Channeling my inner Hermione

Somewhat paradoxically, considering all the issues I have with exams, I actually love completing exam papers*. Other people go bungee jumping to get their kicks, I get a rush from knowing the answer to a question and then getting full marks for said question. It hasn’t happened very often in the last few years so I’ve completely forgotten what it’s like to hand a past paper in and get it back without enormous scrawls of red pen and grades so far down the alphabet they’re encroaching on Dr Seuss’ version.

So, tonight I completed my first past paper after starting my new revision kick. It was a Psychology AS one, covering Memory, Attachment and Research Methods. Bear in mind that my original grade for this module was a low C (62%) and that was two years ago. After one week of revision, in which I made extensive notes, lists of research studies and questions for Memory, slightly less extensive notes and research studies for Attachment and stared blankly at the textbook for Research Methods, I did the past paper and guess what? I’ve gone up to a B (75%) and if I hadn’t completely lost the plot with behavioural characteristics I’d have an A.

And my father, who marked the paper and is notoriously impossible to impress (Cambridge scholar + maths prodigy = high expectations) said my knowledge of the topic was ‘pretty encyclopaedic’, which is the equivalent of a gold star and standing ovation. Mostly I messed up on not reading the questions properly and, to use his description, brain-farting everything I thought might be relevant onto the paper.

I suppose this is a good time to go off on a tangent and start talking about universities. So far, I’ve received offers from Southampton (AAB) and Reading (ABC/BBB) and…I have an interview with Royal Holloway! I’ve now got to go and see Southampton, Reading, Birmingham and Aberystwyth for applicant days, although whether or not Aberystwyth will still be there next month is debatable as it seems to be in danger of falling into the sea.

In slightly less happy news, now is the time I have to start sorting out student finance. Fortunately, my fees are covered completely but the maintenance loan I’m eligible for doesn’t even come close to covering my potential accommodation costs. Originally, my parents said they were going to have nothing to do with the financial side of things and that, as an adult, I was going to have to sort out and deal with my loans myself. Then they saw the cost of everything. Currently, their approach is ‘we’d like to help you out, but if that means financial ruin…good luck and we hope you earn lots in the next six months!’

Moving on from my impending destitution, I’ve got one more drawing to add to the portfolio:


I drew this one way back in 2012 to go in the Order of Service for my grandmother’s funeral. The updated one is yellow, as yellow roses were her favourite flower but I don’t have a copy of that on the computer so here’s v1.0. It’s an example of why you should never take those ‘How To Draw Flowers’ books too literally, because I got completely bogged down in the details and nearly ended up with a series of straight, intersecting lines in the vague shape of a rose,

*When I’ve revised.


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