Tag Archives: School

Childhood Friendship

What’s Your Most Cherished Earliest Memory?

I read this wonderful blog piece earlier today for work, and there was this interesting suggestion for Blog Writer’s Block that caught my eye (among the mammoth 150 or so odd suggestions for overcoming it).

The writer, Devin Burglund, suggested that you write about your earliest memory. So I thought I’d improvise … naturally. Because I like making things a little more difficult than they have to be, obviously.

One of my earliest, most cherished memories was when my very first crush, this absolute hottie (I was six by the way), a Colorado native at the British Continental School we both attended in Jeddah, Middle East told me he liked me. Trust me, even till this day, I still (as embarrassing as it sounds) get butterflies fluttering in my stomach when I think back to that hot sunny afternoon.

Had I known then that age and maturity would bring the awkwardness and fear of rejection, consequences and all the other unimportant and insignificant attributes it does, I would have savoured that innocent childhood moment when we didn’t care about what others thought about us, or before we had the experience and knowledge of annoying adult idiosyncracies so much more.

I lost touch with Jerome Douglas Noble but I’ve never forgotten the joy he gave me that day. I hope it was as sweet for him as it was for me and I like to flirt with the fantasy that he seldom thinks of me and that my memory brings a hint of a smile to his slightly twitching lips.

What about you? What’s your favourite memory?

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Know how to Bullshit …

These were one of the first words our Journalism lecturer uttered to us bright eyed, raring to go Journalism enthusiasts when we joined University.

“A good journalist can bullshit about anything”, he blasted over the microphone in the cavernous lecture hall as we sat there gawking at how someone in a “teacher’s” position could so easily swear in a mock classroom. I know, I know, boy did we have some catching up to do on reality!

Anyway, this story (although pretty pointless as well) has nothing to do with my wild and unrestrained journalism days (let me live the fantasy okay?).

I decided to put this theory to test with my gym instructor after hours of targeted researching on the net over the weekend (basically just bumming around really) on how exercising is really and truly detrimental to my health. Turns out my gym instructor, in addition to being allergic to sanity, happiness, content taste buds and a well rested skeletal structure (just to mention a few) is also highly allergic to apparent, well researched “bullshit”.

Either that, or I’m not as good a journalist as I think -_-

First draft, done and dusted!!!

SO…I finally made it.

There were a few moments that were touch and go but in the end I got there, which is the only thing that matters, right?

My first and a half draft (because I’ve been semi editing along the way. I’ve already been bitten once with The Last True Blood where editing is concerned and no, it had nothing to do with writing about vampires) of Un-Belonging has been completed, just under 80,000 words which I am happy about because all my previous novels have been so much more longer. If nothing else, I now know I can write something short and sweet. Don’t snicker 😛

Now the editing phase has begun, du du duhhhhhhh (that is meant to sound horrific and horrendously, spine chillingly terrifying). If I could have only sang it to you in my “melodious” voice, I wouldn’t have to explain the emotive reaction you should be having right now.

Once this first bout of editing is done, I’ll get some beta readers on the task.

Hope you’re all well. I think I’m going to go have a strawberry milkshake as a celebratory drink on my lonesome. Oh the perils of writing, it’s so isolated, at least that’s what I tell myself when my friends mysteriously remember their last load of washing that needs to go on the line every time I venture going out with them. I like to think it’s my cranium’s splendid ability to think that sets me apart from the rest. Eh, what can I say, I’m a positive, everything is peachy type of gal.

Now, I can really hear you snickering.

Why Teachers deserve more …

Teachers are singlehandedly the most important people you are ever going to come into contact with outside of your immediate family and in some cases, even more pertinent in your journey throughout life.

I’m not kidding or overstating this in any way at all (even though I am on occasion known to be a tiny bit overdramatic!). True, my mother is in education so I may be a little biased but I do truly believe that teachers shape your life, and most imperatively, your attitude.

I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t have a “teacher” story to tell. Unfortunately though, not all the teacher tales are good ones. I have a friend who actually dropped out of school at the age of sixteen because his teacher had such a profoundly negative effect on him he could simply no longer take the torture of having to go and see her face for a whole two more years.

In hindsight, I often wonder if he thinks back to his decision and ponders on how his life could have been different had he soldiered on for two more years. I mean, what’s two years in comparison to an entire lifetime? For adults – nothing. For a teenager being mentally bludgeoned five days a week, simply put – the end.

I was one of the lucky ones. I was gifted with a teacher comprised with the best quality any educator could ever possibly have and that’s inspiration. My art teacher, Mr John Philippides didn’t just teach me art, he taught me attitude. Best of all, Mr. Philippides taught me about life, in an age where most of us struggle between right and wrong, about going against the grain because it’s the right thing to do, about the “mark” we want to leave on the planet. Some of you would know that I didn’t exactly have an easy time throughout school. I was bullied continuously and being a fair bit younger than my classmates didn’t help, what with having a “delayed” reaction to anything that actually mattered, namely leaving all the “uncool things’ behind, like my love for Disney characters (which has never left by the way. Just in case you’re wondering).

Mr. Philippides would often tell me I’d forget about him once I left school and I would vehemently deny the atrocious accusation, he didn’t believe me and I’d just like to say, I have proven you wrong Mr. Philippides!

I often think about my art teacher and his many, innumerable gifts that he has partaken with me along the way. Though he most likely will never know, his words of wisdom continue to stroll alongside me throughout my many obstacles, turns and twists and like him; they inspire me to be the best I can.

Though I always knew of his immense talent, my youthful naivety blinded me to the truly great artist he was and the amazing genius the rest of the World had also been fortunate enough to glimpse.

My childhood “greed” I guess (for the lack of a better word) almost always believed that he was simply put on this planet to teach me art! 😀 However, I was wrong, and now I see the profound effect my art teacher has had on many lives outside of mine, but he was still and always will be my teacher first!

Thank you Mr. Philippides for teaching me about life, your enamoured lessons are ones that I am positive I will take with me across lifetimes because yours are ones that touched my soul, not just my brain.

Dear Racist … I Love You, Man

Nope, you read the title right. I love racists.

Now, before you start slamming tomatoes at your computer screen, just hear me out. I really do love racists, they’ve played a massive part in my life and I’ve learnt a lot from the bigoted comments sometimes casually, sometimes not so carelessly, thrown my way.

I owe many life lessons to the racist encounters I’ve lived through, and no doubt will after this post is posted. I was a late bloomer when it comes to experiencing racism, I was eight years old (at least I wasn’t in the double digits, because that would have just been embarrassing!) and I could hardly blame the twelve year old bully who let her tirade loose on me.

I mean I was obviously unaware back in the day that school benches were reserved as “White Only” at lunch time and my massive confusion only seemed to incense her more. To top it all, my British accent (gained as a result of being schooled at the British Continental School in Jeddah), my Middle Eastern upbringing till that time, my Indian heritage, and my new found status as a fresh Australian citizen would have served to do anyone’s head in, least of all a prepubescent blonde, blue eyed poster child Aussie schoolgirl.

I went home, told my mum about my unusual encounter enthused with wondrous enthusiasm at only just realising skin colour differed, and oh my gosh, actually mattered on the planet, who promptly reprimanded me for relenting and told me if I did it again, I wouldn’t be let in the front door, or the side one for that matter.

Now this set me straight because clearly no racist bashing (emotionally or physically), could ever compare to an Indian mother’s scolding which unfairly always boils down to a hunger strike and if any of you have been reading up about me, you know that there could be no possible worst punishment than starvation for my poor undernourished body (I wish!)

So lo and behold, lunch time came around again the next day and as humans are such boring creatures of habit, my new found bane of my existence told me to vacate the seat (which was another bench by the way, as I had attempted for the past week to find one that suited my skin tone). I told her “No”, she said “What?”, so I repeated again, only slower, making a mental check to clarify that the national language of Australia was in fact English.

Turns out it was, because she simply shrugged her shoulders and never bothered me again.
I burrowed my brows in uncertainty thinking if all life’s battles were that easy, I was going to be cruising my roller coaster ride, and then proceeded to devour my half-finished sandwich.

Racism can also be very funny, like the time a Southern Italian yelled at me to go back to where I came from. In Australia? I asked him to repeat his sentence because I was absolutely certain I had heard him wrong which only frustrated him more to yell it out.

I was happy because I’d saved on my healthcare to go check my hearing and left him quietly at his disposal. Not because I was afraid or had nothing to say, because as I am sure you all know by now, I definitely have a motor mouth, but because I thought it was cruel to harm anyone with such a humungous case of an Identity crisis.

This finally brings me to why I love racists as much as I do – because I owe a part of my appreciation and love for everything that makes me to them. People often naively believe that racism will push the victim into being ashamed of their heritage, but often (not always unfortunately) the exact opposite happens!

Racist encounters make me feel more proud of who I am and just more pitiful about the close-mindedness of those who inflict hateful comments and activities on people who are happy, that’s right – happy and content in their lives.

No matter how much I exercise my cranium, I sincerely believe that anyone who has the time and energy to hate can’t possibly be happy, because they’re expending so much wasted effort on just that, hate.

So, to all the Racists out there, I’d like to give you some happiness and thank you from the bottom of my heart for making me stronger, happier, healthier and proud. I love you, man 🙂