Saturday, February 07, 2015

Courage mon brave

January is over, and hello February.

It took more than will to get through January, which was a thankless month filled with tasks, and deadlines, and bills, and pain.  I was exhausted every day of every week, and didn't have a moment to myself.

But it is over.  I have completed the January assessment period of 'real' uni, submitted my first manuscript assignment of 5000 words for the MA course, and have purchased all the books for my new contextual module on the MA: Historical Fiction.

I don't know how I ended up doing the contextual modules on my MA.

Basically, as I haven't yet explained, we have 2 contextual modules, 2 sets of Professional Skills modules, and the Manuscript module.

Last semester I took Contemporary American Fiction as a contextual module, and had prose for my professional skill module.  I hadn't planned to take contemporary american fiction, although, the only reason I listed it as a second choice was because I recognised the majority of the books on the reading list.  I read a lot of contemporary american fiction when I was a lot younger (aged 10 to about 15) because my mum had several books that she'd pass on to me to read.  Read a lot of African American fiction such as Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Terri McMillan, Mildred D Taylor, Gloria Naylor to name a few, a lot of Amy Tang, a lot of Stephen King, who used to be my favourite author until recently.  Still a lot of admiration for his work and style though.

Anyways, the module I took with the MA was very interesting, and challenging.  I found it frustrating at times, because the class kept going over the 'interesting' fact that Americans always feel the need to trace their roots, and identify with cultures predating their lives in America, i.e. labelling themselves, Italian American, African American, etc.  I wanted to vocalise that what wasn't being mentioned was the Europeans' brutality and culling of the native inhabitants of their country was the root of this issue.  But at the end of the day, some people find it impossible to just speak candidly, and feel the need to tread carefully in matters where the facts are all there in plain sight.  The most uncomfortable session was discussing Beloved, which was particularly difficult when a member of my class announced that they had no idea that slavery was 'that bad' and stated that they didn't think African Americans were that caught up on slavery 'anymore' and that they were more affected by the whole 'Rosa Parks civil rights movement'.  Their words, not mine. 

I had to stop myself whistling like a kettle then.  I did my best not to get too verbal, and was very thankful when some of the younger members of the class (and in this instance perhaps less ignorant) voiced the contradictory opinion of the severe implications and weight of the slave trade, and was grateful that for once I wouldn't have to be reduced to the angry black woman in a room full of white people.  I cannot speak on behalf of African Americans, although growing up I felt that black people's pain was a unified pain.  Our suffering, to me, was a circle, and we all felt each injustice given to us.  I attended Saturday School where we studied Black History, and every image, every passage detailing the injustice of slavery, and the 200 years of prejudice following its abolishment made me reel.  I've read up on it so extensively that I can't help but speak and feel very passionately on the subject; those were my ancestors that underwent that suffering.  

I could go on about this for hours and hours, but I won't.  Not because I can't, but... I reached a point where you have to address what occurred, take it on board, remember and take a step forward.  Take a step forward, and dare to be brave.  And being brave, sometimes means overriding your emotions.  

Courage mon brave.

I have positive thoughts for this new module, and even my writing.  But I am so busy, that I feel unable to properly sculpt out dreams like I used to.  Each dream becomes a harried 'project of the week' for me.

Currently I am taking driving lessons again, and my single part time job is taking up my life and energy.  Every weekday I'm at that job, and it is getting monotonous and a bit irritating.  I want to, want to, want to ... be free. I haven't been in London since November and I was only there for a few hours before catching connecting trains back home.

I changed my hair at the end of January: I dyed my hair black/teal/blue/green.  Technically I dyed my hair BLUE, however, I didn't lift the black enough so I landed on green instead of blue.  I think it looks quite nice, and something about it matches how I feel on the inside: at odds and separate.

I have finally been able to update the layout of my blog; looks a lot better, and more changes on the way.

Till next time x

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