So listen…I’m at work at a Drum&Bass event and I’m approached by someone wanting a drink.. This seems all very normal – it is. Double vodka red bull: Normal. £2.70: Normal. She pays with a £5 note: Normal. White powder on my hands after handling the note: DEFINITELY NOT NORMAL.

I don’t think I’ve ever overreacted more. I mean..I was justified. It’s not every day that I have illegal residue on my hands. It was very difficult to keep calm. But what’s worse is, the fact that the girl whose not it was was completely nonchalant about it. Didn’t seem to care! Like nothing was amiss. It was very odd.

So, after washing my hands at least 6 times (with alcohol gel and bleach) I went home and after conveying the events to my housemates discovered that my reaction was completely normal. My housemates said that they surely would’ve reacted in the same way. It was SHOCKING.

A xo

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6 Months in Overdrive

OK OK…I know it’s been a while! But it’s been all systems go over the last 6 months and I just haven’t had a chance to sit down and put my thoughts into coherent sentences.
In the past 6 months I have: graduated university, moved ‘back home’, moved in with my boyfriend (a whole different ball game to living with students!), started a new job (Oo the challenges!) and raising a menagerie…before I know it, it’s Christmas!!

I had no idea how difficult it would be to re-tune myself to the real world after leaving university. The first few months were great. I had independence, motivation and a smug qualification under my belt. I was ready to start a new chapter in my life, be a grown up and worry about all the grown up things in the world. But I couldn’t help feeling sad when September came around and I was hearing about all the students returning to uni, and thinking “That was me.” — emphasis on the was. But is that enough to push me back into academic life? Missing it. I don’t think I miss student life, partying, or even the student loan (well, maybe a little!) I actually missed learning more than all of that. For a while, it was hard to get excited about my job. Then after slapping myself a few times, shouting to my reflection in my rear-view mirror “SO! WHAT ARE YA GONNA DO?!” I decided to push myself into learning at work (which is called training…) It helped, a lot.

All I have to tackle now, is living with a boy. No one quite prepares you for it. The toilet seat is always up, there’s always a sturdy supply of Ginsters pasties in the fridge, and there’s no way to compromise on what’s on the tele. It’s a work-in-progress, but it’s workin’. Result.

In may this year, I rescued a feral kitten from a farm. He’s fuzzy and wild and his eyes were bright blue. I named him Blue. Three weeks after moving house and he still wasn’t taming down. My colleagues were starting to think I was self-harming with all the scratched and cuts on my hands and forearms, he was all claws. Then, I had a spark of genius. I thought that if we got an older cat, it would teach him how to behave and also be abit of company. Squirrel appeared in my life. She can open doors and tries to hold a conversation, she even buries her toys! The aim was for her to tame Blue. Did she? She tried. We now have three cats. Treacle is our third. I call her Oddball. You have no idea how disconcerting it is to have a kitten eye ball you across the room. And her eyes are so dark, it’s like she really is evil…plotting my demise…I’m getting a dog.

I have also braved the controversy and cut all my hair off, grade 3. To some people, mainly women, I am a pioneer to the feminists of our nation, to others I’m a wannabe lesbian. Whatever that means! I don’t understand how cutting your hair can cause so much conflict in society. It was supposed to be a liberating experience to shed all my issues and ‘lay bare’, without having an emo fringe or a curtain of hair to hide behind. However, all it did was cause all my friends to ask me if I was OK, was I having a (early) mid life crisis, would I start protesting at Downing Street or wailing at the Church like Joan of Arc. Well, to answer all these questions… I am OK, there’s no midlife crisis till I’m 40 and Yes, I will always stand up for what I believe in. I’d like to think of Joan of Arc as a kick-ass role model. So there.

A xo

“From our own correspondent: The Kony 2012 campaign and the effect of Social Media”

In this feature, I will be talking about the affect of social media on the Kony 2012 campaign, exploring the benefits and disadvantages of using this medium.
Kony 2012 went viral on March 7th 2012. I know exactly when I heard about it, exactly what I was doing and it stuck with me forever. Surely this describes how compelling the documentary is?
Kony 2012 is a half-hour documentary that is supported by Invisible Children, a charity that was co-founded by Jason Russell, in 2005, to fight African war atrocities. The video is based on Joseph Kony, with the specific aim to make him famous, not in celebration but to make the world aware of his crimes and to fight for his arrest…
Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army has been said to have abducted around 60,000 children; forced the boys to kill their parents and turned the girls into sex slaves. Kony is at the top of the International Criminal Court’s ‘Most Wanted List’.
Over the years many of those individuals on the ICC’s list of wanted people have been “brought to justice” as it were…
We saw the death of Osama Bin Laden last year, one of the world’s most notorious terrorists, killed at a hideout in Pakistan. Then it was onto Libya and the uprising of people there, eventually resulting in the regime of Colonel Gadaffi being toppled and the former Libyan leader killed, after months of conflict across the country…So why has Joseph Kony not met the same fate? It’s simple…because there is no political or financial reason in doing so. Kony represents no political party or financial interests; he is simply responsible for a number of humanitarian atrocities…
The Lord’s Resistance Army, Kony’s enterprise, was formed in Uganda 25 years ago and is now based in Congo. The boy soldiers are encouraged to murder their parents and families, mutilating them in ways too horrific to describe. Survivors will be as badly scarred on the outside as the inside…
On April 20th 2012, when the sun goes down the world will cover the night. Posters, t-shirts, banners will be displayed throughout the western cultures in a massive attempt to make Kony famous. In the 5 days running up to April 20th, people are urged to sign the Pledge and to create more media coverage. Sample tweets have been emailed world-wide to encourage people to appeal to world leaders to arrest Kony and put an end to his tyranny…
The film has been an almost instant viral success, dominating Twitter worldwide and having one of the fastest ever take-offs on You Tube. The hash tag #stopkony has had hundreds of thousands of tweets, and millions of people now know something about Uganda and what is happening to children there…
It’s safe to say that this campaign has benefited on a huge scale from social networking sites, like Twitter. The Invisible Children organisation has been able to reach millions of people, in different countries, cultures and societies with just a push of a button. And what’s wrong with rallying together for a good cause? The Kony 2012 project was a hugely successful exploitation of social media and a testament to the power of an integrated social media network…
Social media was the mechanism that enabled Barack Obama to be elected. During the Virginia Tech massacres of April 2007, students were texting and ‘facebooking’ such messages as ‘Facebook saved my life’, giving it an agency of its own. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg should be sanctified. Jamal Albarghouti, who was a graduate student at Virginia Tech, recorded an onsite video during the shootings’ For all of that, he has become, on a Facebook description, a ‘citizen journalist’.

Social Media like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Tumblr have allowed wider access for charitable organisations such as Invisible Children and campaigns like Kony 2012. They can reach a worldwide audience and spread their beliefs quickly…It is useful for raising awareness and increasing public engagement.
However, the problem with social media is that it spreads like wild-fire. This only becomes an issue if the story is untrue. Rumours have been circulating that have led to criticisms for Kony 2012.
Michael Wilkerson discussed the criticisms, he said:
 It would be great to get rid of Kony.  He and his forces have left abductions and mass murder in their wake for over 20 years.
But let’s get two things straight:
Joseph Kony is not in Uganda and hasn’t been for six years;
The LRA now numbers at most in the hundreds, and while it is still causing immense suffering, it is unclear how millions of well-meaning but misinformed people are going to help deal with the more complicated reality.”…
And so, if Kony 2012 has over exaggerated the severity of Kony’s crimes, a lot of the people who have watched the video have been misled. This is a huge disadvantage when using social media. You cannot be sure whether the document you are reading, video you are watching or campaign you are joining is trustworthy…
The documentary has been criticised for not sticking to the BBC’s impartiality rule of journalism. No, it isn’t impartial. But impartiality is not going to motivate anyone into action.
Journalists have described it as partisan, tactless and very bold. Well, that it may be. But it has fulfilled its objectives in that its exponential popularity growth on the web has grabbed attention and now the world is aware of Joseph Kony…
Personally, from looking at Kony 2012 I’m suddenly aware of the power that social networking represents in our modern day society. It has taken such an incredibly influential role to the point that logging onto Facebook has become as normal and regular as eating and sleeping. What do I do when I wake up first thing in the morning? I check my phone, check Twitter, check Facebook… etc. All of that before anything else, it has become the “modern day” start of the day…
Social media has helped raise awareness for this campaign, but will it actually stop Kony? Probably not, but the hope is that that it motivates change. Not just in this situation but in all others… The LRA has damaged families, hurt quality of life and is affecting traditions. Exaggerated or not, it needs to end.
Yes, Joseph Kony is just one person and there are other criminals out there, but if social networking, can make such an impact and raise so much awareness then think what else can be achieved. What else is out there? So rather than thinking of Kony 2012 as a campaign based solely on the capture of one man, rather see it as an example of the change that can be achieved in a modern day world…with a little help from the internet.
A xo

Chicken or the Egg………………………in psychology?

So basically, I got into quite a heated debate earlier this evening at the SU bar. 2 guys were discussing whether anxiety or anxious dispositions are innate (biological) i suggested that there must be social factors involved to trigger such emotional stimuli. And we’re off….

Freud was mentioned (god help us!) and the ID, EGO & SUPEREGO… then there was sexual orientation and whether or not it occurs naturally and whether we have that sexual identity from birth. Is it developed?

It was then argued that paedophiles are not born with an attraction to children but they ‘find’ that particular behaviour. He went on to say that people are born gay or straight, bu then surely paedophiles would be born with the innate attraction to minors as it is sexual attraction (even if it is a deviant one) ?

Do we develop into the people we are today? Or are we born with the cognitive ability, social preferences and behaviours? Nature  vs Nurture, that’s the debate. 

It’s complicated and my colleague issued a “chicken or the egg?” statement which was highly frustrating and i resent it!

SO what do you think? lemme know..

A xo

B&B

If you have read my previous blogs you will have read about my troubles with our troll-like housemate (we have nicknamed her ‘Troll’ because a) she looks like one b) she must smell bad due to numerous showers and c) she talks like one) This is chapter 2 on this issue. enjoy….

So…. at the minute it would appear that we are currently running a free B&B service here at our student house.

THE TROLL has decided it is appropriate to have people staying over within a week of each other. This, I don’t mind but they don’t contribute anything to bills and they’re having a few showers each day (cos they smell bad) and they’re cooking their own food. On top of this, she’s leaving them alone while she fucks about at uni.. charging their phones, inviting whoever they want round. Jesus..it’s not a friggin’ free for all love!! 

She’s got this seriously ignorant side to her as well…she never talks to us. Never even utters a sentence in our presence ………………………………………………………….until she fucking needs something. Like, she can’t afford to pay her bills on time, or she’s “cold” — baring in mind that she walks around in summer tops most of the time (mong).

We are now taking bookings for next week, feel free to take advantage of all the free electric gas and nice hot running water coz we dont have to pay bills at all…. im sure 5 of u in that little room is incredibly comfortable….
please call 0800 free-4-troll-friends. Pfft!

Keep you posted guys.. A xo

p.s. she also goes by the alias — “The Cretin”.. ya hear that name…run

Finally.

When one is stood at a cross-roads it is very easy to panic. It’s great if you’ve got it all planned out and a 5 year life plan.. however if you’re like me & have got no clue — don’t worry! You’re not alone. It’s hard to know exactly where you’re headed..which is why I have a list of ‘options’ (after a week of anxious pondering and stressful conversations) finally.

After a very frank, but rewarding talk with my better-half, I have decided that I’ve done enough studying in my life for now and it’s time to try something new. I’m moving back to my roots and I’m going to look for a job where I can try and make a difference! Even if I have to volunteer, I’m gonna give it a go.

I’m going to start living in the now and stop wishing my life away. After-all, I’m only 21.. and there’s still loads to come right?
It’s taken me a few wrong turns to realise what I want out of my life, but finally I’ve got there! As long as I’m with the people I love, I figure the rest should all fall into place 🙂

Here’s hoping…

A xo