An Unexpected Return: The ‘I’m Kidding Mum’ Edition

Once again. I am always disappearing for long periods of time, and – honestly – so much has happened since I last blogged on the 1 August 2016. Unfortunately, I have no elaborate, eloquent essays like my last post, so this is simply pure, unadulterated rambling. No structure, no hidden messages, no propaganda.

Just my nonsense.

So what have you missed? First of all… well, not first of all, but one of the most important things: I turned 17. (Wahey!) This is a milestone in UK terms because (also most importantly) I can start to learn how to drive. I am also one year closer to getting married without my parent’s permission; this, naturally, is obviously the number one goal.

I’m kidding mum, that is obviously NOT the number one goal. 🙂

Secondly, I’ve made new friends. I say new friends, I mean friends who have literally fallen into my lap due to entirely unforeseen circumstances. As I, often do, never directly use their names, Cameron – as she is called for an entirely justifiable reason – is a new friend I have discovered, to be politically correct,  who shares my love (pun intended) for words, writing, racial politics and humour. I’m low-key glad I’m talking to her now, too. There has been the development of my friendship with Spaceboi who is, in fact, a boy from space, because he is out of this world. Literally. He also still owes me Welsh soil. (Even though he’s dying and he can’t swallow. #GetBetterSoon) And as a new edition to my shiny card collection of friends, Bag Juice, so named for his favourite beverage in Jamaica (yes, I also went to Jamaica for the summer) is – I have discovered – my ‘long-lost cousin’, whose laugh makes me laugh.

As a matter of fact, he’s on the phone to me as I write this. Bag Juice, as in. As he has just brazenly told me, after a small dispute over GCSEs, “I know bare.” What a legend. Truly inspirational words from an inspirational young man.

(I was going to start the next paragraph with the word ‘also’ but because he’s now at A-Level and thinks he’s a bit cool, Bag Juice suggested that I start with the word ‘conjointly’. I’ve never even heard of it before in my life. He now tells me I should look it up in a dictionary or a thesaurus, because of course, “he knows bare.”)

Conjointly, I have continued my current studies in A-Levels, continuing on with the ever-stressful English Literature, Spanish (now so rapid that I’m surprised I’m not told to bring a life-jacket to every lesson) and History, which is the only thing that is keeping me going right now anyway. But I don’t have a choice, and so I am aiming for that #AcademicExcellence because I intend to make the best of this year. Especially since last year didn’t exactly go to plan. And, naturally, I do not want a repeat of the academic DISASTER (to put it lightly) that was the school term of 2015.

I’m kidding mum, it wasn’t a COMPLETE disaster. 🙂

[Update: Bag Juice has now gone. It’s just me now; thank goodness he’s left me to blog in PEACE!]

Praise the Lord, though, that I got an A and C in my AS Levels. The A was (entire unsurprisingly) in Drama and the C was in Spanish, and even though, sadly, I have been forced to drop Drama – and will subsequently miss my husband Torvald, and my Polish twin sister Caroline, and Turkey, and just everyone in the class – God helped me to pass my Spanish. No, but honestly, it had to be Him, because there is not a chance in Hell (ha! see what I did there?) that I was able to understand a single word on that test paper.

It was all Greek to me. (I’m kidding mum, I obviously revised for it. 🙂 )

Also, on the theme of #AcademicExcellence, I’ve recently deleted my Instagram and Snapchat – and I couldn’t have chosen a better time, really – so that I can focus on my work and my spiritual life as I realised they’re literally two of the biggest distractions for me. I’ve only been accessing them illicitly when it is 100% necessary. (I’m kidding mum, I don’t illegally sneak onto them on my laptop. 🙂 )

Since the tearful and heart-wrenching ending of Downton Abbey, and the anxious wait for the next season of Velvet to be released on Netflix, I have found a new program to alleviate my desperate and insatiable longing for period dramas; Victoria, on ITV. We only have a slight problem – well, I say it’s a slight problem, when in reality it’s a large problem that brings about very worrying developments and has even worse implications; Victoria and Albert, the cutest televised historical couple that I have seen to date, are related.

“But that’s not so bad!”, I hear you cry. “All the British Royal family are inbred!” (You wouldn’t be wrong if you did say this; our current Queen Elizabeth and her husband are second cousins once removed). But wait! Victoria and Albert – the cutest televised historical couple that I have seen to date – are not only related; they are *drum roll* FIRST COUSINS! (Gasp! Shock! Horror!)

What shocks me the most though, is not that they are related or that they had 9 kids (and that’s at LEAST 9 sex – 9 too MUCH sex for first cousins, in my humble opinion), but the fact that despite knowing this shocking fact, I am still high-key gunning for their sweetly romantic relationship.

In other words, I am high-key gunning for incest. (Please feel free to quote me; you will never hear these words come out of my mouth at any other point in my life). What’s wrong with me? I mean, I know I’m a nerd for history, but I’m NOT a nerd for incest and there is never any excusable justification for this practice, right?

I’m kidding mum, I don’t support incest. 🙂

Anyhow. We’ve lost a key member of our History band, which was named ‘Volksgemeinschaft’; now Babs has left and our topic has changed in History (Civil Rights in America from 1865 – 1992) we’ve had to rename ourselves ‘The White Citizens’ Council’. Which is just historical banter, but PLEASE don’t assume that we’re only made up of racist white people, because I am neither racist nor white. I don’t know about the others though… I know for a fact that Mags has admitted to being a white supremacist on the weekends, and she does own an uncanny amount of white bedsheets?

I’m kidding mum, none of my friends are white supremacists. 🙂

Speaking of white supremacy, I also want to say, a HUGE congratulations (and shout out) to the KKK, who would have been in existence – by December 24th of this year – for 151 years! Yes, you’ve read that entirely correctly! The fun-loving, all-hating, Christian band of ‘lovable rogues’ (as I, so gingerly, put it) have been up and running for 151 years! Since December 1865, who would have thought that they would have STILL (yes, that’s right, STILL, because they have an official website and everything!) been alive and well in September of 2016?

Certainly not me. That’s who. (Especially to all those who think we live in a ‘post-racial’ society, they are a group who were literally born out of racist ideologies and stand for white supremacy and are still today being supported by American citizens.)

But let’s not dwell on the positives, eh?

My writing attempts since 1 August have been somewhat faulty; did that sentence even make sense? Probably not. Goes to show, right? But when I was in Jamaica, I kept a diary of the goings-on (for about a week or two) which I tried to start off emotionally-neutrally, but ended up failing and just revealing the depths of my soul to. The worrying thing is, even though I know it’s at home, I can’t remember where I put that notebook. (I’m kidding mum, not the depths of my soul.) But I don’t doubt I will shortly find it and be able to burn whatever necessary incriminating pages.

I’m kidding mum, I’m not going to burn any of it, it’s all evidence to be used against me in the future. 🙂

And on that note, I think it’s time for me to once again depart and leave the heart of my blog empty and waiting for me to return at sporadic intervals, whenever I gather the ability to write.

Farewell, until next time,

The Faerie Squad Mother x

post

p.s. I’m kidding mum.

Advertisements

How Ironic

I think it’s really funny how some people seem really surprised that I’ve suddenly begun to talk more about racial issues and such, not just on my blog but also in real life.

I’d just like to let everyone into a little secret: I’ve always been talking about this stuff.

It’s just that when I used to talk about it, I tried to keep my voice as quiet as possible so that nobody complains that they’re offended or that I’m a ‘racist intolerant’ or whatever else. But now, I’ve made a conscious choice to make my voice heard.

I also find it really funny how before, when I was content to quietly mumble about social injustices with my friends, there was never a reaction, but the instant that I find and use my VOICE and on my personal BLOG of all places (what am I thinking? How RUDE of me; my PERSONAL blog?!) people suddenly make a fuss about my opinions.

I bet if I was to post a blog complaining about the Instagram update and saying how unacceptable it was, people would comment things like, “This is so true! THERE IS SO MUCH INJUSTICE IN THE WORLD!!!!!” or “I’m so glad SOMEONE said something! I thought I was the only one!” or even “I actually think it’s alright.” Even if I was to post entirely in (probably very poor) Spanish, I guarantee people would still comment, “I couldn’t understand anything but this is so true!” Even my post about my somewhat controversial religious beliefs didn’t elicit the level of hate and disagreement that my racial post from Sunday did – both online and IRL. But when I post about racial issues people tell me, “You make this all up” and “You’re not even oppressed. Go live in a third world country and see what oppression REALLY is” and “Stop complaining! You’re not helping your own situation by fulfilling stereotypes!” (Which, may I just ask, stereotypes do I fulfil?)

Plus, oppression is relative. Just because I don’t live in a third-world country or somewhere where many women are openly treated as subordinates, doesn’t mean I am not still at a disadvantage in my own country. I’ve mentioned before, I’m a black female. I live in a Western Society, where the institutions cater for White Heterosexual Rich/Middle-Class Cishet Males before anybody else. This means that within my own native system, I am at a disadvantage. And I think people think of oppression and imagine slavery being reintroduced into society; but it’s a lot more than that. Oppression is about how prejudice and discrimination has become institutionalised and normalised to the point where a specific set of people are benefitting – and it just so happens that I am not a person who is actively benefitting from the system.

I mentioned in my #BodyPostivity and Letter to my 8-year old self post that I’m learning to love myself and that nobody can make me feel inferior without my permission. Which is very true. In the past couple of days, because of the reactions to real life and on-line situations, I’ve begun to doubt the validity of my voice and my opinions. But then I get slapped back into reality and realise, “Why am I letting bitter, ignorant people limit my voice?”

And I realise that, as much as I don’t like confrontation, some things have to be said. It has taken me SO long to climb out of the box that I was put in from Primary School, and I’m still on my self-love journey. I literally cannot believe that I would even consider taking any anonymous person;s comments to heart. I literally cannot believe that anyone would take time out of their day to read through a post, become offended by the literal truth and then decide to share their negativity  – to be honest, I love hearing from my fans. Especially the bitter ones. (Plus, I’m flattered you think me so significant!)

Anyway, let’s not dwell on negativity.

I had an exam yesterday, a written one for Drama. Which went really well. We had to sit two papers; a live theatre and a studied play script. For my playscript, we studied Henrik Ibsen’s ‘A Doll’s House’. If you HAVE read it or had to perform it then I feel sorry for you if you had to be Nora. If you haven’t, maybe do in your free time. It’s an interesting play definitely, but you have to take into consideration a lot of contextual factors. Interestingly, it touches upon issues of female subordination, to an extent, because – long story short – the play centres around a married couple, Nora and Torvald Helmer. They live in 19th century Norway, and Nora is literally treated like a child by her husband – a doll, in a sense of speaking, hence the title. It’s actually SO weird, he calls her all sorts of weird, dodgy pet names, and she loves it, but she’s quite manipulative.

To be honest, their marriage is just a disaster waiting to happen.

But in the end (SPOILER aha) she leaves him after a LOT of unnecessary and avoidable drama because she realises that she has become such a trophy wife and a pet to him that she doesn’t even know who she is herself. She says she wants to discover herself or whatever, so she leaves him with the children.

Great story.

But anyway. I have an exam next Tuesday for Spanish Listening, Reading and Writing which should be VERY interesting, seeing as I’m a lot worse at Spanish than I initially realised. I’m sitting in my study periods, and I’ve just spent about an hour practicing Spanish words and phrases and grammar etc. (Memrise is actually fantastic. It is keeping me going this year in Spanish, I swear!)

Because of the fact that my AS subjects have technically ended, I now have two mornings and two afternoons off from school, which is literally fantastic because it means I can go home earlier and I’M SO READY FOR SUMMER NOW.

PLEASE HURRY UP JULY!

Because they’ve changed the system and as of next year, AS-Levels will technically no longer be a thing, they’re introduced these new exams which are like UCAS Prediction exams, so that when we apply for University (next September, I think, we start) then you have the Predicted Grades from the ‘official’ University system, I suppose.

Which sucks because it means more unnecessary and stressful exams. But whatever.

I need to do some more Spanish.

Adiós.

Love the Faerie Squad Mother x

post

If You Are a Teenage Girl…

… like me, then you may find the following points helpful. If you are an adolescent girl, then likewise. If you are neither of those things or even (gasp) a male, then I hope you’re entertained or enlightened.

I made a post before about things that I wish I’d known when I was younger about friends and life (which was mainly a rant about my old friends to be entirely honest, but ANYWAY) and since I feel that this has once again become necessary, I’m going to make some more points which I believe are – likewise – important.

Follow closely with me now children.

1. Health and Comfort > Other’s Opinions

If you want to wear morally-questionable legwear (yes, I have done this before, despite the looks I received) even though your friend doesn’t like them, ditch it.

As in ditch your friend, not the legwear.

Your friends don’t dictate to you what you can and cannot wear, and your personal style, comfort and health (because girl, you don’t gotta be wearing thin clothes in the winter to be matching up to everyone’s approval) are always ALWAYS more important than what other people think. And let the girls who think it’s cool or fashionable wear their stilettos and hot pants, because boo, when they’re in their 30’s (if they’re even lucky it takes them that long) they will have all manner of health problems and feet problems, whereas YOU – lucky, you – get to wear WHATEVER you want then, because you have the health to go with it. And smoking isn’t great either, wait a bit longer before you start to ruin your insides, mmkay?

2. Don’t Be a Clone

You are too special and too important to be an exact copy of someone else. If you want to be a clone, be a clone of yourself. (If that’s even possible… I mean, does that even make sense?) Be yourself. URGH. I literally HATE that phrase but it is very important, and the more you adhere to it, the happier and freer (hopefully) you will be and feel in the long run. You probably won’t be friends with the person you’re cloning in 5 years time, or even 2 years time if you’re not so fortunate. At that point, you’ve spent the majority of your time and effort pretending to be this person, and you’ve wasted time and effort you could have spent discovering and becoming yourself. URGH. I keep spewing moist phrases here, but I think these are accurate too. So don’t do it. Be original. There’s only one you out of about 8 (or seven? who knows?) billion people in the world. That’s 1 in 8,000,000,000. That’s also a lot of zeros. And a lot of people who AREN’T you. (7,999,999,999 people who aren’t you, to be approximate.)

3. Education > Social Life

Once again, no need to throw away years of opportunities and chances because some girls want to dress up and go to someone else’s ‘yard’ and grind and twerk (is that what all the cool kids do these days?) on other people’s Snapchats. Please don’t do it. Don’t waste a lifetime of an opportunity that young girls in other countries would KILL to have. It’s not worth it. It really isn’t. And what is the sacrifice of a few social events in light of great grades at school, and amazing degree and an excellently-paid job?

4. Your Beliefs are YOUR Beliefs

I don’t even have to say much for this. What you believe is just that, and nobody can tell you otherwise. (Remember, OPINIONS are not the same as Beliefs. Beliefs are based on some level of system, either cultural, traditional, social or religious. Opinions can be wrong. Beliefs cannot be.)

5. If He’s Not Woke…

…Don’t fix him. I.e. If he has no social-justice awareness and is not aware that reverse racism does not exist and is not able to  join in and add to your rants about social justice matters, don’t try to change him, because you probably won’t be able to. (This doesn’t apply to your friends. If they matter, then fix your friends.)

6. Boys Are Stinky

No, really. Even the ones who smell nice. Unless he’s [insert favourite literary love interest here] at this point, boys can be very useless and don’t know very much about treating girls like Princesses. Which, I must say, is a must for me. And seeing as I am (or was formerly, I don’t know, we’re still on a hung jury for that one) an Empress, that means you have to treat me like twenty Princesses. (I don’t think that’s equal, but you can see why I didn’t take Maths for A-Level). They get less stinky, but it takes them a long time. Sometimes you have to give them a shove in the right direction. But not right now; you need to be focusing on shoving your education forward, not the currently-developing minds of teenage boys. And adolescent boys are even WORSE. Jut stay away from those. They’re just terrible. Don’t even go near them.

7. Your Parents Don’t Hate You

They really don’t. (I mean, unless they do, but I don’t know about your life so…) In most cases, at least, they’re trying to help you. And yes, most parents have a pretty messed up way of showing their support sometimes, but just try your best to accept it whenever you can.

8. And lastly… French Braids are NOT French

I mean, this isn’t entirely relevant, but it REALLY bugs me when I see girls with cane-rows calling them ‘French Braids’, like HONEY did the pasty French introduce these traditionally Afro-Caribbean styles, NOOOO they did not. Stop trying to take everything, White Supremacy. Sometimes be content with the styles you have and stop trying to act like you invented our styles first. Gosh. White girls do it better? More like #WhiteGirlsDoCulturalAppropriationBetter. Also, since we’re on it, NO, Kylie Jenner didn’t make the style popular either. 🙂

So those are my few gems of wisdom. Not much, but something. So. There you go. Hope that helps.

Also, along with the theme of this ‘new year, new me’ thing (which, by the way, I think is SUPER cheesy, but very relevant) I’m going to try and move past the bad associations I have with this blog by renaming it! So we’ll see how that goes in the New Year. But I’ve got a name for it already, so it should be interesting. How sad that it will change, cri cri. We shall mourn together in our hearts, in the many places we are in. (Bit over-dramatic, but you know how I love my drama). I’ll give it a complete make-over and everything.

ALSO, I am now the proud mother of at least 35 children! (If not more, I really can’t keep up with all my children!) I’ve become the Mother of our NCS Youth Board, so I can’t wait. It’s awfully exciting having kids.

I think that’s enough ‘also’s. I’m going to have to figure out how I’ll sign off my blog too (have lots of options for this). Yay! I can’t wait for it’s new look LOL. But until then, let’s go for an adequately bland and nondescript sign-off, until I’ve figured it out.

Love you all

RiRi x

 

Sudden Discontinuity

So I’m taking a break from this work. Just to update everyone who cares (i.e. no-one LOL) I’ve managed to do *turns to list next to my desk and counts*… SIX things on my list of homework! How fantastic. After my break I’m gonna smash this Spanish essay. Like, honestly, it’s not staying on my list any longer; it’s taunting me, I swear. Then I’m gonna force my sister to help me learn my lines.

So I went a bit OTT on my History homework. The task was to create a table with 3 columns – Positive Characters of Henry VIII, Negative Characters of Henry VIII and Other Information. Instead, I created an A3 poster, folded it in half, wrote with that beautifully-stylized Old English writing and added pictures.

With my Sharpies.

Seriously, once the Sharpies come out on a project, it’s going DOWN. (I’m yelling Timber… I’m sorry, I saw an opportunity and I took it). Once I’ve got my Sharpies out, I don’t mess. They’re so important to me, like if I use Sharpies on a piece of paper, or on a project, then that piece of paper slash project should be HONOURED that I would grace its face with my colourful Sharpies.

Enough about the Sharpies. I’m filled with this need to talk about the Tudors, so that’s what I’m going to do today.

On my sister’s Snapchat story the other day, I posted about 300 seconds (if not more) worth of videos, of me telling the stories of Henry VIII’s wives. Honestly, I would do it again, but I feel like it’s more educational and beneficial if you SEE if, rather than if you READ it. (And don’t worry Lawly, I’m pretty sure Teyah saved them all on her phone, so we’ll show you next week.)

But I think that, in a manner of helping me to ‘revise’, I’ll go through the reigns of the monarchs from Plantagenet England with Edward IV to Tudor England with Elizabeth I and hope that I’m getting it right. Obviously this is going to be the most summarised paraphrasing of their lives ever; please don’t hate on me if you’re a history scholar. If I’m wrong, definitely correct me LOL. Let’s go.

OKAY SO FIRST we have this awesome King called Edward IV. (That’s fourth, for all of you who can’t read Roman Numerals). Edward is a Yorkist King. (Remember that, that’s important). Edward is also a ladies man. (Lemme hear you say ‘ooooooh!’) So, for some reason or another, he comes across this woman called Elizabeth Woodville and is all like ‘DAYYYUUMMM, I just GOT to have her.’ So he marries her in secret. Just one problem; Elizabeth is a Lancastrian. (Lemme hear you say ‘oh no!’) This means that technically, she is Edward’s enemy. Anyway, obviously people at court don’t like her, but Elizabeth doesn’t really give a monkey’s because she’s married to the KING OF ENGLAND for goodness sake, like who would CARE what the haters say? She has loads of kids for him (three of them being Elizabeth of York, Edward V and Richard) and then after lots of drama of passing the crown back and forward between Edward IV and Henry VI, Henry VI is killed. Yay, Edward is King happily ever after! And then Edward dies. Oh no, who will have the crown now?! Basically, his brother, Richard III is supposed to crown Edward IV’s son, Edward V. But the boys, Edward and Richard disappear into the tower, never come out and then Richard’s like “Oh, no what a dying SHAME that there are no longer any heirs. Now I have to be King, oh NO what a COINCIDENCE.” So then Richard III crowns himself. But Elizabeth Woodville, Edward IV’s widow is very mad, because she doesn’t want Rich to be the King. So she’s all like “Nuh-uh, Rich. I don’t think so. Over my dead body.” But then she dies.

Nah I’m just joking, she betrothes her daughter, Elizabeth of York, to the Lancastrian boy Henry Tudor. (Later known as Henry VII). And after lots of plotting and scheming, and failed battles etc. Henry Tudor lands in England with a force and defeats Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth, becoming King Henry VII of England.

So Elizabeth Woodville is happy now, because she never like Rich in the first place and her daughter is on the throne. OR IS SHE? Because it takes Henry a whole year to have Elizabeth’s coronation, which is a bit cheeky really, because Elizabeth has a stronger claim to the throne than Henry. Anyways, Henry and Elizabeth’s marriage theoretically ends the York vs. Lancaster regime, and they become the TUDORS. ‘Duh duh duh.’ So Elizabeth has four kids, Arthur, Margaret, Henry and Mary. Arthur is being trained to be King and everyone’s like to him, “Art. You’re gonna be a SIC King. As in the good sic.” So he’s all like “Yeah, I is SOOO ready for dis.” So he even marries Katharine of Aragon the Spanish Princess, in prep for his life as King. But then he dies 6 months after they’re married.

And then everyone’s like to the next son, Henry, “Now, Hal, this is a bit awks but… your bro’s dead so we’re gonna need you to be King.” And Henry’s like “SIC!” (as in the good sic) because he’s never really wanted to join the church anyway. But he’s not exactly trained for being King and stuff so he’s a bit awks. And then when eventually his dad Henry VII dies in 1509, Henry is crowned King Henry VIII and he marries Katharine of Aragon (which is a bit awks, because she was his dead brother’s wife) and then they rule together happily.

6 wives and 3 (legitimate) children later, Henry VIII dies. (Lemme hear you say ‘awwwww!’) And his last surviving wife marries his third ex-wife’s brother, (someone call Jeremy Kyle, man, Henry VIII’s love life was a MESS) and then everyone’s like “Ayyy, at least Hazza had a son!” This son is Edward VI. (Yes, another Ed). But Ed is a SIC King. (Not the good sic, this time, he actually is VERY sic; sic like YAKKING IT UP BIG TIME). I guess you could even call him, Edward the SICth. (I’m sorry, that was so terrible, but I took the chance again!) Eventually, before even marrying anyone, Ed dies.

But not before his advisors, name his cousin, Jane Grey, as his heir. Simply because she’s Protestant and the REAL next-in-line, Mary, is Catholic, the advisors don’t want the country turning back Catholic, not after all the changes that Henry VIII made. So Ed dies, Jane Grey is crowned Queen… and then Mary’s like “Uh-uh, I don’t think so Janey-girl; over my dead body.” And then she has Jane executed and is crowned Queen Mary I.

Mary marries Philip of Spain, who is a bit mean, really, but they’re both staunchly Catholic and basically persecute Protestants by burning them at the stake. So people are really scared of them. And all the while, Elizabeth (sneaky Liz) she’s just biding her time, waiting for Mary to die. And eventually, she does. Mary dies heartbroken, childless and heirless. So now Elizabeth is Queen Elizabeth I of England.

And then Liz steps up and she’s all like “Yo yo yo everybody, I is yo Queen now, I ain’t bout dat ‘burning at da stake’ lyf, so you’s will all be fine as long as you just don’t fight me for the crown AYYYY is we good?!” So everyone’s like “Yeah, sounds good to us.” And she sticks to her word. She doesn’t burn people at the stake for her beliefs, though she turns the country back Protestant. Some bitter Catholics try killing her but she’s like, “Nah, I ain’t having this STILL. I didn’t fight for my crown so you’s lot can come and try killing me, NAHHH fam.” She never gets married, never has kids and overall is a pretty good Queen.

And then she dies. And with her death, the line of Tudors is forever…

GONE.

*Curtains down* *Audience applause* *Throws roses onto stage* *Standing ovation*

*Empress bows and wipes a solitary tear from her eye*

Empress Rianna

Crown

p.s. I hope that was both entertaining and educational for all you guys. 🙂 I wasn’t quite sure how to end this though, so I went with the more dramatic approach.

Not A Problem

This is going to be a very long rant. Just be aware that as you read this and the post seems to go on forever it is all fuelled with emotions. So please prepare yourself. There may be some sensitive issues mentioned, just as a warning. It it going to get pretty personal.

Let’s start. So since I was unable to post during the past week, I had been drafting a post whining about the translation of books into movies (which hopefully, I will post later, if it doesn’t seem so feeble after this rant) but today, during a rather, shall we say, enlightening experience, I decided to perhaps leave that post for later and get everything I thought about today off of my chest.

But first, a bit of context.

At NCS with The Challenge, we are currently on our third week; Social Action. This is the week where we go out to a Social Community Partner (i.e. Charities or organisations in the area we are based in), suss out their problems and try to help solve their issues and/or make the community more aware of the work they are doing. We are required to come up with a campaign in our groups in order to achieve those goals, and today (the first day of Social Action) we went out to actually visit our Community Partner (Charity Partner? Social Community Partner? I’m sorry Rochelle, I really wasn’t listening) and try to get some inspiration for our campaign.

The place we visited was a Care Home for Dementia Patients. It was an 100% Dementia home, which meant that everyone in the home had Dementia, or some form of it, and of course some people were in a more developed stage than others. When we met the co-ordinator for the Home, he explained it to us as three stages of Dementia; the first being calm and helpful, slightly forgetful; the second being often anxious and excited, but with a short attention span; the third being a more developed, anxious, emotional character. He also explained to us how we had to be aware that many Dementia sufferers live in their own alternate reality. As volunteers and young people, we were supposed to talk to them in a way which did not confuse or upset them, but instead encourage them and keep them happy. If we were mistaken for someone’s daughter, son, grandchild or husband or wife even, we were to just remain appropriate all the time, but not say we weren’t that person, because it would upset them.

Despite our initial misgivings, especially seeing as a few of us had had unhappy encounters with Dementia sufferers in the past, we put it behind us when we went to the home and spoke to some of the residents with quite open-minds, trying to be positive about the whole situation.

I’m pretty sure I was very close to breaking down.

I spoke to a lovely lady, (OBVIOUSLY I cannot say her name) but she told me some fantastic stories about her growing up. She told me how she was an only child and her mum loved to garden, and made lots of jams with the berries they grew in their back garden. Her dad was deaf because he was badly mistreated as a POW (Prisoner of War) in the First World War, and her mum was partially deaf, so they all developed a sign language. She told me that she was evacuated twice during the Second World War; the first family wasn’t nice, but the second family was in South Wales. She went to school in a small village there, and they tried to teach them Welsh but (she told me fondly, laughing at the memory) it was not going anywhere for her. She told me about how she used to be a shorthand typist, how she stood in for secretaries, and during the War used to type up Secret Documents, which couldn’t be reread but had to be shredded when they were discarded. There was an airport near where she used to live, and the Spitfire planes used to take off from there, and she would watch them occasionally from her house. She told me that she used to sleep under the table in her kitchen, and that they didn’t have a proper sleep for years because of the air raids.

She told me all that.

And then she told it to me again. And again. And again.

I heard all of those stories at least 10 times each. Every time she finished a sentence, her face would light up, and then she would repeat to me another one in excitement. And each time she did that, my smile grew a little wider on the outside and my chest was crushed a little bit more on the inside. I had to nod enthusiastically, and ask her the same questions I asked before, as if I hadn’t heard the stories. I varied the questions, and asked different ones, and I kept getting the same stories, and I kept asking her questions I had asked her before. She punctuated her speech the same way, with the same hand movements, laughter in the same places, a cheeky smile here and there. She never asked my name, and to be honest, I was too scared to tell her, because I didn’t want to have to say over and over, “Hi, my name is Rianna.” Even though she had been talking to me for about an hour and a half.

And it wasn’t out of selfish reasons. It was purely because I absolutely hate the feeling of helplessness and lack of control that Dementia sufferers have to (or don’t have to, depending on how you look at it) deal with.

We spoke to the co-ordinator again, who told us that the biggest struggle they had at the home was the fact that the community was very separate and not involved with these elderly. He told us that what they really needed was support from the locals, and volunteers, people who were willing to give time. I would have loved to volunteer then and there but I was still kind of reeling from the whole thing. When we left, I was pretty quiet. If you know me, I’m not a particularly quiet person. But I genuinely was lost for words. Because it got me thinking. And hence this rant. (I’m literally just starting now, so don’t be alarmed!)

Often, we forget about people like these who make up our society. Because they aren’t in the spotlight, not authoritative figures of social importance necessarily or in front of us, then we don’t seem to notice them. We forget that these were the people who built the world we live in today. Many of the elderly especially were the ones involved in the World Wars. They were the ones who worked hard when they were younger, they were the ones who got involved in everything. Okay, so the world was different back then. It was more acceptable to be outwardly racist, homophobic and sexist; of course, there were big differences. But seriously, the only difference between then and now was the fact that society did not make them the people who were cast-outs.

We also forget that eventually (one day, if we don’t die soon) that we will be old. We will be relying on the same services that these people are relying on and we will be the ones who may be suffering from Dementia or Alzheimer’s (either one, God forbid). We have no way of predicting the future or what our health will be like, yet we take it for granted so much. It is expected for us to wake up, to be able to slip out of bed, to go and brush our teeth and use the toilet or whatever. It is a routine we don’t think much of.

What if it took more than an alarm clock to rouse us? If our legs had to physically be moved to get us out of bed, and it took two people to help us brush our teeth and clean ourselves after we used the toilet? How dehumanising must that feel for an entire generation of people who used to be active, young, healthy citizens?

How does it feel not actually realising that you are repeating yourself? That you’re trying to be friendly, ask questions, and all you seem to do is infuriate people and wind them up because (unbeknownst to you) you’ve asked that question eight times now? To be put in a home simply because your family is all dead and there is no-one to look after you? Or even worse; your family are all alive, but none of them can – or want to – look after you in your state? Or even worse; to not even remember any of your family? To look into the faces of people you have spent your entire lives with; yet to you it is as if you are gazing into the face of strangers?

It upset me how disconnected a few members of our group were, and treated the whole thing either as a social experiment, a boring visit or a chore, as if they thought they could better spend their hours elsewhere.

A quote which I very much appreciate and have been pondering on for a while since it was first mentioned last week at NCS, was one taken from a meeting of some of the world leaders discussing the biggest threat in the world. When we first discussed this, we all threw in some cliche answers; poverty, starvation and hunger, child labour, slavery, racism, terrorism etc.

But it looked like we were wrong. Because, although each of these large problems in their own way, the Dalai Lama expressed:

“The biggest threat is that we are raising a generation of passive bystanders.”

And that’s what we are really. Right now, we are all a generation of passive bystanders. That is how these issues are allowed to get worse and more problematic; because the ones who have the power, the means and the intellect to solve these problems, are the ones who are swept up in mass consumerism and materialistic mentalities. We, the ones who are being trained to be world leaders, we who have the world at our fingertips, the ability to make a change, are sitting by idly and watching as the world suffers with problems. We don’t seem to want to get involved in those problems until they start to affect us.

And by then it’s too late.

It’s too late to change the past, because we’re watching all these opportunities, all these chances to make a difference pass us by, and by the time that those problems that we buried in the back garden start to become a problem for us, badda-bing, badda-bang, we’re suddenly old and frail, and in the exact same position as those who we didn’t want to help.

What we don’t realise is that the world around us and society is sustainable. In Geography terms (that GCSE actually came in handy), it means that we are able to use it and its’ resources today without it affecting the use of those in the future. In more simple and relatable terms, it means that the world we are living in now has been set up for us by those before us. Therefore, we have the responsibility to keep it sustainable and set it up for the younger generations, so that when they reach our age, they will be able to do the same thing for the generation that follows them.

It’s a continual cycle.

But because, as a generation of passive bystanders (the phrase of which, I think, so perfectly encapsulates the essence of this generation), we have decided that this doesn’t affect us, and are more interested in the new Apple product being released than the falsely-accused, jailed and tortured being released, we don’t want to take action. Because it ‘doesn’t affect us.’

And to be fair, the fault lies with a combination of both nurture and nature. We are growing up in a society which is teaching us to take what we want, get money, get rich quick, spend all your money on commodities (mostly unaffordable; but that’s what we are being taught loans are for, right?) and KEEP. BUYING. MORE. Which is essentially the message which each one of us is digesting, being fed to us by the things we watch, listen to and (less often) read. However, it also has to do with the way we are brought up.

Children being brought up where nannies are the mothers and parents are only ever seen at weekends because of working schedules, are being taught that money is more important than anything else, even family.

Children who are sat in front of television screens and are given technology to play with before they can even speak or walk, are being taught that entertainment is everything, that excitement is key to life.

Kids and toddlers who play colouring-in games on tablets, on computers and mobile phones, rather than using pencil colours and books, are being taught that accessibility is more convenient than having to work for what you want.

It is the combined fault of the people who are raising these upcoming generations and the mentality and the mental confines which we are unwilling – or unaware of – to break out of. We need to recognise that if we are to move forward, to begin rebuilding the society which we so often complain about, then we need to be the ones to stand up and make a change; because we are the only ones who currently can.

Before I get too carried away, I’m going to drop in my key message here and roll with it.

#FirstWorldProblems are not Real Problems

I’m sorry, but that is not a statement which is up for discussion. Here are two beautiful videos which so effectively encapsulate that message.

The fact that we complain about breaking a nail when there are people having their nails ripped out as methods of torture; that we whine when our parents ask us to do chores to get pocket money, yet some children don’t get ASKED to do chores, they are TOLD to do them, and they don’t get paid or treated well; the fact that when we have no signal for our phones (I must admit, I am at fault for this one) we are dying, but some people are entirely content without mobile phones at all, is entirely upsetting, and actually very ungrateful and the wrong sort of mentality to have.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that every other person in Developing countries wants to be like you and me, because I am fully aware that there are people entirely satisfied with the conditions and situations and circumstances they live in, despite having so much less than us. But since we are in a Western Culture where your worth is valued on how much and what you have, this is how we are being taught to think, and this is stopping us from being aware of people with real issues out there.

And we don’t have to look as far as countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. That was the whole point of my recount about today; there are people who need our help right here. This is not a campaign, this is not a marketing ploy, and I am not promoting any specific charity or organisation, nor am I telling you to go right now and donate in order to feel like you’ve made a difference. That’s another thing about us; we feel like money can solve any problem.

The Dementia home where I went today didn’t want money. Maybe they needed it, but there was a much deeper need for something else; company. Time, volunteers, people who wanted to help and help selflessly. It upsets me how many young people only want to volunteer because “it will look good on their CV” or it will “make them more employable.” Yes, these are definitely bonuses to the whole thing, but look at how many opportunities we have been afforded. Can we not give back to the community on a larger scale, knowing that whatever we do will effectively be done to us?

We set the example. We are the ones who are going to be the world leaders of the next generation, which is what scares me the most, as I mentioned in a post a while ago, but effectively, we are the ones expecting to be treated like royalty when we get to those situations and those ages… yet we are doing nothing for the ones who are there right now.

Where is the fairness?

I’ll give you a hint: THERE IS NONE.

I think it’s probably quite clear how impassioned I am about this whole thing, and as well as that, it is also quite clear how little as a generation we have done – and as a result, how much MORE we need to do to make up for this shortcoming. We cannot complain about the world we will potentially live in (God forbid) if we do not do anything now to change it.

Everyone can change it in their own little way. Donating to charities isn’t always the immediate answer, but it definitely is a sure-fire way of making sure that your money is going further than the Forever21 sales. (As long as they are reliable charities as well). Volunteering, social visits to homes like the one we went to today, just being friendly and making the people in these homes who so rarely get out, feel like young, carefree people again. Petitions, campaigns, doing research in your areas and local communities to find out what needs to be changed, what can be improved and how exactly you can work towards doing it, counts for something.

You don’t have to start a charity. You don’t have to do something immediately. I am hoping to become a Human Rights Lawyer, travel abroad and write about things I see and experience. Obviously, that will not all be done overnight. But in the meantime, there are smaller scale things we can do to change the world we are in.

I don’t think I’ve ever ranted so passionately about non-race related issues, but I’m glad I was able to.

Let’s just keep in mind here, as a generation, we are privileged; so we need to stop acting like we are deprived. That’s my rant for today, amassing a record 3,139 words.

Peace, love, hope, joy (and everything else) to all my readers,

Be aware, and remember, #FirstWorldProblems are not Real Problems. Love you all,

Queen Rianna

cropped-yto5pzlte

How To Become A Minister Of Education

I’m not too sure how I would go about applying for this job but I think that I’d make an excellent candidate. Unfortunately, seeing as everyone’s best friend (who is oh-so-close to our hearts) Michael Gove, a most worthy candidate for such an important role, was unlucky enough to have been replaced by a seemingly-worse reincarnation, all I can really do is give you some tips based on his example of how to become a MoE and overall improve the education system in the UK.

QUEEN RIANNA’S TOP 20 TIPS ON HOW TO BE A USELESS OUTSTANDING MINISTER OF EDUCATION:

  1. Have absolutely NO insight into the life of working class children/people. I mean, to be fair, what is the point? It doesn’t make sense to actually understand the majority of children and their backgrounds when you’re making decisions which will affect them for the rest of their lives. It makes it easier to make ruthless decisions when you can’t see the faces of the suffering, and know that you’re destroying their future looking at their innocent faces.
  2. Have children who are in private education. This way, it means that when you make decisions, you are making them only for the good of your children and nobody else’s. Also, it stops people from being able to call you a bad parent; if you’re looking after you and your own then the media can’t accuse you of bad parenting.
  3. Be ruthless in choosing the curriculum. If you don’t like something, cut it out. If you like something, put it in. Don’t worry about the essentials of what needs to be taught; only worry about what you do or don’t like. That way, you are sure to always be able to smile at what you hear being taught when you walk into a sub-standard school to sit in on a lesson for the purposes of being filmed on BBC News.
  4. Have a cheesy grin. It always helps for the cameras and the people looking on at you thinking “How could this man/woman be so selfish and thoughtless?” If you smile, it’s a sure-fire way to make them suddenly think “Look at that beautiful smile; how could such a beautiful man/woman be horrible? Who couldn’t love a person who smiles like that?” The media will snap up photos and all round you will appear to be a nicer person.
  5. Have friends in high places. Make sure you have lots of friends within Parliament, in the Cabinet and MP’s who will be able to get you your job despite your lack of experience, expertise or much knowledge in general. This way, when you are unable to become Prime Minister, you can destory the country from the foundations: the children. You don’t have to be the Prime Minister to tear down this country and grind it into the dirt; though it seems that Cameron is doing a good job of that already! As the Minister of Education, you can tear down the standard and quality of education and grind children’s dreams and aspirations into the dirt; that way, when they are older, there will be less of their souls left to crush! 🙂
  6. Be absolutely sure about what direction you want your department to go in. If you want to run it into the ground (which is your job, really) make sure that everyone knows this. Making your policies clear are always a definite way to make people admire your steadfastness and decisiveness.
  7. Never stick with things that work. There are always new methods which are untested, unconventional and mostly unadvised, but hey-ho! It doesn’t matter. Try them out anyway, whilst playing with thte future of several million children. Even when there is a system in place that has been working perfectly fine and seems to be going very well, scrap it. If you don’t feel like it is new, modern or contraversial enough, get rid of it.
  8. Leave your mark. When you leave, people should be able to say,”That fantastic Minister of Education [insert name here] has absolutely destroyed/annihilated/obliterated etc. the UK education system! :)” Make sure that people are never at odds as to who you are; don’t just leave your office with a bang. Leave it in a mushroom cloud.
  9. Ensure that you are on the same page with whoever may replace you. One of the most important things about holding a post is ensuring that your potential successor has the same drive and vision that you do. After all, you wouldn’t want them to come in and correct your mistakes. Make your ideas very clear to them so that if they DO replace you, they continue to work on the sectors that you have been working away at. They have to continue the sculpture that you have begun; you must show them how to whittle away at the sculpture that is (metaphorically speaking) the education system in the UK, until there is nothing much left of it.
  10. Be widely disliked. What is popularity, eh? Why be liked and adored by people when you can just do lots of things that irritate people? After all, you wouldn’t want to ACTUALLY speak to the peasants and commoners to understand THEIR plight, when you can just refer to your fantastic and divserse experience of education at Eton, Cambridge and Oxford; where you used to be in clubs where you would beat people up and burn £50 notes in front of homeless men for the banter.
  11. Base everything on you and your personal experience. Be very selfish. Don’t worry about what others think. The only children you should be concerned about are your own children – and maybe a few nephews or nieces. Other than that, even though they are very much the minority in this situation, refer to them for advice on everything. If you want to do something but you’re not sure about the reception you might get, make sure to ask a few children who have been privately educated in middle-class areas for their entire life and have no experience of what it is like to attend a state school at which you are making the changes.
  12. If in doubt, do it anyway. Do you have an idea which you think, hey, this MIGHT work? Even if the ‘might’ is very big, do it anyway! Even if there is a huge question mark on whether it will be effective, do it anyway! Use very unorthodox methods and overall just change everything.
  13. Don’t worry about the opinions of others. When you have a few million children who are being greatly affected by the changes you are making, and their parents and carers are complaining to you, don’t worry about them! They may be the majority, but it’s not their opinions and appoval that you are in place for. You are there to make the most money possible, from salaries anywhere from £100,000 per annum and upwards. Their opinions won’t make you lose any money.
  14. Increase the gap between the rich and poor. Since this is often done in the government anyway, your job is slightly more difficult, as you have to begin the divide in the first place. Education is an essential field when it comes to raising children and teaching them about the world and how to be savvy etc. Beginning the divide from now just means that when they are older, the divide can grow even larger. This is often best achieved by making it more difficult for working class children and children from poorer backgrounds to get into top universities.
  15. Discriminate. You will never get anywhere if you don’t discriminate. Even though you are able to improve the standard of education for more than one group, that is absolutely TOO much work for you, and you are NOT being paid enough for that! Choose a group which you want to further and do everything in your power to do so. Even though ethnic minority groups (Black African and Carribean, Asian, White European) are struggling within the education system and White Middle and Upper Class students are clearly beneffiting the most, don’t even attempt to help those who are at a disadvantage in the system! Just focus on the people who benefit you the most, i.e. the Eton and Oxbridge boys who will one day grow up to be just like you.
  16. Make decisions on a whim. You have to make a speech? Wing it. You have to change the grading system? Do it. Don’t think about logic, reason or sensibility; none of that matters really. Just pick and choose. You may also like to put decisions into a hat or ball machine (like the lottery) and pick out random ones when you’re REALLY struggling to choose. This way, not only does it mean that you cannot take responsibility for the decisions made (seeing as it was all just chance) but also it means that you don’t have to make any actual decisions which could really help these children out.
  17. Waste the budget. Even when you have £56.7 billion annually, don’t let any of it go to good use! Invest it in useless things (who even cares, right?) but not schools or teachers! Don’t use any of it to train teachers to do their jobs adequately. Just choose sub-standard teachers – that way you can pay them less. Also, make schools into academies and free schools; that way, they have to pay for everything themselves, and you can fund them at little as possible.
  18. Don’t listen to advice from anybody but your family. Despite the fact that there are other people in charge of the sub-departments below you, just remember that their ideas don’t matter; you are the boss. You have overall responsibility over everybody and can take charge whenever you need to. Don’t feel afraid to overule some people’s ideas just out of sparing feelings. You don’t care about feelings, remember!? Everything you do is for yourself!
  19. Pretend that nobody has any feelings. That way, when you make decisions, you’ll feel less guilty when you hear all the complaints. When you hear about young people (especially females) in ethnic minorities groups who couldn’t attend Cambridge because they didn’t pass the interview, despite their outstanding and consistent record of A stars, consecutively in GCSE’s and A Levels, don’t try to be nice or kind. Don’t even sympathise with them!
  20. Just don’t have any feelings. Feelings equals guilt for the bad decisions that you have made, and that is NOT something you want on your chest. Having no feelings means you will be able to sleep at night without imagining the hundreds of thousands of rejected University applicants, the failing students at High School, the students who are unable to get jobs because they didn’t pass GCSE English, Maths or Science, and the ones who simply can’t do much because there aren’t any opportunities for them. That way, despite the fact that knowing they are all crying themselves to sleep and some even contemplate suicide as a means of escape from the Education system, you can sleep peacefully! 🙂

So there. My 20 top tips on how to follow Michael Gove’s fantastic example and become the best possible Minister of Education. I sincerely hope that the new Minister, Nicky Morgan, reads this post, just so she has an insight on the unattainable level of perfection of which Michael Gove has set. She has a tough example to live up to. Let’s just hope she’s up to it.

And farewell Michael Gove, you will be greatly missed by the millions of children, teenagers and young adults whose lives you have touched in an unforgettable way. The irrevocable changes you have made will stay with us in our hearts – and lives – forever. We will never be able to repay you for all the things you have done for us and for that, we are truly grateful.

Spoken on behalf of every young person in the UK, we thank you immensely.

Queen Rianna

cropped-yto5pzlte

An Effective and Concise Summary of the Dates Hereof and Thereof The Affairs Undertaken and the Ventures Thereupon

The title of this post was as long and unnecessary as all the exams which I sat.

Which I think effectively sums up my life really.

But, as I said (in my long and unnecessary title), I am going to try and summarise them all; completely disregarding the fact that I made a ‘diary’ about all my exams (which is now completed!)… So here it is: Rianna’s summary of every exam from May 11th to June 11th 2015.

RE Ethics – Who would disagree with this? (ANSWER: Catholics) Who would disagree with that? (ANSWER: Catholics) Who disagrees with everything? (ANSWER: Catholics) Who are the liberalists who agree with everything that the Catholics disagree with? (ANSWER: Everyone BUT the Catholics) Who disagrees with everything but then does that stuff anyway? (ANSWER: You guessed it… Catholics)

Biology – Completely disregard anything you have learnt in the past year and forget all about it. Now pick up your calculator and a ruler despite the fact that you have never had to use these instruments before in a Biology exam and measure the magnification of this diagram. No, no, don’t write anything to do with Biology down, that’d be silly really wouldn’t it? Especially considering this is a Maths exam… Wait, wait, what do you mean it’s NOT a maths exam?

Chemistry – Now, obviously, I understand why you would be slightly anxious in regards to what is going to appear on this paper, seeing as we did trick you yesterday. But don’t worry about it. As a means of apology, here is a six-mark question on Rates of Reaction. And OK… so you can use the stuff you learnt in the past year on this paper. We don’t mind, I mean, you may as well, seeing as you learnt it in preparation for this and stuff.

Spanish –  Let’s not even start, PLEASE.

English Literature (Novels) – Now, obviously, you know that ‘The Woman In Black’ is a horror story, right? OK, good. So what we want you to do, is tell us HOW? No, no seriously. No joke. Tell us how ‘The Woman In Black’ is scary. Actually wait… no that’s too easy. Give us TWO examples of stories in the book where it is scary. And THEN tell us why. Also, when you’ve done that, here is an extract from ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ which contains the most essential quote in the novel, which the ENTIRE novel is practically built upon. And then COMPLETELY disregard that and tell me about how Scout feels about her dad. Great, now we’ve got that out of the way, tell us who the OTHER Mockingbird is OTHER than ‘Tom Robinson’ and DO NOT USE THE QUOTE IN THE EXTRACT which is a very, VERY ESSENTIAL QUOTE.

Drama – Give three examples of everything. You have an example? Great. Find two more. Got another one? Fabulous, one more to go. No more? Oh you ran out of time, because of the timing of the questions and the fact that never before have we asked for THREE examples? Oh dear. How sad.

Geography – Earthquakes. Disregard everything you’ve learnt about Volcanoes and case studies. Oh, don’t forget to vaguely touch upon Japan and Haiti. Oh, I know. Rather than asking you for a large case study, we’ll ask you about Chad and the Sahel. Tell us about Chad. Also, tell us about Coral reef. Also, don’t worry about CITES, and the RAMSAR Convention and all that other stuff; I mean, we know you’ve spent a couple of weeks learning about those but they’re REALLY not necessary.

Physics – OK, so we realised… maybe we were a bit harsh before. So this is our gift to you. We’ll give you lots of smaller marked questions so you are more likely to get higher marks. Here you go, here’s a bunch of easy ones. And for the 6 marker, you can… OOH, I know, you can describe the structure of an atom. I think this is probably recompense enough, considering it actually contains what it said it would contain. Except, don’t really worry about stars. They’re not that important, so we just missed that entire section of the syllabus out. We’ll do a lot on radioactivity and motion and forces… Not too many calculations though. A bit on electricity. I think that’s fair.

English Literature (Poetry) – So, I know you’ve been studying like… 10+ poems over the past 2 years, but we’re only going to ask you about 2. Make a choice: You can compare ‘Broken Relationships’ in “The Manhunt” with another (which is easily compared with ‘Quickdraw’ or ‘The Farmer’s Bride’) or ‘Trust’ in “Sister Maude” with… OK, the last one is kind of a trick question seeing as that was never a key theme in many other poems other than “Sister Maude” and… Well, we’re not sure, you figure it out. Well, we’re sorry about that. Here, as a means of apology, have an easier question. You were worried about the unseen poem? No need to be. In fact, we’ve chosen one in which the poet is incredibly whipped and only makes you feel even worse about your lack of relationships. But at least it’s not cryptic right? We’ll even put the answer in the question.

Geography – So, we know you are obviously quite suspicious of us seeing as you learnt all these case studies for the last topic, but you can use some of them now. Here. This is our apology to you.

Maths – Trigonometry. Cylinder. Grain. Volume. Surface Area. Compare the prices of coffee sachets; which one is the most cost effective? GRAIN. Sweets. Quadratic formula. Graphs. Label the region R. Transformation. Where can they locate the printer if it has to be close to CD than AB and less than 8m away from C, and 1m = 2cm on the scale.

Geography – HAHA! You’d thought you’d seen the last of us! But you haven’t. OK, so we know that obviously, in Decision-Making papers, we pack the booklets FULL of information, because you don’t really need a SPECIFIC own-knowledge based information set. But guess what. This time, we are going to make the booklets very vague and boring, and then we’re going to ask questions which have VERY LITTLE relevance with the booklets, just so that you have to use all the knowledge which you DON’T have. 🙂

RE Philosophy – Define words which you have never had to define before. We are also going to ask you questions using quotes which, hopefully, will tie in with your ethics unit, even though it has NOTHING to do with that – this is philosophy. No, but really. Tell us about the Doctrine of Double Effect, and Utilitarianism, and the principle of the ‘lesser of two evils’ even though that is all ETHICS. We don’t mind anyway.

So. That’s it. It’s all over. Now all we have to do is wait for our results now.

At any rate, I can’t. Love you all,

Queen Rianna

cropped-yto5pzlte

The Slave That Changed His Name

I’m not really in the right mood to write right now, but I’ve been occupied with work and stuff so haven’t really had the chance to post very many. There have been huge gaps between my posts, and obviously it bugs me, but at the moment, I can’t do much about it… and to be honest, I don’t think I will be posting consecutively again until the half-term in May, or even until June.

Don’t let the title of this post fool you, it’s not as deep as it may sound. Maybe I will have some heated rant about racism or discrimination or something else at some point, but right now my mind is just screaming “APPLES!” so I need to get something down before I completely zone out. I decided maybe I should note down a few comments I have heard which really upset me in the past week/month; some are funny, some are not, some are stupid. I don’t know. Just read them I guess.

Some very ignorant comments that I have heard recently:

“When girls say no they don’t really mean it.” (In the justification of a rape)

“Wasn’t Malcolm X the slave that changed his name?” (During a Year 7 History Class)

“The sole purpose of females is to attract males and reproduce.” (I don’t even KNOW what the context of this was)

“What TV program are you guys talking about?” (Following the discussion of the Ferguson shootings)

“Nigel Farage would actually be a really good Prime Minister.” (Does the context even matter?)

“I’ll just vote for whoever my parents vote for.” (When asked about future political voting preferences)

“No homo.” (Really? Like, how old is this?)

“The education minister actually made some good changes.” (Did he? Did he?)

“I’m really surprised, I actually know more than you.” (On assuming Rianna has the brain of Albert Einstein)

“There are so many more girls out there.” (On encouraging a break-up, implying girls are disposable).

“Is he your boyfriend?” (On seeing school peers whilst out with a cousin)

“I swear, God should have made me black so I could have a nice butt.” (Need I say much more?)

“I’m so tan that I’m practically black.” (Discussing a spray-tan… which had gone horribly wrong)

“Do you pray in Jewish?” (On discussing religious practices with a friend who has a Jewish father)

“Is that your real hair?” (On seeing my hair in a twist-out and longer than it looks in my normal styles)

“I’m allowed to say the ‘n’ word because my bestfriend/boyfriend/girlfriend/dog/chicken/llama is black.”

“I’m allowed to sing the ‘n’ word in songs because it’s not the same as saying it out loud.”

“I’m actually more black than you.” (On discussing music tastes, during which I say I do not listen to R&B hip hop or rap)


There are probably more, I just literally can’t deal with the reams and reams of ignorant people that I sometimes seem surrounded by. There are a lot more but if I wrote them up, it’d quickly get very personal and people would probably get upset at me, which would be a bit of a disaster. Anyway, I’ve got a few more weeks to go before my exams start, so I’m revising like mad. I’m trying to cram work in wherever I can, but it is super hard to concentrate, especially when I’m at home.

I’m not saying that it’s a bad place to revise, but I find it so much easier to just relax and stimulate my brain in the peace and quiet of a library or in a school classroom or something. There’s just something more comforting about sitting amongst reams of books rather than sitting at home on my bed with my laptop and open books strewn all over the floor.

What is probably the most ridiculous is that some of our teachers haven’t even finished teaching us the syllabus. At this point all we’re really meant to be doing is a bit of revision and going over the main topics but NO. Geography we still have a whole new unit to do (which, can I just say, is one of THE hardest units out of ALL of them, and we literally have about 10 more lessons to grasp the complex processes), Spanish we still have a controlled assessment to do, BTEC Sport we haven’t finished our final unit and Maths we are still being taught concepts. Drama I still have one more assessed coursework piece on Tuesday. Thankfully, RE, English and Science we’re just really doing revision and going over what we already know.

Well… wish us luck. And pray for us. Because, for real, we all need serious prayers.

Peace out everyone, Queen Rianna

cropped-yto5pzlte

Irony (Pt. 2)

So I was thinking whether I should post Part 2 tomorrow, but I guess since Part 1 and 2 are both about my past primary school experiences, I may as well post it today. The first post was from Years 2 to 4. In this one I’ll get through Years 5 and 6.

4. Year 5 – Miss L

Miss L was one of the loveliest, sweetest teachers that I can remember. She was the sort of person you’d go to when you wanted to cry, when you wanted to talk or when you just wanted to sit with someone in comfortable silence. When we went to ‘The Wilderness Centre’ (kind of like PGL, but the more nature-orientated version), me and my friend shared a room, but we got really scared because there was this horrid tree outside which cast a really scary shadow on the floor. We went to Miss L and she comforted us and gave us lots of sweets. Yes, she was THAT sort of a teacher. The one who genuinely cares about her students.

Miss L also encouraged me within English and she got me interested in Poetry. Now, you may have noticed that I mentioned that “The Highwayman” by Alfred Noyes is my absolute favourite poem. The interesting thing is that before Year 5, I didn’t really like poetry – not to the extent that I do today – but we studied this poem in English. Now before you think, well it’s not about the teacher, it doesn’t matter what teacher you had for English, you still would have gotten into poetry, NO. No that is a lie. Miss L didn’t just read the poem. She made it come alive. She read it with emotion, with voice, with tone, everything possible to make it feel less like structured rhyme and more like a free-flowing story in prose. Everything about the way she taught me just made me really come alive.

So in 2009 (I think it was that year, I can’t remember too clearly) my local library held a poetry competition and I entered it with my friend. I really regret this now actually, I should have entered it by myself. But anyway, Miss L was the one who told us about it and was very enthusiastic when we were runners-up in the competition. We got to meet an author as well, and got a signed copy of her book, “Being Impossible”. I don’t remember much about the day or the ceremony, but I do remember that I felt very proud at winning something with my poetry.

Miss L taught me that words matter. She taught me that you can do anything and everything with your words if you have the mind for it, if you have the imagination for it. She helped me to widen my thinking, to make me think more like a writer and less like a student simply studying poetry. I loved every second of her English lessons and I can’t thank her enough for helping me to become invested in English and the arts, because now I simply cannot live without them. I love writing poetry and really, a lot of it is down to her.

So, thank you Miss L for encouraging me. Thank you for fuelling my passion and beginning in me a journey which would never end, and one which, seemingly, would become an important factor in my life many years later. I am so grateful for this that you’ve done, and I wish that I was able to see you now, to speak to you and show you my work. To show you what you started and how far I’ve come. For this skill, for this love which you inspired in me, words can never be enough.


5. Year 6 – Miss B

The funniest thing about this Year is that I really don’t remember much. I don’t remember many of my teachers or the stuff that we learnt, but all I really remember is my English lessons.

At this point (and also, as I still am) I was learning and developing as a writer. We used to have to do a lot of creative writing in English and so I always had the chance to write. Miss B was my Year 6 English teacher, and even though I don’t remember much about her, I do remember her speaking to me about my writing one day.

She said something like this, “Rianna, your writing is very good and shows a lot of depth and thought… but you always write about the same thing. You always write romance style, and your writing style is also very predictable. Can’t you try something a bit different?” At the time, I thought it was totally harsh; I was just like “Oh my goodness Miss, I try to write so hard and you just crush my dreams and my ambition by telling me that it is predictable.” (In my head of course, I would never dare to say anything this sassy to a teacher). The next lesson, I was still relatively troubled by what she told me, but when she handed out our books and gave us our instruction, I flipped to a clean page and decided I was going to try something new.

That wasn’t symbolic by the way… but I guess in a way, it slightly was.

I started writing a Sci-Fi style story. Yes, it did slip SLIGHTLY back to romance, but I was getting there. I was developing my skills. Miss B, although it seems like she didn’t do much, was the one who taught me that I don’t have to be confined to one writing style. Yes, perhaps I was good at writing romance stories, but that didn’t mean that I shouldn’t try anything else. She helped me to realise that I could write so much more, I could explore so much more if I just stepped out of my comfort zone and tried something new.

I can’t thank you for this enough Miss B. Yes, I know now that I’m relatively good at writing romance stories, but you were the one who showed me that I could do so much more with my writing ability. I’ve started so many other stories which aren’t romance orientated at all, and I’m so glad that you taught me this from early on, so I’ve had more time to develop. Thank you so much for your help in English, thank you for always being a guide for me and also teaching me things about myself.


So… I think that’s it for tonight. I am DEFINITELY not doing Part 3 right now! That’s going to be WAAAAYY too much to digest. This works nicely with the first one which I posted, because they’re linked directly. But worry not, my dear readers. Part 3 will come tomorrow!

I hope it will at least, I’ve been pretty lazy with my posts in the last couple of days… Sorry about that. *smiles weakly*

Queen Rianna

cropped-yto5pzlte

Irony (Pt. 1)

OK, so this is going to be a three-part post. (It’s gonna be quite long and so I have to split it up into three parts to make it seem a bit shorter). Let me just start with a bit of background.

I’ve really wanted to talk about my inspiration for a while. I’m not talking about celebrities and people who will never know, I’m talking about people who have impacted me uniquely in my life and whom I have never forgotten, nor will ever forget. I have several reasons for this (these) post(s): firstly, the fact that there are so many people who contribute or have contributed to my life and make me the person who I am. There is a saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.”, with which I wholeheartedly agree. Secondly, sometimes we don’t appreciate or say thank you to certain people, and I think I really need to; thirdly, because I am really upset I didn’t have a chance to stay in contact with some of these people, but they’ve helped me nonetheless.

I was going through some of my old school reports from Primary School (I even found one from my Year 2 class!) and it just reminded me of all the wonderful teachers I had throughout the years. I’m going to try and get through Years 2 through to 4, but I promise, there’s a lot to get through.

Now, I’m not sure if I’m allowed to put people’s names online and stuff, but I won’t be saying the names of schools or their first names, so that’s OK I’m sure? (I certainly hope so…) Anyway, enough of my chatter. Let us begin.

1. Year 2 – Mrs B

Mrs B hated me. I’m not even being funny, there was just something about me (I don’t know what!) that she didn’t like and she made my life at school an absolute misery. There’s so many memories I have of her… and NONE of them are good. LOL. So, we had these book levels right, which were like, colour-coded. I don’t remember many of the colours or the order, but all I remember was that brown was the highest level and she REFUSED to move me to brown. For what reason, I have no idea, because when we all did reading tests, I had the reading age of a 13-year-old in Year 2; there wasn’t really any valid reason for her to not move me up. But for whatever reason, she refused to. She also told my mother in several meetings that I was too self-confident and what she practically said was that I’d never amount to much.

I also remember one time, that we had a “Teddy-Bear Picnic” (we had to sing the song, I remember it so vividly that I still know the song) and we got to bring in our teddy bears. Me and my two friends (that was an issue, I was finding it difficult to make friends at school) were throwing our teddies across the circle at each other, and of course, we were children, we thought it was hilarious and lots of fun. But Mrs B decided that we were being rebellious, and so she took me and one of my friends to her office and gave us both letters to take home to our parents about our ‘bad behaviour’. (I’m also going to take this moment to call her a racist, because there were THREE of us throwing teddy bears, but only the two black children got taken to her office… and my other friend had started it as well!) Needless to say, we were terrified about what our parents might say and so… we attempted to flush our letters down the toilet.

It didn’t work out too well because I didn’t take the letter out of the plastic wallet.

You’re probably wondering why I’m mentioning her and all these not-very-nice moments after I’ve just done some long spiel about ‘inspiration’. Well, ironically, she was the person who helped to set everything else in motion. If it wasn’t for her being horrible to me, I may never have moved to my second Primary School and met all the amazing teachers that I did and had all the opportunities that I did.

So yes, this is very ironic, but I want to say a huge “Thank You” to Mrs B wherever you are, because without your disbelief and discouragement, I may never have had the opportunity to meet the wonderful people I did and be encouraged by people who actually believed in me. Thank you for pushing me away from you and towards a brighter future.


2. Year 3 – Mrs P

I really hate to quote Mean Girls, but Mrs P was a pusher. (And a good one, not the Burn Book version of one). She pushed and she pushed and she pushed. She refused to give me my pen license until my writing was immaculate, she made me do harder work, more work, set me more challenges and tasks. I can’t say that I very much appreciated any of that then, but I definitely do now.

Apparently, I was supposed to be moved up a year, but she told my mother in a meeting that she didn’t think I needed to be, that all my mum needed to do was stretch me and push me and get me to do more. My mum took her advice. I was always reading. All the time. My mum bought books, she took me to the library, she bought books and took me to the library. Whenever we did a project at school (I remember doing a project about Hippos) I knew that Mrs P expected the best from me, so I worked very hard. She was like the grandmother figure who you don’t want to disappoint. And I loved her, she was great and she really encouraged me to do everything and anything. She helped me to believe in myself again.

So, thank you very much Mrs P, wherever you are. You came in at a time where I thought I could do nothing, where Mrs B had destroyed any amount of belief I had in myself, and you built it back up. I wish that I could have stayed in contact with you, and I wish that I could tell you to your face how much you did for me, because I really appreciate it.


3. Year 4 – Miss C

This one isn’t so much about her inspiration, but what she got me interested in. In Year 4 History we were learning about the Tudors. Now, at first I thought that the Tudors were really boring, because we had to do a project about Tudor Life in England, which kind of just meant finding out about some monarchs and stuff. But of course, always being the extra one, I didn’t want to do a mediocre project. I wanted to do something that nobody else had thought of. I went home and spoke to my mum and she suggested that I find out about Tudor medicines and treatments, and I thought that would be very interesting. So I did all my research, read lots of Horrible Histories books (YES, they are the best, don’t hate) and came up with one of the best projects possible. Now, I know that obviously she didn’t choose the curriculum, but many other classes did different projects, not about research, some just came in dressed up as Tudors. (I wish I had the chance to do that, but still…)

At any rate, now, I am OBSESSED with the Tudors. Ask anyone who I know or speak to regularly. The Tudors fascinate me, they’re so interesting and I could probably tell you all about them, their lineage, the Kings and Queens, court gossip, everything. I’ve read every single one of Philippa Gregory’s series “The Cousin’s War”, and other notable authors like Alison Weir, Emily Purdy and Laura Andersen.

So, this is Thank you to Miss C. You might just have thought you were assigning a project, but really you were assigning a lifestyle. I love the Tudors now, and I love Medieval fiction, and that’s all thanks you to Miss. Wherever you are, I want you to know that I’m very grateful.


So. That was pretty long. (Sorry about that, and I still have WAY more to get through). Obviously though, it’s not finished just yet, so I won’t say goodbye, but I will say, UNTIL LATER…

Queen Rianna

cropped-yto5pzlte