Wednesday, 28 May 2014

The Great Unknown - Sinead

What subjects did you take in your last year of school? What were your favourite subjects?
In my last year of school I studied English, Maths, Irish, French, Art, Biology and Geography. So there was a pretty good variety. It’s really hard to pick a favourite subject, there’s things about them all that I liked! I just generally liked learning. But if I had to pick I would say Geography. I found it really interesting and it felt like what I was learning was really relevant and important to know. It’s always good to know how everything that makes up this world works and how the people in it function.

What did you do in your first year after leaving school?
I went straight to university! I definitely did not want to take a year out. I just wanted to go to university right away and not waste any time. I’m really glad I did that because I think I might have got lazy if I took a year out haha.

Did you do any tertiary education? If so, what was it?
I did a bachelors of Arts. In the first year I took English, Geography, History and Social & Political studies. I chose to continue on with English and Geography for the second and third year. So I got my undergrad degree in English and Geography last year! yay! Then, last September I started my Post-Grad. I did my Professional Diploma in Education aka secondary school teaching. So since September my life has pretty much been consumed by that. Throughout the year I did 16 weeks of teaching practise and 15 weeks in Uni.
This interview is at the perfect time because I’m literally just finished this course today. My last every assignment is due tonight, then I will no longer be a student - crazy!

If you have had more than one job since you left school, what were they?
I’ve only had one job since I left school. I used to work in a clothing store in the summers between uni. It was great to save up during the summer and have something to do.

What job are you doing at the moment and what does it entail? Do you enjoy it?
I’m not working at the moment! Uni has been so demanding, I wouldn’t possibly have been able to work as well haha. I’m planning on doing up a CV now though and go looking for a summer job so keep your fingers crossed for me!

What job do you want to be doing at the moment?
Right now, for the summer, I would take anything! Waitressing, shop assistant, anything haha. But I’m also looking for a teaching job for September, I hope to get a couple of hours at least so obviously that is the main priority job-wise :)

Do you have any regrets? Or any advice?
Now, on my last day of being a student ever I have been reflecting. I must admit I do have some regrets about how I spent my time in uni. I really wish I did more stuff, got more involved, joined more societies, had more fun and just truly lived the real college experience. I feel kind of sad that I might have missed out on some stuff but there’s no point dwelling on it. I’m really looking forward to the next chapter in my book. I’m still only 21 so I  have plenty of time for fun and travelling ahead.

Thanks for a wonderful interview Sinead! Sinead was actually kind enough to let me do a guest post on her blog today, so click on over to see that!! :)
Just a little side note, it is pretty awesome to have Sinead here on my blog, because she was one of the first people to comment on my blog, what is now nearly a year ago! How things come in circles.
I would love to interview more of you guys, please, if you're interested, leave a comment below or email me at emmamcil55(at)gmail(dot)com. :)

Sunday, 25 May 2014

New camera!!!! ...and some honesty

We got a new camera!!!!!
(I say we, because the camera's not actually mine, it's the family's, but I still get to use it! :) )
It's a Sony A6000, which is (apparently) just like a DSLR, but mirror less. It has the same sized sensor as some DSLRs, but it is a smaller camera. Honestly, I don't know a huge amount about camera's, I actually have no idea how it compares to a DSLR, all I know is that it is about a million times better than our old camera!!!! Anyway, I'll let the pictures show you. :)
(also, these aren't edited or anything, I don't have that much time on my hands!)

So, here's the thing.
I have this fear, scratch that, constant worry about not being interesting
enough. Not so much on my blog, because on here the is the leisure of time, but just in normal conversation. Am I funny enough, am I cool enough, am I not coming across like a complete nutter. It doesn't usually happen around my close friends so much, either, I think because I know that they like me and they voluntarily spend time around me. But with people I don't know so well, I worry about everything I say; am I saying enough? too much? was that comment really necessary?

Side tracking a wee bit, it most often happens to people I see as more popular than me. And that leads me to popularity, which I have been thinking a lot about lately. It is a fickle thing, popularity. And I think that the way it works is this. Just say that there is group A, B, and C. Now these are all groups with really awesome people, who, in their groups have tons of fun and feel included and wanted. Now, when these groups are together, we realise that the people in group C really like the people in group B, and think that they are really awesome, and perhaps slightly more outgoing and adult. But the people in group A are a bit too adult and outgoing for group C and so while they admire some of the things they do, some of the things they do seem a bit stupid to group C. Group B looks up to group A in the same way that group C looked up to group B, but group A doesn't really admire anyone, if they admired one group it would be group B, not group C. So then group C feels really unpopular because no one is trying to be their friends, but in fact they are just as cool as the other groups, just not in the same way. And of course group A doesn't really realise that there is such a thing as popularity and group B kind of does, but not that much.
Real life of course is far more complicated, and also, can you tell I attend high-school?!
Back to the original point, I think that a lot of bloggers are probably like this too, because there is such a safety in blogging, because there is no real pressure to say a super interesting and witty comment immediately, there is time, and sometimes you do respond quickly, it is just the lack of pressure that makes it easier, because you know that you could have taken as long as you needed.
I hope that makes sense, just some thoughts that have been buzzing around lately that I needed to get out. If you read it, I congratulate you!
Have a lovely week,

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Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The Great Unknown - Leah

What subjects did you take in your last year of school? What were your favourite subjects?
I’m currently still in University, but in my last year of high school I took business, english, math, and Yearbook. Yes, working on the yearbook was actually a class which was pretty cool since I got a mark for doing little to no work, I mean *cough* lots of hard, creative endeavors.
It’s always important, I feel, to take that one class either completely unrelated to your degree, or just fun. Yearbook was that class. I’d definitely say doing the Yearbook was my favourite. I got a mark to go out, take pictures and write. It was quite a lot of fun. :)

What did you do in your first year after leaving school?
I graduated high school after the first semester, so in January, when we didn’t actually graduate until June. I went to high school in Canada, but lived in Jamaica, so during that time off I went back home until September when I had to come back for school. So I spent my time off at home, soaking up the sun before returning to the freezing tundra of Canada. It’s always great to spend time at home before moving away again.

Did you do any tertiary education? If so, what was it?
Yes, I’m currently in University and was in Journalism for first year. I’ve switched degrees now, as I’ve realized though Journalism may be something I want to pursue the program wasn’t teaching me anything about the aspects of it I enjoy. I can’t say I haven’t had those midlife crisis moments of what am I doing with my life, but presently I’m quite enjoying university and the amazing people I’ve met.

If you have had more than one job since you left school, what were they?
I don’t know if I can call what I have jobs, they are more like little hustles in my eyes. Haha, and no I haven’t done anything illegal. I had a typical summer office job after high school. I was an assistant so I made calls, typed things everyone else was too lazy, I mean busy, to type. I photocopied and sent faxes. I’m a pretty amazing photocopier if I do say so myself, but fairly terrible at faxing. For such an old machine, those little buggers are kind of complicated to figure out.
I am loving these stunning pictures, and isn't the red background just so good!!!
What job are you doing at the moment and what does it entail? Do you enjoy it?
I currently work on the event staff at my University, so I work all the events they have throughout the year. I don’t plan them or anything, I just work at them, and help things run as they were planned. It’s not steady work, but the event that I have done so far was a lot of fun, so I can genuinely say I enjoy that job. It’s definitely a job outside my comfort zone, but I am enjoying it. Lastly, I recently landed some freelance writing/creative work as well, which given that writing, photography and videos is a huge part of my life I think I’ll very much enjoy finally getting minimally paid to do things I’ve always enjoyed and done for free. I can always hope that, coupled with my degree will lead to bigger better things! :)

How would you rate your job in terms of energy put in, pay, work environment, and job satisfaction?
For my office job, considering I made slightly higher than minimum wage to do tasks worth less than minimum wage, I guess the pay was quite decent. I’d rate my payment a solid 9/10. Of course as an unqualified teenager, I can’t be too choosy about what I’m paid.
That was the best paying job I’ve had to date, but I genuinely hated it. I hated being in the cold, quite office all day in front of a computer screen, or telephone or photocopier doing mind numbing work. Now that I have a job where I get to meet and interact with people, go out and not sit at a desk all day along with another one writing I can genuinely say I’m happier about working. Of course what I make doing both those things combined is still less than what I made at the office job being someone’s little helper, I wouldn’t consider going back to an office job if I didn’t absolutely have to. Happiness, and mental well being should always come before money.

What job do you want to be doing at the moment?
At the moment, it’d be amazing if I found a way to be able to live by doing things I love. My writing, photography and videos. So, if there was a job that allowed me to make a living wage doing those things, it’s one I’d like!

Do you have any regrets? Or any advice?
I can’t give much advice in terms of employment, but since school is a huge part of my life right now, my advice would be to do what you love. I guess that does apply to jobs, as well as school. I know it’s superbly cliche and everyone says that but having just completed my first year I can definitely say it’s not to be taken lightly.
Unlike in high school where teachers were quite strict about getting work done, and would call home and were very persuasive and involved, in university professors aren’t quite as pushy. You have to find your own initiative to finish the work, and study. When you’re hating all your classes, or your degree or whatever it may be finding that initiative to get assignments done and study can be fairly hard to find.
I definitely regret not figuring that out earlier, and putting myself through classes I genuinely didn’t enjoy.
So, do what you love from the get go. :)

Thank-you so much for this interview Leah :) It's funny, when I began this I sort of thought that everyone would have fairly similar things to say, but what I'm finding is that everyone does have very distinct experiences and opinions, which is awesome!

Saturday, 17 May 2014

My headspace at the moment

Hello everyone,
I am staring intently at the fire right now. It is such an odd thing, the fire, so simple.
And yet I could watch it endlessly.
I doubt it will yield any wisdom, but you never know. Perhaps slowing down and not being bothered by anything other than my own thoughts will help me process everything, if not the fire itself.

Visit Emma McIlroy's profile on Pinterest.
For those of you viewing this in the future, this is continuously updating, so you are getting an up-to-date view into my head at the time you are reading this.
This is what I have been pinning recently, a look inside my head. Yes, I am developing a slight obsession with plaits and scarves. :)
How are you guys at the moment? I honestly want to know. Was your day excellent, or not so great, or just a plodding along day?
Mine was a plodding along day. One of those day where you don't really do anything of consequence.
And I guess this is a plodding along post too, but I am usually pretty good, and today I was just like, I think I am going to have a short nothing of a post for once on my blog, because it is reflecting me at the moment and it is what I feel like posting.
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Wednesday, 14 May 2014

The Great Unknown - Anne

What subjects did you take in your last year of school? What were your favourite subjects?
The subjects that I took in high school included Trigonometry, Physics, English and World Literature,
Economics, Filipino (This is like English in other countries), Music, Physical Education, Home
Economics, Computer and well I guess that’s it if memory serves me right. Oh gosh. This was so five
years ago! Overall my favorite would have to be English because my teacher back then was the best
storyteller I have ever met. She was also one of the first few people who told me I had a knack for
writing and gave me the push I needed to apply for the school paper.

What did you do in your first year after leaving school?
Gap years aren’t common from where I live and I didn’t know they existed until last year when I saw
this YouTube channel called Jacksgap. LOL. I basically went straight to university.

Did you do any tertiary education? If so, what was it?
Yes I did. I took a Bachelor’s degree in Management Accountancy which is a four year course. I have
always wanted to go corporate but I didn’t exactly know then what field I wanted. After talking over
with my mom about the options available, I decided to get one that’s both practical and commerce
related so I took it. Luckily, my best friend was thinking of the same course too so we went to uni

If you have had more than one job since you left school, what were they?
Just a mere eight days after my uni graduation someone offered me a job as a freelance writer. I know
it is a far cry from the degree I graduated from but writing is my passion too so I gave it a try. I’ve
been doing it for more than a year now and it serves as my so called sideline job. I do it during my
free time which is usually the time I get home from my regular day job. I know I sound like a busy
bee. I hope I’m not boring you. Hohoho. I love it because it gets my mind abuzz. I get to learn a lot of
things and best of all I get to write. Oh and yes I was also an accounting intern at a Philippine
company that had restaurants, music shops and schools to name a few under its belt. I had so much
fun there especially that my supervisor became a good friend and a mentor to me up until now. I must
say that I have learned a lot during my stay there.

What job are you doing at the moment and what does it entail? Do you enjoy it?
At the moment I work as an internal auditor. It has a lot to do with financials and stuff. It’s quite
challenging and that’s what I like about it. I know this could sound weird but I like doing things that
people initially assume I can’t. I just like proving them and even myself wrong that I could in fact do
it. Plus, I do get to travel sometimes which is something I like very much.

What job do you want to be doing at the moment?
At the moment I’m happy where I am. I’ve only been a year out of Uni so I’m looking forward to
whatever adventure lies ahead. I like to take it one step at a time and enjoy the ride. Besides I can
never go back in time so I might as well enjoy it.

Do you have any regrets? Or any advice?
I think everyone has regrets. I would say being too much of a workaholic would be mine. I was always so focused and busy that I forget to let loose and have fun sometimes. When you’re in school or whether you’re working you have to make time for “other” things that make you happy too. True enough there are some of us out there who are happy with our careers or studies but it is also important to step out of it and look at the other aspects of life. Go out and have fun. Meet up with friends. Travel to your heart’s desire. Stay in bed the whole day on a weekend and read a good book. Watch a movie. Write your blog. Listen to music. Have some fun in the beach. Whatever it is that you are happy or passionate about, do it. Find a creative outlet. I’ve been doing all of these things for quite some time now and it strikes some sort of balance. It’s tough to budget your time. I know that very well but we are all given 24 hours in a day. It’s up to us how to make every second count. 

Thanks so much for answering these questions Anne, especially given your busy schedule!!(Lucky Anne got to go and meet one of her all time favourite bloggers!) 
I think that advice question is fast becoming my favourite, balance is indeed one of the most important aspects of life. :)
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Saturday, 10 May 2014

Books are the best :)

Hey guys,
So, I was thinking about it, and I haven't really done a post about books in a while. So, seen as I love books and they are a big part of my life, I thought I would talk a little bit about the books I have been reading recently. :)
Working backwards from my most recently read book;

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I really enjoy Rainbow Rowell's books, I loved Eleanor and Park, so I was excited to read this one. It was so good, and at one point I was reading it, and I looked down and realised that I wasn't even halfway through the book yet, and that made me so happy because there was still so much more of the book left to go. #neverwantingbookstoend
I have to say though, what made me even happier was the fact that I could share this sentiment with the author of the book, through the wondrous site that is Twitter! Technology can be very cool sometimes. :) It is about a girl (Cath) who writes fan fiction about a series called Simon Snow, and her finding her way in the world, and exploring who she wants to be as a writer.
The only thing that bugged me a little was the parallels between the fan fiction that the main character writes and Harry Potter, but I quickly got over that because of how good of a book it was.

Wicked by Gregory Maguire
Wicked is the untold story of the Wicked Witch of the West, and I find it to be an immensely satisfying book. It makes the Wizard of Oz make about ten times more sense, and it is just really cool to read about why the witch was "evil". The Wizard of Oz, like most childhood stories, was very black and white in it's portrayal of good and evil, whereas Wicked, like most adult books, shows us the shades of grey that people really fall under. I found Elphaba (the Witch) to be a very likeable character, and while I didn't always agree with her decisions, I could respect that they were decisions true to her character and her upbringing.
Wicked has also been made into a musical, but I highly recommend the book as well, because it is quite different to the musical, and there is a lot more information in the book than in the musical.

Also, I found this short films channel on youtube which has the cutest, really well made, films and I have no idea why they don't have more views. If you have read Fangirl, you should definitely watch this one, this series on kissing in the rain made me smile, especially the ending, and this one was just refreshingly different from other things I have been watching recently.

I hope you guys are having a lovely week. :)
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Wednesday, 7 May 2014

The Great Unknown - Sam

What subjects did you take in your last year of school? What were your favourite subjects?
In my last years of school, I did Mathematics Advanced, English Advanced, Chemistry Accelerated, Business Studies, Legal Studies and Economics. My favourite subject was probably English. I had the best teacher and she made learning just so interesting. It’s her I have to thank for my interest and passion in writing and blogging.

What did you do in your first year after leaving school?
I went straight to university. Looking back I slightly regret not taking a gap year to travel but it just didn’t happen that way I suppose.

Did you do any tertiary education? If so, what was it?
Yes, my university degree was a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Marketing and Public Relations, at the University of Notre Dame Sydney. It was a wonderful 3-year course that I would recommend to anyone.

If you have had more than one job since you left school, what were they?
I worked casually throughout university and it was great for the poor uni student that I was. I worked at Boost Juice, Myer and Cotton On. I also did an unpaid and a paid internship in marketing. One with a Foxtel channel and another at my high school, so I guess you could say I kept myself pretty busy!

What job are you doing at the moment and what does it entail? Do you enjoy it?
After I graduated from university, I went through a series of full time jobs that were in the corporate city world. To the naked eye they were the perfect jobs, they were prestigious, they paid well and people fought hard to get into these roles. Sadly though, they weren’t for me. I wasn’t satisfied and they made me anxious and unsettled. I ended up leaving both of them and taking a few months off for my health and general wellbeing. Now I work at a smaller company that is more local to me and I enjoy it so much more because it allows me to pursue my career in photography on the side. It’s a small marketing job that is a family business and I feel right at home there. Couldn’t ask for much more.

How would you rate your job in terms of pay, energy put in, work environment, and job satisfaction?
My full time job at the moment isn’t a $100K job by any means but it gets me through and it pays the bills and for that I am grateful. I would rather be earning pennies than be earning millions and being unhappy. Life is too short. My job now isn’t the most exciting job but like I said before it leaves me time to do other things when I get home or on the weekends, such as my photography. While it’s hard balancing two jobs, its great to be able to have one that is more stable and secure and one that is fulfilling my dreams.
As always, Sam's photography is incredible :)

What job do you want to be doing at the moment?
The goal is to work fulltime in photography but right now I don’t have the resources to be doing that. For the mean time I will keep working fulltime in my little marketing job until I know photography is a stable career choice for me. I like having my day job during the week and having photography for the weekends. It keeps me on my toes and leaves me with stability too which I firmly believe young people need.

Do you have any regrets? Or any advice?
Regrets? Not entirely. I said before I wish I travelled when I was younger but I am still young and I still have time so I am not entirely worried about that. I would give the advice though to not succumb to the pressures of society. I got the job that people told me to get, the one that ‘looked good’ and paid well, but I was unhappy and it made me unwell. Don’t waste your life doing things that you’re not passionate about. Find your dreams and pursue it. If you need to have a little job on the side to fund that dream then that’s okay, everyone needs stability, but never quit on your dream! Never ever!

Thank-you so much Sam!! I loved reading this. I think that what you say about having a job to fund your dream is a great way of putting it, I feel very inspired. :)
I will hopefully have one of these posts up each Wednesday, along with a normal post in the weekend. Sorry I missed the weekend just been, life happened. :)

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