A golden leaf tumbled down and hit the dark, cold gutter. The rain weighted down the still moonlit city. The humid smell of cut grass and damp soil crept across every building and burrowed in every crevice. A red fox crossed the roundabout and the dark silhouette stirred.
Rough fingers emerged from a thorn sleeve and pulled the hood even tighter over those scared eyes. Eyes that did not believe anything they saw but bore endless wisdom.
For those of you who don't know what UCAS is: UCAS is the system used in the UK to apply to colleges. Although I am living in Ireland I decided that I want to go study in either Wales or England and that is why I am using UCAS as opposed to the Irish CAO system. All you have to do for the CAO is to write a short personal statement (mine is below) and fill in some things like subjects you do or any jobs you might have. I finished and sent my UCAS application during the second half of september.
As I have said in an earlier post what I want to do is some kind of Marine Biology course and I've applied to the universities of Plymouth, Aberystwyth, Swansea, Newcastle and Southampton. So far my applications have been successful in Plymouth and Aberystwyth and unsuccessful in Southampton. I'm waiting on the other two.
To get into the universities I have gotten answers back all I need is a B or an A in Biology, a B in English and a C in maths, which shouldn't be too hard. However I haven gotten these last two days off school because of snow and I haven't picked up a book..=S As you will get to see from later posts I am a huge procrastinator.
So I am off to pretend to do some more school work while checking my email every ten minutes for god knows what. I don't even email people!
- Current Mood: lazy
I took my first plunge into the wonders of aquatic life when, aged eight, I visited Lisbon Aquarium for the first time. I vividly remember gazing through enormous glass windows at vibrant coloured fish, Cephalopoda and majestic sharks, amazed at their beauty. For months I had dreams where glowing football fish would chase me through the deep until I found myself in a coral reef.
Since then my love and interest for animals and nature has only grown stronger. After that first visit I started going fishing with my grandfather and spent hours in my garden looking for spiders. When a ‘grown-up’ asked me the famous question: “So, what do you want to do when you grow up?” I’d promptly answer, “I want to be a Marine Biologist” or “Biologist”, although back then I didn’t quite know what it meant.
The passage of time brought a lot of changes to my young life. In 2005 I moved to Ireland. I had no English and everything was new to me. However, I quickly settled in and adapted. As a result of that experience I welcome change and face the unknown with an optimistic outlook which has resulted in many new opportunities.
One of these opportunities was the chance to do transition year in the Irish Secondary School system. As part of transition year I was required to de three weeks of work experience. I chose National SeaLife Center and one of these three weeks.
I can gladly say that choosing SeaLife was one of the best decisions I have made so far. I rekindled my love for the aquatic world while learning valuable information. After my work experience period I was offered a part-time job as Aquarist which I still hold to date.
In SeaLife I have learned about animal biology and anatomy, various habitats, conservation issues and animal breeding. This is an area I am immensely interested in and would like to pursue and study in depth, alongside genetics and evolution.
As an outdoor person I know I would enjoy immensely the fieldwork dimension of the course. I am also very interested in physiology and animal behaviour. I also hope to acquire various IT and communication skills.
With a degree in Marine Biology I would be able to follow my dream of researching coral colonies and start my own ray and sea turtle breeding program, focusing on threatened species. I realize this is a very ambitious dream but I believe persistence and love for the job will pay off.
Jacques Cousteau once said “the sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever”, and I am happily tangled in its net.
©Claudia Cardoso 2010
- Current Mood:determined
What is beauty? I can gladly say that I have seen many things and many places in my short life. I have seen the wonders of the underwater world, the deepness of the desert and experienced the adventure of the Alps. While I consider all these places amazing, I think home is the most beautiful place of all. Home is not where you sleep, not where you have your possessions. Home is where you feel safe, where you fit in. For me, this beautiful place has always been my grandparent’s house.
On the outskirts of Lisbon, in a small fishing village called Cascais, stands a small, old house. This is the house where I spent every weekend of my childhood, where I yearn to live once again. As you open the black rusted gates you see a small white house covered in luscious green foliage. The porch is covered in cacti and behind the white house a black storage house looms over.
The storage house is made of black steel and is filled with furniture, the remnants of my grandparent’s furniture business. When I was little that was my favourite place to go. I used to hide in cupboards and explore the inner workings of a sofa bed for hours on end. However my favourite piece was a bar counter that was left gathering dust in a corner. I would spend whole afternoons sitting behind the counter, stamping papers and filling out fake invoices. Sadly, now no one goes into the storage room except for the dog. The furniture has been left to rot and the rugs to be eaten by rats. Although to a normal person this might not seem like a place of beauty, to me it represents joy and the memory of simpler days.
The small house in itself is beautiful. White walls and wooden framed windows. I used to think I was Red Riding Hood on my way to visit grandma. As you walk in you are met by a long wooden corridor which leads to the kitchen. In the kitchen stood a very old cream fridge. The fridge has been there since my father was born. Looking back through photo albums you can see my great grandmother and aunt standing by the glorious fridge. I loved that fridge. The very first thing I did when I got home was to open the fridge; I wasn’t looking for food or anything, it was just a simple comforting act that I had developed. Unfortunately, when I went back to visit my family last year, the fridge was gone. After forty years of work it had broken down and was replaced by a new pristine white fridge, which I loathe.
The little house has three bedrooms and a bathroom. My grandfather’s room, my father’s room, my aunt’s room and the family bathroom. My aunt’s room is the biggest and when she moved out my grandmother changed it into a dressing room. There are pieces of clothing scattered everywhere and countless pairs of high heels stacked on top of each other. Like any other girl I loved dressing up. I spent hours in that room trying on gigantic dresses and shoes while looking through my aunt’s old school books and exams. Although I’m much taller now and the room seems smaller, I still find that room amazing. The sheer grandeur of it awes me. It is truly a beautiful room.
Although there are three bedrooms in the house, my grandmother and I never sleep in them. We sleep in the living room. There are two red sofas with a white fluffy carpet between them and the television. When I was smaller I used to be able to sleep on the sofa, now that I am taller I camp on the fluffy carpet with two duvets and a small pillow. Every night after dinner, my grandmother and I make our beds, fetch some biscuits and tea and watch soap operas. Everyone else in the family hates soaps and, to be honest, I find them a bit ridiculous as well. However there is something comforting about watching them with a cup of tea and the fire roaring in the background.
Most people wouldn’t find a simple humble home beautiful and sometimes I wonder why. Is beauty what the T.V and magazines tell you it is or the place or thing that give you that warm fuzzy feeling inside? The world is full of must see “beautiful” wonders that only disappoint. I know everyone is entitled to their own opinion and, from my point of view, home is the place I consider most beautiful.
- Current Mood: nostalgic
I suppose a bit of background information on me would be a good idea although it would probably just send the reader of this piece jetting towards the 'X' button at the top of this page. As you are probabably aware by now my name is Claudia. I have just turned seventeen and although I have only been bobbing around the place for a little while, I like to think I've had many experiences. I was born in Portugal and that is where all my family is from and where most of my family still is. In 2005 I moved to Ireland with my parents, two little things I call sisters and a Jeep full of stuff including the first model of the X-Box and a vast collection of books.
Living in Ireland has been an experience. I started secondary school here as soon as I arrived. Over here it is called first year, in portugal 7th year. For three years I attended a mixed school which wasn't the greatest school in the world. The teachers were good and if it wasn't for them I wouldn't have learned English, but some of the students held everyone back. After being in Ireland a month I was already the best in the class at English and couldn't even speak it! Anyway I had great fun in that school, people punching holes through the walls, breaking doors and setting bins on fire, it was indeed great fun. Eventually my mother thought it was better to move me and I ended up in a Loreto school. For those readers who are not familiar with the education system in Ireland, Loreto schools are single-sex, feminine schools all around the country which have quite a good level of education.
I am now in my last year in Loreto and I must admit that I have loved every single day of it. I have been involved in English, Spanish and French debating, I have been a delegate at the Model European Union, I have participated in the Build a Bank challenge among other things. I have all these experiences to thank for, and I would also have never gotten a job as an aquarist, I'm sure I'll talk about it in later posts, if it wasn't for the work experience done through the school.
As you have already probably noticed I am a bit of a nerd. I'm hoping to next year move to England or Wales to do Marine Biology and luckily I have already gotten offers from Plymouth and Aberystwyth.
Anyway this post has gotten quite long and I just hope that anyone reading this will enjoy reading my blog and all my randomness.
- Current Mood: contemplative