Tag Archives: G-You Magazine

An Unlucky Day for the GUHC

The Glasgow University Hockey Club were hoping for a day of dreams on the 5th of March when three out of the seven teams took to the mighty fortress of Garscube to play in important BUCS matches. However, that was not to be, as each team, unfortunately, walked away suffering a loss.

The GUWHC 2nd XI were the first to take to the pitch against the Edinburgh 3s. It was the semi-final of the BUCS Conference Cup meaning both teams came out fighting from the start. Edinburgh took the lead but Julia McGovern of Glasgow quickly scored an equaliser. However, Edinburgh managed another goal, which, despite their best efforts, the Glasgow girls were not able to match meaning the final score was 2-1 to Edinburgh.

The GUWHC 4th XI were the next to take to the pitch in the BUCS Conference Plate semi-final. The girls were entered the match with some confidence due to their high number of victories this year. However, the St. Andrews 3rd XI proved to be a formidable opponent. While this match again proved to be fairly even, St. Andrews clung to their lead in the final minutes of the game resulting in a 3-2 victory.

The GUMHC 1st XI were the last to play on the day in the BUCS Conference semi final. The was the most intense game of the day as it was against local rivals, the Strathclyde 1st XI. Again, it was a close and evenly paced match that saw the whistle blow with the two sides drawing at 3 goals to 3. In the end it went to penalty flicks, which Glasgow narrowly lost to their opponents on.

While the scores may have been disappointing for the GUHC on the day, the high standard of hockey, hard-work and dedication of the players is something to be proud of. There was also an incredible number of black and yellow supporters cheering from the sideline. While the teams may have not progressed further in their competitions, they still proved themselves as one of the most successful sports clubs on campus.

-Claire Flynn

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Can You Make It?

I loved going travelling a couple of years back. Setting off to South East Asia with my uni pals made me feel independent, cultured and experienced- I have still not stopped talking about it. The only thing we had pre-booked was our flight to Bangkok and from then we were free to go as we pleased, crashing wherever we could and doing whatever we wanted.

However, in classic Gap Yah fashion, my seven weeks of travelling were cushioned by the knowledge that I had a bank card in my back pocket with wealthy parents that could transfer money at a moment’s notice. And with a smartphone in the other pocket I was in constant touch with my, rather overprotective, mummy and daddy. In seven weeks I didn’t go longer than two days without being in touch with one of them via text or email.

Red Bull, the caffeinated hyper drink that can give you wings, is offering people the chance for an adrenaline funded travelling experience, asking teams to see how far they can get across Europe using only the cans of sugary goodness as currency. Not only a clever marketing strategy, this ‘Can You Make It?’ competition offers people a true character-building holiday.

Red Bull don’t just limit it to no money, however. The code of honour forbids personal mobile phones and pre-arranged travel, forcing participants in the competition to use their powers of persuasion to get from place to place.

In a world where we rely on mobile phones and bank cards to live, it seems that this task is near impossible. Who would accept a can of red bull in exchange for a train ticket?

These kind of stunts scare the shit outta me. I get freaked out trying to fly down to London on my own. My seven weeks in Asia were hard enough even when I was armed with my Blackberry and bank card. However, there is something so tempting in this offer from Red Bull because it seems so difficult. The teams that are able to complete such a difficult journey would come out of the end mature, strengthened and with tons of cool stories to tell.

So each participating team travels across Europe using only cans of Red Bull for currency. Teams visit checkpoints, share photos and videos, via a prescribed team phone, and rally support from followers at home. The finish line is in Berlin- the teams that complete the adventure on time will be greeted with the party of a lifetime. The deadline for applications is Wednesday the 12th of March so what are you waiting for? If you think you can make it, then get involved. All the details can be found here: http://www.redbullcanyoumakeit.com/.

-Claire Flynn

-Image courtesy of Sterling Ely (https://www.flickr.com/photos/sterlingely/)

Student Elections at Glasgow University

I remember this time last year very well- the beginning of my fight for Libraries Convener. I was starting my daily (private) routine of crying hysterically in my room whilst punching my pillow at the same time. In public, however, I was all smiles. I soon had people spamming my manifesto and slogans across FaceBook and Twitter, alike. I even put a video of me dressed as Hagrid on YouTube in the hope of winning over a few extra people.

The year before last I was gearing up to help no less than five of my friends campaign to get their chosen position. The stress over whose profile picture I was going to use was intense. I eventually wound up swapping between my friends. On the actual days of the campaign I was out till the end, cold and miserable, flyering and chucking sweets at people just wanting to get to class. Everyone hated me.

In my first year, I was naive, sweet and innocent, with no idea of the kind of social media and campus frenzy student elections caused. I was still minding my own business and heading to class when the first pack of Haribo hit me in the face.

My point it this: whether you are going to be one of the innocent, unaware passer-bys on the day of elections, you will be throwing yourself right into the action by campaigning for one or numerous friends or you will be daring to run for a position yourself the upcoming student elections will affect you in some way. So let me give you the basics of the student bodies and their elections:

The Student Representative Council (SRC)

If you are a student at the University of Glasgow (which I’m assuming all of you reading this are) then you can vote in these elections, and you should. These guys represent the student body to the University and also help cater to many student interests and needs. With the dark days of Chizzy and Stuart Ritchie now past them the SRC have grown from strength to strength in recent years. This year the council, and particularly the sabbatical positions, prove to be hotly contested. And did I mention you can vote online? You don’t even need to leave your bed to have your say.

Glasgow University Sports Association (GUSA)

All gym members are eligible to vote in this one. These are the guys that represent student sporting interests to the SRS and do their best to ensure Glasgow University students have the best sporting opportunities possible. Last year positions on council were highly contested, with 7 out of the 12 positions opposed. Will this year be the same? There is already rumoured to be a presidential battle on the cards, automatically making it an interesting year for GUSA elections.

Queen Margaret Union (QMU)

Over the hill at the other Union, the QMU elections will take place. You must be a member of the QMU to vote in the elections. Pissed off about the name change of Cheesy Pop? Vote in someone that will change it back. Last year’s election was a mixed success for the QMU. Although many of the higher up positions were contested, there were some positions left unfilled and the voter turnout was rather disappointing compared to the other student bodies. What will this year have in store for the Queen Margaret Union?

Glasgow University Union

And lastly we have GUU’s Board of Management. You have to be a GUU member to vote in these elections. The Board run all the major events, deals and promotions at the Union so if you are a member you need to make your vote count. The difficult year behind the Union will doubtfully get better over the next so it is critical that a hard-working and innovative Board of Management is elected. Last year GUU elections were largely uncontested with only the PSM positions and Libraries Convener (just my luck) opposed but what will this year bring?

So read manifestos and make your vote count- it is likely one or more of these student bodies will matter a lot to you and your uni lifestyle. If you are a campaigner, try not to feel guilty about harassing people- you are doing it to help friends and ensure student involvement with elections. Lastly, good luck to those choosing to run for a position. As stressful and emotional the next month will be- it is all worth it in the end.*

*Please note that this is from a winner’s perspective. I have no idea how it feels to lose but I imagine it may not feel as worth the tears, money and time spent on campaigning.

-Claire Flynn

-Image courtesy of Chris Kueh (https://www.flickr.com/photos/chriskueh/)

My First Time… At the Ballet

I am not a regular attendee of ballets. It’s not really my scene- you are far more likely to find me jumping around a sweaty gig in King Tuts or cosied up in the back of the Grosvenor cinema watching the latest movie blockbuster. But the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival gave me the chance this October to witness Barrowland Ballet’s Tiger; a breathtaking and raw emotional rollercoaster of a performance.

As I entered the Tramway theatre, with its dark, cool interior, and saw the wire cage in the centre of the room, I knew this would not be your typical ballet with tutus and leotards galore. A twist on the famous tale The Tiger Who Came to Tea, it focuses on an orderly family stuck in routine and, as a result, each member feeling isolated and alone. The mother, father and daughter dance the same routine inside their cage illustrating their entrapment in their unhappy lives. With few words spoken throughout the performance, it is through the dancing that the story is told with the help of the live music played throughout. The issue of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is dealt with expertly in the tale, with it being evident that the mother suffers from it, dragging the family ever further into the depths of routine, unhappiness and loneliness.

When the unhappiness becomes so great that the father leaves, it is only the beginning of the story. The actor returns in the form of a tiger breaking into the lives of the mother and daughter and causing havoc. At first this upsets the mother greatly whilst entertaining the daughter, but soon the fun and unpredictable tiger brings happiness to them both making it clear to the audience that sometimes all life needs is an addition of colour.

This story is heart-breaking, enlightening and incredibly happy all at the same time. The performers unleash their emotions with their dancing, drawing in the audience for the full performance. Unusual and rather experimental, Tiger is a fantastic show and I would certainly recommend it.

So have I been transformed into a ballet lover yet? I’m not entirely sure but I can say that I will definitely keep an eye out for future Barrowland Ballet performances.

-Claire Flynn

-Image courtesy of Secretaría de Cultura Ciudad de México (https://www.flickr.com/photos/culturacdmx/)

Don’t Let Exams Get You Down

It’s that time of year… coursework has been finished and handed in, the Easter Holidays are about to start and summer is only just around the corner. So everything’s great… right?

Wrong.

For students across the country this is probably the worst time of year for one reason and one reason only. Exams. Silly, stupid, stressful exams.

Yep that’s right exams are looming right behind the end of the Easter holidays for many of us here at Glasgow University. If you’re not already it won’t be long before you’re tearing your hair out or crying in frustration because you can’t find that set of notes that have suddenly become vital in your revision and without them you will, most definitely, fail everything.

The tears, the rants, the screams and even the panic attacks- I have experienced them all, from myself or from my friends. I understand the pain of exam stress.

The thing is we all laugh and joke about them, about how little we know and how we’ve done no revision and how we are completely and utterly screwed, maybe hoping that our smiles will hide the fact that we are freaking out on the inside.

Maybe you aren’t like that; maybe you are chilled out and confident about the upcoming assessments. However, I know, from personal experience, that this isn’t often the case.

Exam stress has become a far more serious and noticed issue in the last few years. The pressure students are under, either from themselves or from others has only increased if anything, making the weight of exam time all the heavier. It’s fine to joke but when students stress themselves out to the point of depression or panic attacks or worse, then things get a little less laughable.

So what’s the point in me getting all serious about this? After all you don’t need anything more to bring you down at this time of year and exam stress is an inevitable part of student life.

But we should all be aware of the potential detriments. Student Beans found in a survey of 1000 students that it affects a fair few even enough affect their health. They discovered that 92% of students said they felt worried during exam time whilst one fifth revealed they had suffered anxiety attacks before their exams as a result of the stress. Furthermore 61% cited lack of sleep or insomnia as a result of their worry, 51% claimed to suffer from headaches and migraines and 47% admitted turning to food to relieve their stress (53% obviously lied about that one).

There are even those that begin to suffer from depression as a result of the intensity of the exam period.

So, as we all knew, exams are not fun and games, in fact they are seriously stressful and can affect a student’s health and mental well-being.

So as hard as it is don’t let exams get you down. Do your best not to cry, scream or have a panic attack, either before the exam or during it, and having to be led out of the exam hall (that actually happened to a friend of mine last year). Get through them and I’ll see you for a drink on the other side.

-Claire Flynn

-Image courtesy of Xavi (https://www.flickr.com/photos/18614695@N00/)

Flight

Everyone loves a bit of Denzel Washington… I have tried to find a fault with him over the years and I just can’t. He is simply brilliant.

And no less so in his latest feature Flight, in which he plays William “Whip” Whitaker, a pilot who manages to, against the odds, land his crashing plane to avoid many casualties and becomes an automatic, old-fashioned, American hero.

However, he is also an alcoholic, cocaine user and generally messed up guy, having little contact with his former wife and son, who have both given up on him. The crash forces him to face up to his shortcomings as it is revealed that he had a high level of alcohol and cocaine in his system on  the day of the flight, leading to potential charges of manslaughter and jail time. As he fights with lawyers and co-workers to prevent being sent to prison his dependency on alcohol and drugs become more and more apparent.

Despite the film being overly long and arguably anti-climactic at the end, it is still a good watch. Both the writing and Denzel’s acting abilities manage to draw you further and further into a poor man’s fight- not against the authorities- but against the damage he does to himself. Managing to touch on religious influences and other American societal issues as well, the director, Robert Zemeckis, is able to keep the viewer engaged throughout.

So what are you waiting for? Go and get your Denzel fix for the week.

-Claire Flynn

– Image courtesy of Pam Morris (https://www.flickr.com/photos/35528040@N04/)

The Undateables

In the couple of weeks before Valentine’s Day thoughts of love, relationships and finding ‘the one’ plague our brains, our shops and our television screens.

And so, in the run up to the fourteenth, Channel 4 has launched the second series, of its controversially named documentary, The Undateables, which details the love lives of people suffering from disabilities. The first series was launched last spring and was a big hit, attracting an average audience of more than three million, making it one of Channel 4’s highest-rating shows of last year. However, it received much criticism with the advertising watchdog receiving complaints that it was offensive towards disabled people and encouraged stereotyping and bullying. Despite that, the Advertising Standards Authority cleared it of any breach of the advertising code- allowing it to return in January of this year.

Although there has been nothing proved technically wrong with the documentary, there is something somewhat ethically challenging about sitting down to watch a documentary, that arguably makes a spectacle of the autistic, Tourette’s syndrome sufferers, and others suffering from disabilities, attempting to find love.  Journalist, Sharon Brennan criticised the show heavily claiming that it highlighted differences between those who have disabilities and those who don’t and pointed out that the title The Undateables was incredibly offensive to those suffering from a disability.

There is also the added moral complication that The Undateables is, without a doubt, entertaining. It would not receive the ratings it does if it were not so. Let’s face it, as a television audience; we are not merely satisfied by challenges to our perceptions or new information, we need something that appeals to our desire to be entertained. For example, in the first episode of the second series, it is difficult not to giggle as autistic Michael practices for his date with his mother. And it is hard not to shed a tear in the second episode when Raymond, who suffers from learning disability, invests all of his time and effort into a date for it to fail completely. All the while, pangs of guilt are plaguing you for laughing or sighing or cringing at the expense of these people.

However, The Undateables is saved as not just a legitimate but also a good, documentary through the fact that audiences are left at the end of each episode, not with thoughts of the differences between themselves and the participants on the documentary, but rather with the realisation of the similarities. They are human beings who, like everyone else, desire companionship and physical affection. The show conveys that it is not so much the disability that affects the participants’ love lives but more the lack of confidence that those disabilities bring about. And, rather surprisingly, you find yourself seeing a lot of your own insecurities in their plights to find ‘the one’. The show never suggests that disabilities and dating don’t mix. It conveys what everyone is already aware of- that dating is an incredibly difficult game to play for anyone.

Although many will remain cynical and judgemental about the show, largely due to its title and branding, those who make the decision to watch an episode may find themselves pleasantly surprised. The description ‘undateable’ is not one which takes over the documentary- it was simply a way for Channel 4 to strike a controversial chord with audiences in order to generate hype and interest. The show itself challenges preconceptions of disabilities rather than entrenching them, leaves audiences with feelings of similarities, not differences, and thoughts of encouragement, not pity.

-Claire Flynn

-Image courtesy of Lwp Kommunikáció (https://www.flickr.com/photos/lwpkommunikacio/)

Apocalypse Now… ish?

21/12/12- The date we have feared in recent years as doomsday, the end of the world, our reckoning… or whatever you want to call it. This was the date at the end of the Mayan Calendar leading many to cite it as the end of days.

So I don’t know how you spent the 21st but I, along with many others around the globe, was having a great time at an End of the World party. So when it reached midnight and there was still no sign of the Four Horsemen, asteroids or aliens planning on demolishing our planet for an intergalactic highway, I, along with most, didn’t even notice. Things continued as normal, with no real elation that the world had not ended.

This is because no one had ever truly expected it to end. The word apocalypse carries very little weight with it these days. It has been reduced from a word capable of inspiring global terror to an excuse to have a party or make a film.

Maybe it is the sheer volume of false predictions of the apocalypse that have been made throughout history that have heightened our cynicism to the extent of complete disbelief. Because let’s face it- there have been hundreds

Let’s begin with the example of the prediction by the Assyrians. A clay tablet found dating around 2800 BC held the words ‘Our Earth is degenerate. In these latter days there are signs that the world is coming to an end. Bribery and corruption are common.’ Bribery and corruption remain common but the Assyrian prediction of the end of days was inaccurate… obviously.

Over the rest of history various people including religious leaders, Columbus, mathematicians and scientists have predicted different apocalyptic events that will bring about the end of our world.  American Christian radio broadcaster, Harold Camping, has predicted six different dates for our day of judgement over the past two decades. Every time one proves to be wrong he just picks another date. You have to give him kudos for perseverance at least.

And the latest apocalyptic prediction- the end of the Mayan Calendar on the 21st of December, caused imaginations to run wild and bring about many suggestions for the end of the world. These ideas included a galactic alignment, a geomagnetic reversal of the poles, an alien invasion, the earth being destroyed by a supernova and the list goes on…

However, yet again the prediction proved false. This may have been due to a simple misreading of the calendar, as has been suggested, but it was still a little disappointing.

But never fear. There are plenty more predictions of the end of all things to look forward to. Foerster wrote in a science magazine in 1960 that on November the 13th 2026 the world’s population would reach infinity, which was a result of the ‘Doomsday Equation.’ However, he later suggested that this article was written in jest so again this date is unlikely to see our fiery demise. But don’t worry we also have the NASA prediction of an asteroid hitting the planet in 2036 and if that fails, Nostradamus pointed out that prophecies ended in 3797 suggesting the end of the world. And there will doubtless be hundreds of other predictions made over the progressing years to keep us going.

In fact, whilst we’re at it I’m going to throw one in there. I predict doomsday, the destruction of Earth and all it’s inhabitants, the day of judgement, the ultimate apocalypse will be on the 31st of July 2022. For no other reason than it’s my 30th birthday and I would love to celebrate it at another End of the World Party. The last one I was at was just thrilling.

-Claire Flynn

-Image courtesy of Michael Lehenbauer (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikelehen/)

Les Misérables

The adaptation of the world famous musical to the big screen has finally arrived and Hooper’s masterpiece, featuring an all-star cast, does not disappoint. The story is already well-known to most- set in 19th century France, ex-convict Jean Valjean attempts to live a Christian life after being redeemed despite being pursued by rigid upholder of the law, Inspector Javert, for breaking parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine’s daughter, Cosette, the fateful decision changes both their lives forever. This is a tale of love set against the backdrop of revolutionary France, depicting political upheaval and class divide. It is an emotional rollercoaster that will leave audiences crying out in anguish, clapping with amazement and feeling unexpectedly uplifted.

It is undoubtedly one of the best musicals to arrive on the cinema screens in a long time. The music and lyrics of Les Misérables, famous around the world, hold the film together well, driving the story on and the themes out well, with the raw energy of the musical performances being captivating in their own right. Hathaway’s performance of ‘I Dreamed a Dreamed’ is delivered from the depths of such degradation and with such force, tears are difficult to prevent. And the empowering nature of ‘Can You Hear the People Sing’ certainly succeeds in lifting spirits. Although, some may find it cringe-worthy to watch actors continually singing their conversations at one another, even the toughest of cynics will find it difficult not to be caught up in the music, stories and amazing cinematic creation that is Les Misérables. Nominated for eight Oscars, it will, no doubt, sweep up countless awards, and deservedly so.

-Claire Flynn

-Image courtesy of Marian Stanton (https://www.flickr.com/photos/marirn/)

CHVRCHES

So alternative they spell their own name wrong (apparently they hated battling Jesus for internet hits), it’s time to meet the latest of Glasgow’s homegrown talent, indie synth band, Chvrches.

Tipped to be big in 2013, Chvrches is a three-piece act made up of Lauren Mayberry, former journalist, Martin Doherty, of popular Scottish indie group The Twilight Sad, and Iain Cook, who was previously a member of Scottish alternative band, Aerogramme.

Unlike most modern bands that use the Internet to thrust their music into the limelight as much as possible before it is even released Chvrches took a slightly different approach. They generated hype by only placing two singles online, ‘Lies’ and ‘The Mother We Share, which both wreaked havoc on YouTube. That air of mystery made them one of the more interesting musical stories of 2012. Despite having little material readily available for fans, the news about Chvrches began to spread quickly and they started to sell out gigs in Scotland.

Their initial popularity may have been partially due to the members’ fame from other bands. However, it seems it was also likely caused by the unusually dark yet euphoric sound of Chvrches, which has undoubtedly captured the attention of music buffs around the country. ‘The Mother We Share’ was released in November as a single on National Anthem. There are few pop songs that grab your attention like this one with its soothing electro pop melody combined with Mayberry’s unique and delicate voice. The single propelled them from an ‘alright band fae Glasgae’ to one of the potential next big acts to emerge from its streets.

Their potential is clear from the amount of success the electro pop band has already experienced in 2012. From their rising popularity to sell-out shows to supporting massively successful band Passion Pit, Chvrches have risen in the musical ranks rather quickly. Their single ‘Lies’ ranked at number 28 on NME’s best track of 2012. The Mother We Share ranked at number 51 on The Huffington Post’s Top Songs of 2012. They also came fifth in the BBC Sound of 2013 new music list.

Their recent session on Huw Stephens’ Radio One show further showcased the raw talent of Chvrches and also revealed that they had plans for an album to be released in 2013.

I was lucky enough to see this band in August 2012 in Edinburgh, and by that stage it was already pretty clear that they were going to take the British music scene by storm. With their debut album being due for release in 2013 it seems the band are just about to do that. As the mystery around them lessens and their music becomes more available it will stand to speak for itself proving them as the latest and greatest electro pop band to emerge from Britain. Their rise is inevitable… so keep an eye out for Chvrches this year.

-Claire Flynn

-Image courtesy of Viktor Rosenfeld (https://www.flickr.com/photos/helter-skelter/)