Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas and Kindles

In the worlds of the fabulous Bill Bailey, a very merry Primary Gifting Period and happy Auxiliary Generosity Zone to all!

I could use this post to be cynical about the holidays but, instead, I'd prefer to reflect on the more positive sides of the season. I had a wonderful Christmas yesterday with my family and was properly spoiled. My birthday is shortly before Christmas, so the gifts can sometimes pile up and become unappreciated- but I had some great presents this year. Of note was my new Kindle (3/Keyboard) and cover, which I'm very excited about.

Sky News was reporting crazy ebook sales this year, which I'm glad about. While it's a little bit concerning to move away from print books, I'm a digital child in most other aspects of my life so a Kindle is the perfect git for me. The ebook market allows for new writers to find a market without breaking the bank, and amazing projects like Worldreader gets ereaders into the hands of children who would otherwise never be able to afford any books at all. The Kindle is very comfortable, though it gets a bit of getting used to. I still don't know how all of the functions work, which is a novelty for me which I am enjoying. Regular novels display amazingly, but I've yet to attempt a .pdf. I've heard that .pdfs don't work very well, due to the unusual layouts possible and pictures. This is unfortunate, since the portable-ness of the Kindle sounds perfect for my extensive roleplaying rules collections- which are uniformly .pdf files.

Other (fictional) holidays that happen during this time of year:

Winter Veil (Azeroth, World of Warcraft)
Hogswatchnight (Discworld books by Terry Pratchett)
Emperor's Day (Warhammer 40k)
Winter-een-mas (Ctrl+Alt+Del webcomic)

Loads of other fantasy worlds have Midwinter festivals where people have a holiday and exchange presents, and there's usually not a 'Midsummer' festival to balance it. There was definitely Midwinter celebrations in Tamora Pierce's Lioness Quartet, one of my favourite book series of all time. It sounds silly, but acknowledging the many fictional variations on 'winter' holidays made me feel far more tolerant for the real-life ones. TV Tropes, as usual, has something to say on the topic- You Mean Xmas.

I hope that everyone has a safe, happy festive period and is allowed to rest and rejuvenate in preparation for next year. The world's supposed to end, apparently. I'd be pretty sad if the world ended before I could get my PGCE.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Achievement Unlocked: BA Obtained

Yesterday, I finally got my results. I am now the proud owner of a BA in English Literature and Classical Civilisations! It's been four long years, and I couldn't have done it without the support of my family and friends. HUZZAH!

I have handed in my acceptance of offer form to the university about my PGCE, and my online account now reads "OFFERED AND STUDENT ACCEPTED" on the Post-Grad Application section. All I have to do now, I hope, is wait for information from the Education Department.

There is a Ceremony for graduation, only in April, and my family intends on coming down and seeing where I've been for the past 4 years. Also on the schedule is a Garden Party, where we still wear our fancy gear but the atmosphere is far more chilled, and a Graduation Ball- which is optional but my significant other has made vague hints about wanting to attend. It's kind of exciting, I'll admit. 

I finally feel like I'm going somewhere with my life, which I probably haven't felt since I started university in 2008. Doing a PGCE can point me in a specific direction of work, teaching young children, and it's something that I am (possibly naively) looking forward to doing. My family have started joking about what I'm going to call myself (Mulholland is slightly mangled in my non-standard accent), which I take as a good sign.

Still haven't done Christmas shopping, though. Cannot believe it's only 8 days until Christmas, it sounds totally nuts. I've been so tied up thinking about my results that the festive season is now fully upon me, claws out and teeth bared. At least I have a good idea of what to get for some of the people I should buy for.