In My Own Time

19th August 2011 at 01:00
Graeme Kirkpatrick - Depute president of the National Union of Students Scotland


As a kid growing up in the bubble that is the Orkney Islands, discovering punk rock really did change my life. Everything I have done since can be traced back to seeing Green Day perform Welcome to Paradise on Top of the Pops. It was music with real meaning, music that mattered. From there, I got into The Clash. At the moment, I can't get enough of folkpunk singer- songwriter Frank Turner. He literally sings my soul. Having said all that, though, I still quite enjoy 5ive and S Club 7!


The first book that truly blew my mind at a young age was Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. It showed me that whatever assumptions and perceptions we have of society, they are all just social constructs. Anything can change if we really want to make it happen. On a side note, I think every teacher and lecturer in the country should be required to read Walking on Water by Derrick Jensen before they start their job.


I really enjoy films that actually say something or challenge the perceived norms of our culture; American History X, Dances with Wolves and Fight Club spring immediately to mind. I recently saw Into the Wild, which was incredible. Documentary-wise, I would recommend the recent You've Been Trumped, about Donald Trump's golf course near Aberdeen, and anything by John Pilger. His films always test your view of the world.


The only show I never miss is The Apprentice. It probably represents everything that is wrong with society but it's incredibly compelling viewing. I also love political satire and it seems to be making a real comeback; Channel 4's 10 O'Clock Live was phenomenal.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today