h c t e r st ISSUE 1, SUMMER 2004
SNACK WARS NAVEEN JASPAL
AS OBESITY PROBLEMS GROW WORLDWIDE, LEVELS ARE DANGEROUSLY HIGH IN THE US AND UK. BLAME HAS BEEN CAST UPON THE CONTINUED RISE IN POPULARITY OF JUNK FOODS, SUCH AS CRISPS, CAKES, SWEETS, CHOCOLATE AND FAST FOOD FARE. 58 million Americans are overweight, 401 million obese and a staggering 3 million suffer from life threatening obesity. Nearly 2/3 of British men are overweight, along with over 1/2 of all British women. In fact obesity levels in Great Britain have tripled in the last 20 years and current trends suggest 1 in 4 adults will be obese by the year 2010.
SWEETS AND FIZZY
DRINKS NEED TO BE BANNED BECAUSE OF
THE EXCESSIVE PROFIT MANUFACTURERS
MAKE FROM THEM.
Inevitably obesity rates have prompted some schools to ban certain types of food and from September 2004, Bablake pupils will no longer be able to buy crisps, chocolate or fizzy drinks from the canteen or tuck shop. We asked staff and pupils what they thought of this ban: Luke Murphy (U6W) ‘I understand how with the current media coverage on rising obesity rates this move may be deemed necessary. I’m not personally bothered about the change but I don’t think it will reduce the consumption of unhealthy foods as pupils will simply bring them into school.’
Mr Prescott ‘Sweets and fizzy drinks need to be banned because of the excessive profit manufacturers make from them. They are also unhealthy and can cause hyperactivity.’ Yasmin (4th Year) ‘I don’t think it is necessary at all. Chocolate and other sugary products are a good source of energy and they taste good. I do think this is a bad decision financially. It will inevitably cause a major loss of income since I can imagine profits from these products are high.’ Mrs Chapman ‘I love chocolate. I believe it’s a good source of nutrition and when I was at school we were given a bar at break time. While too much of anything is never good for anyone, they also say the best things in life are those that aren’t good for you.’ Kate Green (4th Year) ‘I definitely think this is unnecessary. We are all mature enough and wise enough to make our own decisions about what we eat. I don’t see why this change is necessary.’
How long have you been teaching at Bablake?
How long have you been teaching at Bablake?
A long time! I came in 1983, before the current U6th were born!
About 4 years.
How do you feel about leaving? Sad! I’ll miss the staff, pupils and of course the gossip. However I’m looking forward to the freedom. What’s been the worst point of your career? Definitely when I was driving a minibus and one pupil called out that a wheel had come off the bus. After telling the boy to be quiet, a few seconds later I realised he was right and pulled over. When the AA came, they informed me 2 other wheels were close to falling off as well. (It transpired vandals had loosened them overnight.) What’s the best thing about being a teacher? The variety of the job. Every day is different and brings new challenges. The job dictates that you are multi-skilled and therefore is more interesting than some people think.
How do you feel about leaving? Actually quite sad as I have really enjoyed my time teaching here. What’s been the worst point of your career?
(While rolling his eyes) Teacher training college in the valleys in South Wales. It was so lively. What’s the best thing about being a teacher? Convenient holidays and the fantastic creative talents of the students. What’s the worst thing about being a teacher? The constraint on holiday times and not being able to find a parking space in the morning. What does life after Bablake hold in store for you? I’m off to Shrewsbury High to be Head of Art. More a side step rather than a promotion to be closer to my family’s roots.
What’s the worst thing about being a teacher? Endless marking, doing duty, mopping up others’ sick on school holidays...
Mr Jackson without a doubt!
THIS SUMMER BABLAKE
How long have you taught at Bablake?
SAID GOODBYE TO 3
What does life after Bablake hold in store for you? Retirement! Walks into the sunset and enjoyment of life! Who’s the most attractive teacher at Bablake?
NAVEEN JASPAL/JENNI LINES
MEMBERS OF STAFF.
How do you feel about leaving?
DURING THEIR FINAL
Slightly sad but not too worried. What’s been the worst point of your career? Budapest 2004. What’s the best thing about being a teacher? Pleasant students and the holidays. What’s the worst thing about being a teacher?
WEEK, THEY EACH GAVE AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW.
Probably INSET and exam invigilation. What does life after Bablake hold in store for you? A promotion at KHVIII- more pay and nearer home! Who are the most attractive teachers at Bablake?
Do I have to answer that? Mrs Yates and Mr Dougall. Mind you, our profession has some sights!
Bablake School 03:
fasHioN ELLA HODGKINS
TATTOOS SCARRING THE FUTURE GENERATION? What does the word tattoo mean to you? Does it mean scarring yourself with something hideous and grotesque or is it about expressing your inner self through a permanent piece of body art? Either way there is a fast growing popularity for tattoos especially in teenagers.
Since getting her tattoos Lilian hasn’t suffered any discrimination and has absolutely nothing against tattoos although others don’t always have the same opinion, “Some people don’t like my tattoos, but what others think doesn’t bother me as long as I’m happy with them”.
Reasons for this can be that people want to fit into a certain group or crowd or that they want to rebel against parents or society but the question that everyone must always face is whether it is really worth going to the extreme of pain, health risks and a permanent creation which will be present for the rest of your life to achieve this?
From a teenage perspective there are positive and negative views about tattoos. Jessica Chamberlain, 17 believes that tattoos are horrible. She says, “I don’t understand why anyone likes tattoos, they are vile and tacky, and it’s a shame when someone regrets having their tattoo, which is fashionable at the time but 30 years later is just embarrassing”.
It would seem so. Lilian, a dinner lady at Bablake school, Coventry has three tattoos (see picture), the first of which she got when she was 58. “The reason I have them is because I fancied getting them done,” says Lilian. She didn’t get a tattoo when she was younger due to her father. She says “my father would never have allowed it, he wouldn’t even let me have my ears pierced!”
However Samantha Darroch, 16, believes noone should be embarrassed or have regrets saying, “Why not get a tattoo done if you like them? I have a tattoo on my back and I love it. Who cares what anyone else thinks? It reminds me of my holiday last summer where I had it done and if it makes me happy it isn’t up to anyone else to judge me about it”.
This shows maybe parents do have a strong influence over their children’s choice to get a tattoo, but Lilian believes it isn’t up to the parents to decide. “If a teenager wants a tattoo, it is their choice. If they want one they will get one and there is nothing their parents can do about it.” This view led to Lilian helping a teenage next-door neighbour get the tattoo she wanted, “I took her to the tattoo parlour to get her tattoo done and her parents couldn’t say anything about it”.
This seems to conclude that it isn’t up to society to decide if tattoos are good or bad but it’s down to the individuals themselves. But society should wonder whether there is such a great need to go to the extreme of something so permanent which you could very easily end up regretting for the rest of your life. Instead why couldn’t people be different by trying temporary tattoos or by colouring their hair? However this doesn’t seem to have the same effect, and the debate of tattoos doesn’t look like it will ever cease.
INTERVIEW WITH DOLLY JONES Editorial department, Vogue with Ella Hodgkins What did you do to get to where you are and how did you start out? I did as much work experience as I could within the industry as well as a degree in History of Art and a course at the London College of Printing in Periodical Journalism. Starting out is as much about making contacts as it is about brains and qualifications, so be prepared to write plenty of letters and try to meet as many journalists as possible. Was this always what you wanted to do? I always wanted to be a journalist. I didn’t know what type of journalist until I had tried a few work experience placements. Fashion won. What is your advice for a student who wants to be a fashion journalist? Definitely get as much work experience as you can when you are the right age most magazines only take on candidates who are at least of university age. In the meantime, read as much as you can and work hard for the highest grades you can get.
BABLAKE AT THE EDINBURGH FRINGE‘HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT TRYING’ MEGAN USHER/SARAH CORRIGAN
Bablake School 05:
THE SETTING: Written and set in 1960s America, aiming to show that anyone can achieve success, the play tells the story of J Pierpont Finch, a window cleaner who aims to climb the career ladder with the aid of a self-help manual, ‘How to Succeed...’.
INTERVIEWS WITH TWO OF THE CAST:
J B Biggley (Guy Lewis)
J Pierpont Finch (Sean Clothier)
Why do you think that you were chosen for this particular role and how similar do you feel you are to the character?
Why do you think that you were chosen for this particular role and how similar do you feel you are to the character?
Following the instructions, Finch gets a job in the mailroom of a large company, World Wide Wickets, and continues to work his way up by impressing the boss J B Biggley with his charm and apparent dedication.
Exuberance and experience in school drama. I am not similar to Finch because he is mean to women, which I find very rude.
In his attempts to succeed, Finch makes quite an impression on the company - he manages to upset Bud Frump, who expects to be promoted just because he is Biggley’s nephew, and he attracts the attention of Rosemary, an office girl and Hedy, the Boss’ personal love interest.
Singing and rolling around the floor and being pinned down on the table by Liz!
PREVIEW NIGHT: Bablake’s production of ‘How to Succeed’ is far removed from the average school play. For too many people, the words ‘school play’ harshly conjure up the idea of poorly organised children in home-made costumes saying the wrong lines and singing out of tune. This is a well directed and choreographed play, the chorus sing energetically and well throughout, and the leads would not look out of place in a professional performance. Staging is minimal, leaving a lot to the audience’s imagination as expected from a low-budget production but it certainly does not detract from the play. The performance ran smoothly with only one noticeable technical problem in the shape of a phone ringing after it had been answered. With several memorable songs, ‘The Company Way’, ‘A Secretary is not a Toy’ and ‘Been a Long Day’, it’s hard to see why this musical has remained relatively unknown. The highlight of the show has to be ‘Grand Old Ivy’ sung by Finch and Biggley (sporting a comical golf outfit), which leaves most of the audience in laughter, hoping for a second rendition. This is Bablake’s 18th year at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and ‘How to Succeed’ is certain to be a success.
What particular aspects of the play have you enjoyed most?
I think I was chosen because my performance in Camille (previous Bablake production) was loud and stompy. I am more laid-back than Biggley, however I do hate my wife and I enjoy knitting a great deal. Sadly I do not own a golf jumper like Biggley’s. What particular aspect of the play have you enjoyed most? The way everyone worked together.
What particular aspect of the play have you disliked the most?
What particular aspect of the play have you disliked the most?
Discovering that I cannot sing and so must shout instead.
Do you have any intentions to become a professional actor? If not, what would you like to do? Yes. I would like to be a professional actor, in plays of course, not films. My ideal role would be Hamlet. Do you have any tips for budding actors/singers? Get on well with the producer. Be dedicated. Finally, never be afraid to wear a dress! Do you think that future plays will suffer from you not being here? Probably, yes!
Do you have any intentions to become a professional actor? If not, what would you like to do? I would like to be a professional actor, but I feel that I would be often unemployed. Yet, if I did become an actor, I would be a sensation. Do you have any tips for budding actors/singers? Stay in school and don’t do drugs. Do you think that the plays will suffer from you not being here? Of course! They will be terrible! The L6th have no talent.
‘I AM NOT SIMILAR TO FINCH BECAUSE HE IS MEAN TO WOMEN, WHICH I FIND VERY RUDE’. ‘GET ON WELL WITH THE PRODUCER. BE DEDICATED. FINALLY, NEVER BE AFRAID TO WEAR A DRESS’. ‘I AM MORE LAID BACK THAN BIGGLEY, HOWEVER I DO HATE MY WIFE AND I ENJOY KNITTING A GREAT DEAL’. ‘YET, IF I DID BECOME AN ACTOR, I WOULD BE A SENSATION’. ‘STAY IN SCHOOL AND DON’T DO DRUGS’.
BABLAKE’S AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL GROUP Tell us a bit about Amnesty...
BOTH SIDES NOW
Student Perspective Elisse Power (U6A) What made you want to join Amnesty International? I saw what the charity was trying to achieve and wanted to help. A few of my friends were involved so it was easy to join in. What do you think about this year’s ‘Stop Violence Against Women’ campaign?
MEGAN USHER/SARAH CORRIGAN
I think that it is very important. This issue is very much overlooked especially in Britain but also in other countries and it’s definitely something that should be brought to the forefront. Amnesty is trying to achieve this so it will hopefully have a positive impact. How are you involved in the Conference, which will be taking place at Bablake? I’m helping to organise the speakers for the conference. It should be a very influential and interesting event. I’m looking forward to it. What would you advise people who want to help Amnesty to do? To join their nearest Amnesty International group or just help by writing out campaign letters and contributing to Amnesty events. Everything helps, no matter how small! Teacher’s Perspective Lynda Jackson Why do you consider this to be such an important issue? Because a lot of people are affected by violence against women. On the news shortly after the campaign was launched, I heard that 25% of violent crime is actually crime against women which shows how many people and how many lives are affected by it. The figures suggest those at Bablake might have witnessed violence against women which therefore makes it a very important issue within school as well. What has the response been like from the school and pupils? Of all the campaigns I’ve done in Bablake this campaign has prompted the most response. This confirms that so many people, even if only in a minor way are affected. The letter writing campaign has brought an excellent response.
Amnesty is a huge organisation started up by just one man in the 1960s who felt deeply about human rights. It has grown to such an extent as a lot of people feel very passionately about upholding humans rights. We want our human rights to be upheld, we want freedom of speech and the ability to express ourselves, in whatever way. Therefore if we want that for ourselves we must be prepared to protect the rights of other people. Why did you decide to organise a conference? I attended a conference at King’s College about 10 to 12 years ago and I was really impressed with what their small Amnesty group did there by actually inviting others to the school. Not a lot of people actually attended but it had such an impression on me: they had speakers from Headquarters and a video, which I will particularly never forget about the creation of torture. It showed how they turned young men who thought they were actually going off to be soldiers into torturers. They were brutalised for a few months and then set free to brutalise others, and I will never forget that. Ever since that I’ve always wanted to hold a conference in Bablake. It has never been something brought up before and students didn’t particularly want to do it but this year the group of sixth formers decided that they definitely wanted to do it so it’s now the right time to do it in Bablake. When will it be held? 11th December, which follows 16 days of Activism, part of the ‘Stop Violence Against Women’ campaign. It is also particularly poignant because it is the day after Human Rights Day. During the first week of Activism, Amnesty will be doing many assemblies throughout the school to highlight ‘Stop Violence against Women’ and Human Rights Day. Our conference will obviously be inviting teachers and staff elsewhere. Who are the speakers? We have spoken to Headquarters and they are more than willing to supply speakers who speak on this issue but also it’s possible we’ll have local speakers who have connections with the campaign. Have you always been a part of Amnesty? Since I was a student, yes. I came across it in college and joined the group. Then when I started teaching, I joined adult groups and then I decided to start my own group, which I did at other schools. When and why did you decide to create an Amnesty Group for the school? When I started here Mr Woodward and a couple of sixth formers had started a very small Amnesty group. When Mr Woodward took over the Careers Department I volunteered to run it and from that moment on I was head of the Amnesty group here at Bablake.
Bablake School 07:
BIG BROTHER SUCKS
BIG BROTHER ROCKS
Ok, Big Brother was a novelty all those years ago, back in the days before the phrase ‘Reality TV’ was listed in the English dictionary, back before people even knew what ‘Reality TV’ was.
Just over five years ago the words ‘Big Brother’ provoked thoughts of a sinister mindcontrolling power as detailed in George Orwell’s famous novel ‘1984’. Today, however, the Big Brother referred to is more likely to be the pioneering Reality TV show on Channel 4, which is currently in its 5th series.
Reality television such as Big Brother has now gone way too far, with countless Big Brothers, two Pop Idols, two Pop Stars not to mention Fame Academy, Hell’s Kitchen, I’m a Celebrity, The Osbournes and The Eubank Show. What is this madness? Why do the British public find Big Brother so entertaining? Why religiously destroy chunks of your life every evening, to sit in front of the TV, watching random people wander round some house, doing nothing in particular when you can watch your own family do the same thing? And if that wasn’t enough, it’s live on E4 24 hours a day, for those who have absolutely nothing better to do than watch a group of wannabes eat, sleep, and use the toilet. A camera in the toilet? Why? What do they release into that toilet bowl that you don’t release into yours? But no. The TV watching public seems to find Big Brother hilariously entertaining, even after five normal series, two celebrity series, and apparently a teenage Big Brother. And it’s not just British society that finds this ridiculous form of ‘entertainment’ amusing. The USA has American Idol; three guesses what that show’s about. The French have their version of Big Brother: Loft Story. Not to mention every other country in the world, which all seem to have their own version. Slowly but surely, Reality TV Mania is sweeping the world. It’s like a conspiracy. The brainwashing of the viewers to watch this awful stuff. I personally cannot see another reason as to why people would watch this cheap fodder.
The idea is so simple yet the results are amazing, if a little unpredictable. Between ten and twelve strangers live together in one house. Each week a housemate is evicted by their fellow housemates and the voting public, making the house increasingly empty. After ten weeks the winning housemate, as voted by the public, wins the prize fund that has been £70,000 each year until this one. At roughly £1000 for each day in the house this seems like an easy way to make money, especially when the majority of time is spent sleeping or sunbathing. However it takes certain characteristics to win Big Brother - mental strength, compassion, vulnerability, the ability to mix with a wide range of people, honesty and above all determination. Completing a 10 week stint in the Big Brother house is not easy. There are tears and tantrums throughout, the confines of the house can be stifling, the food minimal and the tasks tedious. So why have more than one million people applied to be on the show? The applicants themselves often say they wanted a challenge or a new experience. However, cynics will claim that all these people just want a taste of the fame that previous winners have found. So why watch Big Brother? In Series One the attraction was obvious - it was the first glimmer of Reality TV, completely different from any other television programme at the time. We didn’t know the house, Davina or the format of the show, and each week unveiled new surprises. But surely that initial attraction can’t still be there, after four full series, two celebrity versions and one teen version? So what is keeping millions of faithful viewers tuning in everyday?
REALITY TVOR NOTTV
Big Brother offers a realistic alternative to shows such as ‘Eastenders’ and ‘Coronation Street’ which romanticise and over-dramatise human lives. Big Brother gives us real emotions from real people that we enjoy getting to know. The live tasks and other trials the housemates face show us how people can work together. The show is not just entertaining but educational as well; it offers us a psychological perspective on relationships, which most people would not normally consider. Quite simply Big Brother is amazing. The other reality TV programmes have tarnished its halo, but it seems unfair to blame Big Brother for all the other reality TV programmes that clog up our TV schedules day after day. Big Brother’s producers set out with the aim of providing a different type of entertainment, they did not intend to spark a revolution of increasingly tacky reality programmes. Big Brother is the original and definitely the best.
BIG BROTHER 1 - 2000 Memorable Housemates: Nasty Nick, Craig, Darren, Sada. Highlight: Nasty Nick ‘Scandal’. Winner (and what they have done since): Craig- donated entire prize fund to a Downs Syndrome charity, became a celebrity builder on a DIY show, secured a record deal. BIG BROTHER 2 - 2001 Memorable Housemates: Bubble, Bryan, Josh, Helen and Paul. Highlights: Helen and Paul’s romance (they are still together), the entrance of a new housemate after two weeks. Winner (and what they have done since): Bryan - presented SM:TV Live with Cat Deeley. BIG BROTHER 3 - 2002 Memorable Housemates: Jade, Kate, Jonny, Alex, Tim, Lee and Sophie. Highlights: Jade’s stupidity, including thinking that East Anglia was in Africa. The rich/poor divide. Winner (and what they have done since): Kate - presented RISE on Channel 4, released an exercise video, dated Jonathan Woodgate. BIG BROTHER 4 - 2003 Memorable Housemates: Cameron, Scott, Nush, Ray, Jon Tickle. Highlight: Cameron spending a week in the Big Brother Africa house. Winner (and what they have done since): Cameron - returned to his old life.
FOPP‘S GOING ON? PRIYA LELE/JENNI LINES
SHIPSTON BAND THE TEN O’CLOCK SCHOLARS ARE SET TO PLAY THE AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL ‘STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN’ GIG AT BABLAKE ON NOVEMBER 25. THE TOCS RECENTLY PLAYED WITH ECHOBELLY AT THE ISLINGTON ACADEMY. THEIR LATEST SINGLE CASBAH TRAFFIC IS OUT ON FLYCATCHER AND CAN BE BOUGHT AT FOPP IN LEAMINGTON.
FOPP, A LEADING AND EXPANDING INDEPENDENT MUSIC RETAILER, WITH A LOCAL BRANCH IN LEAMINGTON SPA, KINDLY LENDS THE CAREERS DEPARTMENT ALBUMS FOR REVIEW IN THE CAREERS LIBRARY AND GENERAL STUDIES MUSIC SESSIONS.
Bablake School 09:
ALBUM REVIEWS: TWO OF THE SUMMER’S BEST RAZORLIGHT ‘UP ALL NIGHT’ (Priya Lele) “Stardom beckons” NME “Is the singer hell bent on fighting you or fascinating you? It’s hard to tell.” Steve Lamacq, Radio 1. “New York will love them.” Seymour Stein. In the summer of 2003, Jonny Borrell set out to find three other lovers of street noise: Carl Dalemo (bass), Bjorn Agren (guitar) and long standing friend Christian Smith (drums). Jonny had bumped into Agren at a Queens of the Stone Age gig, and also had a Swedish mate, Carl, who added the perfect amount of rock’n’roll into the band by being famous for being thrown out of most of the venues in London and for being a god at punk bass.
As the demos began to make their way out of London, people began to take Razorlight more seriously. Razorlight have the raw, urban edge which has been provided by Jonny’s meandering prior to setting up the group. For a while he lived above the boiler room above The Verge in Kentish town. All you can see from Razorlight’s debut album is that they have this effortlessly cool style which they blend with catchy riffs and choruses, added with the throaty voice of Borrell. They have produced great tracks such as ‘Up all night’ and ‘Dalston’. However, it’s the flawless singles that glue this album together: ‘Rip It Up,’ ‘Stumble & Fall’ and the stunning ‘Rock N Roll Lies.’ Razorlight are the new breed of Rock’n’Roll stars... watch this space.
Certain tracks on this CD are reminiscent of 1993’s ‘Niandra Lades and Usually Just a T-Shirt’, especially ‘Helical’, which has the stilted overlaid guitar pieces and lack of drums, integral to Frusciante’s first solo attempt. John Frusciante is probably the best solo artist around at the moment and this album is one of the best to surface from the current music scene for quite a while. Well worth a listen!
INTERVIEW WITH JO KENDALL Editorial Assistant Of Kerrang (Priya Lele) Q. How did you get into your profession?
There was never any plan to form a band, the plan was to avoid forming a band in fact, but the songs began to take shape scribbled down in Jonny’s tatty notebook. Songs that been scribbled down on bus journeys or in bars dictated that a new sound needed to be brought to the fore of the fake culture that surrounds us all. By late summer Razorlight were performing in basement gigs and support slots around London. By early November, they had followed the White Stripes into the Toerag studio and had recorded ‘Rip it Up,’ ‘Rock’n’Roll Lies,’ and ‘In the City’. These three songs had emerged as an advertisement for the band and had started to cause quite a stir in London.
The album has a much rawer sound than its predecessor, ‘Shadows Collide With People’, and has far less synth work which is a definite advantage.
A. Well, I had no journalistic experience and certainly not a journalist background. My work is mainly administration and office work. Q. Do you have any tips for aspiring music journalists?
JOHN FRUSCIANTE ‘THE WILL TO DEATH’ (Jenni Lines) John Frusciante is best known for lending his guitar skills to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. However he is also a highly underrated solo artist in his own right with a whole host of albums to his credit. His most recent works are a far cry from his first two solo efforts, recorded in the 1990s, on a cocktail of heroin and cocaine, which is clearly evident on both albums. His 6th solo offering, ‘The Will To Death’ has progressed dramatically from these early works. The whole album is a combination of stunning vocals, fantastic guitar riffs and mellow piano moments.
A. Get as much experience as you can: try and work in record shops, go to gigs, work in venues, try and make as many contacts as possible. Q. What are the advantages of working in the music journalism field? A. You get to meet all kinds of different people, you get a lot of free things from record companies and you also get to travel a lot. Q. So any last tips for people wanting to get into the journalism industry? A. Just try and get as many of those contacts as possible and as much experience as you can. So there we have it, some good tips to help young people get into journalism.
LIVE REVIEW! RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS AT HYDE PARK (Guest Review: Renoop Purewal) I went to see the Chilis at Hyde Park on Saturday 19th June, excited as ever to be going to a concert, but even more so because this was the Chilis!!! Arriving with a hotdog with mustard in hand, I was in time to see James Brown moving and grooving and doing his thing on stage - as brilliant as ever singing his old classics like ‘I feel good’ with me and many others bobbing along to the music. He finally left the stage with his three haphazardly dressed, back up singers and a long wait ensued, the air buzzing, people shoving to the front to get a better view and standing on tip toe to see if the Chilis had entered the stage without anyone realising. An uproar of screams moved along the crowd as everyone realised after an inexcusable, anxious wait of 20 minutes, they had finally arrived with ‘Californication’. The set was amazing, with them playing old classics like ‘Give it away’ and ‘Under the Bridge’ along with new songs from their recent album like ‘By the Way’. The music was great and the band itself was great cajoling the crowd by threatening to break into Buckingham Palace, all of which came with shouts of agreement and consent from the crowd. The only bad thing I can say from this particular performance was the reaction from the crowd. It became obvious that some of the crowd weren’t ‘true’ fans as between the newest songs from their recent album, when they played old songs from previous albums, it became eerily quiet which wasn’t what I was expecting from a crowd of 80,000 people. The overall concert however was really good- because it all came down to the band, which was musically superb - I especially recall Flea playing a fantastic solo performance with his trumpet... and the long lines for beer!!
All in all, a fantastic experience. Naveen also managed to interview John Stratton, a Mercia FM presenter. She asked him how he had got into Mercia, how long he’d been there and his background. ‘I’ve been here 6 years. When I was a student I worked at a local hospital and local radio station as well as applying for work experience elsewhere. My degree was in business studies, law and economics- all helpful but not specifically required for commercial radio work. I wanted the benefits of these subjects if my media career did not pan out.
WO RK EX PE RI EN CE
THE TASK FACING Mrs Scott was a daunting one - 120 L6th students needing Work Experience in the final week of June, all for areas of their own choosing. Students shadowed archivists, doctors, dentists, lawyers, accountants, surveyors and photographers amongst others.
Asked what field of journalism he enjoyed most, John said:
Often work experience puts students off a particular direction, more often it serves to stimulate further interest in a future profession. Certainly this year’s batch experienced both emotions. As detailed opposite our journalists had a great experience.
Upon Naveen asking for help in radio. John offered her work experience every Thursday morning at Mercia over the holiday! Well done, Nav! Not all were that lucky unfortunately. Richard Drury had had a miserable week at a local sports centre and was sporting the blistered hands to prove it:
Priya and Naveen spent a day in London which involved shadowing Laura Jones, one of the presenters of ‘Newsround’. A few pounds lighter and a pair of shoes/ a couple of T shirts heavier, our students reached the White City BBC studios.
‘Maybe the week was a true reflection of life in a sports centre - the building needed a lot of maintenance but was well run and the staff seemed to have a lot of free time.’
Naveen wrote: ‘We spoke to a ‘runner’, herself a qualified journalist plying her trade doing odd jobs for presenters and producers, looking for that lucky break. In the actual studio we witnessed the rehearsals which were most revealing.
‘Putting stacks of chairs away, putting tables away, fixing a tile back on in the shower, touching up paint on the doors, litter picking, mowing the grass, setting out gym equipment for a class in the evening.’
Rehearsals don’t only include the presenterthe floor managers, producers, cameramen, assistants, people running the autocue and the presenters are all involved. When the live show took place, we were on the gallery. Presenting involved more than merely sitting in front of a camera delivering lines. It included a lot of research and preparation.’ Naveen and Priya picked up the following tips for those aiming to break into the media world: 1. Be prepared for a lot of chasing after companies who you want to be involved with. 2. Don’t give up if a company rejects youpersist and get yourself recognised 3. Try and get involved with your local radio stations- even it’s just making tea. All the greats have to start somewhere. 4. Get involved with your local paper and any opportunities for writing for your school, depending on where your interests lie. 5. Be prepared to beg and take jobs however small- it all counts on your CV. 6. If you don’t have any contacts in the industry, make some. Phone/ email papers and radio stations and ask to come in or to talk to someone for 15 minutes. Where is the harm? 7. Create a portfolio- an online one being especially impressive.
‘Radio has always been my number one career ambition. I knew it would be competitive so tried to get myself ahead of the game and get more work experience than other applicants.’
Asked what tasks he had been given, he said:
More a week of DIY than Work Experience. Mercifully his negative experience was not the norm for the whole year group. The week will go a long way towards deciding their future path.
“MAYBE THE WEEK WAS A TRUE REFLECTION OF LIFE IN A SPORTS CENTRE...”
Bablake School 11:
THE COCK CROWS FOR HENMAN Henman’s exit from Wimbledon 2004 signifies his greatest chance at victory missed and counts as yet another great English sporting loss, argues Lloyd Nicely Following England’s frustrating defeat at the hands of the Portuguese at Euro 2004, one day cricketing calamities and the rugby team’s heavy defeats in the Southern hemisphere, the main point of focus turned to Tim Henman’s campaign in SW19 - Wimbledon.
SPORTS DAY OCCURS ANNUALLY AT MOST SCHOOLS AND IS OFTEN SEEN BY COMPETITIVE PUPILS AS A CHANCE TO SHINE, OR ALTERNATIVELY BY THEIR PARENTS AS A CHANCE TO BOAST ABOUT THEIR TALENTED CHILDREN.
HOWEVER, DUE TO the growing rate of obesity amongst children and teenagers and their general laziness, it seems that such events are losing their appeal; evidently, sport is no longer as enjoyable as in previous generations. Also, with the poor performances of many of the British sporting heroes, one can see why. This is true to a certain extent of Bablake pupils. Sports Day is not the most loved date on the school calendar, especially as it is compulsory for all pupils in the first four years of school, and so this restricts their much-loved freedom. Pupils have to participate in at least one of the many track and field events on offer, or even the comical tug-of-war. Much work is involved, as the staff joins forces to ensure that the eventful day runs smoothly. Surprisingly, many of the teachers are highly enthusiastic about the event, and try to motivate their house representatives to victory against the rival factions. Second place is simply not good enough for some teachers at Sports Day! The meaning of Sports Day has changed dramatically; it is viewed more as a reprieve from the hectic school schedule rather than a competition against fellow mates. Many are not overly concerned about the final outcome and prefer to see their friends make fools of themselves, rather than view those with startling ability. This is more entertaining to the sadistic teenagers of today. “I’m not bothered about who wins overall, I just see it as a laugh!” Falling over the hurdles is one of the most appreciated occurrences. At this year’s Sports Day, a great array of talent was displayed with some athletes achieving personal bests on the day. Fairfax ended the day as eventual winners, and so must defend their crown next year. Special credit must go to the winners of the Victor and Victrix Ludorum awards, who performed at a very high standard during the day.
Tim’s chance for glory had been deemed as his greatest opportunity ever; he appeared to be in the form of his life, shown by his incredible performance at the French Open, where he reached the semis, despite playing on clay, and also his defeats of elite counterparts, Federer and Roddick. It seemed that Tim would use his experience gained in France, to finally win Wimbledon. However, sceptics felt that Henman would once again disappoint and fail to emulate the feat of British legend, Fred Perry. They proved correct, as Henman crashed out in the Quarter Finals in straight sets at the hands of the twenty year old upstart Mario “Super Mario” Ancic. Did he buckle under the great pressure or was he simply exhausted following his eventful year? the whole tournament, Henman was rather disappointing, jaded, and was not at his best; only his win against Philippoussis brought optimism to his fans, but in earlier rounds, Henman required four sets to defeat simple opposition. His defeat followed an unimpressive performance at the Stella Artois Championships, where he too failed to meet the expectations of many. Henman appears to be fighting a losing battle in his race against time. At the age of 29, Henman is at the latter stages of his career. Failure to win Wimbledon by Tim will be seen as a failure as a tennis player by his supporters. Regardless of this, “Henmania” will no doubt return next year, in full support for their humble hero. “Even when Henman’s gone, this hill will still belong to him,” commented a fan at Wimbledon. Over the past decade, the role of the enthusiastic crowd at Wimbledon has proven to be a great aid, often rousing him to victory in key matches. Yet, the exuberant support can be very daunting as their unsporting jeers heavily distract and disrupt the opposing player’s performance; the crowd often sadistically cheers whenever Tim’s opponent makes a mistake. One could consider the overwhelming backing for Tim to be greatly unfair; nevertheless it has simply been accepted as part of Wimbledon culture. Tim Henman can now be added to the list of British sporting misfortunes of 2004 along with the heartbreaking English football and rugby teams. We can only hope that the Olympic team can bring delight to the hearts of the British, by bringing silverware back to Britain from Greece this August. Meanwhile, tennis fans will have to look to another British hero, to claim the Wimbledon trophy.
‘I’M SO IMPRESSED BY THE STANDARD OF WHAT THEY’VE ALL DONE- IT’S BEEN GENUINELY INTERESTING TO READ THROUGH THEIR ARTICLES AND MAKE SUGGESTIONS. IT HAS BEEN A PLEASURE TO HELP YOU OUT. ANYTHING TO BE SENT A VISUAL MEMENTO OF THE GAMES FIELD ANYWAY...’
JOURNALISTS OF THE FUTURE The comments above were the reaction of Fiona Sibley, a former student, now online editor of Hidden Art, who formerly has worked for the Guardian and New Statesman. She very kindly acted as online guru/ consultant/ proof reader for a number of the articles presented here. During Work Experience week, the Careers Library was transformed into a Newsroom. The task set was for the students to produce a newsletter- suggestions for articles/ interviewees were given but direct control over its direction was handed over to them. Every day began with a Progress Meeting and an analysis of the morning’s press; most evenings the journalists faced an email challenge. During the day the team researched and compiled their reports. It was a stiff challenge to produce a paper of this quality but a tribute to the teamwork shown by all participants.
HOW ‘STRETC H’ WAS MADE MARK WOODWARD
THE TEAM MARK GA WOODWARD: EDITOR FIONA SIBLEY (1988-95): ONLINE JOURNALIST/ CONSULTANT PAUL DIBBENS (MUSTARD): DESIGNER THE JOURNALISTS MEGAN USHER (MEDIA) ELLA HODGKINS (FASHION) PRIYA LELE (MUSIC) LLOYD NICELY (SPORT) JENNI LINES (PHOTOGRAPHY) SARAH CORRIGAN (ARTS)
The week finished with all the students feeling they had had a realistic view of life on a paper and they started their Summer holiday with a great number of contacts for the nationals and popular magazines. They were tremendous all week and had developed the confidence to persist and persevere in seeking interviews/ work experience for their intended media careers. As for the final design, it was left to me to ask a favour of Mustard, the designers of our excellent prospectus, entry booklets, school newsletters and website. They kindly spent two days with me compiling this newsletter/PDF so that the team would have a record of their week both online and in printed format for their portfolio.
NAVEEN JASPAL (CURRENT AFFAIRS)