Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging

'Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging' is a fun teenage film which is currently being screened in local cinemas.
The film is based on a series of books written by Louise Renisson.
'Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal-Snogging' and It's OK, I'm wearing really big Knickers' are two popular books within the series that are available from CCLC libraries.
The action is seen through the eyes of Georgia Nicolsen. Georgia lives with her parents, younger sister, and a monstrous half-feral cat called Angus.
She has a close circle of friends. When 'sex-God' Robbie and his brother, Tom, move to Georgia's town, the girls dream up ways in which they can 'accidentally' bump into them.
Eventually, Georgia's best friend Jas starts dating Tom. But Robbie starts going out with Georgia's arch-rival Lindsay.
On top of this, Georgia's Dad has been offered a job in New Zealand and her mother seems to be getting extremely cosy with their new interior decorator.
Can things get better for Georgia?


Monday, 22 September 2008

More VCE study tips!

VCE is a stressful time. SACS, tests, essays, exams.....and of course more SACS - it can get pretty crazy! I've already gone through VCE so I know how stressful it can be, but the holidays are here so I hope you're having fun and relaxing!

I've added some hopefully helpful hints (some from my own experience) when you get back to studying.

1. Breathe. It may sound pretty obvious but sometimes you really need to take a deep breath. It's really easy to start having a panic attack when you have an assignment that's due next week that you haven't started yet. As well as a test at the end of the week. Oh, and also another SAC for English.

2. Get yourself a calendar! Hang it up on your wall, or in your cupboard, and write down when all your major assignments and exams are due! This way you can never be caught off guard about an assignment or exam. Also include the time of the exam.

3. Find a quiet place to study. Make sure it's also not cluttered. With siblings, this can be a bit hard. I often went to my local library to study.

4. Break things down. Just thinking about a major assignment is scary but if you break it down to little tasks, like "Step 1. highlight key words of essay, Step 2. Brainstorm main points for essay" and work from there then it's a little less scary.

5. Make a timetable. After school I'd always go home and make a timetable of what I needed to work on that night.
Eg. Monday 4.40 - 6.00pm Study the periodic table for chemistry: 6.10 - 7.30pm Practice maths questions. Use the ten minute break in between to destress.

6. Always remember to reward yourself! At the end of the day or week, reward yourself for studying or finishing a project. Like buying a new top, going to see a movie, or even reading a book!

7. Don't be afraid to ask teachers for help! Teachers are there to help you learn and understand, if you're having any troubles, ask a teacher or a friend.

8. Look for past exam papers - your school library should have some. These are extremely helpful!

9. What's your learning style? According to this "Learning Style" quiz created by the University of Melbourne I'm also a visual Learner. Click here to discover what kind of learner you are and how to best study!

10. Always try to keep notes and papers organised. I bought study cards (plain white cardboard cards about the size of a hand) and wrote down all the equations, examples and notes I needed to remember and took them with me everywhere. Whenever I got bored (like traveling on the bus to school) I'd just take them out and read them. I found if I kept doing this over time then I remembered and learned everything I needed to memorise.

11. Try doing some or ANY exercise - even if it means just doing a few sit ups during the ad breaks of The Simpsons.

12. Instead of staying up late to study, go to bed at a regular time and then wake up earlier.

13. Read the newspaper at school or the bulletin board - the newspaper, especially The Age's Education section (Thursdays) is always full of helpful information about study guides, study skill tips and exam tips.

14. I was very stressed with high school at times and I'm sure a lot of you doing VCE now (or going to) are stressed too. Talking to a friend always helps. I found it helped to talk about it with one of my friends, cause i discovered that she was also struggling and you feel better knowing you're not alone!

15. Once again Dr. Michael Carr-Gregg's book "Surviving Year 12" is really helpful - i still even have the notes! If you want more helpful hints on how to deal with surviving year 12 then I'd strongly recommend this book!

Don't worry if you don't do too well first semester, it just means you have to work a little harder next semester. I got 67% on a chemistry exam for my first semester. Even though I was upset by this, all it really meant was that I needed to focus more - and i got 87% at the end of the year!

Even if you don't know what you want to do, just try your best. And more important remember it's not the end of the world if you don't get the enter score you want or the course you want!

I'll be discussing the different ways of how to you what you want in my next post, so keep a lookout! Hope these tips helped, and be sure to add any of your own study tips in your comments!

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Low by David Bowie

Low, released in 1977, is an album by David Bowie. It was his eleventh studio album and it's commonly regarded as one of his best. Low is part one in a three part series known as the Berlin trilogy, the other two being Heroes and Lodger, and as good as those two albums are, this one is the best part of the series. Low went in a very different direction from his previous albums, because where previous albums concentrated almost entirely upon different styles of rock, Low was more electronic and ambient. Also, this album doesn't have many vocals, as the entire second half, and some of the first, is taken up by instrumentals.
Low opens with Speed of Life, with is an art rock instrumental. It's a great way to open the album. Next is Breaking Glass, which is the most rocking song on the album. Next is What in the World, which although is probably the weakest song on the album, is also great. That's followed by Sound and Vision, which was one of the singles from this album; it's a great song. Always Crashing the Same Car follows. It's about making the same mistake over and over; it's my favourite vocal tracks from Low. The last vocal track is Be My Wife, which is also great. So now the first half ends with A New Career in a New Town, which is also an art rock instrumental; I'd put it on par with Speed of Life.
For me, the second half is where the album shines most. The first song is Warszawa, a six minute ambient song that's meant to be about the desolation of Warsaw when Bowie went there. The following two songs, Art Decade and Weeping Wall, are also ambient instrumentals. They're excellent. The last track is Subterraneans, which is meant to invoke the misery of those in East Berlin during the Cold War. Towards the middle of this song, some sax comes in (played by Bowie). The sax adds a lot to this song and it's an excellent way to end the album.
This is my favourite Bowie album, with Ziggy Stardust a small step behind. BUY IT!


Aged 16 years

similar: Kid A by Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails and anything ambient.
Best place to listen to it: Anywhere. Best listened to loud with nothing to distract you., though.
rating: Fantastic

(I've ordered all 3 CD's in the trilogy and The Berlin Trilogy DVD, so ask at any CCLC Library to place a reserve!)

Monday, 15 September 2008

The Australian Centre for Youth Literature (ACYL) has released its shortlist for the 2008 Inky Award. This shortlist of 6 books (3 Australian and 3 international) was chosen from a longlist of 10 Australian books and 10 International books selected by the ACYL. The longlist was then read by a panel of six judges, who have wittled down that list to 6 titles. Voting has now commenced via the website http://www.insideadog.com.au/inkys/index.html and via SMS. The winners will be announced on Thursday 6 November. The winning Australian book will receive the Golden Inky and a cash prize, and the International winner will receive the Silver Inky.

Young people can vote either by SMS or online at http://www.insideadog.com.au/.
You don’t need to register or ‘join’ in order to vote, but you do need to submit a valid email address.
You can only vote twice – once for the Golden Inky and once for the Silver Inky. Every attempt will be made to prevent multiple votes.
The INKYS are a choice award for teenagers (12-18 year olds)

So here goes...

The Shortlist 2008

Town by James Roy

Everyone has a story.In Town, James Roy turns his hand to the short story, using it to explore the lives of the young residents of an Australian town. Love and loss, grief, humour and passion. Hope and hopelessness. Thirteen linked short stories, spanning a year in the lives of thirteen young people, from a town near you.

Shaun Tan, creator of The Arrival, The Lost Thing and The Red Tree, reveals the quiet mysteries of everyday life: homemade pets, dangerous weddings, stranded sea mammals, tiny exchange students and secret rooms filled with darkness and delight.

A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper

Sophie FitzOsborne lives in a castle on the tiny, barren island of Montmaray, along with her little sister Henry, her intellectual cousin Veronica, and her mad uncle, King John. It’s hard to imagine that anything from the outside world could ever intrude into their little kingdom, but it’s 1936 and the world is changing. When two strangers appear on the island, Sophie suddenly has to reassess everything she ever thought she knew, and her simple, uncomplicated life spirals out of control into a nailbiting adventure.

Genesis by Bernard Beckett
It’s 2075. Anaximander is a young Academy student, and she being examined. Her special subject is the life of Adam Forde. Through Anaximander’s answers, we start to learn more about the world we’re in. After a great war, a man named Plato fled to a tiny island and set up The Republic – sealed off from the rest of the world with a fence, mines, and sentry guards, two per tower. The first guard’s job is to shoot any approaching refugees on sight. The second guard is there to shoot the first, should he hesitate to carry out his task. One such guard was Adam Forde.This incredible book is about what it means to be human.

Boy Toy by Barry Lyga
Five years ago, Josh's life changed. Drastically. And everyone in his school, his town - seems like the world - thinks they understand. But they don't - they can't.
And now, about to graduate from high school, Josh is still trying to sort through the pieces. First there's Rachel, the girl he thought he'd lost years ago. She's back, and she's determined to be part of his life, whether he wants her there or not.
Then there are college decisions to make, and the toughest baseball game of his life coming up, and a coach who won't stop pushing Josh all the way to the brink.
And then there's Eve. Her return brings with it all the memories of Josh's past. It's time for Josh to face the truth about what happened.
If only he knew what the truth was.

Before I Die by Jenny Downham
Tessa has just months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, drugs with excruciating side-effects, Tessa compiles a list. It’s her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is Sex. Released from the constraints of ‘normal’ life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up. Tessa’s feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, and her new boyfriend, all are painfully crystallised in the precious weeks before Tessa’s time finally runs out.

Remember to READ and VOTE!!

Movie Review

My First Wedding

Starring Rachael Leigh Cook

'My First Wedding' is PG-13, about a woman Vanessa (Rachael Leigh Cook) who is engaged, but as her wedding day approaches everytime she sees a man she gets attracted to them... she goes to the church and confesses to who she thinks is a priest (who is actually just a carpenter).... the carpenter quickly becomes attracted to this young woman and continues to pretend that he is a priest hoping to have a meaningful relationship with her... he tries to stop the wedding thinking that Vanessa would fall for him... what do you think would happen next??

If you want to know a little bit about me then here it is... my name is Rachel and I am doing work experience here in Hampton Park Library... well mainly my hobbies are singing, reading and hanging out with friends... my favourite subject in school would probably be maths though because i am quite good at it LOL anyway thats all really...


age: 15 years

Similar movie to She's all That and License to Wed
Rating: Fantastic

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Need Help with VCE?

Are you in year 11 or 12 and struggling with SACS and assignments? Freaking out about exams? Stressing about getting a good enter score? Year 11 and 12 are two of the hardest years of high school (okay, so year 7 is pretty scary) but we've got lots of stuff to help you survive it!

One of the best books that helped me get through year 12 (and stay sane!) was Michael Carr-Gregg's Surviving Year 12 - a sanity kit for students and their parents - it's got lots of info and tips on how to deal with stress, how to organise and prepare for exams and study effectively.

We've also got heaps of study guides and checkpoint books for different subjects including Legal Studies, Maths Methods, Chemistry, Economics, Health and Human Development, Business Management, Psychology, History and LOTS more!!
Just click here for the list of all the checkpoints: Checkpoints

If you need some more help with other subjects, these are some good sites to visit.
Sparknotes - this site is great if you're looking for summary notes, character and theme analysis for english.
Cliffnotes - this site has lots of study guides on pretty much every subject including chemistry, accounting, maths and psychology.
VCE Help - this site is all about dealing with VCE and it's got great tips for students, with plenty of information on what to do and what not to do!

I've also got a list of some other books to help you. We have all of these books available in our catalogue - and if they're not on shelf then you can just place them on reserve!
- How to pass exams
- How to study and learn: your practical guide to effective study skills
- Essay Writing for English Tests
- Stressed Out

You can also get help from an online tutor that's available through our website at http://www.cclc.vic.gov.au/
The online tutor allows to chat with a tutor about any homework troubles you have! But remember this service is only available Mondays to Fridays between 4pm - 8pm.

So you see, there's plenty of resources to help you out and I hope I've helped a little!
Best of luck!

Monday, 1 September 2008

Meet Nick!

Hey guys, Nick here! I am one of the many contributors to this awesome blog we've got going here, and everything that we do is for you guys, the young guns of Casey and Cardinia.
Now a little bit about me, I'm not that exciting so this won't take too long :P

For starters, I've worked for the library for about 4 years now, I started as a shelver at good ol' Endeavour Hills Library. I knew I wanted to keep working for the library so I applied to be a J-LO, yes that's right....(Junior Library Officer), and for the past 18 months or so I've been checking out your books and finding your holds and helping you with school projects, AND LOVING IT!! I'm also on a committee now that is investigating some snazzy new signs for our libraries so that everything is as user friendly as can be.

I love working at the library because it means I get to interact with a huge range of people; all ages, all nationalities, all types of young people (goths, emos, muzzas, bookworms, high school drama queens and alike) LOL. I also get to see all of our newest books, music, and movies as they come in, so as you can imagine, i'm pretty lucky :P

As for me, I love cars and I love music (Chili Peppers, Parkway Drive, AFI, Placebo - the list goes on), and I love reading and drawing portraits! I'm currently looking forward to seeing the Butterfly Effect play at the Hallam Pub in October, can't wait mate!

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