Olympic Torch

Day 63 was our day for the Olympic Torch Relay. Crowds gathered and lined the streets eagerly, way before the proposed time. I hadn’t anticipated this whilst trying to find a parking space and for some idiotic reason, I decided to drive through the Olympic Torch route. The crowds cheered as I drove along; I was embarrassed for the most part, though I did feel somewhat famous.

I eventually parked and raced towards the crowds to find a spot near the front. There was good atmosphere and I got into the spirit of things, which must be quite something considering I am rarely over enthused about things like this especially since I found out that there are more than one Olympic Torch. As I expected, DS went crazy over the police motorbikes.

Image

Image

All in all, it was good experience and one to add on the list of things I’ve seen and done. It’s a bit of a shame that my hometown has made another embarrassing mention in the papers, though it’s not much of a shock. Gravesend, how low can you go?

Your Revolution is a Joke.

I remember a few months ago watching Aljazeera news with a slice of toast, observing the riots spread across Syria, Egypt, Jordan and many other African countries, unaware and unfazed; it was not that I did not care, but as an outsider watching events unfold felt very surreal. I turned to DH and said, “I can’t imagine this would ever happen in this country, the British just moan and move on”.

Make sure you stock up on that basmati rice; not that you understand Mr Prole, but as you loot, the market is crashing. This will probably cost more in the future.

Of course the riots over the past few days in London are nothing by comparison, they are malicious, unmotivated and undoubtedly disgraceful. Watching the news this time was not a surreal experience, it was very real, it was 40 odd miles away. I have been obsessively checking various newspaper websites, Facebook and BBC News 24 is continuously in the background to ensure I do not miss out on anything significant. I spent the majority of yesterday in a constant state of panic as DH insisted on going to work. Luckily I was just paranoid and nothing actually happened, I would hate to be proved right.

These teens from deprived areas of London speak of ‘fighting back’ against the government and the ‘rich’, however there is no substance in their cause. They are children and do not fully understand why they are angry, blaming others for their despicable behaviour and joining in with their fellow criminal chums. Although increasing police numbers on the street last night proved a success in London, I fear as we move into next week and the streets are left unsupervised, hell will break loose again. These children have the idea planted in their heads after the Tottenham incident, but why do they think it is now acceptable to burn down buildings and terrorise local residents? Nothing has changed, this could have been done last week, last month, last year.

We all live by a mutual agreement set by society and its norms. I do not burn cars, steal or create social disorder because by being a part of this society I have agreed not to. There is nothing physically stopping me from doing these things but I understand right from wrong. The problem we have with these degenerates, is that they live in a society that does not encourage these norms. Written across the television last night the BBC advised parents to keep their children at home; what makes you think the parents are not cheering them on? These children behave in this way because of their upbringing and their surroundings. Who better to teach them the tricks of the trade than their beloved parents.

I am angered, upset and disgusted by the events in London, which have spread like a pandemic all over the country. These youths have no understanding of the consequences of their actions, nor do they care. They cannot be fully blamed because they have been conditioned to behave this way, however this is no justification. If we did not have such a corrupt government, I would probably support Marx’s idea to remove parental responsibility and allow children to be raised by the state. Maybe we should just enforce this on the proletariat, the rest of us are doing okay.

Textbook, not Facebook.

Today’s public announcement by the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) warned that there would be consequences in having a Facebook account accessible to pupils. This has caused a somewhat mixed response; some say teachers’ should have the same liberties as you or I, and others expect them to keep their personal lives hidden.

I think to impose a ban on Facebook would be almost impossible to regulate and would merely add to this ‘nanny state’ the Daily Mail loves to rave about. Schools should advise new teachers of the repercussions, so they are made very aware that their images and wall posts are in public view. It is then the teacher’s decision whether or not to have a social networking website, to change their privacy settings or to use a pseudonym. If the contents of their website are misused by pupils, then they are culpable. To have images manipulated or comments made in class, ultimately loses the teacher’s respectability. If a teacher does not have the respect from their pupils, they will not succeed; thus, giving a school a valid reason to remove a teacher from their post.

I find it odd how perceptions have changed; once teachers were the pillars of society, but now they are seen to be ‘one of us’. As a parent, I want teachers to be smarter than me, well-educated and have a high standing in the community. They should be reserved and informed, happy they have chosen a vocation where they have such an influence in our children’s lives; not living for the weekend, where they intend to sit pint in hand in the local Wetherspoons. They have an obligation to uphold this demure exterior and ensuring their reputation stays intact.

I do not agree with schools imposing rules, but I do think teachers should want to be perceived as professional, in and out of school. If politicians and celebrities can live their lives without writing on each others’ walls and tagging photos, I am sure teachers can. Your memories are your own.

First past the post.

So tomorrow’s D-day; A-level results are made public, UCAS will be swarmed with students checking their university choices and our phones will be ringing off the hook. The past couple of days I have been processing thousands of acceptances and rejections on UCAS and it is amazing to think that one click of a button could dramatically alter someone’s life. I could have changed someone’s life for the better or worse two days ago and they would not have known it.

There has been a lot of talk lately focusing on the demand for more university places and how many applicants will be disappointed. I anticipate tomorrow is going to be manic. The BBC has released an article stating that Kent University is up 25% on applicants from last year; the only mention of Canterbury Christ Church University is at the bottom of the page (cheers for the publicity guys), but I can almost guarantee we will have just as many. What scares me is that I know that the majority of courses are already full, so when we get students crying to us down the phone desperate for a place, there is not much we can do.

I remember being eighteen and how tough it is having to make real choices that will actually impact the rest of your life. Regardless of how much you think you are grown up, independent and completely sussed, you are not completely ready. For some, they can continue living the dream; for others, it will be a rude awakening.