Archive for the ‘Study’ Category

It’s that time of the year again and whether you’re getting your booklist sorted for heading back to school or looking out for some awesome summer reading, before you head out to Whitcoull’s or Borders try searching GoodBooksNZ.co.nz. Good Books is an online bookshop run by the charity Oxfam, which works against poverty and inequality in communities in over 100 countries around the world.

I’ve been using Good Books to order some of the novels that I plan to use for my uni studies this year, and I’ve found that not only is their selection as good, sometimes better, than that of Borders and Whitcoull’s, but their prices are much cheaper. The site’s really easy to use, with just one field to use to search by title, ISBN or author, and I actually found their ‘Tips’ section handy when I got stuck once.

 Every time anyone buys a book through the Good Books website, 100% of the retail profit from every sale goes to support communities in need through Oxfam projects.

I really like the feel of the site and having everything in NZ$ is really nice. Plus it’s nice knowing that you’re helping a good cause, by doing something you have to do anyway, and probably for a better price than you would’ve got it otherwise. Delivery is free and the only downside is that you’ll have to wait 7-14 working days for delivery (from either the UK, US or Germany), however this is pretty much the same as Whitcoull’s, which has a delivery time of 10-12 days.

No one at Good Books is paid and we have zero operating costs. All time, professional services and resources are donated.

So next time you need a novel, non-fiction book, audiobook, or even a music CD, check out GoodBooksNZ.co.nz first. And if you’re not in NZ, they deliver worldwide. So go for it!
 I hear that Oxfam have actual stores in some countries – in fact in the UK Oxfam’s secondhand book stores are doing so well that according to The Guardian they’re now the largest retailer of secondhand books in the UK! Interestingly, in that some article in The Guardian the chairman of a booksellers association complained

Oxfam is a worthwhile cause but they are now acting more like a business than a charity and that is a concern.

While as a rival bookseller I can see why he’s worried, I can’t help thinking that in this commercial world we need more charities “acting more like a business”, since that’s how real, sustainable change will be achieved, and networks established that will go some way to reversing the inequality in our current economic system.

Rather than fight a system that privileges a few over many, we wanted to transform it from within to constructive effect. Now, each time you buy a book through us you challenge traditional barriers that prevent commercial involvement in reducing poverty.

*All GoodBooks quotes were taken from their website.

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Same old story

So I’m sitting in an internet cafe, and it’s one me and bf used to come to quite a lot. It’s so cool walking into somewhere and recognising people and being recognised. It’s a good feeling.

I’m just here killing time while bf’s at a work meeting, so I don’t really have anything too important to say… still haven’t started my essay yet, no surprises there. Tonight’s the best 3 hours of TV for the week (apart from Grey’s), so I’m taping them and then gunna hide the tape so no one can get it and it can be my post-essay reward for myself on Monday after badminton.

Other things I’m looking forward to doing after my essay’s handed in his my canvas for work and some Chinese study. I really want to do well in the 10% Chinese test after the break. The class is only gunna get harder and I need all the help I can get. My canvas is due by the 23rd so I’ll hopefully be able to get onto that pretty soon after my essay is handed in. When I do get onto it I’ll upload some pictures because although it’s not a masterpiece it’s definately… interesting looking. Also after my essay is done I’ll have to start preparing for my course next semester by reading the Lord of the Rings. Oh, the sacrifices I make. What will be hard will be finding appropriate and relevant sources to begin my essay – 10,000 words!! Do you think I can do it? I’m not at all sure. And my supervisor for the essay is a lecturer who I really admire, and therefore fear, so I’m pretty nervous about the whole semester!

But I still gotta write this freakin’ essay first. And it’s not gunna happen tomorrow because I’ve got work all day then going out for dinner and to the movies. Priorities? I have priorities!

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Well, I handed in my English essay today. I am not looking forward to getting my result for that back. As I write this Julie is sitting in my lap. She never does that. Yay me! When she puts her head up for me to scratch under her chin it really looks like she’s smiling. Her purring is making my chair vibrate.

Oh, I forgot to tell you that I got my Chinese oral mark back – 1.85/2! I can’t believe it was only worth 2%! Still really proud of such a good result, though. I think I’m in trouble for the writing test I’ve got on Wednesday – and I know for a fact it’s worth 10%! Rats.

While I was putting off doing my essay this week I made a whole new layout for my webpage. I can’t believe it, I went from taking the picture, to designing the layout, to coding it and then putting it up all in one day! And now it’s a few days later and I don’t hate it! It’s a miracle!

Today when I got home from uni I tried to do some more work on it but was so tired (an hour of sleep last night) that I had a nap and woke up at 7.44. I assumed it was 7.44am, it was quiet and no one was around, though I couldn’t work out why it was so dark – guess I was still a bit sleepy. I was a bit gutted about having to go straight back to uni without doing anything, then I saw the ‘PM’ on my PC clock and was happy. For most of the evening I still felt like it was morning, though.

But anyway, did some more on my website tonight, ironed out some kinks, put my movie quotes back up and even added some new pages. I also found a new JS code to display a random movie quote, will try to remember to link that code later. So yup, you should go check that out!

I’m tired but Julie’s so still and warm and happy in my lap, I wonder if she’ll come to bed with me?

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D is for dunce

I have like, 10 million tests next week. Ok, not 10 million. But a lot. My English essay worth 40% is due on Monday (havn’t started), I also have a mini-test on Bleak House (havn’t read it), Wednesday is our first major Chinese test worth 30% (havn’t begun studying)… it goes on. What the heck is wrong with me?! I just can’t bring myself to study! There are people everywhere in my house, making noises early in the morning just… being there all day. Aaaahhh! I’m going to fail uni!!!

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Ok, stop the presses! Someway, somehow I pwned my Chinese speech! I mean, I honestly didn’t see it coming. Everything went wrong from the start with dad waking me up early for some unkown reason, then realising at 10.10am that I had a class at half past which resulted in me dashing out the door and leaving my speech behind. Luckily I had set out my lucky underwear last night otherwise all would have been lost. At first I thought that leaving my speech behind wasn’t too much of a biggie, I knew it all anyway. But by the time my Chinese class started at 12, my brain was quickly being drained of anything Chinese. Watching everyone else didn’t help either, as some were so confident that they just stood up and used gestures, visual aids etc, while others who seemed completely fine and are way ahead of me in terms of Chinese knowledge relied a lot on their notes and forgot bits resulting in awkward silences.

I was the last person in the class to go (I usually am unless I absolutely can’t help it) and I was fa-reaking out! We’d moved upstairs to another room because we’d run over time, but luckily in the new room we could sit behind a desk and since one of the assessors had left I don’t think the other could see my face which was fortunate – since I just sort of stared at the desk the whole time while wringing my hands and trying to picture my script. I still don’t know how it happened. I don’t recall saying much of anything at all. I think even while I was doing it I didn’t even know how it was happening. It just seemed really easy to remember unlike all the times I’d practised, even this morning, and I just breezed straight through. (It was a slightly high-pitched, sweaty breezing, but breezing nontheless). It was a Chinese miracle. At the end the teacher said “非常好!” (pretty much the best praise I’ve gotten for Chinese, ever) and went on to say that she thinks it’s really good the way some students have progressed and are realising the importance of tones and working hard on them.  *glows*

 The lucky underpants triumph again!

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It’s 12.08am and I’ve been lying in bed trying to get better at my speech, faster at saying it. We have to memorise it and although I’ve got it all in my head I’m really slow when speaking, and since it’s quite long I often get mixed up. I was getting worse and worse and feeling quite upset thinking what a dork I’m going to look like in front of my class tomorrow; breathing fast with my quick heartbeat shaking my body and seemingly fully audible. So I came out to see my bf. And he proved his worth. He made me feel lots better and I was reminded that it doesn’t matter… well, it will matter when I’m sitting in front of the class with them all looking at me, lost for words and seconds from tears… but apart from then it doesn’t matter… I will get better at Chinese sooner or later (or much later) – it’s inevitable, as long as I keep trying.

 Y’know how there are always those “mature” students at uni, anywhere from their 30’s through their 80’s who have come back to uni after experiencing the “real world”? And they’re really intense about their study. They pay most attention in class, take the most notes and ask for extra homework. They talk to the lecturer after class in a way which suggests they’ve had multiple meetings outside class time. They are organised. They are focused. They are friendly, but don’t seem to care what other students think of them, trying their best and giving their all to any assignment or assesment, no matter how small.

 Why are they this way? What makes them so focused and intense? I guess the answer would be that they’ve seen what you need to survive in the world. They’ve seen what is important, and what isn’t. What lasts and what doesn’t. They seem to think that looking like a dork in front of a room full of people for a few minutes isn’t as important as permanently improving your understanding of a new language. Go figure.

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