Tuesday, 19 August 2014

etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...

With the coming of this June came the arrival of the Second Edition of the school's 'student' magazine. With roughly a 370-day turnaround, it was an understatement when the editors said in their opening remarks that the last year had "been a bumpy road". With an output rating equal to that of Edison's first lightbulb, the second edition, much like the first, offered inconsequential, banal witterings that had, once again, sod all to do with the school. We hate to condemn the work of fellow students, but this 'publication' gave nothing more than incompetent, ill-thought-through, incomprehensible rubbish, tantamount to faecal offerings on a side of A4, which had had any bite and wit edited out, as per the censorious doctrines of the school's leadership. It only takes to look at the front cover to see the glaring evidence of SLT influence over the publication, honing Article 31 of the Rights of a Child at its base.

The first faux-pas of the editorial message was to say that the 'magazine' "contains internal and external stories, events, and information that appeals to students of all year groups". Of all the articles and pieces, two were related to 'external' media (out of all those that could have possibly arisen and been written about in those 370 days) and no articles that in any way had anything to do with Hampstead School (and they wonder why we are here), begging the question if it even warrants being called a student magazine. A typical student publication focuses on student opinion, stories concerning students within school and in education as a wider system. This delivered none of those aspects (1-0 to Trash).

The editors say that wannabe writers must "fill in an application form and go through an interview" to join their dwindling team, presumably the application form to make sure they are capable of writing and the interview to find out if they are still interested after realising what they were applying for. They also said that "improvements have been made. For example, this year it was easier to get straight to the point of what needed to be done". We fail to see any such improvements, apart from the fact that there is a greater volume of crap, rather than it being confined to two sheets of A3 paper.

They also mentioned "a new section called ‘Creative and Non-fiction pieces’ containing short stories and an article; this is because we had so many amazing entries of writing pieces that it was pretty difficult to fit them all in, so this section allowed us to include as many as we possibly could", which seems ironic when a third of them were by magazine writers. This didn't stop them being badly formatted and badly edited, giving E.L James a run for her money.

Of the publication, there were two emoticons, nine badly pixelated images (no doubt courtesy of Mr. G. Images, or Ms. S. Stock), and 30 spelling, punctuation and grammar problems that you would have thought wouldn't have made it through the watchful gaze of the Ingrish Durparmunt, who head up the magazine. Upon trying to read the magazine, ex-Leader of the Trash simply said to the editors: "I could have shat a magazine with better grammar".

Because we are feeling fairly merciless, we will expand on the certain aspects on the magazine, such as the Agony Aunt page, where they describe a (fictional) student as 'dopey' (from the word 'dope', a drug) as a child who has done something stupid, implying a stupid child therefore must be on drugs (close-word analysis for all you Ingrish teachers out there). Despite our tom-foolery, there is a serious point to all this, in that the ETC. magazine reaffirms what we have said, that 'official' channels for student opinion about school have been exhausted and simply do not work.

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