Zero to Hero

Writing my first 50

So I’m rather new  to reading content on other blogs, but today I found this amazing blog about a boy with a hat, that everyone else has probably seen before; but if not it’s definitely worth a read!

I also found a related writing challenge and just could not resist having a go at it because I know how much I blab on when I blog. But I think I actually managed it, my first ever fifty word blog post.

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Zero to Hero

Today’s assignment: consider what you want to accomplish with your blog.

I blog because I find it hard to express myself to people in person. It’s definitely been a very handy tool for me when trying to arrange and process my own thought pattern. In all honesty I normally start with a phrase and then bulk up the post around that idea until hey, I’ve got enough material down that someone else might actually enjoy reading it, or trying to relate to how I feel. I like blogging because people don’t judge me. I feel I can talk about whatever I want to and no one is going to embarrass me by trying to discuss my rant of the month. Nobody can ‘dislike’ my posts and everyone here has always seemed very positive with their feedback. If my blog was  going to exceed my widest of dreams I’d post every day. I always feel better when I hit

POST.

It’s like I’ve grabbed a giant iron from the shelf and smoothed out the current problem that’s been eating away at me. I’d love to have followers, but I’d really just like people to like what I’m writing about. Or, if they don’t like it, I’d like them to tell me what I could change. So here are my three concrete goals that I want to achieve. 1. Post often. I always said I was going to try and make it at the very least I weekly thing! I want to be comfortable in the topics I  write about and then actually get round to writing about them. 2. Comment more. I always say I wish more people would comment of what I write, but then I think I’ve only ever posted a handful of comments on other peoples blogs. I’d like to comment more so people are encouraged to continue pleasing me with their blog posts. 3. Gain some followers. Because I’ve always been so hopeless at this on every other social networking site. I mean how do people actually become Facebook famous? It’s beside me. I’d like to gain more followers so I actually feel like people are pleased to read my blog posts. I already feel better for blogging, but I’d quite like people to say they’re backing me on this blogging journey, that they too are in it for the long run. So,

Let the challenge begin!

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Boys, Uncategorized, Zero to Hero

Why I hate the music department

The music department; a completely exclusive sector of the school. Nobody ventures there, without an invitation or a death wish. The outside is guarded by a dinner lady and inside there are enough sixth formers to take you alive… At my old school we only had a music room so my expectations of the place were already rather high.

I think it’s important to note that in my old school I had a major role within the music division, playing guitar and also having grades in singing. I thought the transition between the music ranks of two schools would be an easy one, however I was sorely mistaken. All of the posters promise to make comers accepted, and yes I was allowed inside the department, but what good is it making it inside if nobody wants you there?

The Music Rule:

If you didn’t take make music at A-level and/or attend the school since the age of eleven, you will never make it. Ever.

And even if you do fit into one of these bands there’s no guarantee that the inner circle varsity jumper will fit. Chances are if you take A-level music and are too shy to push yourself forward into the front row of the choir you’ll never be noticed, and when you’re not noticed you end up being ignored.

I tried hard last year, scraping entrance on to the set of the Christmas Mass. Admittedly I was sat at the back next to the Y13 boy who nobody else dared sit next to, but I was present and participating!
I was less successful with the end of year show. I auditioned and waited hopefully for some recognition. Nothing… Not a sausage.
If I hadn’t done grades in music I would have been worried I wasn’t because I couldn’t sing and they were hoping that if they ignored me I’d go away. But grade 6 singing, previous experience as a Vontrap child, numerous ‘end of year’ performances, St Michaels got talent, carol concerts, solos. If I wasn’t good surely not all these people would have been kind enough to give me such opportunities?

How likely is it that my examiner for my last singing grade said:
‘Now that last girl who just performed for her Grade 6, I have a horrible feeling that if we don’t give her it now she’ll just keep coming back. Yes, yes, I know she’s completely tone deaf, but she tried so hard, and I really don’t want to hear it again next month. So what do you say, go on, hit print, give it to her now, you know you want…’
NOT VERY LIKELY!

And grade 6 wasn’t the first singing grade I’d done! There’d have to be a good few corrupt music examiners across a variety of prestigious music boards to play out that fantasy.

So they’re just rude not say anything, not to say yes or no, plain rude.

I think I mentioned before there’s only me and one other boy in my A2 physics class (and if I haven’t, you’ve guessed it there’s only me and one other boy in my A2 physics class) and he’s in the music circle! It’s great for me though because he’ll tell me all their secrets and as my mum always said it’s nice to share so here’re the juiciest.

1. There’s a secret choir!
What?!?!? They gather every Tuesday lunch time, a select bunch in a side room to practice for their grade 8 singing exams with a music teacher. But yes, you guessed it, a select bunch i.e. no outsiders invited. I should’ve known really, the only day not taken by a choir or orchestra, there had to be something going on.

2. They’d given out the female lead roles for this year’s show before anyone auditioned.
This year we’re doing Joseph, and if you don’t know the show, there’s only really one female role in the whole show; the narrator. According to my physics friend, the music teachers had already agreed to divide this role into five segments but they’d also already chosen the girls that would be offered said parts. If any refused, they’d just cut it to four.
Hey, you guessed it, I didn’t even get a look in. Four of the five girls have already spent a good five years at Carmel and yes, the only other took A2 music, main instrument voice.
The story of my audition for this year’s school play is quirky one. For the audition they had highlighted small roles for other girls; I guess they’re not looking to add any other big stars to their select constellation. I chose to audition for one of the brothers, and I must say my Texas accent is amaaaaaaazing.

3. Nobody knew I could sing until I auditioned.
Even the boy in my physics class was shocked… My head of sixth from asked me where’d been hiding… But I’ve been in concerts, rehearsals and choirs? I’m not sure if they just had been ignoring me or just couldn’t see me for all the other talent they have in the music department, but anyway, a lot of people asked me why they didn’t know I could sing. The cheek!

4. Finally, everyone at the top of the music department can sing.
Not really secret, I know but it’d be a lie to say they couldn’t and unfair not to mention it. It’s not all down to who these people are (children of deputies, head of governors, has 7 other siblings in school) they do actually have talent.

If I had one word to some all of the reasons for my hatred of the department it’d come down to jealousy. I’m jealous that I’ve been shunned, jealous that I can’t make myself fit into an entrance category and jealous they have some very good singers that I can never out shine.

But is what I’m asking for really too much? Isn’t it time they open up a bit and let some of the equally good talent in the side wings shine through?

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Boys, Reject, Uncategorized, Zero to Hero

Today’s Assignment: Make a writing prompt your own

Reputations; I currently attend a sixth form college and it seems to be a top hang out for superficial impressions.

Looking round our Sixth Form common room it was evident form the first time I stepped foot in there that divides and breaks were forming. My parents would laugh if I told them it was just like an American high school, but it’s really not that far off. As Janis from Mean Girls once put it:

“Now, where you sit in the cafeteria common room is crucial because you got everybody there.”

Maybe the stereo types in mean girls do take everything to the extreme, but I can relate to a few:

Let’s start with the greatest people you’ll ever meet. My group, my friends, made up primarily of my form class. As we’re now in Y13 we have inherited the comfy black seats that last year’s Y13 ‘main’ boy group used to have. There are about 20 of us…? We party on select weekends and don’t really pay that much attention to the other groups. We’re a diverse bunch of people and between cover just about every subject going, excluding maybe health and social and child care.

But in the next arrangement of black comfy seats such subjects are rife; health and social with child care form a definite majority. I don’t know the Y12 girls who sit there, but I’m pretty sure I don’t like them. I’m not some raving prejudicial stereotyping being, but before any one of them begins eating their lunch, the lipstick is out and applied in copious amounts. My particular grudge with his group began the day I asked one of them if I could borrow the chair her bag was placed she flatly refused to let me have it! If I could go back now I’d probably remark something like:
“Why is you bag using it? Trust me honey, I don’t think I’ll ever get over that one!”
But no… I probably just nodded, smiled politely and walked away.

I’m glad to say that since I left secondary school the Umpa lumpa race of girls- those who wear so much orange make up they’d give the Roald Dahl characters a run for their money- has somewhat become completely extinct. Maybe it’s due to the need of a good 5 GCSEs to get into college. And if they didn’t understand the conception of foundation (where the instruction are printed on the pack of the package) they didn’t really stand a chance did they? Nowadays they only seem to be gracing the younger years, with the exception of a few sixth form girls imitating them from time to time, claiming to have ‘done their make up in the dark’ that day.

Currently there is a rather large and growing intimidation circle which dwells in the corner on the walkway to the vending machine, but personally I haven’t had a single misdemeanour with any such member of that group. My only worry is that they do all look when somebody walks a little bit too close, and maybe that’s why their circle is described as one of intimidation…

We also have a pool table and X-box in our common room but sadly our final avid gamer graduated last year. Luckily this year the amateur inhabitants of this area are currently in the process of making a comeback since the thief who stole Fifa 14 has kindly returned it (nice catholic ethos right there). The pool table population is composed mainly of Y12 boys who all avidly watch whoever’s playing, adding the sound effects between conversations. Said pool table only takes 20p coins and there’s one individual, known to have over £20 worth in such change, loved deeply by each of his pool playing friends. However not even he can overcome the sad day when the pool balls are removed after bad sixth form behaviour…

“Look out, incoming Band Geeks!” (or as I prefer, the Music Kids). Such lucky individuals have gained unprecedented access to music facilities during school hours. Last time they entered the Common room expressions reading ‘Where are all the guitars?’ crossed their worried faces. For them, it had definitely been a while. I’m surprised I didn’t slip into their inviting trap, as a choir goer, and guitarist, I’m sure the jacket must fit. Maybe I was lucky to read the rejection get out clause at the bottom.

All members of the music kids will be forced to work unreasonable out of school hours singing and playing for the enjoyment of others whilst raising of charitable funds…

They infuriate me, but I promise to write a full review on this music society at a later date.
I also believe there to be a group of individuals whom I have never seen before in my life, but sure as the Pope’s a catholic, they attend my small sixth form, and some of them are even in my year. They inhabit the lunchtime-abandoned arts classrooms working to finish their projects even though they’re 539085 pages ahead of everyone else in the class.
You may be surprised to learn that taking, art, or textiles or photography doesn’t grant you access to this group (there are in fact amazing artists who are frequenters of the common room) I believe its roots lie between each individual having the shared fear of entering the common room. In this each member decided that it would probably be best that they brought their own lunch and found an empty far away (art’s on the 3rd floor) classroom, where they wouldn’t be bothered. And so when all the classrooms were taken, the art club was born, a club where each separate person realized they actually quite enjoyed the company of one another. If you’re out there, art club goers, maybe give me a sign sometime?

And how could I possibly forget the jocks? Well they’re an endangered species in Y13 with the endless parties and nights on the town taking their toll. Few make it past Y12, due to the reluctance from teachers to sped anther year battling for them to get some work done. In the end I think it’s the PE teachers that have a quite word, show the teachers to the trophy cabinet, and express the unending pain associated with finding such cabinet empty were these young jocks to be exiled.

And finally tucked away near the back, there’s a group of about 15 who sit round two wooden square tables and discuss Manga magazines and TV programs with frequency. Sometimes they place empty packed lunch boxes on their heads with cries of “you’re a wizard Harry” and I have to be careful my Harry Potter pencil case is shoved firmly into the bottom of my bag, safely out of sight. If I were ever to be alienated tomorrow form my group, this group would welcome me in with open arms and it’s true, I do enjoy the company of some of its members. In all honesty I’m probably like each and every one of them at heart; I just didn’t express my shared interest before the imaginary passes to each group were given out.

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Oxford, Zero to Hero

Today’s assignment: write the post that was on your mind when you decided to start a blog

I think I already fulfilled this assignment when I published my first post, but if we go back to before I was rejected, I have plenty to say about my interviews.

I applied to do ‘Law with Spanish law’ at Oxford University at Magdalen (apparently pronounced Mau-da-lin).  Having loved ‘The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe’ as a child and hearing Magdalen  was where CS Lewis was converted to Christianity, I, therefore, concluded it was the college he’d attended, and consequently the one I’d like to attend too. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until after I’d sent in my application that I realised he’d actually attended University College, Univ, which spookily was the college that gave me an interview.

At the tender age of 17 I’d never been on a ‘proper’ train with my own luggage, and no parent to carry it. Don’t get me wrong, I’d ridden the Metro in Newcastle on my own, but never been further than a few miles and I was always completely luggage free. My Dad dropped me off at the station on Tuesday 10th December and we waited near the sign that said ‘Carriage C will stop here’. Carriage C did not stop there, so we had to sprint down a good sixth of the platform so I could reach and board the train at Carriage C before it pulled away. This experience was however more success than the time I’d gone from London to Oxford on a ticket that had a seat reservation for Carriage F, with the train carriage letters ending at E.

Since it was the first time I’d been on a train journey for a considerable length of time my Dad had booked me and appropriate seat, on the aisle, with a table, and front facing. Anyone who is a frequent train rider will know these seats are few and far between; about one to two per carriage. Carriage C on that train was empty with the exception of one man, a man who just so happened to be sitting in the only front-facing-table-aisle seat in the entire carriage… It’s just that I’m an unlucky person.

I arrived in Oxford at about 5:00pm and vividly remember the horrible task of dragging my suitcase through the cobbled streets, dark, cold and fearing slightly for my life. I hadn’t even made it out of the train station when upon trying to consult my map I ‘propped up’ my suitcase and it toppled over, ungracefully and loudly in front of me. Thank goodness a middle-aged woman stopped to help me and give my direction towards the main high street…

I’m sure her heart was in the right place, but the directions she gave me were not correct. When I reached the cross road she’d directed me to and took the left she’d insisted upon, I realised I was completely lost and couldn’t find anything recognisable the map my Dad had given me. I’m a proud person, and having gone about 100 meters up the road, it dawned on me how unnatural a U-turn would look at a point like this, so I just carried on going. Besides, at this point I didn’t actually know if she was wrong or not, her advice was my best bet.

So, on the cold December evening, I think I finally understood how Dory from ‘Finding Nemo’ must find herself throughout that film. To a passer-by I must have appeared utterly ridiculous: pulling my suitcase a few meters, consulting a map for at most ten seconds, (so I’d appear to be confirming the decision to move forward) and then moving off when it seemed appropriate to do so. What else was I supposed to do? When it dawned on me that the directions I’d received could have been completely wrong, I asked another lady who then successfully directed me towards the high-street.

As I was now more conscious  of travelling in the wrong direction I nearly found Univ three times; each of my failed attempts included just missing the enormous sign that read ‘Welcome to Univ’(The big blue banner in the picture):
Welcom to UnivIt was pretty big ,but each time I’d missed it I’d convinced myself  that I must have been going too far down the road and kept turning round just before the sign was in view; a great start.

When I finally made it inside I received my room key and made my way up with one of the second years who were ‘team helpers’ that were showing us around the college. They must have been taking it in turns over which member would take the next interview because when I entered a petite girl rose straight away and said she’d lead me to my room.

You know when you’re packing for a holiday and you pack just the right amount of things so the suitcases will close and then instantly regret it when heaving it around? You know you didn’t need all those things, but they fit in, so you packed them all. Well, although this poor girl had promised me she’d carried lots of heavy cases before, I couldn’t help but feel guilty watching her haul it up those three flights of stairs, and into my room. She’d definitely leave the next few candidates to some other member of the team. She could barely catch her breath when we reached the top, unsurprisingly she didn’t say much to me, handed me a booklet and shut the door behind her. It had been a long journey of about 6 hours on the train, and I still had 30 minutes before tea (that’s dinner or evening meal to most people). It felt good to be alone.

Enter Tasha, my roommate as quite as a mouse. She tappeded me lightly on the shoulder and exclaimed a welcoming hello. I’ll apologise to her now for the look of horror that must have broken out across my face. I had assumed that since it was Oxford, the common courtesy would be that we each received our own rooms, or would be notified that this was not the case. I nearly died of fright.

When I told my family that I had a roommate they were as horrified as I, but I’d like to set a few things straight before I go on…
Tasha, you completed my Oxford experience.
Had it not been for you I don’t think I would have coped with my three days there. You were in the same boat as me, just more qualified and with a more posh accent. Even our hairs were of similar natural colours! We had such a great time together, I was nice to think everyone else thought we’d known each other for years and was so jealous that they didn’t have a roommate relationship like ours. Thank you for all your lovely comments since then, and I wish you all the best!

I started writing this blog because I was disappointed, even embarrassed at having missed the opportunity to go to Oxford and through the reflection of my time there and by writing this out now, I’m starting to come to terms with the phrase ‘everything happens for a reason’. On reflection, and when I’m not so highly emotion, it’s becoming more apparent that Oxford and I never did quite fit together but I’m sure that waking up the mentors that evening to ask them if they had any spare toothbrushes certainly didn’t score me any brownie points!

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Zero to Hero

Today’s assignment: write and publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post.

My name’s Katie and I’m here, primarily, because I think I’m quite a shy and secondly, a rather indecisive person.

As a starting point for learning how to better express myself I went down the route of a copy of ‘Wreck This Journal’ by Keri Smith, before which I’d had countless diaries, each unsuccessfully finished and abandoned. The book was wonderful but has been in the same state incompletion for quite some time, and I’m still as reserved as ever. So in search for a new way to express myself (and hopefully overcoming my timid character) I turned to blogging, a journal I’ll never feel obliged nor guilty for not finishing.

If all goes to plan, in terms of career choice, I hope to become a barrister. More personally I’d like to be fluent in Spanish, travel, have a family, children… But right now, I’m most focused on the Spanish aspect of my life ambitions.

This is the place where I want to talk about my life; from the events I take part in and personal developments, to my feelings and outlook on what’s happening around me. I’d like this to be a place where I can talk about anything, and where people can challenge, share, relish in or reject my view points. Most importantly I hope everyone will gain something, however little,(even just a giggle!) from reading about my reactions to how my life is panning out.

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