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Ask Alice, with Alice McVeigh

Cheating on degrees, pictures of meat and the principal cello,
with classical music agony aunt ALICE McVEIGH

? ' Hi Alice,

Prefer not to give my name but I feel right fed up with what is going on in my county youth orchestra. Why is it that the conductor only ever speaks to the first cello and never to the first viola? What's so great about the cellos? Also favours woodwind over brass.
'
Name withheld

Ask Alice

Alice Dear anon,

What's so great about the cello?

WHAT'S SO GREAT ABOUT THE CELLO?

WHAT'S SO GREAT ABOUT THE CELLO?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don't get me started!!!!!! The cello is the most eloquent, elegant, elegiac instrument known to man. Your conductor is entirely in the right to constantly seek the consolation/advice of his true comrade-in-arms, the principal cello. Think of it this way: the leader is the royalty. The numero uno cello is Prime Minister. (As the late, great, John Martin once instructed his section: 'Never relinquish your right to determine the tempo!')

Indeed, your conductor's attitude shows remarkably sound judgement compared to those who prefer to talk to (no sigh of jealousy here, no way, not me!!!) the leader/concertmaster. (I hold no special brief for the woodwind, however. They get more than enough general attention compared to the brass ...)

I can say though that, in a general sense, getting said attention isn't necessarily quite so hot as you suppose.

For example, attention can cut both ways. Say you're the principal cello and appealed to on a nice point of musical judgement; the only trouble being that you haven't got an opinion, due to having been gossiping with desk-partner when said point came up.

Or assume you're principal cello and you don't happen to have a pithy opinion on tap. Don't tell me about leaders/concertmasters. Such violins practice such 'witticisms' as 'Let's try less bow/playing nearer the fingerboard / watching the bow angle on the G-string / trying a flatter bow hair / less pressure on the left fingers', and dispense same at the drop of a hat. Cellists, on the other hand, can be left saying, 'Uh, where? Um, what? Er, was there something uncool about it?'

In other words, attention is great if you know the work and have your wits about you. Otherwise, it is 'Oh bu**** it' time.)

Yours,
Alice
Principal cello
Bromley Symphony Orchestra

Ask Alice

? ' Dear Alice,

I'm sorry that this has zero to do with classical music, but as a fellow writer (and fellow ghost writer) I just wondered what you make of Bizreef?

Here is the latest of their 'assignments' fit for aspiring freelance writers to bid on:

Nutrients assignment. Food group MEAT. (HEADING) 1. INTRODUCTION 2.TABLE OF CONTENTS 3.NUTRITRIONAL (VALUE, COMPOSITION,ENERGY) 4. DIETARY/DIETETIC VALUE. 5.BUYING. 6.STORING. 7. ALLERGIES IF ANY. 8. USE OF FOOD. 9.RECIPE. 10.EFFECTS OF HEATING. 11.CONCLUSION. 12. RECOMMEDITIONS IF ANY . 13. BIBLIOGRAPHY. PICTURES OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF MEAT CAN ALSO BE ADDED TO FILL UP THE PAGES

No fee is mentioned, but am I right in assuming that this is, er, an attempt to farm out one's work for a degree? Not to mention the crap spelling?

'
Disgruntled in St Albans

Ask Alice

Alice Dear Dis,

Oh yes indeedy. Oh I couldn't agree more. We are looking here at a determined attempt to hire a brain-for-hire by one who was tragically born-without-same-yet-somehow- struggled-on-to-a-degree course. Yet some of Bizreef would-be employers are even more blatant than the one you spotted. Get a load of these (all taken from the current work on offer):

Need of a Paper in MLA format 2 pages long, double spaced on Jackie Gleason with 3 quotations and websites MLA style

OR

HRM Ethics writter (sic)
I need a 2800 word law assignment done. It is a report to a client on a fact situation provided. I have done 90% of the research as part of a previous assignment and can provide that annotated bibliography and essay outline both with corrections/comments from the lecturer.

Prefer it done within 24hrs which I imagine isn't to hard for anyone past year 1 law.

OR this simple:

Take any one business ethical issue you are familiar with. Analyze it from one or more established ethical standpoints that have been discussed in the module.

I frankly don't know where these writers -- and I use the term in its most limited possible sense, see spellings -- get their nerve from. They might as well just buy their 'degrees' from one of these fake online universities as fork out (though not, it is certainly true, at any vast expense) to hire desperate if genuine writers at such desperate prices. And what price the 'writers' who assist them? Don't their consciences twinge a bit in the middle of a darkish night? (I know writers are generally poor. But to sell your skills for such a purpose??) And what about Bizreef? Wakey wakey!! These guys are using your site to cheat on their degrees!!!!! Doesn't that maybe bug you a little??

Yours, disgusted,
Tunbridge Wells (and points north)

Copyright © 24 October 2008 Alice McVeigh, Kent UK

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