University of Salford Applicant Day…

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Last week, I had the fantastic opportunity to visit the University of Salford for a third time for an applicant day after receiving an unconditional offer to study multimedia journalism. It was absolutely brilliant!

As it was my first time visiting the actual campus opposed to the MediaCity campus, I was especially nervous because  I’m awful with maps and tend to get lost pretty easily (those who know me will understand). But I’ve got to say, the whole day was so well organised! I had been to interviews to two unis in London as well and considering these two universities are considered more advanced, the organisation of each were nothing compared to Salford; and lets just say that it’s true what people say about it being friendlier up north!

By this point, I had already accepted my offer to Salford and booked my Peel Park accommodation room so I was definitely feeling the “hype” when the accommodation tour started. With a free gym, games room, cinema room and delivery service (because online shopping and takeaways are my weakness), I couldn’t fault the new accommodation buildings at Peel Park and it has made me even more impatient to move in in September! All I need to find out now is the colour of my room. 😁

In the afternoon, we had the course sessions and for journalism students, that means we had the pleasure to go to MediaCityUK. It is located in Salford Quays which in itself is a beautiful area. But considering I get to study on a campus that shares its space with BBC and ITV, I’m pretty excited about the whole thing!

Straight up the stairs to the third floor and a few metaphorical heart attacks later, I met my future tutors who were all very lovely and seemed to have an impressive amount of experience in the subject of journalism and media as a whole. I also met my future class mates through a small exercise in which we put together a script and filmed a short, 30 second video of a mock news story.

I have to say that it was such an enjoyable day from start to finish and I just cannot wait to start there as an undergraduate. Roll on September 2016!

 

Oscars not so White

From the controversial quotes to the best dressed on the red carpet, there is no doubt that the 2016 Oscars will definitely be one to remember. Chris Rock made for a rather entertaining host and Leo finally won a well-deserved Oscar for his performance in The Revenant; so there was much to celebrate at the 88th Academy Awards in February this year. However, on the other side of the Oscar celebrations, the boycotting and #OscarsSoWhite crisis was far from ignored.

With big names such as Will and Jada Pinkett Smith and Mark Ruffalo publically stating their disappointment over the lack of diversity of Oscar nominees on social media sites, they managed to pull the public’s attention onto the matter. This put a lot of pressure onto the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was seen as a problem that is now on its way to quickly improving.

Ruffalo attended the event after tweeting: “To clear up any confusion. I will be going to the Oscars in support of the victims of clergy Sexual Abuse and good journalism. #Spotlight”

After a controversial comment made by the host, Chris Rock, during the ceremony, in which he was accused of making a joke of racist stereotypes towards the Asian ethnicity, the show was criticised even further for its “tasteless and offensive skits”. This triggered a public apology from the Academy president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who has now after an immense pressure from the public, introduced three new governors from different ethnic backgrounds onto its board.

Boone Isaacs stated “I think so much is achieved with dialogue, so much is achieved. And that is what we’ll continue to do: have dialogue, listen and just keep fixing.” So we should all look to the next Academy Awards with hope for a changed attitude with a lot more diversity.

Written by Emma Butler

Source: Oscars not so White

Venice…

Everyone knows that Italy has been completely romanticised by the many generations of love stories; from Audrey Hepburn’s performance in Roman Holiday to the classic makings of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. Stepping out from the boat onto the pristine pavements ofimg_1213[1] Venice felt quite surreal; until the slight whiff of pond water polluted my senses that is. I won’t deny that most parts of Venice are aesthetically pleasing on the eye with its absolutely magnificent architecture and beautiful scenery, but it’s rather difficult to enjoy when you’re trying to dodge the sweaty, overheating bodies that pollute the pavements.

Venice naturally invites all kinds of people with its famous heritage and art and history and architecture. And although Venice attracts a whopping 50,000 tourists a day, it remains completely traditional and uncommercial so for a student, it’s the perfect location for new and educational experiences. Even if you aren’t interested in history or art, Venice is also known for its high end, designer fashion shopping experience just around the corner from Rialto Bridge, and its wonderful gondola rides that will take you on a journey through the many canals of the city. Although, with the price of gondola IMG_1236rides and the Louis Vuitton handbags that cost about a diamonds worth, it would be advised to save up and bring plenty of cash for your day trip to Venice.

Putting aside the dodgy smells, the uncomfortable heat and the extortionate prices, I am glad that I got to see Venice in all of its beauty and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a culture filled trip. However, I think one time is enough and I’ll stick with my memories and photographs from here on out.

“Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality but an escape from personality.” – T S Elliot.

Now, I don’t know if any of my readers are that much into poetry, but I’ve seen a fair share of poems in my time and let me tell you something, T S Elliot is something different. I’m sure that when you think of poetry, you think of a rollercoaster of emotions; from the happy makings of Walt Whitman to the deep, dark writings of Edgar Allen Poe. However, T S Elliot has completely turned the tables with his piece on the meanings and reasons of poetry.

He starts by stating “poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion” which, in my opinion, makes you think about all of these poets who produce their heartfelt poems with their deeper meanings and their fancy rhythms and you wonder if it’s all an act. If poetry is an escape from emotion, then wouldn’t that make every emotional poem in history a false assertion? Or would it make every famous poet a true master of manipulation? It makes you question everything you know about poetry, doesn’t it? Which is why this man, T S Elliot, has made such a great impact on many.

We all have obstacles in our lives at some point and we all end up either overcoming them, or running from them; but what I think our poet is trying to tell us here, is that it doesn’t matter what we choose to do when these obstacles do show their faces, it’s how we deal with them that really matters and T S Elliot is addressing all of those people who use poetry as their own personal outlet for life’s little difficulties. Which is why I agree with T S Elliot when he says that “it [poetry] is not the expression of personality but an escape from personality.” He is creating a fine line between expression and escapism that will puzzle the average Joe into a sense of pseudo-individuality which, in itself, is incredibly smart and kind of beautiful in a way that he makes his readers lose themselves in thought and question their own being.

Amsterdam Foodie…

I have always said that I will try something new when visiting a new place. Don’t ask me why, it’s just one of those things….so anyway, while I was walking the foreign streets of Amsterdam for the first time, I came across a fish bar that was radiating prestige. With its pure, white walls and its marbled flooring (and my weakness for the finer things in life), I was enticed into the crystal clean establishment. Its bar was full of expensive wines and champagnes with tanks to the side exhibiting all of the fine, fresh fish that could be chosen from the menu and put right onto your plate.

Naturally, I went with the champagne and boiled lobster because why the heck not! I felt less like a student travelling the world and more like a Lady of great sophistication.

When the waiter placed my meal in front of me, I didn’t know what to do! On the plate staring right back up at me, was a full sized, red shelled lobster with a head and a tail and legs and all! How was I supposed to even begin to eat this creature? Is there a certain order to it all? Do I eat the whole thing? How do I get past the hard boiled shell? Was it even dead?!

Obviously, the waiter must have seen the puzzled look on my face and felt sorry for me. He picked up the weird looking nutcracker cutlery thing and I watched in awe as he began to crack open the red shell to reveal the sweet, white meat that I had been longing to find. The spectacle of it all made me forget how hungry I was and as soon as the strange circle of meat touched my tongue, I swear that everyone in that restaurant would’ve seen fireworks exploding from my table. The taste is still something that I struggle to explain; kind of sweet and savoury at the same time, the juices complementing every single aspect of the meat. I think that there’s a lot of stigma surrounding lobster, similar to foods such as caviar and wagyu beef; “rich people food” if you like. But I really do think that if you ever get an opportunity to try lobster, DO IT! I guarantee that it will go straight up there to your top 5 food favourites as it’s one of the best foods I have ever tasted (even better than pizza!).

Bonfire Night…

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The wind snapped at the crowd as it whipped past the warm radiator of bodies, biting at every bare bit of skin it could find. The children, out in the open, were holding exploding balls of fire on sticks. When the spark suddenly stabbed the hand of the little boy, his mother grabbed the stick and yelped. It was engraving a long straight line of red into her hand; slicing through her skin and spreading all over her palm.

However, the sobs of pain were soon forgotten as the small sun in the middle of the field was lit and it radiated warmth that gently touched every single one of the bodies, blanketing the burn of the cold. The heat filled them up from the insides out until the crowd started to hum with contentment. When the big ball of heat allowed its glow to settle upon the empty, black sky in which the snarling wind was trapped, a sudden explosion ricocheted throughout the crowd as sparkled started to rain from the blackness. As they looked up to the sky and away from the bonfire, the wind grabbed at the faces but could not beat the enchantment of the fireworks.

 

(Not my photograph.)