Wednesday, 31 August 2011
"Tougher sentencing, curfews, social media blackouts and increased police powers. These are some of the proposed responses to the recent unrest across the country. These short-term ‘knee-jerk’ reactions may be popular in certain circles for a few weeks, but they will not help to address the social problems that have helped to create this situation. Not every area affected, or every person involved, was as a result of these social issues, but if we do not do something about them, then other areas could be affected as well.
Consumerism is a driving force behind so many peoples’ lives. It has almost become an ideology for too many, ignoring the reality of their situation. Like the American dream of the early 20th century, everyone looked forward to the day when they would be rich. For a generation we have been told that we can be famous, we can be wealthy, that we can be whatever we want to be. But with rising unemployment – especially among young people – the chance of that dream becoming a reality is fading. And all the while, we are told that we are all in this together. When people see that this does not seem to be the case, it can cause resentment towards those who are not as affected by what is happening. Problems arise when these resentments are not addressed, and it only takes one action to push somebody over the edge. It is easier for others to follow once one group has stepped over the line.
When looking at the handing down of tougher sentencing, it is important that the punishment fits the crime, and that accountability is held across the board. Former members of the Bullingdon club – known for their wild parties – and a Deputy Prime Minister who once burned down two greenhouses full of rare plants tell us that those who commit offences must be held accountable, having themselves received no punishment. It makes it hard to believe that fair justice will really be done. It is fairer sentences, not tougher that is what is needed here. If exorbitant punishments are handed down by the courts it will only serve to increase resentment towards the police and further damage trust in the justice system. It is easy to seek to make an example of someone, to scare those who might follow a similar path, but that doesn’t make it right. The sentence for burglary during a riot must be the same as that for any other burglary. I am not sure that stealing a £3.50 case of water would receive a 6 month prison sentence if it were not for the riots and politically motivated advice to ignore sentencing guidelines if the actions took place during a riot.
Social media is another soft target. It connects people more easily and more efficiently than ever before. All you have to do is log into your BBM, Twitter or Facebook accounts and you can interact with people immediately, and more widely than by texting or phone calls. I know this, because I use mine to interact with people as far apart as America, India and Japan. Yes, it can also be used to pass on information about where the police are, where there are shops with expensive goods, and where there is already violence taking place. But while my city was caught up in the chaos of that weekend, I and many others, kept communications much closer to home – we contacted our friends and families to make sure they were alive, safe and unaffected. Using the hashtag #riotcleanup, people all across the country grouped together with others in their communities to pick up the pieces of their shattered neighbourhoods.
In a country where we are told that personal responsibility is the defining factor in behaviour it is illogical, naïve and possibly illegal to think that closing down access to social media will be of benefit. If personal responsibility is important, then judge each person by his or her actions. If those actions are illegal, then it is the individual’s responsibility, not the fault of the technology that they used.
If you tell one section of society that they are fat, lazy, stupid and criminal long enough and loud enough, then eventually they might start to believe you. When everyone assumes you break the law and contribute nothing to society, where is the social constraint that prevents you from doing exactly that? Society is broken, but it was broken long before these riots, and unless proper, long-term action is taken, it will be broken long after the glass shop fronts have been repaired.
We need to ensure that these events so not repeat themselves. That will not come about through draconian sentences, water cannons, rubber bullets or evictions from social housing. It will come about through an examination of every level of our society. Through stimulation and investment in less wealthy areas, to ensure that aspirations can be met. We must expect a higher standard from those above us. Our political and commercial leaders must lead by example, both in their words, and in their actions. And above all, we must rise above the temptation for retaliation, retribution or revenge. This is not a political problem, it is a social problem, but it does have political causes. We need to make sure that we are not just looking out for those at the top, or those in the ‘squeezed middle’, but everyone. The culture of blaming those below us must end. We must make our society stronger; make our country fairer, more balanced and tolerant. We must not forget that there have been victims of these events, and we owe it to them, and to ourselves, to ensure that there are no more."
Tuesday, 16 August 2011
Answers:Can anyone give me a reason for why you believe as you do, whether it be political, spiritual, whatever?
Because I want to nice
HopeI can't really think of better ways to explain beliefs, whatever they may be in.
Monday, 8 August 2011
Firstly, Mr Thompson. “The Left” is a big group. We disagree with each other. A lot! You only have to look at the one supposedly left-of-centre party, The Labour Party, to see that. In the last decade we have seen Blair vs. Brown and Miliband vs. Miliband, and that is just on which individual is leader of the party. There is nothing we on the left do better than in-fight, backstab and name call. We disagree with each other almost as much as we disagree with various different factions on the right. There are many on the left who do not agree with UK Uncut (I am not among them). Ignore the fact that events over the weekend had little to do with UK Uncut and more to do with the death of Mark Duggan, who was shot by the police. Ignore the accusation that “criminals used social media to co-ordinate their actions, just as the Left does” as if there are not plenty of right wing viewpoints represented on Twitter – that Mr Thompson uses twitter to regularly promote his articles doesn’t make him a member of UK Uncut, a lefty or a criminal does it? To throw everyone on the left into one group is a lazy generalisation that trivialises his argument even more than an opening line of “I suppose I’ll be accused of exploiting the Tottenham riots and London-wide looting for political ends”. By the way Damian, you are exploiting them, but then, that was the point, wasn’t it? What happened over the weekend was not right, but it was understandable. This is what must be discussed and considered over the next few weeks – looting, burning down people’s homes and businesses is not acceptable, because it is illegal. But it is not as if the emotions that caused the protest were not present long before this weekend. The lack of trust between residents of Tottenham and the police is not something that is new. Add in the extra pressure of an economy in trouble, high youth unemployment and a government that shows little regard for those at the lower end of the income scale, and it only takes one action to spark people into action. Do not blame social media. Do not blame everyone on the left, or young people. Look at what created the increase in tensions, as well as whether or not the police actions were justified. It is important that people realise that it is possible to understand without condoning, to sympathise without supporting and to acknowledge the problems without trivialising what people are going through. Mr Thompson failed at that. What happened was not a PR disaster for UK Uncut, it was an actual disaster for those whose neighbourhoods were vandalised, whose livelihoods were destroyed and whose homes were burned down. Please do not use what has happened to them to try and score political points or make jibes at other commentators. That’s just crass.
Being lumped into one big group with everyone else who defines themselves as a man was actually more of a problem than a mass political generalisation. I would define myself as a feminist. I am very uncomfortable when feminist writers of any stripe generalise “men” as one large blob. We do think differently, and there are some men whose attitudes towards women disgust me. I do not want to be branded as one of them simply by virtue of being heterosexual and being a man. One of the arguments made regularly by feminists is that men should not all see women as sexualised objects, there to provide sex, food and babies. They are not. Much in the same way as not all men are beer drinking loudmouths who cannot control themselves when they see a pair of legs in a short skirt. I think that men have a vital part to play in the feminist movement – and hopefully proper gender equality for everyone. This is something that I would like to believe Ms Bindel also agrees with. It is important that men do not accept the idea of “fun feminists”, partly because it is a terrible name, but mainly because it is another example of women pandering to men. Doing it in a slightly different way is not feminism, it is simply reinforcing the social gap between the genders, and this time it is doing it with a female seal of approval. This is not feminism, and I would hope many feminists agree with me. Therefore, being told that if “men” agree with a type of feminism then it has failed, I find to be a real problem. Do you mean me? Do you mean those men who agree with real gender equality, who want to end the acceptance of misogyny that is prevalent in our society? I would hope not. I am not saying that feminism without men is dead, but I do believe that we can get involved, that we can make a difference, and if we want gender equality across the board, then both those of every gender should be encouraged to get involved. I am a feminist. I am not the same as those who laugh at rape jokes, who blame the victim for domestic violence or see women as nothing but objects for sex. I don’t want to be grouped with people who do. It could cause arguments.
Tuesday, 12 July 2011
My old college, Rose Bruford has announced its Tuition Fees for 2012. They will be charging the maximum 9,000 for degree courses. I cannot say I that I am really all that surprised, given how lowly Higher Education in the Arts seems to be valued by the current government. It is still a shame though.
I can understand the college’s reasons behind charging these fees – through a combination of the tough position that the cut in HE subsidy has placed on the finance department, and through a desire to not be seen as a ‘lesser institution’ by charging less than the competition (for context, Central School of Speech & Drama has also announced that it will be charging 9,000 a year). These circumstances may mean that this is the right decision for the College, but it is the wrong decision for students.
My fear is that the increase in fees will put off students. The refrain that is mentioned in reference to the Arts is that it in an industry you work in for the love, not for the money. This may be true, but finishing training in thousands of pounds of debt may deter talented prospective students from applying. I paid a maximum of 3,250 a year for my tuition at Rose Bruford, and recently received a letter from the Student Loans Company informing me that I currently owed them somewhere in the region of 26,000. I am starting a Masters in October that has tuition fees of 8,400 and for full time study I need to be able to pay around 25,000 over the year to cover living costs, rent, repayments, food, travel and other expenses. Assuming that there are some expenses I am accruing that will not be faced by undergraduate students, it is possible that a Stage Management graduate – like myself – who graduates in 2015 could be leaving College with a debt of 40,000 from the three years of training. When a Stage Manager can earn somewhere around 450 a week, it makes that debt, before interest and other expenses (like rent and food) seem quite intimidating. I do not want to see talented, driven individuals who could contribute to one of the most profitable and valuable industries in the UK, to be put off applying through fear of the debt that they will be placing themselves under. With cuts to Arts Council budgets and a government desire to support the Arts through philanthropy, the uncertainty faced by recent graduates makes spending 9,000 a year just on tuition seem an even more substantial risk.
College will still need to take in the same number of students in order to balance the budgets. With some students being prevented from looking for places because of their financial situation, will there be a need to accept less talented, skilled and inspired students so that the money keeps coming in? I hope that this does not happen, because not only will it reduce the quality of the graduates that College is training, but with several drama schools being in a similar situation, will there be a lower standard of graduates entering the industry.
If, and this is a very large if, this does come to pass then the ability of the industry to continue to produce quality product will come into question, and this would then have an effect on the contribution that the Arts can make to culture, and to the amount of income generated in the direction of the Treasury. I do not want to see a shrinking of the artistic spectrum caused by the reliance on philanthropy and having to justify to wealthy benefactors that a production is a good idea – and I think that this potential over-commercialisation of the industry could lead to less risk taking and less invention. I also do not want to see the range of product on offer to be limited through a lack of talent. This would not be too evident for the first few years, as the older generation will still be there, but if there is a reduction in the talent pool then in the long term the variety of output could also be reduced, as groups and individuals may not have the abilities needed to create a wider, more varied range of productions.
I hope that it does not come to this, and I do think that these are worst case scenarios, and I hope many of those applying for places in 2012 will be doing it out of love for what they do, and will take their places in spite of the financial burden that they will be placed under. If ability to afford the tuition becomes the defining factor in prospective students decisions, then I think there could be trouble.
I guess we will have to wait and see.
Monday, 16 May 2011
Now that I am, tentatively, set in terms of what will be happening from the back end of September onwards, I'm quite keen to get started, partly so that I am able to avoid the late August panic and over-thinking which is by this point in my life a routine part of the year. But while I want September to get here, I also want to have a summer, and be able to enjoy it (while sticking to my brilliant money earning schemes). I've been that focused on what will be happening at the end of the summer that I have done a solid job totally ignoring the chance of having any kind of a life. There are also some at least reasonably important decisions to be made. Among them are:
- Do me and Erykah commit to at least another 12 months in our current place? (If we do stay then I may also need to make sure I find someone to rent my dad's place so that my stepsister doesn't move there - and yes, I am just that petty)
- Should I try to find something more accurately fitting the description of 'proper job' or continue with what I have now, as I know that I will be able to fit it around my college commitments come the autumn? If I do stick with what I have, I certainly need to invest in some new work clothes - this is entirely for vanity, I'm tired of wearing things that make me look like I borrowed clothes off someone bigger than me. Seriously, I look and feel more than a little silly - which is an achievement when dressed all in black.
Then there is the insightful and awkwardly accurate comment from a relative of mine that I seem to be lonely, and spend an awful lot of my time alone, or only interacting with people through my computer. This is true, and much more of a reality than I have ever really wanted to admit. It isn't really a pleasant experience noticing that a fairly off-hand comment in a conversation forces you to pay attention to the elephant quietly snacking on peanuts in the corner of the room, even though you are so aware of its presence that peanuts have been factored into your food budget. Pushed the image a little far, but I think you get my point. Especially since it has been that long since I had a proper social life, where things were not all planned out in advance and put in Facebook events to which I was then invited, that I do not really know how it all works. So, real-world friends, at some point can you explain how real friendships work, how their social interactions are observed, then shall we go do some of them?
So what am I going to do for summer? I'm going to try and actually live it, and when September arrives, then I will start to think about how the next chapter will pan out.
Saturday, 2 April 2011
Being the masochist that I am I decided to sit down and read them. They brought back some memories, mostly good, a couple more uncomfortable ones. What they did not bring back was a sense of real emotional connection. By that I don't mean that I cannot remember what I used to feel like - associating feelings with times, sounds or events is how most of my memories are stored in the dark recesses of my brain. What I could not connect with, and could not remember, was being the person to whom anyone would write these things.
I know as time passes people change, and I am aware that I have changed over the last few years, but it was a strange sensation not being able to feel that anything I was reading was intended for me. It is a peculiar feeling when you notice that in the space of a few years your self-perception has changed so much that you read things once meant for you, and feel as if you are reading words intended for an entirely different person, and feel as if you have invaded their privacy.
Tuesday, 22 March 2011
Now after the fiasco last year (my reaction to which got picked up on by the college online account monitoring people), I am not in as strong a financial position as I was last year, so am having to plan out with much more care how I am going to pay for it.
I know how much it will cost me, and am attempting to persuade various family members to help me with it. This is not ideal, as I would rather not be in debt to the bank (loan), the government (undergraduate tuition fees) and every member of my family all at the same time. I think that the expense is worth it, otherwise I would not be putting myself or them through the effort of trying to work out how it will be paid for. This just means that the next few months will involve a lot of saving, scrimping, and avoiding any unnecessary expense more than I already do. I am pretty sure that it will not be a huge amount of fun, but the pay-off will be worth it.
One other thing I did discover today is that a person I went to school with, though they were in the year below me we did work together on at least one school play, is auditioning for a place on the same course. It would be quite strange if we both ended up doing the same MA (and she would be to my knowledge the 3rd person to go from Oakham to Bruford.
So that is the situation currently, and, as usual, it is all about the money.
Friday, 18 March 2011
I need to make up my mind by the end of March whether or not I am going to do the MA that I was originally planning on doing this year. There is no use going back over that whole debacle, but it does mean that I am in a bit of a bind this time round.
The main problem is this:
I don't currently have the money to pay for it, let alone being able to afford another year of being a full time student.
I feel confident that I can actually do the course, and that it will be a good thing for me to do, as well as something which will be interesting, entertaining and a challenge. If money was not an issue, I would be able to take my place with confidence of doing well. But unfortunately, money is an issue.
I am currently paying £450 a month in rent, plus around £100 more in various bills - gas, electric, phone etc. On top of that, I have to pay out another £250 a month in loan repayments for the loan I took out to pay for the MA before that all went sideways. Then there will also be travel costs and stuff like that to get to college and back again. Overall, I have roughly budgeted that I will need about £1,000 a month to be able to pay for everything. The course is 13 months full time, so even if there will be some fluctuation on how heavy the workload is, and I am able to find a decent part-time job on top of High Society and CCM (both of which can be busy, can be dead), then I will need £12,000 over the duration of the course to pay for stuff.
Of course, on top of this there is the cost of the actual MA itself, which is, at the moment £8,400. That means an estimated overall cost of the year of £20,000 - which is a hell of a lot of money that I certainly don't have.
Before I make the final decision, I am going to go and talk to Richard, who was the one that got me into the idea of doing the MA, and all of this stuff will be explained to him. In an ideal world, college would be willing to give me a bursary or some form of financial assistance to make it easier, especially since I am a graduate of RBC, got a 1st on my BA, and since they offered me a place, then didn't tell me what was going on until after I had made financial commitments to pay for it back in September. I am not expecting anything, especially given recent public statements from Michael.
So I need to be able to find this money from somewhere. I am not sure where, but somewhere. If anyone who reads this has any ideas, feel free to drop them in the comments section.
The next 18 months of my life will be defined by a decision I need to make within the next couple of weeks, so I need to start figuring things out.
Sunday, 20 February 2011
On sunday 31st October, at about 10:30pm I was on my way home from a High Society shift at Bluewater Shopping Centre. While walking along the road I live on, 2 guys pulled their bikes over (one behind me, one in front), pulled me to the ground and stole my phone and wallet. Doesn't sound like a lot, and didn't cost me anything of value (phone was going to be upgraded anyway, all stuff in wallet was replaced within couple of weeks). Apart from a bump on the head, a couple of scrapes and a bleeding mouth, I was physically unharmed and was able to scramble home and Sayem was able to get hold of my sister, who called the police and an ambulance. They checked me out, took a statement, all the standard procedure. Nothing has come of it, but they went and investigated anyway. In terms of what the police have to deal with, not a major issue, not a major crime.
The thing is - and this is the part that is more personal so if that's not something you want to read, stop here - that I have not forgotten what happened, and I know that it is still affecting me. I am still afraid to go outside anywhere near my neighborhood any time after about 3:30. I still look suspiciously at anyone wearing a hoodie or tracksuit bottoms (that is what the two guys were wearing). Even though it has been almost four months, I still don't feel comfortable being alone, outside, in pretty much any part of south London. I weigh up the fastest way to get around, whether it be to the gym, to Emma's place, to the station - including which station to use, which one will have more people so I am less likely to be targeted, that kind of thing. It has been nearly four months now, and while I am relatively confident when in central London of walking around on my own after dark, quite simply I am too scared to do the same thing in my own part of town. I am frightened of a part of London that I have been either visiting regularly or living in for the better part of the last six years.
What really bites, beyond the financial strain of paying for taxis from the station when on my way home after dark, is that I do not know how to stop it. I don't know what I can do to make it better, to feel comfortable and safe in my environment, and to not shake with adrenaline every time I make it to my own front door. There are more important things that I want to be able to do. There are more fun things I want to get involved in. Hell, there are really mundane things that I wish I could do like I did before without panicking or running away from some imagined attacker.
I don't know if it is a weakness, an overactive imagination or just part of the process, but I know that people have been through much worse things than my experience. There are people who live with much worse pressures, fears and problems every day, who are able to function, grit their teeth and push through it. I desperately want to be one of those people. I need to get over this. I need to move on with my life, and stop one minor event from destroying my already anemic social life, stop it from preventing me from finding a job that will allow me to actually pay my bills, and above all, I just don't want to be scared of everyone anymore. It makes it very hard to enjoy all the pieces of good fortune I have.
Tuesday, 8 February 2011
We can build this anti-cuts movement. The feelings are there, we must make sure that people do not become disillusioned with what is happening. It is vital to encourage people to get involved, and build momentum towards March 26th.
Saturday, 5 February 2011
(credit picture: http://twitter.com/#!/nevinezaki)
Thursday, 3 February 2011
Tuesday, 1 February 2011
Friday, 28 January 2011
Wednesday, 19 January 2011
This may make it seem a bit dated (I will add some reflective bits, but it is pretty much directly from my book to here) but I wanted to put it out there anyway, in particular the idea of alternate ways to raise money, as an alternative to cuts and heaping debt onto the people rather than the government. Here goes:
"Oh, so the first protests of the coalition have happened. Only took a few months. Solid work guys. What makes this even more impressive from a Lib-Dem point of view is that it was from one of the groups that supported them - the students.
Now, I'll come back to that in a minute, but first I have to admit that I wasn't at the demo this morning [the first of the main anti-tuition fee demonstrations] or at the clashes that followed - and I'll let others discuss whether or not the escalation and police response helped or not. What happened later in the day must not be allowed to detract from is is the real reason so many people marched in the first place [despite the best efforts of the media, and the police].
Back on point: many who are either out of university, or have never attended, have chosen to describe students within the stereotype of lazy cheapskates who drink and party and stagger into the light several years later with a piece of paper and still no idea what they are doing. While some of that does happen, and there are some people who stay at uni as long as possible so to avoid having to grow up, I have also met plenty of students, both at RBC and other schools, who are hardworking, driven people, fully aware of the amount of debt they are accruing, but willing to take on that burden so that they can follow their ambition, their dream or their passion. For example at Bruford, I did not meet a single person who decided to go through the audition process to become an actor just for kicks, or for the fun of it and the social life - they did it because they want to become actors. The idea that budget cuts from privileged ideologues leave a solid number of graduates unable to pursue their chosen career is a travesty.
What is even worse than that situation, worse than the potential for further cuts, worse than Conservatives in parliament cheering at the Chancellor's gleeful attacks on those who need the states help more than anyone else, worse than all of that is the arrogance of politicians who attended universities at a time when it cost them nothing, deciding that in order to continue your academic career you have to have been born into, or raised into, money. Education ought to be a right afforded to every citizen, not a privileged for those who can afford it. This kind of policy may well have been feared from a Tory administration, but what is hard to swallow is their Lib-Dem appendages. That those very same Lib-Dems actively campaigned on a pledge to fight rises in tuition fees is all the more shocking. I'm sorry Mr Clegg, but saying that it is one of those things that gets lost as part of a coalition just doesnt wash. If it is something that you might possibly consider compromising on, don't make it the cornerstone of your election campaign - you have successfully ruined any chance your party had at being 'the honest party'. Not only have you lied but you have gone against what your own party once believed in. Why else would one of your PPCs join Labour and cite that as one of their main reasons? You have sold out, you have sold out your party, and you have sold out many of the people who once believed in you. All so you could sit at the top table. Congratulations.
Leaving aside the lack of progressiveness in the Coalition plans for education funding, what is also surprising is the short term-ism that their policy demonstrates. This is shown by this: if you pay for people to be educated, then the theory goes that they get into higher paying jobs. This means they earn more money. When they have higher income, they are taxed a higher amount than those on lower incomes [that is the theory at least, though with the HMRC collection issues and the tax avoidance unchecked there are some problems]. The only problem with this theory is that it takes a generation to come into play, and it appears that this government is not looking for the long term benefit for the nation, rather the short term benefits for the few.
In the current climate of deficit reduction, and with absolutely no schooling in economics, so I appreciate I may miss some details, here is my alternative idea: add 2% onto income tax. This may seem regressive, and its hard to get elected by raising taxes, but hear me out. In order to counteract the impact this would have on lower income households, I also propose a raising of the tax-free allowances., so that for those less fortunate, the higher rate is paid on a smaller percentage of their earnings. I think that they would be able to save money, and also, hopefully, some of those families who need benefits in order to make ends meet might be less needy of them. But like I said, I have no grounding in economics, and may just be being naive."
So that is what I wrote back in November. Some of it is a little dated, and with the looming impact of the disability benefits cuts, it seems like something of a moot point. But if you have made it this far, well done, and apologies for taking up so much of your time.
Friday, 14 January 2011
Here are some of my favourite talks from TED (more can be found at http://www.ted.com/)
Tony Porter': "A Call to Men"
I love this one because it helps to restore faith that there are men who can break out of the old fashioned idea of men being strong, emotionless and dominant - or as Porter terms it, the "man box".
Both of these two are really powerful. Having spend time in various bits of Africa, it's a continent that I rather like. Why, I'm not sure, but I like it nonetheless.
Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the Revolution
This is the kind of education that I wish I could have had, focusing on skills and developing individuals rather than just people who fit into the system that is currently in place. On an educational note, if the link still works, compare Sir Ken's views and eloquence with the current Education Secretary, Michael Gove http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-12171281 Which one would you rather have running your or your child's education?
This just makes me laugh. Never understand why people believe in psychics and stuff like that!
Brene Brown: The Power of Vulnerability
Emmanuel Jal: The Music of a War Child
Incredible. The song at the end is also immensely catchy.
Right, that is enough for now. Check out the website if you want to see more. I spend far too much time on it. Good for the brain though.
Sunday, 2 January 2011
In any event, I do have certain goals that I want to achieve in the next 12 months. The idea is not to get them done as soon as possible, more to try any achieve them by the end of the year (some of them I do need to justify a bit, but you can skip over that part) . So here goes:
1. Get into proper shape - While I am now in better shape than I was 18 months ago, I still am not a huge fan of how I look. Therefore I am taking it upon myself to try and sort it out. Part of it is aesthetic, part of it is health, part of it is fitness, but the reason doesn't matter, just the result.
2. Become more politically involved - now this one I am not sure entirely the way in which I will achieve it, whether it be writing to my MP more, doing more volunteering, trying to get to the Labour conference, or similar ideas. Any suggestions are welcomed, and I think that especially with what 2011 will hold in terms of what the government are going to try to shove down our throats next, I think that involvement of any kind can help.
3. Don't get arrested or in trouble with police - this may seem odd, but with more protests being bound to happen this year, and with me planning on attending as many of them as I can, I want to not get myself photographed, harassed, harmed or arrested while protesting peacefully (that is one thing, I will never be violent while on protest, though I will defend myself or others while there).
4. Get a proper job - by proper I mean one where I can work out my pay by the week, not through counting the number of hours I have worked. Again, any suggestions or offers will be considered (yes, I am that desperate)
5. Decide about the Masters - this one is rather reliant on number 4, but I do need to make my mind up, and while the financial pressure is the main stumbling block, decisions will need to be made, eventually.
6. Be more social - I need to get out the house more, I need to meet new people, and see more of the people I already know, some of whom I actually really enjoy spending time with. For most of 2010 my social life was crap, and not just due to my general lack of social skills. I think that, even though money will be tight this year, I need to make a greater effort to see people I like, and make a greater effort to get them to want to see me too. How to do that, I have no idea, but I have 12 months to get it sorted.
7 Read more - If anyone feels like posting me some interesting books then get in touch, but overall I think that I need to read more. I might even see if there is a library somewhere near me (under the assumption that it hasnt been closed down before I get there).
Now there are a few others, but they really aren't all that interesting to read (which, looking at that list, must make them pretty dull), but in any case, if you have any ideas or thoughts about how to achieve these things, just yell at me.