A Snowy Project Life

I am back! Sorry for the silence, Easter break has been a wonderfully busy time. I went skiing for ten days with my family and brought J along. It was a week of sun and snow, adorable mountain chalets and instagramming every moment. It was the perfect get away. As well a Switzerland, I spent a few glorious days in Cambridge and attempted to work in the couple of days of unexpected blazing sun.

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My favourite day was J’s second to last day. We woke up far too early, bought vanilla and chocolate croissants and headed up the mountain. To the very highest peak. We stepped out into whipping cold and bundled up to the ears, we swooped down the slope. Down a gloriously long empty run and by the end our cheeks were red and our appetites up. So J and I sat on the side of an Alpine peak and ate our breakfast. The rest of the day was filled with more runs up and down the mountains and ended with a delicious dinner. It was perfect.

ski layout

Zermatt is really beautiful. Very Swiss is feel and a melting pot of languages and nationalities.

skii2I loved all the retro ski posters that were available so I included some of them in my layout. As you can see, we were very lucky with the conditions and amazingly, even J began to Instagram the mountains!

Hope you have had some lovely travels this Easter!
Anna

The confusion of Intention.

 

Intention.

This one little word has recently caused a whole lot of anxiety, confusion and anger for me. It’s a seemingly harmless nice word and before the end of Term 2, I would have said it is a word with positive implications. However, after the stress this word has caused, i have come to the conclusion that it is in fact the most deceptive, irritating, terrible word in the English language.

Alright that might be an over reaction, but I have been wanting to share my recent thoughts about this word with you, the people of the internet and see if you felt there is any truth to my new hatred.
It all started with an essay selection for my least favourite module I have been forced into doing this year: Methods in Art History (shudder). This module has had me going grey. I cannot describe the intrinsic difficulty of it and among my year group it has been a regular source of ranting and raving. We have all been united this year through the nonsensical pretentious criticisms we have been “studying”. There is a new sense of camaraderie as we have battled to get to the heart of Wollheim, Hegel and Winklemann (what kind of name is that?) say about art. These are the critics who should not be named. Looming over the end of term was the 3000 word essay on some complicated topic presented by any one of these.

As I browsed the options available to me, a growing panic started. They were all awful. There seemed no way to actually talk about art, rather the philosophy of “art”,  a concept that conveniently enough can’t be absolutely defined. Fantastic.
In the end the question I chose was this:

“To what extent does the artist’s intention arbitrate the meaning of the work of art?”

It seemed a relatively accessible title, so I began my research.

Little did I know what kind of hurdles I would come up against with that little word in the middle there.

Intention. In actual fact, intention is not a solid concept. How did I not think of this before? Intention, like art supposedly, cannot be defined. It is not an action, and it is not a wish, a desire or a plan. It is some kind of mysterious internal motivation that propels us. But we can have intentions and never act on them. I might intend to write an amazing Methods essay but I know that is impossible. I can intend not to cry in despair as I re-read Wollheim, but the thick convoluted ideas might just get to me anyway. You can start with one intention and this intention may lead to other intentions. But what is intention? Does intention matter? (See how easy it is to become trapped in the circular nature of this one little devilish word?)

People say “I had good intentions”. However, does intention really matter in the fact of the final result? This was what I started thinking about during the writing process. If I ran someone over, I may not have intended to but the result is still the same. They have been run over, and I will face consequences for that. So why do people, when finding themselves in a situation where they have made a mistake, cling to the idea that they had ‘good intentions’? We do not like coming across as intentionally bad people and if our internal motivation was pure, then somehow we are free from the guilt of our action. We can never know the internal motivations of people so we look to their actions for clues of their inner thinking.

All this is not to say that intention is not a valid concept, but it will never definitively determine our actions. I personally intend to live a good live. I act out this intention by trying to be loyal  to my friends and family, pursuing activities that make me happy and building a solid foundation for my future. My life may not be realized in exactly the way I intend, but perhaps a life based on good intentions has better potential for one’s own peace of mind. But if my actions do not reflect my intentions, then all the good, kind intentions in the world do not matter for it is my actions that will speak for me. I am not saying give up on having good intentions. Rather put more time and effort in be active. Into doing the things you want to do.

I have confused myself greatly the past few week by trying to define an indefinable word. It has got me thinking about what my real intentions are and whether or not they are indeed intentions. I hope I have not confused you too much with this little post, but I think I have found a quote with nicely captures the validity of intention:

In the light of our actions, intentions are worthless. Let your actions speak of your intentionality. We are the only ones who know of our “good intention” but when we do “good action”, the rest of the world knows of them. And isn’t that the real purpose of intention?

 

Unintentionally confused
Anna

The Last Week – Project Life Weeks 10 & 11

The end of term could not come soon enough. The stress surrounding my course peers was almost palpable, the deadlines coming upon us all to quickly. But one we handed in those darn essays, green cover sheets all filled in, lines of text proofread for the 100th time, freedom was at hand.

Week 10 

But before this strange free time, came History Ball. This was a fantastic evening with the girls, getting to dress up all fancy, eat yummy food and forget work for a few hours. We got taken to a lovely hotel and had drinks, meal and dancing. It was beautifully decorated and we had all the HoA girls on a table. Just a glamorous night.

week 10 final

So this was History Ball. The highlight was the  photo booth of course, complete with fake mustaches, goofy glasses and plenty of hats. G, H and I spent a good long time in there. This event was the only real interesting happening of Week 10, the rest of my time has been locked away in the library or sleeping. Sweet moment though, when we returned from the Ball

week 10

The photos I did have for this week, whilst all along the same theme, were really great. Silly, fun but pretty. Very happy.

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Week 11

The Last Week of term! Finally it was here. After the great handing in of the essays, we could do whatever we wanted. So mostly, I slept, caught up in TV shows and on a sunny Friday afternoon, G, H and I went to the gardens and took sunny pictures.

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H made friends with a squirrel and after a nice wonder, we went for a hurried cream tea. It was all very British. The evening brought a party with all the HoA gang.

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Despite the wonderful last week of term, I really am very excited to go home. After problems with fuse boxes, money and finding one courageous slug in our bathroom, home comforts are very appealing right now. The daffodils are blooming, the sun is shining and spring is springing…so I guess it is not so bad here!

Stay Sunny
Anna

A rather delayed Project Life Weeks 8 & 9 – Quick pics and castles

Work has taken over! Its depressing how little time I have had to sit down and work on my project life for the past couple of weeks, especially since there were plenty of fun moments that occurred. I had a study trip to the local castle, was bested by J at icing cupcakes for our 9AM seminar, went for an interview at Wimbledon (AND GOT THE JOB!), went home to house sit the dogs and H and the general times stuck in the library for 5-6 hours everyday.

So that is a fun down of the past couple of weeks. Unfortunately, with the stress that is writing an essay on Methods of Art History (worst topic ever), there simply were not enough photos to fill four spread. Be sad now.

But also be happy because the ones I did get are significant, rather than just fillers. I went for a cleaner look for these two weeks and kind of just put them all together, giving one page completely over to the pictures I took when we went to Kenilworth Castle. Lovely day out, G and I got driven there by our professor, whom we discovered is a maniac on the road.

So enjoy my 5oth Post on this blog! (WOAH)

week8_edited-1Yay for castles. It wasn’t so much a work thing as me not listening and taking hundreds of pictures. But L, G and I enjoyed ourselves and sure I must had learned something.

week 8This page is practically all Instagrams and one snap chat, lovely caring J sent to all our friends of me napping when we went home for a weekend. I need all the naps I can afford at the moment. Busy week had really taken it out of me.

Couple of Instagrams from when I went to London for my Wimbledon interview. That was a lot of waiting around for a ten minute chat with a very nice lady. But it went great and I found out a few days ago I got the job! Official employee for Wimbledon Championships 2014!

My favourite photo out of everything has to be this one however:

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This is Emmet! If any of you have not yet seen the Lego Movie, GO SEE IT NOW! It is completely brilliant. J and I went on Valentines Day as I mentioned and then, one early morning when we had had a blurry start to the day, J surprised me with one of those little packs where you don’t know what character you are going to get. And we were both fingers crossed, wishing and pleading for it to be Emmet. And what do you know, we had some luck with us that morning. As our lecture began, we were silently celebrating in childish excitement, trying to contain our amazement. So Emmet came on our road trip home and has experienced much of the world in his time with us. Everything is awesome! Expect to see more from him.

Hope it is awesome where you are!
Anna