To Teach Greatness: College Edition

Image my own.

We all have our motivators. We all remember the people who made us into who we are, who taught us how to work. For me, my motivation and inspiration goes back a few years. Seven years to be exact, to the day I started my A Levels. Some people come across their favourite teachers in school, or later on in university. I found mine somewhere in the middle.

Terry was my A Level Media Studies lecturer for two years, and also my English lecturer during the second year. He had an unrivaled ability to make you respect, fear and love him all at once. He was inspirational because he wasn’t aware of it. He wasn’t pompous or over invested in his own skills. He was honest, respectful and possessed that dry humour that couldn’t be found in any other classroom. Hands up if you remember the M&S advert with “not just ripe, juicy plums, M&S juicy plums”. No one ever wanted to disappoint him. He brought greatness out of us.

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Rules of a Blogger and things I learned this week – Sit quietly, agree politely.

Image my own.

Disclaimer: All views are my own and names/details are withheld for protection. Any links to my own life made by others are purely speculative.

Write things people agree with, is this what we should be doing? Writers have always wanted to write what they thought as truth, provoking reaction and debate among their audience. They also write what they know, sometimes in good jest and sometimes not. When it comes to bloggers, they can write about their own lives, their opinions, and even their dinner although I have never seen the temptation to do so as I live a life dominated by cheese sandwiches. It is a blog, not a newspaper so it must be understood that we have different rules.

We adapt to our medium, and we write what we think is best for it. The best way to be noticed, is to write something people may not agree with. But what happens when you have to take back what you said? The integrity of the written word becomes compromised. You can’t retract something if it wasn’t false information, so why should you do it because someone took it too far? If we write something then have to remove it, we also risk looking like a coward. Dang nabbit.

Most writers, reporters and journalists must adhere to a strict code of conduct, and there are lines that cannot be crossed for very obvious reasons. It includes such delightful consequences such as legal action and unemployment if we discuss too much. I don’t know about you but I can’t afford the legal fees as I’m not a natural blonde and I really need my roots done. Continue reading

Letters to Americans – Vladimir Putin’s letter to United States published in The New York Times

Original image property of Telegraph.co.uk

On the evening of September the 11th, The New York Times published a piece written by Vladimir Putin on it’s Op-Ed page. The piece, entitled “A Plea for Caution From Russia” set out to settle a few things that we may have been wondering during the course of the Syria crisis. The Op-Ed has gathered praise from many Americans, claiming that Putin makes more sense and conducts more of an intellectual and cohesive argument than President Barack Obama. It has also been called a gesture of sincerity towards the American nation.

However, it can be seen as a tactical move in Putin’s political operation. It is intelligent, smooth and targeting the American people directly. It’s also in The New York Times, so an implied notion of credibility is attached to it’s publication. By liaising with the American media, especially one such as the Times, Putin looks as if he is taking steps forward in becoming more of a friend to the nation. The whole piece seems rational, calm and a collected chain of well informed thoughts. Continue reading

Days before 9/11 anniversary, ‘War weary’ Obama faces hostile choices.

Original image property of The Washington Post Online

In the days before the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the United States is once again faced with grim conflict and images of war. Barack Obama is determined to hold Syria and the Assad regime accountable for an attack on August 21st which killed 1,429 of it’s own people, of which over 400 were children.

There is evidence which suggests that these civilians were victims to a chemical weapon known as Sarin gas. The gas causes a grisly death for it’s victims. The effect of Sarin is the paralysis of general lung function, the victims will experience suffocation, vomiting, and convulsions in the 15 minutes it will take them to die. This alone is a terror tactic to intimidate rebellion and terrify civilians into submissive assent.

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XOXO: Hey, Dan Humphrey, give me my personality back.

Original image property of The CW.

For a large part of my life I grew up with the characters of Gossip Girl. I was the target demographic of the show, and week upon week it enthralled me with it’s silly gossip, cruel scheming and sequin cardigans. I don’t know the meaning of guilty pleasures – anything I love, I love with little shame. Between the ages of 17 and 22, I was devoted to Chuck Bass and his scarf. Lies, I am still very much devoted. Anyone who watched the show liked to think they were a Blair, a Serena, or a Little J, in the same way people associated their personalities with Friends characters.

I could be Blair, I’ve lashed enough people with scolding remarks to be. I also like a headband. I could be Serena Van Der Woodsen, I’ve made enough stupid mistakes to be. I also like her hair. But no way could I ever be Dan Humphrey. So judgmental, so narrow minded, and such a wannabe. I could never be Dan Humphrey. Except, it seems that I am. Drat.  Continue reading