My Private School Problem – ‘The Rest’

Dhogwarts (1)I go to a private school. No, not Hogwarts, though it seemed that much when I moved there in 2011 for 6th form. I’d previously attended a fairly decent comprehensive school between the age of 11 and 16, managing to achieve a decent set of GCSE results. When my parents suggested going to a private school for 6th form my mind was at battle between both excitement and apprehension. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. My friends from the comprehensive school gave me a bit of direction calling me ‘Posh boy’, however I was sure it wasn’t going to be ‘that posh’.

Now, ‘posh’ is defined as an adjective meaning ‘elegant or stylishly luxurious’ and my first day at private school seemed to give me the impression that it was just that; It had it’s own swimming pool, a chapel more impressive than the one in my local village, Huge playing fields suited for both cricket and rugby and a recently built dining hall that I can imagine could hold thousands of people. I was a bit dazed to say the least. Going to school on Saturday mornings & homework now being referred to as ‘prep’ were only a handful of examples that also made the transition between comprehensive school culture and private school culture all the more challenging.

I’m now currently on my Easter break ready to embark on my final term (‘Trinity Term’ as the private schools would say) at private school & quite honestly I can say it has been the most rewarding two years of my life so far. No disrespect to the great teachers at my comprehensive but the quality of teaching at my private school truly is something unique & overall I’m now in, what I believe a much better position to further my education. I can only be thankful to my parents for rewarding me with me with such an experience. PS why has this turned into an Oscar-esque speech? I do apologize.

Anyway (And here’s the main point of this post), positives a-side, there’s a culture that takes place not only at my private school, but others all across the country that essentially sets the elite pupils from ‘the rest’. The process? Scholarships. Now, i’m all for slightly discounted fees for students who are evidently going to get A*A*A* when it comes to results day & for sportsmen/women who represent at county or national level, but there is a line. I’m going to use an example from my own school that clearly highlights my disgruntlement; A young man who plays Rugby at, what I believe is county level was, at the beginning of this year, given a 90% scholarship. This meant he only had to pay 10% fees. At the time I presumed he must have been a future England hopeful & in fact, i’m led to believe that he could have been. However, an injury meant he was out for an entire year & possibly longer. Regardless, his 90% scholarship continued whilst ‘the rest’ are forced to pay 100% fees. My frustration was elevated to new levels of outrage when the school introduced ‘Scholars boards’ at the entrance of the school, with each pupil in their respective field; music, drama, art, sport and academia highlighted on the boards in gold writing (It ‘had’ to be gold didn’t it?).

As a representative of ‘the rest’ I can’t begin to express how demoralizing a board stating all those who are superior to you actually is. I enjoy music, in fact it’d be a dream to be able to pursue a career in music, however, when there’s a board with all the people who are essentially ‘better than you’ at music, it’s hardly a call for inspiration.

There’s more I could say on the matter however, if, by any chance, my school did happen to stumble across this post, the headteacher might not be too pleased, so I think I’ll just leave it there!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading & I hope I haven’t given you too much of a headache!

Thanks

 Bowmer •

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Daily Prompt: Five a Day (a bit of fun!)

 You’ve being exiled to a private island, and your captors will only supply you with five foods (Infinite amounts). What do you pick?

  1. Bottled water – The last thing I want to be doing is drinking salty sea water or… my own urine. The bottles can then be used to create a huge plastic boat. Are plastic bottle boats effective? I suppose I’ll never find out. *Touch wood*
  2. Mediterranean bread – I know that sounds a bit picky considering I’m stranded on an island but seriously, this stuff is delicious. It can also be my source of carbohydrates.
  3. Chicken breast – Good source of protein. It’d be delicious flame-grilled if I could ever manage to make a fire on the private island.
  4. Melon – The best fruit on the planet? Debatable. It was between melon or banana. Melon juice would just provide a nice alternative to water here and there.
  5. Yorkie Chocolate bar – As well as being the best chocolate bar ever created the Yorkie would act as my source of sugar.

If I was to have a 6th choice it’d probably be Nandos Medium Peri Peri Sauce to cook the chicken breast in. Perfection!

castaway_wilson

I hope I haven’t taken this too seriously! Please feel free to comment what your five food would be.

Thanks

 Bowmer •

 

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A new chapter

mi-lgflagIf you’ve already read my ‘about me’ page you’ll have read that I’m going to Malawi in August. This dream started off when talking to a close friend of mine discussing how we were going to travel the world once we finished 6th Form. Every time we had a spare couple of minutes we’d visualize just how our lives would be ‘this time next year’ and how travelling the world with just a back-pack, spare t-shirts & some cash for food would be the best experience we could both ever hope for. Taking a drastic turn my friend decided that, in fact, he was just going to go straight to university which I completely appreciate being the bright young man he is. Anyhow, now I was a bit lost. I didn’t really have anyone to talk to about ‘how amazing my Gap year’s going to be’ anymore.

Stuck, I fled to Google & typed in ‘gap year’. Quite obviously there were hundreds of thousands of results, however, after having e-mailed various companies about the opportunities and locations they had to offer I found ‘Lattitude’ best suited to what I was looking for. I later filled out some answers to questions they asked me & then had a phone interview. They soon came back to me telling me that my application to teach in Malawi for 9 months had been accepted!

The actual reality of living in Africa for 9 months still hasn’t quite hit me yet. Having clean running water, a clean, flushing toilet & food for breakfast, lunch and tea are only a handful of privileges that I, at times, take for granted. One of the main purposes of this gap year, as well as teaching young children in schools is to help me open my eyes *cue Snow Patrol*. Jokes aside, though that might be a stereotypical way of putting it, I really want to see the wider world & how cultures, ways of life and other ethnicities work and how they differ from the way in which I live.

In order to fund such an experience, quite obviously a lot of fundraising is involved. Thus far I’ve gained money through doughnut sales and through my earnings at gigs with my band. On Friday I’m setting out to Workington to complete a 140 mile, two day coast to coast bike ride to Seaton Sluice (Newcastle) to further raise money for my Gap year! Also, if you would like to make a donation it’d be much appreciated! http://www.justgiving.com/jamesbowmer

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about this new chapter in my life & I hope to update you as time progresses!

Thanks

 Bowmer •

PS Today is vaccinations day & I don’t like needles!!

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Piers Morgan – The face of anti-gun legislation?

Piers MorganI’m not going to lie, it concerns me that Piers Morgan is, from what I’ve seen thus far, the only ‘celebrity’ arguing against gun-crazy Americans on live TV. I may, of course, be wrong. Coming from the UK I’ve not had the same exposure to the gun debate in America as others may have done, but from what I’ve seen & heard, Piers Morgan seems to be the only high-profile individual who faces gun advocates & questions their reasoning behind, for example, needing a semi-automatic gun in their home. Of course, US celebrities have taken part in videos, such as the ‘Demand A Plan to End Gun Violence’ which include the likes of Beyoncé, Cameron Diaz and Will Ferrell. However, in terms of actually challenging those who advocate the need for guns, Piers Morgan seems to be the only person doing so. Why is this?

I grew up watching Piers Morgan; a demeaning, snobby and somewhat intimidating judge on Britain’s Got Talent. Why then has this degrading individual become the face of anti-gun violence? It frightens me that no high-profile celebrity, that I know of, has joined Piers in the debate against gun advocates. I mean come on celebrity anti-gun violence supporters, you’re leaving a man who thrives off degrading others as the leader of your views!

I’m guessing by now you’ve guessed where my views lie surrounding the gun debate? I don’t mean to offend any Americans reading this blog with my views but coming from a country where semi-automatic guns are banned, I find it both shocking and disturbing whenever I hear the latest incident involving guns in America. Though I’m well aware the statistics show that, in America, the places that have the most guns have less crime, I’m still not overly convinced. I don’t know whether I just have an overly reactive gene that shouts out ‘Ban the guns!’ whenever there’s a gun related incident in America but I simply don’t see how gun-advocates can honestly argue to keep the same guns that did damage at Newtown and at the Batman cinema shooting.

Anyway, i digress, the main point in this post was generally just to complain about the fact Piers Morgan seems to be the only celebrity fighting for anti-gun legislation. Actually, quite honestly, I admire Piers Morgan’s courage in fighting for his views surrounding guns, but his otherwise foolish behavior on Twitter for example suggests to me that perhaps he shouldn’t be, as I’ve dubbed him, the ‘face of anti-gun legislation’.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading!

Thanks

 Bowmer •

PS, take the poll!

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Hello WordPress!

Hello potential readers,

I just wanted to start my blog by welcoming you… to my blog.

I’m completely new to the world of blogging & expressing my views on-line therefore if, what I say, is complete bunkum, I apologize in advance. Regardless, this is going to an ongoing blog where I hope to express my own personal opinions and views on different areas of interest.

I’m hoping to have my first post up in around a couple of days time so keep a look out!

Thanks
 Bowmer •

Sooty Waving Reversed

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