In My Own Time

8th April 2011 at 01:00
Stephanie Farquhar, Probationer teacher of modern studies in Harris Academy, Dundee


- Being a newly-qualified teacher, I read for sheer escapism. Although I don't want to read something particularly taxing, I always pick material which relates back to my subject passions. I love Ben Elton's Past Mortem, which looks at catching psychopaths - handy for modern studies because of its dark humour. The Cone-Gatherers by Robin Jenkins, set during World War Two, is really enjoyable because of its clever links between 1940s local Scottish life and the war zones of Europe.


- During my spare time I am drawn towards watching documentary programmes such as Panorama and Dispatches, for their undercover insights into current affairs. Being a news junkie, watching any sorts of documentaries riles me and fills me with energy. There is something relaxing about sitting on the sofa, after a long and tiring day at work, shouting at the television because what is being said is either right or wrong. It also gives me plenty of ammunition to use in the modern studies classroom, and loads of interesting facts to share with my students.


- Lastly, and much as I am ashamed to admit it, musically I am a child of the Seventies (although I wasn't born until the late Eighties). My favourite music has to be by Led Zeppelin because of their hypnotic guitar riffs and off-beat rhythms (courtesy of the best drummer in the world, in my view, John Bonham). Whether listening to them before going to work or in the car, their beats and experimental sound wake me up and start my day with a bang. I especially love their song Kashmir because of its heavy sound and complex rhythms, although I feel the need to point out it was my favourite song before the X-Factor used it as its theme tune.

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