The latest musings from the Journo group.
Remote Learning, admirable friends, and the wonders of a snow day.
“But how do you do it all?” I find myself asking my friends on one of our Friday FaceTime catch-ups, the new weekly signal that the weekend has begun. We discuss everything in our catch-ups, from any worries, to anecdotes about our pets. From our hopes for the future, to our latest Netflix or iPlayer binge.
The general consensus is that lockdown can be testing, yet I find myself admiring how my friends manage. They do it all: learning how to knit; making quizzes for each other to be played on a Saturday afternoon; painting the most gorgeous pictures; helping younger siblings do their school work, acting as a teacher whilst the school doors remain shut for most of us; taking zoom music lessons and zoom dance lessons; entering essay competitions; and even continuing their extra-curricular activities. They do all this on top of their A Levels, which is definitely not a light workload.
Witnessing the people around me adapt to new challenges, and taking them in their stride, is truly impressive.
However, a sad side effect of this adaptation has been the topic of a couple of recent conversations. Now schools have been able to bring learning into people’s homes, have we seen the death of the snow day? Over the last few weeks, one of the things which has brought me the most excitement is that we have been lucky enough to have a couple of snow spells. I love the snow, I love the sound of it crunching underfoot as you walk in it. I love how it coats the trees and the bushes so everything looks architectural. I love how the dogs get excited when they see the snow: one of them always insists on eating it at any opportunity and the other rolls around and slides on it whenever he finds a slope. Snow seems to evoke a silliness in everyone - adults, children and even animals.
I think back to times when school closed in the past because of the snow. You could spend the whole day sledging and school work was completely forgotten. A snow day meant being wrapped up in a hundred layers to make a snowman, it meant having rosy cheeks and a red nose, or laughing endlessly when making snow angels. Best of all, it meant warming up afterwards with hot chocolate by the fire, all wrapped up in blankets, grateful for the warmth thawing you out. A snow day was a day for the taking.
Obviously, being able to learn at home doesn't mean that children (or dogs) will stop playing in the snow. But I do still feel a little sad that snow days might not be quite the same again. No matter how blurred the lines become between working and resting during this lockdown, we all attempt to balance the two in our lives while staying at home. I think that the thing I find most admirable about my friends is that they have the same mind-set as a child on a snow day. They feel like they can do anything, and still they manage to keep on top of the sixth form workload.
Words: Anja Raine
and corset seams
I can’t breathe
That blood drenched sunburn smile
Toying with my heart subconsciously
Demolishing my wretchedness
I would lose you to my weak tongue
I write to you
I fall for you
I’d live in an infinite of sorrow for you
I’d drown in an abyss and still scream for you.
I`m so romantic
Can’t live in the moment
The dream that dissolves my soul
You tied my heart in your cruel fingers
It’s not your fault
I can never tell you
You wouldn’t understand just
Leisurely choking my yearning
stolen looks and stars
It all seeps from my heart
You would never guess
You’re the girl
They write songs about
And I'm the girl
They write eulogies for
I’ll steal looks
For now and ever
Your eternal innocence
My eternal oblivion.
Words: Tess Eve
While current GCSE English curricula give no formal opportunities for students to express themselves through poetry, some find ways to convey views and feelings using this expressive form away from the classroom.
An So To Uni.
This year has obviously caused lots of changes for everyone. We’ve been locked-down multiple times, sporting events are a no-go and we’ve sanitised our hands more times than we have in our entire lives but these changes have been even further amplified for university students. Leaving home during a pandemic and paying for online lectures has given university students a unique but somewhat troubling time.
Former Brookfield student Victoria Ruck began her first year at Durham University in 2020 and had this to say about her first experiences of uni life:
"It has been a strange step up from being at Brookfield. I’m currently studying Spanish and Italian, and not only is the academic aspect a total change from what it’s like at school, the social side is completely different, especially during a pandemic. The workload is quite intense but not in a bad way, of course. I feel like I’m really being challenged to learn and expand my knowledge in a subject that I genuinely enjoy, although I’m still not used to the constant stream of work from multiple different classes. If there is one thing you learn at university, it’s how to balance your workload, and if I’m honest, the second term is about to start and I’m still not sure how to balance it.
"The new social life and making friends is something I’m still getting used to. Back at Brookfield, everyone knew everyone, which was lovely, but when I’m at uni, there are constantly new people to meet. I know everybody says it, but it’s often true, the people you meet during freshers’ week really do become some of the people you become closest to. I somehow managed to get close enough with someone in less than a week to book concert tickets with her for a year ahead, which in hindsight was probably careless; however, our friendship is still going strong. I do often miss the small, tight-knit feel of Brookfield and being surrounded by people who are familiar to me, but on the other hand, I feel like being at university has put me in at the deep end, but in a way in which I’ve grown to be more confident and independent."
Words: George Harris
Image: Victoria Ruck