I am almost there, a few more days of some hard work and I will be done!
So yeah, I managed to write and at the time it felt good. I read through it this morning and I was wondering what on earth I had been thinking with? The whole discussion was just repetition of the same thing and a random rant about the educational system… I need to erase it and start again I think!
I really want this to turn out good, not just because I want a good mark for it, and a good mark overall on my master’s degree but also because my current work place are very interested. If I do well they want to use my “expertise” to help them evaluate a project that they have devised to increase the understanding for autism in primary school children. If I do well on my thesis I will be able to do this alongside my regular job. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that I can pull this together!
I’m still home today as my knee is still sore. Looking out at the crazy rain and thinking I’m lucky to be inside though! Don’t think my umbrella could take the heavy rain at all and I would have probably ended up being soaked if I had to go to work this morning. But not being able to go anywhere still upsets me as I was due to go out for a dinner and party with Sweden’s biggest blogger in London; Tess! Ah, well. Shit happens (to me). Hopefully my knee will heal quick and I will be able to enjoy life again!
In the meantime I am trying to work as much as I can on my thesis, want to be able to finish this whole thing and move on now!
Ok, not literally on fire, but I feel full of energy! Which is amazing as I’ve been feeling extremely tired the last few days. But today I’m really buzzing. Have been writing on my thesis and read a few articles since 8am, and have sent off a draft to my supervisor. Will have a shower now, then sort a few bits and bobs out, and then it’s back to thesis-writing! Can’t wait to get going with the actual little study I will be conducting and analysing the results!
Yesterday I read a journal article on friendship among the street children of Accra in Ghana. It wasn’t an article of my choice, neither did I accidentally stumble upon it while trying to find something else on the world wide web. I had to read it in advance of a lecture on global childhoods and I wasn’t expecting much. Yet it matched my current thoughts so well.
The article explored how children who live and work on the streets of Accra see friendship and how their friendships evolve. It found mainly three things; (1) The street children were almost never on their own, there was always another child nearby if not with the first child. The friendships were important to these children as it provided them with some sort of stability. The way they lived was based on trust rather than, as children who live with their family base their life on blood bonds/connections. (2) The street children were often very good at considering the needs of others and were very empathic towards each other. They made friendships actively when they offered their help to each other, and knew that by offering help they would receive help when they would need it. (3) They looked out for each other. For instance when one girl came unaccompanied to Accra other street girls took care of her, bought her sandals for her bare feet and helped her find a job selling iced water. If one of the children got ill the others looked after that child, bought it food and medicine and made sure he/she could sleep.
This behaviour baffled me. Mainly because I thought that a thing like friendship wouldn’t exist as such for street children, not in this kind of way. My assumption was that these children were mainly enemies. That they tried to steel each others money and belongings, and yes the article does mention that these things happen. But the fact that the children have their own friendship groups and that they look out for/look after each other in such a generous way really did amaze me. These children are the poorest of the poor and yet they manage to look after each other and to be generous. When I think of the children in our Western society, especially children that I have worked with through my jobs as a nanny, learning support assistant and holiday scheme worker, I cannot see much resemblance. Most of the children have difficulties sharing, lending your things to others for them means that your things might get broken or lost by the child you lend your things to. I feel this is really sad as these children grow up to be people who are suspicious of others, people who are greedy and want things instead of wanting to share what they’ve got with others. The saddest part of this is that it often comes from parents. How many times have I heard parents say “No, you cannot take it with you to school, someone will break it” or “Make sure no one takes your new X!”. I can understand this, no one wants their kid’s things going missing or getting damaged. I know things cost money and that money doesn’t grow on trees (oh, how I wish it could grow on trees!), but isn’t learning to share so much more important? And not just share with your siblings, cousins or any other family member, but sharing with the wider community? Wouldn’t we win so much more if we did that? Imagine society if we could all share things with each other, trusting other people, and most importantly; if we share with others we will most certainly get something back.
We have a lot to learn from the street child of Accra, and I understand their extreme misery and that they are missing so much that we take for granted. But in another sense they have so much more than we do.
So, my first essay has been handed back with a grade and some feedback. I managed to get a B (best grade is A+) and I am very pleased with that as it was the hardest essay with lots of law and regulations that I had a hard time to get my head around. Even the lecturers told us that as this was our first essay on postgraduate level and for many of us it was the first essay/assessed work that involved the understanding of both domestic and international law, this would be the hardest essay. So I am really pleased with the B!
After that it was time to hand in the dissertation proposal, which for some reason I forgot to proof read! I can’t believe it, but just as I had attached it in an e-mail to the administration guy, my supervisor and the programme director, and clicked on ‘send’ I realised that I hadn’t proof read it! I don’t even want to read it now in case I find some crazy mistakes and then start worrying about it. I am a worrier by nature and worry about most things. For instance, if I say something during a lecture and it comes out a bit wrong (it does that quite often! I need some sort of filter for my mouth) I think about it for weeks and worry about what people think of me, even though a logical part of me thinks that most people will have forgotten what I said in like a day or two. So the sending off a dissertation proposal without a proof read fills me with anguish.
However, it’s time to move on and start some reading for the next essay. I have chosen the question “Response to self harm needs to focus not on the behaviour itself but on the underlying emotional distress. Discuss”. I got three books today in the library and as interesting a subject it is, it’s also very depressing… I started reading some of it on my journey home and it is so sad to realise how many young people who actually harm themselves deliberately in one way or another. Makes you wonder what the society has come to, but at the same time I remember my own teenage years where many of my friends cut their arms and legs. I can even remember when I cut my own arms for the first time. Luckily I never managed to cut deep enough for it leave physical scars, but the words “self harm” always strikes something within me. It catapults me back into a time where I was an insecure and troubled teenage girl, suffering from eating disorders and incredible self loathing. But realising the fact that so many young people harm themselves is a shock. I always thought that it was only me, that no one else could understand the terrible feeling of self hatred, fear of no one liking you and the feeling of being some sort of outcast, something that society would really want to get rid off. If someone would have told me then that there are so many others out there that feel the same, the feeling of loneliness and need to cut myself might have diminished. But then again, it might have not.
Have been switching between filling out my ethics form and coming up with scenarios for my semi-structured interview. Writing almost all day long takes it’s toll…
I’ve been terrible at blogging lately, but I have been so busy. It feels as though time just flies and I just can’t keep up with it!
At the moment I am still writing my essay (OK, no not at the same time as I am writing this! I’ve got a right to a break too.) and I’m not too sure if I am happy with it. To be honest, I don’t think I’m happy at all. Maybe it is because I am terribly stressed about everything from the essay, to Christmas presents (that I haven’t got yet), and the dissertation. So maybe the stress makes the perception of my essay worse?
Anyway, today is the last day I can really write my essay, give it some finishing touches and make sure it all makes some sense. At the moment I’m not too sure if it does make any sense at all! But I hope so. When I’m finished I will shower you in posts about anything that enters my mind!