Sharing and Caring

Inspiration is still low.

It’s getting a bit awkward.

So just going to hit you all with someone else’s work for the sake of consistency of output.

There’s been a lot of internet trawling going on between study and I’ve come across some gems, this one was sent by a friend. Here are the Franco brothers. If you don’t know James Franco, you must live under a rock. He is multi-talented actor, writer, producer, director with a degrees from Yale, Columbia and Rhode Island School of Design and he lives with this two cats (which is actually rather weird when you’re this hot). Turns out, there’s another Franco and this interview is just a little bit gorgeous. It’s a bit of family time in the middle of a crazy busy life (self-imposed so I’m maintaining my no-sympathy-for-celebrities stance). It’s in five parts, here is the first. Enjoy your Sunday, I’ll be getting back to the books.

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Apologies

It’s been a week of last minute research, last minute packing, last minute seeing of friends and last minute realisation that tomorrow I am going to Europe (thank goodness). It’s really crept up on me, the last five weeks having flown bye in such a flurry of paid work and uni work.

And dear readers, I hate to say it, but the abandonment continues. Tomorrow I depart for the Czech Republic and mama has warned that there probably won’t be an internet connection in all the wee random towns we will be visiting. I’m actually quite relieved about that, no pressure/chance to check email or scroll Facebook (so noone do anything fun, otherwise I’ll get mad FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)).

So, as well as being a slacker for the past week, I’m going to decline from entertaining you for three weeks more. Think of it as a sabbatical, you know, like the history teachers at school used to always take. I’ll be back, with lots of fresh ideas, lots of funny stories (hopefully involving other people as the protagonists – just saying) and LOTS of new clothes.

Peace out.

P.S Ever thought about footpath politics? It’s a tricky situation – how close to follow, is it rude to listen in on other people’s conversations? What is acceptable walking speed? How much do we hate tweens who walk three abreast?! Just something for you to ponder when you hit the pavement next.

Ka Pai

Yesterday I was at Maori Pasifika mentor training. It’s an initiative to help kids from stereotypically disadvantaged communities succeed at uni. There’s always food at these things, thank goodness, especially because yesterday they made us sing. Now I’m totally culturally in touch but getting a bunch of bleary-eyed students to do a waiaita on Saturday morning was just unpleasant.

Last semester I had the neatest mentee who always did her work, came to meetings, got good grades. Classic right. The irony of these sorts of programmes that the students who don’t need the help are the ones who seek it.

On our last session she asked me if I had a problem with the fact that I’m Pakeha (basically the Maori term for European, so in modern times, it means I’m white) and was giving up my time to a programme that myself or others of my race could never use? (told you she was smart). I hadn’t really thought about it, does that worry me? Not that I’m Pakeha and she’s Maori, but that other students are missing out on this great opportunity to receive personalised support purely on their race. I reckon it should be about financial need and academic history so it can help all the students from decile one and two schools to defeat the odds and succeed at uni, not just those from high-risk, identified ethnic groups. I;m very into positive discrimination but when will our education system stop providing extras on the basis of race not on genuine need?

Back to training, I sat next to a girl who was a little bit older than me, she’s Samoan, loves volleyball and lives with her parents and her son, first person in her family to go to uni and she is still giving up her time to help others. Holy cow. Imagine juggling a kid, uni and worrying about someone else’s education. RESPECT GURL (no I didn’t actually say that to her, don’t worry, but I thought it really loudly).

Long Gone

I’m home, presently in bed with my electric blanket on, having done everything on the list that I said I would do, already, except for number 8 but I’ve been aqua-jogging so that’s like walking (no I’m not geriatric but RJ and I are trying to bring it back for the younger generations).

In prep for our family trip to the Motherland aka the Czech Republic, where my Dad’s family is from, we have been going through all the old stuff of my grandads, from the two boxes that are full of maps, letters, photos, random receipts. All that make up the remains of a life. Today I came across some photos of my grandmother, who died when Dad was 22. It was so weird looking at that face, familiar, but unknown, there’s always been the same photo of her in the house. Weirdly, my first thought was “would she have liked me?”. I’ve always wanted a grandma around, just to do grandma-ish things with – I see it as one cookie-baking, knitting, vintage clothing fiesta.

Isn’t it strange to think of all the people who made up our lives before us, the people whose blood is in our veins, but yet we will never know? It’s sad but it’s also such a strange part of the human condition, unlike most other animals, our families are not just there to teach us the ropes and give us our DNA, they are the backbones of our lives. They will be imperative in shaping who we become, what we value, what contributions we make and how we see ourselves.