Stand Up to Bullying

 

So today is  ‘Stand up to bullying’ day. I cannot begin to say how important this is as bullying does happen and I have seen serious matters just laughed off and ignored. It is great to see that figures with a public status such as George Shelley (the actual love of my life) and Nathan Sykes are voicing their views and showing their support.

Firstly, both high school lessons that I used to volunteer at weekly there was one child in each of those classes that was being bullied. Both of the teachers are amazing and have previously taught me before (I’m not saying anything bad towards them!). However the ‘signs’ that I found so easy to spot were just ignored, it was bottom line impossible not to know that these kids were being picked on because it was constant name calling and offensive ‘jokes’ which shocked me. The first ‘victim’ would ask me at the beginning of each lesson if they could sit on the chair at the back which faced away from the class and the teacher. It was clear how desperate they were and I had to say yes, throughout the lesson I would hear people calling her things (even the quiet ones who didn’t say anything else!). I was in the class to support the children who required more assistance than the general teachers input however most of my time was spent telling them to turn around and stop shouting out names to that person. After two more weeks, I saw the same thing happening and thought how can this person stand it? It obviously happened in every single lesson and I only saw one hour of it a week. I told the person in charge and strongly said that something needs to be done straight away, this isn’t one of those things you can just forget to deal with. A few days later I was told that there was a deeper issue and everything has been sorted out. I saw the person in the lunch hall the other day with their new friends and I literally found myself just standing still in the middle of the hall staring and smiling at them. But those people were the bystanders who saw everything but didn’t say anything. Schools in particular go on about bullying all the time, but I feel this is done more because they have to, it’s the rules rather than setting up an environment that if a child does need to talk and find themselves in that situation then they will feel comfortable and know exactly what to do.

I got ‘bullied’ last year, I don’t think it was bullying that’s just what everyone else called it. I found it so hard to actually go up to someone and tell them about it. Once I started, everything felt so much easier this is cliché but a weight was lifted off my shoulders. But again the people who were there to help me tried to turn the problem on me and ask if I’m sure that this is what happened and if it could possibly be my fault. I had listened to around 10 years of talks on bullying and what you should do if you are being bullied and when I did ask for help, the ‘problem’ was covered up. The person was not punished to the extent that they should have been and this angers me so much. I was told that this was because ‘it’s the first time that they’ve ever done anything like this’ but that is rubbish. The evidence or the proof or whatever was given and it was ignored. The fact that this wasn’t sorted out properly made it so much harder for me to get over it and feel better about myself but the whole experience has taught me so much and made it clear what behaviour you should tolerate and those which are just unacceptable. I still have to go to school with this person (I’m not even going to start on this smh) but it is crazy how much my self esteem has improved. And my husbands (JJ and Josh from Union J) have called me pretty so who cares what anyone else thinks ?

What I am trying to say is that bullying happens! Not only to children in schools but that is all that I have personally seen. It is SO common however people do not spot it or if they do they just ignore because it’s not affecting them and it is much easier to sit and watch than to actually do something. Also if anyone thinks that cyberbullying is not real and use that tweet from Tyler the Creator then literally you are welcome to message me (twitter: @wtvraysh) and your wrong opinion will change.

I will leave this post by saying a few things thoughts that make me happy and sometimes are literally the things that keep me going.

1)      What other people think of you is none of your business. There will always be someone that doesn’t like you and that’s okay.

 

2)      Don’t hold grudges!! Forgive the person, not for them but for yourself. I found that every time I would see someone that I dislike giving them evils all the time made me unhappy as well and probably meant more to me than them.

 

3)      Ignore the people that make you unhappy, like seriously do not invite them into your space. I have had more than a few awkward encounters with someone who I on one hand really want to speak to but on the other hand just know that they have bad intentions (I can’t really explain it). I have bumped into them so many times (w h y) and I just fully ignore them. You really wouldn’t believe how awkward some of those moments were with me not saying something but it needs to be done.   

4) You have to realise that whoever you build any sort of relationship with will hurt you. Some more than others but there will be a time where they will upset you and you need to ask yourself are they worth that?

5) Don’t constantly choose your friends over your family, you will regret it.

 

6)      Okay this one is cringy and I actually do this but treat yourself – your mind and your body – like it is your child. I don’t have children but omg I cannot wait until I do, but one of my cousins she is 3 years old and seriously there is no one in this world that I love more than her. There is a family wedding coming up in August and since like February my whole family go shopping and leave me and her at home on the weekends and she is SO well-behaved and so amazing and looking after her makes me want kids a billion times more. So when something really bad happens and I straight away turn to blame myself I think what would I do if it was my cousin? The answer 100% of the time so far is, nothing – it was mistake or it’s not her fault and it will get better. I use whatever I would do for her, to myself.

 

7)      Last one I swear but remember that every single person is going through something (which for a majority of people it is hidden and not known by everyone) so just be kind. You never know what someone is going through so why would you want to cause them additional pain or worries? Bottom line if you have nothing nice to say shut the hell up.

 

Follow the #StandUpToBullying hashtag on Twitter.

AND no one @ me but all bullies are insecure and cowards and what they say reflects them so much more than it will reflect you. And I can promise that you will get over it, give it time and find something to keep you busy.

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EU Referendum Results – what now?

So our country has decided to leave the European Union. Almost instantly the value of the pound had dropped to the lowest it has been since 1985. If that could happened before many people had even woken up to see the result of the referendum, then what will happen by the end of this month or at the end of this year? We have bought upon ourselves a dynamic economy just because ignorant and selfish people cannot stand the thought of immigrants ‘sponging off’ their country whilst they sit at home claiming benefits and ordering an Indian takeaway.

Thousands of people have signed an online petition to have a second referendum, however although I don’t agree with the result we have got, if this second vote does happen then it takes away our democracy. What is the point of us having a fair democratic system if the results will just simply be overpowered? The leave campaign has won even if the only reason was that they promised an ideal world which was too good for people to deny and vote against.

I really do think that the UK in its current position CAN become prosperous and begin to benefit hugely from leaving the EU which we have already done. The only barriers for our country to move towards this positive state of being is the people who are leading us. Nigel Farage as well as the rest of the leave campaign pushed an exaggerated figure (which was admitted by Boris Johnson as over half this money returns to the UK) that £350 million a week goes towards our EU membership and if we decided to leave then this money would be put into the NHS. It was stated that this is the cost of opening up a new hospital and with this money, a new hospital could be opened every week. However (unsurprisingly), Farage has declared this to be a mere ‘mistake’ and is not willing to put this money into our health service. The bottom line of this is that it isn’t fair, I understand that none of us know what consequences there would be for the UK if we remained or left however making empty promises is not the way to lead a country. At least one person must have seen these figures and decided to vote leave because our own health service would improve and that would lead on to a longer life expectancy, improved medicines and more money to fund scientific research etc. However the conservatives were never even considering to use this money for the NHS and the people voting leave for this reason alone have been misguided and this is not what politics should be.

I 100% believe in our country and our people, we do have the ability to live better off without faceless bureaucrats telling us how many bananas must be on a bunch in order to be sold. However are the faces of Brexit the people we should be trusting with our future? If Britain wants to independent and successful then lets raise the NHS funding and use it to train and educate hundreds of doctors, surgeons and nurses to fill the large shortage that we have. This will mean that we will not need migrants to come into our country and take these jobs, this will be independence. There is also a shortage of teachers, so why isn’t more money put into the education sector? Why aren’t MP’s striving to close the gap between the quality of education that privileged private school children receive in comparison to the children in public schools? But this won’t happen, someone tweeted me saying that they believe the £350 million a week will be used on ‘consultations’ to decide whether the NHS should be private and that it is more likely that the conservatives would allow this person to buy ‘cider and haribos’ than wanting to use it for the good and development of our people.

Recently one of my teachers was saying how if for example you say something negative about a celebrity such as one direction on social media then you will be instantly bombarded with hate messages which can even progress up to death threats. The message was that basically this is what teenage girls do on the internet, but a few days ago when I wrote my own opinion that most people who are voting leave are doing so because they want to close our borders and control immigration which is fuelled by their downright racist views, I received many messages (all of which were very funny). Some about my appearance; how I ‘don’t look old enough to vote so should pipe down’ (like my own and my future families lives haven’t just been hugely affected and made uncertain), my ability and IQ was compared to a slug (great!) also the assumption that just because the colour of my skin is not white, that English cannot be my first language. Although English was the third language I learnt, I have no trouble with speaking or writing unlike the vast number of people who do and have English as their first and only language. I also currently study English and am hoping to go on to do an NHS job helping those people who find it difficult to communicate.

Every single one these people were at least over 40 and were all of one skin colour (bet you’ll never guess which), but becoming so ‘brave’ behind a screen is not just what obsessed teenage fangirls do but it is even the older generation, these people must have a job (probably in McDonalds) and their own families and that is how they spend their time, how funny. I have said that I don’t think that every person who voted leave is a racist or a bigot as millions of individuals may have voted for other reasons, however a huge number were motivated purely because of immigration. Interestingly, the people telling me that they are not racist for voting leave went on to make assumptions about me from my skin colour alone, don’t tell me that there is no covert racism or prejudice there. Our future has just been decided by people who are still stuck in their 20th century mind-set and those who won’t even be around for long enough to see the changes!

I’m just going to finish by saying please can we not make Boris Johnson (or Trump without a tan) the new prime minister. I wish we could just put Sadiq Khan in that position already. Also I have never understood how someone can discriminate a person for the sole reason that there skin colour is darker than theirs, they simply have more melanin and are more protected from getting skin cancer from direct exposure to the sun than you. (It must be that people get bitter that they themselves are not protected from skin cancer in this way).

How will we be affected by leaving the European Union?

So two days before the potential biggest political decision we will make in this generation, I started to consider how individuals would be affected if the UK left the European Union.

Firstly as a student myself one thing is certain in this referendum, if we leave the EU there will be fewer jobs! It has been predicted that roughly 950,000 jobs will be lost if Britain stops directly trading with the rest of EU. What does this mean for school leavers and university graduates? Currently ‘Student Finance’ pay the full amount of each individual’s tuition fee for university so no money is required to leave the individual upfront, this loan is then gradually paid back once the graduate begins to earn over £21,000 a year. However if there is more competition in the job markets, this will be beneficial to employers as they will be able to pay the minimum wage and adopt methods such as using zero hour contracts meaning that more and more jobs are not secure and will not provide stability in the dynamic economic market we are bringing upon ourselves if we decide to vote leave. So university graduates will definitely find it harder to get ‘career jobs’ and be able to pay back their loans. I strongly think that if we have a continuous cycle of individuals not being physically able to repay their education fees then one of two things will happen 1) the system will become stricter, instead of paying money back following the reasonable conditions that are currently set out, organisations may begin to embody ‘loan sharks’ and be solely concerned with getting their money back even if that means taking personal assets etc or 2) the whole scheme in general may stop, this would mean that once again and maybe even in around 20 years when hopefully my own children will be in a position of deciding whether or not to go university, they may not be able to because of the financial barriers that we ourselves are putting in place. The UK could most possibly return to being a place where only ‘elite’ (strong emphasis on the speech marks ha) individuals who are privileged have the ability to go onto tertiary study especially at the most prestigious universities such as Oxford and Cambridge. This would then lead to this country being run by the upper class in every single area of society and I don’t even think I need to state why this is not a good thing. Overall do we want our highly democratic nation to become something where although this happens the numbers will increase of only the rich being able to be educated and where money acts as door openers and barriers? I find this particularly strange as this reflects the general position of women even in the last few decades in which the only method of social mobility was through marriage as education and building themselves up through a job was just not an option.

I have already mentioned this but the way that employers of large businesses will generally be affected will be in the opposite and more favourable way. Most importantly if there are fewer jobs then obviously the unemployment rate will increase, more people will be desperately searching for jobs which may not even be what they aspire to do or something that links with their education and training that they had done so far, they just need a place to work for money. Employers can easily lower the wage being offered and this will have no effect on the mass number of people who will be applying for a job. Zero hour contracts are most commonly used for temporary staff and state that a business has the right to get rid of the employee with little notice and no reason without having to pay legal fees such as redundancy payments. I’m not entirely sure if I think that if we do leave the EU businesses may move their production processes abroad but this is a possibility and will again lead to fewer jobs. Also with more applicants, an employer will naturally be more inclined to find the most suitable and experienced person. How can a 20 year old trying for a job in a very competitive market possibly have a chance when they are up against individuals who have 15 years of experience behind them? The EU have many regulations regarding trading and set clear rules of what is allowed to happen, this goes from what we are able to import/export and to how many bananas must be on a bunch in order to be allowed to be sold. Without these guidelines, businesses in the hope of reducing their cost of sales and becoming more efficient will benefit from providing goods that are below the standard that is currently set out. This as well as being a health hazard also increases competition between business in which large organisations who currently act as price leaders will be able to take control and push other businesses out of the market (most of which will be run by middle-class individuals).

The final thing which I think is important to mention is that leaving the EU will mean that Britain will leave a membership and a society in which each of the countries support each other may that be financially or in the business/education sense. We may spend thousands of pounds supporting other countries which could actually be used in the NHS to make free healthcare more accessible to every single person (even though I am 90% certain that the conservatives will not use this money on free healthcare). However following the shocking events particularly in America such as the pulse shootings it is clear that is becoming a ‘dog eat dog’ world where everyone is only concerned with what personal benefits they will receive. We have increasingly saw through many terror attacks that we are not safe in religious buildings, clubs and our own homes. The man who murdered Christina Grimme was justified by saying that he was just purely jealous that she had a boyfriend – this is what our world has come to. So if something does happen of this nature in EU and other countries of the world, it is collectively our responsibility to attempt to put things right. Currently the UK is supported by the European Union in many ways which is unknown to the mass citizens, so if we are put in a position of threat or uncertainty – there will be help available immediately. In deciding to vote remain we are not just giving away an exaggerated figure of £350 million a week to the EU but we are remaining in a membership which protects and will continue to protect ourselves and our family and the future generations to come. It is so important not to fall into the idealised world that the vote leave campaign are presenting to us, of course it may work, the UK may become more prosperous on its own but we cannot guarantee this and most importantly why would anyone (who is not selfish, racist and a misogynist) want to hand over the conservatives 100% control over the laws that we have to live by?  

 

remain

Hamlet at the Globe

On the 24th of April 2016, I went to Shakespeare’s Globe to see the final performance of ‘Hamlet’ which was played by Naeem Hayat and concluded their world tour of 293 shows performed in 197 countries. Firstly as this took place on the weekend celebrating Shakespeare’s 400th death anniversary, whilst I was making my way to the theatre the whole of Waterloo was filled with large screens surrounded by huge crowds of people watching Shakespeare plays. There was a book fair taking place as well and the whole atmosphere was just brilliant!

The main thing that urged me to prefer this production over others I have seen is that there was such a diverse cast. The director deviated from choosing ‘stock’ characters and this made a real difference to how the play came across to the audience. Hamlet was played by an Asian actor and even more surprisingly Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were women! This instantly encourages the audience to reconsider the role of women in ‘Hamlet’ as although many critics have already labelled it an anti-feminist play where Shakespeare intended to expose female weakness through his futile and submissive characters of the ‘seeming-virtuous’ Gertrude and the ‘piece of bait’ [Showalter 2005] Ophelia we now have two other characters to consider. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were summoned by the King of Denmark to spy on Hamlet and to find out what is the true reason lying behind his melancholy, however this act of political naivety on Claudius’ behalf leads to Hamlet working out that his once loyal friends ‘were sent for’ and immediately causes his to send them to their deaths. In this production, once again Hamlet like Claudius and like every other male figure in this play view women as commodities especially as something that can be easily discarded and interchanged. The very moment Hamlet acknowledges that the loyalty of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern has been misplaced he immediately takes action however he is still unable on his murderous and incestuous uncle. Does gender have anything to do with this? Does the director’s decision to make Rosencrantz and Guildenstern women have any significant impact on the whole play as they are treated as poorly as women are anyway?

Also the director presented to the audience a scene where Old King Hamlet had seen his treacherous brother pouring poison in his ear. This instantly rejects the ‘goblin damned’ nature of the ghost and brings into question Gertrude’s superficial facade of a strong female diplomatic who is entirely acting for the good of the state. This has reoccurred in many of the productions and I do not fully understand why the same actor plays the ghost and the gravedigger, despite the obvious connections with death possibly this in a Marxist perspective highlights the notion of ‘two dishes being served to one table’, death is the final equaliser in which social class lines disappear and each individual is placed in the same size grave. The actor playing both the worthy King of Denmark and a mere uneducated gravedigger actively reduces the impact of the status that both of these characters are expected to hold.

I can’t even begin to describe how amazing the experience of watching this production in Shakespeare’s Globe was, it was definitely worth the hefty ticket price! The only thing is that during the entire play I found it hard to sit comfortably and enjoy the play because of the wooden seats and the fact that I had to constantly make sure my knees were leaning against the people sitting in front of me however I guess that is all part of the Elizabethan experience. I truly cannot wait to visit the Globe again (hopefully soon)!

 

Hamlet and the Globe

Better in the EU

So I was thinking what else could I write my first blog about that wasn’t regarding the possible biggest political decision of our generation; whether to remain or leave the European Union. For me there is one clear cut right answer and as I have yet to reach the voting age, all I can do is try to convince others that voting remain is the way forward for our country. I have spent a couple of minutes writing out the reasons why I think this.

Firstly, everywhere we look we are faced with the statistic that Britain pays £350 million a week on their EU membership and if we leave this money can be put into the NHS instead to develop new drugs, train doctors and make free healthcare more accessible to everyone. However straight away I find it almost funny that people actually believe that the Conservatives will spend this money for the good of the people, it will most likely be put into private schools or get involved in some tax business so the public will never see that money again. By leaving the EU this will prevent workers from other European countries from having a fluid work permit therefore meaning that when we do have a shortage of doctors/surgeons/nurses (because the NHS is not paying them enough and will therefore lower the amount of undergraduates studying health) there is little that can be done. I was hoping to study Speech and Language therapy at university however from 2017 the year I would start the course, the NHS funding has been stopped and weighing up the pros and cons the reality is that when I leave education I will be left with such a massive debt along with a poorly paid health care job so I am forced to consider my alternatives. Boris Johnson (campaigning for the vote leave) has admitted that the number of £350 million was not accurate as over half this money returns to the UK and is used to help farmers and other individuals with low income. The whole leave policy is built on idealised concepts and estimates, why should we put our trust in them?

By remaining in the European Union, the British economy is stronger. Over 3 million UK jobs are linked to Britain’s trade with the EU and if this is lost it has been predicted that up to 950,000 jobs in the UK would be lost. Apart from the obvious that this would lead to a recession and higher unemployment rates meaning that businesses would have the ability to pay lower wages as everyone is in a desperate need for jobs! It would also make finding jobs especially entering a ‘career job’ straight after university for the young generation much more difficult. However realistically, I also believe that the trade agreements between the UK and the rest of the European Union would not be significantly affected if we did vote leave, this is because for example German car manufacturers cannot afford to lose their massive UK market so will actively look to draw up agreements and will maintain a relationship. Overall there are advantages of voting leave but these all benefit the upper classes, maybe leaving the European Union will cause financial chaos in the short term but then lead to a prosperous future for the UK but why are we so intent of breaking something that isn’t broken?  

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