TO THE FIELD

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					                                                                                                     THE MAGAZINE FOR MPW BIRMINGHAM SUMMER 2007




   STUDENT MOVIES
                       SEE PAGE 2
                           16 and 30 June
                                         OPEN
                                  MORNINGS
                                                /////////




   FISH
                                                            MPW SCIENTISTS TAKE TO SAND AND RIVER
                                                                                      TO THE FIELD




   CRICKET IS COMING
THE STUDENTS, THE SUBJECTS & THE TEACHING AT BIRMINGHAM’S FIRST INDEPENDENT 5TH & 6TH FORM COLLEGE
////////// ///////////////////////////
     Looking for a new start? Need a retake? Need to make sure?

                                                                   Birmingham’s first independent fifth and sixth
                                                                   form college. Come and visit us at our fantastic
                                                                   new buildings with state of the art laboratories,
                                                                   IT suites and student common room. There is a
                                                                   great core programme for two and one-year
                                                                   GCSE students to join, together with a range of
                                                                   options to take A levels, with no restriction on
                                                                   subject combinations.

     Why not find out what MPW can offer you?


    OPEN
    MORNINGS
    SATURDAY 16 JUNE & SATURDAY 30 JUNE 1OAM TO 1PM
    Come and meet the subject specialists of MPW and take a tour round
    the college and its fantastic facilities. From Saturday, Supplementary and
    Revision Tuition to full-time GCSE and A level study, MPW has more than
    25 years experience in meeting the education needs of young people in
    Birmingham and the West Midlands. So, why not find out what MPW
    can offer you?                                                           //////////
    NEW FROM SEPTEMBER 2007:
          Enhanced extra-curricular programme includes football tournament and free
           cricket coaching
          Two New A levels offered in Computing and Film
          New York Study Trips
                           MPW Birmingham, 17-18 Greenfield Crescent, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 3AU
                            TEL: 0121 454 9637 FAX: 0121 454 6433 e-mail: enq@birmingham.mpw.co.uk
                                                     Web: www.mpw.co.uk

     VISIT THE WEBSITE, NOW WITH NEW FEATURES: www.mpw.co.uk




2     www.mpw.co.uk
WELCOME TO THE MPW NEWSLETTER




                                                                               CONTENTS
                                                                               SCIENCE UPDATE                   4
                                                                               PERFORMANCE                      7
                                                                               DEBATE                          8
                                                                               MEDIA MOVIES                    10
                                                                               PSYCHOLOGY                      12
                                                                               ARTWORKS                        14
                                                                               NEW COURSES, NEW SPORTS 16
                                                                               BUSINESS                        17
                                                                               TUPAC                           18
                                                                               HISTORY BACK IN TIME            19
                                                                               THE YOUNG DOCTORS               20
                                                                               REVISION TIPS                   22
                                                                               FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT             23




This elegantly decorated chair by Art student Jasmine is inspired by an
interview with a contact of hers who runs a fashion shop. As hard times
preceded his current success, this inspired her to take a decrepit old chair
and embellish it with jewels to evoke the move from poverty to wealth. Her
painting on glass (right) is inspired by the work of Jackson Pollock.

                                                                                               www.mpw.co.uk    3
    SCIENCE:
    FACULTY UPDATE
                    HEAD OF SCIENCE FACULTY
                    ADAM CROSS REPORTS ON
                                              TO THE FIELD
                    THE SUMMER TERM
                                              Our annual field trip has a great value to our students.
                                              The A2 Ecology part of the Biology specification can be
                                              quite dry and it is difficult to get a grasp of it if you do not
                                              do it ‘hands on’.

                                              To get a proper feel of the techniques involved we go to
                    Adam in the               a Field Study Centre in the Lakes. There, you get a truly
                    scientific outdoors       hands on experience and become aware of all the skills
                                              you need to know. The centres also offer experienced
                                              tuition from people who are professionals in this area.
                                              From them, our students get tuition and guidance for
                                              their coursework, in addition to what we deliver to them.
                                              We make this a four day trip, essentially a very long
                                              weekend. Students really enjoy it, and find it to be an
                                              excellent team building exercise. It is an established trip
                                              at MPW as we have run it for three years and will
                                              continue to do so. Students are worked hard during their
                                              stay. Breakfast is at 7.30 and then students go into an
                                              introductory classroom session at 8.30. Then we go out
                                              into the field all day. After dinner back at the centre,
                                              there is then an evening session up to 9pm. Facilities are
                                              great, with lots of specialist resources on ecology.

                                              The trip focuses on two key aspects: sand dune
                                              succession and river pollution. A sand dune system is like
                                              a timeline of what has taken place over a couple of
                                              hundred years. Study of life in dunes enables us to
                                              observe and note colonisers and pioneer species. With
                                              rivers, we looked at two sites — one upstream and one
                                              downstream of a sewage treatment works. We studied
                                              the impact that effluent was having on species. So, this
                                              involves students getting into rivers, collecting and
                                              looking at invertebrates.

                                              This is such a valuable trip to undertake. During Easter
                                              Revision, when I was teaching students from other
                                              schools, it was amazing to find out how many of them
                                              had not been on a field trip during their A2 course, which
                     Zzzzzz. Thanks, guy      is a great pity. Any MPW student will talk of how useful it
                                        s
                                              is to get out there, and that they thoroughly enjoy it, from
                                              start to finish.

4   www.mpw.co.uk
BOTANICAL STUDIES
Year 11 and one-year GCSE students took a trip to Birmingham Botanical Gardens this term. The focus of study was
adaptation of plants to the environment and the gardens, just down the road from MPW, offer tropical and sub-tropical
hothouses. Students were able to note how plants adapt to these conditions worldwide, in different climates. The gardens
also offer an insight into conservation as they house a lot of rare species. A very high level of biodiversity of plants and animals
can be observed. What an amazing resource in the middle of Birmingham, five minutes from MPW!




                                                                                         ‘
21st CENTURY TEACHING: YOU VE GOT MAIL
Much as you can subscribe to email newsletters, we have been experimenting through providing daily revision tips and tasks
in the run up to the Summer examination series. We are looking to roll this out in a larger way next time but for now have
created an email ‘loop’ of students. They receive something new each day and, typically, this contains a revision fact or
prompt, a revision question and an exam tip. Feedback is very positive.

                                                                                                               www.mpw.co.uk      5
APPLIANCE OF SCIENCE
Current Year 10 students are the first to embark on the new       use and what we use it for. Are we using too much? For
Science GCSE specification. In a national effort to get more      example, you can save energy simply by switching the TV off
young people interested in sciences, the curriculum now           completely — don’t leave it on standby. We are certainly
includes a range of contextual, or ‘real world’ understanding     learning more about things we wouldn’t generally learn
of how scientific principles are at work in our homes,            about and we knew about pollutants and global warming
together with ecological and environmental impacts and            before they came up in PSHE (Personal, Social and Health
surrounding issues. So, what do our Year 10 think of the          Education). While we are learning science and how it actually
courses they are doing?                                           works around the world, Jagbir still likes the old sciences
                                                                  and is a bit worried about what will happen to A levels but
The new Science covers things like why it is good to have         he is big on science anyway. We are encouraged to see all
double glazed windows in environmental terms. Some of the         our subjects at MPW as joined, so Maths and Science link to
course is about saving the planet and it does help us with        Citizenship, then to PSHE, English, onto PE and health
everyday life. We have to look at the news, for example. It is    matters there, all linked back to Science.

                                                                  Jagbir
all about using our knowledge and applying it to everyday

                                                                  Karamdeep
life. While Biology is still Human Biology, Chemistry moves

                                                                  Muhammad
off into plastics and how they are made. For example, how

                                                                  Jay
do you make plastic bags? We also have to learn about

                                                                  Shivham
what metals are actually used for. In Physics there is a lot on

                                                                  Nicholas
electricity and energy. How do you actually read an electricity
bill itself? We think about how much electricity we actually

6      www.mpw.co.uk
                                           ‘
GARCON D ANNIVERSAIRE
To celebrate Jagbir’s recent birthday, a party was sprung during a French lesson. Fellow students worked to create his
birthday cards in French and food vocabulary was revised as the group munched. What’s French for Pringles, then?
Oh . . . it’s Pringles.




                                        IN CONCERT
                                        MPW student Hyesha Rahanu is a student at Ravi Music College in Birmingham.
                                        Recently she performed at the Annual Awards Ceremony and it was most excellent.
                                        Hyesha has been a music student since she was 8 years old and specialises in
                                        playing the Harmonium. She will be taking a degree in the Harmonium in addition
                                        to her planned study of Pharmacy at a UK university.




                                                                                                          www.mpw.co.uk   7
                                                                        MPW students, now planning their own ESU team




MPW London Principal and Adjudicator/Central Area Organiser                The runners up from King Edward’s Birmingham
Matthew Judd welcomes everybody and introduces the evening.




SPEAKING UP
ENGLISH SPEAKING UNION DEBATE
MPW Birmingham was delighted to host the English Speaking     ESU holds the best known and largest debating competition
Union (ESU) Central Area Final in March. One of the           of its kind, with 632 schools participating in this, the 50th
Adjudicators, Matthew Judd, is Principal of MPW London        year, of competition. Speakers are assessed according to
and it occurred to him, and our own Dominica Jewell, that     performance in four categories: Reasoning and Evidence,
the hall at MPW Birmingham would serve the evening well.      Organisation and Prioritisation, Listening and Response,
                                                              Expression and Delivery.
The night also offered our own Birmingham students a taste
of formal debate, having launched a debating group for the
                                                              Everyone could congratulate themselves on their
first time this academic year.                                performance but, as ever, there had to be a winner and
                                                              Nottingham Bluecoat School emerged victorious.
The six teams were the best of an original ninety for the
Central Area, so being there was a great achievement. The     Anupam Kumar

   8     www.mpw.co.uk
The winning team from Nottingham Bluecoat School




                                                                                      MPW Birmingham Principal Dominica Jewell.




                                               THE DEBATES AND THE PARTICIPANTS
                                               This House believes that the UK needs tougher laws to protect
                                               people’s right to privacy.
                                               Proposition: RGS Worcester
                                               Opposition: King Edward’s Birmingham

                                               This House believes that nuclear weapons make the world a
                                               safer place.
                                               Proposition: Shrewsbury College
                                               Opposition: Nottingham Bluecoat School

                                               This House believes that the EU should make English its
                                               common language.
                                               Proposition: St Ambrose College
                                               Opposition: Stamford School

                                                                                                     www.mpw.co.uk          9
COURSEWORK

ANUPAM KUMAR, LOYAL TO THE GAME
This is a heist thriller inspired by my study of contemporary Hollywood franchises such as the ‘Fast and the Furious’ series and films like
‘Gone in 60 Seconds’. These are stylish, fast paced actioners which often glamorise the criminal or blur or subvert the statuses of hero and
villain. Centred on a crimelord called ‘The Game’, my movie sees conflict between rival groups and uses settings and scenarios familiar to




KIRAN DHESI, TORN
Romantic comedy is a hugely popular genre and my film targets a very large niche audience in casting two British Asian ‘actors’ as the leads
— and they were brilliant. Having planned and storyboarded my trailer one week, I was due to commence principal photography a few days
later. Then it snowed, and I realised a shoot I had planned of the couple walking in the park could be brought forward and a more




HOOTAN AKRAWI, B16 BANG BANG
I was inspired by challenging, and award winning, British films such as Kidulthood and Bullet Boy. Set in Birmingham, my film sees a former street
thug, now reformed and a policeman, given the job of going back in to his former gang, to infiltrate it and bring the leader to justice. At the same
time, I have gone for the ‘cool’ that movies involving crime seem to employ. Shots introducing characters reference the films of Quentin Tarantino,




ANNAM SAEED, AND THEN THERE WERE NONE
My coursework is a response to the current trend in Hollywood to remake everything for a contemporary, young cinema audience. The
Omen, The Poseidon Adventure and many other 1970s-1980s films have been re-imagined. I went a little further, as a fan of the crime
thriller/whodunit, and imagined an old Agatha Christie novel remade with a young cast, re-setting the location to a school reunion.

10      www.mpw.co.uk
MEDIA: CUT TO PERFECTION
This year, AS Media coursework projects included trailers to films ranging from romantic comedy to gritty urban drama. As the projects are
worth 40% of the award, forty per cent of the time is spent planning, writing, developing, shooting, editing and evaluating the work. This
means that some very slick pieces result. Here are some shots from them, with a little ‘Director’s Commentary’.




audiences who favour this genre. The final piece has good pace and a deliberate intertextual reference to ‘Scarface’. I used a variety of
locations around Birmingham to give plenty of differing visuals and to convince the viewer that the trailer is from a real movie. These projects
really work when the audience can imagine that there is a 90 minute movie out there.




interesting, snowy setting would feature — together with a snowball fight. That was luck, and luckily everyone was available to do the shoot
on the spot. As with all ‘rom-coms’ the couple are initially shown as happy before something comes between them and one or both will go
to great effort to win, or win back, the heart of the other.




particularly Reservoir Dogs. I use flashback in black and white to suggest the past and made good use of character ‘point of view’. The trailer is tight
as it is better to complete a one minute piece that is slick and fast than a two minute piece that is a bit slow and baggy with shots lingering too long.
I learned to be ruthless in the edit, with footage that took half a day to film appearing for just a second sometimes, but the piece is all the better for it.




As each character in the book has a past with at least one serious crime, I intercut shots of reuniting characters with black and white
images of their dark deeds, together with shots of a dark and mysterious character climbing stairs. The pace increases towards the end,
with conventional shots familiar to audiences of this type of film, such as a dagger, poison and gunshot.

                                                                                                                                     www.mpw.co.uk         11
     PSYCHOLOGY IS
     GOOD AS GOLD FISH
     TUTOR GUY ETCHELLS OFFERS A FISHY TALE . . .
                                                                      has also shown that fish can learn to distinguish
                                                                      between different colours, shapes and sounds. They can
                                                                      even learn that pressing a lever will dispense food at
                                                                      certain times of the day — those experiments must have
                                                                      involved Pavlov’s Dog-Fish.

                                                                      In January this year the Psychology students began an
                                                                      experiment using the basic principles of classical
                                                                      conditioning, as proposed by Pavlov in the 1890s. The
                                                                      aim of the experiment was to ‘train’ the two Psychology
                                     Guy Etchells                     mascot fish, Othello and Freud. The fish were made to

     The ‘goldfish’ memory has long been a joke: the idea that
                                                                      learn that when a special light is activated they would
                                                                      be fed. Using the properties of classical conditioning,
     little fish brains might ‘reboot’ every few seconds to           the fish have been trained to create a new link, or
     relieve the fact of captivity in a tiny bowl, with only gravel   association, between light and food. Sound was
     and maybe a plastic mermaid for company. Everything is           employed as well, since the device used in the
     new if you are ‘reborn’ several thousand times a day, so         experiment was a Dr Who toy, the ‘Sonic Screwdriver’,
     monotony is relieved by nature. However, it is not so.           which emits a blue light and a buzzing sound.
     Scientists have known for a long time that fish — even
     goldfish — have more than a three second memory. In              The result of this experiment is that when the toy is
     fact, research has shown that fish have a memory span            activated against the glass of their tank, Othello and
     of at least three months, which must be quite disturbing         Freud swim to the surface in expectation of food.
     if you are a red mullet daily fed by Rick Stein. Research        When they are full, it still engages their attention in that it




12      www.mpw.co.uk
is associated with gratification. The device has become
a conditioned stimulus, and the fish swimming to the
surface has become the conditioned response. So,
while it is fun and relaxing to have a fish tank in class,
the piscine Psychologists are also able to help me
deliver core and fundamental principles of Psychology to
my students. While this article is a bit tongue in cheek,
some very key concepts and ideas have been delivered
through our experiment, so while it is a bit of a fishy tail,
the benefits should be felt in the exams when students
need to relay the theory and outline the work of Pavlov.
This is because they have engaged with his work in a
direct, practical, serious, and also fun way, which is how
I like to teach and how my students like to be taught.



                                                                www.mpw.co.uk   13
ARTWORKS
                     IF YOU GO DOWN TO THE WOODS TODAY
                     Jaya’s work here is on the theme of the environment. She spent time studying
                     and musing on trees and decided to represent them as happy; to see what she
                     wants to see.




                                                          ART OF THE GAME
                                                          Michael was inspired by artist
                                                          sculptor Alberto Giacometti
                                                          and created a football shirt in
                                                          his style.



14   www.mpw.co.uk
STRANGE NEW WORLD
                                                                                                             Much of Alex’s work has linked to music and


                                                                                                             controversial song which enabled signs and
                                                                                                             images to promote various bands. A music


                                                                                                             symbols to be used as “anti-Nazi symbols”




Working to the theme of ‘boundaries’, this
                                                                                                             video was created for ‘The Brews’, a




opened Alex up to the idea of making
crazy worlds and characters, like the bug.
This image is Giger inspired again, offering



                                               THE BUG
a swirling, dark and savage realm.
                                                                                                             are within the song lyrics.




                                               Alex was inspired by the work of two artists: H. R. Giger,
                                               whose disturbing line drawn creations inspired Alien, and
                                               cartoonist Ralph Steadman. The eyes of this bug eyed
                                               monster were originally random blobs of ink, which is part
                                               of Steadman’s style.

                                                                                                            www.mpw.co.ukk                        15
ANNOUNCEMENTS:
NEW A LEVELS, NEW SPORT, NEW WORLD
MPW is offering two new A level subjects from September 2007: Computing and Film. You can read about these, and
all subjects offered by the Science and Arts Faculties, in the MPW Course Outlines book. Just call for your free copy,
or download from the Birmingham section of www.mpw.co.uk




                                                                  The foundation elements and concepts you have to learn
                                                                  have value in any discipline where you may have to do
                                                                  system design. “For example, if you set up an experiment in
                                                                  Psychology you might have to set up a system to configure
                                                                  responses.”

                                                                  There are ‘real world’ incidents to reflect on when
                                                                  considering issues such as Data Protection. “Take the case
                                                                  of Tamara Mellon, boss of the Jimmy Choo shoe brand.
                                                                  During her divorce settlement case, her husband sent a PI
                                                                  firm to snoop on emails, with software planted on her
                                                                  computer. This was a Level 3 Computer Misuse offence, the
                                                                  unauthorised modification of data.”

                                                                  The course covers rule based systems, decision making


A LEVEL COMPUTING
                                                                  systems and knowledge based systems. “We make forays in
                                                                  Artificial Intelligence and how it works, looking at robotics.
                                                                  Computer games offer insight into modelling and simulation

Tutor Daniel Flynn is complementing his popular A level in ICT
                                                                  as well.”

with this course, which is more for the mathematically minded     Coursework involves a suitable challenge whereby students
person. “This course is more to do with the fundamentals of       design their own solutions to computing problems.
computing, rather than the application of everyday systems
that we examine in ICT. It is about the building blocks of        “This is certainly a good companion to Sciences and
systems, and a good foundation for things to do with logic,       Mathematics”, says Daniel, “as well as the natural first step
which should appeal to Maths and Physics students.”               for those considering Computing at University, or a solid


A LEVEL FILM
                                                                  additional discipline for those considering a Business or
                                                                  Marketing pathway.”


This course will be delivered by two MPW tutors: Gary             a lot of theoretical, and historical, ground to cover. It is not
Durrant, who teaches Media, and Art tutor James Bourne.           universally available and is recognised by Universities as
“This is the right mix,” says James, “as there are artistic and   quite specialised.”
aesthetic qualities to be considered in Film, linked to high
theory, so for an Art tutor and a Media tutor to deliver the      At first glance Film looks like a mix of Media, English
programme gives students the best of both worlds.”                Literature, Psychology, Sociology and Business, and in
                                                                  some regards it is. Says Gary, “Film theory and criticism has
This A level is an exciting and detailed exploration of the       always been multi-disciplinary as it is about people and
main art form to emerge from the 20th Century. Film became        consumption. Films are made within national and
an academic discipline in its own right long ago, thanks to       international contexts. We also look at the business context
theory developed by French and American academics.                to film: production, distribution and marketing.”
Study remained at University level for many decades as high
ranking scholars and critics developed Film Theory. “It has       “One particular ambition that should be held by students,”
only been in recent time that this theory has made the            says James, “is to aspire and work towards developing the
translation, and transition, to a foundation of study that can    writing style of reviews in a quality newspaper or specialist
be undertaken by young people,” says Gary, “Like Media, it        magazine such as Sight & Sound. We aim to develop literacy
has ‘trickled down’ from above and is multi-disciplinary with     as well as cine-literacy”.

16     www.mpw.co.uk
   NEW YORK 2008
   Exciting study trips to the Big Apple are being
   investigated for 2008.

   Watch this space!




                                                                      CRICKET IS COMING
                                                                      From September, MPW will be offering students
                                                                      free coaching at Edgbaston County Cricket




BUSINESS:
                                                                      ground. This is part of our programme to develop
                                                                      extra-curricular sports following the launch of the
                                                                      MPW Football Tournament.




THE MANCUNIAN CANDIDATE
A2 FIELD TRIP TO MANCHESTER
For this year’s A2 Business Studies trip we were given the         demonstrated how marks are actually earned and what
opportunity to visit Manchester, where we listened to lectures     examiners are looking for. When it is delivered by Chief
based on Modules 4, 5 and 6 and took part in a quiz. The           Examiners, you definitely believe it. From this lecture we made
lectures reinforced what our tutor John Flower has taught us       many notes of key points which we can use while revising, in
and were presented by Chief Examiners Ian Marcousé and             order to ensure we are using the key concepts, content,
Malcolm Surridge in the hope that we would ‘believe’ what out      application, analysis and evaluation while actually answering the
tutor has been instilling in us all year.                          question.

The first lecture given by Marcousé was trying to broaden our
                                                                   On the coach trip home the A2 group really got to know and
minds with regard to the ‘business world’ and what, in
                                                                   mix with the one-year intensive group, which made the trip
summary, is required in the module BUS 6. For this module,
knowing what is going on in the economy as a whole and             altogether enjoyable as well as useful and inspiring.

                                                                   Sunita Wouhra
thinking about wider contexts is necessary in order to gain the
higher marks.

In one of the later lectures we actually went through some         In last year’s AS and A2 Summer examination series, MPW
previous BUS 6 questions and exemplar answers, in order for        Business Studies students managed to beat the national
us to get an idea of what is required. This was invaluable as it   average by a significant margin.

                                                                                                               www.mpw.co.uk     17
FROM THE URBAN GHETTO
 TO THE PEACE GARDEN
Tupac Shakur was an African-American ‘gansta’ rap artist born        example of this lies in “hoodies”, as there is a moral panic
in 1971 and killed in 1996, a star represented by himself, and       surrounding hoodies within a UK context because they are
now others, in opposing states.                                      connected to negative gangsta stereotypes.

Judging by the lyrical content of Tupac’s music — the ghetto,        Tupac may have felt that becoming a rapper was the only way
girls, and being “gangsta” — his audience related to the             he could get his values and ideologies in the hearts and eyes of
struggle depicted, although a loyal cult fan base emerged            the audience. Steve Perry, in The Politics of Crossover, claims
within the middle class. There were (and are) those who aspired      that for a black person to carry a crossover impulse, such as
to his image. Looking and feeling like Tupac brought them            Prince, who has covered a variety of genres, becomes a “denial
closer to “being” him.                                               of blackness”. Tupac was fluent in drama and poetry, which
                                                                     meant that he could have taken the crossover approach, but
 Tupac and any other branded personality from the 1990s on,          chose to become a rapper as it solidified his status as a black
alive or dead, have their precedent in American basketball star      person. After all, if this representation of crossover impulse is
Michael Jordan, as illustrated in the book No Logo by Naomi          accurate, what good is a black person “preaching” his struggle
Klein. This means that “becoming” Tupac is easily achieved,          if he has not the audacity to represent it. It does not seem likely
thanks to global and conglomerate branding or merchandise            that Prince, preaching Tupac’s lyrics, would have so much
as there are items such as Tupac branded trainers and                impact as Tupac. He is seen as a leader amongst black people
clothing. It must be noted that now, post-mortem, Tupac              despite his criminal past. Examples are evidenced in music
himself is the brand. Tupac’s main iconography includes the          videos such as Pac’s Life, where he is looked upon highly by
head bandana, almost exclusive to his image. This branding           members of the black community. Compared to his former
can lead to a distortion in Tupac’s values and ideologies. He felt   representation of girls and guns, this is a huge leap, as it
strongly about black heritage, and the head bandana is a             completely diminishes his previous image and gives him the
reference to black slavery, reminiscent of those worn by black       rank of the “shepherd leading the flock.” Material during his
maids. This raises the issue of whether audiences of all races       lifetime is very different. Toss It Up is a very conventional rap
are buying into “black” culture, and whether they have the           video in that there are flash cars, clothing, “bling-bling”, and
‘right’ to the Tupac image, as they would be representing a          attractive young females, which, contrary to Tupac’s beliefs isn’t
false ideology they do not believe in, simply because they want      a very accurate representation of the ghetto, with more recent
to look cool or fit into crowds. Either way, consumers would be      songs like Ghetto Gospel negating such views. Tupac was
disregarding Tupac’s values, rendering them and everything he        partly responsible for popularizing the codes and conventions
stood for void. Regardless, post-mortem, this image has been         used in rap music videos and played a big role in setting the
used not only by consumers, but plenty of other rappers such         standard, but is now ‘steered away’ from that direction.
as 50 Cent and Eminem.
                                                                     His newly acquired rank also serves a biblical meaning, for his
The black gangsta fashion Tupac endorses does not age,               cult following lets him be seen as a higher power almost on par
giving it a timeless aspect. Tupac dresses in videos in the same     with Jesus Christ. Tupac’s image may be a bricolage, but he
fashion as the gangstas of today, and the way gangstas of the        wears a crucifix around his neck despite being born a Muslim.
eighties dressed. This ‘bricolage’ has allowed certain               Islam forebodes any visual representations of the prophet
stereotypes to emerge under the gangsta category, contrary to        Mohammed, so any suggestions of Tupac being an aspirational
Tupac’s strong beliefs regarding unity of black people and how       figure for young Muslims in the way that the Prophet
he wants equality. A person walking along a street who saw a         Mohammed was would be negated, so the next best figure,
black person adhering to this bricolage — or stereotype —            Jesus Christ, is undertaken. Furthermore, in the music video to
may become insecure and intimidated through the undesirable          his Hail Mary and on the cover to his final album The Don
associations attached to the image. For all they know, this          Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, he is seen crucified.
“gangsta” walking down the street could be a very pleasant
person attending a private school, who has bought into the           On the subject of religion, Tupac’s death could be seen as a
Tupac brand with no ties to the actions, values, and ideologies      sacrifice for “his” people. Eating The Other describes an
linked to the stereotype, thus misjudging his character. So          ancient religious practice amongst “primitive” people where the
Tupac’s representations could lead to social and racial              heart of a person may be ripped out and eaten so that
discrimination, within a white supremacist context at least. An                                                 continued on page 22

   18   www.mpw.co.uk
STEP BACK IN TIME
BY AS HISTORY STUDENTS ANIL RAM, HAMMAD KHAN AND ZAIN RAJABALI

In May we had the opportunity to experience the lives of the        back houses, there was no escape from these vile creatures
working classes in Birmingham during the 19th and 20th              as they would infest one house to the next. Due to the large
Centuries. A group of A level and GCSE students visited the         family sizes and lodgers renting out any spare rooms there was
back to back housing developments, in the heart of the city.        a limited amount of space; this resulted in the children sleeping
                                                                    together in head to toe positions. Rooms were even shared
Each house was furnished with the basic essentials of the           with lodgers who would have a thin piece of cloth separating
working class for each period. For example, none of the             them from the children, only feet away.
houses were equipped with bathrooms, therefore communal
bathroom facilities were shared by up to four different families.   After the excursion we were relieved to resume our normal
We were utterly amazed to discover that the toilets in the          daily lives with such luxuries as central heating and electricity at
1800s were only emptied once a week, before a flush system          a touch of a button. Thank goodness we have technology,
was finally made available to the poor thanks to the efforts of     sewerage systems and welfare.
19th Century social reformers and activists in or near to
Government.                                                         Back in the day, despite Victorian building programmes and
                                                                    figures like Robert Owen, there was a great deal of poverty,
Generally there were low standards of hygiene, with rats, bed       deprivation and suffering, as evidenced through our
bugs and infesting cockroaches. As these were all back to           trip back into the past of Birmingham.



                                          ingham . . .
                             Time in Birm
        Year 10: Once Upon a                                              Hammad and
                                                                                     Zain: On you
                                                                                                  r bike, back
                                                                                                               in the day




                                 Hammad goe
                                           s to No 2
                                                                                                                 is the
                                                                                                   ribo here, it
                                                                                    et shop: No Ha                  Isam.
                                                                        Outside swe                   b-stoppers,
                                                                                 . So, m aybe some go
                                                                     19th Century


                                                                                                                  www.mpw.co.uk      19
                     INTERVIEW:
                     THE YOUNG DOCTORS


                     Harkamal and Vijay are two of
                     MPW’s scientists, taking A levels
                     towards entry to medical school.
                     Last issue, Vijay was interviewed
                     by Harkamal. Now, they swap roles.

                     Vijay: Why are you studying in England?

                     Harkamal: Well, nearly all my cousins graduated abroad,
                     but in my case my mum is working in England so that
                     brought me to this country.

                     Vijay: Do you prefer studying in England? Do you find it
                     any different?

                     Harkamal: I definitely prefer it. The teachers in India do not
                     give you the same attention as here. In England, teachers
                     are very friendly and co-operative. They give you full
                     attention and help you to work and study hard. Not all
                     Universities in India are world-class, so England offers me a
                     lot more choice of top schools to study medicine.

                     Vijay: Why do you want to do medicine?

                     Harkamal: Like you, it is in my family. My mum is a nurse
                     and my dad is a pharmacist, so since my childhood I have
                     been in a medical background — chemistry from my dad,
                     biology from my mum. Also, my school in India has very
                     strong links to the army. They offer great opportunities to
                     students interested in medicine. So, when I told them that
                     was my interest they put me in the army school. I spent a
                     great deal of time in the army hospital. It was so fantastic,
                     and challenging. I love challenging work; that’s why I am
                     entering this profession. Medicine is the best profession in
                     the world.

                     Vijay: What medical experience did you get?

                     Harkamal: I had plenty of work experience in the army
                     hospital. Something that has really stayed with me is
                     witnessing the doctors saving a casualty with a bullet in his
                     neck. Just watching them, and the skill with which they
                     removed the life threatening bullet, was just the strangest
                     and most amazing thing. I had a fantastic experience there.

20   www.mpw.co.uk
Vijay: Don’t you think you were a bit young for that?

Harkamal: I hear what you say, but the things you really
want to do develop in childhood in my opinion. It was good
for me, in my early teens, to be able to say to myself,
“I can do this,” and I have been working towards it ever
since.

Vijay: Is there a specialism you want to take?

Harkamal: I want to be a neurologist, and I know the
basics.

Vijay: How do you find this college?

Harkamal: It is right for me as I work hard and MPW are
able to help me go the extra half-mile in my studies. I could
have gone to any number of colleges but chose a private
one to get the close attention to my studies and progress
that you benefit from here.

Vijay: What subjects do you do?

Harkamal: I do Chemistry, Biology, Maths and
Environmental Science.

Vijay: You do four?

Harkamal: Yes. I like the fourth subject. It is a mixture of
Chemistry with Biology in many ways.

Vijay: So, what are your plans for after the exams?

Harkamal: I will have a break, but then work hard towards
my IELTS English test. I am also preparing myself for the
UKCAT medical entry test over the summer — I have got
the books to help me with that and practise for it. I will also
look to start my second-year A level work as the Summer
is a good time to get a real start on coursework.

Vijay: You workaholic.

Harkamal: Well, we are going to be doctors and it is
hard work.

Vijay: True, true. Here’s to hard work.

                                                                  www.mpw.co.uk   21
continued from page 18                                              This is evident as promotional shots of gangstas, whether they
one can embody that person’s spirit or spiritual characteristics.   appear in publications or are featured on the front cover of an
This belief, whilst absurd by today’s standards, begets the         album, tend to glare at the viewer in an intimidating and
notion than only after Tupac’s death has his loyal cult following   daunting way, which possesses connotations of “don’t mess
increased in strength, embracing him even more so than during       with me”.
his life. On a more distinct point, Tupac’s last words in Tupac
Resurrection were “do what you gotta do, and inside you I will      Investigation would indicate the presence of two Tupac
be reborn”.                                                         Shakur’s in the mass media. While the distinctions are sharper
                                                                    post-mortem the two differing representations were clearly in
So in light of all of this, the young people who do not share       evidence during his lifetime. In this respect we can identify a
Tupac’s struggle and aspire towards him can be seen as              truly ‘bi-polar’ media icon. It would beggar further investigation
cherry-picking the bits that they want to use in order to be a      in respect of large scale audience research, for surely, while
part of the cult following.                                         there may be a small core of genuine gangsters who appreciate
                                                                    these representations, the mainstream audience of Tupac are
Gangstas and gangsta rap musicians are not only aspirational        law abiding citizens with brothers and sisters, fathers and
figures for young black males, but are also sex icons to            mothers. What bi-polarity could be engendered in true fans?
females, as they sometimes embark upon what we can                  This is not to suggest a new media effect, but possibly a whole
describe as a Laura Mulvey inspired concept of a “Female            new form of self-actualisation through ideologies in extreme
Gaze”, as Tupac often does, and since Tupac can be very             conflict, embodied through one icon, his peers and successors.

                                                                    Shouresh Akrawi
dangerous looking, this further induces the female gaze as
there is a common perception that females like “bad boys”.




      MPW BIRMINGHAMʼS
     TEN TIPS FOR REVISION
Get started. You now have the maximum length of time you            Write a ‘Hit-List’. Who do you want to beat? Impress? Prove
are ever going to have before the exams. Make the most of           wrong? Write a list and put it on your wall. The competition
it and start revising now.                                          can prove invigorating.

The Antidote to Worry is Action. Rather than fretting about         Follow the Two-Thirds Rule. Split each day of your holiday into
everything you don’t know try to build on what you do know,         three: morning, afternoon and evening. Work two out of
through a calm, realistic, well planned revision process.           three every day (you choose which) and have a third of your

Learning should be Active, Not Passive. Never read without a
                                                                    day off! You will find you work more effectively if you
                                                                    schedule planned breaks.
pencil to mark things in the margin or underline key points.
                                                                    Don’t Cheat Yourself. Ever said you can revise better with your
Don’t kid yourself that reading is learning; thinking,
questioning, reading, writing summary notes, self-testing
                                                                    TV/stereo/walkman on, or only after two cups of coffee or
and then re-writing is real learning. It is an active not a
                                                                    only for 15 minutes at a time, or only in the evening?
passive process.
                                                                    Everyone has their own excuses. Recognise yours as soon
Don’t learn. Overlearn. Don’t be satisfied with just                as you can and refuse to listen.

                                                                    Use Targets and Rewards. Decide what you want to cover in a
remembering your notes, make sure you undeniably know
them. Learn them more than you think you need to. Then
you needn’t be afraid of exam nerves wiping them out of             revision session and reward yourself when you achieve it.
your short term memory.                                             Your reward could be to revise an easier topic next!

Think Positively. Look forward to results day! During your          Test Yourself Before the Examiners Do. Test your knowledge
revision work towards achieving having something to                 before and after each revision session to assess your
celebrate.                                                          progress . . . before somebody else does.

22      www.mpw.co.uk
                                             ROUND 2




MEET THE PUNDITS
GCSE English and Media students took advantage of the first MPW Football
Tournament to produce a piece of coursework on the media language of
match coverage and punditry. A Sky type trailer was made using the
bombastic, choral music often used to elevate the status of the game to
epic proportions and create drama. A few minutes changing in the
disabled lavatory and the group transformed into smartly dressed pundits,
making Shearer look a scruff. Part scripted, part improvised, the group
made commentaries and delivered match verdicts. Using the sort of
emotive, dramatic and punchy language used by Lineker et al, the group
successfully explored the mode of address found in TV match coverage.

                                                                            www.mpw.co.uk   23
Loyal to the game
It was a springy start    time to employ that        the net but Dosanjh
to the second round of    raw energy and             equalised within
the MPW Football          instinctive skill in the   seconds before
Tournament at the NIA     arena of the pitch         Choudhury was back
Community Hall. After     rather than the exam       in control. A mid-
a week of mock            hall at MPW. Akrawi        match penalty was
exams the players had     showed some skill in       well saved by Masih in
plenty of energy          keeping the ball in the    goal. An easy later
stored up, shifting       middle of the pitch        penalty for Roden was
gear from desk work       until Harrington’s first   nicely picked up from
to displays of fancy      attack on the net.         a cross by Situk,
foot work. Having         Cattell’s gamely angle     notable for a series of
exercised so much         on the ball intercepted    stylish passes
brain power, it was       Ali. Lone tipped it into   throughout the match.




SPOT THE BALL COMPETITION: WIN YOUR FUTURE?
Spot the ball in our competition to win a complete set of MPW Trotman University Subject Guides,
together with The A-Z of Exam Survival. Place up to twenty crosses on the picture from the last MPW
Football Tournament to mark where you think the ball is. Then fill in the coupon and return it to: MPW
Spot the Ball, 17-18 Greenfield Crescent, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 3AU. Closing date for entries is
15 August 2007. A panel of experts will then scrutinise entries with a magnifying glass to determine who
has sent in an entry with a cross closest to the centre of the ball, which we took out with Photoshop.


                                                                         Name:

                                                                         Address:




                                                                         Postcode:

                                                                         Age:

                                                                         Tel. No:
24     www.mpw.co.uk

				
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