Life of a Volunteer

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Yep! Yep! and I am so excited about it. After several attempts of writing cover letters, visiting the schools careers department, attending seminars on how to review my CV at CGE, I even applied for a modelling job all to no avail. I finally got a volunteer job in school. I have always wanted to work in school and in a field related to my course of study.

I now work as a presenter and scriptwriter with the office of teaching and learning: Guide to Campus.The mission of Guide to Campus is to create videos that showcase the amazing things Coventry University has to offer through the eyes of the students. The first edition was launched  in April and it’s time to unleash another goldmine the school has to offer.

 

Guide to campus

My job description is not only centred around presenting and writing, I have the opportunity to learn how to edit, videography, make graphic designs and everything related to making a video unique. I am so excited that I would learn most of these new skills at no cost and the cool part is… it’s a hands-on training! The job would give me an opportunity to apply for an Open Badge from the Disruptive Media Learning Lab. Centre for Global Engagement (CGE) has promised to give us stipends after the successful  completion of the program.

The first task is to come up with a digital storyboard. I have no idea how it is done but I am willing to learn as much as I can. This might mean that I might make mistakes, but I am ready to learn from them.

Eureka!

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For More on what Open badges are about, stay with me on this blog or check out: https://otlcu.wordpress.com/guide-to-campus/

 

 

Reflections on M96MC

 

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*Giving a deep sigh* It was coursework week. It seems as if all the odds of coursework was against us because we had to submit all course works back to back. The pressure to meet each deadline was intense. However, that is not what I plan to write on because I envisaged that when i got the admission for a masters degree, it would not be like eating a piece of cake- I already had my fair share of the stress related workload from  my foundation program in September.

M96MC was one course I have been worried about because I was not sure of how to go about the principles of writing theories. Actually, this is my first time of been bombarded with so many theories I have to come to terms with all at the same time. My first coursework was to sketch the field of my proposed research topic. Sketching the field was difficult because I was just a few days into my classes when the course work came calling. I was unsure of what to write about but I had to write something. Since I have a love for watching TED talks, it helped me in a way to come up with a topic. I Choose a topic on the labelling of women. I must say that when writing the essay, i was unsure of what to narrow my research on. so here I was writing on the name calling of single girls who were unmarried to woman labelled as cooking objects and the need for men to be more intentional in the post-feminist movement. When I received the grades for the coursework I was sad but then again I knew before hand that the coursework was confusing to me but I could not think of anyone I could have met to help me with narrowing down my research. I told myself to make sure it does not repeat itself again- did it repeat itself? hell yes!

You know that saying of… Once beaten, twice shy… I my case i had to be beaten twice to be shy thrice. Coursework two came and we needed to look at the research beyond face value. Now the thing is as a masters student, it is expected that you have been spoon fed enough with baby food during your undergraduate days. Masters means it’s time to eat solid or semi-solid food- which invariably means that you have to just know certain things. For a Nigerian girl who was taught in a totally different way from that England, I was under stress to understand all the theories all at the same time. In Nigeria, we have just one method of writing a research project which is totally different from what I am asked to write as a masters student. Beyond face value – three words that were not confusing in itself but were very confusing to relate with my coursework. I struggled with understanding what I was asked to do. I asked questions from my lecturers and classmates but most of what I got was ”read theories on postfeminism and post-modernity”. Honestly, I had no idea how to write about theories in a 2000 words essay without it looking like I was reviewing literature (which I know how to do quite well). I read books on postfeminism and postmodernity but I had issues relating what I had read to my topic because there were no books on feminism in Africa yet most of the books are from British and American authors. It was a tough week of writing I was clueless on what I was writing on, I found myself reviewing literature again,I was panicking because I needed to meet the deadline at all cost. I met the deadline but I was unfulfilled. Maybe if I gave my work to someone to read through, it would have gone a long way (By the way, the centre for academic writing needs to have an office in every faculty. They are usually always booked which makes it  more challenging to find someone who would be willing to proofread your piece of work). My lecturer was done marking and I must say she was disappointed with all of us- though, from my research on how others did, some people did really well. I had a meeting with her to explain my worry to her. She told me the same thing I knew I battled with. I was still stuck in course work one. She told me my grades were ok but little did I know that they were worse than ok. I wish she did not tell me they were ok. Days later, the grades came calling and it was TERRIBLE. By the way, terrible in my vocabulary means you are on a C.

Albeit, she gave me some constructive feedback which were:

1. I write with authority but I need to proof read my work more to avoid little mistakes.

2. I am in an academic environment which means my style of writing must be less chatty- I would have known if I proofread my work by someone else.

3. I need to link back to the theory and interpret some through the theory (I understand what I need to do but I have no idea of how to go about it).

4. I did not apply a method of analysis which I needed to infuse through a theory and how it has informed the way I would interpret data.

I must say that the grades made me devastated but it has shown me the areas I need to work on. I have found someone who would proofread my work and hopefully, give constructive feedback on how to be better.

My aim is to graduate with a distinction and  as a valuable student to my classmates- and that I must accomplish!

Dio Valente

Photo Credits: Jovi Jhash.

Katie Patterson’s Totality

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To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the council of Arts which coincidentally clashed with the 500th anniversary of Utopia, Somerset house in collaboration with the art council introduced eight new commissions on display at the house. One of which was Kate Patterson’s Totality.

Katie Paterson’s  totality comprises of  images of nearly every solar eclipse that’s been documented by humankind; through drawings and since photography began, including the oldest solar eclipse drawings from hundreds of years ago, and the earliest 19th-century photographs, to images from the most technological advanced telescopes now.(This woman is Queer!)

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Her work is on display as a mirror ball with two illuminating lights. You can never miss it when you see it. it’s like entering the moon for a minute. I wonder how she came about all the images and pictures.

The commission is part of Somerset House’s Utopia 2016: A Year of Imagination and Possibility

Chronicles Of An Expeditionist: #Utopia2016

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The trip was long overdue. Though I hadn’t the slightest idea of what Utopia is/was as the case maybe.Up until my visit to Somerset house in WestMinster I had no clue what it was all about but all thanks to GOOGLE for giving me the heads up when I needed it.

Utopia happens to be a book written by Thomas Moore (I remember him from the book A Man For All Seasons- all thanks to my Literature teacher who compelled us to buy the book we never read) which describes a world totally different from ours where there would be neither pain nor hatred. Utopia 2016 marks the 500th anniversary.

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Utopia 2016 marks the 500th anniversary of the literal text and in celebrating, the Utopia hub opened her doors to creatives from fashion, literature,theatre,film  and the list goes on who would speak on how the text has inspired them all to strive for excellence by pursuing their ideas- which might sometimes be queer.

One of such was a man who has been fascinated by the idea of taking pictures underwater to show the beauty of the world under water. At first, when I heard him speak, my Nigerian superstitious belief said: ‘this man must be a from the underworld- which we usually  term as manny water’.

In the cause of the man’s speech who left his family job to travel around oceans just to take pictures under water, he highlighted certain things I took home as  life lessons.

  1. Go the extra mile to live out your dream
  2. Do not just have a PASSION, have a strategy to actualize the passion, Don’t Just Hashtag, take  ACTION!
  3. Remember passion is vital but have a strategy is pretty much everything.

And on that note, I ask you, Yes! You ! What are you doing with that passion?

#Utopia 2016 would run for four seasons this year. That means you still have a chance to visit the amazing city in a house.

 

A Bite of ‘COOKIE’

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Foremost film critic and author of what is Cinema? Andre Bazin (did I mention he was born on my birthday?) once said that“photography does not create eternity, as art does, it embalms time, rescuing it simply from its proper corruption. The cinema substitutes for our gaze the world more in harmony with our desires.” This statement made in the late 1950s is still of note in  our present day- take it or leave it. For every soap, every reality show, every 21st-century sitcom,film or whatever new name they are been termed as, every one of them aim to sell the idea that you can live out your fantasies through cinema. I for one am a film addict but this particular series got me glued to my computer every week and I am not its only victim. though most of its victims are people with African descent according to (Fox 2015). still wondering what series I am referring to? it’s EMPIRE! watching empire is not really about the story line but the characters that portray people’s internal perception of themselves. O character that catches the attention of all and sundry is Cookie played by Taraji. P.Henson Cookie is an embodiment of what a lot of African American women are and hope to be. For African women who have gotten used to been unheard, she is like the voice that cries out in their head- let’s just say for me, she is the latter, though cookie gives me an understanding of what and how African American women live their lives…sort of.

Like I said earlier, many young ladies and young mothers see Cookie as a role model. I personally feel that every woman whether African or not has a little form of ‘cookie’ in them. I am guessing your just asked why I think so well…

  1. Cookie is an embodiment of love. We see that she loves her ex-husband so much. I mean she did time for 17 years all because of him- that’s sacrifice. Considering that the ex-husband in question knows her worth but does not want to come to terms with it. We see her showing this love to her three sons who are faced with different forms of an identity crisis. For every decision she makes for the company, she always has her sons in mind.
  1. Cookie has a gift of gab! don’t get me wrong, women are generally talkers- ask your social psychologist but with Cookie, gab is a different ball game. She has a name for everyone she terms as a treat to  her uniting her dysfunctional family. from boo boo kitty (which she gave her ex-husband’s fiancee) to Fake bourgie @ss (she called her own sister) every child born of an African woman can relate to this kind of insults. African mothers have a degree at name calling without even thinking deeply about the name. Cookie is bold, outspoken, passionate… and definitely not modest. She says the truth in the most quirky ways that would almost instill fear into the person she speaks to. 

 3. Just like everyone in the society, we all take up different social roles but the problem is not everyone knows how to manage these roles and in the process we fall short in some area. In cookie’s case, she shows us how to manage  the role of a best friend to her assistant, a sister to her drug addict sister, a mother to her sons, a business mogul and co- CEO to her husband and her son. She tends to handle these positions flawlessly and it makes  a plethora of us believe that if cookie can do it… I can!

4. Her smart innovative ideas, her on-the-spot ideas for the company is immeasurable. She is an embodiment of wits and style.

5.Yes! Style. I know some might cringe at her exuberant fashion sense and sense of fashion but she represents an idea of what rich and uneducated African women might look like (emphasis on the word). However, she has taught a lot of carefree women to be fashion conscious. she is a direct reflection of You are what you wear. I mean who covers herself in animal prints from bottom to top?

 

So ask yourself… Do I have a drop of ‘cookie’ in me? I know I do.

The streets was not made for everyone, that is why they made side walks- Cookie Lyon.

 

Photo Credits: Fox5.com/empire