I’m off to London today with Lillie to go to her uni’s fresher’s fair. I can’t say I’m totally looking forward to it, especially as it includes a trip on the underground which I hate. However, she is a little nervous about going back to uni after her experience with bullying at her last uni so I am trying to support her in every way I can. We’re hoping to get back here after lunch and perhaps head out for girl’s club in the afternoon.
Here’s what I’ve been reading, watching and listen to this week:
My master’s work began early as the university has allowed us onto our course before we start (in early October). This is so useful to me because it has meant I could get a start and get a little ahead. This is useful in case of illness or some unforeseeable event (such as Charlotte becoming unwell again) – it gives me a bit of a buffer. Anyhow, this has meant a lot of my reading has been academic reading: Reflexivity: a concept and its meanings for practitioners working with children and families and The state of youth work in austerity England – reclaiming the ability to ‘care‘. Although I enjoy finding out what research is saying, and I love arguing for and against something using academic papers, I find reading the whole paper quite arduous.
I believe I have a fairly good grasp of the English language and a wide vocabulary, but sometimes (not always) research is communicated is such a convoluted manner I have to look up words every few minutes. It’s not even that I don’t recognise the word, it’s more that the writer of the paper has used the words in a peculiar way. For example, using the word ‘scaffolding‘ to express theories which underpin the research (underpin is a perfectly adequate word and far easier for a reader to understand), or using ‘foreground‘ as a verb instead of a noun.
The first paper mentioned above I had to read three or four times (each paper is around 22 pages long…) before I could fully understand what was being said. Yet the second paper was a really interesting and easy to understand paper, where the author used everyday vocabulary. Guess which one I preferred? The problem with hard to understand papers is that I am so busy trying to understand the vocabulary that I miss the nuances of the actual research (which is something I find very interesting) 🧐
Anyway, I’m very much looking forward to the week on parent verses state, which is such a key concept in homeschooling in the UK at the moment…
I’ve also ordered Charlotte’s second book from a trilogy she is writing. The first book Icarus Falls seems to have been well received. Her books are Greek myth rewrites set in modern times. The first was about Apollo and Icarus, the second is about Aphrodite and Hephaestus and is called Second Third Chances. Lillie drew the cover to the first one, but this time Charlotte chose Becca to create her cover and it’s gorgeous!
I’ve mentioned Ruby Granger before. She is beginning a master’s at Oxford this year and is putting out content linked with this. I have enjoyed her perspective and always enjoy her enthusiasm and love of studying.
Another study channel I am enjoying is Cinzia Dubois. She’s doing a self-funded PHD and her videos are an interesting take on studying full-time and earning money as a content creator.
One video which is on my ‘to-watch’ list for this weekend is all about The Rise of Urek. I have been making videos about artefacts found at Urek. I’ve already posted my ziggurat video and have filmed an Urek Tokens video and an Urek Cylinder Seal video, but I need to edit these before posting. It maybe that the video mentioned above will give me some useful information to add to my own videos.
I haven’t enjoyed my Audible books this week. I finished Frankenstein, which I hated. Really hated. I spent the whole book waiting for it to get better and it never did. I can understand why the concept is so popular but I do not understand why this book is deemed a classic. I really can’t express just how much I disliked it.
My second book was The Remains of the Day by Kazoo Ishiguro. This wasn’t a bad book by any means. Anyone who can make a car journey, where absolutely nothing happens, interesting deserves a medal and Ishiguro does this with aplomb. The Remains of the Day is a type of fictitious memorial of the first half of the 20th century as seen through the eyes of a proud butler. It is well written and well narrated. I can’t say that I loved it, and having read it I can’t say I was changed at all. A really good book alters you in some way and this didn’t. However, I think it might be useful reading to go along with a unit study of that era because the details of life back then were sublime.
Yesterday I began a book that I am thoroughly enjoying. It’s non-fiction which is my preferred genre. I wanted to read Daemon Voices by Philip Pullman but I couldn’t afford to buy it this month. So I have been listening to a book I’d already downloaded and which was included in my Audible membership. You may remember that one of my goals each month is to read a book written about writing. Stein on Writing by Sol Stein is such a book, and it’s surprisingly good. I’ve read a few books on writing and they are often pitched a bit above my level. I am a novice writer looking for tips I can apply to my writing now. Stein does this well. His book is probably not for experienced writers, but I’m not one of those. Its contents are easy to listen to and simple to action. By far, my most favourite book this week.
What are you reading, watching and listening to this week?