The 11 People You Will Meet at UWI

12 Aug

annaaiken

loljk123

You don’t’ need me to tell you how important your college years are, but you probably do need me to tell you about the people you’ll meet during your stint at UWI. May this serve as a guide to the freshers of the 2013-2014 academic year. Leggo.

  1. The Lecturer
    You may have already met a few if you went to your faculty orientation. Indubitably, a lecturer will give you the “this isn’t high school any more” and the “UWI will be the best time of your young-adult life” speeches.  Lecturers come in different varieties:
    a) The Cool Lecturer- usually very young or very old, rarely in between. Down to earth, understands and can probably use “tun up” in context, has an interesting class that is usually full once registration opens.
    b) The Angry Lecturer- usually in the midst of a mid-life crisis or approaching retirement with bitterness. This is the…

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New Blog!

19 Dec

New Blog!

As promised, this blog is being revamped…watch me get my groove back on my new blog.

Blogging in 2013? What’s that, an empty promise?!

17 Dec

I’m not sure if anyone remembers me. I used to blog here and 2010-2011 was my prime. 2012 saw a downward spiral for this blog, and I’m so very sorry. I doubt I still have my regular audience here, since I’m such an unfaithful blogger, but if you’re reading this, I would like to give you virtual hugs and cookies. Thank you.

It’s winding down- 2012 went by in a whirlwind and I am here to make another round of promises!

My 2012 Resolutions checklist actually has a couple checks on it and I’m gonna have to give myself a nice firm back-pat, I’ve done well. I’m currently in my 10th month of a meat-free diet and a crazy 13 months post relaxer (I should have a complete head of natural hair by the end of this week). I’ve achieved other things, but these were my two main goals and I’m damn proud. The one thing I didn’t do this year was to keep this blog updated. I wrote that one post on the budget debates and then I completely disappeared.

So here’s the first item on my 2013 Resolutions checklist: BLOG MORE, DAMMIT.

And that’s exactly what I plan to do.

Hopefully in 2013, my blog should be up and running like it was last year. I think I will to move this blog and get a brand new, shiny blog- same name, different URL. I will repost some of my more popular blog entries. Updates to come after my last exam on Wednesday!

Hope to write again very soon.

My (Slightly Biased) Thoughts on the Budget Debates

6 Jun

Yesterday, (almost) all eyes were glued to television sets to catch the budget debate at Gordon House. I must say, that was probably the only time that CVM had in excess of 20k people watching their channel (absolutely no offense meant, but we all know that most people have cable and in any case, TVJ have di ‘farrin’ show dem). I was also impressed at the amount of people who were tuning in- I honestly thought that only a select few of my generation actually had a decent grasp of politics and were interested in the running of our country. Mind you, most of these people only served to bomb our timelines and newsfeeds with partisan, patty and Portia jokes. It’s a start though.

I found this budget debate to be extremely lackluster- and more of a campaigning speech than a budget debate. The PM didn’t delve into the actual budget, but instead took her time to play the blame game, thank Marva (her housekeeper) and recite the occasional Bible verse.

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“A Kiss from Judas” LOL

Once Portia thanked everybody she ever encountered in her 67 years of life, she began to play the blame game. In short, she basically justified the fact in her 5+ months in office, she didn’t fulfill her promises because (and I ad lib here), “We had no idea that our economy was so bad.”
I just had to call B.S. on that. The then opposition would have been privy to the available funding and outstanding debts of the nation- so a poorly shaped economy would have been, or should have been, no surprise. Had the PNP planned accordingly, instead of spending time making up nice acronyms like JEEP and funding Prince Harry’s visit, they would have been able to meet some of their goals.  Though a promise is a comfort to a fool- there is no justifying a promise broken.

She also stated that after the JLP’s four years in administration, the economy had declined significantly. I do think that those 67 years are starting to take a toll on her- she must have forgotten that the PNP had mismanaged our economy for the previous 18 years. She must have forgotten that the JLP was handed a country under serious economic disrepair and several clandestine agreements swept under a rug. Her claim was, “They broke it, now we have to fix it”, but sumn mussi really tek her head because she figet ‘bout her big big fren PJ…..hmmmm.

However she did take the time to pat herself on the back for coming up with this elaborate JEEP initiative. For those who have missed the last 5 months of horribly executed JEEP puns, it is  Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme. You might recall how the JEEP initiative started with a fizzle. So far they claim to have provided 5,800 jobs, but what Portia failed to mention is the nature of these jobs. People on the JEEP programme are more or less given one-off jobs in public maintenance and waste management (ie. janitorial duties). Rumour has it that they are not signed to contracts either. An odd job cannot be equated to employment.

What I found ironic was her accusation that members of the JLP were posing as ‘champions of the poor’. Funny, don’t it?

*See the PNP manifestohere.

Kudos on removing the GCT on electricity for residential consumers, but this move affects almost no one. Poor people bridge light. Rich people pull strings. Only members of the middle class pay electricity bills and they are the ones carrying the burden of a nation. Rough generalization here, but I’m sure you can appreciate it.

And suddenly, the PNP is in full support of renewable energy sources. They will singlehandedly revolutionize the way our country consumes energy! As if the JLP didn’t already do that.

Portia spoke about moving from ‘welfare to well-being to wealth creation’ several times but she didn’t say how. She promised modernizing infrastructure, breaking NHT tax (which I must admit sounds feasible- and I applaud her) and starting the second phase of JEEP (albeit missing a tire). But, this is exactly what I meant about this budget presentation being more like campaigning speech- vague promises and no solutions!

No mention was made RE book tax. Our dear PM always speaks about how education is the key to success, and she even acknowledges discrepancies in the educational system. However, she has made no move to lessen the tax on books. How is it that children from low income families are supposed to become educated if they can’t afford their basic materials? As a university student, my books average 10k a piece, now I can completely legitimize shouting and turning over tables.

I could go on for days preaching about the faults of the PNP- but let me not be too partisan. JLP has also made some bad decisions for our country- but playing Jamaican politics only boils down to a choice between two evils. Pick your poison.

*Don’t take my word for it, read the PM’s full prepared speech here.

*This blog post was written before the closing of the budget debates on June 6, 2012.

KONY 2012?

7 Mar

Blinded by a surge of emotion last night after watching the KONY 2012 campaign video, I immediately felt obliged to help in any way possible. I started tweeting and sharing the video on Facebook and Tumblr, I was doing the little things that would eventually grow into something larger via my small sphere of influence.

However today, talking about it at school, I started to question the initiative. I had heard of Invisible Children before and I’d seen their videos about the Ugandans. IC has been around for a while and so has Joseph Kony.

I decided to do a little bit of research.

Kony has been pillaging and running the LRA since 1986. he was indicted in 2005 by the ICC. 

The KONY 2012 video makes Kony’s acts seem like something very recent and their attempts at ‘justice’ very new and innovative. But he’s been on a watchlist since 2005! Watching the campaign video is akin to watching a news report from 2003- old old news. Funny thing is, Uganda has been essentially free of LRA violence for the past 4+ years and LRA has even signed a peace treaty. There has been a 75% decrease in child recruitment since then- not at the hands of the noble people at Invisible Children or the US military, but by the Ugandan forces.

Furthermore, Kony has moved out of Uganda and is pillaging surrounding countries. IC focuses on Uganda, as if it’s the only nation being terrorized -.-

They also manage to completely commercialize a good cause. They market their merch, but that havent actually stated what the proceeds go towards. If you check the Invisible Children’s  financial stat reports, you’ll see that a mere quarter of the annual proceeds are used to aid Ugandans. A good chunk of net assets goes into the pocket of the board of directors and co-founders. 

They have made the initiative less about the well being of Ugandans and Africans, and more about the US. Suddenly, everybody at the White House is pulling out their checkbook. Additionally, what seems fishy to me is that the poster below seems highly political (democrats + republicans). Is this really about the Ugandans, or about American do-gooders?

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I’ll give this KONY 2012 campaign another ounce of thought before I pledge a dime. Instead, I’ll work with UNICEF who actually uses more than 90% of their revenue to aid the needy.

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KONY 2012

7 Mar

Thoughts in 52 Weeks

2 Jan

I initially posted this on my Tumblr, but I decided it wouldn’t hurt to put it here too!

I’m really not a big fan of the ‘new year’ sentiment. I don’t count down to midnight on December 31st and I dont get excited at 12:01. I don’t wish on shooting stars or 11:11 on digital clocks.

Instead of celebrating a year, I celebrate weeks ( a few people might know this because of my happy Sunday and new week texts and tweets). Why? Because a year is a long shot. Fifty two weeks. I don’t know if I’ll go through a year. So I celebrate weeks. Why not days? Because nobody likes Monday.

Despite my indifference towards the minute transition from 2011 to 2012, I must take time to reflect (or something like that) on what has made the past 52 weeks horrible/ amazing/ tolerable etc.

2011 was supposed to be a joyride for me. I was in 12th grade (lower 6) and I was about to do CAPE and my application for UWI had been filled out and sent in. Knowing/ hoping that it would be my last year at ICHS I tried to get a lot of things done. I was a prefect, president of a service club, involved in some volunteer work with the Convent. I had a great school term. Duss off mock exams. Duss off CAPE. Get my acceptance letter from UWI, waved a dry-eyed good bye to 152 Constant Spring Road.

SUMMERTIME! I conveniently ‘forgot’ to apply for a job, so for the first half of summer I was bumming. Which was fine. Chilitos on a Tuesday. Pubbin’ on a Wednesday. Kalooki on the weekends.

I got my braces put on in July. I thought my life was ending. I’m already pretty geeky as it stands, but now I was double teaming with glasses andbraces. I like them now though ^_^ Except for when they get tightened and I can’t chew.

My uncle decided to set me up with a job at Wisynco. Turns out, when you get a summer job at Wisynco, you work at one of their chains. I ended up at Wendy’s. I thought my life was about to end.

Nuh daaaaaaaaaaay me work at Wendy’s!!

But I had to, if I wanted money. Believe me, I NEEDED money. So I took the job and hated every minute of it. It was good experience and I appreciated it. But I hated it. (Also, FREE LUNCH?)

Orientation time came around and I realized, I’m going to university D:

This was kind of a big thing. Likkle sprat leff from lower six to the vast campus of UWI Mona. But two weeks in to the semester I was adjusting just fine and I made some very valuable friends (at least they seem valuable so far *kin teet*).

I waste out all of the first couple weeks of semester one but finally started to buckle down towards end-of-semesters. Which was too late…because dem exam deh star…

But some notable things happened. My friend’s father passed away, and for some reason it really impacted my view of life and death- suddenly it has a new value to me. I gained a little more trust from my parents. I helped a lot of people and I did some selfless things. I got cheated by friends, but I learned how to deal with it. I grew up, A LOT.

So, what am I going to do with the next 52 weeks? I’m not one for resolutions, but I admit I need changes. Lie less, get more done and stop procrastinating and start cutting down on the fluff and building up on the substance.

Enjoy Day 2, Week 1.