The 2014-2015 academic year (at Winchester) is over, the assignments are marked (or almost) and we’re getting ready for the exam boards. This also means that our active in-session support is over. There will be no workshops, walk-ins, surgeries or guest lectures over the summer. We also won’t be running support appointments and tutorials by self booking. However, if you need support over the summer contact your tutor and/or email ELSTU@winchester.ac.uk and we’ll find a tutor to meet your needs.
It’s almost a post a day at the moment… Although, this is a short one. Keep the suggestions, questions, and ideas coming and we’ll keep the posts coming. We can’t do this without you.
So it’s the academic year is over, (at least almost over in the UK). Winchester finishes a little earlier than some other universities. Unfortunately that means we’re saying good bye to some students who are moving on to new opportunities and challenges. It’s perhaps natural to feel a mix of emotions at this time. Happy that you are reaching the next stage of your life. Sad that this stage is over. Anxious about what exactly the future holds. Please stay in touch.
Oh and we’re saying goodbye with Pizza because, that’s how we traditionally do it. I say traditionally because we don’t know why or who started it. It’s just what we do.
Based on a question that came up in tutorial this morning let’s look at Chalk and Cheese in English. This alliterative combination is unlikely to take the world by storm as a sandwich combination but it’s a useful idiom for expressing things that are different, (perhaps so different that they aren’t really comparable) despite perhaps seeming similar at some level.
Both chalk and cheese can be white (or a number of other colours) but there is really where the similarities end. Well except for both having a number of phrasal combinations in English that imply things to speakers.
Let’s start with Chalk and Cheese itself – they are nouns here (but can be other types of words depending on circumstance) two things that are very different and or incompatible. “Cynthia and Clive are chalk and cheese, you’d never believe they are related at all let alone brother and sister.” “Everyone thought Mike and Miriam would make a great couple, they seemed to have so much in common but they turned out to be chalk and cheese, they instantly despised each other.”
The big cheese: Noun – the boss of head of an organisation, sometimes used informally. “Tom always likes to sound like the big cheese in the pub quiz but it’s a team effort.”
Chalk it up: verb phrase idiom – (sometimes chalk it up to experience) It can mean to take note or observation of something often something that isn’t actually good at the time. “Andrew’s travel insurance doesn’t cover sports like skiing, but fortunately it’s only a black eye this time. He’ll chalk it up to experience and be more careful in future.”
To cheese somebody off: phrasal verb – to annoy or irritate someone. “That so-called newspaper really cheeses me off! You can’t trust a single word they print.”
Chalk stream: noun – this is an unusual geological feature, although very common in this part of Britain. Our local river the Itchen is a chalk stream. Chalk streams run through chalky hills, typically shallow and wide.
Cheesy: Adjective – silly jokes or ‘cheap’ laughs can be called cheesy. “I love cheesy jokes, especially like the ones you get in Christmas crackers. My sense of humour hasn’t really changed since I was six.”
Chalk Cliffs: Noun (Geology) – Dover especially has a long stretch of chalk cliffs, the famous ‘white cliffs’. “The painting is a classic and very English view, the channel with chalk cliffs in the background.”
Cheese eating surrender monkey: Noun – A pejorative nickname for the French coming out of American foreign policy when the French refused to join in an invasion of other countries supporting the US. Almost immediately it’s use became ironic.
Chalky: Adjective – if something is chalky it is dry and crumbly (like chalk). “This 8 year old cheddar cheese has a sharp tangy taste and a chalky texture.”
Other ways to express difference include:
Apples and oranges – things that are hard to compare “What do I prefer, coffee or wine, they’re apples and oranges really.”
Cats and dogs – people that don’t get along well “We always go to my wife’s family at Christmas, mine get on like cats and dogs. (N.B. “it’s raining cats and dogs out there” is now most often found in EFL course-books. You almost never hear it unless it’s being used ironically.)
Night and day – especially for dramatic differences or polar opposites “Buying a new TV was a brilliant idea, it’s like night and day compared to the old one.”
The weather, an obsession for us Brits, could hardly have been better for our trip to London yesterday.
We started the day visiting Harry Potter’s Kings Cross. Then walking, in a meandering fashion, to the British Museum through Bloomsbury passing the British Library and the Telecoms Tower, passing through Russell Square, and Cartwright Gardens two green oases in central London, and under the Senate House.
Once inside the British Museum we visited the Rosetta Stone, before giving our feet a rest. Then visiting the exhibits some of us saw the 8 Mummies 8 Lives exhibit, others went to the Defining Beauty exhibition. We also had time for lunch and some individual exploration of the permanent galleries.
The Mummies exhibition had a wide range of mummies (all Egyptian but from 700 to over 5000 years old). In some cases the mummification had been accidental, others an elaborate process and ritual. The advances in medical imaging technology really drove the discoveries that this exhibit was built around. This allowed much more careful and detailed analysis of the mummies and the items buried with them than would otherwise have been possible without more destructive techniques. One thing I hadn’t appreciated before was how important both youth and family was to the Egyptians.
Greek art especially statures has a special place in the development of European art. The Defining Beauty exhibit draws on the British Museums own collection but also has a number of pieces and replicas from other museums. It explores how the sculptors and thinking at the time has influence our ideas of beauty even today. The Greek ideals of youthful athletic fitness and outer perfection indicating inner moral goodness are still common in our society today.
Leaving the Museum by the main entrance we walked along Oxford Street where many UK shops have their flagship stores. We briefly visited the Argyle Arms to see the cut glass snugs that make this surprisingly large pub feel more cosy and private. Walked to Liberty’s and then down Carnaby Street, still centre for fashion although increasingly fashionable for restaurants and pubs.
Next we went to Hamleys, (a well-established and enormous toy shop with all kinds of toys covering every possible age group and interest). After which it was time for us to head home and luckily we got seats together on the train.
In J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series The Hogwarts Express – the fictional special train that takes apprentice wizards to school was said to leave from Kings Cross a real train station in London but from the special platform 9 3/4 (inaccessible to “muggles” – nonwizards).
Yesterday, The English Excursion Experience (part of the CEIS) visited platform 9 ¾ to head off to Hogwarts. No teacher likes to see their students go. However, if they are going off to become wizards…and having so much fun doing it.
We were lucky yesterday as we only had to wait about 10 minutes; (apparently, sometimes it can be much longer: even 45 minutes or more).
The room right next to the platform is called the Elphick room (pronounced ELF-ick) so we all know where Dobby would wait for the train. Look back at the first picture (near the top right corner).
After checking out the modern St Pancreas International we walked round to the Euston Rd side to admire the Victorian façade; (which wouldn’t be out of place in a Harry Potter film).
Later on we visited the British Museum and then the shopping districts of Oxford and Carnaby Streets but as you can see that’s a separate post.