So over the past few days I found out some of my provisional grades for this semester. One of them is a 61, but that seems to be the worst of all the people I know…and I’m not angry about that. We got the grade we deserve. No, I’m pissed off at myself and worried about my options for the future.
See the way it works is our module choices go by a “highest average grades get first choice”. I’ve already had a low-ish grade in one assignment in one module, and now I seem to have another relatively low one in this as well. This means I may not be able to do some of the modules that I know I could be good at. The reason, they’re also very popular.
And I’m pissed off because I knew our video storyline was crap. I knew we were clutching at straws. Sure I managed to fight it back from it being someone in front of a computer the whole time but the half of that that stayed meant we lost a lot of marks. It was shit, and I knew it all the way through..so why didn’t I call it?
The lesson: If you think something is genuinely crap then don’t put your name to it
So tonight I watched Perks of Being a Wallflower for the first time. This is the latest in a multitude of films and tv shows I’ve been watching. This week that included the Marvel films and then Perks, and I have to say I’m impressed.
For me, the book was ok. I mean it was good, but I didn’t finish reading it and be totally blown away by it. The film however, was at least it’s equal, if not better than it. That’s rare, and it’s left me quite shocked.
Why though? Why this film? Am I not supposed to be into action movies where the hero gets the girl. No, I’m not. Because, as harsh as it sounds, that’s not always the way life is. Sometimes life is tough…and perks shows that.
I guess I’m just a sucker for movies that actually have a real meaning to them, films that can draw me in and realise things both about myself and life in general.
I’ve gone through some tough times, you all know that. While on the face they certainly aren’t as tough as what Charlie went though, and maybe what others are going through..they did shape me. I came out from it ok, but it made me realise that some people don’t. Some people are going to struggle with feelings for years. I could go on more about how I am now, but it’s not really relevant is it?
While the quote “in that moment…”(you know the rest) may be a pain, it resonates. When Charlie is with Sam and Patrick he feels like the worries in his life are gone, that he’s free. That’s what it means to be infinite (at least I think so), not just some quote to put on pictures and pass them around.
I’ll shut up about this now. While this has been about Perks there are many more films out there who could probably do the same. In the next few years John Green’s TFiOS (the movie) is coming out and I can say with some certainty that it’s going to be pretty damn good.
Do you ever look around your bedroom and consider what it makes people think of you? Isn’t it said that our bedrooms sort of say something about our personality, or at least a part of it. For example, posters and stuff like that will show what the person is interested in.
I was looking around my own room recently and all this occurred to me. I do share with my brother though so I’m going to leave out his stuff. I did figure, however, that maybe I’d explain what’s in here and you guys can maybe give me some impressions that were formed from reading it, as inaccurate or accurate as they may be.
Ok, so we all know what piracy is so I won’t bore you with the details. You’ll also know that it’s allegedly wrong from those lovely adverts before your film plays on DVDs and, if you’re old enough to remember them, video cassettes (weren’t they great?????).
I have no doubt that we’ve all participated in piracy in some regard. Be that downloading a song illegally, watching a movie online or else aiding in the distribution of other people’s intellectual property in some way without their permission.
As should be obvious from my previous posts, my stance on piracy would seem clear. It would seem that I am totally against it, and personally I am against it..to an extent. I don’t pirate games that can be obtained legally. I don’t pirate films that are readily available from the local DVD store (which may or may not be shutting down, but that’s irrelevant). I never pirate books, and very rarely (if ever) do I pirate songs. In fact, recently I’ve not pirated a single song.
If you will allow me to diverge from the point a bit for a moment I want to talk about why I have this stance. I assume many of you will remember the Stop SOPA campaign? Well a lot of the “reasoning” behind SOPA was the protection of Intellectual Property. Obviously some people could see beyond that reasoning, but most people would not. The internet was an untamed land, where criminals thrived, or at least that was how it was portrayed. I was fairly behind the Stop SOPA campaigns, something that some were clearly complacent about, but let’s not go into that. The point is that I decided that I should be doing my part to stop it by helping to remove the reasoning.
I am just one person, but I see it as doing my bit. However, this might not matter to you,so I’m going to explain more reasons as to why I’m against piracy, from a personal perspective obviously.
The point is that digital piracy is a new way of stealing.OK, nobody is losing any property, and some of the more idealistic among you may see it as you sticking your finger to the record labels while others just don’t want to pay. I ask you now, what is the difference between that and me taking something you posted online and posting it as my own? Or on a more dramatic scale, me coming to your house and taking a small chunk of wood from the legs of all your furniture? (I know, so dramatic but it’ll make sense). It won’t make a huge difference to you, but what if hundred of people suddenly decide to do the same. You’re without furniture before long. Now to explain that metaphor. When you take a song, or whatever (particularly one by a smaller artist who is struggling, yes struggling, to make a career out of their chosen art), you are both depriving them of some of the money they would have made. This can lead to them, in extreme cases, giving up on their music career, or else not producing as much.
Piracy can be weathered by larger artists such as Justin Bieber, One Direction,Rihanna, Chris Brown etc etc. They’ve made their fortunes and a few hundred illegal downloads are barely going to make a dent (especially when we consider how low the cost of production to profit ratio is). However, for artists such as Jonathan Coulton (who quit his job to focus on distributing his music online), the Jigsaw Jam (a small Irish band) and others, that money is important. Sure Coulton says that piracy is fine, but asks you to donate as well, and that some of his songs are creative commons. It doesn’t change much. The point is that your 99 cent or 99p or whatever, can make a difference, a small one, but a difference nonetheless. The same goes with films. Films have huge overhead costs, and while some stand to make millions in profit, not all of them do, but that’s a different argument and one more based on personal preference than idealism.
Quite apart from that mentioned above is the matter of respect. Many will claim to really like a band, to love them even, and then be proud of pirating the work. Yeah, maybe some artists just want an audience, but to keep that audience they need to produce content, and to produce content they need to show that they can being in money. I would argue the point that, if you truly love a band and have money to spend on buying their songs, then you’ll buy them. If you truly enjoy a director’s work, then you’ll pay for the film, and if you truly enjoy an author’s writing then you’ll help him/her to continue to work in that career.
And now, on a more personal note, maybe it was a little harsh of me to say “I don’t care what your opinions on piracy are..”. For me, I would aspire to work in the creative area. I want to produce content, and at the moment this is all free if you can find it. However, that can’t go on forever. Some day I’ll have to stand to make money from it. It’s not selling out, it’s me trying to make a career out something I enjoy. At the moment the worst you can do is take this post and repost it as your own, which would annoy me but wouldn’t directly effect my life. However, to all struggling artists out there, there may come a day where they need that small bit of money to live a life, and that euro or pound that might otherwise have been spent on a bar of chocolate or a nicer handbag or a new smartphone (obviously with more money added to it) could make a huge difference in their lives.
So those are my more fleshed out opinions on piracy. You may call me an idealist. You may tell me I’m wrong. In fact, I welcome it. Go anon and tell I’m wrong,or go off-anon and tell me. It’s irrelevant to me which you choose. Regardless, I want to hear your opinions. Prove to me that I should care what your opinions on piracy are, or tell me why you stand by piracy or are against it. It’s up to you.
I really can’t get over how nice everyone in my uni course seems to be. Having said that I’ve only spoken to about 10 of the 70 people in it (maybe I’ve spoken to some more than that) but even so…
Also, you know how when you’re making friends with someone you reach that point where you can insult each other without worry?
I wrote this a while ago, but only got around to posting it now. It’s about friends, and hopefully it’ll encourage some sort of response as it’s something everyone should have an opinion on.
A while ago I was speaking to some people who I may never see again. In fact, over the last month this has happened twice. We’ve finished school, we’re all going to be going our separate ways to different colleges, jobs etc. Nobody is travelling too far away, almost everyone is staying in Ireland, but that’s irrelevant.
What I want to talk about is friend. I know that some of the people that, at the moment, I call friends..well, I’m not going to be friends with for long. I was even told “this might be the last time I see you” a few days ago by someone who i’m only starting to become close to. Friendship is only temporary, is that it? Are we doomed to come to like people and then just have them vanish from our lives. I know that things change, that circumstance leads things to end every day, but is this another of those things.
Which begs the question, are we friends with people because we like them and enjoy their company? If that were the case, surely we’d stay in contact, we’d arrange to meet up and damn whatever it takes. Or are friends just to pass the time? Are they people that we have in our lives and then they’re gone and we look back and say “oh we just sort of drifted apart”? People speak often about how much their friends mean to them, but those same people will very quickly move on, or will become otherwise occupied with a boyfriend or girlfriend.
Maybe I sound bitter or despairing, but I think of it more as looking at things as they are. I’m trying to understand the things we do and why we do it, and unfortunately this is just one of those things.
So last night I was at a “party” of sorts to celebrate the end of exams, as well as a belated birthday for my friend’s boyfriend. Naturally, I didn’t know many people there, but I knew enough. However, it does come to a point where you feel a bit like the outsider. I won’t say this to draw pity because, and it’s a credit to them, all 3 of the people there who I knew quite well came over and tried to find out what was wrong, and I just brushed them off. I was in my own mind, and I refused any help..so I need little pity.
That is not what this post is about, but it was needed to understand what I’m about to write here. As some of you may know, I don’t drink. This isn’t really any personal belief, religious belief or fear of parents. In fact, it’s mostly because I just wasn’t bothered to make the effort when I was under 18, and now I just don’t care. Drink was never central to my life and I don’t mind that at all. Other people have differing opinions, and that’s fine, but I’m going to outline something that occurred to me last night, while in a taxi on the way home.
Throughout the night, one guy that I didn’t know came up to me, and offered me some alcoholic mixture that I didn’t know. I refused, and he tried to pressure me, to reassure me etc etc. “you need to get some drink”, and after I refused he, to his credit, told me that he admired how I could say no and not give in. However, the subject matter I want to talk about is the reasons behind suggesting I drink. From what he could see, I wasn’t enjoying myself as much as I should have been, and yes, maybe had I been drunk then I might have had some illusion of having fun. I say illusion because, as I said previously, it occurred to me in the taxi home that the whole idea was just crazy.
Are we really enjoying ourselves if we have to be drunk to enjoy something? Everyone has always told me that the reason they get drunk is because it’s “fun”, and I’m starting to think that this has become one of the biggest lies in existence. I’ve seen people breaking down in tears who were drunk, and then being one of the most enjoyable people to talk to when sober. I’ve known people who have drunk because of pressure and then covered it up with “I did it because it’s fun”. People convince themselves of this and then try to share it with others. As far as they’re concerned, they’re right, because they lack the ability to have that kind of enjoyment without being intoxicated, or so they think. People say that they’re more confident when drunk, but really they could be like that without the drink.
What I guess I’m trying to say is that drink is not for me, and now I have another reason. While I may be outside of the party when everyone is drunk, I can take solace in the fact that when I enjoy myself I am genuinely enjoying myself. I’m not pulling the wool over my own eyes and using a crutch to simulate that kind of fun. Instead, everything I do is me, and will always be me. If I screw up then fine, I’ll accept it. I can’t blame the drink. But if I succeed or do something memorable, then I’ll know that that was also me, and that the drink had no part in it.
My goal, as I see it now, is to try to be a person who doesn’t need to be drunk to be “cool” or whatever. It’s an upward struggle, and maybe I’ll never reach the goal, I’m sure as hell far enough from it now, but I’d rather have control and be lame and a “pussy” than end up snapping at someone just because they said “I don’t know, I just wouldn’t trust guys with anything” (I was better to just talk to her and find out reasons, which were fairly good) but that’s a discussion for another time.
Obviously I’d love to hear your opinions on this. Whether you agree or disagree is irrelevant. I want you to tell me. If you don’t drink, why not? If you do drink, why did you start? If you have further questions on what I wrote, then I’d be delighted to answer them.
So what is your opinion?
I want to tell you the story of my last few hours, and while some of you may not be able to relate I don’t care really.
Finishing formal secondary school education is always the dream throughout people’s time there. Almost everyone at some point has said “I hate school. I can’t wait to get out of this place”. Well, this is my story, and I can tell you that it’snot always the joyous experience that many people seem to think of it as.
The day started off as expected, a ridiculously cheap card for out form tutor, a few pranks etc. We were sitting in Irish when it happened. The Vice Principal knocked on the door and we could hear her speaking to her Irish teacher. “I actually just want to have a word with these gentlemen”. I recall thinking that it was about something stupid that someone had done, then she said “A final word actually” and it hit everyone. There were a few “awws”, and on a personal note I felt my stomach sink slightly. This was it. She spoke for a while, and then left. We waited in that classroom a while while our Irish teacher finished talking briefly about the exams, and then we left.
I wasn’t the only one who didn’t want to leave. A good few of us stood in the main area of the school for several minutes, being wished well by the staff. I’m not ashamed to say now that some tears almost came to my eyes as I stood there, unsure of what to do with my day. I’d expected that it would finish tomorrow. There were some people who were visibly upset, one guy even going into the art classroom to hug the teacher. We just didn’t know how good those 6 years were until they were over, even taking into account the homework and the strict teachers and the rule. I’m not ashamed to even say now that tears are properly coming to my eyes as I write this, but it must be done.
Eventually we left the school, a whole group of us standing just inside the gate, perhaps all as unsure what to do as each other. Then someone shouted “everyone outside, we’ll lock the gates”. A final statement perhaps?
I walked home on my own then, the old route, not the shorter one that I had adopted more recently. I walked the exact same route home as I had the evening of my first day in that school. This time it was without the long chat with the guy who was my best friend at the time (he’s left the school with no explanation), but I walked in nonetheless. I didn’t even realise what I was doing until I was halfway home, having initially walked that way with the intention of going to the library instead (didn’t happen). It’s funny how small things return to you at the end, such as the fact that my parents called me on my first time walking home and asked if I was almost home. I remember the exact spot that that happened too. I even remember people I used to see when I took variations of the same route.
So it’s over. I’m sure I’ll be in the school again before the exams and even before the graduation on Tuesday, but it was still saddening to walk out the gates as a formal student there for the last time. It was still sad to say goodbye to people I’d known for 6 years, even though I’ll see them again soon. It was still sad to hear the Vice Principal talking to us about how our time there was only going to be a small drop in the lives we could lead…and dammit I’m tearing up again.
So to those who are still in school, and who think they hate it. I know you have your reasons, and there are going to be days when you really do hate it. Maybe you won’t be like me, and when you leave it’ll be the happiest day of my life. But for many of you, you’ll be putting behind a life that you knew for so long, people you knew for so long and I want to say that it’s ok to be upset. Forget what others think, don’t worry about seeming like a teacher’s pet, because that’s not what it is. This is different, this is a lot different. I know I’ll look back on my time there with nostalgia. I won’t deny that there were bad points, but when I look back over those 6 years, even now, I see it as something amazing, something incredible and if it really is only a small drop in my life, then I think that my life is going to be so wonderful that I can’t even put it into words.
But also remember that it’s not over, not really.
P.S. even typing this is making me tear up so I should stop….
It seems that I can vanish and nobody will notice. useful sometimes…more likely not.
Maybe the splinter groups, the outsiders are right. Maybe I am jealous that they have a group of friends and I have a group of mostly just strangers, or that I’m outside their own circles of friends…maybe that’s it.
Perhaps this dog has has his day..and he needs to give up trying to get back to that day…
Anon, I’m sorry. I know this is exactly what you didn’t want..but I will have more content for you soon..
I once again take to the microphone to talk to you people.