Friday, 8 June 2012

The R word...


Now the holidays are drawing to a close it's time to knuckle down and realise that something has to be done about the exam I have on Thursday. To be fair, I'm not one to sit back and forget about school until Sunday night at the end of half term, I'm more content with the 'little and often' approach when it comes to a massive brain-capacity-stretching subject such as physical geography. Now, however, I know it's time to knuckle down and make a mind map, and do some past papers. That brings me to the main element of today's post - how I revise... let's take this in chronological order.

Four weeks to exam:
It dawns on me that revision is needed. I may have been doing some light reviewing in the form of flicking through my book on the bus, mental tests whilst say... drying my hair, but now I start to sit down and start with the first topic. I'll write everything I need to know down and hope most of it sticks to my brain.

Another thing I do is CHECK THE SPEC (it even rhymes to help you remember). Although you're bound to be taught everything you need at school, but just in case you missed a lesson or are unclear, try finding the specification for your exam on the exam board website, or ask your teacher for a copy. That way you'll know that no question could possibly take you by suprise...

Three weeks:
I'll buy a revision guide. I TOTALLY recommend CGP. They are so tongue in cheek funny, it's hard to explain without reading one. The puns are so purposefully bad you feel like you have a comical revision buddy to help you all the way, something I find most entertaining up until the last few days before the exam...

(Remember to check if you have a specific guide needed for school, CGP is amazing but little use if the rest of your class is pouring, bored to death, over some other, not as funny, revision guide)

Two weeks:
Review what you've done so far, start a mind map, stick it on your wall, make flash cards... Whatever suits your style (you're bound to have done countless exercises at school on 'your personal learning style'. I, for one, am a visual learner with an interpersonal aptitude, so, in non-schooly English,  I like mind maps and learning with others :) )

Past papers!!! Find them online, or from your teacher. Actually, it may be an even better idea to start these earlier, but two weeks is the latest you should. This gives you time to check them with your teacher.

One week:
Mock. You'll probably already have had one at school but I always save one past paper and do it at home in timed conditions. If all goes well you'll know you're completely ready.

Now review your notes throughout the week leading up to the exam.

Good luck (and sorry about the boringness of this post, but revision is important!!)

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Nail marbling - fabulous is it works, a complete disaster if it doesn't...

With it being the holidays and me stuck for jubilee fashion, I decided to paint my nails for the occasion. The original plan was simple red, white and blue. What could possibly go wrong? Unfortunately, I'm prone to having big ideas, and decided to take it one step further. Nail marbling!

If you're unfamiliar with the concept, here's a quick video and picture to show you the desired intended effect:

Warning: Do not leap out of your seat with excitement and do it straight away, you'll just make a complete mess. Read the whole post to find out what happened to me...

And the desired effect...

Unfortunately mine ended up looking more like this...

Basically, I was unaware that the polish would form a film (which I now know to be the whole point) and on my first try picked all the film up on one finger and scrunched it into a mess. Wasn't going well.
Then, I realised that because I used glitter and normal nail polish from different brands, they weren't going to make a nice swirl. Instead, they each took their own side of the bowl and when I tried to mix them the same thing happened - the film clumped onto my brush and I had no choice but to (unsuccessfully) dump it onto one nail. At this point I'd exhausted all hope of doing my nails and was now cleaning the bathroom with my last remaining drop of nail polish remover (after knocking the bottle over) and trying to prise flakes of polish off my nails and the sink. What an epic fail, all for some nice nails...

So, before you try this. Think realistically. It probably won't work and you'll end up in a mess. On a more positive note, if anyone has had any nail art successes feel free to comment, I might summon you for a guest article on how to be a nail marbling hero...

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Abandoned the blog :( BUT I'M BACK

Oh dear. The 'keeping up the blog' thing didn't quite work, but I'm back. I've had a quiet few months apart from various violin related ramblings. My exam is looming (3 weeks although I don't have an exact date) so I'm in crazy practice mode for that. I guess I'll have to start again with blog promotion and all that but that will be after I've done my practice. I have an exciting idea for a post, one which is very, very out of date but I've wanting to post for a while. I hope some of you read it.
Again, sosososo sorry for abandoning this, it was going quite well too :'(