this is what days off look like

I’m feeling very lowercase today. I’m probably going to change my theme. Again.

I’m currently writing my matric final exams (similar grading system as the IB, if that helps?) and tomorrow is one of my demons: maths. Mathematics. Why is it even a thing? As if a day could be more anxiety ridden. (Ask me again the day before maths paper 2, physics, chemistry, results day..) I feel strange, and I did when I woke up this morning, so this post is just snippets from my day of never-ending stress, in short sentences. That’s all.

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I enjoy philosophy.

And yet you are all that you have, so you must be enough. There is no other way.
Maya Hornbacher

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After tomorrow’s exam, I will have a massive blister on this finger.

You’re growing, but you’re raising yourself.

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I’m quite overwhelmed.

If you need to get over yourself, you’ll know. Get over yourself.

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I loved taking this picture.

Things are possible.

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Things are currently not.

love and light,
shalom

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THIS IS WHY #FEESMUSTFALL | SOUTH AFRICAN STUDENT PROTESTS

October 2015 will sit comfortably at the top of the “young people taking action in South Africa in 2015” list. If you’re not from around here, get a drink at sit down, because you’re about to be schooled. Like South African students will not be able to next year because of fee hikes.

source: nehandaradio.com/tag/feesmustfall

In South Africa this month, fee hikes for all major tertiary institutions were announced. Some of these went up to 12%. The bottom line: fees for 2016 reached a record unrealistic high that the vast majority of students would not and could never be able to pay, for various reasons. [UPDATE: Minister of Higher Education claims that fee hikes will not exceed 6% across the board. This is unrealistic as fees are not standardised at South African universities. Students still claim that the fee increase is too high.]

Now, many people have their views. Some believe that the protests (which have spread to almost all universities resulting in a national shut down tomorrow) should not be happening. When the fees fall and benefit all, they won’t be on that side of the fence.

Let’s make this short, yeah?

The majority of students affected by the fee increase are black students. Why? Because of demographics. Now, white students, and other students of colour are certainly affected by the irrational increases, and will benefit in the same way as other students when the fees fall. I commented on the demographics issue (that most are unaware of somehow????????) last night on a new blog, and this is what I had to say:

Em,

I understand your perspective. I also understand why the generalisation [that white students can afford the fee increase] is somewhat offensive to the white students who will not be able to afford fees. What I don’t understand, is the idea that the protesting students are turning away fellow white students who want to join the protest. I have seen the protest, and been there today when I saw my sister, and I don’t believe that is the case.

Also, the fact that the generalisation exists comes down to demographics. 75% of the student population of Wits, and South africa, is black. Of those 75% (students), 75% cannot afford Wits fees as it is, due to the fact that their parents, much like your mother, cannot afford to send them to university as they work the jobs that 60% of black citizens work, i.e informal jobs, domestic labour & security guarding.

The matter of privilege is different entirely. Privilege refers to where you stand socially, and economically amongst other criteria, based on your race, gender, or social status. This isn’t something you can change. White privilege exists and it doesn’t mean that whites are financially privileged, but rather that as a population group (demographics, again) and due to injustices that will never be “fixed” regardless of BEE and “twenty years!” cries, and the vicious system of capitalism, every white person has and will continue to benefit from the colour of their skin. It’s factual, and nobody is wrong for having this privilege, because as I’ve said, there’s nothing to be done about, except being aware.

Being aware of your privilege is extremely important as you look introspectively at South Africa and further at the world. It is the only way we, as global citizens, and as the children who will grow up in the mess our parents and grandparents never had to, will manage.

Now, I’m going to get white people telling me that they are not privileged because they are not rich. *sigh* I’ve dealt with enough insults regarding this today, so I’m going to leave this here:

White privilege can be a tricky thing for people to wrap their heads around. If you’ve ever called out white privilege before, chances are you’ve heard responses like “But I’m didn’t ask to be born white!” or “You’re being reverse racist.”

The next time that happens, just show the nay-sayer this succinct comic by Jamie Kapp explaining what white privilege is — and what it isn’t.

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-http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/09/white-privilege-explained/

White privilege doesn’t mean you have more money than black people. It doesn’t mean you are financially privileged! It can include financial privilege due to past inheritance systems that POC have been systematically excluded from but it is not only that.

And finally, the the great Apartheid debate. It’s not a debate. The facts remain that the repercussions of a system that lasted from 1948 cannot be reversed in twenty one years. Systematic oppression of the past cannot be fixed if generations afterwards, the cycle of poverty still continues. Capitalism works that way. And THAT IS THE REALITY OF THE COUNTRY IN WHICH WE LIVE.

I’ve done so much fighting today. You would swear my finals aren’t in five days.

LONG LIVE THE SPIRIT OF SOLIDARITY, LONG LIVE

Love and light
Shalom

Best Song Ever: Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks

Song rec for the day. ATT: NOT HAPpY. NOT. HAPPY.

Popcornworld

Being relatively out of the modern musical loop, I come to The National’s latest album, High Violet, with no preconceptions – this is my first encounter with the band, and perhaps it says a bit too much about my age that I connect with the group not through whatever hipster cred they may carry, but because they come across as sonic cousins to a certain flavor of moody 1980s alternative that filled my youth.

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THE FINAL COUNTDOWN: ALUMNAE

As of this moment, I am a Parktown Girls alumnus.

It all seems very fancy and strange, and while I thought I’d be an emotional wreck, I’m not doing much but revelling in the fact that I received flowers, and the fact that it’s over. I am SO glad.

Finals start next week for most schools, and I have the entire week off exams…so I’d best start studying. Or something.

In any case, this is the culmination of moments of my last week of high school. I hope one day it’ll make me cry. Seriously. I think I have the emotional capacity of a teaspoon.

Thank you, Parktown. It’s been a time.

love and light,
shalom

THE FINAL COUNTDOWN: TWO DAYS TO GO

I almost didn’t write this post.

Many more people allowed me to take photographs of them today. I now have just about 58 minutes of footage that I will have to condense into a video no longer than three minutes. Lovely.

I had many of my “lasts” today. My last Dramatic Arts lesson, my last Physical Science lesson – and in all this, we, as the matrics, were exhausted. We were too tired to register that the regular alternate Wednesdays that we’d become so accustomed to would stop existing when tomorrow comes around. We don’t think things end but they do and here we are.

We think we’re invincible. I read this post about teenagers and our attitudes towards death  and growing old, and I recommend it 100%. It talks about how we think we’re “too young to die”. On that note, listen to this Panic!At The Disco song – it’s called Far Too Young To Die and it’s perfect.

When adults say, “Teenagers think they are invincible” with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die.

-John Green, Looking for Alaska

Today I felt as though I became aware that I will not be a teenager for much longer. I will not be a high schooler (?) for much longer. I will not be invincible for much longer.

Today, awards were given out based on favour rather than merit, and service, passion, and dedication of five years worth were disregarded and condensed into an A4 piece of card that may well have read, “Thanks for coming.”.

Today, I realised that there isn’t nearly enough time left to fix the wrongs we, as a class, have been faced with; to change things to the degree that they need to be changed; to leave lasting marks on walls and trophies and hearts, or to simply be.

We have always thought that we are invincible. Soon, we will learn the truth.

Love and light,
shalom

THE FINAL COUNTDOWN: 3 DAYS LEFT

I’m exhausted today.

I’m almost as exhausted as I was in the second week of this school year. I remember working so hard and SO INTENSELY that at one stage, my body was like, “Bro. Bro.  Are you serious? You really gonna do me like that?” It only lasted three months though, the hard work. I’m still exhausted.

So. Yes.

In any case, and because I am Buzzfeed TRASH, here’s a better written post than this will be: A Hundred Wise Words For Seniors Leaving For College. If you’re in matric and you read that sentence, it’s you. YOU are leaving for university soon.  As if you had to be reminded. As if the impending disaster that will be finals is not enough.

That’s it. That’s all I have today. I have tips for tertiary education and maths problems to cry about. You know which ones. The circle geometry ones. You know which ones.

Love and light
shalom x

THE FINAL COUNTDOWN: 4 DAYS LEFT

I KEEP GETTING HIT BY PANIC WAVES AND I DO NOT APPRECIATE IT

I walked around school with my camera today, and I recorded little pieces of footage that I’d like to remember. It seemed strange to a lot of the girls – after all, I was taking 20 second videos of once shiny black school shoes shuffling to class after a meeting that DID NOT NEED TO TAKE UP MY ENTIRE BREAK. Yes.

The video footage aside, I had conversations with some of the most radical ladies I have ever had the privilege of meeting and talking to. We talked, yelled, debated, and laughed about drunk adventures, whitewashing in our school, the plight of the black woman in the world that we live in, ridiculous hair regulations, and why some boys are So. Thirsty. It was brilliant, and despite the 32°C temperature (that’s 90°F?) we managed to disturb the peace and have a phenomenal time.

I got emotional and nostalgic. As expected.

It pained me to think that whether I like it or not, this week may well be the last time I get to have these conversations with these people. I think it’s a shared matric sentiment: the thought that the people who you’ve loved and lived with for more than a quarter of your life will soon go on and create new lives, often without you, is nerve wrecking. And sad. Mostly sad.

This week, if not this entire year, has made me cherish the people in my grade more than I have in a long time. The class of 2015, the ‘black badges’ – we’ve never been favourites. We’ve probably seen the most high school dropouts and caused the most trouble for all of our respective schools. 1997 (for the most part) must have been a crazy year. Just saying.

In any case, high school as a whole has provided me with a lot – bruises, failures and heartbreak, as well as conversations I’ll miss and points of view that I’ll treasure. I’m going to keep recording this week, and hopefully fewer and fewer people will shy from my lens.
Eugh. Lasts and goodbyes are hard to navigate. I’m going to pretend to study, like the rest of us.

Love and light,
shalom


featured image from http://projectgrad2015.vpweb.com/Announcements.html

THE FINAL COUNTDOWN: 5 DAYS TO GO

This is a brief lil’ post-a-day series for the next week or so regarding my last days at high school. That sounded way, way more intense than I initially intended.


So, I’m finishing high school in five days. Well, not really, but technically. See, I won’t be a student anymore -my valediction is on Thursday- but I’ll still have to come back to write my final exams for four weeks, I think. I’m not sure. All the shit is terrifying.

I keep thinking about how I’m going to deal once school is over. See, I hate school, but it’s also pretty much the only constant I have in my life. If I didn’t go school, I wouldn’t see my friends, eat, or exercise because lord knows, those stairs and my thighs have had an appointment. Also, I’m a little stressed out at the fact that nothing is concrete for me at present? Like, the majority of the students in my year have plans: Finish school. 2 month break. Get results. University. I’m kind of in between every single one of these phases, like: Finish School. Retake SAT. Find job. Work. Get results. Send results to McGill. Find out if accepted into McGill. ET CETERA.

To cut a long and particularly haphazard story short, I’m tired and terrified. I don’t know how I’m going to take this week, or why I’m not studying for finals, or what I’m going to be doing at school tomorrow. I don’t know.

Essentially, I’m just really tired, and I want cuddles and a high speed internet connection.

In a word: Ugh.

Love and light,
shalom

Thoughts On “Carmilla” Season Two

THIS SHOW IS AMAZING \0/ ENGIE IS AMAZING \0/ EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS.

[Seriously. Click this. Holy cow.]

Source: Thoughts On “Carmilla” Season Two

This post will be about season two as a whole, but I’ve split it up into two parts: The first part is more general, and the second part is about the characters and… well, there are plenty of things in it that AREN’T spoilery, but there are also spoilers mixed in with it. So if you haven’t caught up on all the episodes, it’s probably a good idea to stick with just the first half.

Enjoy!