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.ย 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 ofย 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. ย 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 anย experience taking some time just to see the town. It would be great to make every tripย 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.ย 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

 

 

 

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, ย 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,ย self-perceptionย 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 ensureย 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. Byderhandย 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 Gardensย 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