UniBlog: Enjoying Uni Life

Ahhhh! I could really get used to this! University life, as I speak, is actually going very well and I'm rather enjoying it!


Last night (Sunday, 27th September) Jya treated me to some Chips, veggies and a vegetarian sausage roll. After a vegetarian (mild) chilli con carne the night prior, I was up for it!


Unfortunately the chips were cooking a little early, so I had finished these by the time the Sausage Roll and the veg was done - but I'm still eating the same amount, just with a gap in between, which technically counts as one meal (in my books at least) Despite a rather lazy day, I did complete one massive thing on my to do list - The trailer livery...and oh boy, after messing around with a few settings and tweaking a thing or two...it came out absolutely beautifully and better than I could have ever expected...

So Sunday turned out to be one hell of a day.


Monday 28th September 2020 - First Week Of Teaching

My first ever lecture* was at 11am, and I came on at 10.55am or so, and talked with the teachers a little before the official lesson started just about general stuff.


*by a professional teacher, obviously I've been lectured plenty of times before 😂



Not going to go into too much detail, as it was a lecture after all, but it was actually thoroughly enjoyable and very much set out like a college class with the teacher/"professor"? teaching/lecturing/informing us of the content before setting a task to ensure we've understood the task, and the content taught.


I'm not sure if it's going to be like this for the remainder of the 3 years, but there was a factor of "informality" I found about it - which in my case I really enjoyed/found positive and in a way engaging.


Weather this be the homely setting in the background, use of both technical annd informal language or fact that my professor/teacher was able to interact with a "live-chat" (like a live-stream with comments if you will) answering comments and questions that popped up - it was all taught in a very manageable manner which in a way blew away my somewhat bad preconception of what a "lecture" was...


I was a little nervous about what a "lecture" would entail

I had previously thought lectures were sitting, (be that in a hall or online) listening to a professor/teacher at the front of the class/call ramble on for hours on end at a speed that no-one could comprehend using words that were far beyond my understand.


To be honest, media and television have really skewed my anticipations of university.


When the word "university" is said, either by someone or the media/television - my mind instantly thinks of four main things 1) mortarboard hats and capes - especially throwing them up in the air. 2) Oxbridge (Oxford/Cambridge Universities) - old church/cathedral like buildings with pupils walking around them like nuns. 3) Some of, if not the smartest students in the country studying mind-boggling levels of maths and science - my dad studying maths at the university of bath probably helped this preconception. 4) Very few subjects - Hollywood/TV/Media hardly - if ever present a university student studying a "Interesting" (different one may say) topic, it's either Maths, Science or something else "nerdy" and very complex. And whilst on this note, there are very few media channels that represent what a real British secondary school or college is like - just a random thought.


The Lecture


The lecture was split into two sections - with (surprisingly) a break in the middle.


The first half was the professor/teacher teaching the content, the content being what exactly "NEWS" is, in addition to the types of news there are (e.g: Celebrity, tragic, positive, magnitude in numbers, follow-up/update etc and what journalists report on - the main outcome of this being that it must be all, or multiple of 6 main things: New (currently happening)

True** (Though some news articles bend the truth for attention/buyers/clicks it must be true news) Important - (Lewis Hamilton's cousin walking his dog, Roscoe in the streets of Monaco is hardly the top of people's concerns, especially in today's world therefore is unimportant)

It must be relevant to the audience it's being presented - readers of SurreyLive would hardly be interested in snowfall in Aberdeen.


Interesting - a man picking up £10 that an old lady dropped is hardly interesting as happens all the time - an extreme example of this was used at the start of the lecture itself, a dog biting a man wouldn't make very many newspapers, but a man eating a dog however, as this is highly unlikely and interesting (what's he doing eating a dog?) would make many more newspapers in comparison


And finally Triggering emotion - a natural or human disaster such a Tsunami, flood, tornado or plane crash would trigger the reader to feel massive shock - however a favourite racing driver or football team winning the championship would trigger huge feelings of joy, happiness and glee - and maybe a sense of pride for your supported driver/team/club.


The second talking point in the first section of the lecture was how even in the top levels of journalism, there are the 5 W's (Who, What, Where, When, Why) and How - in addition to something I haven't been taught before, which was the "inverse triangle".


The inverse triangle, as briefly as possible is a way of presenting content/news - starting with the most important news (such as the above stated 5 W's) and main outline of the story, before going into more detail in the further paragraphs of the story/article/news piece.


This is where the break came in, we were given a scenario (Police informs us of a girl who has been reported at xyz location, on a said day at a certain time), and our job, using the 5 W's and inverse triangle method was to write a little article on it.


We were given a small 30 minute break, so I quickly made myself a toasted bagel, nipped back and got straight to work - highlighting the important bits of information, thinking how I wanted to form it, and how I wanted to connect the key bits of information. With an added twist, the opening paragraph/sentence could only be 14-28 words long.


Fortunately, they kept the notes post-lesson, so, without further ado:

Police are inquiring for information after a 16 year old girl went missing from Perry Common in Kingstanding early yesterday morning.
The minor, 16 year old Rawan Hussain, was last reported to have been seen at her family home at around 0500hrs yesterday morning (Saturday 27th September).
Police say that Rawan is an "a medium sized,  young asian girl with curly hair" and was last seen wearing a black coat, Nike Performance shoes and a headscarf. 
If you, or anyone you know, has information on Rawan or her potential whereabouts please call the police on 101, or go to www.findrawannow.com"


This task was very informative for me, firstly because I found out that the number to call to report a Misper (Missing Person) was 101, not 111 - but more importantly, the feedback that the professor/teacher gave was incredibly positive and helpful in my future writing.


Ironically, the two things that The Professor (ooh, what a stage name!) gave feedback on were both to do with numbers (was my enemy and always will be!)


The issues in question, were firstly, the time I had wrote down, whilst a Police Officer may had "informed me" (as a journalist) of the incident taking place in this format, 3/4 of my readers (depending on the article/audience) will be the average Joe, or even children - so using the 24hr clock to present/show time would not be appropriate, and instead a much simpler "5am" or "05:00/5:00am" would be sufficient.


The other issue, and the one she said was a little more difficult was the repetition of "16 year old" - whilst it was being read, I knew I should have removed the second "16 year old" - so it read "The Minor, Rawan Hussain, was last reported...." The Professor/teacher also offered another - alternative solution to the repition as to use "teen" or "teenager".


"The teenager, Rawan Hussain, was last reported..."

The next twist was that this was from an actual story from the BBC a few years prior, and, with this our professor and us could compare our small article to the one written.


For those wondering Rawan was totally alright and just decided to hop on a train from her hometown in Leeds to Oxford.


Following this, I decided to write up all my notes (in 2 separate notebooks and a 2020-2021 Notebook Calendar) into one (different) notebook so that all the information/details I had and things on my mind were all "tidily" (knowing my writing...) written in one book - the only problem being that my mouse's battery died half-way through, so I went on a rather impromptu trip to ASDA with Andrew.


Having already been out with Jya twice, it was nice to get to know Andrew a lot better, as 3/4 of the time (other than meal times) we are sat, alone in our rooms.


This impromptu trip to just get some batteries turned into the weekly shop, picking up some very tasty food I could cook throughout the week, plus some other snacks.


The earliest food item (2 small cod fillets) go out of date on 3rd October, meaning the rest of this week can be me finishing up my dozen or so frozen Richmond Sausages.


I've once again gone for meatballs, because there's something about Swedish Meatballs and Pasta...it's just unbeatable!


Anyway, It's quarter to one in the morning, I've got my first On-Campus lecture tomorrow, I've met a fellow class-mate who said she'd walk me to the Arena/Theatre, which is incredibly nice of her!


So here are the Photos from last week that I forced - no, politely asked Jya to take for me since my phone was dead, and with that, Goodnight.




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