The Last Days

From today on, my classes are officially the last one. The thought of this brings on a nostalgia for me; despite everything I had enjoyed my courses. Yes, there were times when I just wanted to give up and curl into a ball, but I see that as a part of university. Two of my five classes today were the last ones. Ever. Tomorrow two more will be over, leaving just one class and a tutorial on friday. It is finally starting to dawn on me that this term is over. My first term as a second year student.

My hopes for this term were much higher: for my courses, my grades, and my work ethic. Every one of those disappointed. My courses weren’t as interesting as I thought they would be, my grades aren’t going to be very good or even better than last year, and my work ethic sucks. As soon as I discovered a FanFiction site that opened up hundreds of thousands of Harry Potter and specifically Snarry fanfics, everything else was pushed to the side and forgotten. The only things I managed to do were eat, sleep, go to classes, and go to work. No homework or course readings were done, not until the last minute possible, and even then it wasn’t as good quality it could have been. I am disappointed in myself, to be honest.

From this day until my last exam is over, I will not start a new fan fiction story. The only extracurricular reading I will be doing is the new updates of fanfics that are already on my alerts list. No more. This is my promise to myself, for I have a lot of work to do before the end of exams.

Today is also the last day of NaNoWriMo, and I am still 2,200 words away from being finished. That is the 50,000 word goal and not my personal one of 75,000. This, as well, is another thing that I foolishly pushed aside for Snarry fanfics and a source of regret. I know I will reach the 50,000, but it’s still a disappointment. I will be able to order the really cool winner’s shirt, but not according to my own word goal (not that that is going to stop me, it is a really cool shirt).

There is hope yet, not for one class, but for the rest of them, if I study hard and diligently. A lot of planning and will power will be required for this, but I believe that I can do it. If I try.

On a much happier note for me, I ordered my wand from Whimsic Alley for the Yule Ball coming up on the 29th (that I am very very excited for). I couldn’t actually decide between two wands, so I ordered them both (they were having a sale) as well as a sheath (that I am going to use to store my wand on my thigh). This was not my only purchase for this week, ModCloth was also having a sale and I purchased two skirts. Two absolutely adorable skirts that I can’t wait for them to arrive. Hopefully the email notifying me they have been sent out will arrive soon; I have already received the email declaring the order has been received and is being processed.

The Yule Ball would have to be the one event of the next few months (if not the year) that I am most excited for. I have never been to a Harry Potter event, and I find myself a little nervous about what to expect, not too much, though, for Kali will also be there. I have yet to decide if I want to get a new dress for this or not, only time will tell.

~Rachel

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50K

I did it. Last night at the write in I went to I made 50K. Currently I’m at 52,630 and the story is not yet complete (although I am hoping to have it complete by the end of the month). This is my third year doing NaNoWriMo, but for some reason it feels the most triumphant and I’m not sure why.

I’m happy with the way my story is going, but I’m usually happy with the story I write in November. I went to more write ins than ever before (my old record was 4, this year I went to 4 in the first week). My story is proving longer than my previous years, my first two NaNos clocked in at about 53K each, whereas this year I’m expecting it to reach at least 60K. I donated as I always do. As a broke student I probably shouldn’t be, but NaNo has given me so much so it’s the least I can do. This year I’m also ordering a winner’s shirt. Usually I don’t, but the bear in the part hat convinced me.

I may not be sure why this year seems like such a triumph because it’s virtually identical to last year with me being in school full time and working part time (although this year I’m working more and only taking 4 classes instead of 5), but for some reason it does.

I’m also not sure why I never seem to write outside of November, with the exception of Camp NaNoWriMo last July & August. I like writing, it’s fun and it makes me happy, but for some reason I never seem to do it outside of NaNo. I’m hoping to change that this year, even if I only write a little bit, it’s still more than I have in the past.

My purple bar is there (for those of you who aren’t familiar with NaNo, once you validate your 50K+ word count, your word count bar turns purple to signify that you’re a winner) and I completely in love with it as I am every year. Though I do wish it said ‘Winner’ inside it like it used to.

How are the rest of you doing? Have you hit 50K yet? Getting close? I’m cheering for you and can’t wait to see you in the winner’s circle.

– Kali

Wannagoballwime

I’m a Harry Potter fan.

I’ve never hid this fact, and I never will. Since the release of Deathly Hallows (Part 2) on November 11th I’ve been keeping myself busy with NaNoWriMo, but it’s hit me that Harry Potter events are going to be few and far between now. So, today I did something I’ve been wanting to do for a while and purchased my ticket to the Vancouver Yule Ball.

In 2009 when I went to my first Wrockstock (for those of you not in the know it’s a Harry Potter music festival in Missouri) I met a whole whack of awesome people. On the last night at the bonfire I began talking to these two girls. I had gone most of the weekend without meeting anyone even from Canada let alone from the west, but when I said where I was from an explosion happened.

“ARE YOU THE GIRL WHO IS ON THE LIST FOR AN ‘I BELIEVE IN NARGLES’ SHIRT!?”

I was that girl and it turned out that these two girls from Vancouver had posted a note looking for me near the Room of Wrockquirement (the main stage for bands). They invited me out to the Yule Ball that December.

I didn’t end up going that year because I got busy with work and forgot about it. I remembered about it last year, but I again didn’t end up going since I didn’t want to go to Vancouver alone. In hindsight that seems a bit ridiculous since when I went to Wrockstock I went alone both times (although of course I knew people when I got there the second time) and that was a lot further away than Vancouver.

Last June I went to a Harry and the Potters concert in Vancouver. It was really my first time in the city, despite the fact that I’ve only lived an hour and a half away for my entire life. Of course I have been there a few times before, but since I’ve been old enough that I remember it clearly it’s only been twice, once on a school trip to Science World and once just to go to the Vancouver airport when I went to Spain.

I’ve always said I loved cities and Vancouver proved it. I fell in love almost instantly. The Harry and the Potters concert was AMAZING. I’d never seen them before (one of the downsides to living in western Canada is that almost no wizard rock bands come here), but they put on a heck of a show. At the show I ended up hanging out with a great group of people (mostly Slytherin, just like me) and then I got to have another one of those fantastic moments that show just how interconnected Harry Potter fans are.

“You obviously really like wrock if you came out here for the show, have you ever heard of Wrockstock?”

Had I ever heard of Wrockstock, heck yes I had! I ended up talking to this girl and we found out that we had actually been at Wrockstock together, which was awesome. She and her friends brought up the Yule Ball and I promised to go. I have a few friends from university who are Harry Potter fans as well and we’ve all decided to go this year, although I think I’d go this time regardless. Especially now that I’m a little more familiar with the city.

I’ve got my ticket. A ticket for one is called ‘The Snape’ and a friend of mine joked that that’s because he’s your date. Since we’re both major Snape fans (and Alan Rickman fans. Yes, there is a difference) this made me deliriously happy.

Something that I really love about the Harry Potter fandom is its propensity for helping others. All proceeds from the ball go to the Surrey Food Bank and to the libraries of two elementary schools in Vancouver. To encourage donation there is a ‘House Cup” (SLYTHERIN FTW!) which is won by the house that donates the most non-perishable items. I love my fandom.

If you live anywhere near Vancouver consider getting your ticket to the Vancouver Yule Ball¬†and come out and party with us. It’s on Thursday December 29th and I’m already super excited. If you don’t live near Vancouver there are Yule Balls hosted in many other places as well

Now only one thing is left to decide; should I wear formal dress or a Harry Potter themed costume?

– Kali

Type One

Reading Rachel`s post has got me thinking about school and myself as a student. Whereas she fell into the second category of her creation, I definitely fall into category one. Since I was 13 years old I knew I was going to one day go to university. Now that I`m in university I love it even more than I expected.

I love planning classes, scheduling timetables, buying textbooks, going to lectures and tutorials, and even (sometimes, depending on the topic) researching for papers. My friends are also the recipients of this eagerness. I love to help them pick out classes, schedule timetables and get textbooks as well. Usually they just roll their eyes at me and go along with it.

Over the past few days I`ve gotten to do all these things again. I spoke to the European Studies advisor on Friday and it went really well. Unfortunately, as much as I would like to join the program, I can`t do it. It`s just not financially feasible because of the mandatory European experience component. However, talking to my mother, I realized that I don`t like English enough to do a major in it. So, I`ve been rescheduling my second semester. I`m still taking my International Relations class (of course), but instead of the English courses I`m now taking Greek and Roman Mythology, History of the Modern Middle East, and a history course called- The Multiple Faiths of Europe: Contacts and Conflicts: Middle Ages to Present. It`s a dramatic change to my schedule and I`m so excited. Textbook lists go up on December 1st and I cant wait for that too.

That`s not to say there aren`t days when I don`t want to go to class. I have those just like everyone else, but the difference is that I still go and I`ve never regretted it yet.

As far as NaNoWriMo goes I`m still ahead, but just barely. This past week I`ve always been at least a couple of days ahead, but after today I will need to write to make sure I hit the word goal for the day. I`m hoping to get a little writing done tonight still though and I have a write in tomorrow morning that will hopefully give me a boost. It seems like my novel will be even longer than I was expecting though, which I`m not sure whether I am happy about or not. When all is said and done, just like I`m motivated for school, I`m also motivated to win NaNo. Also, I really want this years winners shirt (even though I don`t have one from the other years I`ve won (2009 & 2010)), but I can`t buy one if I don`t win!

I guess I`m a type one without a doubt. Maybe that`s why I`m a Slytherin. After all, you cant get to the top without at least a little bit of hard work, and, since I`m not a Malfoy, I`m going to have to work harder still.

– Kali

The Inevitable

This time of year it is inevitable to not feel discouraged, tense, nervous or overwhelmed; at least for me. By this I mean that I am feeling run out, with no motivation to do anything, even Nano (which is amazing, really). I have three assignments due today and I’ve only just started one of them. (One I didn’t realize was due today until this morning.)

Another inevitable aspect of this point in the term is that I get sick. My throat is killing me, I can’t talk for very long or very loud, my head is fuzzy and hurts, and my eyes keep dropping shut as I attempt to do my homework in this reduced state. Being sick only makes my motivation worse, by removing what little I did have to get my assignments done and filling my head with only the desire to sleep the day away. Put on top of all this that I have to work tonight.

I have noticed that there are two types of students at Universities: the ones who really want to be in school and working and there this is something that they love and they are motivated to achieve, and the ones who are there because they have to be for some reason that doesn’t motivate them. I am in the un-motivated crowd. When I got out of high school I was a push over for my dad, basically doing whatever he told me to. And one of the things he told me was that I had to go to University. Not just post-secondary; University. I am not a good person for academics. As soon as something I like to do becomes grade dependant, I tend to lose all interest; I have no idea why, but I do. Maybe it’s because an assignment is something I have to do, not something I want to do. Whatever the reason, that is what happens. And the present situation I am in the result. It happened last year and it’s happening again this year. Despite my best efforts.

What I would really like to do is something involved, something that I can be doing while I’m learning about it. I have come to realize that I am a doer and not a be-lectured-at person. The more hours of lecturing I receive, the more dull my brain feels. This is bad because most if not all of my classes are lectures. And English classes at that, which are especially mind numbing to me.

There are two, kinda three classes that my motivation has kept an appliance in, if not be present all the time, and that is one of my English classes (the reason is the prof), my WS course, and another of my English courses (again, because the prof is kind of entertaining). The reason my motivation is still present in these three is because the professors still believe me to be motivated, if that makes sense. The only one that I am truly motivated in is the first English course I mentioned. And that is because of the topic of my research essay, which I find incredibly interesting and relative to my after school goals.

Sorry for the 500 angst, I think I just needed to vent for a little bit. Have a good day.

~Rachel

Week Two’d

Week two is infamous in november and it officially ends tomorrow. When someone is week two’d, it means they have hit a writing block. This term started out being just applied to week two, but now it is used by regular nanoers to express all kinds of writer’s block on any date (sometimes not even during nano). This term is something I quickly picked up and use quite frequently in any kind of writing that I do, be it for school, pleasure, or nano. I am very fond of the versatility of this term.

With that said, I have something to confess; I have been week two’d. And not just in Nanowrimo, but school as well. There is an annotated bibliography that I have to email to my professor by midnight tonight, and I have no idea how to start it. This being said, I am still reading the three articles I am going use for it, but that doesn’t change the loss of words I find myself in.

The reason I claim to be week two’d with my Nano novel is the apparent lack of words I have been able to produce every time I sit down to write. The past three or so days I have maybe averaged a word count of 400 words. If this is compared to my previous average of about 2,000 words a day, I feel the right to claim being week two’d. I don’t have writer’s block per say, but I am at a loss for words and what to do next. At this point I have to kill several hours of the character’s time before they can leave for the journey to the capital (which my main character is still not sure she’ll go to, which could potentially end my novel right then and there). The next couple of scenes also have a huge potential to be very awkward, which I have discovered I do not enjoy writing. This may be because I have found I feel the awkwardness with my character (which I guess is a good thing if you’re the reader, but not so good from my point of view). I am forced to trudge awkwardly through these couple of scenes until I am past them and can move on to more exciting parts of the novel, like dragons and finding her little sister. (There is no guarantee of the presence of dragons in this novel.)

On a happier and much less awkward note, I have received my last shipment of ThinkGeek products and am very happy with them. I now have no more money to spend on merchandise that makes me happy until possibly my next pay check (but I do still have to get groceries…)

I also have a fun fact today: blankets make good mug holders and they keep your beverage at a warmer temperature longer.

Have a very happy day and I hope you enjoyed reading my mini rant on being week two’d,

~Rachel

Remember

Good Morning Everyone (if there are any of you…),

So today is Remembrance Day and we would like to share one of our favourite remembrance songs: “Stand” by Neville’s Diary. Now, of course this song does not have to do with our actual veterans, but is a song about (you guessed it) Harry Potter. However, we think the spirit of the song really catches the spirit of the day.

To all our veterans and those who are currently serving, we thank you. Today is a day of remembering all those who fought for us and all those we’ve lost.

To our American friends, have a good Veteran’s Day, and to the Canadians and Brits, a good Remembrance Day.

– Rachel & Kali