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One World, One Week, One piece of Work.

On the 27th of February 2012, One World Week began at the University of Portsmouth. On the 2nd of March 2012, it ended.

Students and regular readers should already know about it: a week-long series of events, aimed at promoting diversity and equality in the University and beyond. You’ll know because I spoke of it on this very blog, promising to redirect you to the new project (I had planned to blog about the different events that went on throughout the week. See Washing the News) once it began. Needless to say it never did. All I remember of One World Week now is an eagle flying around in one corner of the Student’s Union and my first (rather challenged) try at a Paralympic sport, Boccia. The only thing we have to go on is our imaginations when thinking of what my blogging for these events would have looked like.

So I guess this is kind of me coming back with my tail between my legs, acknowledging that at an opportunity to do more of what I love doing (writing) slipped away because, at the time, my dissertation was taking precedence. Or at least that’s what I told myself. In the end, I’m probably going to be coming out of university with a 2:2 any way (probably, because it’s close to a 2:1 and I’d rather spend my time writing reviews and blog entries than drawing up mathematical conclusions to know for sure), which leaves all of you thinking one of two things (this is where my psychological expertise comes in useful).

The first group of you are those who will gasp and ask how I can possibly be happy with such a final result when a 2:1 was comfortably within my grasp. You’re the ones who put your degree on a pedestal, to the extent where your life depends on coming out with the ultimate grade, and use it to gauge your job prospects and intellectual capabilities. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that (in fact I actually quite like the idea, as you’ll see if you keep reading); we just clearly have different priorities in life. I’m not any more or less proud of a 2:2 than I would have been of a 1st class with honours (for the record, I am coming out with honours, having never failed a unit while at university). In terms of job prospects, well, in my experience employers like to see what you can do in practice rather than in theory, and I have that already in my website. The only difference now is that I have a degree to back me up too. Call it further reassurance, an extra level of security, not something that’s going to define my life but rather a back-up to a bigger project.

In truth, my experience at university has led to something much more important than degree grades and dissertation hand-in dates. I’ll talk about this in the next entry or two.

For now, the second group of you are more interesting. You’re the ones who know that a degree is a degree, that overall personality (I could spend ten paragraphs defining what I mean by that – hint: it’s not about how many pints you can get through on a night out – but I can almost hear you saying please don’t) is more important than personal gratification. I find focusing on the latter is indeed a slippery slope. Do we really, for example, need to know (through Facebook – other social networking sites are available) when you don’t get the mark you deserve? Is God only good when you do magnificently, and should that be the only time you get praise? Isn’t rain just as beautiful as the sunshine? Any way, as I risk getting off topic (that wouldn’t be like me at all, would it), I’ll again return to this later.

Yet, that second group of you, the more grounded ones, will also be feeling somewhat confused I’m sure. I’m talking like this now; why wasn’t I doing it then? If I truly believed what I’m saying, why let myself get so stressed about my dissertation, about university in general, in the first place? Well, you know how I hinted before about actually quite liking the idea of judging myself by theory rather than practice?

All I’ll say is that it’s been a learning experience that has brought me this far, and for that reason I would say that university has probably been the most important part of my life. It’s the unseen outcome, the little things that people don’t usually bother to dwell on, that matters more than those numbers on a bit of paper that everyone receives upon graduation. You see, that’s the main problem with striving for the wrong reasons: all it takes to bring you down a notch is looking to your left and seeing that the next person has the same, but they may also have something more.

Those who have been left frustrated by my lack of regular updates for the first part of this year will be aware that One World Week isn’t the only thing I haven’t been writing about. In the past month or so my university schedule has relaxed, so… Here are some links to what I’ve been working on recently, including my first ever review/ walk-through of a wrestling event, an argument for A Clockwork Orange having a Christian message and my thoughts on that new film everyone’s been raving about, Avengers Assemble. Speaking of the movie, it features Loki as its main villain, whom readers will recognise as one of the main stars (along with a famous yeti) of mini-series All’s Fair in Love and War (see parts 1-3), which I can assure you is returning in due course. I’ve missed the intended build-up to the big film (it was supposed to turn into a metaphorical tie-in thingy) but all that does is open up a wealth of new possibilities.

Aside from that, there’s not much else to update you on. I’ll be back home soon so no doubt there’ll be stories to tell regarding the trip. But yeah, final words for now. Right. My dissertation is done, One World Week is done, and now, my 66th official WordPress blog entry is done.

See you back here soon.

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