A quick look at my journey into dentistry as a university course and career, thinking about the difficulties and hurdles applicants have to overcome.
In October an email was sent around to all the students at Queen Mary University of London asking for students to write down their experiences of getting in to university on no more than an A4 page. The idea was to eventually produce a video which would be used by the Widening Participation department at QMUL as a resource for schools and students. The rationale is that by sharing stories of students who had difficulties along the way to university that it would encourage those students who might be on the fence about applying or harboring doubts about their abilities to give it a shot.
As it happens my journey to university was slightly more bumpy than others and so I thought 'why not?!'. I quickly jotted down a few paragraphs, sent it off and promptly forgot all about it. Anyway, a couple of months later in December I received a reply informing me that my narrative was one of the ones chosen for the video. I was obviously very chuffed and also a bit nervous. The last time I did any sort of spoken performance were the Christmas plays in my primary school and all of a sudden here I was facing the prospect of learning a 3 minute narrative and doing multiple takes on location in front of a whole production team!
So I started redrafting, honing and practicing my lines trying to fit it in around lectures and clinics. Then before I knew it, it was time for my filming day. I was lucky enough to have a 1 hour session with a really helpful guy called Sylvan down at QM who was a great help. He coached me on my delivery and managed to get me speaking slightly more clearly, I felt a lot happier after having spoken to him. The day itself was bitterly cold, overcast and very windy! We had 3 main filming locations - Whitechapel Road, Royal London Dental Hospital and Victoria Park Band Stand. The finale of the video was shot outside the Queens building down at QM on a later date (We all had to remember to wear the same clothes for continuity).
Each location brought with it its own difficulties and challenges:
Whitechapel Road - This was our first filming location and so I was a bit nervous but things were going fairly well. However, after about 30 mins we were disturbed by this man who was running down our side of the street screaming and flapping his hands up and down like a pair of wings and bouncing off the walls. Taking one look at his eyes told me all I needed to know - I had no idea what he'd taken but I definitely didn't fancy any of it! Getting back down to filming after this took a while but we managed.
Dental Hospital - Our second filming location presented a slightly more mundane problem - wind. Unfortunately the road that passes in front of the Dental School is a very effective wind tunnel, great for keeping you cool in the summer, not so good for filming in the winter! As well as some builders who saw the cameras and fancied their 15 minutes of fame this location was relatively drama-free
Victoria Park - This was the final location of the day and everything seemed to be going fine until about 40 minutes in. Michelle - the lady who masterminded this whole video idea noticed that there was a gentleman concealed in a nearby bush engaging in spot of masturbation! After calling the police and alerting them to the randy gentleman a massive storm blew over us. (If that didn't ruin his mood I'm not sure that anything could!) This effectively put a stop to the filming for the foreseeable future and we retreated to the pub for hot chocolate. About 2 hours later it stopped raining and barring any return of the naughty bush-man we managed to finish off the rest of the filming. A very eventful day indeed!
Thanks for reading guys,
Bye for now.