Memories and Rantings from Traditions

It’s Good Friday which means the country and maybe the world will pretend to be holy or good for a few hours. I can’t pretend to be good, but what I’m doing right now is gonna make me feel good for a couple of hours; maybe even longer.

So growing up in the old country (rural Manchester, Jamaica) you didn’t do much on Good Friday. When I was younger, I’d wake up early so that I could watch the crucifixion movies before my siblings got up and started playing music to annoy me and before my parents went into the kitchen to make breakfast (if they did). If we were all going to church then breakfast would not be made by both my parents. There’d be bun and cheese and you’d better help yourself.

This week I’ve been listening to old gospel songs that I recall hearing on the radio on Sunday mornings while getting ready for church and watching on the television Sunday evenings while my sister did my hair for school in some hairstyle I cried my eyes out begging her to change when I was growing up. Beggers can’t be choosers and my mom didn’t have time to do my hair in the mornings so it was either hideous hairstyles as can be seen in exhibit A

 

Photo from Xien
Exhibit A: hideous hairstyle #1; I still hate it!

 

OR

have no hair at all please see exhibit B

Photo from Xien (1)
Exhibit B: I might have hair or this was the first time I’d experienced hair loss
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I don’t look that much different from exhibit B and this was 14 maybe 15 years apart except I voluntarily chopped my hair off

back to the music.

What I love the most about music is just how universally it has the power to create the perfect aesthetics if used correctly.  On Good Friday, most radio stations that aren’t gospel would play gospel music for a few hours in the morning and then return to their regular programming by mid-day. They had the worst selections and it annoyed the good out of me.

My family would make our way to church, churches often had baptisms on Good Friday. I think I was baptised on a Good Friday afternoon (I’m a backslider) or maybe not. During the service, we were very reflective and solemn then we’d go home and watch more Jesus movies as I liked to call them and eat bun and cheese and hope my mom made dinner. I disliked that part of Easter, not much cooking was done as parents used bun and cheese as an excuse. This tradition lives on, I’m away from my parents and I definitely will not be cooking today.

I’ve got an assortment of Easter buns (no dry bun in my pantry by the way) and enough cheese to make the buns extra nice because they don’t need it.

I shall also be watching some Jesus movies; I might attempt to watch The Passion of the Christ all by myself and I’ll watch Prince of Egypt or a really good Bible Story animation after. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend church, it’s been a very long time actually. But as I write this I’m listening to Come on In the Room by The Georgia Mass Choir and before that, I was playing Tremaine Hawkins songs.

Now, if you know gospel music you’ll understand what I’m talking about. But if you don’t know gospel music like I do, let me help you.

Bishop Walter Hawkins and Lady Tremaine Hawkins sang The Potters House. you probably heard this song on the radio a lot and had no idea who sang it. But if you did then you know good gospel music.

If you are Jamaican and not new to gospel music you would have grown up listening to Love 101 and will agree with me that they used to be the plug in their time. You might recall that they often played this group called Change especially during the summer and on the weekends. Change sang some great reggae gospel songs like “ Take The Lord in Your Life” and “Jesus is Lord“. If you can appreciate a really good baseline you can thank me later as long as you use really good earphones. They have other great songs and I am on the hunt to find their album.

Good gospel music is dying out, and it’s getting to me. What’s happening now is a waste of decibels to me and I wish some of these people would stop. I won’t call any names because trust me they know themselves.

Another dying tradition is good Easter Bun.

trash
trash in its finest form

Now, this is a mess! This bun tells me that I better have a lot of cheese to help me to eat it and lemonade to help wash it down. For without these other elements this sorry attempt to recreate a time honoured tradition shall surely stop in the throat of the individual who decides to eat this and pretend that it actually tastes good. I don’t know what this is but it’s not worthy to be called an Easter bun must be a summer bun cause only when people well hungry inna the hot sun them swallow dem smt yah.

Translation of the last two lines:

This is in no shape or form an Easter Bun because this is the type of product people consume during hot summer days when they are too tired and annoyed to prepare a decent meal.

 

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From the best escovitch spot in Port Royal

 

Escovitch fish is another tradition that’s dying out. Not everyone can escovitch fish, and not everyone can eat or pronounce escovitch. I’ve never tried to make it and I need adult supervision to eat it. As the tradition of Lent was to give up certain things, like red meat and alcohol among other things, fish became the protein of choice because based on the movies we watch that was all Jesus ate. Or am I the only one who got that from the movies?

OH WELL…

It’s time for my next Jesus movie and I am definitely not gonna be confused today.

There are other traditions but people ruin them and I don’t want to talk about them anymore.

COM

 

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Broken by the Benefit of the Doubt

I’ve been writing what I hope will be my first book.

Thing is I haven’t been adding much to it as my new job kinda makes it difficult for me to write anything other than stuff for my job lately. I’ve just had a thought that may be a quick solution to this. I’ll either post to my blog while I’m on break at work or do some work on my book.

The book, by the way, will most likely be self-published if published at all. We’ll see how that goes.

Back to the topic…

I know my blog is all over the place but have you checked the name of my blog? Based on my bio I may seem a bit naive and optimistic, but the truth is I’m quite pessimistic. Well I know I am but the character assessments I’ve done say otherwise. But who knows me better than I do? Probably my mother-in-law.  Oh and the urban dictionary because they totally get me.

So according to the urban dictionary, I’m optimistically pessimistic…but I wonder if I could also be pessimistically optimistic. I don’t think that’s a thing as one would cancel out the other. Right?

Back to the topic…again

So I might just have given my book its title with this post. Here’s the thing, I don’t really like people but they don’t know that because my mother taught us to never treat people differently no matter what their situation is or how they’ve treated you or who they are. This doesn’t apply to my current neighbours though, I really don’t like them so I’ll continue to ignore and dislike them.

Back to the topic…seriously

For me, I give people the benefit of the doubt almost automatically and automatically it comes back to bite me in the ass. Thankfully not literally because I bruise easily.

Group projects- I try to take on new people to see their strengths and how I can include them in my network of creativity and confusion but they are waaaaay too confusing and lack creativity even though they told me they had what I needed.

Music-I hear a few songs by an artiste and I think oh their album might not be so bad, a can only listen to the song(s) that brought me to the album. I might have brought that let down on myself but isn’t that what the benefit of the doubt is?

Relationships-They talk their best game and I get sucked into their web of lies. I thought he was one of the good guys until he wasn’t. Like the guy, I wasted two years of my life on and all he did was suck the energy out of me. The others were easy to walk away from because I sensed the disappointment.

Snacks-A certain potato chip and their bag of air. Snacks that promise to be great and fresh but are stale and make me want my money back.

Giving people and things the benefit of the doubt is easy but its also hard. When your conscience warns you not to but you go against it and do it and regret it. Like the time I tried to go to my first ever after-school fete with my friends and got mugged. I knew I shouldn’t have gone because, (1.) I don’t like crowds and would not know what to do. (b.) if my mom found out she would’ve knocked me out because I didn’t have her permission to stay out late much less go to some fete where she knew absolutely no one who would be there and (3.) I’ve never had a birthday party or any party (even now) so what was I trying to do?

Needless to say, my ass has not been to another party or fete since. Except for office parties and I think that was like twice. Oh and the past summer when I was the camp photographer and worked the events. I learned that lesson the hard way.

Police officers- this comes from the way they treated me when I went to report that I had just been mugged. (I mean in the movies that’s what they do and I expected that that was also the right thing to do.) Yeah, the woman at the desk laughed at me because I was crying and looked like I wanted to beat the life out of her for laughing at me. She thought I was crying because I knew my mom would’ve beaten my ass. While that has some truth to it, I was really upset because that was my only phone, as a matter of fact, my bother lent it to me and it was a cool phone at the time and I knew I’d never get another great phone again just to teach me a lesson.

sophia Continue reading “Broken by the Benefit of the Doubt”

Am I Jonah or Chieniel

Hey there! It’s been a while I know, but my excuse is the inevitable I had so many assignments to do I just couldn’t spare the time.

Now that I’ve cleared that up, I bet you’re wondering what this is about. And some of you may have guessed it, I’m giving you an update on my unadventurous life and comforting myself, sort of.

So I wrote some time ago that I had a fear of success and just before I started this post I googled it and The Jonah Complex was a part of my search results.  I should be writing a letter requesting financial assistance towards the completion of my studies and I am procrastinating because I’ve been in a slump with my writing for about two months now and I’m also afraid that my letter will not only go unanswered but even worse, rejected.

So what if it is? I wouldn’t be the first to be denied a scholarship.

Moving on…

Please tell me you know who Jonah is. I don’t personally know a fellow named Jonah, but hopefully, in the future, I will. Yes, I think the name Jonah would suit my son, let’s hope his father will agree. But that’s beside the point!

The Jonah I’m referring to is the prophet who was sent by God to warn the people of Nineveh of their impending doom. So Jonah’s challenge was to face a very wicked set of people and tell them that because of their distasteful behaviour they were gonna die. I mean who wouldn’t run from that kind of responsibility?

Jonah being swallowed up by a whale was fortunate but I know I’d want the whale to chew me before he swallowed for two reasons.

  1. Who swallows their food without chewing? I mean come on! Your mother didn’t raise a barbarian, did she? I’m very concerned about this creature being so careless and irresponsible with their health.
  2. I’m trying to die here so if you’re gonna be helpful do it right.

Now according to Wikipedia, which I shouldn’t be quoting right now because I was taught that it isn’t credible; the Jonah Complex is the fear of success which prevents self-actualization, or the realization of one’s potential. It is the fear of one’s own greatness, the evasion of one’s destiny, or the avoidance of exercising one’s talents. As the fear of achieving a personal worst may serve to motivate personal growth, likewise the fear of achieving a personal best may hinder achievement. (some CTRL+C was used just now along with CTRL+V).

How is it applicable to me?

You must not have been following. I’m supposed to be writing a letter requesting help to fund my tuition but because I’m afraid that my letter may not get the response I need I’m hesitant to write it. Deep down I know that I could write a letter that will blow the minds of the audience it is intended for but this semester has taken so much from me I can’t quite bring myself to put the words on paper.

But here I am and I’d appreciate it if you would stop judging me right now.

As a student of communication, it shouldn’t be this hard to write a letter and believe me that’s not even the issue. Boy, have I got layers? I don’t like asking for help. There I said it! It’s not pride, or is it? The idea of being rewarded for proving with some extra effort that I’m worthy of being compensated or rewarded just doesn’t make any sense to me. No these people are not familiar with me or my work, so they can’t just get up and invest in me as I’d like them to, so I need to prove to them that I am worthy of even their consideration.

Pssssh, they’ve made worse decisions. Not saying that I would be a regret. I’m a safe bet… it doesn’t get much safer than Chieniel. I’m also not saying that these people who reward students with grants and scholarships make bad choices.

So I guess there is some Jonah in me but at the end of the day, I am Chieniel.

Chieniel the communications specialist student who is worthy of a scholarship that will ensure that she is able to complete her Bachelors degree in Communication Arts and Technology, which she is excelling at just so you know. A degree meant for her; let’s just say that she puts the C-O-M in communicate. She wants to write, to represent, to create, share and impact. To do this she must complete her studies, however, she is financially challenged and this adds to her fear of being successful.

I hope this makes sense.

Yours in frustration

another struggling college girl

(Disney songs motivated this post)

 

Fresh

EPIPHANY…

I think I have them too often for someone who is crippled with procrastination. I mean I keep telling myself I’m going to do better and do more; then I sit back and fold my arms and forget about it. There have been moments when I gave in and actually did something I knew would be worth it.

Take for instance my new summer employment opportunity. Of course I could say summer job, but that’s so basic and almost everyone has one. I call it summer employment opportunity for three reasons.

Reason no.1

I applied for a job by using a risky resume. Well not necessarily risky, but I used information I had received last year from my summer employer and it worked. What’s that advice? I thought you’d never ask.

The Assistant Human Resource Manager for one of my country’s biggest financial institutions encouraged my batch of summer mentees to rework our resumes and evolve from the regular black and white, to the paper that gets the first pick out of the batch. I did and I ensured that I did the second thing she said. I’m gonna tell you, don’t worry. When you apply to especially their company, on your CV or resume if you will, include or highlight what they want to see. They needed summer camp teachers with specific skills, I am a certified educator and I am also a liberal student. So I applied with a not very plain resume. Resume just click that right there.

It worked, I was called for an interview and was presented with the opportunity however not for the position I had applied for.

Reason no.2

During my interview, I realized that I was failing to connect with my interviewers. They didn’t seem too pleased with my explanations of what I could bring to the table as a teacher. So in the most random and quite impressive way I brought up another skill that I possess. I am a media student, which means that I have photography, videography, audio-visual skills and experience. It worked! I am now the camp photographer.

The downside to this is one of my worst procrastinating ever. I signed up for a free online photography course for four weeks. The time difference made it just terrible. I could hardly bring myself to get up at 2 a.m. my time to learn photography, so after awhile I would just roll over after hitting snooze 10 times on my phone’s alarm. You live and you learn. All that I can do now is apply what I have been taught by my lecturer and youtubers to get this job done.

Just a side note; I hope to document my experience here. Sort of a challenge to myself that should prove interesting and give my page more traffic.

Now I had to present a plan of action to the coordinators of the camp and once again I did the unexpected. This time procrastination came in handy. It all came to me on the day the plan was due…yup I waited until the day my work was due to do it. I hope to change that in future. Wish me luck! I decided to do more than just photography.

I shall create a digital newsletter using a particular software. It will be time consuming and frustrating but well worth it. Why? I need to make up my portfolio as an editor and this is my start. I can just feel it! I’ll be doing other things but I’d rather not go into all of that.

Are you still with me? I’m almost finished…I promise.

Reason no.3

When I was told I had been successful; i.e. I got the job. I was told to look out for a certain email. I was so shocked that I hadn’t been able to follow the telephone conversation at the time. But it seems I may have received another opportunity with the company, which could mean working with two sets of persons and bringing home two pay cheques. Hey a girl has to be hopeful!

By the way this second opportunity requires completing an application. You guessed it! I did not apply.

So yes, I consider these opportunities. These are not easy to come by where I am from. You especially have to know someone who can get you in. I was told this by an employment specialist. These events have been huge for me because it means that I got to this part on my own merit.

What’s my lesson? I need to do more, after-all, I’m doing it for myself. If I’m going to make it and blow minds, I better start from here down at the bottom and shatter my way to the top. That sounds weird but it makes sense.

My epiphany. I knew this all along.

Wish me luck!

As I am today your Inspired College Girl

New Approach

I used to brag about how different I was from the rest, how none-basic I am and how highly I thought of myself. Then I moved out of my parents house and moved in with my sisters so that I could attain tertiary education. I’m nothing like my siblings, I am a liberal thinker and doer. I studied the arts, I appreciate the arts way more than they ever will and not just because I am the youngest but I am nowhere near mature nor do I intend to be.

When I moved in with my sisters, I thought that all I had to do was go to school and get good grades. I was so wrong! It wasn’t until I had to prepare for a final presentation for my Oral Communications course that I thought that I was becoming a victim of the Cinderella Syndrome. Like I was shocked that it was an actual thing and that I was familiar with several victims of it, especially in my family.

Maybe I’m not really a victim but it sure feels like it sometimes. I do not have social freedom living with my sisters, one might think she gives/ allows me to have my freedom but then I think she needs to revise the definition of freedom. Maybe then she would see why I take every opportunity to be away from her or stay in my room. I can say that I avoid making friends or having any form of relationship for several reasons. Reasons that exist because my decisions must factor in how she will react should she know about anything that goes on in my life. Let me say that again.

Before I do anything that should really only concern me, I have to consider how and what I do for myself will affect my sister. How my life as an individual, an adult female university student studying communication arts and technology, will affect my adult sister who provides housing for me. Am I ungrateful? I could be. But I still think I am in my right to be unhappy with my situation. In Jamaica we have a saying, “If yuh want good, yuh nose haffi run” translation- that thing that you want won’t come easy, you have to work hard for it, maybe even suffer a little.

I’ve died inside, I wish I could say a little but I quite think it’s a lot. But once there is life there is hope (I’ve finally used this cliche), so in light of a new opportunity that has presented itself because I took a different approach I am going to try to do things a little different from now on. Nothing unorthodox or too much out of my comfort zone.

For one, I can’t post everyday. I tried, but I don’t think I’m quite there yet. I haven’t given up just yet, instead, I’ll post whenever inspiration knocks me over. Yup, I need it that much. Next, I’m gonna doubt myself a lot less and procrastinate as little as possible. Which seems to make what I said before this redundant, I’m not changing that.

Oh boy, I haven’t even posted this yet and I’m making a mess of it. Alright, the third thing, I’m gonna put myself out there more. Be a cut above the rest, be the liberal young thing I am. Continue to love my art, embrace it, share it…grow. Appreciate myself and my thoughts as much as my peers and friends do. My programme director said it best…I can’t quite remember what he said right now but when I do I’ll drop it as a comment.

Does this make any sense? I hope so!

I’m only being creative today, no energy for confusion.

Just the,

College girl.

Another One

Isn’t it amazing how movies can inspire us? Trust me, I can honestly say that a number of the things I do and say were influenced by movies and music. Like the movie, “The Duff”, which encourages self-acceptance and all that good stuff. I didn’t notice I was a Duff or that Duff was actually a thing until I came across this movie a few months ago. However, its impact was only felt today, which is why I am now writing this.

Influence is a funny thing. Words can influence us and I think they may just be the greatest of all influences. Take today for instance, my mother asked me to do somethings for her as she had to take care of some business on the road. Of course after seeing the disapproval on my face of having to do actual work, she reminded me of the thing I can never get tired of hearing…”you are lazy”. I found a meme sometime last year that I shall have printed on a T-shirt.

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Yup this totally describes me, even my gym instructor agrees.

So here’s what happened because of the influence of my mother’s words. Mother had put the laundry out to dry this morning in an effort to catch some sun. We’ve been having a lot of rain lately, and this has triggered me to be even more selective with my participation. Anyways, I decided to do my mom the favor and take the laundry in before the rain. Which I must add did not even happen.

So I’m minding my business and taking stuff off the clothes line and a spider attacks me out of nowhere. This thing spun a web around my leg so quickly I didn’t even have time to feel it happen. I didn’t realize my demise until it had finished spinning its web and started to make its way up my leg. Just think I could’ve either become spider-woman today or dead. I may be overreacting, but spiders have that effect on humans.

I quickly shacked it off me and stepped on it, that was sheer adrenaline. I am a natural born coward. So even though the arachnid lay dead the entire time I continued to not be lazy, I made sure to avoid it. You know, just in case it decided to be un-dead and try another sneak attack.

I think I should point out that I am terribly afraid of anything that crawls, slithers, glides, hops, the whole works. Pictures I can handle, the actual thing…not so much. I’ve slept on the couch because a lizard was in my room and my father was away and my brother refused to get it out of my room. But I digress.

I finish with the laundry and get back inside, all itchy because the invisible and microscopic species of the outdoors were crawling all over me. I had a quick and scalding shower to put my mind at ease. Made my way back to my bed, in stepping out of my slippers, I somehow step back into the slipper and step onto the buckle of the slipper which slices the bottom of my foot. At this point I’m just like, this is why you should be lazy and not care what anyone has to say. Yup, that’s what I get for trying to be un-lazy.

After dressing my wound all by myself… I’m a big girl after all and my mother was too busy on her phone. Oh yeah, she came back and was home the entire time I was under attack. Think I’m too old to call child services now.

So yeah, I dressed my wound and once again made my way back into my bed. Trying to find a movie to be lazy to, I settle for “The Duff”. I wasn’t in the mood for a new movie. But I am now! I’ll try to include it in tomorrow’s post.

Now that I have made another post, I can continue to exercise selective participation. I like this kind of participation. This is me being inspired; in a good way.

Being the ever so creatively confused,

and injured

College girl