Archive for December, 2010
Much much needed Christmas break! Three weeks as opposed to the usual four the art courses get. :P I was actually looking forward to this not as much to relax but to be able to revise without having MORE work added on top every day. We’re getting into some incomprehensible grammar. :-S It’s not the sentence patterns and verb forms that are difficult to learn – it’s the logic of it. For example, to say “I must take a shower” you say “If I don’t take a shower, it won’t do”. It’s a bit difficult to get used to this. We also learnt plain form of verbs so now we can sound casual and Natsuko can stop making fun of me for sounding too formal. :P
Last kanji class Kashiwagi-sensei got us to write our favourite kanji on a piece of paper and take a group photo. I wrote 電 which means power/electricity, which is quite uninteresting but it’s pretty. I’ve always liked this kanji, it looks like it has a little devil’s tail.
There had been much controversy in recent times over a proposed bill to cut down public funding of universities in the UK and allow them to charge up to £9000 in fees per year, an increase from the maximum of £3200 that it is now. There’s been quite the uproar, protests, occupations etc, but ultimately the bill passed today. I still find it hard to believe that they’d so unashamedly strike such a blow on education, of all things.
This doesn’t only make university entirely inaccessible to some people but will also lead to the closing down of smaller specialised courses that are not money makers for their universities. My university has tons of these and apparently they’ve identified 90 of them to cut. I really think the UK has shot itself in the foot with this decision…
I’m having such an exhausting last couple of weeks before Christmas break. Last night I didn’t sleep at all and today I returned home at about 16:00 and kindof dozed off…for 12 hours. Crap! I have a 2500 word essay to finish by Friday (haven’t started) and another by Monday (have notes). And we’ve been doing all sorts of bizarre difficult grammar that’s difficult to absorb and they have us do tests on it the day after (typical SOAS practice). Not complaining, just saying.
The other day I scored some Polaroid film on ebay for a very good price. It is TZ artistic, made to emulate Time-Zero. And even though Polaroid said it’s not that similar, the colours *are* those wonderful creamy blue tones of my beloved film. I teared up a little when I took one photo and saw those familiar colours.
It’s a special edition designed by Paul Giambarba, that designed the original 70s packaging. It is beautiful!
Seeing as my trusty old SX-70 camera is not so trusty anymore, and there’s no way in hell I’m wasting a single shot of this wonder, I was also lucky to score an Alpha model for nothing, including accessories. These cameras have been going for around £100 lately if it is stated that they’re in working condition, despite that the film stopped being produced 2 years ago.
There is now a new company called The Impossible Project, that bought the last remaining Polaroid factory in the Netherlands including all its machines. They did not, however, have the original recipes and some of the original ingredients are not being manufactured anymore. So they set off to create a new instant film from scratch. The results have been questionable at best, the worst downside being that the photo needs to be shielded from light the moment it comes out or it gets burned to death. The colours are very faded and in blue tones which is fine with me, but some people have reported they fade away even when stored in the dark!!! Now they introduced another new film with brighter colours, which, however, that has a “unique feature” (their name for DEFECT) which is the colours shift to blue over time. Of course, I love blue, but who can guarantee that these pictures with their clearly unstable chemistry, will last for years? What if they fade away into nothingness? I do want to support them, but they need to make better products. :-S
I took a huge blow when Polaroid stopped making film, it is by far my most favourite photographic medium. I have some film in stock but just knowing that once it’s gone, it’s gone, makes me reluctant to use it. Then again if I don’t, it will eventually become unusable. sigh…
So happy it’s snowed so early this year, makes me hope it will keep it up for a snowy Christmas! English people seem to panic every time it snows as if it’s the end of the world.
I have Thursdays off so I’m in bed, drinking Earl grey tea and munching on flapjack (I’m so English now) and trying to finish off a 330 page book that I have to make a presentation for tomorrow – I was given about 4 days notice for this. Gotta love Mr. Cummings. I need to prepare some videos and slides to accompany my “8 minute -not a second more or less- speech”. Luckily the book is on anime.