I feel quite a bit of pressure to do something law-related now that I have my degree but in all honesty, I quite like what I’m doing now, even though it has nothing to do with law. People say, ‘O, so what will you do now?’ And I’m like, ‘Well, at the moment I am mostly baking and writing. Which I like. So I’ll do that.’ Lots of people with grown-up jobs don’t like them very much. Whereas I love my job, it’s great fun. I think I should count myself lucky in that and not be in a rush to go and do something grown-up, just for it’s own sake.

Ok, so now you all know me a bit better (I’m running out of cool facts to tell you all actually. Any more awards and I’ll be telling you things about myself that are of the ‘I had a cup of tea this morning’ variety), and it’s time to nominate 15 other blogs for the One Lovely Blog Award. This is fairly easy as they’re all pretty lovely, lovely enough for me to take the time out to read them every day. I’ll try not to repeat any I’ve done before.

1. Thought Catalog – This blog is just fantastic. There are no other words for it. It’s witty, painfully honest and always hilarious. 33 Things You Should Know Before Dating Me is my favourite of the recent posts, but the’yre all worth reading.

2. A Year Of Reading The World – This blog is great. 196 countries, and a year to read something from all of them. I was super excited the other day when I saw a book from Namibia on the list.

3. The Good Greatsby – I love love love this blog. Invite Me To Your Yachting Party and Thank You For Inviting Me To Your Party. I Apologize For My Behaviour At The Party are among the funniest things I have ever read.

4. Belle Grove Plantation – This blog feeds my history obsession. It follows the restoration of the plantation in Virginia, US, where James Madison was born. The little stories of discoveries on the land and tales of the families who lived there are absolutely fascinating. At some point, I’m definitely visiting, it looks amazing.

5. socomfortablynumb – This blog had me at “I’m not all that pretty. I dress wierd.”

6. CyclingEurope.org – This man cycled around Europe and wrote a book about it, which I’m in the middle of at the moment. It’s a great book, fantastically entertaining. Read it.

7. Bagni di Lucca and Beyond – Gorgeous gorgeous photos. I’ve never wanted to go to Italy more! In fact, I have booked myself a trip there soon and my sole holiday research has been this blog!

8. hairsprayandhemingway – I was initially attracted to this blog by the name. The blog is described as being about ‘literature, beauty and life.’ What’s not to love?

9. AsiaDreaming – This blog always has beautiful photos from exotic faraway lands, that make me want to drop everything and jump on a plane.

10. Blogging for a Good Book – It’s the Williamsburg Regional Library blog and every day I come and check out which book they have recommended. I’ve read a few that have been suggested and they were very good.

11. Tokyobling’s Blog – Again, amazing photos and a fascinating insight into another part of the world. The colours and liveliness in the photos are great.

12. Project 365 by Kenneth Todd – One photo a day for a year. Does what it says on the tin. There are some lovely lovely pictures on this blog, check them out if you’re into photography or if you just like looking at pretty things.

13. Fitness and Frozen Grapes – The great pictures of food are just one of the reasons I love reading this blog. No matter how active I am, I always feel lazy when I read this!

14. Lyrics and Chocolate – The most recent post, List of things that never change was great!

15. Steeshes – A Photo Collection of Mustaches – This blog is just great. There’s always a new picture of a moustache. I feel it is good for one to be up-to-date with the latest moustache fashions. That’s partly why I love this blog so much. Check it out. You’re bound to discover something amazing.

 

PS. As a London-dweller, I feel I should say something about the Olympics. So here it is = the Olympics are nice, aren’t they?

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I came. I saw. I passed.

Yes, that’s right. All that hard work has eventually paid off. My results came out on Monday. I was working so had it in the back of my mind to check them after work. Then when I got home, the weather was nice enough to have a barbecue so I did that and it totally went out of my mind to check my results. Not because I’m not bothered about them or anything but because it’s just not in the front of my mind anymore. It feels like forever ago that I was sitting around making up stories about Wayne Rooney to remember case names. It was so exhausting that I couldn’t wait to get them out of the way and move on with normal life. So long as I didn’t have to resit, I was happy to have finished them.

The day after results came out, a friend sent a text message asking how I did. That’s when I remembered they’d been released and I hadn’t checked them! I was in work, again, so thought I’d check on the computer when I got home. After work, I pottered off home and sat down with a book. Again, I’d forgotten about the results!

Finally, something clicked and I realised I should go and get my results. Fingers crossed I didn’t have to do any resits!

And…. The good news is… There are no resits! I passed everything. Pheeeeeew! I’m probably not going to get a call from Supreme Court asking me to join them anytime soon. But I passed! Embarrassingly enough, my best result was in land law. Please don’t tease me.

After discovering this amazing news of passing, I thought I’d check what my title now is. Are you ready…? This is how I can write my name now, should I choose to be pretentious and show off.

Laura Maisey BSc, Pg Dip (Law)

I’m not too impressed. BSc is from my first degree. Pg Dip (Law) is from the one I just did. Pg Dip?! It makes me think of tea = PG Tips. Yesterday, three people, independently of one another, said it made them think of ‘Pig Dip’. It developed a bit further as people got experimental and the current favourite is ‘Piglet’.

So I’ve spent the last two years of my life enslaved to my (less than interesting) textbooks learning about mortgages and voluntary manslaughter and parliamentary sovereignty and offer-and-acceptance… all so that I could have the enviable title of:

Laura Maisey, Piglet.

Great.

Can I have a word? Part 4

Our regular guest blogger tackles the subject of ‘Portmanteau Words’ today.

It’s back to that subject of words and, in this case, some very special words. As you’re probably aware English is a kind of “made up” or mongrel type of language. The purity of whatever language the inhabitants of our island spoke has been watered down (improved?) over the centuries in a number of ways. It’s become a mixture of so many words that have come to us from other cultures and languages around the world. Since the Romans invaded brining their Latin words, more influences have come in from a number of other conquerors: Danes, Vikings, Angles, Saxons, Normans have all been responsible for changes in our language (and place names in particular) over hundreds of years. Immigration has provided more foreign flavours to the mix. Other words have come from the days of the British Empire and the countries it traded with. Some words we’ve taken in without modification (e.g. précis & fiancée from French, apartheid & trek from Afrikaans, ashram from Sanskrit and hundreds more); others have a kind of anglicised version but betray foreign roots. It’s estimated, for example, that 30% of English words have a French origin & 60% have a Latin origin; some duplication because of the Latin origin of some French words. A recent arrival into English (late 19th cent.) is the word safari which comes directly from Swahili where it means “long journey”; more recently Wiki (as in Wikipedia) from the Hawaiian “wiki wiki” meaning fast; Baboushka (also a 1980 song by Kate Bush) from the Russian for grandmother and Gulag which is actually an acronym in Russian for Glavnoye Upravleniye Ispravitelno-trudovykh Lagerey i koloniimoped from the Swedish and short for motor and pedal. And there are, of course, hundreds more.

One of the things you might not have realised is that a word like moped is actually called a “portmanteau” word because it is made up of two other words or shortened versions of them. In fact, if you think about it, the French word porte-manteau is itself made up from two other French words: “porter” (meaning to carry) and “manteau” (meaning cloak). Apparently it was first used, in the context of joined words, by Lewis Carroll in 1871 (Alice Through the Looking Glass). Remember Freedom Literature, when I quoted, from Jabberwocky, these words “Twas brillig, and the slithy toves, Did gyre and gimble in the wabe” – I wonder did you know that “slithy” means lithe & slimy? LC was also responsible for the following portmanteaux: chortled a combination of chuckled & snort; frabjous for fair, fabulous & joyous; mimsy for flimsy & miserable. In 1964, when the country of Tanganika joined with the islands of Zanzibar the new nation was called Tanzania, a portmanteau of the two original names; similarly when Europe and Asia are combined to describe the whole land mass they become the portmanteau Eurasia. If you look back to LLM’s blog, Z is for, you will see the word zonkey – a portmanteau of zebra & donkey; also there is a zorse, a zebra/horse crossbreed and her very own, but rather difficult to conceive (think about it), catterpony. LLM’s blog, Attempting ‘sporty‘, mentioned having started NaNoWriMo which looks very “portmanteau-ish” to me. There was the interesting quidnunc from the K is for knowledge blog: that’s actually a Latin portmanteau taken directly into English. There are, of course, many others along these lines. (Btw, the French though, in their own language, don’t use the word porte-manteau this ‘joined-up words’ way).

Older residents of the UK will remember ‘O level’ exams called G.C.E.s; later came the exams for those not as academically clever – they called them C.S.E.s. Then in the rush to get everyone “on a level playing field” both exams went in the dustbin and the first portmanteau exams arrived in 1988 – the G.C.S.E.s

Probably one of the most recent – anyone heard of a turducken? (Not me!) It apparently arrived into the English language officially in 2010. It’s made by inserting a chicken into a duck, and then into a turkey. (Why would you do that?).

One of the most useless portmanteaux has to be guesstimate – it simply doesn’t help. When would you use it instead of estimate or guess both of which do the job of saying something or some figure is not exact? If you can help me out – please do.
As an aside, I suppose you could call this whole process LLW – lazylanguagewords. Why? Because it means the language (i.e. me & you) doesn’t have to come up with an original new word as such. You need a new word? Just grab a few existing ones and with a bit of welding & a few twiddles – hey presto! (You want to drive and travel – you dravel or drivel.)

The more you look into our language the more examples you can see. It got me thinking about how economical these words are: as I mentioned before, instead of saying something “is a cross between a zebra and a donkey” you just say “it’s a zonkey” – neat eh? Now I think we could use some more of these to save space and time when either speaking or writing. What next? ………Yes, you’ve guessed, I’ve been working on a few.

I was thinking of transport and how easy it would be to describe your journey with some new portmanteau words. Take this sentence for example (when you arrive at a friend’s house and they ask how you did you get here?) – “I came by bus, train and taxi.” This can be “portmanteau-ed” (see how I made a noun/adjective into a verb there?) into “I came bybutratax”. Do you see what I did there? A triple portmanteau! But it’s also very adaptable because if the journey was by train, bus & taxi it becomes trabutax. Switch it round for any combo of the words. If you wanted to include the walk to the bus stop (so walk, bus, train, taxi) you could make wabutratax (a quad portmanteau). If you’re a cyclist and you ride then travel on the train and ride again you could make bitrabi and so on. If you’re going abroad you could add the flight by plane into the mix – so taxi, plane, taxi would be taxplatax.

Now you may want to say how each leg of the journey went: good, bad, rough or whatever. I’ve had some thoughts on this too. So, for example, “I came by trabutax and the journey was gobaro. Did you get it? The journey was good, bad & rough on each of the corresponding legs by train, bus & taxi. If all three legs were good or bad you’d getgogogo or bababa.

Suppose someone serves in a café (or deli) and a customer could ask for alatchesanchoca which is a latte, cheese sandwich & chocolate cake. (Imaginary scenario: Customer to LLM – Can I have a latchesanchoca without the sandwich? LLM grits teeth & thinks: “But then it’s not a latchesanchoca!”) When four friends, each wanting a different drink, come in they could ask for an escaplatam – you got it didn’t you? An espresso, a cappuccino, a latte & an Americano. (Eseseslat = three espressos and a latte and so on.) Easy eh? Imagine the questions you’d get if those were on the menu on the wall: what’s that? Why is an escaplatam so expensive? Are they all mixed together in one cup? Are they definitely all separate? We’re definitely in LLM nightmare territory here? Where was that café again? …..Oh yes, ELM St!

Now, strictly speaking of course, the grammar-savvy among you will know that these words of mine are actually neologisms (that is words that may be in the process of entering common use) rather than actual portmanteaux (plural as per French not portmanteaus as would be in English) because they haven’t actually entered the language yet. (Therefore, to be precise, you can say that I’m making some speculative forays into the world of neologisms rather than inventing actual portmanteaux.) However just as it’s a fine line between genius and madness so it’s also a fine line between neologism and portmanteau! A definitely blurred, but possible, final frontier between invention and reality.

I wonder if you’ve thought of portmanteaux as a kind of ‘final frontier’? Out there on the edge? Are you ready to boldly go where no blogger (linguist?) has gone before? Such an ‘enterprise’ would be quite a trek wouldn’t it? Lots of stuff to Chekov the list and some old stuff to Klingon to. Also you’d need to make sure with the doctor that your “bones” are the real McCoy. Still, no space to go into all that here. (See what I did there?) Remember, as Captain Jean-Luc Picard said to his daughter, “Seize the time, Meribor. Live now; makenow always the most precious time. Now will never come again” — (from the episode calledThe Inner Light). I’m just off to scan those transport suggestions again – “beam me up, Scotty!” (To the Starship Bloggerprise – of course).

But you can see how the language could develop? It’s exciting isn’t it? (Perhaps LLM could revisit her “Things to get excited about” mood before becoming too sporty? New items on menu in café perhaps?) And it’s happening right here! And you read it first here!

Now it’s over to you – perhaps you could have a think and post some of your suggestions in the comments. It would be great to see some readers’ inventions. I’m sure you can come up with some better efforts than mine. (I can speak to Messrs Chambers, Oxford, & Collins once we’ve collected our suggestions.) Let’s get on board the E.S.S. Bloggerpriseand take our language forward to that final frontier– together! (This entry – using the most recent calculation method – is from the Captain’s Log: Stardate 2012.178)

Returning to life

Ok, so yesterday I had my last exam. I feel like it went alright but who knows if that signifies anything? I came home in a daze, my exhausted brain barely coping with the whole public transport thing. And suddenly I just couldnt wait to get back to normal things.

 

I had been wanting to do the dishes for days but felt too guilty if I stayed in the kitchen long enough to do them. So finally, I did them! It felt fabulous.

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Then I went to the front room and gathered all the scraps of paper and manuals and textbooks and study guides and I put them in a box and taped it up and put it in the loft. I needed the physical distance from the books for my recovery.

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Then I filled the law book shelf with other books, and it was like I was normal again! I almost went the whole hog and hoovered up but I was suddenly struck with exam-related PTSD and had a nap instead.

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And so to normal life. What to do next? You know when you’ve been ill then you’re well again and you feel like you’ve got a new lease of  life and you decide to take up mountaineering or something? I kind of feel like that.

 

I’m unfortunately not going to take up mountaineering but I did think I might just try doing stuff that I’ve always wanted to do, like be a bit sporty or friendlier or be the type of person who gets excited about stuff. I don’t really get excited about stuff, ever. Not birthdays. Not Christmas. Not royal weddings. Nothing really. And I realised the other day that that’s boring. That’s really boring. To just be so placid and unaffected by anything ever. So I thought I’d give ‘getting excited about stuff’ a go and see how that goes. Anyway, the good news is, I made it through the exams and, due to my guilt for the boringness of all the exam related posts, will be aiming to make my blog far more interesting from now on….

What runs through my head when I’m falling asleep

This is specific to last night –

Gosh I’m tired. I wonder if I remembered to do everything at work today? Bins out? Yes. Lights out? Yes. Yeah, I did everything. O wait, I didn’t leave the air con on! O no. Dammit.

Is my alarm set? What should I make tomorrow? Banana bread probably. Muffins maybe.

Ok, mini self test. Criminal law. Theft. Where’s the definition found? Erm. Erm. Sleepy. Section 1. I think. Section 1 of the Theft Act. 19 something. Brain slowing down. 1968 I think. That’s all it can handle. Self test over.

Just remembered, I did leave the air con on at work. Phew.

I wonder where my trainers are. I haven’t seen them in days.

My phone needs charging. Too lazy to get out of bed and get the charger.

O no. I need a wee. If I go to sleep really quickly, maybe my body will forget then I can just go in the morning. Nope, I still need one. Ignore it.

Did I turn the oven off? I think so. Mmm, dinner was tasty this evening. Salmon. Mmm. I think I’ll do something chickeny tomorrow for dinner.

Should I try and remember something about mortgages? Stack v Dowden. And Tulk v Moxhay. Hmmm. I don’t remember why they’re important though. O well. Sleep time.

You’ll always be a part of me… I’m part of you indefinitelyyyy… Boy don’t you know you can’t escape me… Oo darlin cause you’ll always be me babyyyyy… What on earth? Go away Mariah.

I can’t wait til my exams are finished.

I wonder if it might be sunny tomorrow.

I love cake.

Why do I always say things twice? Why do I always say things twice?

I’ve got this thing about repeating myself. I haven’t worked out why I do it. My biggest one is when I agree with someone, or answer in the positive.

Example:

Customer: “Can I pay with my card here?”
Me: “Yes! Yeh. That’s fine.”

Customer: “Do you have a toilet here?”
Me:Yes, yeh, we do.”

Customer: “Do you sell chocolates?
Me: “Yes, yeh, they’re just over there.”

Why ‘yes’ AND ‘yeh? Sometimes it’s ‘yes’ and ‘yep’. Or ‘yeh’ and ‘yep’. I’ve tried to stop it but it’s like alcoholism or something. I just can’t stop. I can see the problem but I’m too addicted. It’s something I have no control over. I just wait for the next person to ask me something so I can answer twice!

“Hi! I’m Laura and I answer twice!” I’d say at the Answering Twice Anonymous. Or ATA, as they’d be known.

Sometimes I do it when I think I’ve skipped over the point too quickly and maybe the person listening might have missed it.

Example:

Friend: “Are you nervous about your exams?”
Me: “Well, it’s not that I’m nervous as such. I’m studying all the time and I feel ok about them. You know, so I wouldn’t say it nerves. More just getting them over with. I’ve been studying a lot. I feel ok about them.”

I could really save a lot of time by just saying things once. But as fellow members of the ATA will know, sometimes you just want to make extra sure the person is keeping up with what you’re saying, by saying it twice. I know it doesn’t actually work, but I sort of think it does when I’m doing it.

What happened in my exams last year

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A few months before my exams last year, I got my transverse colon volvulus and had an emergency operation. I was pretty much wiped out for about two months. When I came back to my studying, I was way way behind. Law is a difficult subject to catch up on because it’s mainly just a load of facts and cases that you have to remember and because there’s so much of it to learn, it’s hard to take enough time over anything to make it interesting and exciting.

So I spent some time cramming before I went to my exams, Constitutional Law and Tort Law, I managed ok on. But Contract Law I despised before I got ill and so it was the thing I left until last to cram on, to get ready for my exams. I didn’t have any time to do practise questions, or make mind maps or any of those things which are good for revising. And the following happened…

Constitutional Law – I had three essay plans ready to go. I love essay questions, you just memorise the info in a certain order and vomit it out on the paper when you get in the exam. I had been testing myself on my essay plan for at least two weeks before the exam. I got into the exam, I splurged everything I knew, finished with enough time left to read it over, put down my pen, felt satisfied and walked out with a fairly confident feeling that I’d done ok. Result = I did quite well. Woop!

Tort Law – It was all problem questions. Panic! Problem questions require you to memorise a load of stuff, then cherry pick which info you need, depending on the what the questions asks. O no! I work better on a ‘make-a-plan-then-write-it-out-word-for-word’ basis, so problem questions throw me. How do I know which info to pick? So I memorised a load of mind maps and figured it’d be clear when I got in which bits of info from everything I knew that I needed to use. I did two or three practise questions before the exam. I took the exam and felt alright-ish about it, but not really sure how I’d done. Result = I did pretty average.

Contract Law – Awful. I barely had any time left to dedicate to revising. I did what I could and cobbled together a few notes. On the morning of the exam, I woke up early to do some last minute revision and looked at how the topics had been grouped together. I realised that I hadn’t quite got enough subjects covered to have three whole areas I could answer a question on. Hmm. I had two more topics to try and revise before I could properly answer three questions in the exam. I did one right there and then, on double time, with two and a half hours until the exam. I then found a study book with the second subject I needed in it and took it with me to the exam. The journey was quite long so I read up on Warranties whilst travelling. I went into the exam with a feeling of despair/hilarity at my own unpreparedness. I hadn’t done any practise questions. I answered most of a question on Terms and Warranties before I reread the question and realised it was about Misrepresentation, which I had not studied. So searched through the paper for a question about Terms and Warranties and started afresh, way behind on time. I walked out of that exam knowing it would be a miracle if I got any marks at all. Result = I did Rubbish. With a capital R. Worst mark I’ve ever got from an exam in my life.

The moral of this story? 1. Don’t get a twisted colon. 2. Revise more! Do practise questions!

PS 23 days till first exam. Today’s study topic is Freehold and Leasehold land