Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bad Romance! Beautiful Romance

Friday, October 30, 2009

BCOM = Boring!!

a comic strip! a comic strip!

By Isabelle Abraham

It’s Wednesday morning and all I want to do is sleep. So why on earth am I headed towards the Macro Economics class? This is definitely the last place I want to be, considering that I am a Journ student, and have a shockingly low aptitude when it comes to anything maths-related. I told my dear BCOM friend that I’d sit in with her during her lecture, and already I’m regretting it.

Liza greets me outside the class and we walk inside, she strolling and me trudging- delaying the entry. As soon as I enter, my eyes pop. The lecture theatre is big enough to house 410 students, and more than half of them are already seated, which is a WAY better turnout than I can say for Journ. As we start ascending the stairs, I start to feel really self-conscious and I hiss to Liza, “Everyone’s staring at me!” She tries to assure me that it’s just my paranoia acting up, but when I see foreheads crinkle in confusion and eyes narrow in suspicion, I can’t help but cringe. They know I don’t belong here.

I start blushing and a ridiculously nervous grin sits on my face. Just as we are about to sit down, my traitorous feet decide to stumble, but before anything potentially mortifying can happen, my bottom finds the chair. Wow, all that fuss and the lecture hasn’t even started yet.

Then the lecturers walk in- the class has begun. As soon as the woman with the lemon-sucking expression says “all things money”, I know I’m in trouble. Soon, words such as “reserve ratio”, “transmission mechanism” and “ripple effects” start spewing out of her mouth like vomit. This is when I switch off. No way am I listening to that nonsense.

My friend, equally bored, points out all the hot guys who are seated below us. Yes!! We found the optimal view, where we can stare down at all the weird and wonderful people. My journalistic eyes immediately notice the fact that students are socially grouped in class- just like high school. The jocks sit to the left, the brains on the right, and little sets of Barbies are scattered all around. The weirdoes are here too- such as the one down there who yanks at his hair and scrapes his teeth against his file.

I point all this out to Liza and we’re about to giggle when a nosy eavesdropper right below me turns and stares at us. Oops! I’m going have to learn how to be more discreet. I roll my eyes in classic teenager fashion and hey! The lesson is almost over. As we leave the room, I start reflecting. Things gained from this experience: nothing but a page full of my brilliant pencil doodles. Things learned: that B.A. lectures are not as boring as I thought they were.

From Blond to Blonder

Over the course of the past month the expression blond ambition has taken on an entirely new meaning to me – it has literally become synonymous with my burning desire to have hair that is blonder than blond. As it turns out though, acquiring that distinctive peroxide blond look requires as much dedication and determination as any other ambition.

I was born blond – an ashy mousy blond, but nonetheless blond. During my early teens I experimented with colouring my short pixie cut every possible shade of brown in order to suit the androgyny of my look, but as I grew into myself and my femininity, I slowly went back to my blond roots. For the past year my hair has been numerous tints of golden blond, but yesterday all of that changed.

At around 11 o'clock in the morning I walked into a hair salon. “Would it be possible for you to make my hair white?” I ask the woman behind the counter. With a confused look on her face she asks me what exactly I mean by white. I explain to her that I want peroxide blond hair, but not like Eminem, rather something more like Marylin Monroe. “Sit down,” she says, “I will be with you in a moment”. Half an hour later the “moment” has still not past. My temper lets me down and I walk out of the salon without any explanation.

I enter the next salon, I am not the kind of woman who will be defeated so easily. This time the women behind the counter looks much more funky and much less like she got her hairdressing diploma from some beauty school in Koffiefontein. I tell her that I want hair so white that it looks black and if they are not capable to give me what I want, she should tell me immediately so that I can find a new salon. She assures me that they can do it for me, but that they take no responsibility if my hair suddenly starts to break and fall out.

While my hair is being washed thoughts of me walking around bold-headed perpetuate my mind. I keep hoping that I am not one of those unfortunate souls with lots of humps and bumps in their head, because if I am going to be bold, I better be a fabulous at it.

After one of the most fantastic haircuts of my life, the bleaching starts. The toxic smell takes over the entire salon and all the old ladies who come in for their blow-dries smile at me sympathetically. The peroxide stays on my hair for half an hour before my scalp is finally relieved of the tingling. Just as I start to think that its over, the stylist says that they will have to put on a toner to neutralize the yellow from all the times that I have been a golden blond.

A blue paste that looks like glorified surf is applied all over the brassy orange parts of my hair and I am told to wait another twenty minutes. While I wait one of the other stylist tells me about how she just knows that her boyfriend is going to pop the big question this weekend. As she blabbers on about American Swiss receipts and bubble baths, my mind wanders off to what my own boyfriend will think of the new “do”. I convince myself that if he's really the kind of guy that I want to be with, he will adore this new less commercially beautiful version of me.

Twenty minutes and one blow dry later, I have become the image of the women who I want to be – a women who manages to be glamorous and grungy simultaneously. Imagine a mixture between Courtney Love and Jean Harlow and somewhere in the middle you are sure to find me. I still cannot help but stare at the perfection of my hair every five minutes – my blond ambition has been realised.

"I want to go home...NOW!"

by Lunga Khuzwayo

“What have I gotten myself into? Turn back now Lunga, while you still have a chance”, slowly I creep up the stairs as the loud music vibrates beneath my pumps, screams, squeals and alcohol spills…this was so not my scene. I wanted to dash back to res and cuddle with my books but outside in this wilderness, I stuck out like a sore thumb. This social experiment required me to go to the Steve Biko building (previously known as the Union) for the first time. I lived a good nine months without setting foot in that place; I had not missed out on much. “Student card please”, says the bouncer, I whip out my card and went into the sea of white. A black dot on a white page or a white dot on a black page, either or, the minority race always seems out of place in these social scenes.

I felt insecure which bothered me: I eat alone, walk alone, and go to lectures alone and sit alone yet going out alone, this was the first. This was no longer a matter of a racial experience but an issue of going partying ON A WEDNESDAY NIGHT alone and trying to make at least one friend, “One friend? I have more than enough friends”, I tried to convince myself.

I prayed that whoever I came across would be so drunk that I would be a distant memory in the morning. One hour was far too long, I gave myself 30 minutes maximum. Luckily I bumped into an old friend, had a brief sober chat and *click click* we smiled for the camera. She introduced me to a few friends that I would probably never see again. This was my queue to leave, the long cold walk back to res was not worth the trouble and I guess I prefer to play it safe in life.

Taking Note

Everyday 80 000 new blogs are created. Blogs about fashion, politics, spinach and a whole array of other topics. On the 27th of September this year, Please Note The Following was one of the 80 000 blogs created that day, but it's mission was slighty different to that of most other blogs. Its creators wanted to give readers a behind the scenes glimpse into the world of student journalism by establighing a fresh and funky yet slightly serious blogging forum.

The blog layout is very minimalistic. The blue, teal and white colouring is reminiscent of an insurance company waiting room which certainly does not add a young and exciting edge to the blog. It also has a notable lack of gadgets. For a blog dealing with journalism as its subject matter, it would have been helpful for the creators to allow for RSS feeds from various news and journalism sites.

As far as content is concerned the blog does succeed in living up to its initial purpose. The content manages to strike a good balance between the serious and the off-the-wall which helps to attract readers whilst still making them aware of significant information. Seeing as the content is produced by four different individuals, the blog lacks a sense of coherence and there is a variety of distinctly different writing styles.

Although the blog does add to the discussion around journalism, it does not strike me as being a crucial element of the debate. The blog creators would have to improve on their presentation of the blog and they would have to develop an authentic journalistic stance in order for readers to take note of what they have to say.

Blogging Scandalously

By Isabelle Abraham

Being a self-confessed gossip-lover, the blog title RU Scandalous? appeals to me immediately. On entering the site, one is instantly confronted with the ominous image of the Rhodes University Clock Tower. The stark contrast between the black and pink in the background makes it visually appealing. The image of the flawless skin and glossy lips makes the blog seem glamorous, whereas the pink-tinted skull smoking out of the mouth delivers a slightly sinister edge to the site.

The blog is created by Thobile Memela, Nicholas Rocke, Jessica Lewer, Aimee Caufield and Sifiso Sikhakhane, and is aimed at journalism students. The blog posts range significantly in writing style and topic and each entry highlights an individual issue. Many of the posts include visuals which capture the reader’s attention very quickly and are clever aids to the entries.

The quality of the writing itself is of a general high standard and it is particularly interesting to note the difference between the writers’ styles. “Stormy Weather”, for example, had a very creative feel to it as the writer narrated it in a classic story-telling form, making it atmospheric. Another piece, “Dramatic Arts; a Home for Homosexuals” is a finely-wrought opinion piece; it candidly speaks about the stereotypes associated with the Rhodes Drama Department and cleverly exposes this issue.

The colour of the writing makes it clear to read but the white-on-black eventually strains the eye, making it uncomfortable to read. All in all, this student blog is one definitely worth visiting.

What’s your number? What’s YOUR colour?

The JMS1 class of 2009 have very strong viewpoints and aren’t afraid to put out there in the most flamboyant ways. Paging through the book of blogs by the JMS1 class of 2009 has been a treat for my eyes, and snack for my intellect.

While looking through a number of blogs one in particular caught my eye: The number 42 is purple. A warm, soft green background, and very interesting header-pic intrigued me to scroll down to investigate.

This blog is one of 62 blog-groups by the JMS1 students from Rhodes University. These first years were asked to blog on a number of subject matter. They blogged opinion pieces, commentary pieces and even self reflective pieces about who they are as bloggers. This was an opportunity to show their different styles of writing. It was also an opportunity to show off their cyber knowledge and aesthetics prowess.
This group’s use of aesthetics is very appealing. Their background was warm, inviting and easy on the eye. I enjoyed the prominence of pictures. It is also good to see that they have progressed from articles without pictures, to having a picture accompany every article now.

Their use of language was very effective as they did not speak down to any readers but approached the reader on the same plane.

All in all it is truly a blog worth the read. You can get delicious succinct articles that are a lovely snack to read and a feast for the eyes with their lovely pictures.