Inequality is Alive and Well in South Africa

I’m sitting here trying to think of a blog post idea while hiding from every person that passes me by. Why? Because I’m using a computer that is reserved for the use of UKZN Law students only.

I get that the Law library burnt down and that is truly very sad but here is what pisses me off.

The Law students get their own library and LAN. The Engineering students get their own LAN and their side of the campus is like something out of a movie. The Humanities students- supposedly the largest body of students according to whoever was giving the speech on Orientation Day- get NOTHING.

Our toilets are always messy. We have stuffy, overcrowded classrooms and LANS. We don’t have fancy taps in the toilet that sense when you’re near and automatically open. We don’t have a luxurious library with computers reserved just for us (which is probably a good thing after what happened to the Law library). Hell, we’re lucky if we even have toilet paper in the toilets. Now that I think about it even our printing credit machines hardly ever work. Of course this means that we need to go use the credit machine in the Law library.

My point is this: For a university that is supposedly part of a new South African, UKZN has some serious inequality issues between the students and their field of study. Don’t even get me started on racism and sexism. But yes, those are also alive and well in SA too.

Quick Life Update

I know I haven’t really blogged much lately and I feel horrible about it. The WordPress app on my phone wasn’t working and I was too busy at college to get to a computer and blog. Ironically now that I do have free time, my university is on a strike. I swear I will try and make time to blog more frequently once everything calms down.

 

September Book Haul and Ghosts of The Past 

Got this amazing selection of books from a second-hand book-stall. What makes this is a pretty big deal is that the “second-hand stall” was held by the SPCA. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it here but the SPCA put my dog down two years ago and it still upsets me.

For years I supported the SPCA and it pissed me off when I took my dog to them and their version of help was to tell us to put her down. I was even more upset when I came across stories from people who said that the SPCA told them to put their dogs down. They took their dogs to their local vet and the dogs got better with time. So yeah I was incredibly hurt. Going to the SPCA booksale hurt me because there was once a time when I was the one who donated stuff for the SPCA to sell.

I pretended like I didn’t know where the proceeds from the book sale went. This worked really well for me as you can see in the picture above. However once we paid (the books were over R300) the lady selling the books thanked us for “supporting their cause”.

I spent the afternoon and the night afterwards crying. I didn’t know who or how many pets my money would save but I did know that it certainly wouldn’t be enough. Someone somewhere would still lose a pet. And that hurt like hell.

I’m hoping to make my visits to the SPCA booksale a regular thing. It’s a good way for me to get new books and maybe move past my SPCA issues.

Can We Please Stop Judging People’s Decisions?

It seems like everyone and their mother has an opinion on what I should do once I graduate. So far, none of those opinions have included or required any of my input. And all this unsolicited advice seems to go along the same route- basically everyone wants me to go do postgraduate studies.

Which would be great if a) it was something I wanted to do or even  if b) People would suggest postgraduate studies instead of simply telling me “you should go do Honours”.

I’ve always known that I wanted to be a journalist which is why I chose to major in Journalism. People just seem to ignore that and it is seriously pissing me off. Which brings me to my next issue with postgraduate studies. If I was to study further, I would prefer to do my Honours in English Studies. I would also prefer to study all the way until PhD so that I can lecture in a university-level English classroom. However that is more of a back-up plan than a goal. Like I’ve said so many times since I was twelve, journalism is the career I want. And like people have done so many times since I was twelve, my decision is being ignored.

My question is this, when did society decide what we can and cannot do? I am sick and tired of being considered odd simply because I don’t follow the stereotypes of what society expects us to do. I’ve seen friends complain about how people expect them to marry and have kids. Like postgraduate studies, starting a family is a great idea if it’s what you want. I remember being totally shocked when an old friend got married at the age of twenty. However my shock quickly melted away when I remembered that she always had been the mother of our friend group. Marriage would certainly suit her. However when other people found out (okay I couldn’t resist bragging that I had grown up with someone who was now getting married), I remember someone asking me if she was pregnant.

Last I checked, everyone had a life of their own. Why don’t we all focus on living our own lives instead of dictating how people live theirs? Some people want to get married, some people want to study, some people want to go start their own business. Unless their plans somehow seriously harm you, I really don’t see what the big deal is.

If we all followed the same life path, we would essentially be copies of each other and what would be the fun in that? People need to step back and allow others to do what makes them happy instead of what they think society would have wanted them to do.

Life as a Second-Semester Senior 

There’s always been much for me to worry about as a second-semester senior even without actually being a second-semester senior.

I’m supposed to update my resume, start the job search, make a final decision on whether or not I’m pursuing postgraduate studies (and if so, in which of my two majors would I continue studying?). However the day before my 21st birthday, the driver of my liftclub altered my second-semester to-do list. He announced to us that he would be getting a new job and we needed to find new transport. 

Most liftclubs take new members at the beginning of the year so I knew that finding a new liftclub would be difficult. Another thing that worried me was that in my first liftclub, the people delighted in making me miserable. I would even go as far as to say that they were bullies. The end result of their horrid ways was that I left the liftclub as well as my “friends” from high school (Life Lesson: It’s important to know the difference between “friends” and Friends. Sometimes it may take an unpleasant experience to learn the difference but you’ll be better off in the end).

After much searching I did find a liftclub. And boy was it majorly different from both my first liftclub and the second. The people were so friendly I couldn’t help but be suspicious. (So much so that I eventually broke down one day in tears because I had no idea how to respond to them and worried that they would think I was being rude). This liftclub was also huge- with about thirty people. I also no longer needed to wake up at 5AM and was home immediately after my class.

However everything has a downside and for my liftclub the downside is the van. On the first day of campus I opened the van door, only for it to close on me.

On day two, there was a different van with a faulty door that didn’t open unless you put in alot of strength.
I don’t have alot of strength. 

As far as downsides go, these aren’t so bad. It sucks that I’m still so terrified of the people in my new liftclub turning out to be as horrible as the ones in my old liftclub. Especially since these people have been nothing but pleasant to me. However try as I might, I really can’t let go of the past.

My Birthday Book Haul (I think I’m done for the month)

This month was really great for me since I purchased signed copies of Lady Midnight and the Creepy Hollow series (which was on sale for R20 EACH!!!). I also found the last Vampire Diaries book and my father bought me the remaining three books pictured above for my birthday.

I also won a Me Before You hamper from Penguin Books South Africa. I don’t have the book though so that’s a mistake that needs to be fixed immediately.

What was your bookhaul for the month?

5 Lessons Learnt from Gossip Girl

It’s been…a really long time since Gossip Girl ended (sorry but I can’t count the actual time because it will make me cry like a baby). The lessons the show has taught us however will last forever. Much like Blair and Chuck’s romance (or so we hope). Here are 5 lessons from Gossip Girl.

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1) If your boyfriend cheats on you, do NOT take him back. It doesn’t matter if he’s hot. It doesn’t matter if he says he won’t speak to the other girl again,DO NOT TAKE HIM BACK.

2) You’re not a stop along the way, you’re a destination- Kinda ironic that the woman who said this took her cheating boyfriend back but I’ll try not to judge.

3) “Friends” are fickle but friends are forever- Despite Blair and Serena’s many ups and downs they were (usually) always there for each other. Blair’s minions however were a let-down time and time again. Anyone remembers how they attached themselves to Serena in season one when she decided she wanted to be a bad girl again?

4) You don’t always get what you want but that’s okay – Am I the only one who cried when Blair didn’t get into Yale? I was as heartbroken as she was. After all, if the Queen Bee couldn’t get into her dream school, what did that say about the rest of us? That episode taught me that things in life may not always go as planned but it doesn’t mean you should give up.

5) Always dress your best- The fashion on Gossip Girl was one of my favourite things about the show. The characters wore amazing outfits and they wore them with confidence.

What lessons did you learn from Gossip Girl?