The past weeks have been particularly stressful with university, work and other pre-occupations, such as family and a somewhat needy man.
As you know from the video above, I have been quite wrong-footed with writing the past weeks and barely managed to motivate me to anything. Even blogging became somehow a source of stress, but now I want to show you why I love baking and hopefully herald a new era of disciplined blogging.
In the six months I have been as skint as I have never been before and even though it sucked on various levels, I can now appreciate the benefits gained from being unable to follow every financial wish you have.
It's been a while, which is primarily because I have been super, super busy with uni and work. Finally, I got some classes to teach, so I am back in the classroom, but as a tutor, which is infinitely better than being a regular teacher.
Initially, I didn't want to write this week, as it is going to be my birthday (yay!) and I decided I didn't have to put pressure on writing during my birthday week (no idea what the excuse for all the other weeks was).
However, I am momentarily tortured in a really terrible lecture and felt compelled to write about it, so that the time wasn't a complete waste. Having returned to university for my master's degree, I must conclude that the university system sucks as much as it did back when I obtained my BA. I am appalled by how abstract, theoretical and utterly nonsensical most of the classes and tasks are and how they have nothing to do with the real world or later possibilities of the real world.
Me not wanting to pursue a career in academics (anymore), I am pretty upset about this limited opportunities, as I would love to have a rounded-off and complex introduction into what kind of academic I could become instead of what the university imposes on me. Still, and I am in my freaking master's degree, I have to comply to teacher's ideas of how academic writing should look like and you must also know that EVERYONE has a different idea of what that should look like. On teacher passionately stresses the important of positioning myself within my academic word, using "I" and "my" because "my thesis" cannot argue, but I can. Then, class 2, I am told that you should NEVER EVER use personal pronouns because you're an academic loser is you do so.
Secondly, the tasks to complete are not only majorly useless, but will not further my career or be helpful for any other purpose. I don't understand why, especially in a master's degree, your essays, articles, papers, etc. cannot be published somewhere, or at least it is encouraged to hand them in and get reviews on them.
Now, to the present lecture. It is a series lecture, which means the lecturers change weekly, presenting their piece of the pie for a specific topic (the concept of home, in this case). It is, certainly, a very interesting topic, but all lecturers have failed to give good presentations up to this point and I do not understand why this is not addressed, reviewed, criticised or even in any way met with consequences (I am not suggesting to fire anyone who cannot give a presentation...well, maybe I am).
These people get MONEY for this shit, standing in a room of more dead than alive people, speaking with three decibel and failing to introduce a proper structure of their presentation but feel great about themselves as academics, sitting in their high castles and writing paper NO ONE wants to read.
I am sorry for the ranty tone, but this is driving me insane. I am not a good academic writer (which is fine, there is no audience in it, as it seems), but I can spot a bad presenter if I see one and ALL OF THEM have been poor presenters so far and I know no one will walk up to them (I am talking about their supervisors here) and tells them they sucked epically, so they think they did a good job).
I believe the major problem with university is the high castle I introduced earlier. Most of these people have little to no contact with the real world in which most people have to live and endure, writing papers in such abstract and theoretical terms they have lost any access to different perceptions of reality. It is fascinating that in a fortress of knowledge and education, I find myself most repressed when it comes to uttering my opinions and thoughts because there is a clear academic code which indoctrinates what to think, whom to deem superior and, most importantly, what not to think.
Coming from some sort of real world (teaching and nannying is as real as it gets), I find myself struggling to fit into this head-centred, perfectly manicured world in which undesirable topics are swished under the carpet, or only acceptable within the realms of a paper, safely structured, organised and quoted.
We as students get graded, assessed, evaluated every single day, but I think at university level it should be a mutual process. Why can people grade me according to their own limited vision of a concept but I have to endure their horribly structured and executed lectures, having no power to criticise or "complain about the service". I have to swallow what they give me, regardless of how poorly done it is, yet am exposed to scrutiny every day.
This is not me whining about being assessed. I don't mind being assessed by experts on the field, as long as it is feasible, relatable and useful - which, as I perceive it, at university it often isn't.
I should insert here that I actually raised my hand to tell her she should speak up, but it didn't do any good - I don't think she's capable of speaking louder, actually, but I tried.
I wish students would concern themselves more with the service they are given - and also complain, criticise and assess the service on a daily basis because if no one every points it out, how is it going to change?
I know I have been AWOL for some time, but the Easter break is on and I am currently home, enjoying the benefits of it (seriously, why did I ever leave? This is like having a free housemaid and a private cook!)
Over the past few days, I have been wanting to write on this blog on various occasions, but always seemed to forget what I wanted to write about the minute I sat down. So I decided to simply shut up and write, regardless of whether it makes too much sense and squeeze a couple of thoughts of the past weeks into this post.
I have some posts planned for the next days, but this is to get warmed up again (with the blog and each other), so let's start.
Last week was very busy for me. I had my last week of uni before the break, Yoga teacher training on the weekend, and a friend came to visit me, which is always nice, but also quite tiring (at least for me, no offence).
Having visitors is fantastic; however, I find that space becomes one of the most important assets regarding visitors as you grow older. When I was a teenager, I didn't mind being crammed into a room with four of my friends for an entire week - on the contrary, it was a heck of a time. Now, I feel I need my space to retreat and, obviously, our flat isn't too big and with visitors constantly flowing in to see us in our new setting, it can become quite oppressive at times (I'm sorry if you're reading this having been one of these visitors, I am not saying I didn't enjoy your company, it's just a general thought on the whole concept of hosting). Having a refuge - for both the host and guest - is, in my opinion, the key to entertainment, and so I will ensure that if I ever have a house, a guestroom will be a must.
Moving on from there, I had Yoga class again the whole weekend, which was very interesting, but also rather tiresome - mainly because we have to sit on mats the whole time and now my back is killing me. Another sad reminder, I am not eighteen anymore.
The Yoga classes are pretty interesting; however, the only thing that annoys me a bit is the whole "religious" part about it. For me Yoga is about the body forming a relationship to the mind. I don't care who Shiva is or Shakti or all of these other deities of Asian religious descent. As I am not religious, it can be quite tedious to permanently listen to these God stories, but I am pretending to be in a history class, so it becomes easier to endure.
Interestingly enough, the question whether Yoga was a religion or not was posed during the class. Now, I would argue, Yoga - as I perceive it - is not a religion. As already stated, for me it is about finding a connection with your body - which can be also done by any other healthy sport (which simply means, no excessive sport).
The consensus of the group also was quickly to agree it wasn't a religion, though upon the class content, I couldn't help feeling it had a LOT to do with religion, and similarities with Christianity, that is. We discussed the old stories of the Bhagavad Gita and it read like the first section of the Old Testament - son of, son of, son of, with a healthy bit of sexism in the mix.
Then, the teacher got out a kind of "Mantra necklace" which has little pearls on it and for each pearl you repeat the same mantra. Sounds familiar? Well, it does to me and I didn't know they had fancy Yoga rosaries in a "non-religious philosophy".
Also the words "holy", "deity" and "God(s), we're still in Hinduism" were being used, which made not making a relation to religion pretty hard (and staying awake during all these hours of God lessons instead of practicing Yoga...).
Another thought which struck me last week, was the notion of how much I have grown to hate shopping. Seriously, consider it, it absolutely sucks. Having been skint for the past months (a post on the benefits of being skint soon to follow), I was eager to quench my thirst for shopping and shame-talked my mother into buying shit for me. So the four Reitlinger girls were found in the local shopping centre and just after some minutes I realised that this was awful and I hadn't actually missed it AT ALL! My shoulders hurt from the bag, my feet hurt from walking, my nose was running because these centres are painstakingly overheated and I was so eager to sit down, drink and eat, I couldn't appreciate the retail items spreading out in front of me. I just wanted to be done with it already and, barely an hour later, the sweat running down my exhausted body, we hissed the white flag and went into a restaurant in which we greedily gobbled up anything they offered on the menu.
Additionally, I must add that I was primarily shopping for jeans, which is the worst kind of shopping (apart from underwear, probably). Squeezing your sweaty, fat arse into a skinny jeans in an overheated shopping centre should be ascribed to a torture method and I can only say I am done with shopping. From becoming a wonderful leisure time activity I shared with friends, it has become another tedious task on the endless list of adult shit things you have to accomplish during everyday life and whenever I can shop online, I am eternally grateful (seriously, the exhilaration I previously got from entering a store is now achieved by an Amazon parcel in my mail box).
Don't get me wrong, I am not done consuming (though, actually, I am at the moment, being skint as a badger), but I am done shopping. Once and for all!
Lastly, I want to discuss how absolutely negative Facebook has become. Apart from the whole Cambridge Analytica crap going on and the Trump campaign (oh dear, can this be over already), I have noticed over the past months that regardless of what you post, you will earn a shit storm on Facebook. And Facebook only, as it seems. I have never seen the sheer amount of unnecessary hatred on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or LinkedIn. I have the feeling you could post a rainbow-shitting unicorn on Facebook and you would earn hate comments. Just think about it. Homophobes could hate on the glorification of homosexuality whereas homosexuals could argue that by putting their international symbol (the flag, not the unicorn) next to a unicorn may suggest homosexuality is as fantastic a concept as a unicorn. Anti-racist groups can attack you for choosing a white unicorn. Why not black? Or any other colour? Oh, and of course the vegans would write something as passive-aggressive as "sure, liking the nice unicorn but then eating a cow..."
You see, nothing is sacred anymore - not even the sacred things. We have learnt to hate on everything which is provided by the mask of anonymity social media has given us and I can only say, if anybody pulls this shit on your feed, please, please report it, as I think people have to learn their actions and words also have consequences on social media - at least they should have.
Alright, this was the long update after the Easter break and I will keep you posted about further developments in my life and, of course, intrigue your minds with posts on various systems, etc. etc. and I am happy to be reunited with y'all and I hope you had a great Easter and good the goodies you wanted.
Writer. Editor. Blogger. YouTuber. Freelancer. Traveller. English fanatic.