Alex McDermott (ajm4) wrote,
Alex McDermott
ajm4

  • Music:

The Singing Revolution

Well hello again everybody, and I hope you're all well.
The lack of recent updates can be explained simply by saying that I've had very little to say, either of value or originality. I'm sure you all know exactly what I mean.

Well, the exam period began on Saturday morning (something which many seem to find vaguely surprising). This morning, I had PO618, Eastern European Politics (of Lara Silver fame). Thanks to that ignorant Canadian cow I had to achieve 66% in the exam simply to scrape an overall 2:1 for my degree. I don't think I did it, so she's off the Christmas card list - I know more about Stalinism than she could ever comprehend.
The exam didn't exactly start well - due to weekday parking restrictions I found myself with a ten minute dash to make in five, in pouring rain - having forgotten my coat I took the umbrella which I keep in my car for just such an eventuality. However, due to it being so slippery and wet I couldn't run properly, so sort of 'minced' the entire way, holding my umbrella aloft...
Another thing is I keep remembering things I knew and should have put in the exam, but for some reason known only to God did not. Quite what use is it to know now that on the 23rd of August 1989, approximately 2 million indigenous Balts joined hands in a continuous chain stretching from Vilnius, through Riga to Talinn? Or that Sąjūdis was ousted from the Seimas in 1992 despite arguably freeing Lithuania?

Anyway, back to Silver - it turns out that she slated Marija's grammar and spelling in the essay - for example pointing out that 'endeavor' should be 'endeavour' (fair dues), but failing to correct 'defense' to 'defence'. This amply demonstrates the woman's inconsistency and ignorance - she can't spell herself, yet feels able to criticise another. If she wasn't vaguely attractive, Professor Sakwa would never let her near students and essays in a million years. It's strange to think of such an intelligent man being so blinded by some pretty young thing fluttering her lashes.
Anyway, Marija's first language is not English - what's Lara's excuse, other than mild retardation and a bastardised use of our language? The last time I checked Canada used Standard English, not American English, and therefore her spellings should be up to scratch.
If I could write a first class essay in Lithuanian (or indeed English!) I would consider myself to be doing pretty well - so I think Lara should respect Marija's intelligence (as somebody who actually has some) and put up or shut up.

Other than the exam's potential terrible mark (and I have surprised myself in these things before), the rest of my day was pretty good - for the first time in my life I went to Starbucks, where I was privileged to be charged £1.55 for a teabag, a spurt of hot water and the use of a mug.
However, the company certainly made the visit worthwhile, and it put a smile on my face.


Last little rant of the day - some of you may have noticed that my music choice is starred (*). This is because I felt it needed some explanation. A catchy song, but one I cannot see the point of...
Anyone who describes a soldier as 'a pure-bred killing machine' with a straight face either needs therapy, or to stop reading so much J.G. Ballard.
Why does the woman insist on wailing "I don't want to die" so often - no one is asking her to, she's not in the forces... People who sign up to the Army know (or they should) what they are getting themselves into - apparently in the US a lot of youngsters do it to pay astronomical university fees, but surely logic would dictate that if you're getting paid surprisingly well for something, it's not going to be pleasant, or at least not something too many others would consider doing.
Frankly you can earn about $100,000 a year for being a private security guard in Iraq, and I might consider doing so - except for the fact my expected life span would then be shorter than that of a First World War pilot in a luminous plane holding up a large target.
Well, rant over - I'm just not a huge fan of convinced pacifists. Sometimes (not all the time by any means) war really IS necessary. I'll bet she would be singing a lot higher than that if she'd been born in Iraq and spirited to one of Saddam's prisons.
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