UniBlog: A Week Of Highs And Lows

Welcome back readers!

It's been a little while, and high time I updated you on where I have been and what I've been up to, so, lets cast the clocks back to Monday, and go from there!

Monday 5th October

So, Monday 5th October (seems quite a while ago now!) was the day after I returned back to Uni after going home for the previous weekend.

The week started with a little bit of annoyance, as I hadn't originally (the weeks prior) planned to come down, so I had to throw away yet more food as the "Mini Fillets (Chicken)" went out of date a day prior. As a university student, the two things you least want to be getting are: 1). The Virus 2. Food Poisoning both leading to very severe consequences - and consequences I'd rather not face.

This also leads onto another problem I have - sometimes I eat Jya's food, other times I miss meals (accidentally) which means sometimes I don't actually know how many meals (per week) to buy during my weekly food shop - especially with 6 frozen Richmonds still left over.

News Writing - Sources And Contacts

So far in the "opening" weeks of University, I've been discovering what my favourite course/module is, and as of Thursday (8th Oct) I think I've found it. This one, News Writing - weather it's the professor, or the content taught or that it's a late(r) start and I don't have to get up - I'm really, really enjoying News Writing right now.

So, in this lecture (which was more of a "lecture" than discussion) we were learning about Sources And Contacts - the place from where you get your news and/or story from.

The main gist of is was that having contacts in the media industry (and outside too) is vitally important, and being put on the mailing list for emergency services and other organisations will massively help when writing an article because you are the (one of the) first they inform - meaning you have a news story that very few - if any others - have, giving your Newspaper/Online site/ company an advantage over the rest.

There's a no set "these are the people/companies who produce and have news" everywhere and anywhere has a news story just waiting to be told.

Other notes from this - If someone is rambling in a quote, you can cut it down

- Start your contacts book - The Contact/Source must be reliable! - A source can be a place, person, organisation, Confirm


The activity for the lecture (it's called a workshop if I remember correctly) was to summarise an article about a business which was given a closure notice due to not adapting the building or their behaviours to the current situation. (not wearing masks, not promoting social distancing not closing a non-essential business etc.) - this was a considerably longer article, requiring a longer summary.

I found this one a little more difficult due to it, firstly being longer, and secondly, the topic being a little more difficult to understand - last week's was a girl going missing, rather more easier than a shop being told to shut (after already being told to shut) for ignoring Lockdown/CV Restrictions for several months.

Following this we were also given a brief of some work to complete - a group project where we'd have to produce our own local online newsletter in groups no less than 3...we'd (each person in the group) each write an article about either 1) Entertainment 2) Sport 3) Local affairs,

This would be slapped together to produce one newsletter

and had to adhere to the following: 1) Be previously unpublished 2) No less than 6 paragraphs

3) Done using the inverted Triangle

4) A "Reading Life" of 3 Weeks (e.g: Not Brad Pitt celebrating his 57th Birthday) 5) To be published/Uploaded online

The only problem being is that there are only about 3 students who attend each and every lecture on a regular basis, (with at most 2 others) a very small class size even compared to Sunnydown!

The due date was the 11th January (TBC)

Following this, Andy (TP Of Kabort) sent me this message on Discord

"...slight problem that we're pretty much entirely set up as Affinity teams - meaning we have little flexibility for ad hoc (last minute) ELMS entries. Hence time to start recruitment just to add maybe up to 10 more regular racers.... Feel free to exercise your key strength - which was always getting people through the door. I still think we have no limits on iR but at the moment we do want people who want to give endurance racing a proper try in a regular series."

So I went to town and sent some invitations out. 7 Replied, 1 was interested.

It was at this time, that an Ex-Driver of Kabort (tried to have a feeder-team but failed) announced that he was looking for another team, leaving Kabort's "failed" feeder team with an "absent" Team Principal, and as a naturally kind guy, I offered Kabort as refuge, naturally about 3/4 of them agreed, and Andy is dealing/sorting the applications for the team as we speak.

Andy Jones (circa. 2020) "resting his eyes" as the applications keep coming

For me, the evening was good, having a "Pizza Express" pizza from ASDA which went off on that very day.

It's very interesting - before university/moving out - you don't give a single care about Best Before Dates/Use By Dates - but as soon as you start buying food - I realise that it really structures what you eat and when - and a disruption in the plan can send everything out of control - and unfortunately that's what happened when I went home - as I had food that had to be eaten that was at uni, at the date it had to be eaten had past It was also on this day, when I realised I had read the wrong material for the "assignment" (homework, yet this one was not going to be marked/graded). Having had a solid plan of reading (and then writing up a summary) of one article per night from Monday to Thursday.

The issue was that the folders on Canvas look almost identical, no matter which module/course you select - it was because of this that I got confused between the reading documents/material in Representing The Real (the on-campus module/course) and Key Concepts Of Journalism

Having barely read a page and a half, and enough notes to do a lecture with, the multiple dozen-or-so-page documents overwhelmed me, and I emailed my professor just to let her know of the situation.

Before I get ALOC's (Angry Letters Of Complaint) from Kar- no, from anyone, I do realise that this is the standard of work that must be produced at this level of education it was just a very huge "assignment" due in a week, and after messing up big time, I was sort of on one way road (with a trailer) with no way to turn around.

This experience has taught me a lot - especially about giving time for mistakes, writing down the course/module name the assigment is for - and futher breaking the tasks down.

A Disrupted Sleep

For some reason, I went to bed at 21:00 (9pm), I don't know why, I had nothing to do and thought an early night could benefit me...

In the beginning it did, but I would awake at 00:00 (Midnight) for no reason, this was rather annoying, so I went on my laptop for another couple of hours until 3 or so before managing to actually get some sleep.

Tuesday 6th October, 2020

More Experiences

I woke up sort of early, got dressed and had breakfast. About an hour before the lecture, I went up the road, and after located a (university) building entrance, I enquired about where post is delivered - and I was not far off, there was a small window in a wall (a little like a drive-through)

After returning back with my ID, it was 10 or so minutes before my lecture, I got the package only just managed to stuff it inside my bag with my laptop - as I walked to the uni, the weather took a turn for the worst, the wind intensified, and rain began.

I was late by about 60 seconds - but fortunately the lecture hadn't actually started, so I missed nothing.

Representing The Real: Documentary VS Reality TV

This lecture was started by discussing Critical Thinking and:

- The Role Of Journalists

- Develop Your Critical Thinking

This was followed by watching State Of Play, a 2009 Movie action/drama/thriller movie about a journalist solving a murder case.

It was a very exciting movie - and despite being from 2009, it was still thoroughly enjoyable, despite a very "complex" story-line.

From what I understood, there was a opening chase scene, at the end of which, a man hides from a shooter, but then gets shot - A cyclist passes the scene and he too is shot,

The very next scene is of a tube station, where we are over the shoulder of female before it cuts to black as the train arrives - signifying she's gone under the train. Then in a maze of leads and different people involved it's found out that a congressman (a main lead) is in a romantic relationship to the woman who was killed on the station, before finding out that she was part of PointCorp (a malicious company)

After the lecture, I'd head home, unpack my bag, and then go for my weekly food shop with Jya - before heading back to the accomodation for a nice, calm evening in.

Wednesday 7th October

"Welcome To Wednesday" is what I would have wanted to title the blog if I were to have uploaded it on Wednesday, but no. For no reason at all, I went to bed at midnight or so, but stayed up on my laptop into the next day, Wednesday was my lazy day (other than Friday), so I decided to do the fun - but slightly extended task of updating my "Kabort Motorsport Driver Overlaps" Excel Spreadsheet - which shows exactly that, the join date, how long they stayed, and the leave date - so if I driver joins/leaves I can see if two drivers experienced/met/saw each-other in addition to "A Brief History Of Kabort" (Says what it does on the tin) and "MEE6", a discord message counter bot which is used for tracking activity and who on the server is active.

Kabort Driver Overlaps

The main reason why the blog has been delayed so many times is this bad boy, after my lecture, and thinking about the work down/lessons taught (in my free time) I'd open up this spreadsheet and either fix the errors or update it so it'd include the latest drivers.

This may look very complicated - and it is quite complicated.

Each row is dedicated to a driver (past or present), each column is dedicated to a day in which an event happens (joins/leaves/inactive/update/role change)

Green: No update to report, driver is active in the team

Yellow: No activity heard from the driver/inactive (yellow lines start/finish when driver interacts with Discord Server

Red Box W/ White Text: Driver has left server/team

Blue: Driver is still in Discord Server, but not as a driver, but to simply observe/hang out with friends

Gold: (Not in picture) Current Team Principal

A Brief History Of Kabort

From Left To Right

Column 'A' - (Yellow/White): 1 Year Anniversary Marker, every time a driver celebrates a one year anniversary at Kabort (past or present) I move this yellow down. This column is filled with the dates of the drivers coming/leaving

Column 'B' - (Green/Red): Driver Name, for this spreadsheet, I am using the current codes Green - Driver Joined Red - Driver Left Blue - Driver Not Actively Racing, but in server

Orange/Salmon/White/Pink - All show that the driver joined/left the server on the same day - usually I try to pick any other colours than those listed above.

Column 'C' - (White W/ Text): What happened to the driver - so weather they've joined/left/joined but not to race

Column 'D' - (Blue And White): The current team that the Ex-Drivers are in (where are they name)

Column E - (Text with occasional "highlighted spots) - Live number count - starting from E2 (Column E, 2nd Row - because of titles) this is a live member count for the Kabort Server, raising and decreasing as members come and leave.

Yes, I have to manually update it - but it informs you of how many members there were in the server on a given day. The highlighted sections are records broken (ei: 10, 20, 40, 50 etc.) and notes about drivers like if they mentioned us on their iRacing profile

with some code I learnt at college (and reminded of it via google) I was able to create the "interesting" looking graph/chart on the right - dates along the bottom driver count along the side.

This took up 3/4 if not all my free time (NOT lecture/independent study time).

"Why do you put yourself through this?"

I hear you ask - and first of all, I'd like to clear up that I'm not "putting myself through anything" - the only thing I'm putting myself through is the sheer enjoyment of being a university student - and as with college, thus far, I'm enjoying it!

Secondly, analysing data (specifically Kabort's data/motorsport data/finish results all that) Is one of my favourite things to do aside from blogging/doing articles/journalism and racing. I think it really helps you grasp an understanding of what's happening with you/your team by seeing a graph compared to just words saying "you're doing terribly".

Thursday 8th October

Thursday was a bad, bad day.

This is the only thing I don't like about blogging/journalism I'm terrible with dealing with conflict and exposing - either myself, a (potential) magazine/newspaper I write for or someone I am dearly fond of for doing something bad. It's difficult because you know you will recieve negative attention/comments for it, but it's your job as a journalist/blogger to tell the truth* *though it's obvious that many don't

So, here goes - I'm putting myself out in the open for public judgement and scrutiny, and I hate it - but that's part of being a blogger/journalist - if you muck up, you've got to own up to it.

I missed an hour of my lecture.

In the first month, that's a very, very bad statement to have - especially when the only excuse you have to pathetically throw around is that your alarm didn't go off - granted, with the alarm I've got you've got to set the time for it to go off and then press it another button to "activate" the alarm - but even still, It was 100% my fault and there was no excuse for it.

I was incredibly lucky in the fact that the lecture started at 11 instead of 10, so I missed than in normal circumstances, which, I had to draw out any positives, was incredibly lucky.

The bad luck continued as it was quite a difficult topic to get my head around - and I'll definitely be giving the lecture another watch!

Since I woke up and immediately joined the lecture - I was still in my Pyjamas and hadn't had breakfast.

This was followed by another couple hour workshop - it was roughly 2pm and I had been in lectures and workshops all day.

Following this, I was on (Discord) call with an Ex-Driver about an Ongoing Situation We're Sorting (OSWS) when the fire alarm went off mid-call - I didn't end it, I just left the Ex-Driver hanging on call, whilst the Uni's fire alarm blared out loud.

Once this was turned off, (no real drama, probably just burnt toast) I returned to my room and to my utter surprise, The Driver was still on call, just hanging out - a little bit hilarious after what had just occurred - had there really been a fire, that would have been incredibly interesting "Robin? Robin? Robin where are you!"

Thursday also shocked the living daylights out of me - Thursday 8th October, 2020 was A MONTH - A WHOLE ENTIRE MONTH - 30 DAYS - 44,000 MINUTES since Week 13 - since the Chevrolet C8.R GTE and LMP2 came out - since being at home just casually hanging out - LIKE HOW?!?! That's not how time works!!!!! It felt like yesterday that I finished P2 in Class at Detroit - HOW?!?! I say again H.O.W?

Did I mention how long ago this actually was??

Friday 9th October

Was a very very lazy day, just updating spreadsheets - chilling in my room - being calm and surprisingly nothing to note, other than having fish for the first time at university at 00:15 on Friday morning ha ha!

Saturday 10th October

Saturday 10th October - what a wild day today has been - I finished (completely updated) the spreadsheets, had breakfast (a little late but hey) - and then witnessed Kabort take their first EVER win.

This race was the Endurance Le Mans Series 6 Hours Race at Road America.

I also cleaned my room...

Usually, a inhabited room has a few things lying about, but is mostly tidy, Staying 2 nights at a hotel/travelodge can mess up a room pretty badly, but (before I started tidying it) - It looked like a bomb had legitimately exploded and left trails of Stuff everywhere - clothes, wrappers, things without a home...It was in such a state that I was excpecting to find a body buried under all the things that were lying about.

Some nice easy homework is set for this weekend (grouping some articles into weather they'd go into the mail or guardian (tabloids/broadsheets)

I hope you are all doing well, and I apologise for the long delay in blogs!!