Wednesday, July 26, 2006

God is in the TV

Also, a quick plug.

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Now you can search by my name, and see all the lovely stuff I've written, and avoid all the bands I've slated.

Lazing on a sunny afternoon...

Quite so, Ray Davies of The Kinks. That's all I seem to be doing. And why?

Because of stupid, goddamn pointless work experience. This is going to be one major, unedited, non-sensival (likely) rant. One of the things the Uni prides itself on is its employement rate after the course. Therefore, you'd think it would take some responsibility for its students' work experience. But has it? I can't help thinking, from a personal point of view, what a waste of time this whole placement idea is.

1. We received CV writing and interview advice in late January, during the busiest term of the year. Which meant:
2. Most people didn't start thinking about placements until the Easter break. Which was when people simultaneously started thinking about exams.
3. The Uni FORCES - that is, you must have it in order to pass onto year 3 - the 6 week minimum placement. A lot of places see that as a questionable length of time: what can you bring to a company, a major company where your experience will be worthwhile, in just 6 weeks? There aren't many places that see 6 weeks as a good time period: most offer 1-2 weeks, or several months to a year.
4. Because of THAT, nearly all companies are reluctant to pay for just 6 weeks, though most cover travel expenses. Which is still, not a wage.
5. And that means you have to spend 6 or more weeks of your summer not earning much needed money to cover the debt we've accumulated over the last year.
6. That's also assuming you have your placement sorted, 6 weeks, no more no less, no gaps, in one place: if you don't, you can't get paid work over the summer until you guarantee your work experience because that must come first otherwise you won't pass the year. Personally, I now won't have had ANY paid work over this summer, due to the 'neccessity' of organising a placement. Brilliant.
7. All the good places go very quickly. Most decent magazines, for example, fill their placement spots about a year in advance. Why weren't we warned that? Why is our placement guidance held back til January, when in retrospect you realise that it should have been the time for finalising a placement, not starting to think about it.

Of course, this doesn't apply if you signed up to a STEP placement, where although the placements aren't always quite suitable, everything else is sorted for you. The Uni, for some reason, didn't see fit to advertise how useful that scheme is however, instead presenting it as an unglamorous alternative.

To sum up those interweaving, mish mashed points: Your often non-paid, not-particularly suitable placement is enforced otherwise you fail your course. It's a key part of the degree, and one students are interested to have, yet the Uni is inclined to sit back and let it add to students' pressing problems. If it's such a valuable element of the course for your students, why isn't it addressed so? It seems, at the moment, and I have no doubt come October it will seem the same: a complete waste of time.

Monday, July 17, 2006

I'm sorry Cromitor

Crime Monitor! Find me some crime to fight!

Alas, I don't have a crime monitor (Cromitor). So there's another excuse for it being a month since I last blogged gone. The last two weeks, I've been completing work experience at a PR company in Havant called HarvestPR. It's been very valuable, but ultimately quite time consuming work and for no wage. I might get a nominal sum for my work (which was, I hasten to add, valuable to the company as well as me) but not actually paid. I did get my own e-mail address though!

So this week, in light of hopefully starting a 3-week placement in London either next monday or the following, I've generously allowed myself some well-earned time off this week in order to see people, play football and guitar, and get up late. Especially since I passed year 2 of Uni last week, 62 overall for the year, which I'm obviously pleased about.

Anyway, in my last post I realised I mentioned getting addicted to Big Brother which is of course, a lie. In the same way as people can't help but stare at a horrendous car crash, in wonder at other humans' mortality and death, Big Brother is the same on tv. Train wreck TV (I think it's an actual term - I'll ask Bronwen). There's something, not addictive, maybe it's human nature, to look at other people so more unfortunate than yourself. It was only good, as in interesting, to watch while Grace was in there manipulating everyone to her own ends, which is the point as it's a game show, and generally being ace. Now, in desperation to save a dying programme, the producers chuck in 5 or 6 new people (most even more train wreck tv victims than the original lot) in a SECOND HOUSE, OMG LIEK NEIGHBOURS, in the hope that something interesting might happen. Which hasn't. Just more outrageous stupidity, people crying, playground level relationships. Thank god Nikki, with her 5 year old face and 4 year old intellect, has gone now, and that utter mess of a woman (she's a mother!!) Lea has gone back to her beloved children who she supports by making porn and leaves for 2 months to go on tv.

That's all for now. It's 30 degrees outside, I should be out sunning myself like a lizard on a Majorcan rock.