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The Delavigne Corporation Blog

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I'm going slightly mad

Wow, this month's Funky Friday was crazy! Don't expect this blog post to be any less crazy! It's completely nuts! Wooooh! I'm screaming at the computer like a crazy wolf man!

I'm so crazy that I'm not even going to ask you what you thought about Dr. Gilchrist and his crazy friends and the crazy escape plan! What I am going to do is post a crazy video made by four lads from England that changed the world, they created pop music as we know it, they're the biggest best band ever, they are of course the Fab Four - QUEEN!

Not only did QUEEN invent HARD ROCK, they also wrote a song that changed the way we think about mental illness. Here is the video. The highlight for me is of course Freddy Mercury's performance, which eerily foreshadows Heath Ledger's Joker in Batman Dark Knight. I also like the AWESOME guitar solo where Brian May becomes a penguin. Genius. Watch and enjoy! And remember, if the elevator tries to break you down - GO CRAZY!

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Education in the UK: you learn something every day

My little twin cousins, Kai and Kia, have just got their A-Level results! I'm so proud of them - they both got 3 A grades and one of the new A* grades! Yes, brains do run in my family. These great results mean that they'll be going to really good universities.

However, not all A-Level students are quite so lucky. This year, a record number of talented British students will miss out on a place at university altogether. There are currently six students competing for each university place...

In case you don't know how the British system works, here's an outline:

  • Students apply to up to five universities via a body called UCAS. Their application includes a 'personal statement' explaining what they want to study and why. Their teachers also estimate how they will perform in their A-Levels, offering 'predicted grades'.
  • The universities respond to each student, either rejecting them, accepting them unconditionally, or (usually) making them a conditional offer. For example, a university might say "We'll accept you on to our History course if you get an 'A' in your History A-Level and at least 'B's in the two other subjects you study".
  • If all goes well, you'll be able to go to the university you like best!
  • If you don't do as well as expected in your A-Level exams, then you'll probably want to look for a university place through 'Clearing'.
  • 'Clearing' is the UCAS service which helps to match up students to under-subscribed courses. This year, there are six times as many students in Clearing as there are university places available, so it's a 'survival of the fittest' situation!
So that's how we do things in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The Scottish system (Highers) is different, but I'm not an expert on that.

I'd love to learn how higher education works in your country!

And do you agree with the common complaint that 'too many young people are going to university nowadays'? What would you offer them instead?

Perhaps you think that education is a waste of time? I look forward to reading your comment full of spelling mistakes, if that's the case!