Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cambridge interviews pt.2

This is the second part of my 'Cambridge experience'. The first part is here.

As I waited for my second interview in a waiting room, I listened to a conversation between two interviewees. They discussed Mill and utilitarianism; one of them said they'd asked her about it during the interview completely out of the blue. This worried me.

After being called in, I sat down on yet another sofa. This room was even cosier than the last and there was a fireplace with that weird fake fire. Again, I had Googled the interviewers: Dr Juliet Foster is Director of Studies in PPS and seems to focus on mental health, i.e. the psychology component of PPS. Dr James Warren is Director of Studies in Philosophy and a Classics lecturer, which concerned me slightly before the interview as I know nothing about Classics. Fortunately, none of that came up.

As usual, the order of the impending interview was explained.

Then James Warren began:

"Why do you think AV failed?", he asked.

Not again… But I came up with different answers, as it was after all a different question, and I spoke about how the timing was wrong and it was simply a Lib Dem attempt to justify their role in the coalition. Now more than ever, it's the economy (stupid) that matters to voters, and the 'Yes' camp failed to link constitutional change with economics - or any practical necessity for the electorate. The debate was overly theoretical, for political pundits only - a Westminster bubble. I also mentioned the unpopularity of Nick Clegg and how a 'No' vote was seen by some as an opportunity to express their anger at him specifically.

Juliet Foster took over, and asked the rather neat question of how my A-Level subjects (English Literature, Economics, Government & Politics) related to the Cambridge course - apart from Politics, obviously. I touched upon the importance of voters' psychology in politics and psychology in literature. The reader is offered an insight into the writer's psychology, while the writer must explore the reader's psychology in order to provoke reactions and emotions. I suggested that theories in psychology are illustrated by characters and, as we are currently studying 'Othello' in English, how the relationships between Othello and his wife, as well as with Iago, is a prime example of this.

James Warren presented another hypothesis for me to consider.

"A group of people go on a camping trip. Each person brings an object: tent, stove, pans, etc. They use each other's things without asking for payment. Shouldn't all of society be based on this?"

What a bloody strange question. Firstly, I thought it was clear in my personal statement that I was a fluffy lefty and I therefore suspected they'd stun me with right-wing arguments. Yet this was the most socialist question I could imagine. Secondly, I thought he was going to say that one person didn't bring anything and they all let him or her use their things anyway. But he didn't.

For some reason, I felt a bit cocky and annoyed with the question. Accordingly, I told him that the more interesting question would have been, as I wrote above, if one person hadn't bought anything to share. Following from that, I clearly remember saying,

"I would dispute the premise of your question. There is a payment, it simply isn't a monetary one. It is more similar to a barter system: they are each exchanging the use of their own good for the use of someone else's."

He looked a little shocked as I realised my tone wasn't wholly polite - and definitely not shy. Somehow, this turned into an argument, in which I argued that all people are selfish and the number of good deeds done by someone relates to their level of compassion, not their level of selfishness. Although he completely disagreed with me, he wouldn't argue back, he'd only say,

"You have a very pessimistic view of the world."


"That's very negative."

It's not negative, but he wouldn't listen to my reasoning. That pissed me off.

Juliet Foster handed me a piece of paper. The first half was covered by a series of drawings: owls, then cats. She informed me that it was a study by someone called Bartlett (I'd never heard of the guy), who asked a number of Cambridge students to replicate the previous drawing. She asked me to explain why he did this experiment and what it showed.

I looked at the little drawings. She told me that the first one was of an Egyptian owl; it was white. The drawing had evolved, ending up as a black cat and acquiring a little bow along the way. From this, I said that Bartlett was exploring the psychology of perception. She nodded vigorously. Phew, I thought. It's the only type I've read about. I followed this by saying that the psychologist was exploring how much of themselves the students put in to how they perceive things. For instance, I speculated that the students were more accustomed to seeing cats than Egyptian owls, and that was why they drew an animal that was more recognisable to them.

"Is there anything else you can see?", she asked, as if I was looking into a crystal ball.

"I can see that one participant decided to introduce a bow around the animal's neck. A modern trend is to humanise one's pets."

For some reason I made a joke about Paris Hilton and dogs in tracksuits. I actually said the words Paris Hilton. Bit embarrassing, so I made up for that one by trying to think of a long word: "There seems to be a fashion nowadays of anthropomorphism".

On the bottom half of the page was some kind of superhero mask that didn't look like much to be honest. She asked me to guess what the next drawings would be, if the Bartlett's experiment were enacted with this particular drawing. I noticed something:

"On the bottom are the words 'Portrait d'homme', which is french for 'portrait of a man' or 'man's face'."

The drawing was rigid, made up of straight lines, which is why it resembled a mutant ninja turtle (the eyes were like those blindfolds with eye holes). I came up with the idea that the lines would be softer, curved, if a person drew it now. Essentially, I talked rubbish. That was the end of the interview.

The point is you will never guess what they're going to ask you. You have no power in that respect. All you can do is read widely and think about things critically. Oh, and actually read what you've claimed to have read in your personal statement. In her Oxford interview, my cousin was asked to quote from the book and, as she'd only read Sparknotes on it, she couldn't. She wasn't accepted - it probably wasn't down to that, but it can't have helped.

Cambridge interviews pt.1

Edit: This post may be better-titled 'How not to get into Cambridge' as I was rejected last week. Still, it's an idea of what kind of questions they ask.

I'm applying for Politics, Psychology and Sociology at Cambridge college Corpus Christi. I'm not expecting to get in, but I'm giving it a go regardless. My first interview was with Dr Sarah Fine and Ms Julie Walsh. A few weeks previously I had done a mock interview with a UCL Professor, in which I was advised to research my interviewers and look into their interests. I did this and, although it wasn't tremendously helpful for predicting their questions, it was comforting as I knew what to expect to some extent. Sarah Fine was, according to my research, particularly captivated by the ethics of citizenship and morality with regards to refusing immigrants. Julie Walsh seemed to focus on data and methods of collecting data.

I entered the small room and sat down on the sofa. Whereas I was expecting, à la History Boys, to be conducting this in a large room, in which I would sit on a solitary chair and the interviewers would bark questions from metres away behind a long desk, this was not the case. It was similar to a old lady's tiny sitting room: a wardrobe, lamps, armchairs and the sofa. We were less than a metre away from each other. Should I perch and risk looking uncomfortable and nervous, or should I lay down as if it were a chaise longue? I attempted to compromise and settle for a position that was neither scared nor arrogant.

Sarah Fine told me in which order the interview was to be held - first, your personal statement, then a question from Julie Walsh and lastly a question from herself.

"You say in your personal statement that you campaigned during the AV referendum. Which side was that on?"

"I was Yes to AV."

"And why was that?"

I gave arguments as to why I had been for a 'Yes' vote last May: fewer safe seats, giving the third parties a fairer chance (First Past The Post was only appropriate when we had a two-party system), the possibility of reducing voters' disenfranchisement, etc. All straightforward and frankly boring stuff so far. She obviously thought so too as she interrupted me and I was handed over to Julie Walsh.

"I'm going to ask you to imagine this situation. You are a researcher and the UN asks you to test the hypothesis 'globalisation makes people unhappy'. How would you do this?"

Oh. Dear. That's it, this is a disaster. My mind goes blank. What is globalisation - what is unhappiness, even? Wait, what was the question?

"I'm going to have to think this one through before I answer, sorry."

"That's fine", she says.

Right, globalisation and unhappiness. She's interested in data collection, that must be what she wants to know. How would I go about proving or disproving it? A survey is the most obvious answer, I think. But you can't simply ask people the question once, or you'd be testing their mood rather than their happiness. I remember that everyone tells you that the interviewers want to hear your thought process, rather than a short and polished answer - so I begin to voice my thoughts aloud. I spoke about conducting a survey, and how one may want to investigate long-term satisfaction with their lives as opposed to the mood they happen to be in. Therefore, you'd ask the question repeatedly… maybe.

The previous day's economics class came to mind, and I said that one could look at welfare indicators that already exist. Human Development Index, HDI, is one example - education, life expectancy, standards of living. Compare these statistics with the different ways and lengths to which each respective country is affected by globalisation. Then find correlations between them. I am blabbing and I sound moronic, I think.

She interrupts, "Should the government pay attention to people's happiness?"

"Yes, I think it is both necessary and right, and this is precisely what government is for: improving society."

Before I am able to elaborate, Sarah Fine interjects:

"Are countries like Egypt responsible for their own citizens' happiness?"

Hmm, why would she refer to Egypt specifically? Mubarak, of course, his being overthrown and his upcoming trial.

"Do you mean 'should Mubarak be tried at the ICC or in an Egyptian court?'"

She waves away my question, "if you like".

Why did I say that? I don't even know what my view is on that. I steer away from it, and instead reply by evoking the issues of humanitarian intervention. I posed rhetorical questions, such as whether Blair's wars (Afghanistan, Iraq, even Kosovo to some critics) did and are doing more harm than good, and said that the difference in the Libya intervention is that the rebels asked for help.

"Ok, thanks."

The interview ends after just 25 to 30 minutes, and I feel it went badly. The things I said were too obvious, too simplistic. Oh well, better luck at the next one...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Occupy Oakland pt 2

If you've read my previous post, you'd have seen that I was mortified upon watching two videos (here and here) showing police teargassing protesters at Occupy Oakland. Yesterday, an article in the Guardian reported that the man on the floor (that can be seen at the end of this video) is called Scott Olsen. He's 24, an Iraq war veteran and now in critical condition "after allegedly being hit by a police projectile".

A video of Olsen being hit, laying on the ground, then police using a flash bang grenade to disperse those attempting to help him, can be seen on Youtube. It's important that this kind of evidence is public, so that people can speak out against this happening, and that's one facet of social media we can be thankful for. This is scary. Western democracies (or 'democracies'?) are behaving as the world's moral compass, yet this kind of unjustifiable violence is happening right in front of our eyes.

Let's hope Scott Olsen gets better, and hope too that this terrible incident causes some police to think again when they use tactics that inflict pain. Already it has prompted an "independent police review", as another Guardian article reports.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Occupy Oakland

This morning, Dorian Lynskey posted this on Twitter:

It links to this video, which shows peaceful protesters of the Occupy movement in Oakland, California, being teargassed - seemingly for no obvious reason and certainly having no justification. The police say at one point during the video that the protesters have formed an "unlawful assembly" - so much for civil rights (including freedom of assembly) being upheld in the US.

The movement began in New York as Occupy Wall Street, but the slogan 'We are the 99%' seems to have caught the attention of activists and others around the world - over 900 cities worldwide, in fact.

Another video can be seen on the Guardian, in this article, which claims: "police used teargas and baton rounds to break up the camp".

This outrageously heavy-handed response from the police must be condemned quickly, and by everyone. Neither the 99%, nor even the 1%, deserve to be treated like this.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Discuss the claim that appointments to the Supreme Court are the most important appointments a president makes

Article Two of the U.S. Constitution declares that the President "shall appoint… Judges of the supreme Court". The handling of the President's nomination is then passed on to the Senate Judiciary Committee, similar to the U.K.'s Judicial Appointments Commission, which produces a report following hearings and interviews of the prospective Justice. Lastly, a vote is held in the Senate in which the deciding verdict is confirmed: rejection or approval.

The Twenty-second Amendment means that no President can serve more than two terms, yet a Justice has no fear of reprisal as the occupation entails indefinite tenure. A large majority of Justices only stop serving upon dying. Hence, an appointment can be considered a President's lasting legacy.

Presidents largely nominate people with similar political dispositions as their own. Ronald Reagan's notable nomination of Antonin Scalia is an example of a conservative President leaving a conservative imprint upon the judiciary. Scalia is known for taking a strictly originalist view of the Constitution, has been called a homophobe by Congressman Barney Frank and is widely admired by conservatives. Due to there being no requirements for the position, technically a President can nominate anybody - arguably a great power.

The Supreme Court has a considerable impact on American life. The bicameral legislature's role is to make laws, but most of the legislation proposed in Congress is not passed. During the last Congress (the 111th), only 3% of bills were enacted. The Supreme Court's much faster process involves both the interpretation of the codified laws and the creation of case law. Its decisions have enormous impact - landmark cases, such as Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka which was central to ending racial segregation, shape the liberties and rights of Americans for decades to come. These appointments are a President's only way of influencing those outcomes.

On the other hand, Presidents can often only appoint one or two Justices. Four Presidents have appointed none at all. This contradicts the claim that these are the most important appointments a President makes - as it assumes that every President has this opportunity. Appointments can also have unintended effects, when the views of Justices evolve or the fact that there are political conservatives who are judicial liberals is not appreciated. Contrary to Reagan's nomination of Scalia, that of Anthony Kennedy largely did not fit with expectations. Despite Kennedy's conservatism, he has been at the forefront of many liberal rulings. His siding with the liberal members in Lawrence v. Texas is one example, as this led to Texas' sodomy law being struck down. Eisenhower once said that his appointment of Earl Warren as Chief Justice was "the biggest damned-fool mistake" he had ever made. The Warren Court presided over cases that advanced social progress significantly, bringing an end to state-sponsored prayer in schools (Engel v. Vitale), racial segregation (Brown v. Board of Education) and the introduction of a requirement to benefit from publicly-funded counsel to defend themselves (Gideon v. Wainwright).

There is also a limit to President’s power due to the process of interviews and the Senate vote. Harriet Miers’ nomination by Bush was withdrawn when the interviews highlighted her inexperience and it became clear that the Senate would not vote in her favour. Concerns over Miers' lack of judicial knowledge fuelled the discontent on both sides of the political spectrum. Therefore, while in theory there is no obvious criterion which prospective Supreme Court judges must meet, there are many expectations of them in practice.

Lastly, many take the view that the U.S. government's executive, rather than judiciary, is the core of power. There is no elected cabinet unlike in the U.K., hence the President's appointments of the members of his cabinet may be more important than Justices.

How powerful are the governors of U.S. states?

The Massachusetts governor was rated the most powerful of the fifty by the University of North Carolina political science professor Thad L. Beyle. The position that Mitt Romney formerly held entails unlimited four year terms. After Romney chose not to run for a second term he was replaced by Deval Patrick. As a result, the Democrats controlled both the executive role and the statehouse for the first time in 16 years - giving them a considerable amount of power in Massachusetts.

As well as the factor of whether the governor's party controls the legislature, the extent of an individual governor's power also depends on that state's constitution. For instance, in some states governors have the power to hire and fire state employees. This ability can cause controversy. In Maryland a few years ago, the statehouse Democrats accused the Republican chief executive Robert Ehrlich of dismissing 340 state workers on the basis of partisanship.

New Jersey's governor was particularly powerful before 2009, as until then the post was the only elected top state official. This was changed in 2009 when Chris Christie was elected governor of New Jersey and ran with Kim Guadagno, who became the state's first lieutenant governor. The job was created following an amendment to the New Jersey State Constitution.

While some governors can even appoint employees in other sectors (such as education, health and transport), the Texas governor is unable to make such key designations and has limited power.

Nonetheless, all governors have bully pulpits - they are important figures and therefore can easily capture the media's attention. This is arguably a great power within itself.

Why is a governorship a sound basis for presidential candidacy?

It was reported in Esquire that everyone on Jon Huntsman's campaign has been asked to call him "Governor", "because governors become Presidents". In total, seventeen U.S. Presidents have been former Governors.

Governors have had executive experience, and voters may think that if you can lead a state, you can lead a country. Holding the position of Governor is similar to being President - they are rather like Presidents of their own states after all. On the other hand, Sarah Palin is frequently accused of being too inexperienced, despite having been Governor of Alaska, and Barack Obama had only been a Senator for one term before being inaugurated as President.

Apart from New Hampshire and Vermont, states hold gubernatorial elections every four years. This is one advantage over Congressmen (although not over Senators), who are only secure for two years, because it guarantees that Governors will be politically relevant for longer periods of time. It will help greatly that the candidate is well-known, having enjoyed a relatively high profile thanks to media attention over some years. There are only 50 state governors, easier for the common voter to remember than 100 Senators or 435 Congressmen. But, again, Obama defied this presumption by being relatively unknown when he won his candidacy.

Nevertheless, if a Governor is running for Presidency a voter will have a better idea of which policies they'd implement, where they position themselves on the political spectrum and, perhaps, their capability in a crisis. All these are far more applicable to former Governors than Senators for example, who are merely legislators tucked away in their ivory towers.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Rick Perry's chances

At the time of writing, 'Real Clear Politics' show Rick Perry's poll ratings to be the highest of all the runners for Republican Presidential nomination. Since the Governor of Texas entered the race he has topped the polls, pushing ahead past the other front-runner Mitt Romney. Perry and Romney have consistently been first and second respectively, leaving the rest of the candidates trailing behind and turning the campaign into a two-horse race.

Perry's tendency to be outspoken has led to accusations of a lack of intelligence. One nickname he has acquired is "Governor Goodhair", implying that he looks the part but his appeal is chiefly superficial. Perry is not exactly an ideas man, and is perpetually surrounded by scores of advisers. His policy focus as Governor has been on jobs and business and not much else (save the continually re-emerging and much-regretted initiative of making the HPV vaccine compulsory for Texan girls).

One of the problems Perry has is his resemblance to former President, George W. Bush. The remark is often made that the similarities are numerous: their positions as Governor of Texas, their manner of speaking and their perceived stupidity are some examples. Perry and his team have repeatedly tried to distance his image from Bush's, providing opposing outlooks on key issues such as immigration. During one campaign trail, Perry skilfully used the comparison to highlight the difference in class. Asserting his authenticity as a true cowboy Texan, he told the press “I went to Texas A&M. He went to Yale.” (Some may say this was a little unusual for a Republican - to start a 'class war'.) However there is no denying that Americans will be reminded of Bush while the provocative conservative speaks with the same voice and gestures. But maybe the caricature is not so worrying. If Perry is the new Bush, Romney is the new McCain - and only one of these became President.

The two men have also both been advised by Republican strategist Karl Rove, although their relationship is tense to say the least. Their 'feud' could have serious repercussions; a National Journal article by Alex Roarty noted that Rove was an "influential gateway to the donor community Perry must tap". It doesn't seem likely that they'll become best buds any time soon. Only recently Rove joined in with the recent criticism of Perry's views on Social Security, calling them "toxic". Democrats and Republicans alike condemned the Governor's declaration that the retirement program was a "Ponzi scheme".

This was not the first instance of Rick Perry's controversial views being rounded upon - in August, Perry called the measure of quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve "almost treacherous — or treasonous… we would treat [Ben Bernanke] pretty ugly down in Texas". Karl Rove intervened here too, saying that it wasn't done to insult the chairman of the Federal Reserve. Defending the un-Presidential comments, Perry said somewhat lamely, “Look, I’m just passionate about the issue".

Nevertheless, Rick Perry is irrefutably attractive to the Tea Party faction of the Republican Party, and evangelicals as a whole (being devoid of fear in mixing church and state). Mitt Romney on the other hand is regarded with suspicion by many Republicans, seen as a moderate despite having criticised Roe vs Wade in the past, being pro-capital punishment and opposing same-sex marriage.

Yet apparent 'lightweight' Rick Perry could be under real threat from Mitt Romney. After all, Perry only formally declared his candidacy just over a month ago, giving him a short-term advantage. Romney has money, lots of it, which is always valuable in running expensive campaigns. He came second-place last time, which is always a good position to be in. Furthermore, having adopted New Hampshire as his must-win state, he is in a strong lead there. Having allocated himself as the moderate candidate, Romney presumably hopes to split the conservative votes between the vast choice presented to the electorate (Rick Perry, Michelle Bachmann, Ron Paul, etc). Most importantly perhaps - as former candidate Tim Pawlenty has pointed out - "Romney runs a little better against Barack Obama".

Whilst Romney has the ability to win votes from moderate Democrats and independent voters, Perry may scare them off. In contrast, the longest-serving governor in Texas history, who has never lost an election, may have a high probability of winning this race - but it'll be a far greater challenge to overthrow Obama.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hackgate resignations

I'm going to keep a list of resignations over #hackgate.
Expect this to be updated soon.

  • John Yates - 18 July 2011 - was Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner
  • Sir Paul Stephenson - 17 July 2011 - was Metropolitan Police commissioner
  • Les Hinton - 15 July 2011 - was CEO of Dow Jones & Co
  • Rebekah Brooks - 15 July 2011 - was CEO of News International
  • Tom Crone - 13 July 2011 - was legal manager at News International
  • Andy Coulson - 26 January 2007 and 21 January 2011 - was News of the World editor, then was Prime Minister's Director of Communications

Sunday, July 17, 2011

How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran

There has been a massive buzz around this book, in fact it could be better described as a clamour. On Twitter, anyway. I myself was quite looking forward to reading her new semi-autobiographical novel, full of feminism and funniness - yes, both! Simultaneously!

I didn't buy it because I felt guilty reading that when I have a million books to read for A-Levels. Shit, I'm feeling guilty right now. But then someone offered to lend it to me and I thought this was a sign it was meant to be, or something.

It's called 'How To Be A Woman'. Now, I wasn't expecting an instruction manual as such, but a little more direction would have been great. Am I not her target audience?

I'll start from the top. The aesthetics. Call me old-fashioned, but I can't stand the CAPITALS FOR EVERY PUNCH-LINE USED IN ORDER TO REALLY EMPHASISE THAT IT'S FUNNY or the italics or the repeated punctuation?????!!!!!!!!!!!!! Perhaps that is supposed to appeal to me, as a 17 year old female, but it really doesn't. I suppose Caitlin Moran is just too enthusiastic for me. And here lies my basic problem with the book: we're too different. Now, I know this isn't her fault. She couldn't have written the book as anyone else but herself, after all. But I don't think there are many that will be able to relate nowadays. I'll explain.

She grew up with a big family with an interminable number of sisters (although she only ever speaks of one, awkward), living up north, or wherever Wolverhampton is. As a Londoner and an only child from a single-parent family, I just can't sympathise with her experiences when she was younger. But also, the fact that her mother didn't even explain about periods for example is simply not relevant to teenagers today. We must be becoming more liberal about that kind of thing, because I didn't know of anybody, when I was 13 or thereabouts, who was that naive. People just know this stuff now, it's everywhere - in school I suppose, as well as being talked about more freely by their parents. Just ingrained in culture, in TV programmes, in adverts.

Then a teenage Caitlin moves to London, having miraculously found work at the Melody Maker. She doesn't explain how she does this though, which is what would actually interest me as someone who is yet to enter working life. Now that she's in London, and older, I should really be able to 'get her' a bit more. But there's another factor that just doesn't appeal to me: her desire to look cool. Now I hate those kind of people, the cool kids, that do things just to have them reported on Facebook afterwards. It's one of the many reasons I don't have any friends. They annoy me no end - and you probably think that's just because I'm not cool, and I'm jealous. That may be true. But it still pisses me off, when a grown woman writes "and then I went outside and had a fag" to round off every anecdote. I'm going to sound like a biology teacher here, but smoking isn't cool. I lose hope whenever I witness people 10, or more, years older than me, who still like to brag about how many drinks they had last night or how they are just sooo addicted to cigarettes and have tried to quit like a milliooon times but just can't do it!

I was previously under this illusion that people grew out of that stage, but I've discovered that they really do not. It's a shame, because it bores me terribly. Do what you like to do, and enjoy it. If you like smoking, all right. If you don't, okay. Neither is a particularly fascinating add-on to a story.

Also, her love for Lady Gaga is a massive turn-off. Her music is terrible; reminiscent of Eurotrash. I wouldn't be surprised if Lady Gaga were secretly a talented musician, but this fails to appear in her chart-toppings songs. Why doesn't Caitlin Moran, a former music journalist, recognise this? Then there's the 'Gaga' personality - oh but she is interesting and quirky, some of you may be thinking. No, she isn't: anyone can carry around a vintage-looking teacup and wave with only one finger. She's pretentious, and worse, she doesn't admit it. From the moment she declared on Jonathan Ross "I'm inspired by no one", I could not take her seriously. Her stage name is taken from Queen, her lightning bolt make-up from Bowie and her 'mermaid in a wheelchair' routine from Bette Midler. Which is all fair enough (sort of) if you 'fess up, but Lady Gaga hasn't done that.

Ultimately, as Hector in The History Boys says,

"The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - that you'd thought special, particular to you. And here it is, set down by someone else, a person you've never met, maybe even someone long dead. And it's as if a hand has come out, and taken yours."
For me, there weren't many of these moments. I started reading it thinking I was her target audience - after all, I needed to know How To Be A Woman, right? But I now realise that her reader should actually be someone of her age. My mother very much enjoyed it. But my mother already knows how to be a woman.