Robert Hampton

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25th March 2013

There’ll always be something here

Hampo wins the prizeThis is the last “review of the decade” blog (thank goodness, I hear you say).

While previous posts have been about things I’ve done, places I’ve seen or comments I’ve made, this last one is about something more straightforward.

This post is about me.

When I started the blog, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do with it, just as I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life. There’s a stereotype about men in their twenties – they’re cocky, have a bit of a swagger to them and think they know everything. In March 2003 I was 20 years old and I was none of these things.

Three years earlier I had walked out of school mid-way through Sixth Form, because I was completely unable to cope with the pressure I was under. In the process I surprised my friends and disappointed my family. By leaving education and not doing my A-Levels, I had torpedoed – or so I thought at the time – any chance of a proper career or life for myself. I also cut myself off from the few friends I had made at school, so I was pretty much alone.

If you want evidence of my state at the time, go to the first blog from 22nd March 2003 (which, annoyingly, is numbered 2, but that’s a consequence of the way I transferred everything from Movable Type to WordPress).

Anyway, three years later and its time to answer that other question people have been asking: “what are you doing now?”. Up till now I’ve frustrated them by deliberately dodging the question. My reason for doing this is simple: the answer is: nothing

That’s right. For nearly two years since That Fateful Day, I lost all interest. I stopped updating my web site and eventually just took it down. To keep my parents quiet, I applied for jobs, but wasn’t too bothered about passing the interview. For months I didn’t even bother signing on for Jobseeker’s Allowance; it seemed a bit dishonest to describe myself as a Jobseeker.

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7th June 2011

Remove all the coloured chalk from the classrooms
Posted by at 6.49pm | In the News | No responses

Do you remember that episode of The Simpsons where the school has an “Independent Thought Alarm”? That came to mind when reading the story of Jack Christie, a Canadian student who was suspended by his high school after they discovered the videos he’d been uploading to YouTube.

Each animation is replete with exactly what you might expect from an 18-year-old male, suburban Canadian or otherwise: explosions, profanity, guns, and copious references to sex and drugs. What is atypical about the videos is their sense of humor and breakneck absurdity.

While we may find the animations entertaining, Durham District School Board spokeswoman Andrea Pidwerbecki was not amused. “If something is considered detrimental to the positive moral tone of the school, it doesn’t necessarily have to happen inside the school [for us to get involved].”

This does strike me as grossly unfair – what happens outside of school should not be any of his teachers’ business. Thankfully Christie is not taking this lying down and has responded to the school, the only way he knows how.

5th July 2010

Scrum down
Posted by at 1.14pm | In the News | No responses

Someone has just noticed that rugby can be a bit dangerous:

Rugby scrums should be banned in schools to protect children involved in a sport which is “not safe enough” for them, an expert has warned.

I have a horrible feeling that this story — about one person suggesting that one single aspect of the sport is dropped — is going to mutate, via a million conversations in pubs, taxis and radio phone-ins, into “rugby banned at all schools”. Eventually it will be added to the list of anecdotes used by Lord Young of Graffham to illustrate “elf ‘n’ safety gone mad”.

7th October 2009

The Tories
Posted by at 1.24pm | Politics | No responses

They’re crazy! Hurray! The latest comes from their education spokesman:

“We’ll develop a Troops to Teachers programme to get professionals in the army who know how to train young men and women into the classroom, where they can provide not just discipline but inspiration and leadership,” he said.

Are we going to start torturing schoolkids then?