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Writer's Block

If you could travel back in time and ask any deceased political figure (famous or infamous) a single question, who would you choose, and what would you ask?


Well, I guess I'd go and talk to Adolf Hitler, asking him "Are you frickin' insane, you poor excuse for a human being? Didn't you mommy love you enough or why do you think erasing an entire race would make this world a better place?"
And of course I'd bring him with me:

Schreibhemmung

Would you uproot your life and move to another city for someone that you love?


If it is the ONE, or if I thought it was, then yes, no questions asked. I'd move to the other side of the world if necessary. If I knew he'd do the same for me. Yeah. I am one of those girls who believes that being with the one person who fills your life with joy is more important than anything else. Career, money, location. It's just things. No THING could ever be as important to me as the person I love.
So today, I'm not gonna post depressing shit about a guy. No, I decided to share my way of getting through college with you. Maybe this comes in helpful for those of you, who also go to school, college or have to study for other stuff.

So, basically, I am a lazy ass, which means that I hate studying and hence don't study a lot. Some people wonder how I was able to graduate high school... Anyway, I don't like to work very hard for success, therefore, I try to accomplish the maximum goal with minimus input or something like that.
Best example: term papers.
Whereas other students need weeks or even months to write the damn thing, I write mine in less than a week. Now a term paper is usually about a topic related to the seminar it is written for, must be about 20-25 pages long, include a bibliography, footnotes, a preface, a conclusion and so on.
My personal record for writing a term paper about old Chinese literature is 14 hours. I started at 4 p.m., read secondary literature while writing all night long and was finished by 6 a.m. the next morning. Now you might think that it was an awful paper and that I got a bad, bad grade. But - and I have to admit, to my own surprise - I got a 2.0, which is like a straight B in Germany.
My latest papers, both 25 pages long about modern Chinese linguistics, turned out to be even better. I needed 4 days for one and 1.5 days for the other. Got a B+ and an A-. So I think, why spend the whole semester break in the library, writing, reading, studying, researching, when I can do this crap in less than a week and still get good grades? What's the secret?

Well, I think it mostly depends on the topic you write about. Before I decide on the topic, I make sure that there is plenty of information and secondary literature about it. My personal interest in the topic is rather unimportant because what if I would really like to write about something but cannot find any secondary literature?
When I found a topic, I go see my prof and ask him if that's a good thing to write about, get some advice, some help and some more ideas. It's always good if your prof likes the topic a lot. That will definitely have an impact on your final grade. So make sure your prof is interested in what you want to write about.
Then, I take around 3 hours to find secondary literature in the library, copy stuff, or research online. When I come home, I throw all the stuff into a dark corner in my room and do not bother to think about it for a couple of weeks. One week before the deadline, I then start structuring the paper, writing a table of contents.
Then I get started. I am under pressure now, knowing that I will have to be finished soon. I work faster and better under pressure. I don't read the secondary literature before I start writing, I read it while I am writing. Saves me a lot of time. I personally think that university is a place where you should make up your own mind and not just copy from others. So I write down what I have to say about the topic and then just compare or add what the secondary literature has to say.
If you have a good style or writing - good. Because then it becomes easier to fill these pages with maybe stuff that is not as important but does sound it.
Make sure you have a decent layout and next to no typos or grammar errors. That makes it seem as if you really put some effort into the whole thing.
And there you go, a paper written in less than a week.

For my intermediate exams, it's quite similar. I passed with 1.3 (A-), 2.0 (B) and another 2.0 (B). Did I do lots of studying? Nope. You may think the exams were easy then. Nope. Here's what I had to do:
- Translate 3 Chinese texts into German in 3.5 hours (a newspaper text, a short story and a classic Chinese text) for the written.
- Know China's history from the first Opium War to today and the history and main apsects of Chinese linguistics and be able to explain them for oral.
The secret? I simply went to the respective classes to prepare for the exam. That gave me enough possibilities to practice and learn how it's done and I did not have to study at home a lot. Only thing I did was getting a book with classic Chinese texts one week before the exam and practice translating for 30 minutes a day. Then I learned some vocabulary for 15 minutes a day. And that was that. Just go to class and pay attention saved me a lot of time.

For English Literature, I had to pick 10 literary works:
Two written by a female author, one written in the 17th/18th/19th/20th century respectively, two dramas, one of which has to be a Shakespeare drama, lyric poetry, short stories and British and American authors.
I picked the following:
- Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
- Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
- Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie
- Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe
- The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
- The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
- Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller
- Macbeth, William Shakespeare
- The Sonnets, William Shakespeare
- The Black Cat, The Murders in the Rue Morgue and The Fall of the House of Usher, Edgar Allan Poe (short stories)

Now I had to read all of them and know the historical background of the authors, genre...etc. and of course interpretations and stuff like that. I did infact read all of those, which took me 3 weeks all in all. For the background info and interpretations, I simply read the respective articles on sparknotes.com and got some additional info on wikipedia. Don't let anyone tell you wikipedia is crap. It may not be a good source for a paper, but for some additional info to pass an oral exam, it's quite alright. Always remember, an oral exam is only between 15 and 30 minutes long. How much and how detailed can they ask? Exactly... A couple of questions just to see if you read the shit. If wikipedia can provide you with an interesting detail or anecdote, why not use it?

Now, I am not a genius or a whizz. I just know how to use information, knowledge and time efficiently. How long do you need to complete a term paper? Just interested. I refuse to believe that I am the only one...
So this right here is my fave song at the moment. I swear I could cry every time I listen to it. I've always liked Slipknot for their heavy stuff and this song is so not like them. Maybe it would have been better off on a Stone Sour album. But it touches me on a very personal basis. I don't know. And I love it. I swear, without music like that, I really would have gone insane by now.





SNUFF

Bury all your secrets in my skin
Come away with innocence
And leave me with my sins
The air around me still feels like a cage
And love is just a camouflage
For what resembles rage again

So if you love me, let me go
And run away before I know
My heart is just too dark to care
I can't destroy what isn't there
Deliver me into my fate
If I'm alone I cannot hate
I don't deserve to have you
My smile was taken long ago,
If I can change I hope I never know

I still press your letters to my lips
And cherish them in parts of me
That savor every kiss
I couldn't face a life without your light
But all of that was ripped apart
When you refused to fight

So save your breath, I will not hear
I think I made it very clear
You couldn't hate enough to love
Is that supposed to be enough?
I only wish you weren't my friend
Then I could hurt you in the end
I never claimed to be a saint
My own was banished long ago,
It took the death of hope to let you go

So break yourself against my stones
And spit your pity in my soul
You never needed any help
You sold me out to save yourself
And I won't listen to your shame
You ran away - you're all the same
Angels lie to keep control
My love was punished long ago
If you still care, don't ever let me know
If you still care, don't ever let me know

Writer's Block

Do you plan to dress up this year? If so, who or what are you going to be?

Well, I had some ideas. I mean, I went to Dragon Con this year and there were a lot of great costumes and I got inspired. But I neither have the time nor the money or the talent to make one myself. I also can't afford to buy anything great.
I was thinking of dressing up as Edward Scissorhands because that would be affordable and not too much work except for the scissors.
Another idea was to dress up as Facebook. You know, write the Facebook logo on my forehead and wear a chalkboard around my neck saying "What's on your mind?" so everyone I meet on halloween can write something on my "wall". But that's not very scary, I guess.
I would love to be GoGo from Kill Bill but my hair is too short and I don't have a school uniform. Hmmm.
The Crow would be another option. I would only need a lot of make up as I have enough black clothes. And maybe I should get a fake crow to sit on my shoulder.
Or, if I really can't think of anything else, I'll just wear my long black coat and be Trinity from The Matrix.

But I don't know. I will most likely end up putting on some of my old gothic clothes and fake teeth and be a vampire. I know that's pretty boring. I mean, it could be really cool if I could get one of those latex mask that they use for the vamps in Buffy and look like an actual vampire. But they're like 40 bucks and I don't think they'd get here in time.

If I'm in a funny mood, I'll steal Oz' (BtVS) idea and simply put a post-it on my shirt that says 'God'.

Writer's Block


Based on the books on your bookshelf, what conclusions would people draw about you?


Hmm, so take a look at my bookshelf and then YOU tell me:

- The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
- Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie
- Little Women/Good Wives, Louisa May Alcott
- Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson
- Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
- Pride & Prejudice/Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen
- Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
- The Last of the Mohicans, James Fenimore Cooper
- The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe
- Macbeth/Romeo & Juliet/ A Midsummernight's Dream/The Sonnets, William Shakespeare
- Selected Poems, Emily Dickinson
- The Short Stories of Edgar Allen Poe, Edgar Allen Poe
- The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Malcolm X
- On the Road, Jack Kerouac
- The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
- Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller
- High Fidelity, Nick Hornby
- The Tortilla Curtain, T.C. Boyle
- The Gun Seller, Hugh Laurie
- Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk
- The Firm/The Pelican Brief, John Grisham
- The Sheik, E.M. Hull
- All the Little Animals, Walker Hamilton
- Life of Pi, Yann Martel

So, that's a part of my book collection. There's of course more but those are the most important ones and most of them are also among my all time faves. I think it's pretty easy to see that I study English literature, isn't it? So I guess that's what most people would think when looking at my book shelf...

Writer's Block

If you were given the choice to read one other person's thoughts, but only if they could read yours too, would you take it? If so, who would you choose, and why?

Well, right now, I'd probably like to know what the guy who dumped me like an old pair of shoes was thinking when he did that. He owes me an explanation, at least I think so. He doesn't. He actually said that he does not owe me anything. I beg to differ because after 3 years of loving, suppporting and dedicating to this relationship, it is the least he could do. Explain to me why.
I know he is hiding something from me. I know there is something he does not tell me. Either because he really does not want to hurt me more than necessary or because he does not want to look like the bad guy. Either way, I believe that he might have met someone else. Guess I will find out sooner or later.

Writer's Block

What is the best science fiction movie of all time, and why?

Star Wars Trilogies. Do I really have to explain this? Okay, here's 10 reasons why SW is the best:

10. It's a classic. My mom has seen it when she was 13, I saw TPM when I was 13. SW brings generations together.

09. Darth Vader is THE greatest villain ever!

08. Where would Harrison Ford be today without Star Wars???

07. It's an epic sci-fi fairytale. It's for kids and grown-ups.

06. Makes you want o see  good in even the most evil person.

05. The prequels are great to look at. Wonderful FX combined with (mostly) good actors.

04. It's fun to hate Anakin in 1-3. He's annoying when he's a boy, annoying when he's a teenager, annoying when he's "grown up". To me, he is simply "Annoyakin".

03. Lightsabers. 'Nuff said.

02. The "Jedi Religion". Why can't we all be Jedis (minus the whole "no attachment" thingy)?

01. Young Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor). Such a hottie. Many people don't particulary like the prequels. I admit that storywise, I expected a little more, e.g. that Padmé should have fallen in love with someone else or at least Annoyakin being less annoying. But GL made up for it by casting sexy, handsome and brilliant Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan. Thanks.

Jun. 2nd, 2010

So, getting over my summer blues and am now sitiitng in class. University sucks. And yet it doesn't. I mean, I hate writing term papers, doing research, getting up at 7 in the morning, reading stuff that does not interest me. And still I don't want to graduate just yet. Why? Because after graduation, I will be lost. I kind of like how things are right now. Got my little part-time job, earn a little money, go to class, live in that nice apartment with my roomies. And when university is over, all of that will be over, too. I will have to start from scratch all over again. Also, I seriously do not know what exactly I want to do with a Master in literature and linguistics. Seriously, I don't think it is getting me anywhere. And on top of all this, my parents, grand-parents and basically everyone else is expecting me to graduate, get a job where they pay me ridiculously high amounts of money and be the first one out of my family to actually achieve something. If they only knew that I have no idea what to do with my life. And so it happens that I do everything to self-sabotage my graduation. I push it aside, say, one or two semesters more, whatever. But I know my time is almost up.
I always said I wanted to be an interpreter. But I really don't. I tried it and it just is a boring job. What I want to be is a musician. Either that or a writer. But I'm also realistic. To achieve a career in music or writing, you have to be extremely good. And most of all you have to be lucky. And so far, I have never been lucky in that way. So you see, as soon as I graduate, I will be standing in front of a big, scary nothing. No job that has anything to do with what I major in interests me and a music/writing career just is not very likely. I feel like I can't tell anyone about this because people would be disappointed. I was always the good girl, the smart one, the one with goals. Now I'm not. I feel like a big, stupid, planless failure. Darn...

Remembering my Old Life

Today was just weird. I don't know why. I just had to constantly think about my life before. Before I moved out from my parents' house, before I met my now-boyfriend, before a lot of stuff.
I mean, it seems just like yesterday and yet it is more than 3 years ago. I realize how far away I am from that life whenever I visit my mom. I don't know in which closet the towels are anymore. My room does look nothing like MY room anymore. It is a guest room, nothing more. People are surprised to see me in town there. And my friends from back then are not my friends anymore. The bar I used to go - I just looked at some old pictures of it - it's not the same. I hung out there with my then-friends all the time. I knew all the waitresses and we played darts and stuff and it was like my second home. I haven't been there in four years or so. Back then, I just went there, at anytime, and someone I knew was there and it was all with the fun. Now I would not walk in there by myself anymore. Because I don't know the people there anymore. Although they're still the same people. But I don't belong there anymore. Gosh, this is so, so weird. My life changed so fast and I miss the old times. Just hanging with a bunch of crazy people, drinking beer under a bridge, going to the movies with a group of 20 people. Planning stuff and spontaneously driving to Paris in the middle of the night just to have coffee under the Eiffel Tower in the morning. Back then I thought I was an unhappy teenager. Now I think I was lucky to have those friends. And yet, I don't know, I feel like I was never one of them. Because if I was, why am I not anymore? OK, I moved away. But I did not move to the end of the world. It's like a one hour drive. But none of them has ever called me since then. And neither have I. I mean, seriously, I considered some of these people my best friends and today, I do not talk to any one of them. Not one. Does anyone know why that is? Is it growing up? I hate growing up. I kind of want to be 18 again and relive those days. I miss my old life. It was so much easier. Although my now-life is good, too. You know, I have that stunning, handsome, lovely, intelligent, rockin' boyfriend. And I still do have friends. Very good friends. Different friends. But I miss being careless. I miss spontaneous parties at the lake. I sometimes even miss having a teenage dperession. I miss school. I used to hate school. But I had a routine down. I don't have a routine now. College is not the same. Self-responsibility sucks big time.
Guess I'm nostalgic these days. Because summer is coming up and we used to hang out in summer. My then-friends and me. And we had joy, we had fun we had seasons in the sun... That's all it was. Nothing more, nothing less. Today, somehow, everything has to be planned. You have to make appointments to see your friends. You cannot just show up in "your" bar and ask something like "Hey, shall we get beer and party under the bridge?" Because for once, the town I live in has like 250 bars and I still haven't found "mine". Also, my friends work, go to school or whatever.. . So you say "Hey, let's go party under the bridge on wednesday next week if you're free."
Does anyone know the feeling? Loving your life and yet, something from your past is missing? I don't know. Maybe it's just my own personal summer blues...