Universum Student Test

Hey guys!

I don’t often advertise on this particular blog, but this is important.

Universum, a major company which works alongside organisations from around the world has recently unveiled their annual survey for university students to undertake. By completing the ‘Wet Feet Career Test’, students, who are uncertain of their future career paths, will be able to know their career profile and discover which jobs are right for them.

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In my spare time I am working as a Student Ambassador for the Australian survey. I believe this is an important endeavor because in the coming year, many university students may not be able to find themselves a job. Making the right career choice can be one of the hardest decisions, and this survey will assist students in finding the career that is right for them.

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For university students in Australia, the survey can be undertaken here: http://unisurv.co/1010auss14

I wish you the best of luck.

I’m Back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, back, back, StationDeva is back!

Back from all of those annoyingly, intense and arduous exams for university that have officially blown my mind!

Back from the brink of moral decay and corrosion at the hands of university lecturers and tutors intent on my hearts destruction!

Back from the depths of hell that was intent on keeping me within the burning pits of misery!

I have just spent the last few hours working, whilst at the same time catching up on the hundreds of posts that I had not read over the past couple weeks.

When I began this blog I had no intention of just leaving it to die, so fret not, for I am back!

It’s Amazing how your Life Changes

 

One day you are involved in doing one thing – and the next you are doing something completely different. You have changed your life’s endeavors; you have adapted and evolved to life’s unexpected twist and turns; you have lost someone close to you, whether it be a broken friendship or a break up and so are forced to alter your plans for the future. So many occurrences each year alter that which we are eventually going to become.

I remember when I was thirteen and fourteen I wanted to hang out with what some might have referred to as the ‘cool crowd.’ And they accepted me – which was pretty awesome in itself. There is always a catch though. If you feel something is too good to be true it probably is. There was no way the ‘cool’ kids would accept someone that probably wasn’t quite as ‘cool’, or who wasn’t ‘cool’ at all, and yet here they were, giving me a bone. Well, the catch in this case was that it turned out they all hated my rotten guts and would sooner step on my head if they saw me drowning rather than give me a hand up, so I quickly left their little club. Instead, I found a new group of friends that actually shared the same traits and mannerisms, views and values as I. It was a perfect fit, and still to this day is – when we have the time to communicate.

Again, when I was in primary school, due to my insatiable hunger for video games, I really wanted to become involved in graphic design and the orchestration of such entertainment. Of course, this proved to be an ineffective idea because I did not have the credentials to ever become involved in such a field. I’m no good at the terrible algebra based equations and other such ridiculous mathematical ideologies; I’m not very good at graphical design, and I’m not very good at computer programs that are ridiculously difficult to utilise.
Then in high school when I was in a band, I think all of us wanted to continue to perform on a more professional level than that which we currently resided at. However, when our band broke up for reasons that up until that very moment were completely unforeseen and unfortunately unpredictable, that dream of ours came to an immediate end.

Additionally, I was interested in pursuing a career in acting, but to become involved in a course that revolves around this career at university, one needs to acquire the highest of high grades. I did acquire a few A’s and an A+, but on average I was predominantly a B student. In 2009, according to the statistics, a good few thousand people applied for the acting course at Melbourne University (apparently one of the top ten university’s in Australia) – only two were accepted. Yes, you read that right; two out of a few thousand candidates were accepted into the course. I knew that I would never be one of them and so decided to pursue my other passion; writing.

Now, with my three year undergraduate course nearly complete, I need to decide whether I will continue on with my postgraduate course, and if so, at which institution and what variant? Or will I go out and find a place in the workforce?

Another part of life that changes exponentially are the responsibilities that are placed upon your shoulders as you grow older. When young, everything is so simple, and I really envy the children of today. You can just tell that behind those innocent (?) young eyes, not one of them has a clue for the surprise they are in for when they eventually grow up. Or maybe they will grow up too fast? Sometimes I feel that happened to me – as though I did not have enough time to be young and enjoy what life hath been given to me. What are the repercussions of failing to enjoy youth to its full? When young, you run around the house and the world outside having a gay old time. You watch TV to your heart’s content and play with random plastic figurines. As you grow up, the time that you have for fun becomes minimised as the expectations of life, including giving back to society with money, hard work and effort begin to become dominating factors in influencing the choices that one develops.

Like I said – it is amazing how your life changes. On one hand, that makes the ride that is life quite interesting. On the other hand it can be disappointing and blatantly annoying.

What do others think about what I have conjured up on this subject matter? Agree, disagree? By all means, please, your opinions are welcome!

Naughty Nefarious, signing off!

GIFT or CURSE? A piece about WRITING, PUBLISHING and UNIVERSITY

 

Contains some coarse language.

Plan? What plan? Talk to the architect if you want a plan! Yep, that’s right – if you came here for advice, you are sadly mistaken, cuz here, you will find anything but…

…Going to a university after college/high school/whatever it’s called, is all well and good, but are there repercussions to this as well?

As a person who wanted to work professionally in the writing field, I found out the hard way that employer’s do not take people seriously who do not have valid credentials in the field they wish to enter. Now, by writing, I meant a professional, who worked on pieces from prose to poetry, through to novels and screenplays. Yes, I suffer from delusions of grandeur, but a dream is a dream until it is proven to be 100% unachievable, and I am yet to reach that unfortunate stage.

But, why a writer? So many people these days want to be teachers and shrinks and work in PR. Well, I could that writing has always been a guilty pleasure of mine, but I think that Australian author Michael Hyde, who was my lecturer for my introduction to Creative Writing class during my first semester of University put it best. Now, I hope to write this properly, but it has been a couple years since he explained this, so I might not be entirely accurate in my words – if he happens to read this he’ll probably shake his head at me. Dr. Hyde (yes, doctor, not mister!) explained how he was once teaching at this school. There was a student who could write very well, but to impress his friends he did his best not to focus on writing as much as he did sports and drinking, and other usual Aussie bloke stuff. Anyway, this literary competition is held at the school, and Dr. Hyde asks this student to submit his piece. For further encouragement, he explains how women like writers – they find men who write absolutely irresistible. The student is quite unsure; his friends laugh at him, believing writing to be the kind of thing done by losers and nerds – not by stereotypical Aussie blokes. Anyway, after much convincing the student decides to enter his piece into the competition – and wins! But, the morale of the story has not yet come to pass…the following morning, Dr. Hyde is walking down a corridor – and he sees the young woman who every man in the entire school had been lusting over embracing the student who had won the competition – yes, the same student Dr. Hyde had encouraged to enter. So, walking over to them, Dr. Hyde whispers into the ear of the student ‘told yer so.’ So, there you have it…the reason why I want to write – to gain the attention of all the foxy ladies.

Besides, in regards to other avenues of study…in relation to PR, 1) I’m no good at communicating with the general public, and 2) I’m no good at communicating with my relations, so how the hell could I ever be any good at Public Relations? And as for teaching – often has good opportunities for economic compensation, but other than that…besides, students usually freak the hell out of me, so it’s one of those thanks but no thanks ventures. Some people are scared to fly. Some people are frightened of the dark. I’m terrified to students. Moving on…

…Between the ages of thirteen and fifteen during some of my spare time I completed three short story collections, each containing six pieces. However, by the end the word ‘short’ may have very well been the last word I would have used to describe them, with the shortest piece indeed being 7 pages in length, whilst the largest was 102, and the average was 60; not exactly the definition of the term ‘short’ now, are they?

Unfortunately for me, at the time I had no literary agent, and only a very small per cent of Australian publishers are willing to accept unsolicited content; Penguin and their subsidiary Puffin, Allen and Unwin (at the time at least), Text Publishing, just to name a few. However, these publishers may say ‘we will accept unsolicited material’, but never is there a clause that expresses ‘we will publish unsolicited material.’ I learnt very quickly that every single publishing house had a problem with short stories; unless you were a known quantity in the industry, then this notion did not apply. I remember reading on the MacMillan page that they did not publish short stories, yet in the exact same month I read that known Australian author Andy Griffiths, most notable for his ‘Just’ franchise, had another of his short story collections published by their company! So, the rules are rules, unless you are a published author, in which case none actually apply to you.

Unfortunately for me, on the first occasion I happened to submit something, I mentioned my age, which at the time was 14. After almost half a year, in which I had given up waiting for this particular publishing house and had sent pieces to a couple others, I was notified in the mail whether or not I was successful. Of course I wasn’t, as depicted by the general tone of the paragraph. Did they supply a reason? Yes, amazingly enough…they explained how a 14 year old writer could never be taken seriously in the industry, and if one is writing short stories aimed for a young, adolescent audience, then they cannot be members of that readership – they need to be older, and more experienced in age and life, for nobody would ever want to read the work of a teenager. Safe to say I never mentioned my age in a cover letter again.

Anyway, long story short (pun included?) I contacted a literary agency, and after a few months was able to successfully converse with one of their employees about how short stories were not a popular market – in which I found out that they actually are! True, short stories never sell as many copies as novels, but they are especially well enjoyed by younger audiences because of their general length. It’s that publishers do not want to take the risk with a short story collection. On occasion, these collections have gone belly up for publishers, which is why they are after something more – a novel. Luckily enough for me, at the time I had an idea for a science fiction novel which I had been developing for some time.

Of course, something always gets in the way, right? Well, in this instance it was plain ol’ me…I finished the novel in December of 2009 after working on it for roughly six whole years. I took one look at my finished product and thought ‘what a piece of shit.’ Okay, honestly, it may not have been all that bad, but there was more I wanted to develop within the story in regards to the centralised characters and the lead antagonists. Additionally, I leant a lot whilst writing the story. The one thing I took away with me from high school was this; it don’t matter if you are writing a story set in the past, present or the future, if you do not have themes, or if you do not discuss pertinent issues that are reminiscent of today’s society, you will not gain a very broad readership. So, what are strong themes or issues transpiring today? Well, there is gay marriage, war, especially the one in the Middle East, racism and terrorism. There is love and sexism and rights for women. Safe to say, one can develop a piece with futuristic themes and such, but only the writer will really be privy to such a fantasy. The reader needs something that they can understand and clearly relate to, else you ain’t gonna succeed.

Additionally, I thought another aspect of writing on my lonesome, which Michael Hyde further discussed in his second lecture. What is this you might wonder? Well, at the beginning of my first novel (the term ‘beginning’ is loosely used – basically means the entire first half) I dominated my characters. I ruled over them with an iron fist! I wanted each and every one of them to live up to the notions and developments that I had conceived in my mind, and nothing was gonna get in my way from having them end up the way I wanted them to. However, by the second half of the piece I had altered my train of thought and relieved my characters of my ruling and allowed them to run free across the page. What did I learn from this experience? If you sit back, your characters will do everything for you – all you need to do is write it down. The freedom my characters had from this point onwards guaranteed them change from my initial plan that I had scheduled for their futures and changed many of the conclusions I had initially conceived.

I also happened to unfortunately find when I tried to publish this first novel of mine that I had just chosen to write in the one genre that I probably shouldn’t have. Yes, sci-fi is a very well rounded and broad subject that is enjoyable around the world; the problem? At least half, if not more Australian publishers are scared shitless of publishing sci-fi because it could blow up in their faces! Why/how did I not know this when I first began? SHIT! Anyway, instead of giving up ion such a genre or reinventing parts of the novel, I decided to move onto the development of another sci-fi oriented piece – which I am still developing to this very day.

True, probably not one of the most intelligible of things to do since I knew what to expect from the industry, but there was one more thing I was counting on; the experience I had been told that was a necessity for me back when I was fourteen…I was, and still am, attempting to acquire it. I’m in my third and final year of my undergraduate university course, but I have no intention of stopping there. Next, I wish to complete my masters, and then my doctorate, and then I can be Dr. Naughty Nefarious! However, what I am really aiming for is plain and simple professional courtesy – if I have gone all the way to gain a doctorate (that is if I succeed, which I hope to do so), I am hoping to look pretty darn respectable. I mean, how many people in total within Australia have gone on to gain doctorates? I don’t mean to seem pretentious or egotistical, but I am hoping this may provide to me a bonus, as to allow me to stand out from the other hopeful writers of tomorrow.

In the meantime though, what can I possibly do? Well, that is where the Gift/Curse part of the headline comes into play…one can gain a university degree, or go on to complete their postgrad, but all of this comes at a price. And I don’t just mean economically, although that is gonna be one helluva issue whine it comes time for me to pay off the rotten bastard of a tab that I have wafting over my head like a dark, angry storm cloud. No, I of course mean professionally. If one is after a job after attaining such qualifications and is unable to gain one in their intended industry, what next? That is the problem, because ‘what next’ is a great, big puddle of utter nothingness. Employers not in the field of study one has accomplished want NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU! Why not? One, you are too over qualified. Actually, that is basically the one and only point. Due to this, you will constantly be searching for another occupation – one in your chosen felid that you explicitly studied for, and once you acquire that dream job, you will leave the one you currently have. Employers don’t want to put time and investment into a worker who will inevitably leave – no, they want someone they can train and bend to their every whim like to an able pet. So, gaining one’s dream educational qualification is all well and good, but it will ultimately prohibit oneself from gaining an employment- anywhere but in their chosen field, and if the job you seek is not hiring, well, to be blunt – you’re fucked!

Naughty Nefarious, signing off!

Can a teacher fail you, if they don’t like you?

 

This is a question that has being bothering me. I am in my third year of university, and I am being plagued by this general notion that the teachers control whether a person either passes or fails the course they are doing. Of course, this is the same fate of all students, but that is under stereotypically natural circumstances, where they pass if they do the work and fail if they don’t. What I am discussing here, is whether a teacher’s opinion of you can cloud their judgment. So they pick up a piece and say ‘Oh, Joe Blow did this – right, fail!’

I began to think such thoughts after I was handed back my corrected work from one of my many subjects (of which I will not mention). Now, I was told that all of the information that was required of me was accurate and well established, and that I had conducted all of the necessary research to successfully gain a high mark. The problem was that I did not gain a high mark. No. In fact, I didn’t even pass. I failed the assessment task! How? Well, that is where everything becomes quite hazy and skeptical.

I was told by my teacher that I was unable to write proper English. This however was the first time I had ever been told this in my entire life. Now, I did not write this blog post to bitch about how I wish I had gained that higher mark. I mean to talk about how the judgment of that teacher has being brought into question. She asked us, all of us, after marking our work to resubmit if we were unhappy with the mark we obtained so that she could re-correct our work once we had applied the corrections she had mentioned during her critical assessment of the task. Now, you can bet that I was one of those people who resubmitted. Actually, I was one of the few. In fact, there were only two people who did resubmit; a young woman in her mid thirties, and myself. This only further makes me wonder; did everyone else gain high marks? Is that why they could not be bothered resubmitting their work? Or could they not be bothered being told again, like I was, how horrific their writing styles were?

Well, long story short. The teacher corrected my work, right in front of me too. It took around forty odd minutes to go through all of the pages (I always wondered how long it took to mark an assessment, and now I know. Imagine trying to mark a cool hundred of ‘em. Makes me wonder why people become teachers at all. Probably has something to do with the economic compensation they receive). Anyway, in the end what was my mark? It was the same one I was given before! IT DID NOT F_ _ _ _ _ _ CHANGE! I was told, to my face this time, that yes, the information was all there but it was not written properly!

Now, I could have asked for my work to be corrected by another teacher. There is one addendum however to that plan. It can only be corrected by a teacher who is involved in that course. And the teacher I have is not only the course coordinator, but the only teacher in all the university teaching it!

Now, I have had this teacher before, during my first year. She was my lecturer then, not my tutor, but she also happened to be the teacher marking my end of year test. She took a dislike to me in the lecture straight away, saying on a couple occasions how I did not speak much during the lecture. There was an entire room of people she could ask, and she turns to me? I felt like saying DO I LOOK LIKE I KNOW WHAT THE HELL YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT? YOU ARE THE TUTOR! YOU HAVE ALL THE INFORMATION! YOU ARE MEANT TO TEACH US! NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND!

At least I passed that course. It does not look like I am going to be so lucky this time around. I am just filled with wonder, for I am doing exceptionally well in all of my other courses. I am being credited for my writing style and being told by the tutors in fact that I am quite good at writing. But in this one class I am told the complete opposite. Who am I to believe? The other sixteen odd tutors I have had in my time at the university, who have all passed me with flying colours? Or the one teacher who seems intent on flunking me? I guess the end question is; can a teacher fail you if they don’t like you?