Time to Let My Hair Down! (well, Nearly…) And A Big Announcement…

It’s nearly that time of year when students put down their books, move out of their university digs and head off for the summer. 

Although for me, lectures are a thing of the past right now, I’ve still got three proper assignments and two reading quizzes to complete before I can put my feet up for a well earned break. 

Tomorrow is the Summer Ball, and I’ve bought a brand new dress, 1950’s swing style, with a separate petticoat, to wear. I’m going with B, so it is very much something to look forward to. I shall enjoy being able to let down my hair and dance my feet off, celebrating a year that saw so much happen to me, and made me a far stronger character as a result. 

A big announcement I have to make is this, however.

I’m starting training to become a burlesque performer. 

That’s right, one of those people who stripteases on stage with feathers, rhinestones and glitter to music. 

It’s thanks to my good friend Cici, who has agreed to teach me all she knows, after I saw her perform at Bath Spa Pride. I already knew her from The Idle Playthings, but had no idea of her sideline in pole and burlesque, until I saw her strut her stuff on stage. After much gushing, and not all that much begging, she has taken me under her wing. As we are both in he throes of studying, we won’t be starting properly until September for sorting out routines, but until then I’m immersing myself in YouTube tutorials, books, films and Pintrest boards to get myself in the zone for performing.

I shall start up my own blog about my journey into the world of burlesque under my stage name soon enough, and get Facebook and Twitter for it, but I’d need photos of myself in costume and makeup, so that won’t be for a considerable while yet. But the blog can kick off soon, probably once I’ve completed all my outstanding coursework for the year. Extra motivation, much? 

In the meantime, I’m getting my fitness up. Yes, the girl best know at school for hiding in the girl’s toilets in the Humanities block at school with a book and iPod to skip PE, is taking up fitness in a big way. I’ve downloaded an app called Zombies, Run! 5k and have been working out with it for the past week. I’ll review it soon, alongside its usual version, Zombies, Run! Even Matt has been getting into the spirit, and runs with me whenever I’m round his or he is round mine. If you’re wondering how Zombies, Run! works, it’s basically an interactive app that gets you to interact with a story as you run, set in the zombie apocalypse. You collect supplies and run away from zombies.

So, this weekend is going to be great! Summer Ball tomorrow, day in bed Saturday, and a trial burlesque and pole class on Sunday! So excited!! 

On Speech Recognition Software…

So, I had my IT training today, and it really helped me to learn how to use the speech recognition software that DSA provided for me. Because we went through a lot of exercises to get me used to talking to the software, I decided to write tonight’s post only using the software.

Image

It is a very surreal experience not to type, but instead to speak and have the words appear on the screen as if by magic! I feel little bit self-conscious simply because it is a whole new way of working, as I have to think through what I am saying before I decide to say it. That said it will probably help me to just write and not worry about saying things wrong or in a way that doesn’t feel natural to me as a person. I do wonder if someone will walk past my room and think I am mad because I’m talking and there is an anyone replying because I’m talking to the computer. It is a funny thought, because people think I’m mad already, I’m very eccentric and I often get away with doing crazy things because of who I am as a person. I will admit that I do have the long conversations with myself, and have done ever since I was a child, simply because I felt that sometimes only I could really understand myself, as the saying goes “sometimes the only sane conversation that you can have is with yourself”.

As I practice talking into the software I’m getting more confident with what the software can do. I know that it will make my life a lot easier, because I really do struggle with articulating myself, especially when writing assignments of an academic nature. I hope this will therefore make English literature are a lot more bearable to do as I find that I find it easier to articulate myself when talking to someone about a text rather than having to write what I want to say down; talking the essay that I need to write will be a lot easier than having to simply think and type it out. It will also help my creative work too, because I can think about whole piece of work sounds as I say it, so when I read it back, I know that it is a natural piece that will be easier for me to read aloud from if I so choose to do so.

When the IT Trainer with here, he wanted me to tell a story, to get me used to writing creative pieces using the software rather than just simply typing them. It did feel very bizarre at first, but as I got into it it felt a lot freer, it felt like I could just run away with it and just say it and then go back later to correct things that the software misheard, as well as take things out, and also to add other things in. I need to start practising using the software more, because I know that it will also help me to concentrate on my work especially if I have to talk it rather than just simply write it, it will help me stay on task as well is taking away some of the other pressures that I struggle with when doing my work, for example with my spelling.

I often struggle to spell certain words such as “definitely” and “February”. This is where the software will come in really handy, as the computer will already know how these words are spelt, and will therefore write the word for me so I don’t have to stress that my work will be littered with terrible spelling mistakes.

I still have a poster on my wall for me to refer to if I forget certain commands, such as “Go to sleep” or “scratch that”, as they are ones that I use less often, I tend to use quite a lot of the punctuation commands as it saves me a lot of time later as I don’t have to go back and add the punctuation in later.

So tomorrow I am probably going to practice using the software more, and try and write some short fiction or poem in order to boost my word count for work that I need to hand into university, as I need to get my butt in gear and actually do some serious writing. I do hope that you are buying the anthology that went up on Amazon the other day, as all funds raised by the sales of the book will go to the National Autistic Society, a charity that is very close to my heart. In the meantime I hope you have a lovely evening (or day if you are reading this in America or Australia), I had a wonderful time writing this blog today, as it is really helped me learn how to use the software.

NaNoWriMo #11, 12, 13, 14

Current Word Count -14996

You might have noticed that I haven’t posted for a few days. This is because I simply haven’t had the time to write. 

On Tuesday I woke up late, had to go to a lecture and a seminar, then straight out to Bath with my flatmates for the Christmas Lights Switch-On, which was actually rather disappointing. We then went out for Pizza Hut, before going home and sleeping, so I never actually got any scribbling done. Yesterday was the dreaded three hours of lectures that I have every fortnight (how they sort the timetables out at my uni is beyond me!), followed by a mammoth laundry and cleaning session straight afterwards. Today I did a tiny bit of writing, then popped into town for a little while to do some shopping, and then came home and watched television. I did see my mentor today, and she’s given me a load of paperwork to fill out for my upcoming ADHD assessment, as well as a coloured overlay (a piece of coloured transparent plastic that you cover pieces of work with to read through), and I sat and read my critical extracts with it. I’m thrilled, as it’s already really helping me, and I’ve only had it an afternoon! She said that if I show signs that I have the condition where text seems to move about (spaces between words on much smaller, old fashioned prints used in academic writing tend to seem to get bigger, and I can only see certain words or letters if I concentrate) I might get funding to get special tinted glasses made for me so I can wear them rather than fiddling around with the overlay. I’m thrilled at the thought! 

I’ve also got a big essay due on Monday that I haven’t managed to start yet, as I keep getting distracted with NaNo, as well as life in general, so that means I won’t be able to write as much as I have been doing. It sucks, because I haven’t written an academic essay since I was sixteen, so am really worried that I’ll write like a total noob and fail the assignment…

Such fun.