Sunday, May 15, 2005

It's The Final(s) Countdown

It's The Final(s) Countdown

One of the first things that I heard this morning, blasting out of my radio?

"Not started your revision yet? It's not too late"

I think, Mrs Bitesize woman, you'll find that it is.

I'm just over twelve hours away from Examination School/subfusc hell. How on earth did I end up so close? Finals were not supposed to be for ages. Not until the next millennium at least. Or something like that. But some how, they've crept up on me and now...

So tomorrow, in an Oxford which is approximately one billion degrees I'll be wearing fifteen layers of academic dress, not being able to wear my hat and with my hand about to fall off as I ramble around for something to say on my 'History, Theory and Use of English Language' paper. That really had to be paper one, didn't it. I've resigned myself to the fact that this is a paper with no middle ground for me. I'm either going to do very well and pull off a first, or I'm going to be stuck in 2:2 land. And if I get a 2:2 on this paper my tutors will not be very happy since they gave me a college prize for work I did on this subject. So they're expecting me to do well. But in order to get that prize I had to take a risk, and some times risks don't pay off. But I'm working on the basis that as I've had it repeatedly drilled into me in the last couple of years that girls don't get firsts at Oxford because they play it safe, I think I should take a risk somewhere.

In an ideal world, tomorrow the exam will allow me to talk about:
1. The internet.
The chances of an internet question coming up are pretty good, if it's directed towards email though I will be throwing a minor strop. Minor but not disastrous, I send email, I can blag.
2. Genre.
There's always a genre question, so I'm just hoping that it will be user friendly so I can wax lyrical about, well, lyrics. And perform a minor feat of brilliance and get two Griffin references into one paper*.
3. Code and Register**.
Again this always comes up, but again I'd like it to be user friendly and not something like 'talk about code switching'. Code switching basically means moving from one variety of language to another. On a big scale it can be from say, English to French, on a smaller level it can be from political language to everyday talk. Because if it's about code switching I'm blagging my way through all my political quotes**** with George Bush's "catch the folks responsible" and a 2001 election club mix that has Blair's "the lunatics are taking over", Hague's "let's have a 21st century revolution" and Straw's "acid test" repeatedly over the music. I know, I don't know why the song didn't take off either.

If my internet question doesn't come up, it's dictionaries for me but this is very much a last resort and only if I can't mould my internet stuff into another question. Mainly because talking about Johnson's dictionary always makes me think of the episode in Blackadder where Johnson appears. Which isn't necessarily a good thing in exam conditions. If I get really buggered then it's rhetoric*****. And then I'm doomed.

Wish me luck, I may need it.

*If you're wondering he i) gets a quote in the internet stuff because his posting in forums is a fantastic example of someone who knows that there must be rules regarding 'netspeak' but doesn't know what they are and ii)ballads are an offshoot of the lyric poem [which itself was originally sung, hence the name deriving from the Greek lyre which was a musical instrument]

**Code = a distinct variety of language. Register = the features of speech or writing that characterise a specific type of linguistic activity. In political Manifesto terms code would be specific words such as "left","right", "New Labour", register would be the code and the style in which it's written. Really the terms have become redundant but Oxford doesn't change its exam decrees that often***, so we do code and register.

***Read once a millennium.

****I find it profoundly wrong that I can quote chunks of the Labour Manifesto.

*****I feel heartened that at my report reading last term my personal tutor was baffled about the difference between classical and renaissance rhetoric too. In broad terms it's the movement from rhetoric being used in a spoken form to it being used as a literary technique. My knowledge on that, however, is going to fill about two sentences, rather than 2,000 words.

9 comments:

Bex said...

"I look at where I am now, and yeah there is a chance I might win and I know it will make a massive difference."

"when I got to the final 13 I thought, at best sort of, maybe, half way to sort of establish something, to have your name know a bit"

"people who you'd just thought would win"

"I said I'd kiss Ricard Parks on the lips if I won, dunno if he's up for it?"

yes Griffin it's a dishwasher, need I say more ;)

good luck xxxxxxxx

gayle said...

As you can see from the above message, doing your finals makes you clinically mad. ;-)
Good luck Coza. x
PS I've already been there...wibble...

Val said...

What can I say but good luck (or in my current parlance - break a leg!)- and I have every faith in your ability to blag it if all else fails - and I also have every faith that you won't have too.

Love, and hugs
xxx

Cat said...

wow, deep breath, go for it! you've worked so had you're half way there already. I too doubt you'll have to blag, but, if you do, I know few better blaggers than you (one of them is just above me here though ;) )

see you on the other side - in a fountain!

Cat xxx

The other Coz(z)a said...

GOOD LUCK!!!

Anonymous said...

Hope all goes well today.....with best wishes

Billygean said...

Good luck :) I hate rhetoric too. Just remember Fairclough wrote *everything* there is to know about New Labour (new Language?) :D

Gilly

Shona said...

You may well be there now, but I'm thinking about you and am sure it will all fall into place beautifully when the adrenalin sets in!
Go for it xx

Corinne said...

Thank you all!

1 down...6 to go.

And, erm, is this where I should say 'I promise to kiss Richard Park on the lips if I get a first in that paper'? *shudders*