Winter is here

Ek is seker meeste van julle het opgelet hoe baie keer hiérdie frase gebruik was in die premiere van Game of Thrones se sewende seisoen. Die lang wag is uiteindelik verby, en nou is dit darem net een week wat ons as die kykers moet wag vir elke nuwe episode. Ek dink Suid-Afrikaners kan hulself beter vereenselwig met “winter is here” as die noordelike halfrond se kykers. Ons was selfs verras met ‘n bietjie sneeu in die Kaap en die Instagram-foto’s wat vriende oplaai, maak my groen. Potchefstroom is koud, maar nog nie sneeukoud nie. Na die oggend se warm stort voel dit nie so koud buite nie, en hier teen tienuur se kant wens jy, jy het maar iets koeler saamgebring en draai die verwarmer na ‘n koeler temperatuur.

My gunsteling tyd van die jaar is winter en natuurlik sal meeste mense vra, “Maar hoe? Dit is so lekker om in die son te lê en nie soveel klere te moet aantrek elke oggend nie.” Dit is juis hierdie tyd van die jaar wat ek nie voel ek moet elke vyf minute ‘n stort gaan vang net om bietjie af te koel nie (sommiges van ons is nie bevoorreg genoeg om ‘n lugversorger te kan aanskakel vir die hitte nie). Die bome lyk dalk vaal en die gras is nie meer so groen nie, maar dan maak die lekker snoesige en kleurvolle uitrustings wat mens so gereeld sien, alles beter. ‘n Warm koppie koffie en beskuitjie het nog nooit so lekker gesmaak nie, en die bed is jou beste maat. Dis net jammer die vakansie is so kort en sommiges het nie eers vakansie nie.

Gepraat van in die bed lê, dit is ook nou weer tyd dat al my gunsteling reekse wys. Snaaks hoe alles so saam-saam uitkom. Indien jy aanbevelings soek, kyk gerus Game of Thrones, Suits en natuurlik is daar ook die fantastiese Afrikaanse reeks, Die Boekklub. Natuurlik is ‘n goeie boek ook nie te versmaai saam met daai koppie koffie nie. Vir die wat nie graag lees of reekse kyk nie, kan jy altyd leer om te brei, jou droom vakansie beplan of sommer net ‘n middagslapie vang. Die moontlikhede is eindeloos, google gerus ‘n paar dinge wat jy kan doen as jy verveeld is. Geniet die winter en onthou dit gaan oor jou ingesteldheid!

Laat weet my wat is jou gunsteling seisoen en hoekom?

Warm wees!

DJ

 

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#RedMyLips: Interview with Celetia Reinders

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to be introduced to the #RedMyLips campaign by a friend, colleague and a truly inspirational woman, Celetia Reinders. She is also one of my fellow Book Club members and we all read a book called Vlees en Bloed. In this book one of the very important topics being discussed is that of sexual violence. Reading about this topic made me even more aware of the issues a lot of women (and men) face regarding sexual violence and I asked Celetia to tell me a bit more about the aims and goals of the #RedMyLips campaign. Immediately she sent me the link to their website and other social media accounts that will help me to get a better idea of what this campaign is about. She also agreed on an interview and after receiving her thorough answers she captured the idea of the movement and her own involvement to such an extent that the reader will get a clear idea on what #RedMyLips is all about.

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Here follows the Q & A with Celetia Reinders:

  1. Where did you first hear about the #RedMyLips campaign?

In March 2015 I was browsing through Facebook for interesting causes or events to take part in. I came across the #RedMyLips campaign and was extremely fascinated by the motion of “visibility, not vanity” and the use of red lipstick as a weapon to combat myths regarding sexual assault.

  1. Why did you want to get involved in such a campaign?

One of my favourite quotes by Martin Luther King Jr. is the following:

“Our lives begin to end the day we are silent about things that matter”. I decided to get involved in this campaign because the topic is truly something that matters.

I attended an all-girls’ school and grew up in a home with two sisters and parents who taught us about good values and respect for our bodies. As I became older, I realized that even though many of my friends (or victims) grew up with the same values which once again confirms and proves the following statement: “A person is NEVER asking to be raped- no matter the situation, what or how much make-up they were wearing, etc.”.

While sexual assault is a topic that is usually seen as “taboo” or not frequently discussed, I feel that it is very important to raise awareness, even if just by wearing red lipstick and starting important conversations on the topic.

Education is a cause I feel strongly about, and these conversations tend to educate and inform people with opinions on victims. People frequently believe that the victims “were asking for it” or “deserved it”- but the truth is, no means no and each person has the right to speak out, but is not always brave enough. 

  1. Do people ask you about your red lips during April?

People comment on my red lipstick rather than ask about it- and then I tell them more about the campaign which usually leads to conversation regarding the victim-blaming and other myths. Another myth is that sexual assault is a gender issue. While women are the victims in most cases, this is not entirely the case. Sexual assault is a human issue and affects us all. According to redmylips.org, 1 in 6 boys experience sexual abuse before the age of 18. The statistics of the website further state that 1 in every 33 men will experience rape or attempted rape in their lifetime.

The questions I receive are usually more of a “are you going on a date?” or a “what are you dressed up for?” type of question, which adds on to the motion: “what I wear does not indicate consent”. This is another myth- because a victim is never asking to be raped and consent should still be given, whether a person goes out in a mini skirt or cargo pants.

  1. How are you contributing to create awareness about sexual violence and victim-blaming besides wearing red lipstick?

By the use of social media and the sharing of photos, articles and events, people tend to become interested and participate in the movement themselves. A few of my friends have joined the campaign after seeing my photos – examples are Arisca Heystek in 2015, Nicole Kingwill and Charné Wilken in 2016 and Anje de Wet in 2017. These people have other friends and acquaintances who might now also be inspired and read up on the topic or even join the movement.

Furthermore, I frequently read up on the issue so that I can inform and educate people when the topic comes forth. I would love to speak at schools or even incorporate this important issue in my future as teacher, counselor or educational psychologist.

  1. You can choose not to answer this question:

Are you or do you know anyone who has been a victim of sexual violence?

I am lucky enough to not be a victim myself, but do know of a few people and close friends who are. In 2016 I completed my B.Ed honours degree in Educational Psychology, and as a part of our practical hours for the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), we had to register as student counsellors where we provided counselling at schools and hospitals. Although our lecturers did not prefer for us to work with victims of sexual assault, we learnt about the topic in our theory classes and may be able to work with these people in the future. As a future counsellor, it’s important to be informed about any topic which can have an impact on a person’s psychological well-being.

I have also attended events held by the iDUC project which is based on the touching story of Santi Britz who used her pain from a rape trauma to touch the lives of many (read more on www.iDuc.co.za). I was introduced to this project by Leané Kotzé, Miss Campus South-Africa 2016, who contributed her and Orgo Rautenbach’s (Mr Campus 2015) Halewood prize money to this worthy project. The iDuc project started the “DuckAround “shuttle services in Potchefstroom in January 2017, which allows students to safely arrive at their destinations being transported by these pink cars.

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The #RedMyLips campaign is for anyone, whether you have been a victim or not. The wearing of red lipstick also shows support and solidarity to the survivors or victims. I can only imagine the love and support one would feel when searching the hashtag and over 34 000 results appear. 

  1. Do you have advice of your own to people who have been a victim of sexual violence?

This may be easier said than done, but it’s important to keep your head high and remember that the incident does not define you and is NEVER your fault.

No means NO and you are allowed to change your mind whenever you want. Take ownership of your body and give consent when you feel ready. No and maybe does not mean yes. Yes is the ONLY YES.

Lastly, I want you to remember that there is always hope and you are not alone. Seek help or support- there is a lot of assistance out there: doctors, police, family violence services, friends, support groups or even professional counselling. Build strong social networks. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, “This is not your fault, not your final destination and you are not alone.”

(I am a Christian and feel that turning to God and praying to forgive the offender and to become stronger: but not everyone has the same beliefs. I wish to embrace and respect all religions.)

To find more information regarding the #RedMyLips campaign you can check them out at the following links:

Website: http://www.redmylips.org

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/redlipstick4acause/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/redmylipsorg/

SA Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/redmylips_sa/

Spread the word and educate everyone, because this is not about vanity, but about visibility. If you want to add something please feel free to comment or send me an email in the contact me section.

Kind regards

DJC

Formal: make it, break it or fake it

Ek wonder baie keer of die dames weet dat die kêrels net soveel moeite insit vir die dinee as hulle (oukei, nou nie heeltemal nie, maar tog meer as wat hulle dink). Ek wil wegval om te begin met die kleredrag – dit is die grootste ding. Baie keer stem die ou in om iets aan te trek wat die dame se rok (of ander uitrusting) sal komplimenteer. Sommiges trek wel aan net wat hulle wil. Nietemin, moet keuses uitgeoefen word en dit neem baie maal ʼn noukeurige besluit. Die keuses lê gewoonlik tussen ʼn pak wat volledig een kleur is, of om die tendens te volg en ʼn chino aan te trek met ʼn bypassende baadjie. Daarna is dit die kleur van die hemp – moet dit inpas by die res van die uitrusting. En die das – lank, dun, groot, kleur? Ook skoene en ʼn gordel.

Ek probeer om nie te veel daaroor na te dink nie. As student is die keuse elk geval bietjie beperk, maar die kuns is om die kleure in jou kas so te kombineer dat dit lyk of jy amper nooit dieselfde klere dra nie. Instagram, Pintrest en net ʼn eenvoudige Google Images soektog behoort jou vinnig touwys te maak oor kombinasies wat werk, watter das gepas is vir jou liggaamsbou en watter skoene en gordel die beste by jou uitrusting gaan pas. Jy wil immers die dame beïndruk, so begin deur goed te lyk. (Dit is dalk voor die handliggend, maar in die vier jaar wat ek al dinees bygewoon het, was daar al ʼn paar verkeerde besluite geneem – soos bv. tekkies of ʼn T-hemp.)

Dan is dit ook (eintlik) die ou se plig om ʼn blom of twee te koop vir sy metgesel. Baie dames waardeer hierdie gebaar en is ook in hulle skik wanneer hulle blomme kry. Dit hoef nie noodwendig ʼn groot bos rose te wees nie (behalwe as dit nou jou meisie is, wat so iets verwag), maar net iets wat haar spesiaal sal laat voel. As jy haar regtig wil beïndruk kan jy haar of haar vriendinne vra wat haar gunsteling blom is en seker maak jy kry dit in die hande.

Laastens, moet jy weet hoe om haar belangrik te laat voel, asof sy die ster is van die aand – die fotosessie vooraf is die plek om dit vir haar te wys. Geniet die foto’s saam die ander ouens, maar maak seker jou metgesel weet sy is die een wat die kollig moet geniet. Dit is dieselfde op die dansvloer (doen maar moeite met die passies vooraf as jy weet jy het twee linkervoete). Kry ook genoeg om oor te gesels, julle wil nie die hele aand ongemaklik vir mekaar glimlag omdat julle nie oor enigiets kan praat nie – as jy moet YouTube ʼn paar interessante onderwerpe (gee haar ook darem ʼn kans om ʼn woord in te kry deur gepaste vrae te vra).

Opsommend, probeer maar net om die beste gentleman te wees wat jy kan!

Tot en met die dinee.

DJ

 

 

 

WhatsApp-web

Ek het aan die begin van hierdie jaar ʼn paar lukrake gedagtes met ʼn “status” op Facebook gedeel waaronder WhatsApp-web een van die dinge is wat gelys was. Ek vertel nou die dag weer vir iemand daarvan en ek was nogal verbaas dat sy nog nie daarvan geweet het nie. Nietemin, is hier nou ʼn herinnering om jou lewe aansienlik te vergemaklik.

Eerstens: wat is WhatsApp-web? Mens sal dink die app is dan mos nou reeds 24/7 met die Internet gekonnekteer so hoe verskil die webweergawe dan nou? Wel, die webweergawe van WhatsApp het onstaan juis omdat dit geriefliker is om net vinnig na een van die ander oortjies op die Internet te gaan i.p.v. jou foon op te tel en dan eers terug te antwoord. (Ek dink julle het ook besef dat hierdie blog-inskrywing in Afrikaans is – dit is ook geriefliker om te gebruik vir my as moedertaalspreker.)

Nou WhatsApp-web werk so: klik op die drie kolletjies bo in die regterkantste hoek nadat jy WhatsApp oopgemaak het op jou foon; kies WhatsApp Web. Die instruksies wys dan hoe dit werk: gaan na web.whatsapp.com op jou rekenaar en skandeer dan die QR-kode op die skerm. Daarna is dit asof jou foonskerm op jou rekenaarskerm geprojekteer word. Boodskappe vat gewoonlik ongelooflik lank om te tik met die QWERTY-sleutelbord op jou foon (soms tot groot frustrasie), maar as jy soos ʼn baas tik op jou rekenaar gaan jy sommer vinnig ʼn (lekker lang) boodskap kan terugstuur. Dis nie al nie, YouTube-videoskakels, prentjies en musiek kan ook maklik so gedeel word.

Die enigste nadeel is dat jy Internettoegang moet hê op jou rekenaar (en ons almal weet hoe selfoonnetwerkmaatskappye ons kan uitbuit), maar indien dit nie ʼn kwessie is nie, is jou lewe aansienlik vergemaklik met hierdie nuwe kennis. Probeer dit, en stuur sommer vir my ʼn WhatsApp as ʼn toetslopie (maak net seker dit is nie per ongeluk vir die verkeerde WhatsApp-groepie nie.)

Tot ʼn volgende keer!

DJ

 

 

Must-watch series: GoT and TBBT

 

Recently, I don’t really have a lot of time to waste but a man needs time just to blow off some steam and what better way to do it than to watch some series. Yeah, movies are great, but the suspense series create by having to wait a week for the next episode is what make them so exciting. I would therefore like to share two of the series I consider a must watch.

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First of all, nothing else than the very famous Game of Thrones. Now, some people will disagree with me and the three quarters of the rest of the world’s population will agree with me – to each their own. I consider this series a must-watch, not only because of its amazing story line but also because there are so many great components that form part of the story. The fantasy world collides with reality but it is not to such an extent that you  would want to stand up in disbelief. There is only a hint of magic, only Daenerys has dragons and only the Starks have wolfs. The characters are usually portrayed extremely well and the makers are certainly not afraid to make things happen. Of course, Game of Thrones is based on the books written by George R.R. Martin, but the essence of the story itself is still depicted in such a way that it has you on the edge of your seat for most of the time. It has an immense effect on me is and it truly makes me feel that I am part of the story which is in many cases the aim of television and books: to help you escape reality even just for a little while and experience a whole new world. If you have never seen this series, you may fall asleep in the first episode the way I did (I was really tired), but when you are hooked there is no way you’ll stop watching it.

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Secondly, The Big Bang Theory, quite a contrast to that of Game of Thrones, but hear me out. Now, I was always aware of the series and never really paid attention to it until I was a second year varsity student. After I have watched the first few episodes, I thought it was really well written and I got used to the characters, ’cause boy, aren’t they something. My one friend even stopped watching it just because she couldn’t handle Sheldon’s character, which is, by the way, my favourite because he is so quirky, followed by Penny who just spices things up. I consider this series (sitcom) a must watch because the comedy is so sharp and fresh in every episode (even though there’re already 207 episodes). It is somehow intellectually stimulating by making you think that you can partake in some of the science conversations they have on the show. The other benefit this sitcom has, especially for students who want to take a quick break, is that the episodes are more or less 20 minutes and it can really get rid of some of the exam-stress by making you laugh out loud. The story line may make use of science, but I promise you that you won’t be bored by long explanations of how something works until you fall asleep like some do in class.

These are only two of the series I consider a must watch; others include SuitsVikings and American Horror Story. What are your must watch series?

Keep it real.

DJ

Excuse me, while I procrastinate

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A while ago I walked into one of the buildings on campus, one where the graphic design students have most of their classes. I saw a poster on the wall with three characters on them… and it said, “Excuse me while I procrastinate”. At first I tried to figure out what do you want to be excused from? Perhaps the conversation while you’re going on Facebook or Instagram. Then, as the days went on and I bumped into the poster time after time, I considered that it might be a fictional band’s name. I think it would make a cool band name. The characters on the poster kind of reminded me of Phineas and Pherb – cool, swag, boyish.

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The poster kept me thinking and finally I asked one of the graphic design students, and one of my friends, what’s it all about. He told me that it is a project one of the students are working on. I then saw that this specific project had a Facebook page, a Blog and other social media accounts. I was rather quite surprised that it was such a big project. I read the entries on the blog explaining the project and what the aim of the project is. The most interesting thing about Nick of Time is that it encourages interaction not only on social media but also in real life. As it is explained, people interested in the project will get to together from time to time and there they will also be able to interact.

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This idea made me aware a few things I do myself, everyday. First of all, I also procrastinate a lot. Even one of my lecturers knows that I procrastinate – not always intentionally. The same lecturer told me about a clip from Ted Talks called Tim Urban: Inside the mind of the master procrastinator. Open the link and procrastinate a little. These days I try to “procrastinate” keeping myself busy with things that may actually inspire me, to write, to spark a conversation, etc.  There are some really great material out there, may it be a video, image or blog post, to inspire you, motivate you, or just make you laugh. Remember all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

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Secondly, this project made me realize that there are actually more advantages to procrastinate and spending time on social media like Ben the bored-bouncing-browser than one might think. One of social media’s prime goals is to get people connected so make use of that function. Send a message to a long lost friend , share a video that might inspire someone and tag them in it, or maybe just post something funny that will make someone’s day. Create an event that will get you and your friends together: this way they will have no excuse not to attend because they know about the event and they’re reminded every time they go on Facebook. This way you’re not just connected virtually but in reality as well.

Lastly, I would like to mention that there are a lot of times we try to find something to distract us from our harsh reality and procrastination is one form of escaping from the task at hand. We all have different ways we procrastinate, if it is spending time on social media, cleaning your room instead of studying for exams or making yourself a sandwich after you already ate lunch just because you don’t want to start with that project – we all have something we keep ourselves busy with instead of what we are “supposed” to do. Some food for thought: try and find the the things that make you tick and turn them into those “supposed-to-do-things” so that you won’t necessarily have to take a break from it and procrastinate, but hey, who doesn’t love to click, click and click.

Share the ways on how you like to procrastinate in the comment box below and don’t forget to subscribe.

Just keep swimming – Finding Nemo.

DJ

 

From town to town

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On the road again

People often ask me, “So, where do you live?” Now, to answer them, is quite difficult.

The thing with varsity students is that, after they have been studying for a while, some of them feel that the city where they’re studying is where they are actually living, but if someone from your own varsity asks you where you live they obviously refer to your hometown. It is sometimes best not to get too technical.

When I get this question, especially from people I’ve just met (Tip: it’s a good convo starter), I’ve got my answer ready and it quite fills my turn to speak: I live on a Correctional Services farm, Waterval, just outside Utrecht – that is if I stay at my father’s for the holiday. I usually get a frown at this point – although most people know about Correctional Services they have no clue where Waterval might be close to. Then I continue, it is about 30 km from Utrecht. I ask them if they have ever been to Utrecht, if they say no, I keep on going. It is almost in the middle of Vryheid and Newcastle, approximately 70 km from each of these towns, North-West KwaZulu-Natal. I use my hand to show that it is near the border of the province. Find it on the map.

Now, for me it is a five hour drive from Potchefstroom to Waterval. It is a lot of time spent on the road. So what do you do? Well, the first, quite polite thing to do, is to talk with the people with you in the car, but after a lot of chit chat the conversation starts to slow down and it is then the driver’s (or the passenger in front – depending on the shotgun rules) cue to turn up the volume of the music. It is always great to have a set playlist than to listen to the radio station (the scratchiness can be irritating). The volume is usually turned up or down as someone randomly has to say something. Now the other thing one can do is to look outside your window and enjoy the view. In South Africa we have beautiful landscape views along the main roads.  Here are some of the photos I have taken from my recent trip back to varsity…

 

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On the way to Vrede

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40 more km’s

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A beautiful old church in Vrede

Even though our end destination wasn’t Vrede it was quite an experience taking some time just to see the town. It would be great to make every trip an official road trip. Driving home for the holidays, or driving back when varsity starts doesn’t have to be boring. Ask the people going with you if the can pack a snack or two or bring some extra cash so that you will be able to make some pit stops on your way. Visit a museum in one town and a coffee shop in the next. Don’t just pass these towns on your way. We’re always in such a hurry to get to the places we need to be. Take some time and plan each trip so that you will be able to see more. Even if it means that you leave a day earlier.

Stop – just breathe for a moment.

Until next time

DJ