Monday, 25 June 2012
~ by Thomas Felix Creighton I first came across C101 when I was learning French in my first year at university, and found it to be a friendly and welcoming environment. I am now in my final year of my Peace Studies (BA) course, and I don’t think I could even begin to count the hours I have spent in this room over the few years. I feel sure that if the university ever found out, they would start charging me rent! One day, I took part in Michael’s Wednesday debates, and argued over such issues as ‘does God exist?’ and the rather more important ‘which is better, tea or coffee?’. In doing so, I came across a variety of people from a variety of backgrounds who quickly became my closest friends in this peculiar country/city/uni. We ended up organizing activities together, both in C101 and going to Ilkley for tea at Betty’s, as well as having picnics in Lister Park. I have even hosted some debates when the main man was called away, and still argue with people over whether cats better than dogs. The answer is clearly no. Over the past year in C101, I have organised film showings and English culture classes, held practice IELTS speaking exams, and helped Michael and his wife Amy take over one hundred students on a trip to see a fifth of November fireworks display. It’s been a central part of my university experience. I have learned French, Chinese and Arabic in formal classes – in C101 I have then taken part of language exchanges for all three of these, being helped by native speakers in return for my helping them with English. Overall, C101 has been one of the most positive aspects of life at the University of Bradford.
This year in C101 I really enjoyed organising the ‘English Culture Classes’ on a Friday afternoon. The format was to have a short TV show made in the UK, and to then have a discussion afterwards about what were the differences and similarities with TV in other countries. The picture above is from ‘Wallace and Gromit – The Wrong Trousers’, which many of the international students had never heard of, although some had seen the movie ‘Chicken Run’, which was made by the same people. I was surprised when, after the short TV show, I was asked by one of the Korean students whether the programme was supposed to be a comedy or not. She had been confused at the English students laughing at scenes she considered quite dark. Upon reflection, many students agreed, they felt the humour was very different from their own cultures. I had wondered later on when I showed them ‘Only Fools and Horses’, a very famous UK comedy, if this same issue would occur. In this instance, however, something quite different baffled the international students – this time from China. They were struck with the disrespect with which the main character treated his grandfather. They stated that this would not be showed on a Chinese TV show, even for comedic effect. Whilst the comedy of Wallace and Gromit had baffled some, once they had discussed it with others, it became a popular request for further showings. It became entertainment in itself seeing the English students struggle to explain why the laughed when they laughed. Overall, it was a positive experience to help build understanding between UK and international students.
A Shocking C101 True Story It was one o’clock in the morning, and there was only one thing a young single man should have been doing. I was Facebooking to see what thoughts were being shared by my international friends from C101. Michael Allhouse was pondering the results of a meeting in which he had been warned not to stay after hours, in case the students ever attacked him “guys” he wrote, pleading, “please don’t”. Dr. Tim Green tried to reassure him that if anything happened, everyone would soon notice when the photocopier ran out of paper. These words, however, failed to reassure Michael as he realised that there are packs of students just roaming around on campus all the time. ALL THE TIME! Contemplating how a team should be put together to defend him from some kind of coup by the students he said; “we need a good looking guy, a planning guy, a big strong guy, and a crazy guy”. Competition was rife to be the crazy guy. As his blood began to boil at the thought of the inhumanity clearly being planned, Michael Allhouse declared his intention to strike at the heart of student planning; the Student Union! Too long had they been sending students – actually spies – into C101 to find out where the coffee stuff was and such like. It was time to be proactive. As a C101 gang slowly began to form under the pressure of terrible threats, a cunning plan was hatched; SMASH the Student Union from INSIDE! Elections are held every year in order to decide who should be a sabbatical officer and who should be fed mercilessly to the wolves of student politics. Three C101ers stood for election, one got in. The machinations of C101’s OPERATION SMASH THEM, SMASH THEM ALL UP (OSTSTAU) had begun. With one agent in place all was ready for a deadly strike. This is the story of 2011/12... The story continues 2012/13... True story by Thomas Felix Creighton
When I came to this Huge air-conditioned place, I was alone hiding in the Dark and bare room Staring at the untouchable screen. Finally I found a secret place. A place for people like me. A secret room known only To the disabled English language. A room called Room 101 In the Language Centre hidden From trhe eyes of the locals. I feel comfortable there. Andrew from Hungary, blonde guy from Greece, Mami and Michii from Nippon, Miller from China, Bonnie from Hong Kong And me and Vivi from Brunei We are the English Club Debating social and controversial Topics. Room 101 is where I could sit On the floor and do my Language in Logic exercises. The place where I feel more alive. The place where everyone feels more alive. The place for the lost and confused
The First Encounter By: CT First Year: I was not aware of this room’s existence until the end of my first semester in 2008 where Vivi, my twin from another mother and father, told me about the free English language classes in C101. So, I set out on my own with a runny nose and a pathetic flu, in search of this mysterious room. When I first read the room number, it reminded me of this cheesy horror movie from Indonesia on this haunted room with similar numbers, and I thought, “C101 must be one strict room”. My journey was not easy. I went round and round on the C Floor looking for ‘101’ and then decided to go to the D Floor, just to make sure. After walking inside Richmond for 30 minutes, I gave up and asked the friendly receptionist where this hidden room was. Despite her clear guide and explanation, I was still lost. Mind you, it was my first year and I was not used to hearing the Yorkshire accent. Finally, after adding another 30 minutes to my search, I found the room! The first person I saw was Michael sitting on the table and wearing somewhat relaxed attire. I, immediately, found him strange in a good way. He did not look uptight and serious like my lecturers. I did not feel any fear when I approached him. Even though I was suffering from a blocked nose due to my flu, I managed to speak to him in my best English, at that time. I observed his facial reaction while we discussed about the English classes. My heart slowly put its trust on him because he did not look down on me, a little girl wearing a headscarf, timid and probably looked diseased. He did not look confused when I uttered my broken English accent which I found relaxing. It is annoying to look at people’s bewildered face when you open your ‘foreign’ mouth. He then gave me an honest compliment on my English, “Your English is very good!” I gave him a thorough observation on his face. I studied the little wrinkles around his eyes. He was telling the truth. He was not mocking me. Thank god! He and C101 were added into my list of things to love in Bradford.
Although Japan is very famous for its high technology, I have to take my hat off to the level of ecological technology in the UK. I saw an incredibly high tech vehicle when I walked beside a road in Bradford. The vehicle was so coooooool! It had a monstrously huge front mounted engine and an extremely lightweight car body, but also it did not expel any gas causing air pollution! Furthermore, it was really surprising that it started refueling automatically by itself when the old driver parked it! I was literally stunned! As Japanese, I felt as if I was totally beaten by the level of technology of the UK… Then I walked away leaving the horse eating his grass with his wooden carriage resting on the floor.
By Victoria Being an international student is, first of all, a challenge. Not surprisingly thought, those who opened their hearts for something absolutely novel, get as much from a new life as they invested into it. Living abroad means expand your limits and adapt to every single peculiarity of a residing place, from food that native residents used to eat to the language they speak. That is to say, your own life is undergoing changes and, thus, it is transferring you into a new person with a broader perception of life. It is beyond understanding for those who have never travelled how it feels being a resident of the world, but not of a single community. I am not trying to prove how experienced and smart students from different countries are when they gather together, this, of course, depends on a person, whether you are willing to meet and accept new opportunities that life gives you. Apart from philosophical discourses, it is more reasonable to pay attention on what are common difficulties as well as ‘pleasures of life’ which unite all of us, who are ‘internationally educated by life’. Firstly, England is one of the countries, where you can meet people from various backgrounds and get a peace of their culture, make new friends, of course, and even relationships. Can you imagine how unusual it is to go out with a guy from different culture, it is equal to living life in a different body and whether you like it or not, it still might be a good experience for you to have. Secondly, studying in the UK gives you even more opportunities to move everywhere in the world once you graduate. Moreover, for those like me, there is a chance to take part in such programmes as the IEMS or ERASMUS to enhance experience and have a try to ‘taste a spoon of honey’ while being a student. It is not a surprise, however, that many of us feel a major homesick as well as thinking of the past, but that disappears straight away once you find the right people and suitable approach to the things that are entering your life. Here is my colleague, she is studying at Coventry University and that’s what she says about her international experience: ‘I moved to the UK when I was fifteen, I cannot believe I started learning English at school when all the others were native speakers, I did not get anything they said, but because in my country (Portugal) we studied very hard, it was not a big deal for me. But I still consider myself as international student because my personality is divided between into two.’ (Katyushka Torres)