Excuse me, while I procrastinate

EMWIP

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

 

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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

 

 

 

Cookies, please!

As one would’ve been able to see from my previous post, I really like coffee. Sometimes one wants something to enjoy with your coffee and what would be better than cookies or rusks. The word cookie, as we know it, originates from the Dutch word “koekje” also known as “koekie” in Afrikaans. In Afrikaans “koekie” is the diminutive form of the word “koek” which is cake in English – luckily the English don’t speak of “caky”, it would’ve really been quite funny. “Can I have a “caky” with my tea please?” No. Keep in mind that the word biscuit is also used to refer to a cookie, but with people moving around the globe the words “cookie”, “cracker” and “biscuit” have different meanings in different places (these exclude slang references to these words).

Cookies are really enjoyable with coffee and to me it is really a treat to be able to devour some cookies with my coffee. As we all know, after seeing the Oreo advertisement, there are some weird and interesting ways to enjoy cookies. I like to take bite of the cookie first and after savoring the taste I will take a sip of my coffee just to swallow it down. Sometimes the coffee isn’t even necessary, I would eat a whole packet of cookies by myself. It is like some people would devour a piece of chocolate or pizza (I like those too, by the way). My favorite cookies include Romany Creams – the original choc and Eet-Sum-Mor Biscuits – short bread of any kind will actually do. There are some amazing recipes out there and I would really recommend the short bread from Seattle Coffee co. Even though I have these preferences I enjoy home made biscuits as well and they are made with love which makes them taste even better.

Speaking of the word “cookie”, there are some funny idioms with “cookie” and the one that comes to mind is, “that’s the way the cookie crumbles“. Sometimes we have to accept a slightly unfortunate event that we have no control over. There will come a time in one’s life that you will want something with your whole heart but are you are unable to get it. These things may include a job you really want, that new outfit that caught your eye in the shopping mall, or someone who stole your heart but doesn’t reciprocate the way you feel about them. These things are all things you cannot (necessarily) control and are determined by the choices other people make. It might be that there is something better in store for you, who knows. I know it’s not easy and one will feel unhappy if you cannot get what you want, especially if you’ve worked hard for it.

When this happens to you and you feel a little sad, treat yourself with a cookie and accept that there was and is really nothing you were able to do about the situation.

#keepbeingpositive

DJ

The Nature of Instagram

http://iphonephotographyschool.com/reflection-tips/

Yesterday was an eventful day. To start off, I listened to first year students doing their orals on various topics. One of those topics was Social Media and the impact it has on the way you perceive yourself. It was an interesting topic and one student even asked me if I have been a victim of Social Media, implying that I looked at myself differently (maybe even despising the way I look) because of the image Social Media portrays of the perfect man/woman. My answer was , “I use Social Media everyday, so therefor I might have been?”

Retrospectively,  after some serious thinking, I was certain that I am being influenced by the way Social Media portrays this “perfect man” (from my perspective). It is not necessarily as negative as they portrayed it to be. I am a confident young man, and when I see other images or posts about how successful one can be it motivates me instead of making me feel bad about myself. However, self-perception of many students are negatively influenced by Social Media.

I make use of Social Media to my advantage and there are many ways this can be done. I do not measure my self-worth on the amount of followers I have on Twitter or Instagram or the amount of likes I get on Facebook. I am going to admit that it feels great if someone does, but it is certainly not changing the way I see myself. One of the things I do use Social Media for is to store my photo’s and other things online. After discovering Google Drive and Drop Box my life has been changed. I can now be certain that my projects, assignments, photos, videos, etc. will be save and secure. I save it on a flash drive, external hard drive and of course, online. (Yes, I am a bit paranoid. I have lost quite a few files in my life.)

I am also aware of the fact that Social Media is used to share your life’s happenings and interesting events with others, usually friends. Social Media is therefor not a competition I need to win. There is no real fame and fortune in having countless of followers. It is like monopoly money in reality, maybe a little useless. Having a certain amount of followers or likes may improve your stance in your social group but does it really ensure true happiness? Why not just enjoy what you enjoy and not what others has socially constructed for you to enjoy?

Me and a few other people are working on a project that we are going to launch at Clover Aardklop this year which makes use of Social Media. It is an interactive reading experience we are experimenting with. Byderhand is the name of our project and we have various sub-categories in this project. We would like users to scan a QR-code they will receive at various points and then give feedback on Social Media. This is one of the positive uses of Social Media. As part of the project we need to do some trial runs to ensure the links work for when the actual project is launched. We were at out university’s Botanical Gardens yesterday and there I took some photos that I shared on Instagram. I wanted to share my experience with others. This is the main reason I make use of Social Media.

So go out there, share your experience with others, but also to save your photo’s online. It doesn’t necessarily have to be to the likes of other people, it may just be for you.

Be who you’re ought to be.

DJ