As an exercise in class, we discussed how filmmakers, artists, photographers, and writers became who they are. The students then wrote about themselves answering the following questions - so I will do the same here - my early life revealed!!
Why did you choose your subject area?
When I applied to university I was working in a record shop (Andy's Records) in Peterborough. I had realised that perhaps I might be better off going to university as I had left school at 16 to go to Germany as an Au Pair and when I returned I worked on various office and shop jobs. I had approached my local college and they suggested I take a foundation year - as I was young and also quite confident I said I didn't need to and they asked me instead to write an essay and show them other writing work that I had been doing. I did this and was accepted onto Media & English at DMU. I chose English as at the time Media was not considered a serious subject. I chose Media as basically, I wanted to do Photography and Video. I was taking photographs and writing at the time and I felt I wanted to really learn about this and I absolutely loved taking photos from the moment I was given a camera at a young age.
Why did you choose this university?
I chose DeMontfort University as it was an old Polytechnic and therefore I felt it would give me a more practical application of skills as well as academic work. Also, my parents both come from Leicestershire and it made sense as it was not too expensive, I would be near my family and I knew Leicester quite well already.
What do you think you will gain from studying here?
Obviously, I studied some time ago but what I thought I would gain was skills, the beginning of an academic career and a university experience of study. I actually got much more than I was ever hoping for. I enjoyed university immensely - I loved and fell in love further with photography. I discovered my strengths and weaknesses academically and I worked hard coming in every day early and leaving late. I learned everything I possibly could about photography and art. I took elective courses in Artist books and German Cinema which I really enjoyed. I entered festivals and put on exhibitions. I also worked hard in office jobs to pay my way and over summers I worked as a photographer on magazines and for events - basically anything that I could find. I gained the foundation for my future life here and I enjoyed every minute of it!
How do you think a degree will help you find employment?
When I studied I was not sure which direction I would go in after leaving university but I thought that it would give me an advantage as at the time only 20% of people went to university. I found work after teaching Media at a college in Eastbourne and as I had no money I lived in a care home working nights for my rooms. I ended up becoming the manager of the care home - so life takes funny twists and turns and you don't know where it might lead.
What else will you do while you are here in preparation for finding work at the end of your course?
As I said above I basically did anything that I could find - joining the university newspaper, going to DSU meetings, entering festivals and competitions, working as a photographer over the summer and taking every opportunity that was in offer.
Who is your inspiration in life and why?
When I was young I was inspired by David Bowie and writers mostly such as George Orwell, Baudelaire and Mallarme I thought they believed so completely in what they wanted to achieve and they had a philosophy of life that they lived and wrote about with passion. I wanted to feel that passionate about my own work and life.
How do you see yourself in 10 years' time?
As I am now much older I am hoping that in 10 years' time I will have completed a PhD and will be living a life that is far more relaxed - maybe writing, taking photographs and enjoying the beautiful sunshine of France!