Please ensure that you write at least 200 words per box.

A photograph of a poorly finished Gibson.
They taught us to always include an image with an article so here’s this one of the guitar I’ve just stripped down and finished. It has nothing to do with the post itself, but then nor does my sex life, which is what it pretty much replaced for a fortnight. It doesn’t have any strings because I was an idiot and thought I’d save a pound by ordering them online.

I remain connected to my Teesside classmates through Facebook and Twitter. It’s fun to see the relationships between them growing; strangers becoming buddies, flirts becoming fucks – all that dirty romance.

I’m selling my untouched textbooks on Amazon; stubborn, arrogant and poor to the last. I was part of all that, and it was a good crowd, but I chose to leave; and today, when my public affairs lecturer asked for my old reflective essays, rather than be a dick about it and tell him to look in his inbox under my name in the relating period, I looked them up myself.

It was an assignment his visually arresting predesseor had given us an hour or so to write. It was a Thursday morning colder than the canteen bacon rolls; I had a gin hangover but she wanted answers. I did my best.

The story that will allow me to sleep at night is one of a faculty lamenting my passing, framing what little they have of my academic work as a lesson to themselves to mount on the wall and make damn sure they don’t let anything like this happen again.

Or the courts are building a case.

Let this be a lesson to us all in this day and age of employers and the like making us write our feelings down; or as an illustration of how easy it is for anyone to change their tune – and therefore how quickly you should dismiss any heartfelt nonsense you read on this blog – here is me, redacted, circa October ’11.

(Be advised, this isn’t me toying with the space-time continuum again, simply naive old Chris from the past, being honest and wanting to be loved.

Just remember, if They ever ask you how you feel, lie through your teeth and all will be bunnies.)

As I start my course…

The reason I chose the Multimedia Journalism course at Teesside University is…

I’ve always loved writing, telling stories, observing and trying to describe what I see. I studied art at college but drifted away from drawing into music and started to travel. I continued to write – dreadful poetry and a white-knuckle journal – but the thought that I could ever do it professionally, as a work-thing, always seemed unlikely.

As I continued working a succession of shit jobs, convincing myself that because I was abroad it was a worthy waste of my life, more and more I knew that I had to get a vocation.

Serendipity came in the form of knee surgery and as I had injured myself at work the Danish state was forced to rehabilitate me in the form of an education. I wasn’t spoilt for choice so went for Multimedia Design and over the course of those two years gained the confidence that I hadn’t left it too late and was capable of holding my own against the youngsters.

On graduating I returned to the UK, adamant that I would top up the AP Degree and get a Bachelor but that was easier said than done. The Institution wasn’t recognised by UCAS so the universities I had applied to for top-ups began to refuse. Teesside was one of them; It was on a whim that I had tried to get on the Journalism top-up so I wasn’t particularly surprised but when they offered me a place starting in the first year I was quite taken aback.

I researched further into the then course and the mixture of academic and real hands-on vocational training sold it to me. I didn’t wait to hear back from my other choices and accepted before Teesside could change its mind.

I want to be a journalist because……

Put simply, I want to be paid to do something that I love. I’m not convinced I’ll be the next Paxman or Brooker, to be honest I’d be content writing stories about cats up trees, at least until I could find the swine in government that had forced that cat up the tree and colludes with foreign terrorists to keep the poor creature clinging to the highest branch.

Put another way, I want to make a difference; I want the world to be better for me having lived on it. There’s a lot of talk these days about offsetting your carbon footprint: well I want to offset my arsehole footprint. It’s unavoidable to contribute towards the destruction of our environment but that doesn’t mean I have to contribute towards the subjugation and misery of other humans.

If I can write a story that makes someone smile and reconsider doing something stupid; if I can uncover some horrid little conspiracy that gets the perpetrators put away; if I can make a town safer from bullies or polluters or rapists then that’s the best use of my time I can think of.

Better that my name is on the front page as ‘reporter’ and not ‘defendant’.

Over the next term:

I am looking forward to:

Reading all the books I can get my hands on to try to get a better hold on the labyrinthine madness of the British political system. I would imagine that as the weeks pass and the class begins to work together more there will be some great insight and opportunities to collaborate and learn together. And parties.

I am not looking forward to:

The possibility that my old brain is unable to take on the information and I will fail the NCTJ exams, damning myself to be a celebrity reporter for a men’s magazine, running around in the early hours of the morning, desperate to get a crotch shot of a D-list celebrity so I can pay my rent. But seriously, I’m positive about the whole lot of it, it’s very exciting; there are just not enough hours in the day.

I am worried about:

In the next few months I will be starting a course of CBT, I do have unhelpful thought patterns, behavioural ticks and paranoid delusions that often make it hard to get on with people. I hope that I will be able to keep this in check and be a productive member of the class.

Blah, blah:

Blah, blah, blah.

I guess I just want to be happy.

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