Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Wow, What a Shock!

I was very shocked when I received the e-mail from AOL stating that the Journal community is due to close.  Like many other J-Land members, I feel shocked, angry, confused.  Why is AOL doing this?  We weren’t even given a choice.  After all, we are a community!!

I joined the blogging community on April 11, 2006 searching for a new pastime.  It was suggested by a family friend that I join the school newspaper team.  I had planned to leave school and study a Childcare course at college, so I thought “No.”

However, Lesley had planted a seed in my mind, which was ready to grow.  I stumbled across Jeannette’s blog one evening, and suddenly blogging seemed the perfect way to set the world to rights!  Originally I dismissed the idea as I thought people wouldn’t be interested in what a teenager had to say.  How wrong I was!

J-Land is a great community, and it shall be a shame to see it disappear… along with our blogs!  We have laughed and cried together through good times and bad.  I have made some wonderful friends throughout my time here.  It was great to know that whatever you wrote, there was always someone there to listen.  Your words meant so much!  The sudden closure of "AOL, Hometown" has left me wondering, "What's the point?"

Throughout my time here in J-Land, I have shared with us my education, the challenges I have faced, my holidays and family life.  You have watched me grow from boy to man.  I’m not ready to leave yet.  I feel there are still lots of things to tell you.  But thank you for visiting the crazy world of Leigh; it’s been a pleasure having you!

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Three Week's Absence... Tut, Tut!

Wow, it’s been nearly three weeks since I posted a ‘proper’ entry on here.  I have had a serious case of writer’s block!  I’m feeling great!  I think I just needed time away from the computer, to be honest.  J-Land seems to have been pretty quiet in recent months, so it seemed right to take a break.

First of all, I must say Congratulations to my Mum and Dad, who celebrate their 22nd Wedding Anniversary today.  It’s also my mum’s Birthday tomorrow, so I shall send Birthday Wishes too.

I enrol at my local University on the 22nd September.  I will be living at home and commuting back and forth to lectures.  I don’t feel ready to move out of home yet.  Maybe I will in the second year, who knows?

I am really excited to be starting this new chapter in my life.  I’m so excited to be meeting new people and making new relationships, as well as all the parties!!  I’m nervous too, but the social-networking site, Facebook has been helpful there. 

You see, I have joined a Fresher’s Group on there.  The Group enables prospective students to find others on their course and get to know each other beforethe course starts.  It’s really handy because now we won’t get so freaked out when we meet.  It’s amazing to me how many students attending this University are not from Wales!

Do you remember I was nominated for my county’s “Outstanding Student Award”?  The Awards Ceremony took place on 5th September.  It was a lovely night.  I felt so honoured and it was a privilege to be there with my parents, Headmaster (I was so nervous chatting to him!!) and Head of Sixth Form, as well as all the other talented nominees.

There were 18 nominees altogether, one from each Sixth Form in the borough.  Then in between five courses, the six nominees from each county (Rhondda, Cynon & Taff) would go up individually and answer questions about themselves.

I was asked four questions, which I will post at a later date.  I had written two pages of stuff to mention – I know what you’re thinking… a little O.T.T – but I didn’t want to forget anything.  Anyway, I didn’t use the paper as a reminder.  I felt I didn’t need it, however, I think I remembered the important bits!

I went up onto the stage twice after the speech.  Once to collect a trophy for being a finalist in the competition… and another one for… Rhondda’s Regional Student of the Year!!!!!  Can you believe it?... YEAH BABY!!!!!  Also, I was awarded £170 in vouchers, which are going to go towards books for education… boring I know, but sensible!

Oh my God – I was so speechless.  Words cannot describe how I feel.  I’ve been on a cloud of euphoria ever since.  It wasn’t the top prize (the top prize was a brand new car for a year), however, it was like the icing on the cake for me.  I have worked so hard and now it’s paid off.  You see, the organizers announced the Regional Winners, then the overall winner of the competition. 

I feel so honoured and privileged, and now, I’m looking forward to the new challenges that lie ahead.  I may need to detox in October after all these celebrations!!  HAHAHAA!!