Time capsules and future gazing

So, I planned tonight to set up a blog for a variety of reasons, but initially to explore a personal issue, and a very public question.

However, I was utterly astonished to discover that not only do I already have a published blog from 2008, but that it revealed what thoughts had been on my mind back when I was just over 18 – and they were vaguely intelligent! Wonders shall never cease to amaze.

Anyhow, if my maths serves me correctly, that blog would have been written when I was living with my mum, in an old semi-detached house. Not very significant, you may think? Well, the primary reason for my return to this most open of mediums is that my mother is moving house this week, in the ultimate downsize. Without going into details – not because I don’t want to, but because sometimes its important to keep a few things to oneself – this will be an immensely emotional, troublesome and stressful week, one which I know I shall be very happy to forget. In my role, as president of a students’ union, I am constantly both in the public eye, and working with/criticising others in the public eye (or at least, in the public sector). This notion of ‘behind blue eyes’, the title of my blog as aptly chosen by my younger self, is a theme I always try and bear in mind during my working day. The head of school who is proving obstinant will go home, most likely to a loving family, or to an Internet community where they are well respected, or to give time to charity. Sometimes, when life gets a little hard, I think we would all do well to remember that everyone we meet in day to life both loves and is loved, and that any attempt to judge them by one set of criteria must remain just that – limited. 

Take Ben Bradshaw. Labour MP for Exeter, and former health secretary, he is credited with the shambolic first attempt to bring technology to the NHS, as well as advising people requiring urgent dental care to visited their GP. yet at the same time, he is an inspirational MP, openly homosexual, and the first cabinet minister to be in a civil partnership – he was even named stonewall’s mp of the year in 2010. The ability to judge a person on one mistake, viewpoint, or role is, in my view, simplistic and shameful.

Now, for the future. Today I ran a very brief focus group looking at the new name for Pontio, the news arts and innovation and students union building shortly to appear in Bangor. I couldn’t help but feeling that, whatever the building was called, it would be the wrong name. You see, the building is attempting to be everything for everyone, when in reality it will struggle, as all buildings do, to be a few things to a few people. If it gets called the funky, memorable name, it will fail to excite the local community. Other names will be meaningless for a lot of students, both UK based and international, and the most popular name would be a public relations disaster. As a good friend said to me recently – whilst the name is important, what most people care about is the building itself. Until this is up and running, half-hearted facebook suggestions to name the building ‘late’ will be constant, and representative of student feelings in Bangor. 

So, there you have it – some initial musings. I intend to decrease the time that passes between blog posts (currently standing at 5 years), but if I don’t, remember to smile at strangers and wash behind your ears.


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