Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Back To School Week 2

Hows it goin?
I’ve been at school for over 2 weeks now and im startin to settle in back to life in Aberdeen. The flat is taking shape, I’ve got far too many DVD’s and need to buy another shelving unit. It’s still gonna be anther couple of weeks till I get internet which is REALLY ANNOYING!! I’m forced to go to the pub to use the WIFI.
School is going quite well so far. I have Tuesday afternoons off and all day on Thursday which is quite cool. Most class’s are quite interesting and my class mates seem nice enough. I think we are all starting to bond, slowly but surely, one of the girls in my class even drew a picture of me,

I don’t see the resemblance, and why am i thinking about pink??

Last Friday afternoon something quite interesting happened. Our course leader (Paul) made an unexpected appearance in my Sound Recording class. He had just received an e-mail from the BBC asking for help.

It seems Aberdeen council were arranging something called “Doors Open.” This was essentially a massive open day all across the City. Various establishments (Police, Fire Brigade, The Court, etc, etc) opened their doors to the public. BBC Aberdeen were taking part and had put adverts in the paper saying they were conducting tours. These tours got fully booked within 2 days. The Head of BBC Aberdeen contacted the College asking for 3 students to come along and lend a hand. Paul decided the fairest way to decide who went would be for anyone who was interested to write a short essay on BBC Scotland and hand it in first thing Monday morning. This would prove to be a bit problematic for me as I was leaving for the Blackpool wedding that afternoon and would not be back until late on Sunday. If you read the Blackpool blog entry you know how stressful that journey was, but there was an upside. My train from Edinburgh to York, although taking me to the wrong side of the country, was equipped with WIFI, I managed to get some research done online and wrote a kick ass essay.
The next problem came with printing. I had no way to print it. I asked a bloke in a café in Blackpool and he looked quite scared when I mentioned computers. I think he may have arrived direct from 1953 or something. So Monday morning came, Paul made his trademark class interruption and asked for the essays, 3 people handed them over to him. SHIT! That’s three people and I haven’t printed mine. I asked if I could email mine to him as I did not have access to a printer and he said as long as he got it before 12:30.
12:30?? Bugger, bugger, bugger! I was in class till 12 and my essay was on my usb stick. There was only one option. As soon as we finished class just after 12 I legged it up to work, ran into the office, shoved the owner off the computer and attempted to log on to my online email account. The office computer is so bloody slow I was going MENTAL!!
Eventually I managed to get online and sent the essay. The time of sending was 12:27pm. That’s still before 12:30!!!
The next day Paul once again interrupted class to let us know who was going to the BBC. There were 4 entries but only 3 could go. Now I was fairly confident my essay was good but it was the last one handed in, plus I did it in a hurry, on a crowded train, surrounded by drunken Englishmen. Paranoia began to settle in, I should have written more, I should have included pictures, maybe I shouldn’t have made the joke about the head of BBC Scotlands mother?
I was sure he was going to say well done to the other three, and just ignore me. Everyone saw me ask if I could email mine, everyone knows I wanted to go and everyone would then know my essay was shit. I would be the laughing stock of the class, worse than that girl who said she woke up with a seal! Maybe I could just hide and pretend it didn’t happen. I buried my head in my notebook and pretended to be deep in concentration.
“ Hello everyone.” Paul announced
“A very big thank you to the 4 that submitted essays, where are you all?” he asked
Shit! Now I would have to stick my hand up. Why would he do this? What was he thinking? Was he trying to humiliate me? What had I done to him? Did the grammar of my essay offend him?
“Well the BBC asked for only 3 of you……….” He paused
STOP PAUSING YOU BASTARD!!!! I thought to myself
“But all 4 essays were excellent so I sent them an email saying that 4 of you are going.”
My paranoia vanished, replaced by a wave of confidence, I knew my essay kicked ass! From now on I might do all my college work on a crowded train somewhere. It seems to do the trick. So my essay was good enough to change the rules! They wanted three but because I am so AWESOME they’re getting me as a bonus! Lucky them!
Myself and my 3 class mates would be tour guides for the day. We were promised a BBC Scotland T-shirt, tea & biscuits and a “slap up lunch.” A free lunch? Hell yeah! And a slap up one too? That’s ace!
So Saturday morning arrived and I managed to drag myself out of bed to make it there for 10 AM. After getting my free t-shirt I was offered a cup of tea or coffee from the vending machine but the biscuits I was promised were no where insight! I must admit to being slightly disappointed. I pay my licence fee and I wanted BISCUITS! I decided not too kick up a fuss as I did not want to sour the atmosphere, I still had the “slap up lunch” to look forward to. I would just make sure to take seconds.

Our job for the day was to take the tour groups round to the various displays in the building. Fortunately we didn’t have to answer any questions, just smile and make sure nobody wandered off. It was really interesting. The first stop was a camera man telling everyone about the HD camera’s being used and the various programmes he has worked on. Next was a small studio where someone got to pretend to be a news reader, then the edit suite which I found most interesting, I kept trying to prompt the tour group to ask questions and a few did, but no one asked anything I wanted to know about. The last stop on the tour was the radio studio, this was interesting but took ages! After finishing up my first tour, we got the students together and took a few pics for the BBC internal website. Then it was lunch time, and just as well cos I was starving. I got to the lunch area and I was surprised to say the least. The table had 4 large trays of sandwiches, various flavours of crisps, and some haribo’s and mini mars bars, and cans of coke! Full fat coke! Not a can of diet coke in sight. This is not what I would call “slap up!” I carefully examined the sandwiches, there was cheese & pickle which I hate, there was tuna which I think is minging and egg which I truly despise. I was gutted! What was going on! Out of the corner of my eye I spotted another tray, I carefully lifted off the cling film and inspected the contents,
“Its coronation chicken.” My classmate informed me.
Thank fuck for that! Something edible!
My lunch break was just over an hour, it was really cool to sit and chat to all these guys who had years of experience of working for the BBC in loads of different departments. My lunch consisted of approximately 23 coronation chicken sandwiches, 4 mini mars bars, a small packet of haribo, 2 packets of crisps and a can of full fat coke. It wasn’t exactly ”slap up” but it did the job.
After lunch I took another tour round, this lot consisted of 2 old granny’s and a mother with her 3 kids. One of the kids wasn’t blatantly a gay. He was only 11 or 12 but you know when you see someone and its obvious, well this kid was most definitely was a friend of Dorothy.
The BBC had advertised tours online and in the paper, but said it was bookings only and first come first serve, however so many people turned up without a booking we were forced to do extra tours. It was all good fun though. After the last tour left the head of the studio broke out the vino as a thank you. It was awesome! I was having a glass of wine and a chat with the Head of BBC Aberdeen.

Sadly I was late for work, and being the good little restaurant monkey I am, I only had the one glass of wine and headed home to get changed, and headed to work.
I had a brilliant day and I am very grateful for the chance to spend some time amongst some very talented people, and I’m fairly certain the receptionist fancied me, can’t say I blame her.
I was, of course, only joking about the lunch and biscuit situation.
I spent the day at the BBC
Sadly there were no biscuits with my tea.
I wrote an essay, which was KICK ASS,
So did 3 other people, from my class.
I had a great time,
& got a free glass of wine.
My day was ace,
in that television place!
That’s enough for now
until next time
Have a nice
Andy G

P.S. My classmate made a video blog about our day at the BBC. If your interested here it is.
If you can't see the video then stop reading this on facebook and CLICK HERE!!

This blog was written while listening toThe Best of REM 1988 - 2003
I am currently reading Flash Forward by Robert J. Sawyer

It's Very Good!

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