Monday, May 14, 2007

Rob's Week of Fun Redux

OK. So the essays are finished and handed in. In the end, they were both good, I think. The self-reflexivity one, once I got through the necessary cinematic theory at the start, actually proved to be involving and interesting, which helps when you're writing essays. I put forward a clear argument about what self-reflexivity is, how it is manifested in Vivre sa Vie, and why. It ran a bit short, but not catastrophically so. Bit worried that I used very little secondary literature, which might prove a problem, but I really didn't feel the need to do so - most of the knowledge, apart from the theory, I gained through the lectures. Isn't that the point?

The bisexuality essay was harder work. Problems started when I couldn't find one of the films I wanted anywhere. Really. NOWHERE to be found. (It's Sunday Bloody Sunday if you're interested. So I went with Querelle, Hamam, Le Fate Ignoranti and Les Nuits Fauves, trying to demonstrate the depiction of bisexuals as broadly negative - as either liars, deceivers and cheats, or as violent people on the verge of psychopathy. It was certainly interesting to work on - Querelle is one of the most fascinating films I've ever seen, but that's Fassbinder for you - but towards the end it was beginning to feel like a bit of a chore.

On top of that, the Russian Film exam took place today. This I feel a little more optimistic about, as the questions, although complex, were within what I had studied, and moreover what I felt confident writing about. So I wrote about the religious theme of Возвращение, and misogyny in Soviet and post-Soviet cinema. Both topics I know about, the first in particular, and stayed within my time plan for the ssay, finishing at about the right time. As a start to my final exams, it's not been a bad one.

Aside from university work, not that there's much else at the moment, I worked at the Alumni Association Reunion on Saturday. The afternoon was taking people on tours of the campus, which backfired somewhat as there were the same number of tour guides as tour-takers, for the entire afternoon. Which meant that we had a very intimate and cosy tour, which was actually quite nice, as I've taken groups of twenty round before and it's hard to make sure everyone's interested.

The evening was spent with us talking to guests at a drinks reception, giving them a current student's perspective on the University of Bath in 2007. Yes. And, of course, free champagne - which gave rise to the best sentence of the week, from our boss, "Do have a glass of champagne, but for goodness' sake don't get trolleyed." Sound advice, that.

I went to see an old mate from home in her university town of Cardiff last Saturday, which was pretty excellent, apart from having to take a replacement bus from Temple Meads to Parkway, which added forty minutes in each direction. But we looked around the city, the parks and the bayside, had the best icecream in the world from our mates Cadwalladers, and caught up on six month's worth of gossip about people we went to school with.

There have also been developments in my plans for next year. St Petersburg is out - I've decided I'd like some time off from Russian. However, there is a vacancy at the Université de Strasbourg for an English lector, so I'll apply for that. It'll be broadly the same as my work in Québec, but with marking and assessment involved. I really hope I get it, it'd really work on my French, and as a sizeable chunk of the European Union's institutions are located there, it'd be useful for any sort of future plans.

Dad had his birthday on Saturday. I bought him a dartboard (with Mum). He loves it, and has pinned up David Cameron.

And wasn't Eurovision good on Saturday? We were *this* close from a "nul points", which would have made me laugh hysterically.

That's me up to date, apart from my window leaking and a massive gas bill arriving this morning. British Gas are known for their timing. Never let it be said that my life is uneventful. It's only when I sit down to write a proper entry that I realise just how much of a hyperactive freak I seem. It's really not like that. Ask Liene (actually don't). Or Sonam (erm, another bad choice).

My paid account is about to expire as well, and I can't spare the cash for renewal. So I'll make a voicepost before it does, but it's no great loss as I never use it. This last week of frenzy has been brought to you by good-quality coffee, drum and bass and deep house music, as well as an unhealthy amount of Radio 4.

I think I'll go to bed now. Sod's Law dictates that I'll now be unable to sleep.

Oh, and good luck tomorrow theodor. Knock 'em dead, kid.

- Rob

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