moving!

Hey guys! It’s been a long time since I posted on this blog but I have been going through some tough times so I didn’t have the motivation to write at all. I came home today for the Easter holidays so I can relax in bed with a cup of tea while I do my coursework, so all is well now.

I would like to turn your attention to a new blog that my sister and I have opened up, which is just a place for us to post all of our creative products. She has a knack for photography and art, and I have already uploaded a good amount of her stuff for you all to check out. I have already and will continue to post some of my creative writing there and there will be some occasional ‘general thoughts’ posts.

My sister and I are best friends – she is the closest person to me in my life and I can talk to her about anything; I am glad that sharing a room our entire lives has brought us together and not made us sick to the back teeth of one another.

Here is the link to the blog: http://webagosisters.wordpress.com

The URL of the blog is an inside joke: for some reason among our mutual friends we have been dubbed the ‘Bago Sisters’ – I don’t even know how that nickname came about but it is hilarious to us and that is why that is the link for the blog, if anyone was wondering. Apparently there is also a Bago City in the Philippines, which we all thought was very amusing, since our family has Filipino roots.

Anyway, I am glad to have endured my first year and hope to do well on my exams after this month-long holiday. I am super excited for my Year Two module choices; on my English side of my degree I hope to take a module in Teaching English as a Second Language, and on the German side I hope to take the Fremdsprachen lernen und lehren module, which studies how foreign languages can be taught and learned. If you hadn’t guessed, I am interested in going into teaching!

That is all for now. I will probably go into more detail on the teaching front another time. Until next time!

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some music for you

Hello, blog!

I’ve been going through some tough times recently so haven’t blogged very much (as you may or may not have noticed).

Today I just wanted to share my SoundCloud profile. It’s a music-sharing website and I am uploading all of my songs on there. I’m part of this singing/voice acting forum that holds casual competitions regularly and I am very involved in it on both the singing and competition-hosting side – this is one of the things that has kept me going through my difficulties recently.

Here is the link to my SoundCloud profile: https://soundcloud.com/vivialyn14

Other than that, I don’t really have much else to blog about. We are all settled into our new house and my time at uni is going reasonably smoothly with no major problems. We have our accommodation sorted for next year so there is no hassle about finding somewhere to live. My course is just as interesting as ever, etcetera etcetera.

Until next time!

really getting the hang of this interior design stuff

Today I decided to refurbish another house in the Sims 3. This time I took a more modern approach, considering the house had been named Modernehaus (which is awesome!). You can click on these pictures to enlarge them.

Before: Modernehaus, 3br 2ba.

Before: Modernehaus, 3br 2ba.

Before: Modernehaus, 3br 2ba.

Before: Modernehaus, 3br 2ba.

After: The exterior, kitchen and dining room.

After: The exterior, kitchen and dining room.

 

After: The living room and indoor garden, and master bedroom.

After: The living room and indoor garden, and master bedroom.

After: The second and third bedrooms, plus family bathroom and en suite to master bedroom.

After: The second and third bedrooms, plus the family bathroom and en suite to the master bedroom.

After: Kitchen and garden.

After: Kitchen and garden.

 

You can watch the sped up videos of the process on my YouTube here. Until next time 🙂

 

 

 

a gaming post: interior designer Vivialyn would like to battle

WARNING – this post contains a lot of pictures and may take a while to load.

I love The Sims – this is no secret. I often spend weeks at a time playing out a family until I just about drop dead (or really really need to do some work!). One of the brilliant features introduced into The Sims 3 was the ability to customise pretty much everything, creating a whole new level to the game. The Sims games are not just life simulators, as the title may suggest; there are actually many different ways to play. One of the areas of the game I have wanted to have a go at was building. Building houses, apartments, shops, parks – you name it, you can build it! I spend a lot of time on YouTube watching other talented simmers (people who play The Sims, that is) creating and building grand designs, and I’ve always wanted to have a go at building my own. The only thing that has set me back is time, patience and creativity. You could spend a whole evening – if not a whole day – building, depending on what you were building and how much effort you put into it. This evening I decided to try my hand at refurbishing a pre-made house on The Sims 3. You can click on these pictures to enlarge them.

'Capitola A', a pre-made 2br, 1.5ba house.

Before: ‘Capitola A’, a pre-made 2br, 1.5ba house.

Before: 'Capitola A', a 2br, 1.5ba pre-made house.

Before: ‘Capitola A’, a 2br, 1.5ba pre-made house.

After: The exterior of the refurbished house.

After: The exterior of the refurbished house.

After: The kitchen/dining and living room of the refurbished house.

After: The kitchen/dining and living room of the refurbished house.

After: The two bedrooms of the refurbished house.

After: The two bedrooms of the refurbished house.

After: The upstairs and downstairs bathroom/laundry room of the refurbished house.

After: The upstairs and downstairs bathroom/laundry room of the refurbished house.

 

I am really happy with how this turned out. The house was quite easy to work with, except for a large amount of ‘dead space’ in the bedrooms because they were awkwardly shaped. I also spent a fair amount of time deciding on the colours for the exterior of the house. My favourite part of the house is probably the living room, because of the feature wall behind the fireplace and television.

I also recorded this process and will speed it up and post it to my YouTube channel once it has finished rendering.

Until next time!

 

 

 

 

 

a quick grammar post

I found a lovely comic on how to correctly use ‘whom’ in a sentence, produced on The Oatmeal, who make quirky comics about anything and everything. Their grammar section, though small, is very handy (and also quite funny) and can be an interesting way to learn grammar. However, I would not recommend showing them to young children, as the content can be quite ambiguous.

You can check out the comic here. (I can’t just copy and paste the photo here since it’s not my work). If you cannot (or simply don’t want to) view the website/image, I have written it below, though there are not as many pretty pictures!

How and why to use whom in a sentence.
– The Oatmeal –

When using whom in a sentence, you first need to consider the following:
Are you referring to someone who is doing something, or referring to someone who is having something done to them?

For example:
Mr. Jenkins often likes to throw spiders at children.
In this case, Mr. Jenkins is the one throwing spiders. He’s the one doing something.
The children, however, are the victims of Mr. Jenkin’s INCREDIBLE ARACHNID FASTBALLS! They’re the ones having something done to them.

So, if you were to ask:
“To whom did Mr. Jenkins deliver a barrage of delightful little spiders?”, the answer would be the children, the people having something done to them, so you should use whom.

But, if you were to ask:
Who showered the children in delightful little spiders?”, the answer would be Mr. Jenkins, the person doing something, so you should stick with who.

This method of determining who vs whom gets the job done, but it can be tricky to remember, especially in conversation. Fortunately, there’s a faster, simpler way to know when to use whom. And it requires 100% fewer spiders!

Simply answer your own question using he or him: he – who | him – whom.

Example 1: Who/Whom cooked these bald eagle sandwiches? I find them both delicious and patriotic!
Him cooked these tasty eaglewiches,’ – Sounds weird, right? Let’s try it with he: ‘He cooked these tasty eaglewiches,’ – he sounds better, so we should stick with who in this example.

Example 2: To Who/Whom did you give a flamethrower for Christmas?
‘I gave a flamethrower to he.’ | ‘I gave a flamethrower to him.’
Him sounds better, so we should use whom.

Example 3: With who/whom are you planning on shampooing these dirty koalas?
‘I plan on shampooing these koalas with him‘ – again, him sounds better, so we should use whom.

Example 4: Who/Whom did you invite to this FABULOUS Slip ‘n Slide ‘n Mayonnaise party?
‘I invited he.’ | ‘I invited him.’ – once again, him sounds better, so we should stick with whom in this example.

Easy, yes? The he/him mnemonic is actually just a shortcut to determining the subject and object of a sentence. The subject is the person, place, or thing that is doing something. The object is the person, place, or thing that something is being done to. Subjects and objects aren’t something most English speakers readily think about, however, so I find it’s easier to just use the mnemonic.

If you find yourself getting confused, try stripping down your sentence to just the essentials:
‘I don’t know or care who/whom you punched in the butt.’
who/whom you punched
You punched he.   You punched him.
him 
-> whom
correct usage: ‘I don’t know or care whom you punched in the butt.

Also, if you really want to use whom but still can’t seem to get the rules straight, try looking for a pronoun such as you, he, she, they, we that precedes a verb in the latter half of your sentence.
For example:
Whom do you love?’
To whom did you write this letter?’
Whom should we contact on your behalf?’

Truthfully, whom offers no real utility in our language. It does not convey an idea more clearly or effectively than by simply using who. In fact, you could probably go the rest of your life without ever using whom and 99.9% of the world would never even notice.

But whom is not about utility or even pedantry. It’s about trousers and steeds. When you use whom, it instantly makes whatever you just said sound distinguished and classy, even if you said something terrible: ‘With whom shall I shave my back hair? You there, lovely miss! Wouldst thou care to frolic in the curly meadows of my upper backside?’

Using whom puts a smoking jacket onto whatever you just said. It turns sweatpants into trousers. A sputtering Honda into a well-groomed steed.

Whom is vocabulary drenched in bourbon, monocles and mustaches. So why use whom? Do it for the bourbon. Do it for the mustaches. Do it for the steeds.

At the bottom of the comic there is a link to the Twitter page of Jane Daugherty, who helped write the comic and is apparently the most awesome librarian this side of Jupiter.

as I grow older

I’m probably not really old enough for the title of this post, but it best describes the discoveries that come with growing up, growing older and discovering more of the world.

There’s no denying that university often changes people, either for better or for worse. But one thing I have realised is just how growing up has affected some people, and a friend of mine in particular. Honestly, I don’t think her realisation has anything to do with her growing up and moving away to university, but perhaps her decision to announce it has.

A few months ago one of my friends came out as trans – that is to say, she is biologically a female but she now identifies as male. Needless to say it came as a shock to a lot of people, but was perhaps predictable to others. As a female in secondary school, it must have been difficult to not only come to terms with how she was feeling, but how other people saw her. I remember many occasions where I caught people talking about her behind her back – especially when she cut her hair short – but when I think about it, I don’t remember hearing too many insults or sniggers. Then again, maybe I wasn’t listening to those people carefully enough.

Basically, what I’m saying is now that I’ve grown older and have been released into a wider world after secondary school – not the wide world, since I still believe first year university students are quite sheltered – I have realised that there is a lot more to life and society than exams, results and statistics; it’s about growing as a person and not being able to be you. Even here in Nottingham, I found out that one of my female friends on my course has a girlfriend and she is not ashamed to say so and show it in public.

All of this makes me think: why is there still controversy and hate surrounding groups of individuals like people of different ethnicities, sexual orientation, physical capability, in a day in age where there really shouldn’t be? How can there still be people who just can’t accept the world and the things in that have nothing to do with them – and just get on with their own lives? Are they just bored? Ashamed of themselves?

So yes, reality really is different when you leave school. And I haven’t even really left ‘school’ yet.

If you would like to know more about being trans* (the asterisk is there to show that this is an umbrella term for all gender identities and sexual orientations) then you can visit my friend’s blog about her journey, which she only recently embarked on, as a transmale: http://www.transtorm.blogspot.co.uk

spring cleaning

I know it’s only two weeks into January but I’ve decided to refurbish my blog. I’ve just made a belated new year’s resolution: blog more!

Each time I remember my poor, lonely little blog I feel more and more guilty – I don’t post half as often as I should, but I just don’t know what to blog about. Some of my friends request more grammar-related posts, but I have no motivation to fulfil the requests. And what with university taking up most of my day and with winter eating up all the hours of sunlight, I feel like I never have time.

But now I have decided to refurbish my blog in an attempt to reignite my motivation to blog more. I may be changing the URL (that is, the address of the website) and bringing my sister into the picture, who is a fabulous artist and photographer, so we can run the blog together and make things a bit more pretty and also more active.

So that’s that!

Today I had my first university-level exam for my German Linguistics module. It went pretty well, I think. Tomorrow I have a German Language exam and then next Thursday is my English exam for my Language and Context module, which is my favourite out of everything I have experienced so far!

Lectures don’t start til the end of January so that gives me some time to settle back into university life after being at home over Christmas. I’m popping back home for the last weekend of January to help my family move all of the furniture to our new house! I spent most of my Christmas holidays painting and assembling furniture and the house looks really nice. It’s a mansion compared to anything I’ve ever lived in before – five whole bedrooms and three bathrooms! – and I can’t wait to call it home and still have my own room when I go home. Moving to university has been the first time I’ve ever had a room of my own.

Anyway, I’m going to grab something to eat. Until next time!

some food for thought

I came across this video today whilst scrolling down my Facebook feed. 

It is a soldier coming back and reflecting on his time doing service. I’m not entirely sure of the context/setting of the speech – except that he is an Iraq Veteran speaking about his experiences – but I know that there is at least some truth to his words that we sometimes forget about. I often come across instances of racism in day to day life, and every time I can only shake my head in shame. 

There is no excuse for racism, and war is a terrible thing.

Whether this viewpoint is ‘correct’ or not is obviously indeterminable, but it is interesting to think about.

all settled in

Finally I have time to sit down and write a blog post.

I moved into the Cherries Block of Broadgate Park, one of the largest student villages in Europe, exactly three weeks ago today. Our Freshers’ Week consisted of meeting lots of people and drinking silly amounts of alcohol (which is really not my thing, as the week enabled me to discover).

These three weeks have gone so fast, yet it seems so long ago that my mum was here, sitting on my bed and watching me unpack my things.

My flatmates and I get on really well, and I think I’m quite lucky for that. We cook collective dinners – the only reason we don’t cook one meal for all of us is that the other girls have decided to go vegan for the health and cost benefits.

Within the English course, I have chosen ‘Language and Context’, ‘Beginnings of English’ and ‘Introduction to Drama’. My favourite, by far, is Language and Context – it really gets down to the nitty gritty details that we skimmed over at A Level. Plus my lecturer and seminar tutor is the nicest guy, and everything he says I find super interesting. The Beginnings of English module is also great, but less language focused. The drama module is my least favourite, simply because it’s basically studying literature but plays rather than books, which is what I was hoping to avoid. However, as a joint honours student, I had to choose 3 out of the 4 modules that would fit in with my timetable, meaning I had to choose ‘English Literature’ or the drama module.

I absolutely love my German course. We have the Introduction to German Studies module, which is compulsory, and we learn about the culture and the history of both the country and the language. We have a grammar lecture every Friday, which, at the moment, is a bit of repetition for me, since at Brooke Weston we did grammar ’til it was coming out of our ears. Our reading and writing seminars are really enjoyable, and our listening and speaking seminars are quite awkward for now, since people are quite shy.

What’s funny is that the grammar we’ve started on is the verb tables and I look like a bit of a know-it-all when asked to recite the different verb forms! Apparently, though, the tense that I’ve been taught as the ‘imperfect’ is actually called the ‘preterite’ and the ‘imperfect’ is something slightly different… but, nevermind! I know what I’m talking about!

My boyfriend got the Nintendo 2DS that he ordered online through the post yesterday. It’s basically a Nintendo DS that plays 3DS games in 2D, and the device doesn’t fold over. It was around £100, and I’m thinking of getting one myself, considering someone in Broadgate has just sold me their copy of Pokémon Y (and Ben today got himself Pokémon X). I’m going to wait a while, though, until I know I have bought all the textbooks I need to buy and see how much I have left over.

Anyway, I don’t really have much else to talk about except that I am all settled in well and enjoying my time here.

Until next time 🙂