Professional Practice

Tomorrow afternoon I will get given a piece of paper which will quantify how good my personality is out of a 100. I’m not joking. This is not a drill. This is Professional Practice.

All week I’ve been overthinking this performance review and it’s been giving me mild anxiety. I like to think of myself as a mostly level-headed person but this year the heat really has turned up in the kitchen.

While I’ve enjoyed absolutely all of the highs and lows and wouldn’t change them for anything – I am starting to regret the time I tried to suppress an ugly cry in front of my tutor when a story fell through in the last minute. You think there’s nothing worse than ugly crying until you hear the sound your body makes when you try to suppress a sob. Don’t try it at home. Parental supervision is advised. I also regret the time I smacked my friend’s arse only to turn around and be face to face with the tutor. There’re countless more things I’m sure to regret but we don’t have all day.

Every minute we arrived late, let out a few too many yawns, looked down at our phones at the wrong moment, is judged and written down as an evaluation of how fit we are to be journalists.

While I see how it’s useful for our future employers to know if we can be polite individuals, the report doesn’t fully account for the times no one of authority was in the room. It doesn’t fully account for the times we’ve shared black forest chocolate by the kg, offered back up stories when things hit the fan, driven classmates to interviews that have nothing to do with our own grades, proofread countless articles for each other and it damn sure doesn’t account for all the times there’ve been words of encouragement when your own mind forgets what you’re capable of. Β This only accounts for 20% of the grade.

I’m sure tomorrow will be fine – it will all work out. But to the 21 of you that are sure to be overthinking alongside me tonight – I love you even when you ugly cry.

 

Burning building

 

riccarton-fire-4
by Kethaki Masilamani

 

A long hose mapped our course

A fireman said they’re still looking for the source.

From the neon truck to what used to be home

to eight young men who’d escaped the fire –

so far only remnants, no explanation, no hope, situation dire.

 

Flood lights exposed charred corners;

The ceiling dripped, doused from quick reactions.

The house stood, gutted by flames – but she had no mourners.

She stood alone, humiliated from years of protecting their infractions.

 

They’d left in her all their belongings,

jumped down from balconies with heat on their heels.

Burnt couches, crushed beer cans, shattered glass, and broken skateboards.

No flat farewell, no last meals.

Video edited by George Berry. Footage by Kethaki