NCTJ

Is it week three already?

The end of a very tiresome week. For some reason, nearly every morning I found it really hard to wake up at the dreaded 6.45am. A lot of comments from others on the course seemed to be similar – with one girl even saying ‘I feel like I don’t really sleep.’ It’s pretty clear that the consequences of fast-track are catching up with us slowly. A positive of this week, is that the homework has slowed down a bit, although I am still frantically going home after every Law and Public Affairs lesson googling everything and reading the awful long descriptions in the books, yuck.

Shorthand. We were asked this week what module we enjoy most, and I think mine has to be shorthand. It’s probably because I don’t feel out of my depth learning it – unlike Law and P.A. There aren’t loads and loads of facts to learn, although there are a lot of rules, but these start to come naturally with practice. We are still going through the theory at the moment, on Unit 8 out of about 20 I think. It feels like we have learnt enough theory, but every now and then when someone asks how to write the word ‘play’ or something she goes, “Ah, we’re coming to that in Unit 12” or “That’s coming soon, don’t jump the gun!” But every lesson we learn something completely new, so when I look back at my notes from the beginning of my pad, I realize how much shorthand changes as you go through the theory. On MONDAY we had out first speed development test 🙂 That is, writing to a certain amount of words per minute. We were asked to practice the sentences before, so it wasn’t all new. In the margins below you can see me writing 40, 50, 60 and 100 and that’s the speed per minute I wrote them at. She did 100 to show us what it would be like, and if any of us can do it, and I managed it! It’s very fast and bearing in mind I could only just keep up on a sentence that I had practiced a million times… but it still felt good to do it!

Any NCTJ students know what it says?

In Law this week we learnt about children in court. I’ve never done law and I find it difficult, but this is Media Law so some is very applicable to situations that you hear about every day and it’s interesting to learn about stuff that I’ve never done before. We were learning about the Child and Young Persons act 1933 – how you cannot name a child who is being charged unless there are special circumstances. A child is considered 10-17 so at the age, they have anonymity over their trials in newspapers. Although sometimes they use the special circumstances just so they can’t be named out of embarrassment. It was quite a sensitive subject – but a three hour lesson with only one 15 minute break and the teacher managed to hold our attention for most of it. I haven’t thought about court reporting much, but the more lessons we have the more interesting it is! We have done about open justice too – how the public can walk into court on most cases to show the public that justice is being done.

In P.A this week, we were learning about Parliament, the House of Commons/Lords/backbenchers/passing of a bill. There was a lot of content involved, and a lot to take in. I’ve always (embarrassingly) been confused between the actual functions of parliament vs. government which is now cleared up. This wasn’t as interesting as Law but we have SO much to learn so I’ve made fancy bows for my revision notes and colour-coded it green so it’s more interesting to look at!

In Design this week we actually got to use InDesign for the first time. I’m glad we’ve started this as I know in so many job applications, they would like you to have knowledge of InDesign and Photoshop. Sometimes a good knowledge and sometimes just a basic knowledge so I’m determined to use it as much as possible at college. We made a leaflet that was in classroom on photoshop, starting with the very basics of a background colour, shape and text. I was surprised that I remember some of the tools from when I used the program for my Media GCSE. I thought I’d forgotten everything but hopefully it will start flooding back!

Although I said there was less homework this week, my diary is still riddled with to-do lists and things to remember:

The most annoying thing at the moment, is getting the motivation to pick up my revision notes and start to try and learn everything! Although I like to be organised, they’re normally on the floor right next to my desk so I don’t have to go far when I want to pick them up… lazy.

This weekend, in between work, I am going to try start working on more pieces for my portfolio. This is something we have to do off of our own back, but if you want a good grade and published work, then it’s definitely not something you can do the night before. I’m working on two pieces at the moment, a foodbank in Brighton and vintage style in Sussex!

So another week down, and a lot more to go.

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