In photography

"Here comes the sun"

"Here comes the sun"//
 I am sitting at my desk writing this post, and I have my bedroom windows open for the first time in the year. There are magpies singing in the tree out the front, the sky is blue without a cloud in sight, the house smells like the cinnamon scrolls I just baked, the reasonably warm breeze is blowing through the window. It is only mid August, but it feels like spring is well and truly on the way.

Maybe it is the anticipation of summer, maybe it is the warm air, the burst of new life, the change. I don't know what it is about spring, but there is something that fills me with joy. The air smells a certain way during spring, and it is a way that I love. If someone could actually bottle the scent of spring and sell it- I would be the first costumer.

Over the weekend I experiment with my first photo series, inspired by the incoming spring. This one called "Here comes the sun".

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In Travel

Places I'd Love to Go

"We have nothing to loose, and a world to see"///

I love looking at places to visit. I spend hours looking through pinterest at photos from other people's adventures. Today I have a short list (it took a while to get it down from very, very, very long).

1. New York
2. Greece
3. Italy
4. Paris
5. Canada
6. Melbourne
7. Tasmania
8. Thailand
9. Hawaii
10. South America
11. Norway
12. London
13. Germany
14. Scotland
15. Florida.

Have you ever been to any of these places? Where would you like to go?

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In lifestyle reading

My favourite books

I talk a lot about reading, and it is something that is a huge part of my life. Reading has, and hopefully always will be, something that I do most days. I always try to make sure I have a little time for myself in the day and reading is the best way to do this.
Today I am going to share my 5 favourite books of all time (and I've included a few others that I really enjoyed when I read them at the end). I read fiction, most of the time realistic novels- with the occasional dystoptian thrown in.

1. Paper Towns
Paper towns is my all time favourite book (although the Fault in Our Stars was also pretty good). It is the perfect mix of funny, serious, sad, mysterious, intriguing and all around just perfect. I'm not that good at writing reviews, so check out these ones on goodreads.

2.We Were Liars
I read this book almost two years ago, and I have (when asked) said it is my favourite for a long time. I read a lot of really well written books, and the ones I enjoy are the memorable ones. This book was really memorable. It had a huge twist at the end and it left me in a bit of a state of shock- a good kind of shock. Thinking about it, the book probably isn't actually the book I have enjoyed the most- it just stuck out. Here are some reviews of it (be careful to avoid spoilers- you really don't want the end spoiled)

3. Amy and Rodger's Epic Detour
I read this book a while ago and I really enjoyed it- because it was different. It was similar to things I had read before and at the same time different and that made it all the more interesting. Here are some reviews of it.

4.The Yearbook Committee
This book was also one I read a while ago, and I have been told it is very much a modern version of the breakfast club. The book was a light read, and didn't take too long- but was enjoyable and memorable. Here are some reviews.

5.Enter Title Here
No- that is not a mistake. That is the actual name of the book. This book I read reasonably recently, and I enjoyed it. It felt real, and was very different- again memorable. Reviews are here.

Other books I have enjoyed:
Divergent series
The Hunger Games series
The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf (part of a series)

Do you enjoy reading? What are your favourite books?

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In opinion

TED Talk- Paper Towns and Why Learning is Awesome

"You can see how fake it all is. It's a paper town-  I mean, just look at it."
-John Green
I found this TED talk by my favourite author, John Green, and I found it really interesting.

What did you think? Have your ever read paper towns?

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In life opinion

My Thoughts on Learning + Some School Tips.

"Any fool can know, the point is to understand"
-Albert Einstein//

Blogs are full of these posts, posts with countless numbers of the same thing. Every single post about school talks about being organised, having the right attitude, and studying. Today I am going to be different, because today's post- while it is called school tips- is about school in a different kind of way to post other school posts. Looking at what is written ahead, it might be a good idea to get comfortable- this post is going to be a long one.

First of all I want to get something straight, I love learning. Being able to discover, understand and explore new things excites me. "Learning excites curiosity we never knew we had". I enjoy reading, watching videos and looking at diagrams until I understand something. And more than that, I love understanding something and doing something with that knowledge- I like watching it become real, reading about it in books, seeing references to it in movies. I love learning new things and expanding my knowledge.

That however, is not what today's post is about, today's post is about school, and school is not something I love.
At the same time, I don't hate school. I don't wake up dreading the day (at least not most of the time), I don't do anything I can do avoid it. I don't sit in class and waste my time, I don't avoid class and spend all my time in the principle office either. I put up with it and do my best to get what I can out of school.

For me, it just feels like school isn't really about learning things. A lot of emphasis is put on assessment. Being ready for the test, doing well in the assignment. I feel like we focus too much on the result rather than the process. Because, isn't the grade supposed to be a reflection of what you have learnt. Shouldn't it be showing that you have learnt something and understand it, rather than that you did well on  a test once.

I am guilty of this personally, but I think that most students worry about memorising things for a test, rather than actually understanding and applying them. Instead of understanding why a maths formula is the way it is, we focus on remembering it for the exam- and forget it as soon as the teacher collects the paper- because hey, it's not important.

But you know what, it isn't our fault- and it isn't the fault of the teachers either. We just don't know how to test understanding and knowledge. We know how to test memory and guess work. And realistically how much can we actually memorise.

At primary school things were a bit different, we didn't have exams or assignments- all the work we did in class was part of  our grade. I feel like that gave us a better opportunity to actually understand, and show our understanding.

I feel like our main issue is focusing on the grade rather than the understanding. We measure grades right? And reports are a list of letters to summarise your understanding?

We can learn just as much from weeks of class notes about life in Japan as we can in 2 days in the country. Experience is a valuable way to learn, and class is not the only way to learn.

Unfortunately, there isn't really anything we can do about this. We can hate it all we want, but things aren't going to change overnight.

Anyway, today I am actually going to share some tips. Things that I have learnt about getting the most out of school, even if you don't love it that much.

"Don't study because you need to.
Study because knowledge is power.
Study because they can never take it away from you.
Study because you want to know more.
Study because it grows you."

1.Study what you like
I get to choose 4 electives each year, and this is a great opportunity to choose things that you want to understand. Make sure that you make the most out of this opportunity if you get it, and don't make your choice lightly.

2.Spend the time and make sure you understand
This is a tip for everyone (even if you love the exam system). Taking the time to ask questions, watch videos in your own time and make sure you fully understand the topic is the best way to get the most out of school. If you do this the exam will be easier because you will know rather than having to memorise. (take it from me, I had a science quiz today that I didn't study for and got 10/10 because last week I took the time to watch a video at home and fully understand what we had done in class).

Ok, rant over. I've been planning this post for a long time, and I just haven't had a chance to put it together, anyway I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas, in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this post check out this one and this one (they are similar)


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