I like to think that my writing has improved greatly over the last few years. In Norwegian that is. In English it has detoriated with the speed of the Concorde. How on earth did I get a 6 in English because my writing was so good? I write like a student in elementary school.
It’s interesting to me how some friendships are so different from each other and others are so similar.
The two friendships I have at the moment that are the most similar in content are the most different in history. Marthe I have known for 14 years (We’ve known each other for 14 years, Marthe! Do you feel old yet?), Sierra I first started talking to in the beginning of March (I’ve known you for only three and a half months? How is this possible?). Yet those are the two friendships I have ever had that are the most like each other. We talk about the most random stuff, we act like crazy, immature tweens together, we talk about really serious things we normally don’t share with anyone.
I told you, with great difficulty. It is not okay for you to tell other people. Or to tell me to tell people. Or to tell me not to tell people. You are giving me an anxiety attack via e-mail, both of you. Please stop it. Please just let me tell whoever I want whatever I want whenever I want. Please stop this. Please.
“It is proposed that happiness be classified as a psychiatric disorder and be included in future editions of the major diagnostic manuals under the new name: major affective disorder, pleasant type. In a review of the relevant literature it is shown that happiness is statistically abnormal, consists of a discrete cluster of symptoms, is associated with a range of cognitive abnormalities, and probably reflects the abnormal functioning of the central nervous system. One possible objection to this proposal remains—that happiness is not negatively valued. However, this objection is dismissed as scientifically irrelevant.”—R.P. Bentall of Liverpool University | U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine (via kateoplis)
What? Why on earth would you do that, you had to understand that we would discover it? I thought you cared about the organization, I thought we were friends? I just, I don’t understand. Why would you steal that much money from a child’s rights organization?
Don’t worry, you’ll do just fine on the IELTS! I had to take it before starting grad school in the UK, and 6.5 is VERY easy to get. The problems with my English are very similar to the ones you listed and I still had 8.5 with minimal preparation.
Oh, wow, this is actually becoming a conversation!
Ana, of course you did well, you are smart! Also, what problems with your English? I’ve been following your main blog for a long time and I have never even noticed a typo. But, thanks, this is still reassuring. It is difficult to know exactly what they mean by the phrases they use in the descriptions, so it reassures me that you say it’s not too hard. I’ll prepare, of course, probably do some example tests and increase the amount of English I read, but I don’t think I’ll actually spend money on a course. Thank you for making me feel better!
(As a side note, I just wrote a long-ish comment on your second to last post on your main blog.)
Nobody knows how to use the semicolon. This is a secret truth of the language. Anyone educated enough to notice the mistakes you make should know better than suggest any applicable concepts of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ to this language.
This is a good point. I made an attempt to study French at university this year, and the first thing they told us was to forget the notions of right and wrong. Sure, they sometimes told us that our sentences were “considered ungrammatical” or that our use of indicative over subjunctive was “not in accordance with norm”, but they never said anything was wrong. Language is dynamic, so what is “wrong” today may well be considered the norm in the future. I somehow doubt the IELTS will see it that way, though.
Your English is seriously impeccable, I have never ever noticed any errors, I always forget that it’s not your first language!
Thank you! That’s not true, though, my English is far from impeccable. Problems I am aware of:
There are frequently used words that I never remember how to spell: Appropriate, necessary, apliccable, appreciate, apparantly, embarrass, etc.
I have a very limited active vocabulary (words that I use) compared to native speakers. My passive vocabulary (words that I understand) is better, but that too is limited compared to native speakers.
I sometimes use a third person “-s” where there isn’t supposed to be one or vice versa, especially if the subject is a coordination of two or more constituants and at least the last is singular, or if there are constituants between the subject and the verb.
I construct sentences in a way that is understandable, but often different from how a native speaker would express the same statement. For example, I often end sentences with prepositions.
I sometimes use the wrong preposition.
I place commas where they shouldn’t be and ommit them where they should be. (This is an issue for me in Norwegian as well, though.)
I sometimes don’t use an article (definite or indefinite) where one should have been used or vice versa.
I have a terrible accent. You couldn’t possibly know that, though.
I don’t know how to use a semicolon.
I mix US and UK spelling uncritically and without thinking about it.
For nouns that don’t normally take numbers (mathematics, furniture, police, etc.), I often don’t know whether to use the singular or plural verb form.
I misspell words I know how to spell more often in English than in Norwegian.
I have most certainly not included everything. But you probably get the point: My English is very far from impeccable.
So, still doing research about U of T (I really, really want to go there) and realized I need a 6.5 on the academic IELTS test. You people communicate with me in English, do you think I can do that with a little practice, or should I take a course?
I could do other language tests in stead, but TOEFL and IELTS were the only two I had heard of and to do TOEFL I would have to travel out of the city. So I’ll probably take IELTS.
The description of bands 6 and 7:
Band 7 (Good user): You have an operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally you handle complex language well and understand detailed reasoning.
Band 6 (Competent user): Generally you have an effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings. You can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.
The person I talked to at student councelling is amazing. She called the Loan Fund and the faculty for me, and she even wrote a letter to the Loan Fund explaining when I’ve been too ill to follow lectures etc. for me. I now have a plan for dealing with the Loan Fund, and if everything goes well, I won’t end up with a bigger loan than if I had passed my exams.
The program consultant is pretty amazing as well. He answered all my questions and just fixed things. So often you are told to apply for this or fill out that form, he just asked me a few questions, suggested a solution and fixed it.
So the plan now is to apply for a “sick scholarship” form the Loan Fund and to retake FRA1301 (literature) this autumn and FRA1101 (grammar) and FRA1102 (language use) next spring. And then to go to Toronto.
This is such a relief. Everything has just been so uncertain and confusing and I’ve felt so out of control.
this makes me so happy to read! i am so pleased for you <3<3<3
Thank you, love! I am pleased for me too.
I am sorry you are having such a hard time today, Im, and I am really sorry your appointment was later than you thought. It’s so harsh when you’ve allowed yourself to feel a little safe because you’ll be supported by professionals soon and someone else will have control and then that doesn’t happen after all. I honestly think you can do a lot by yourself, though, and I think you’ll have a fantastic year abroad. And a week isn’t that long. You can do this, honey, you can. <3
For the first time I feel like I am legitimately ill. As opposed to a selfish, lazy brat who likes to whine.
At the same time I also feel like I might really be getting better, also for the first time, as opposed to simply having a good day, or even a good week. Today isn’t even really a good day, today is a perfectly mediocre day. Still I went to an appointment with student councelling, without crying, hyperventilating or even really being scared. Then I ate breakfast, a little late, I know, but it was still only 9.45, so I feel like it counts. And after that I went to a shop and exchanged the frilly, pink, flowery shirt-dress my aunt got me for my birthday. All of these things are progress. Exchanging clothes, for example, is something I never have been able to do.
And I am looking forward to, and planning, things that are more than a year in the future.
Things are not perfect, things are still relatively far from perfect, actually. But I think they are in the process of getting better. I am optimistic. I think that has to be a first as well.
I casually mentioned that I want to go to the University of Toronto in conversation with my parents. I also said that it is crazy expensive. My mother immediately said that I shouldn’t think it is impossible and went on to talk about how nice Toronto is. Because, yes, the world in unfair and my mother has been to Toronto. My father said that if I wanted to study maths or physics, then he could let go of some principles and help me with the money. And yes, I am aware that that was a new extreme in his attempts to manipulate me to choose maths or physics over law or political science, but maths is what I want to study there the most anyway, so I don’t care.
The only thing that can stop me from moving to Toronto next summer is if I don’t get in. That might happen, but I honestly think I’ll get in.
CANADA! TORONTO! SIERRA! NORTH AMERICA’S FOURTH LARGEST ACADEMIC LIBRARY!
Ja visst gör det ont när knoppar brister.
Varför skulle annars våren tveka?
Varför skulle all vår heta längtan
bindas i det frusna bitterbleka?
Höljet var ju knoppen hela vintern.
Vad är det för nytt, som tär och spränger?
Ja visst gör det ont när knoppar brister,
ont för det som växer
och det som stänger.
Ja nog är det svårt när droppar faller.
Skälvande av ängslan tungt de hänger,
klamrar sig vid kvisten, sväller, glider -
tyngden drar dem neråt, hur de klänger.
Svårt att vara oviss, rädd och delad,
svårt att känna djupet dra och kalla,
ändå sitta kvar och bara darra -
svårt att vilja stanna
och vilja falla.
Då, när det är värst och inget hjälper,
Brister som i jubel trädets knoppar.
Då, när ingen rädsla längre håller,
faller i ett glitter kvistens droppar
glömmer att de skrämdes av det nya
glömmer att de ängslades för färden -
känner en sekund sin största trygghet,
vilar i den tillit
som skapar världen.
English translation by David McDuff here and by Jenny Nunn here
This is my favourite poem ever. I actually started crying when we read it at school.
On the subway when I was on my way to Save the Children’s party on Thursday, it was super warm, so I took off the jacket I had been wearing without thinking any more of it. Until the woman who sat across from me started staring very obviously. She didn’t move her head, but her eyes were on my arm for several stops. I was really uncomfortable and didn’t know what to do. Moving would mean acknowledging that she had noticed and staying would mean that she kept staring at me. Luckily her friend came on and they distracted each other with small talk.
I didn’t wear a jacket at the party and nobody gave eny sign of having noticed. It’s been a while since I did anything on my arm, so they’re not that noticable, though they’re still clearly visible. I guess party mood and alcohol reduced their observational skills.
One of my aunts, who’s nice, but kind of stupid, no offense meant, and also stuck in the sixties, gave me a heart shaped picture frame and told me to put a picture of my boyfriend in it. That was awkward.
I’m with my parents this weekend as they’re celebrating their 25 years wedding anniversary. Which, I guess, yay! But they’re having this party with all my aunts and uncles and I have to be there and be smiling and nice and polite. And now my father suggested that I should tell them about my “problems”, which he doesn’t even know everything about, so that they won’t think I’m arrogant.
So I don’t get to tell them that I’m queer, but you expect me to tell them about my mental health issues?
AU. Harry Styles was gay and the world wasn’t okay with that. Bullied at school, caring for his alcoholic mother, cutting himself…Harry was broken. But when he ended up in a local cafe and met a barista with bright blue eyes, a bubbly happiness, and a smile to die for, things started to change.
Disclaimer: Obviously I only own my imagination.
Note: This is for the amazing Anne Helene. She has saved me in so many ways and this is for her, inspired by her, about her. Harry’s problems in this are my own, though I left out my eating disorder, anxiety disorder and abusive dad and stepmom. Despite never meeting in real life, Anne saved my life. She messaged me on ff.net and tumblr and soon we became so close I couldn’t imagine anything without her. She is my support system and my rock and everything else. She helped me like Louis helps Harry in this, though we’re obviously not in love. If I ever need anything Anne is there. Without her…I wouldn’t be here writing this. I wouldn’t. She found me when I was being ridiculed at school, abused at home and cutting nonstop. I was about to commit suicide. She deserves everything in life, but if you could follow her simply because I feel like she’s the best person you’ll ever meet…well. Annebear I love you and I hope you love this story. I owe my life to you. xx
Warnings: Cutting, could be triggering x
I love you too, Sierra. So much. You’ve saved me too and you owe me absolutely nothing. I just wish I could hug you and live with you in real life. Stupid ocean. You’re getting an awkwardly long real hug one day, though, Sierramor. Until then I am sending you love, positivity and all the virtual hugs and cuddles from the other side of the Atlantic.
SHIT I CAN'T MAKE UP: Convo between my 7year-old students today
(Names have been altered slightly, just in case.)
Josie:I have a new crusshhhhh
Matt:Me too! On a boy!
Pearl:You're a boy with a crush on a boy?
Matt:Yeah he's really cute.
(pause for a bit)
Matt:Boys can like boys. I just can't marry him because boys can't marry boys.
Me:Yeah they can. You can marry whoever you want.
Josie:YEAH my tia has a wife so now I have a titi and a auntie.
Matt:Okay. Then maybe I'll marry him.
Dave:(from across the room) No you can't you're seven.
(Age was apparently the only foreseeable problem anyone of my elementary schoolers could see with gay marriage. I almost cried out of happiness. Later, when I was asked if boys could kiss anyone they wanted, I replied "only if they want to kiss you back." And Josie responded "Yeah! Your body your life.")
Liking the fact that I turn 20 a week before Pride Week starts. Meaning I can go to everything. I probably won’t, because I will probably chicken out in the last minute, again, but I will at least go see the parade and wander around in Pride Park.
this party sounds like the perfect opportunity for a photo post! i want to put a face to the blog! also….throw away the matches.
Ugh, this refuses to work properly. Anyway, yes, I’ve been thinking about posting a picture of me on here. I generally avoid cameras like the plague, though, so the only pictures of me that exist at the moment are either really old (as in I still have long hair) or from demonstrations where I am screaming and looking crazy. So we’ll see. Maybe I won’t run away from the cameras tomorrow.
And I should, I know, it’s just… I don’t even know.
I went shopping for clothes to wear at Save the Children’s annual summer party today. I tried on four dresses from three different shops. They were all marginally big in 34. That hasn’t happened for a very long time and I don’t know what to make of it.
The National Theatre has tried to call me. What?
I found a striped blazer that I really, really wanted (because why shouldn’t I have a striped blazer?), but they didn’t have it in my size.
I bought lipstick for tomorrow. I hate lipstick.
Appearantly neon colours are a thing now, preferably many of them on the same garment. I will not be embracing that look.
I also bought matches. That will probably be proven not to be my brightest idea. I can’t even pretend that I needed them for something productive.
I am going to wear heals tomorrow, and I am terrible at walking in heals, my feet are already dreading it.
In general I am looking forward to the party tomorrow, though. It is fun to watch all the very proper Save the Children people party like crazy and there will be food.