Tuesday, 25 October 2016

It’s a grey day here in Shoreditch

The sun cannot penetrate the clouds; it looks like it might rain; the air is chilly due to a moderate breeze coming in from… somewhere. Not a very nice day, and it is Tuesday. Well, I hope that is sufficiently negative for you. This view from my window. This dull grey view. However… please challenge me. You must. Don’t just accept what I am saying. How authentic is my view of the day? How valuable are my words?

There are no strong winds, no ice, no snow, no torrential rain, and no flood. The sun might be out later, and the breeze might drop, but so what if it doesn’t? Is there going to be any major impact on my life? And if it rains, it helps crops to grow. We need crops to grow don’t we?

Well, I hope that is sufficiently positive for you. Soon it will be Tuesday night and I will be home in a warm house. It sounds like you would be right to challenge my initial negativity. Then again, somewhere near here there will be a person sleeping rough, among the City splendour of towers of glass and steel. They will be wrapped up in a doorway probably not thinking of crops when it starts to rain. And so the pendulum swings. We live our personal lives in a world of subjectivity, which can be skewed and restricted but which makes life a little easier to understand and order, as it is based on elements of our own creation. However this view of the world may not be feasible beyond our own personal transactions.

‘Humanity’ and ‘Progress’ require of us something more… critical objectivity. A more truthful view of life which forms a solid foundation for humans to build upon. How truthful is that truthful view? I cannot say. What I do know is that through academic study we learn to see the world more as it really is, and less as it is convenient to see, and that this sets us free on so many levels. So I will now leave my subjectivity at the window and return to the critically objective world in my classroom, where student and teacher alike will enter a fascinating and noble world of discovery. Join us here at ECBM for some critical thinking!

Graham Harman-Baker

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Welcome to ECBM in the heart of London

Today is a typical London day: white clouds float in a blue sky, over red buses and black taxis. The roads are humming with cars and lorries, all going somewhere, and doing something for someone. The pavements are filled with a rich diversity of people: hairstyles and dress sense sometimes challenge the imagination, but lift the soul as London ‘smiles’ on its open-minded diversification. Yes London is open for business.

I grew up just a few minutes from the college, when it was an area for the poorer members of society. Our first flat had no hot water or bathroom. Opposite where I lived you can now find designer flats worth in excess of £1,000,000. Shoreditch has pulled itself up in a transformation which has been the result of courageous and far-sighted people who could see the potential of bringing in better class restaurants, bars and bistros, and who could see the appeal of living so near to the City.

And here in Shoreditch is ECBM. Solidly the building stands in Great Eastern Street, as it has for many years, and watches over the transformation of the area, the attraction of the young and fashionable, the City people, the artists, and the evolution of Shoreditch in to a brighter vibrant place. Inside the building there is continuity, as more transformation and evolution takes place, of the lives of our students, who will focus and apply themselves, open their minds, learn and understand, and rise to even brighter careers.

I realise that I don’t feel part of Shoreditch as an inhabitant anymore; too much has changed.

As an ECBM academic, sharing the transformations, being part of the evolution of our students, I would not wish to be anywhere else. Come and join us in the heart of London, here at ECBM.

Graham Harman-Baker