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JULY 2013

Written and edited by JCG Students


THE EDITOR’S

The Team EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Charlotte Terry

EDITORS Rowan Pilley Hannah Gardener Charlotte Smith Steff Spencer Emily Crichard

Notes

Editor

from the

STAFF EDITORS Mr Milner Miss Douglas

CONTRIBUTORS Elise Gallichan Victoria Chylinska Nikki Hammon Virginia Halford Alex Emmerson Grace Bravery Jyothi Nayar Bethan King Katie Brett Emily Doyle Vicky Youngs Eloise Smith

T

he time has finally come for this year’s latest edition of the Gazette to be released and it’s bigger and better than ever before! After much consideration, we decided that our new theme would be fashion, a theme you can’t really go wrong with in an all-girls-school! As usual, we got creative and managed to come up with many different (but equally

SPECIAL THANKS

Gazette-worthy) articles linked to fashion - from baking to the Queen

George Mao Simon Lewis

– but, rest assured, we have a few other surprises in store for you which

twitter.com/jcg_live

you will soon have the pleasure of reading. Behind each article is a daunting but rewarding series of stages: the initial idea for the article, creative briefing, writing the actual article, proof reading, editing, proof reading again and making sure it fits into the magazine. In order for this process

It has been easy to work with you girls and your new ideas and enthusiasm to make the Gazette better than ever have been tremendous. One person aI would like to thank in particular for being brilliant beyond brilliant is Steff Spencer. You took on every job thrown at you and the Gazette would not have survived without you and your impeccable organisation skills, so thank you Steff ! But Editors only exist to ‘edit’ articles and would have no job to do without the girls who imagined, wrote and illustrated their articles. So, to everyone involved, I cannot even begin to praise your fantastic use of imagination enough; it baffles me and I can only hope that our readers will feel the same way. Charlotte Terry Editor-in-chief

to run smoothly, you have to have a dedicated, hardworking team; thankfully, this is exactly what we had. This year’s Editors have been an amazing group: Rowan Pilley, Charlotte Smith, Emily Crichard, Hannah Gardener and Steff Spencer. Any Disclaimer: All rights reserved. magazine, form of reproduction of this ibited in part or whole is strictly proh the without the written consent of is made to publisher. While every effort achieve accuracy, le JCG cannot be held responsib for any errors or omissions.

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Jersey College Gazette


THE EDITOR’S

S taff E From the

T

ditors

his year’s spring term saw

the inter-House debating teams

tackle the question of whether or not school uniform should be abolished with eloquence and passion. However you feel about uniform, it is clear that what we wear matters a great deal to us. When it comes to clothes, the choices we make – and those we are not allowed to make – shape

the ways in which we present

ourselves to the world and, for

better and for worse, the way in which others perceive and

judge us. This is a roundabout

way of saying that fashion is important. It has its trivial side of course, even its callously materialistic and exploitative side; however, it is also an important aspect of human creativity and self-expression. There is room for all of these different perspectives on fashion in this issue. So, whether you are a passionate

opponent of wearing fur, a budding fashion designer or just someone who really hopes nobody else wears the same

outfit as you to the next prom,

we hope that you enjoy what

follows.

Once again, we are happy to present the Gazette to you

in an attractive (and highly portable!) electronic format.

This issue has benefited from the expert attentions of AEA Design and we would like to

record our gratitude for the

hard work done by David and the team in transfor ming

our words and images into this beautiful creation. Most

excitingly, working with the AEA team allowed JCG girls to become involved in the

student-authored publication. September’s Magazine will focus on theme of communication; if you want to get involved, please come and

speak to Mr Milner: as ever, we

will need writers, illustrators and photographers just to name a few.

Thank you to everyone who has read the Gazette over the

last five issues – we hope that you will continue to read about

what JCG girls are inspired by and feel passionate about in the

real-life process of preparing creative briefs and liaising with a professional design team.

College Magazine.

These opportunities – as well

Mr Milner and Miss Douglas Staff Editors

as opportunities to be creative with words and images and to take on a leadership role as part of the editorial team – will continue to be open to you as the Gazette enters the next

phase of its evolution. This is the final issue of the Gazette in its current form. From next September, the annual College Magazine will shift its focus so as to be a themed

publication, a publication about big ideas and, most

importantly, a student-led and

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The

June 2013

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CONTENTS

Highlights

P6

shion

Royal Fa

The

Our reporters delve into the sc hool archives and un earth a brief hi story of JCG fashion through time.

JCGirlG Behind the Discussio Seams... n on Sw eatshops

What’s Inside

P11

TITLE

THE EDITORS

..........21 World News.......................... .........23 Cyber-Bullying.....................

...1

Letter from the Editor...........

Letter from the Staff Editors...2

REVIEWS

FASHION 5 Fashion Ethics.......................... ories s: Top st of 2012

P21

ew World N

P7

Royal Fashion...........................6 ...7

The JCG Girl........................

........25

We Need to Talk about Kevin

ques’..26 Local Jerrias Band, ‘Badlabec .........27 The Debate............................

9

Fashion vs Individuality............

Behind the Seams..................11 13 Stereotypical Fashion.............

TITLE

INTERVIEWS

..........29 Creative Writing................... ..........30 Dark Poem...........................

.15 Principal’s Question Time... .17

Music R ev Band: B iew: Local Jer r ias adlabecq ues,

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Mr Mao.................................

P26

......31 Rowan’s Rant...........................

.19 An Englishman Abroad........

Jersey College Gazette


FASHION


fashion FASHION

ETHICS Article written by Rowan Pilley

N

ormally, when we talk about ‘the cut’ in fashion we are not referring to the cut of meat. However, in 2010 eccentric pop star Lady Gaga made her appearance in her internationally infamous meat dress. Made of raw beef and designed by Franc Fernandez, many were equally repulsed and enthralled by this bold fashion statement. A question arose

from such outrageous style: is it ethical to manipulate animals in order to look good or even to convey a message?

Gaga was accused of ‘butchery’ by publicizing the almost grotesque creation and by advertising the slaughter of innocent animals and implying that it is ethical to use animals not only for food but to enhance and fulfill a modern obsession with beauty. This is not only relevant to such bold statements but also resonates with the use of animal testing in common beauty brands such as Maybelline [See PETA’s animal testing lists: http:// www.peta. org/living/ beauty-andpersonal-care/ companies/ search.aspx?Testing=1&PageIndex=8 (retrieved 6 Jan 2013)]. Some people defended her outfit with the argument that it is art - with no underlying ethical issues - and that freedom to express yourself through fashion is essential to maintain the culture which we live it without creating a uniform society - both literally and figuratively. The star, however, disagreed with her supporters by suggesting that she was

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emphasizing the need to stand up for rights: “We are going to have as many rights as the meat on our bones”. More specifically, she was protesting against the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy and the US governmental restrictions on gay and lesbian soldiers at the time at which President Obama ended during his first term in office. The issue of gay rights could be said to be even more relevant to America in the lead up to the presidential election in which Mitt Romney (the opposing candidate) holds a strong position against gay marriage. Gaga stressed that, “Dead

meat is dead meat. And anyone that’s willing to take their life and die for their country is the same. You’re not gay and dead, straight and dead. You are dead.”

It could suggest the state of modern society that people have to resort to wearing dead animal flesh in order to make a political statement. Despite the right to free speech and the endless structures in place for the public to contribute to politics, has this overcomplicated the way in which we convey our messages? It is a case of who can shout the loudest to make their opinion heard and so it could be seen as necessary to resort to such drastic measures.

also been suggested it is only due to the now automatic separation of meat from the cute and fluffy animals it is torn from, that most of us are not disgusted by covering our own flesh with that of other animals. Although Gaga’s idea was perceived by many as ‘original’, this was not the first meat dress. The artist and extreme feminist Linda Sterling wore a meat dress in 1982 to protest against the objectification of women by men. It was created from discarded strips of chicken and was one of many radical statements supporting the feminist movement. More recently, in 2008, America’s Next Top Model ran a meat fashion shoot and the internet is full of various butchered garments. However complacent with any form of fashion we as a society become, it should not prevent us questioning the ethical issues surrounding clothes and whether it is ethical to manipulate animals for our own purpose.

The Vegetarian Society argued that,

“No matter how beautifully it is presented, flesh from a tortured animal is flesh from a tortured animal. Enough animals die for food and they should not be killed for stunts like this.” It has Jersey College Gazette


FASHION

ROYAL FASHION Current and Historical

What do the Royals wear? From calm and casual to posh and elegant, we all want to know the details! Article written by Virginia Halford and Nikki Hamon

silk tulle to create a unique and organic design. French Chantilly lace was combined with English Cluny lace to be hand-worked in the Irish Carrickmacross needlework tradition. The veil was made of layers of soft, ivory silk tulle with a trim of handembroidered flowers and held in place with a tiara which the Queen lent the bride. The earrings were diamond-set stylized oak leaves with a pear shaped diamond set drop and a pavé set diamond acorn suspended in the centre. Inspiration for the design comes from the Middleton family’s new coat of arms, which includes acorns and oak leaves.

The Queen’s Fashion

A Prince William and Kate’s Royal Wedding

S

arah Burton - a famous fashion designer - was chosen to create the most unbelievable wedding dress for Kate Middleton. After six months, the dress was made with ivory lace, long sleeves and satin for the gown. Burton says she “enjoyed every moment” of creating the dress for Miss. Middleton. Individual flowers had been hand cut from lace and hand engineered onto the ivory

ngela Kelly is Personal Assistant and Senior Dresser to The Queen. Her role includes designing dresss for The Queen, which she has done since 2002. Angela and her team try and use both new and old fabrics when designing. Some of the material they incorporate has been given to Her Majesty many years ago, some dates to before the coronation. Stewart Parvin, the youngest of Her Majesty’s designers, trained at the Edinburgh College for Art. He also began to design for The Queen in 2000. The Queen has stayed in fashion all these years thanks to her designers (including Angela Kelly and Stewart Parvin) and the design team.

twitter.com/jcg_live or visit the school website www.jcg.je

Top 10 hats of the Royal Wedding: 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9:

The toilet seat hat - Princess Beatrix The blue feathered bowl cut Queen Margrethe of Denmark The purple flower helmet Princess Anne The yellow top hat - The Queen The black boat hat - Zara Philips The black blood cell Victoria Beckman The pink mesh hat - Princess Letizia The upturned white hat Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall The white bow hat Carole Middleton

10: The Plain Pink hat -

Crown princess Victoria of Sweden

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FASHION

The

Girl

Past, Present and Future Article written by Emily Crichard

L

ove it or hate it, the JCG niform is a major part of life at College. Rolled-up skirts are

a common talking point for the lower school, whilst, “GET

THAT PIECE OF METAL OUT OF YOUR FACE!” is a common sound in the Sixth Form Centre (referring to nose

studs by the way, Sixth Formers don’t actually walk around with metal in their face).

Everyone has their own opinion on

Now, with the pressure to not confuse

to mention some Greek and Latin

the uniform: old summer dresses

burgundy and red, and remember

textbooks and many, many photos.

or new ones? Black socks or grey?

that cream is NOT the same as white,

The uniform we found included

Controversial? I think so. Not to forget

I have come to see that all you lot

some hilarious ‘Gym Rompers’, for

the poor Year 7s, who come to school

wearing uniform have it easy!

romping in the gym in case you were

on non-uniform day, dressed smartly In preparation for this article, I went

and many badges for various

to say JCG is very much affected by

to the JCG archives; yes these

achievements. It was crazy to see

our uniforms. As I have just escaped

do exist as Hogwarts-esque as it

how much things had changed. The

the much loved uniform, I think I can

sounds. In the huge cupboard on the

old summer dress went far below the

now have a clear perspective; it was

second floor of Roberts, we dug out

knee and - compared to the lengths of

never as bad as I thought at the time!

some boxes of old girls uniform, not

our skirts now - was ridiculous!

1800

1820

The Jersey Ladies’ College, as the school was first called, opened on 20.09.1880

7

wondering; old prefect girdles(?!);

in their usual attire - I think it’s safe

The

June 2013

1840

1860

1880

1900

1928 the College was taken over by the Church of England Schools’ Trust

Jersey College Gazette


We looked through the photos and

1900s, the girls had to wear long

wore it back in the 1850s. Or if you’d

found some dating back all the way

skirts, blouses and tights to play in!

rather, just be glad they got rid of

to the early 1800s: the best ones

Again, we complain but now it really

boaters and berets before we started!

are shown here. The uniform of

isn’t so bad!

JCG has undoubtedly changed a lot since it was introduced. Some of

So in conclusion, no matter how

the highlights must be the what the

many times your skirt is rolled up, or

Sixth Form wore in the 60’s - think

you wear black socks with a summer

floor length skirts with tie dye t-shirts

dress, remember that being in a

and blazers with the typical massive

uniform always makes students a part

shoulder pads - and the old hockey

of JCG and its history, creating some

and netball kits: up until the early

link between us and the girls who

1920

1940

1960

In 1935 the College, changed its name to Jersey College for Girls

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1980

2000

2020

1999 JCG moved to its present site on Mont Millais

The

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FASHION

Article written by Grace Bravery

O

ver time, I have come to the

When I’m in town, whether in

conclusion that fashion is a con.

Jersey, or a city in England, France

Fashion doesn’t mean anything - isn’t

or abroad, I am aware of a two-

real - not only in terms of shopping on

way observation: I am looking at

the high street, or keeping up to date

others and they see me. In

with current culture, films, books, TV,

Feminist thinking, there is the

the latest technological fad, baking

concept of the ‘gaze’ which

craze or sporting phenomenon. Fashion

relates to the objectification of

and individuality are two mutually

women under public scrutiny.

contradictory terms. Why? One cannot

A woman wearing high heels

be fashionable and be an individual.

struts down King Street and

How come? One cannot be both

feels the ‘gaze’ upon her, like

different and the same as everyone

a model on a catwalk. One

else. Moreover, individuality has nothing

self-conscious woman next to

to do with any sub-culture of fashion!

another, comparing appearances and judging in terms of size,

Identity and individuality are synonymous; the former refers to the ‘essence’ of a person, the latter is a descriptor for their role in relation to society. Identity is formed on the basis of our sense of self. Individuality is threatened by conformity, stereotype and

shape, dress, apparent wealth, expression... There are many external factors to take into account. The question is, for any man or woman, young or old, can we presume to gain any insight into the character of an individual based upon exterior-evaluation?

under the umbrella-term: fashion.

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our individuality on a superficial level. Mostly, sibling or peer rivalry triggers pettiness, such as ‘she likes tuna and

gender discrimination, all of which are categories sheltering

of us have from an early age to assert

I like ham’, simply sounding like a Dr In my opinion, individuality is important

Zeus character. However, the first years

from the beginning – when we are born.

of our development are also the most

The question is: when does fashion

important as we form our sense of

become the ruling dictator of our lives? I

identity. Psychologists say that a child’s

can relate an anecdote about my cousin

awareness of gender-identity is formed

and I when we were six years old, on

partly through the selection of toys,

a family ski-holiday in a French resort.

based on society’s perception of

One day, I was bought a singing marmot

masculine and feminine, say Power

from a toy shop that nodded its head

Rangers versus Betty Spaghetti.

along to the Beatles’ song, ‘Lemon Tree’

Choosing “gender-appropriate” toys

on a loop. Naturally, my cousin saw

is supposedly a sign that a child is

the marmot and wanted the same. The

successfully categorising them selves,

crux of the matter was that I wouldn’t

even before the child tends to opt for

let her and she was given a teddy in

same sex peer groups. Considering my

a dress that sang ‘Frère Jacques’ and

experience with the singing marmot,

she cried. This is an example of typical,

I would probably say I had a more

childish, different-for-the-sake-of-being-

“androgynous” taste in toys when I was

different behaviour. However, I think it

six, though I probably owned a hundred

demonstrates the concern that most

Barbies as well.

Jersey College Gazette


Returning to Fashion, it strikes me that society imposes strict guidelines on our material choices. If you compare toys to clothes, music genres, or hairstyles, is it not true that we are judged for the correctness of our preference? Supposedly, such choices indicate whether our sense of identity is well established. The questions (they keep coming) arise: What is feminine or masculine? What is cool? What is polite?

Fashion feeds upon consumerism. Fashion lies. Fashion promotes an image of ‘you’ being the best you can be, standing out from the crowd, getting the thumbs-up. Remember, if you want to be different, you have to be the first. Once, there was an individual that started the ‘punk’ movement, then suddenly, everyone started wearing facial piercing and paper clips to repair their recently-new ripped shirt. Perhaps the first true Goth did have a penchant for black and liked hanging around graveyards. Punks, Goths, Emos, Elvis Presley impersonators – they’re different but all the same. As my eccentric, wacky-thinking yoga teacher once said

I may sound anti-Fashion. I hate the way society restricts individuality and brain-washes the population. But doesn’t everyone is this generation

to me, ‘People are always trying to be something they’re not. You see that seagull, there? That seagull isn’t trying to be anything, it just does what it does, is what it is.’

remember the past trends and phases of a shared childhood? In culture, Harry Potter, impossible to avoid spoilers; Twilight, Cullen vs. Jacob; The Simpsons, ‘d’oh!’; Furbies; Barbies and - save us from them - Bratz!

In my view, whilst fashion makes us feel comfortable, trends pose a problem for individuality. We live in a capitalist society where mass-production is the basis of our economy; we’re all drawn in by adverts and the need to fund our materialist lifestyles. Consumerism and Ideology are the Marxist arch-enemies, in other words, Vogue magazine and Sky TV!

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Identity, if there is such a thing, has nothing to do with what we think. Individuality cannot be expressed via fashion. Why do we walk through town wearing highly clashing prints when every teenage girl is now backcombing her hair and looking just as though she rolled out of bed, like, ten minutes ago? Perhaps we should give up the chase of fashion, or stop reading glossy magazines, as you are doing now. One individual has to start the new unfashionable trend. Will you? The

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FASHION

Behind

behind the

seams

the seams Article written by Jyothi Nayar Year 7

What are sWeat shops? Sweatshops are factories that employ people of all ages to work for a very small wage in awful conditions. Children from the age of five are employed to work making carpets, clothes and shoes. Just think, something you are wearing right now could have been made by a child younger than you and they may have only been paid a very small amount. Not many people actually know about sweatshops and child labour and they continue to buy from the places that use children and poor families to make the clothes and shoes that they supply.

will be down to how much good

What can you do?

quality work they have produced. One

It is hard to know how you can

week, someone might gain a very

help with an issue like this; lots of

little amount and their family will have

clothes companies would close

very little to eat and, the next week,

down if sweatshops were stopped

they might make just enough to buy

and lots of the people who work in

a simple meal. Some mothers that

sweatshops wouldn’t have jobs: they

have no one to look after their small

might become homeless. There is no

children will have to bring them into

well-known charity that helps these

the factory. This is not good for the

workers by giving them a roof over

children, as it will be hot and sweaty

their head and education for their

in the factory with people crammed

children. Therefore, these people

together and bad-smelling fumes. If

need others to raise awareness. The

the children are over five however, the

charities that do support sweatshop

owner may start them working there

workers also need to create more

if they do not go to school; if they do,

publicity. If more people knew about

they will be expected to spend all of

this type of work, they would be more

their spare time at the factory, helping

likely to buy their clothes online,

their parents.

where finding Fairtrade clothes is

In most factories like this, the people employed will get paid on a certain day. How much money they receive

Sweatshops are found in various

What goes on at a sWeatshop factory? 11

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parts of Asia and - perhaps surprisingly - in the USA as well. Lots of clothes are made in India and China; most of your clothes have probably travelled over half way around the world before they arrived

much easier. Hopefully, in the near future, sweatshop workers will be working for Fairtrade companies and the amount of child labour in sweat shops will be significantly reduced.

at the shop you bought them in.

Jersey College Gazette


Which companies should i Buy from? There are many Fairtrade companies that not many people know about. People Tree is a good Fairtrade company which has many clothes that are very similar to ones you might buy on the high street. If you are interested making your life more Fairtrade, try visiting their website to find out more. If you are interested in learning more about sweatshop workers and how their life might be, then I recommend reading these books:

Spilled Water and Girl in translation

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The

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L A C I P Y T O E R E ST FASHION

FASHION

Worldwide fashion stereotypes;

focusing on England, France, Texas and Japan.

W

e can’t help it. Wherever we go, whatever we do, we all think of stereotypes; it’s in our nature. Whether it’s with certain activities that we take part in, or with what school we go to, we all think in stereotypes and are even apportioned them by other people. They’re not always a positive thing; sometimes times they can be used as a good inside joke but other times they can be damaging. Having said that, after watching a lot of American TV shows, it’s occurred to me that the Americans have an idea of what all British people act like. Usually we are pictured drinking a beloved cup of tea, while most likely watching the rain fall outside our windows and talking with Dick Van Dyke’s “Cockney” accent. Now, we know this is not all true - fair enough a cup of tea is a great relief from the constant down pour of rain - but it’s interesting to realise how the world sees us Britons. Therefore, I thought that I would see how we perceive other cultures. So let’s take an imaginary trip just across the sea to France, the home of the language of love and the land where the Eiffel Tower proudly stands. Whenever I think of France, I can’t help but picture a man wearing a striped top, sporting a dodgy moustache while proudly cycling around a village from days yonder with a baguette in his bicycle’s wicker basket, a beret firmly on his head in place of a cycle helmet. I’m not entirely sure where I ever got this image from but for some reason this is firmly placed in my mind, along with the picture that all French people

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sport garlic necklaces, as though they’re permanently trying to ward off vampires. Before I offend anyone, I know that this isn’t true (unless there is a tiny village of vampire slayers in the midst of the country side) and that the only difference between us British and the French is the language barrier. However, in spite of this, I’m pretty sure that I will still want to buy a souvenir beret when I visit Paris on the Rouen Trip. The next stop on our trip of stereotypes is out in the Far East, in the land of new technology and a culture which we see as completely different from our own, Japan. I have never been to Japan - the closest I’ve ever been is having a wonder around Tokyo on Google Maps - and even though I know that Japan is a very forward Country and is a place where most of our modern technology comes from, I can’t help but think of an image of a gaggle of Geishas all tottering around on their ‘zori’ sandals with their hair in buns higher than Marge Simpson’s fro could ever achieve. Again, I know that the modern day Japanese person doesn’t dress like this, but I do have reason for my stereotype this time! Geishas are firmly set in the history of Japan, and there are still some Geisha schools in Japan who perform the traditional dances of the Geisha, even if it is just for the tourists who want to transport themselves into Ancient Japan. For the final stop on our tour, let’s venture across the waters to the United States of America, to the

Article written by Steff Spencer

Southern States like Texas and Tennessee. The closest I’ve ever been to the Southern States is through watching the Hannah Montana Movie, so that’s why I think this stereotype is pretty true (but only if you count the Hannah Montana Movie as being factual). To help you see what I’m imagining, think Woody from Toy Story - to put it into simple terms, a cowboy; a lasso throwing, horse riding, stirrupwearing cowboy. I have to admit that when I was younger, I loved (and still love) watching the Toy Story movies, and when number 2 came out and introduced the character of Jessie, that’s when I decided I wanted to be a cowgirl. That’s why, if I do ever take a trip to the Southern States, I’m hoping to be greeted by a pack of cowboys riding bareback waiting to whisk me away to a ranch and teach me how to be a true cowgirl. Seeing as the probability of that is extremely unlikely, I’ll settle for thinking that the entire population of Texans travel on horseback even for their weekly supermarket shop. But let me point out that I don’t want to be a cowgirl anymore, but only due to the upsetting fact that I discovered I’m allergic to horses! So I hope you’ve enjoyed our little trip around the world, and that in the future you might venture to some of the countries to discover what the culture and the people are really like (and if you’d fancy taking me with you, I promise that I’ll share my toy Jessie with you, she yodels and everything!).

Jersey College Gazette


INTERVIEWS

The

June 2013

Jersey College Gazette


INTERVIEWS

Principal s ’

QuestionTime Article written by Hannah Gardener

Mr Howarth answers your questions about JCG You have an important day ahead, what tie do you wear?

When you were 10, what did you want to be?

I try to ensure it has always got some JCG red in it. However, occasionally it doesn’t, and I always try to coordinate it with at least my shirt.

Is it red for ‘the power tie’? No, it’s not. It’s red for JCG, the predominant colour of our College. The head girl and deputy head girl two years ago gave me some cufflinks that say ‘Aspire’ and ‘Inquire’ – I’m very proud of the College so that’s why I wear these things.

If you were offered a 2 year exchange to China, would you take it? If my family were in agreement, I think it would be an amazing adventure. I often reflect on how Mr Lewis and his family are getting on and how much we are learning from having Mr Mao here. Our two cultures are so different, incredibly different, and it’s hard to understand how different. But it would be wonderful for my family to have that adventure together.

A vet. But I realised wasn’t cut out for blood. I wanted to be this because of my love of animals but I just didn’t have the stomach to operate. After that I became fascinated with rocks and wondered whether I’d go into Geology but then it shifted to Architecture. Then it went to perhaps Academia, but it wasn’t until I was about 18 that I thought about teaching. But even then I wasn’t sure, it was just a direction. It is amazing where life leads you.

If you could speak fluently in any language, which would you choose?

What was the first record you ever bought? I think it was probably something by Frankie Goes To Hollywood. And it was a record!

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I cannot speak any other language apart from English and I feel incredibly ignorant, especially because of the place we live. I’d love to speak French or Italian because of the usefulness of where we are geographically. When we go on holiday, I’d love to feel semi competent. My fatherin-law speaks fluent Mandarin and I do envy that ability to speak and write it. If I was 14 now, I think I’d be looking to learn Mandarin.

What are the best books you’ve ever read? Why? ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ by Salinger JD. It’s a very powerful book when growing up, understanding and commenting on the adult world. The main character in the novel is called Holden and he talks about everyone being phoney and I often reflect Jersey College Gazette


on that; are people being true or are they being ‘phoney’? The second novel would be ‘The End of the Affair’ by Graham Green which is a stunningly beautiful novel. It’s set at the time of the second world war and captures the sense of loss and hope of that period. My third novel would be ‘The Satanic Verses’ by Salman Rushdie. When this novel was published, Rushdie encountered some strong criticism for his portrayal of Islam. Furthermore, a fatwa was placed upon him, putting his life at risk and he had to go into hiding. Yet the novel is beautifully written, technically brilliant with real inventiveness and imagination. I remember reading it and being aware of the power of what modern literature could do and the reactions it could illicit. The written word can be an incredibly forceful way of communicating.

Would you rather be face to face with a crocodile or great white shark? Neither. I doubt I’d ever find myself in either situation, I’m not very adventurous. Both would be equally terrifying. However, if I had to, I think probably the crocodile because I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the James Bond film ‘Live and Let Die’ when he jumps across the heads of the crocodiles – that’s what I could see myself doing.

Favourite place in the world you’ve ever been? Why? Sark. I love its beauty and peacefulness. It’s a great place to escape and get away from the noise of modern life. The landscape is breathtaking and the whole place is just so different from anywhere else.

You’re banished to a desert island. You’re only allowed to take one ‘item’ with you. What would it be? A photo of my family. If I could have that anyway, in my pocket, and take another item then it would be a piano. I remember my passion for playing when I was 15/16 and I’d like to go back to that time when I’d really lose myself and time would just disappear.

Are you a dreamer or a realist? I’m probably a dreamer. I like to think we can always be better than we are. I do accept things when we can’t do it. But I am always looking for a better solution. We could always strive to be better, better today than we were yesterday and better still tomorrow.

when the soloist sings the first verse. Then the congregation joins in and the trumpets begin. Magical. It’s just a rousing and beautifully lyrical tune and, at that moment, I know it’s Christmas.

What is your favourite Christmas carol?

Favourite subject in secondary school? English. I had a very inspirational teacher, Mr Mann, and it’s always wonderful and a special privilege to have a teacher who inspires you to go beyond your learning to really love your subject. My degree was in English followed by a Masters degree. Mr Mann just had a wonderful way of speaking so naturally about texts and characters but also how literature enables us to question our own understanding of what being human is all about and about the meaning of our existence. Poetry and literature is all about trying to make sense of how and why we exist, how to use that gap between birth and death. I have seen this same kind of inspirational teaching here at JCG, the same quality that I received when I was at school.

‘Once in Royal David’s City’. I always get goose bumps at the Christmas carol service

twitter.com/jcg_live or visit the school website www.jcg.je

The

June 2013

16


INTERVIEWS

Life in China Where did you live in China? I was born in central China, then in 2004 I moved to the Midland Province for University education; then I worked there and studied there for 8 years and now, in 2012, I have moved to Jersey.

Interviewers: Steff Spencer and Emily Crichard

Are there any traditional items of clothing in China? I think there were maybe 20 years ago but in the last 10 years, it’s getting more and more like the UK and American people. It’s fading out now: there are not many traditional clothes now.

Do you think that there’s much of a cultural difference between Jersey and China? I think the most different thing is how people do things: their manners. For example, here, when a woman is walking, and you come through the door, a man will open the door for a woman. But in China, it’s not that important. Also, working as a teacher in China, I cannot drink water in the classroom because I don’t allow my students to eat their food or to drink things in the classroom, so I have to do the same way, to set a good example. But here, the students are also not allowed to eat or drink in the classroom but teachers can and are always with a cup in hand in the classroom.

Moving to Jersey Is Jersey similar to what you expected? Yes, but it is the first time I have come here and the first time I have been abroad out of China.

Had you heard of Jersey before you knew you were coming here? In the last months before I came to Jersey, I researched a lot about it but before that I knew nothing about Jersey.

Is it strange going from a massive country to a tiny island? Yes. The traffic here…Ms Harley told me, “Oh, it’s so crowded everyday!” but if you go to China, it’s even worse. At midnight or 2 o’clock in the morning, the cars are packed in the road.

Where you lived in China, did you live near the sea or the beach?

Do you like being near to sea now? I like it very much.

Hopefully the summer will be very good for you next year then, but is there anything that you dislike about the island? Dislike? I don’t think so.

Do you think Jersey is too small compared to China, or do you like the size? Because I come from such a big country, I prefer it here. The people are very polite: very nice. When I am in Jersey, when I was watching the traffic the other day, I see that people are so polite: you go up and they let you go, every time, you go first. In China, it is car first, and then people; sometimes, you will wait to cross the road for maybe 5 minutes or 10 minutes, just waiting for the cars to cross and then you can go.

Have you noticed that ‘everyone know everyone’ in Jersey? What do you think of that? I didn’t notice that.

In Jersey, we can go into town and bump into an acquaintance. Is it like that with people you see in town in China?

Now that you have been living in Jersey for a while, what are the main things that you like and dislike about the island? The most impressive thing are the people here, they are really nice and I have found that they really like reading. You read a lot of books; all the teachers in the Maths office read a lot. The first day that I arrived at Heathrow Airport, I found that many people, when they are waiting, have a book in hand and are reading.

Is that not normal in China then? In China, you can never see people reading a book - when they are waiting for a bus, never. I think that is because China is a developing country, whereas the UK is a developed country. In China, people are just like students; if they do other things, it doesn’t help to get a high score. For Chinese people, they don’t like reading because if you read too much it doesn’t help you to get a better life and to improve your life quality.

I will never see those people again; they are strangers, all strangers.

No.

17

The

June 2013

Jersey College Gazette


Education in China and Jersey At the school you worked in in China, did the students wear a uniform? Most of the schools don’t wear uniform; they do have uniform, but they’re just not required to wear it everyday, so they can wear it when the want to and also on special occasions. For example, when Government Officers visit the school, then all students wear their uniform. Also, as a teacher, I never wore uniform, whereas here I am required to wear a tie and be very formal but in China, nobody cares what you wear.

Do you think wearing uniform helps, or that it doesn’t really make a difference? I don’t like uniform and also I don’t want my students to wear uniform as it’s uncomfortable: I prefer when you can wear anything.

Mr Lewis sent us an e-mail saying that for A-Levels, the students have to study Maths, English and one other subject; does this mean they don’t really get much choice about what to study? That’s for A-Level: that’s not for a typical Chinese student. Mr Lewis is working in China to teach a group of Chinese students who will also take A-Level tests and will come to the UK for University. They have to learn A-Level but, if you don’t want to go to the UK for University education, then why take A-Levels?

What do you think the main differences are, in terms of how students are here and how students are in China? I think the biggest difference is the students in China are very serious about their school. In China, the classroom test results mean everything. Nobody cares whether they are really good at Drama, computers, Art, Geography: it’s mainly Maths.

Do you think Chinese students are more focused on their studies? I’m comparing the students here in the UK and the students in China who don’t want to come to the UK. The vast majority of Chinese students - 99% of them - choose a Chinese University and for those students, they care very much about their school study. Also, you can never see a student in town: never, because they have too much work to do - 12 hours per day and here only 5. Here it is 4 hours in the morning and 1 in the afternoon; in China, it is 4 hours in the morning, 4 hours in the afternoon, 3 or 4 hours in the evening and then they go to bed.

So, are there no after school activities? No, it’s a waste of time. There is no PE class - maybe there is an hour or half an hour per week but for the Year 13 students, we call them ‘Gao Sang’ students, they don’t have PE classes: it’s only for the lower classes.

Sixth Form students here at JCG don’t have PE but up until then we have had 2 or 3 hours a week. We also have PSE, does that happen in China? No, never because that doesn’t help to improve their scores, the main thing is getting the top scores in the classroom and to get to the top University in China.

We also have cooking and sewing lessons, to prepare us for when we are living at University or by ourselves, do these not happen in China? No, it’s really academic all the time and if you do sewing or cooking, that is considered a waste of time. So if you’re really good at cooking or really good at sewing, we don’t care: that doesn’t help you to find a better job.

Do you think it’s harder and more competitive to get into University in China than it is in the UK? Yes, because, in a typical Chinese classroom, we have 65 students, here only 20 - maybe at the most 24 or 25 is the biggest class. And only 20% or 10% of them will go to the top 50 or 100 Universities in China; the rest of them will go to the Universities that are maybe not so very good.

twitter.com/jcg_live or visit the school website www.jcg.je

In China, are there universities with reputations equivalent to Oxford or Cambridge? Yes, like Tsinghua University or Peking University, which is in Beijing. Those two are the top two.

Is there anything about the schools in China that you’d like to bring over to the classrooms at JCG? I think that the students here need to practise more Maths. It seems that when they have a test, for example when I tell them, “You have a test next week,” they seem very happy and don’t seem very nervous; they are not panicked. I think that is the difference between the cultures: in China, if you are really good at Maths you will get to the top universities where you can do many other things. You can play, you can sing and you can dance, you will learn loads of things that you can not do before you successfully go to university.

So that’s everything, thank you so much for your time: it’s been great!

The

June 2013

18


INTERVIEWS

Englishmanabroad

An

Letter from Mr Lewis

st impressions of living fir s hi ed rd co re s wi Le r – Back in September, M ne is missing Mr Lewis yo er ev at th ow kn e W a. sty and teaching in Chin the members of the Amne d an s nt de stu cs ati em date: particularly his Math present you with this up to y pp ha e ar we d an International group

aks English, and even strange at first. No-one spe y ver s wa It . eks we 5 ut abo not. Even when we try to We have been in China for would be international are nk thi uld wo you ich wh o” n. It is quite a feeling of words like “taxi” and “metr en met by a blank expressio oft is it , use to rd wo ht rig . Usually, I speak slowly at speak Chinese and know the h we are getting better now oug alth od sto der un be g of what I am trying to say elation to say something and within earshot gets the han e eon som til un der lou I’m afraid. first and then get louder and A typical Englishman abroad ce. ien pat e los tely ple com before I ly; always cheerful and very welcoming and friend , ion ept exc t hou wit ost alm return to Jersey and Chinese people have been, life is very strange when we nk thi l wil e Sh . her Est by ated through a village when polite and, of course, fascin weekend, we were walking st La . arm her ke stro or her be) in order to take a no-one stops to photograph photographing a bride-toy bus s wa o (wh er ph gra photo h other at all and did a man diverted a wedding children did not take to eac the d sai be to has It . her Est h picture of his toddler son wit h any grace. wit on asi occ the to d not respon Hermes shops pping malls with Gucci and sho as are ive ens exp y ver xture of canal-side streets, The city of Suzhou is a mi g markets and very pretty atin cin fas e som are ere Th areas. s you occasionally and very high-density poorer ctric scooters and the photo ele on d un aro get ple Peo rants. e man was carrying and, of course, lots of restau loads are fairly standard. On le bab pro im st mo the h ded wit wded roads as it is see of bikes or scooters loa ut as dangerous on the cro abo be to ked loo ich wh r, scoote 10m scaffolding poles on his possible to be. ly very like those oy it. The lessons are actual enj lly rea uld wo ts den stu t JCG 0am and often leave School is great. I am sure tha 0am for registration at 7:5 7:3 d un aro ive arr ts den long (stu it is not very at JCG. The days are quite ch in the canteen for 80p but lun ool sch ked coo a get ). They of dan chow fan between 5:00pm and 6:00pm restaurant. A large portion rby nea a m fro red ive del takeaway would expect. All nice so many of them get a very hard working, as you are ts den stu st Mo . £1 rnings, there is en 50p and lly in a taxi. On Monday mo (egg fried rice) costs betwe ona asi occ y ver or s ike e-b 0 es or on en on our block (about 100 students get to school on bus ere all the local school childr wh ony yed em pla cer is g sin hem rai ant al flag a compulsory school as the nation tell nt of the Chinese flag in our as it is in Chinese, I cannot students) stand in rows in fro che rt speech by a tea r but, sho a r ays yea s alw thi is ere but Th e rs. the first nam through speake d to calling their teacher by use are , ts ths den Ma stu e h, Th glis . En say you what they m students only study t difference is that Sixth For are the subjects that has stopped. The bigges aus mics. This is bec e these ono Ec and y istr em Ch s, Physic whole seem to ause Chinese students on the bec also and in t bes do y the in years to come d job. Still, this will change be ambitious for a well pai Art, Geography, ts are now studying Drama, because our GCSE studen for A Level. efully, many will take these ICT, and Biology as well; hop

19

The

June 2013

Jersey College Gazette


CURRENT AFFAIRS

The

June 2013

Jersey College Gazette


CURRENT AFFAIRS

Article written by Hannah Gardener

2012 B

atman Shooting - 20th July. At the midnight showing of

Batman: The Dark Knight Rises in Colorado, a man burst into the movie theatre, armed with multiple guns, and opened fire. The suspected culprit, 24-year-old James Holmes, killed 12 and injured 58 people that night. This has highlighted issues around gun licensing.

H

urricane Sandy - End of October. In the final days of

October, ‘the largest tropical storm ever recorded in the Atlantic’ hit North America hard. A rough estimation of the damage caused is $10 billion, costing double this to cover the cost of rebuilding. However, these figures are always underestimated.

O

21

The

June 2013

J

ames Bond: Skyfall 23rd October. The 23rd James

bama Wins Election Again - 6th November. Barack

Bond was released, earning a record-

Obama defeated Mitt Romney in the

breaking $87.8 Million on opening

battle to become President. Obama

weekend in the US: the biggest Bond

begins his second term as the US

ever! Figures show that Daniel Craig

leader with 4 more years in Washington

is the highest ever paid Bond. It has

DC. He made many promises calling on

topped all opening weekends so far in

both parties to work towards making

2012 – beating the much loved Marvel

these wishes a reality.

Avengers and The Hunger Games.

Jersey College Gazette


and the issues regarding Joseph

called ‘Cover the Night’ took place. However, the response to this was

protesters turned up in French Cities

very mixed due to the widespread

to fight against same-sex marriage

simplification of a very complex issue.

and the right for gay people to adopt.

internationally. On April 20th an event

C

F

rench Protest Against Gay Marriage -18th November. More than 100,000

Kony and child soldiers were spread

These protests were organised by

hildren in Need 2012 - 16th November. Children

Catholic groups as the Government’s

in Need raised a massive amount

marriage mid-2013 in France.

plans are to legalise same sex

of money, receiving £26,757,446

B

on the night – a record! There were

ritish Monk Sets Himself on Fire In Protest - 15th November. British

performances from Girls Aloud, One Direction, Alan Sugar and many more.

C

Monk (38) born David Alain died

hildren in Need at JCG - 16th November. To celebrate

after setting himself on fire at a

the great cause, BBC Radio Jersey’s

France. It is believed he was making a

Kevin Pamplin broadcasted live from

‘political gesture’ against the Chinese

JCG during an afternoon of many

occupation of Tibet. Fire fighters were

exciting events and challenges. Of course Pudsey bear himself made an appearance and the whole school took part in a group hug!

Buddhist monastery in Southern

L

ondon Olympics 2012.

unable to save his life after being called to the scene.

In the summer of 2012, the whole world was waiting for the Games to begin. London took on the challenge

K

and made the 30th summer Olympics

ONY 2012. In March the

a great success. With outstanding

Invisible Children campaign released

performances from all the athletes,

a video called ‘KONY 2012’ directed

Britain really made their mark. The US

by Jason Russell. The film was hit

came 1st, China 2nd and Great Britain

that went viral all over the world

came in 3rd.

twitter.com/jcg_live or visit the school website www.jcg.je

The

June 2013

22


B u r l

lying

b y C e

CURRENT AFFAIRS

How can we prevent it? Article written by Virginia Halford

I

n an increasingly technological age,

cyber bulling is an increasingly serious issue with people using their computer screens as a mask. As the internet becomes more portable in the form of phones and tablets, people are constantly affected. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can

First of all, never be mean to someone over the internet (or anywhere) if it’s going to hurt their feelings. Be considerate towards them, and always treat them the way you would want to be treated.

take to stay safe and protect yourself on the internet.

Keep all personal things to yourself – passwords etc. Don’t share these even someone you really trust, like a friend, because anything could happen on the internet.

If one person is being mean to you, block them and de-friend them from the websites they are bullying you on. That way they can’t do anything to you over that certain site.

Secondly, always tell someone if a person is bullying you, whether it’s a parent, guardian or someone you really trust: like a teacher. They can always help.

Don’t add people you don’t know. If a stranger sends a friend request on a website, block them and make sure they can’t get to you.

If you need more information on how to keep safe over the internet, then visit

www.thinkuknow.com or if you

need advice on how to deal with bullying visit

www.cybermentors.org.uk 23

The

June 2013

Jersey College Gazette


REVIEWS

twitter.com/jcg_live or visit the school website www.jcg.je

The

June 2013


REVIEWS

Truly terrifying, appalling and yet completely unputdownable

BOOK REVIEW Article written by Rowan Pilley

P

ublished in 2003, Lionel Shriver’s

twisted and warped is

book We Need to Talk about Kevin is

that Eva is an ordinary

largely based on the school shootings

mother burdened with this

that occurred in America at the end of

manipulative child. Eva

the last millennium. Set out as what

and Franklin are not bad

could be described as a monologue,

parents. They are pretentious,

with the maternal character of Eva

confirmative, and eager to

writing letter after letter to the silent,

understand and relate to their

estranged character of her husband

children; they are impatient

Franklin, the book is alien to those

and bad tempered but, even

tucked up safe in bed but strangely and

on the worst of days, there

unnervingly close to the reader’s heart.

is still good intention. The

We Need to Talk about Kevin is truly terrifying. Terrifying, appalling and yet completely unputdownable. It follows the relationship between mother and child yet without divulging into the concept of love - as is customary to do when narrating a parental bond. What makes

universe and character Shriver has created are completely parallel with our own lives; we, like Eva are self-absorbed, or like Franklin, obsessed with an overwhelming image of family but this brings the horror that

animalistic streak because we are

is Kevin so close.

hardwired for survival regardless of

It seems callous to call even a fictional

the love that

child a horror, but from a young

And we really do need to talk about

Eva and

age Kevin is flippant, calculating,

Kevin. We read and listen to media

Kevin share

disinterested. Medically, physically

which imprints ‘school shootings’ on

so

he is too normal: perfect. And that

the brain met with the subconscious

is terrifying - the events of the book

reflex of smug socialites – ‘how

are unpredictable, unpreventable,

terrible’. This book demonstrates to us

unavoidable. We could be sitting next to Kevin or pass him in the street or he could take our lives. In a way we all have the ability to be Kevin; harbouring a mad,

25

how violent that may lead us to be.

twitter.com/jcg_live or visit the school website www.jcg.je

we cannot blame the parents because it is up to us as a society to prevent sociopaths from using us as target practice. It highlights a vulnerability of modern culture – the way in which we distance ourselves from issues that are so important in an advancing world.

The

June 2013


REVIEWS

BADLABECQUES

MUSIC REVIEW

Local Jèrriais Band Article written by Steff Spencer

I

n this issue of the Gazette, we thought it would be good to review a local band who we thought could depict Jersey’s roots. Therefore, after seeing them perform an acoustic session outside White Label Records in Colomberie, I discovered the Jèrriais band ‘Badlabecques’.

Badlabecques is a Jersey-based pop folk band who fuse the traditional songs with pop and dance influences from around the world, all while singing in our indigenous language of Jèrriais. They are made up of 9 people, playing instruments ranging from the acoustic guitar to the accordion. To be honest, the last time I heard Jersey’s native language of Jèrriais was when I was in Year 4 and took part in lessons on dreary Wednesday mornings before school. However, with

their folk twist on traditional Jersey tales, it was great to see Jèrriais in a light which I had never experienced before, one that was actually enjoyable to watch and listen to!

Personally, the only thing I can remember of my few years of learning Jèrriais is the phrase ‘abitôt mon vie’ and even though I didn’t really understand what the songs were about, it was great just to stand there and listen to the catchy tunes that were being played on the guitar and the violin. My personal favourite song, which I saw performed, is called ‘J’ai pèrdu ma femme’, which is a song about a husband losing his wife while planting cabbages. When the live session finished, I even found myself humming the tunes after I returned home, which I think shows that you’ve had a good time. Also, it was interesting learning some words from

twitter.com/jcg_live or visit the school website www.jcg.je

Jersey’s native language, and at least I know how to say, ‘Mon bieau p’tit Jèrri, la reine des îles’ (My beautiful little Jersey, Queen of the islands), which I think could come in handy if I take any trips to nearby Guernsey.

So if you are currently learning Jèrriais, or want to own a CD which you can proudly proclaim is 100% Genuine Jersey Produce, then I strongly advise that you buy their album, ‘Hèque’. Not only would you be supporting a great local band, but half of the proceeds go back to local causes, supporting local musicians and also the teaching of Jèrriais throughout the island. So what are you waiting for? Go and buy the album now, and amaze your friends at lunch with your astounding new knowledge of Jèrriais, (and don’t worry, the album comes with English a translation!).

The

June 2013

26


REVIEWS

The Debate

‘Protesting is a sign of a healthy society.’

debate where the majority of the

O

of protest from the public and how

whereas only a few members of the

several Jersey College for Girls

this shows a better-disciplined society

audience voted for the argument. This

students, parents, Hawksford

audience voted against the argument,

n Monday 26th November,

27

Article written by Eloise Smith and Vicky Youngs

with less conflict and therefore a

truly shows how well the “against”

members and interested islanders

healthier one. On the other hand,

team were at portraying their

came together in the JCG hall to

next a member of the team that was

argument. We also found out, once

take part in a debate hosted by the

for the motion stood and also spoke

the debate had come to a conclusion,

chief executive of Hawksford, Peter

for 10 minutes about how in China

that the debaters were in fact

Murley. The topic was ‘Protesting is

the government do not allow these

speaking for the opposite team that

a sign of a healthy society.’ This,

protests to happen and have serious

they believed in - making it that much

what we thought was a controversial

threats and punishments for signs

harder for them.

topic, was not so very controversial

or revolt in place surely meaning an

when the audience voted before

unhealthy society lacking freedom

Nevertheless, we both agreed that

the debate commenced where only

of speech. When the speeches were

the debate truly made us both start

seven members of the audience voted

done, it was question time where

‘thinking about tomorrow’,

against and the vast majority voted for

the audience got to quiz the teams,

provoking our thoughts on the subject

the argument. This widely held view

which uncovered that the teams

and really gave us a feel of the political

made it difficult for the team arguing

defined “protest” in different ways.

world not only inspiring us about our

against the motion.

The “for” team defined a protest as

political philosophy, but also motivated

any non-violent portrayal of opinion

us to take part in the coming debates.

Firstly, a member of the team that

against a matter such as peace march

equally inappropriate phrase.

was against the motion stood and

or a letter of complaint whereas the

presented their 10 minute long

“against” team argued that a protest

speech which was captivating and

should be defined as any type of

interesting and mentioned leaders like

disagreement with the government

Martin Luther King and Gandhi who

including violent demonstrations.

attempted to make major alterations

However, at the end of the debate, the

to society yet avoided violent protest

audience was asked again to vote for

and managed to make a huge impact

or against the argument after having

on how others saw these issues. They

heard the argument from both sides.

also talked about how in China, a new

Surprisingly, the outcome was the

leader was sworn in without any signs

complete opposite to before the

The

June 2013

Jersey College Gazette


WRITERS’ CORNER

The

June 2013

Jersey College Gazette


WRITERS’ CORNER

Creative writing

THE RUN

Part One - The Finishing Exam Article written by Virginia Halford and Nikki Hamon

The clock ticked violently every

Sadly, he died in a car accident and I

hands sticky and moist. Grabbing my

second, sending chills up my spine

try not to think of him too much.

old, faded leather jacket, I marched

despite the weather. It read three forty-five. I bent over my Finishing Exam; my long, wavy, brown, thick curls tumbling across my face, down my shoulders. I tucked the escaping locks behind my ears and continued chewing the tip of my pencil. The sun was beating down through the window, making my face burn; blood was rushing to my head anyway. Fifteen more minutes and I’d be out of this stuffy hall. I laughed to myself silently, so as not to disturb the other

home with high mark but I’m pondering what I’ll get - good or bad: I’m sure she won’t mind too much. You see, our family needs money, and a lot of it! Mama would give anything (except for her ‘three precious children’ as she likes to call us) for even just a slice of turkey, or

the Finishing Exam - to get a job, of course. Bad scores equal bad jobs. It’s as simple as that and I was determined not to get a bad score. Mama was - right this minute, second even - at the Steam Plant. Bad scores sort of run through our blood. Except

of the normal kids. It took me a good half an hour until I reached the rickety gates of our house. I continued up the stone path, and jammed open the rusty, wooden door with great force. Mama stood there, with burns of cabbage stew. I breathed in the

Mr. Hander’s timer went off through every child, including me.

Every fourteen year old has to take

my house was - far away from most

would I, to be honest.

the hall.

the ones whi didn’t take it last year.

teens, but taking a left route to where

on her hands, slaving over a pot

suddenly, sending a wave of relief

or above. Not many above, just

out the door, following the crowd of

a warm bed for just one night. So

group of three hundred students in

Everyone in the room was fourteen

29

Mama would be proud if I came

contents of the pot and found a seat at the old, dying table. Mama questioned me as she

I just wanted to go home to my

bustled around our small kitchen.

family. The old, unfriendly man -

“So, how do you think it went? Did

with a goatee, I must add - went

you do good? Will you get a good

from desk to desk, collecting up the

job? Will we be able to eat properly

results of everyone’s test, finished or

again?! Will we have enough money

not. Thankfully, mine was finished.

to -” Mama saw my pained face and

Reluctantly - but in a desperate hurry

sighed. “Look, I’m sorry, dear, but we

to get rid of it – I placed it in his grimy

haven’t had anything nice for years!

hands, on top of the stack of what

Look at us!”

looked like very heavy papers. He smirked a menacing smile, then

I gazed around our little shack of a house, feeling lonely and small, even

for Papa. He got one of the highest

continued to collect in the papers.

with Mama’s kind words soothing

scores on this small, deserted island.

My palms were sweating, making my

me. The walls were covered in moss,

The

June 2013

Jersey College Gazette


the roof was leaking in various spots,

I hugged him back, but a normal

pecking his lips playfully. I held his

to put into one simple sentence - this

guy would have pushed him away

hand, tight in mine, as we fed the

house is beyond repairing. “I don’t

and eyed him wearily. But he was

pigeons pieces of stale bread, which

know...” I whispered, quietly. “I don’t

my little, defenceless brother so

he had brought from his home. Every

know...” I fiddled with my hands,

I clutched him tight. “Well done,

now and then he would ask me, ‘How

still wet with sweat, but they were

Skylar.” He murmured into my ear.

did it go?’ or, ‘Do you think you did

shaking too.

“Thank you, Marco,” we parted;

Mama twisted me into a tight hug,

he went to ask Mama about her day,

well?’, but my answers would always be the same. He didn’t mind my answers and I didn’t mind him asking

smoothing down my hair, relaxing

while I went into the neighbourhood

me. I cried softly into her shoulders,

to meet Kai. I twisted through the

sniffing once in a while. Marco, my

winding roads to the village square,

younger brother, entered the room

where all the nice shops were.

me to get back,” he said, studying

and sighed - the ‘knowing’ look

Mama didn’t have any money, so

the sky. The clouds had drifted in

plastered on his normally smirking

neither did we. One of my many

from the corners of the sky, rays

face.

hobbies included gazing through

of light gleaming through. The

shop windows, gazing at the things

sun had turned orange, and it was

either. “So, I think it’s time for you and

I simply couldn’t

turning dark earlier, now it was late

have.

November. I nodded in agreement;

The square was packed with pigeons, little

we kissed goodbye, and went our separate ways. I walked the hour’s walk home,

children clinging

deep in thought. To be honest, I

onto their mothers

wasn’t sure what I got, and I was

and teenage

worried. More than worried but it

thugs, looking for

would be okay… I hoped.

someone to bully, steal from or hurt. “Kai!” I called, spotting a whirl of frizzy black hair on tanned skin. My skin was pale, a few freckles on my face, wavy, brown hair and pale blue eyes, to match my name. “What are you doing?” Marco asked cautiously, eyeing us carefully. “Your sister just finished her

Kai saw me heading towards him, and turned from the stall he was wistfully looking at. Like me, he was too poor. “Hey!” he said, smiling

Finishing Exam!” Mama said. Tears

broadly. He wound me into a tight

came to her eyes, but she wipes her

hug and I giggled. “You’re looking a

eyes with the back of her hand. She

beauty, as always! And how did the

smiled a watery smile, aimed at me

Finishing Test go?” he added as a

then at Marco, and went back to her

second thought.

cabbage stew before it burnt. Marco turned to me and hugged me tight too. As he was only seven,

I pondered this for a second. “You know... I don’t know! It was so hard

Dark Poem By Nikki Hamon

Life trickles, Sand fills. No one here to save me. Can’t breathe, Feel drowsy. The hourglass filling up. Clock ticks, Takes forever. My time is up.

but I think I managed!” I laughed,

twitter.com/jcg_live or visit the school website www.jcg.je

The

June 2013

30


WRITERS’ CORNER

My problem with ‘YOLO’

F

any thought. Tattoos brandishing the

phrase ‘YOLO’ as far as life is short

term itself are most definitely stupid

- you should work hard and take

- Zac Efron we’re looking at you - like

opportunities that are offered to you

everything, the trend will end. No

in order to contribute to society and

matter how many times you say

undamentally, I agree with the

make a positive impact on the world.

‘YOLO’ you will still have to bear the

However, ‘YOLO’ is often regarded as

ink stained on your skin.

an excuse to do stupid things and it is

phrase or a motto which we can use

the level to which people take these

‘YOLO’ is also like any teenage craze

to maximise the time between life

actions which can cause the problem.

- irritatingly overused. It has even been

and death but part of the modern

For example, using ‘YOLO’ to justify

changed to mean ‘You Obviously Lack

phenomenon of the trend, the same

a buying a tortoise is not a particularly

Originality’ and although once the ‘in’

as the miniskirts of the sixties or the

important issue unless of course you

thing the phrase is now a source of

flares of the seventies, but spread

are allergic to tortoises in which case

growing frustration. This is mainly due

faster and quicker than ever before.

it could be a fatal and tragic sequence

to the use of the term for everyday

of events. It is when the internet

occurrences which is similar to the

Fiction and pop culture create are

reveals the horrors of the ignorant

use of Twitter and Facebook to update

incorporated so fully into our lives

followers of ‘YOLO’ with examples

the world on every action a person

but also mean ‘YOLO’ is rendered

such as ‘I’m pregnant, YOLO’ that the

performs. It is understandable why

inaccurate. If you are Jesus, Harry

seriousness of an irritating slang word

‘just took my dog on a walk YOLO’

Potter, the Doctor or a zombie ‘YOLO’

is emphasized. The most shocking

is beginning to become extremely

simply does not work. Jesus was

case is that of Ervin McKinness, a

tiresome. It can even seem reasonable

raised again through a miracle from

Californian who tweeted ‘Drunk going

that adults doubt the capability of

God - prompting a new phrase, the

120 drifting corners #YOLO’ minutes

our generation who in the future face

creation of which seems to make the

before the car he was in flipped over

huge issues such as climate change,

whole idea even more crazy - ‘YOLT’

killing all five occupants all of whom

economic crisis, over population etc.

is the preferred slang term of some

were in their early twenties.

as when stereotyped as a teenage

Christians (or indeed dedicated Bond

group we justify all our mistakes with

fans).

‘YOLO’ is not a good excuse to justify

a single slang term which is plastered

crime as lyrics from a rap by Drake are

all over cyberspace.

not the strongest argument in your

31

Even if we detest ‘YOLO’ it is becoming frustratingly incorporated

defence. Also, it is in the very essence

Jack Black has also suggested

into our lives whether it slipped into

of the phrase - you only live once -

that ‘YOLO is just carpe diem for

our vocabulary through using the

so it is probably best not to spend

stupid people’ and many anti YOLO

phrase sarcastically or if we have just

your life in prison. Tattoos justified

campaigners have suggested the

caught it from others like a disease!

by ‘YOLO’ are almost certainly a

Latin (seize the day) as a more

Inevitably, ‘YOLO’ will soon be

mistake that has been etched into

valuable alternative although to no

forgotten only to be replaced by an

your skin with no real significance or

avail. ‘YOLO’ is not an inspirational

equally inappropriate phrase.

The

June 2013

Jersey College Gazette


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