Happy New Year 2018

Another January...  Another round of new starts and good intentions and hopes and aspirations and fresh efforts.  Good luck to everyone who is trying to harness the new year energy to make a positive change and move forward in fresh hope.

At EUTC, we are certainly re-emphasising our high expectations and we've pressed go on our exams countdown calendar!   There are only 16 weeks left until our first exams.  Our students have returned with renewed urgency to complete coursework and practical assessments and get ready for the pending examinations.

Interestingly, our assembly calendar gave us a very relevant word for the week at the start of this new year...  the word was 'verisimilitude' and it means 'the appearance of being true or real'.

Verisimilitude refers to how a sense of realism is constructed in the film industry.  Before Christmas, I took my daughter to the Harry Potter Experience at the Warner Bros Studios tour.  As a fan of film, I was delighted by all the geeky and techy examples of the lengths the creative teams went to in order to construct  the Harry Potter world.  The intricacies and tiny details which give the Hogwarts world a sense of reality and truth were often breath taking.  For example, when I saw Professor Snape's potions classroom, I was amazed to see that the insides of all the text books have actually been designed and printed (even though they are not seen on camera).  Over 500 oil paintings were produced to adorn the walls of the castle, hundreds of hats were made and all the sets were planned many times over to scale prior to actual construction.  The vision of the productions was simply impressive and the attention to detail was staggering.  

It got me thinking more about how the little details are so important to making something real.  Tiny details which may not even be seen or noticed at first are actually crucial to creating truth and building a world that you can believe in.  This week, we had a professional lecture from Chris Gray - a prop maker who has recently worked on Star Wars.  He was presenting some of his work and talking to students about the detail and precision of his craft.

I have been talking to students about this in assembly all this week.  Like on the Star Wars set, and the Harry Potter set, we are similarly trying to build something here at EUTC.  Every day, we are trying to develop a college that is unique and magical.  We similarly have a vision which we are trying to realise - a truth which we are trying to establish.  And just like on these film projects, it is the little things which make the difference - the way we speak to each other; the way we focus on our learning; the details we put into our work; the listening and learning which we then put into practice; the trying again and again until it is our best work.  Attention to detail and committed effort will help to create a wonderful learning experience which we can all believe in.

Happy new year - let's be people of detail and effort in 2018.

Chris Mitchell