Watch the Time

Hey everyone!

Hope you are all having another good week, the sun has finally come out today so I’m enjoying the sunshine.

I know this week means Results Day for a lot of you, so again good luck!

Once you’ve got your results and your confirmed university place you’ll be eager to know what’s in-store for you once you start your degree.

One of the major differences between college and university will be the amount of time you spend being taught and the amount of independent study you’re expected to do.

The time you spend in lessons at college or sixth form can entirely depend on which college you attended. When I was at college I was in classes for 18 hours each week, and it was recommended that we did around 9 hours independent study per week.

In my first year of uni I took three modules, and had 4 hours contact time per module (that’s just a fancy way of saying the time you spend being taught.) That time was split up each week into a lecture, a lecture workshop and then a two hour seminar.

Although the contact time can vary between different courses and modules, it’s likely your timetable will consist of an equal balance between lectures and seminars. That means that each week you get given an opening lecture to introduce a  topic and later in the week will have a seminar to discuss ideas and delve a little deeper.

The main reason why a university timetable has so little contact time is to allow you to do the research you need for seminars and assignments. As there is a lot more freedom with university assignments than anything you’ve ever done before the library will probably become your best friend in the lead up to submission dates.

The main piece of advice I can give is to not waste the time you have outside of lectures and seminars.

The best way to do that is to maintain a balance between classes, your part-time job (if you have one), your social life, independent study and your free time.

Make sure to put in the time to get the best results you can, but don’t overwork yourself and make sure you go out and enjoy yourself every once in a while! You’ll have deserved it.

Quote for the day: “A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library.” -Shelby Foote.

Hope you all have a fantastic week and to those awaiting results don’t worry, I am sure you will do amazingly!

-Becki 🙂

Heading Home for Christmas!

Hello one and all!

Work has been hard, and I have been working hard on it. It has been the last long stretch for the end of the semester, working up to our final peices for the end of Semester.
It has been a long semester, but at the same time, time has gone extremely quickly.

It seems like only yesterday that I just came down to University to start up my second year.
Already, time has flown by. So much work has been done, I have made new friends, running new societies, gained a partner for life.
Life has been good.

— —

On a Side note, I have been working on many different things.
In Animation, I have sat and worked on some new animations and drawings. For example, see here my attempts at drawing.
andraste paladin Ratsassin

Alongside this, I have also been taking part in Student Film work again
and I took part in these two little productions.

Enjoy

 

— — — —

“I will say this Last Goodbye” – Billy Boyd

Last Week

Well last week was one of the busiest weeks that I’ve had in a while. On top of university and work I was also busy most evenings.

On Monday evening I went to see Interstellar at the IMAX in Liverpool One. I often feel like I’m not a very good film student as I often don’t see a lot of new films, but with all the hype surrounding it I felt that Interstellar was one that I had to see. I’m also a big Christopher Nolan fan, so was excited to see what he had to offer. The film was incredible and visually stunning and I’d recommend it to anyone, although I must warn; there is a jumpy bit that made everybody in the cinema scream!

On Tuesday evening I went to see one of my favourite musicians live, Jamie T. I’ve been a massive fan of Jamie T for quite a few years, so I’ve been waiting to see him play live for a long time. We went to see him at the Liverpool Guild of Students, which I believe is the University of Liverpool’s student union. It was a really intimate venue and I came out of the gig incredibly happy, although wishing that he was playing more dates.

On Wednesday I was on campus, at the The Rose Theatre, watching a reading by the Irish short story writer, Kevin Barry. We are studying Kevin Barry’s book, ‘Dark Lies the Island’, as part of the Creative Writing course, so hearing his work read out loud and having an opportunity to ask questions was incredibly helpful. I really love Kevin Barry’s work and managed to get my book signed, although in true ‘Harriet style’ I turned into a shy, giggling mess.

On Friday I was at The Lantern Theatre in Liverpool watching ‘Still Ill’, a play written by one of the Edge Hill Creative Writing Lecturers, Billy Cowan, and based around the music of The Smiths. We are able to write our Script coursework on this play, so it was great seeing it acted out, and at the end there was a question and answer session. The play managed to be funny and heartbreaking and was a great way to end my week.

In spite of how busy I was I somehow managed to keep on top of all my work last week and it’s certainly means that I have no excuse on a normal week when I have much less on.

Aesthetica Short Film Festival

On Friday the 7th November I attended Aesthetica Short Film Festival as part of an organised university trip with the Film Studies department. Although Edge Hill arranged our travel, bought our tickets and booked us on masterclasses university trips differ greatly from school and college trips, in that we are a lot more independent and left to our own devices. We were told when to meet up to get the coach and when the coach would be leaving, but other than we were free to spend our time how we wished, and if we weren’t back in time the coach would leave without us.

ASSF takes place yearly in York and is held at many different venues. There are multiple screenings of short films over the few days, as well as opportunities to meet people within the film industry. Between screenings we explored York, looked around vintage shops and found a quaint little café that served vegetarian and vegan meals.

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We were booked into a masterclass entitled ‘The Role of Film Criticism’ run by Anna Smith, a highly regarded film critic. Although I don’t wish to be a film critic I found her talk incredibly interesting and entertaining and the way that she analysed aspects of films will definitely be useful within my own work in Film Studies. Anna was really passionate and broke up her talk with anecdotes and her own opinions. At the end she answered quite a few questions and I made notes on advice that she had given.

After the masterclass we attended an hour long screening of six comedy short films. I loved a couple of the films, but wasn’t too fond of others, but as somebody who’s interested in film it was helpful to watch a variety of different examples from the comedy genre.

As we left the screening the heavens opened and we waited inside a café until it was time to leave. Overall, I’m really glad that I went on the trip; York was a great place to visit and I know that I will use the things that I learnt in my academic writing.

First (and Last) Exam of the Year!

Yesterday I had my first and thankfully last (yay!) exam of the year. The exam was in a film module called ‘Film Genre- Case Study’ and involved applying critical approaches to a fifteen minute clip from a Western film.

The exams on my course are nothing like the exams from school or college which involved sitting in a massive, echoey room on tiny desks, far apart from everybody else. We have the exams in our small seminar groups in the usual seminar room and I definitely find that it makes the whole experience less nerve-wracking. We are given a sheet of paper with the exam question on, as well as information that may be useful, like character and actor names. We are also given an exam booklet which is full of blank paper to write on. It’s okay to make notes in the exam booklet as long as they’re crossed out at the end. When filling out our information on the front of the booklet there is a section that can be folded over and stuck down to cover our names. This ensures that the person whose exam is being marked is kept anonymous throughout the marking process.

 

The Creative Writing side of my course is exam-free and completely based on coursework as it’s hard to evaluate creative skills in an exam format. The coursework is split between creative pieces and analyses of other people’s creative work. This year I’ll be producing a stage play, a collection of poetry and a piece of short fiction. Although these pieces aren’t due in until May I find with creative work it is best to start as early as possible as the drafting process can be quite intense and often the final piece is nothing like the first draft. We also workshop these pieces in seminars in order to get feedback as well as giving feedback to others, which can help with our own work.

I now have to wait around four weeks to find out how I did in the exam and, although I’m nervous to get my results, I’m glad that it’s out the way.

Filming!

Hello there!

I speak to you from my past, sending ahead to you now!

So, for some time now I have been working on a Doctor Who fan film
project so I can practise my special effect skills and help those on other courses advance theirs too

The other day, one of our leading actresses found herself unable to take part anymore,
So, since i needed to film a mini episode for the Previous Edge Hill Doctor, and film his regeneration sequence, the lovely lady joined us to do one episode as a companion.

We did however have a bit of an accident. In a scene that had to be changed after, The Doctor was supposed to run and grab her hand and run with her away. A simple enough concept wouldn’t you agree?

Well it didn’t turn out that way. Instead she ended up being dragged along the ground by the Doctor

Thankfully she merely scraped the skin of both sides of her hand in some places, but it could have been worse. This is why we can’t have nice things!

— Thoughts of the Week —

“I came in like a wrecking ball!”

Semester Ending?

Hello again boys and girls!

It appears that semester two is soon going to be drawing to a close.
For those that do not understand what I mean by this, University years are split into three semesters. September to December is Semester one, January to April is semester two, and end of April to the end of  June is semester three.
It seems only yesterday that I started semester two, and to have it approach so rapidly was partially terrifying.
But, looking back on these blogs so far, I can see that I’ve actually achieved more then I thought.
I’ve made these blogs! I’ve attended so many different societies and I’ve helped out at a few events.
Just last weekend I took part in an open society event, where I performed in the Local Ormskirk park, helped set up stands (and take one down due to the weather), and generally help raise awareness for the day.
It was fun to say the least.
There were so many societies there to support.
I am just glad that I was lucky enough to be one of those involved in the whole thing.

On other notes, Some new films are coming out that I am eager to see.
If anyone should ever want to watch films while at Edge hill, they need only to go to the cinema we have on campus (although they show already long released films) and there are at least two to my memory in liverpool, which is but a 30 minute train ride away.
Anywho, please enjoy these trailers if you have not already seen them and I will bid thee a good day.

— THoughts —

“Oh yes, the past can hurt. But you can either run from it, or learn from it”

 

 

 

Visiting Edge Hill

Whilst I was certain from the moment that I applied to Edge Hill that I wanted to go there, it wasn’t until the Applicant Visit Day that I really started to become excited.

The most valuable part of the day for me was the taster sessions. The day was especially for joint honours students so I attended a taster session for each of my subjects.

In creative writing about thirty of us sat in a room and took part in discussions before doing writing exercises. I had been a bit dubious initially- I had doubts that I’d ever just be able to write on cue- but by being given certain scenarios, requirements and restrictions I soon found myself inspired and writing away. This felt like a breakthrough for me, as I’d had writers block for the previous two years which I’d spent working in fast food, and it made me all the more sure that I was taking a positive step.

The film studies taster was a lot more intimate; a group of five of us sat round a table discussing Cult Cinema, a subject that greatly interests me and that I can speak passionately about for quite a while. After the session I remember thinking that this was exactly how I wished my first time at university had been.

After the film session we were each given a pack that included information about our tutors and a history of cinema
After the film session we were each given a pack that included information about our tutors and a history of cinema

After the applicant day I was a lot more nervous to start, as well as a lot more excited. It all suddenly felt very real and I began to get worried that I’d struggle with the workload or feel out of my depth.

Now that I’ve completed my first semester at Edge Hill University I know that I was wrong to worry and that when I put the effort in the workload isn’t an issue.

The applicant visit day was really helpful in that it gave me a much clearer idea of what the next few years are going to be like, and I’d recommend that everybody attends one.

You can find out more about visiting the university HERE.

Enjoying my Course

One of the things that I love about University so much more than I loved about college and school is how much control we have over what we learn. During maths at school I had a tendency to zone out completely, but when I was learning something that really interested me, English for example, I was always transfixed. Now that all of my modules relate to Creative Writing and Film Studies I find pretty much everything I learn really interesting.

This semester I have started a module called World Cinemas: Beyond Europe and, although I’ve only had one lecture so far, it is fast becoming my favourite module. Each week we’ll be studying a film and director from a different country and analysing how aspects of the film style and narrative are influenced by the culture and region from which they come. This week we looked at a Chilean director called Alejandro Jodorowsky and, while I’m unsure of how much I enjoyed his film, ‘El Topo’, I am deeply fascinated by what an eccentric character he is. Jodorowsky is known for his obscure film style and was even deemed too bizarre to be a part of André Breton’s Surrealist movement. Because I’ve found Jodorowsky so interesting it has led to me doing my own research regarding him and his influences and I have learnt quite a bit that I know will come in handy in my essay writing and exams.

Alejandro Jodorowsky, in all his glory
Alejandro Jodorowsky, in all his glory

I am also really enjoying my Creative Writing modules. I love reading, but haven’t had much time to read for pleasure since I started uni, but fortunately I get to regard reading as research and inspiration. In each of my three Creative Writing modules I do an assignment called ‘Reading as a Writer’ in which I analyse a book, poem, or script and write about how they have influenced me as a writer. Just in doing research for these essays I’ve discovered writing techniques that really interest me and writers that I want to find out more about.

Showing my appreciation of classic literature in my Hamlet leggings
Showing my appreciation for classic literature in my Hamlet leggings

I’m really happy to be studying something that I really enjoy and cannot stress the importance of choosing a course that’s right for you.

Faye’s Blog – Work Update & Preparation for Reading Week

So this week I began work on my Text to Screen assignment as I planned. I’ve started to read American Psycho and have found the corresponding chapter to the scene within the film that I am going to analyse for my 4000 word essay! And I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into it because I think that it is going to be a really strong piece to look at. The scene of the film that I have chosen to analyse is one of the beginning scenes where we see Patrick Bateman preparing himself for the day with his beauty regime and he is discussing all of the various moisturisers and shower gels that he uses etc. This is the scene that officially introduces Patrick Bateman to the viewer.

Also today I have been packing ready to go back home for reading/independent study week. I have a suitcase full of clothes and I still need to fit in my laptop and some work books. Over the week I am hopefully going to finalise my Cult Cinema essay, begin writing my Text to Screen essay, continue reading The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers for Text to Screen too and write at least another 2000 words of my dissertation. I really need to keep focused and try and not get distracted at home! Hopefully I’ll be able to keep on track but I get distracted easily whilst I’m at uni too!