Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Education, Edukatshun, Edducateshion

My parent’s hail from the chalk and talk era. Everything was drummed into them. They had to copy from the blackboard, in silence, in rows. No ‘trendy’ group work or ‘carousal’ teaching. No interactive smart boards. No National literacy strategy and definitely no plenary.

They can still remember content they were taught when they were 12 – it was drummed into them for fear of the dreaded cane or a blackboard eraser being hurled across the room at them.

Today I spent 2 hours doing an exam to prove just how appalling my maths is.

As a middle manager I have been encouraged to under take a “Not Very Qualified” course. Part of this course is Key Skills. English and ICT I flew through with no problems. I consider my English to be very good and I know my way around the keyboard. Maths is another thing…

I can do adding, subtracting, division & multiplication – you know the stuff that real people do in their real lives. Then there is the other stuff. Pictograms, cos, sign, tan, fractions, ratios, algebra etc. This is stuff that only teachers know and that you only ever experience in school or in maths tests.

Why do we have to do this stuff? No one ever uses it in day to day life yet the course is called ‘key skills’. How can you possibly call this course ‘key skills’ when the last time I had to find angle y on a triangle my voice and other anatomy were at a higher pitch!

Suffice to say I spent the two hours in the exam room sweating a bit and trying to work out what the hell all those buttons do on a scientific calculator – I didn’t answer many questions. So much for my B in GCSE maths!

Still I blame my education. My generation relied heavily on the calculator and got very lazy. No cane – no fear thus no reason to learn.

Anyway I don’t think I’ve passed this test. It was my own fault – I forgot to take my lucky troll!

Sunday, March 21, 2004

DJ’s Are Human Too

Believe it or not one of my hobbies is Disk Jockeying. I don’t aspire to be the next Paul Oakenfold that’s not my style. I DJ because I love music. Not club music – you won’t find me queuing up outside Creamfields. You see I love cheese.

I was a resident at my uni - playing all those 80s & disco nights. Throwing in chart, Abba, Robbie, Disco, Steps, wham! Mixing it up and somehow making it all work. Technically I don’t even think I’m a great DJ I just love music, love a bit of fun, press play and hope for the best.

I’ve been Djing (is there such a verb?) since 1999. In five years I’ve only ever had two bad nights. Tonight was one of them.

I don’t know what it was. Perhaps the crowd didn’t want to dance, perhaps I played the tracks in the wrong order. Perhaps there was too much chart not enough cheese or vice versa but for what ever reason it just didn’t happen. People left early – some sniggering that the DJ was crap. Fair enough to them I felt I was tonight – we all have our bad days.

Music is a very personal thing. When Djing – especially party Djing as I do, you realise how arrogant some people are about their musical tastes.

“Oi DJ, get this crap off – play something modern” they shout, not realising they’ve offended half their best mates who requested the track. People also seem to forget that perhaps, after Djing for five years, you might have insight as to what works and what doesn’t. I once had someone request Eminem in the middle of a Northern Soul set.

“Yes yes, certainly I’ll play it later” I told him.

“Nooooo Noooow!!” he slurs, drooling over my Cd cases.

Fontella Bass mixed into the real Slim Shady? I don’t think so, though there’s probably someone out there in webland that’s done it.

Anyway next time you leave somewhere and the DJ’s had a bad night just think how they feel. Tonight I’ve come home with the horrible feeling that whenever the booking remembers their 30th birthday they’re going to have memories of everyone leaving early and a flat atmosphere. What makes it even worse is that she was really really nice. Thanking me and saying it wasn’t my fault.

Still at least the Boogie Pimps went down well!

Friday, March 19, 2004

Birthday Binge Drinking

Well I'm now 24.

Last night was spent getting slowly intoxicated on fermented vegetable products. It's strange that to celebrate something we often spend the night making sure we forget everything the next morning. Perhaps it's age but that now longer appeals to me. I no longer enjoy drinking heavily. The government and their new anti-binge drinkers could use me a role model.

In fact in some respects I agree with them. I used to love Thursday nights at my local club - great music, friendly atmosphere and a funny DJ. Now they have introduced one of these £10-all-in offers which really brings the morons out of the woodwork. There's unbelievable pushing and shoving at the bar as they scramble for drinks - whatever happened to the British art of queuing?

Girls think just flashing a bit of skin will enable them to push in then 30-somethings think they deserve to push in anyway. Perhaps they're bitter because statistically they've got less minutes left alive, or less hair.

Anyway call me old fashioned - or just old, but these days I'd rather curl up on the sofa with a DVD and a nice bottle of wine.

Then again the after-club 'ritual of the Kebab' was nice...

Thursday, March 18, 2004

So here it is.

My first ever post in my new 'online diary'.

I guess I should say something thoughtful, something profound. Something to interest and to entice.

Or I could just say 'hello'.

I've always wanted to keep a diary. Somewhere I could reflect on the world and share my thoughts. I resolved to do this every year for 23 years but didn't.

Tomorrow - 19th March - marks my 24th birthday. Almost a quarter of a century of existence. Perhaps a good time to actually start my diary ambition.

It would also be a good time to start a sweepstake as to how long I'm going to keep this up.

Well this week will be getting to know you week but I've bored you enough today. Plus I don't actually know how this works yet so perhaps today would be better spent coming up with ideas of how to entertain.

Ah well

Happy Birthday…