Wednesday, 9 December 2015

现实 | Twofer

Posted by: Ryan O'Riordan

If doing this blog has taught me anything, it's that a career in journalism, as a columnist at least, probably isn't for me. Maybe I'd be able to do some Buzzfeed lists though:

  • 22 Amazing Blogging Tips You NEED To Know
  • Some Guy Ran Out Of Ideas for His Blog, And Here's What Happened Next...
  • 17 INCREDIBLE Harry Potter Quotes About Blogging

I've been sat trying to think of something interesting to write about for quite a while now, and the magic isn't happening. A few minutes ago I was contemplating just copying and pasting one of my poetry homework essays, and using that as my post. I think they were OK, but I'm not sure there's much of an appetite online for my musings on how poets use structure to shape meaning, in reference to the poems I have studied.

Instead, I thought I'd try something a little different: two shorter posts to form one proper one. And to answer the question I know is on the edge of your collective tongues (is that phrase too weird?), this is me pushing the boundaries of blogging, not being too lazy to write a cohesive post.

So there.

A Matter of Perspective

Will we ever see the end of the inter-subject wars? Every day, thousands of young people are forced to turn against their friends, defending their subject choices to the very last. I do essay-based subjects myself, partly because they're the only ones I'm good at, but mainly because I'm a masochist. I've lost count of the number of times I've heard the dreaded: "is English even a subject? What jobs will it get you?". Far too many friends have fallen prey to educational posturing; it's one of life's great tragedies.

I think that to portray education as something that is only valuable insofar as it is able to get you a job is harmful. It's an attitude that ignores the inherent benefits of becoming a more informed, and generally interesting, person. If the only enjoyment you derive from what you study is its abilities to fuel your materialistic daydreams, you've missed the point in my opinion. 

Studying English or History or whatever hasn't provided me with the most... obvious career path (I'd like to take this opportunity to remind you that I am more than willing to accept donations for doing thunk), it's something I regard as worth it. Surely the existence of thunk is more than enough evidence that studying what you enjoy is inherently valuable? 

I was disappointed that neither Dom nor myself made it onto Time's person of the year shortlist, but I suppose there's always next year.


This is my last year in school before whatever comes next, and reflections are inevitable. My first thoughts are that if my secondary school career was to be made into a movie, it wouldn't be a particularly gripping one. I was never good enough at any sport to actually make a team, so the inspirational scene in which I secure a victory against cheating opponents with a last-minute solo effort is gone straight away. My sporting legacy at school so far is the 200m race I won when I was 12, and maybe the one miracle goal/basket/whatever that everyone has scored at least once.

In academics as well, there wouldn't be much left over from the trailer. I'm still looking for a publisher for my experimental early poetry, in which the ABAB rhyme scheme was used to great effect. The one public speaking competition I was put into (probably because they couldn't trick anyone else into doing it) is something I'm still working through in therapy.

Recently, however, I've realised that I don't mind my school career being unsuitable for Hollywood. I know school is meant to be the best years of your life, but I'd hate to think I peaked during a time when my year's focus could be summarised quite succinctly as 'banter'. 

I'm not saying that I haven't enjoyed secondary school; some moments will continue to shine (and haunt me) long after I've left. I just don't want the yearbook I get before the summer holidays to represent me at my happiest. Heading downhill before I'm 18 doesn't really appeal for some reason.

Ryan's listening to: 'In My Eyes' by Best Coast

Read my previous post here.

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