Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Taking the lead

Last night was pretty fun and I wasn't really prepared for what happened. As I do on a Tuesday in Liverpool, I went down to Beatlife for the session at Elm Hall, and after telling Chris I'm headed back to Leeds at the weekend, I was asked if I wanted to do some singing with the group. As you may guess, I was more than happy to do so since they'd heard a bit of what we do during the weekend workshop last month when Honeydrum came to Liverpool for the weekend.

So we got together, and did some warm ups as well after the ball was passed from Matthew to Emma to Harley and then to me (despite Matthew and Harley not wanting to actually do some leading). Singing went pretty well and I think I taught it as well as I could do on 20 minutes notice. I got the guys singing and they started to get a bit more confidence with it. Being pretty impressed with what we achieved, I did some explanation on the sequence saying that we'd done two songs from a longer sequence and it could go with Batucada and we moved on to the drums...

It gets better though! Chris and Al seemed quite happy to see if I wanted to run the rest of the session and put Batucada with the singing and see how that went. So I did, and I probably realised that it's never a good idea to try and run a workshop without any planning whatsoever because I was thinking of things on the fly and changing little things as we went. Regardless, I got them playing, taught them a new break and managed to get people singing and playing!

I tell you something, that was difficult and my respect for people leading has gone up enormously because I now see how tricky it can be. But...and I think this is the most important thing, I had so much fun taking charge and running things. Maybe, just maybe, I'll get another chance to do it again in the future.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Plans and productivity

I'm going to try something a bit different for a while. Instead of writing a gigantic chunk of text once every now and then, I'll write little bits instead and hopefully post every few days.

This Easter break has been really good for me so far. I've had plenty of time to relax, but my productivity levels have absolutely plummeted. It's mental to think that I've been home for just under three weeks now, and I'll be heading back to Leeds in a week or so. When I say it like that, things become a lot more scary. Especially when I realise that exams are just a few weeks away too. It's time to get my head down over the next few days and work my socks off so that I don't go back to uni in a bad position to set me up for the run-in towards exams.

I'm not getting too concerned about my German...Core should be alright and provided I cover my bases, AGC should be good (because it's in English!). I'm a bit worried for IMG since it's in German, but I think I know my stuff reasonably well. It's my electives I've been working on most. Trying to finalise this six piece portfolio of poetry is more troublesome than I thought! Pop and the Press essay is slowly starting to form together, though I'll need to go out and buy some magazines to really enable me to crack on with that essay. Once I sit down with the intention of writing that solidly though, it should be done within a few hours.

I'm not in a terrible position, but I'm not in the most ideal situation either. The middle ground is quite comfortable, but there are distractions galore.

I suspect the key is finding these distractions and completely ignoring them.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

I'll always be a toddler at heart

So we've finally reached the end of the second semester, which means I'm just one teaching week away from actually finishing my first year at university...which also means I've got exams coming at me pretty soon. That's not so exciting or fun, but the fact that they'll be over by the middle of May is quite comforting. Regardless, I've now got the month off to relax, catch up on sleep and see some friends. Oh, and do some work. That's a pretty important aspect of the Easter break.

I went to Sheffield on Friday, which was...well, it was awesome. The day didn't start off so well to be honest. I had to go up to uni to hand in an essay and return some books. This sounds like a normal thing and something that I do fairly regularly, but this time I managed to also return one of my own notepads to the library and had to sheepishly return and ask if I could have it back. I did get some very strange looks from people, but that's must happen every now and then, right?

Regardless, I went off to Sheffield. One of the most strange things to happen this year was me going to a medicine lecture where they were having a quiz on stuff they'd learnt in the last week (I'm assuming it was a week, it could have been more) and I got to sit there and pretend I looked like I knew what was going on. I did the quiz anyway, and I got 3/10. Obviously, I'm very proud of this despite the fact that I was just guessing each answer based on what sounded most amusing or what looked most complicated. Very fun, and I can see why people were going on about the lecturer...he seemed to be a very cool chap.

Back in Sophie's flat, we made muffins and played music. Being who I am, I danced around the kitchen/living area and found a new dance partner in the inflatable cactus. There's some photos on Facebook of that, and it was pretty fun. I may have worn Sophie out a little bit with my antics, which has led me to being a 19 year old toddler. Hehe...

It really was a great weekend (well, Friday and Saturday) and I rather wish I could have stuck around for another night but I had other plans. With some luck, I might just get to go back there at some point. Sophie's flatmates are really awesome people and we seemed to get on with each other pretty well and have some fun.

Saturday night was DPW's 3rd Anniversary show and it was a cracking little show. Proof that there can be longevity in British wrestling. Some of the matches were brilliant and drew the crowd in as well, which again can only be a positive thing.

24 hours later was Wrestlemania at Jon's house with some friends, and that was a great night. The show itself was a bit confusing at times, and I think I might need to watch it again to really get a proper opinion on the show. Once again, I was drawn into some of the matches and some of the stuff was really good. I doubt you can ever have a proper opinion of something at 4am though, especially if you've also eaten loads of junk food over that night.

The rest of the week is looking pretty awesome. I'm off to see Doug Stanhope tomorrow night at St. Georges Hall which should be a really good show. For those who don't know, he's an American stand-up comedian. He's a little bit offensive as well. People at Leeds Festival a few years ago couldn't handle him, and he managed to get some of his shows cancelled in Ireland in 2006 as well due to his comments. It should be a cracking show, especially since I've paid a fair bit of money for the ticket.

Friday is cricket at Aigburth for the start of the county season as Lancashire take on Sussex. Looking forward to it, and I'll hopefully catch much more cricket over the course of the season. It'll probably be at Headingley though, especially since it'll be MUCH cheaper for me to go I think. BUT...I'll be with some very good people on Friday, so that's fine. I'll have some cracking banter though, and that's far more important.

As a last thought, I've realised that I'll always sleep better in my own bed. By this, I mean my bed in Liverpool. I've slept in my bed at my Leeds flat and I've slept on an airbed in Sophie's flat (which was generously given to me by Abbie...thanks!) and neither of them are even close to the level of comfort from my own bed. Yet both of those also gave me a good night of sleep. I reckon it's a psychosomatic thing. Must be..

Right people, enjoy the rest of your week. Drop me some feedback on Facebook or Twitter please!