Thursday, 11 March 2010


i am not all that political.  i am glad to have the freedom to vote and have an opinion, but i don't get very caught up in it all, either locally, nationally or internationally.

i am, however, very opinionated about how people are treated.  especially when it is completely unfair.

i also know that a lot of people will think that this makes me political.  it doesn't.  i'm not anti-anyone-- i'm pro-everyone.  i just think that all people have the right to live and work and love, and to do so in a manner that is not in constant fear or under constant threat.

what made me so mad today was the stupid young undergrads in a class i'm taking notes for.  it's a class on the history of the middle east and all the conflicts there.  i actually am really glad to be in this class.  i have been to israel and the palestinian territories, twice.  i know people who live and work in various parts of the entire region.  i love the history, the culture, the food, the people-- arabs, jews, christians, muslims, all of them.  it is fascinating to me, and i would love to live there some day.  i also took classes in university from a rabbi-- both bible classes and classes on the holocaust.  i am not ignorant of what has been done to jewish people... but neither am i ignorant of what they have done to others.

today in this class, we were talking about the history of the conflict between israelis and palestinians, going back to the 1930s.  it has been a difficult situation for a long time, and neither side is blameless.  for the second half of the class, we watched the first half of a film called 'paradise now' about two young men from nablus, following their journey in becoming suicide bombers.  i don't know how it's going to end yet.

first off, the film is filmed in nablus.  having spent time in the west bank, and really wanting to go back, it actually made me a little homesick, which is funny because it's never been 'home' yet.  also, having spent time there with friends who have family living there, as well as having spent a summer term at hebrew university of jerusalem, i have experienced both sides-- and now i've studied the history of both sides.  this film, seeing these two young men struggle with very limited options, trying to decide what they can do, how they can make a difference for their family, their people, their land... it was heartbreaking.  at many points, i had tears streaming down my face.

and the kids behind me were giggling.  laughing.  ridiculing.  i was furious.  but i just had to sit there.

i want to be clear:  i do not support or approve of violence on either side, whether state sanctioned (israel) or revolutionary (many arabs).  i. do. not. think. violence. solves. anything. or. is. ever. the. answer.  EVER.

that being said, i do understand why many oppressed people around the globe feel that violence is their only option.  i have seen myself what life is like, and how intolerable it can be, when you are the oppressed and occupied people.  one person's terrorist is another's freedom fighter.  israel itself used the very same tactics to claim their statehood-- and are every bit as violent and oppressive towards their arab neighbours as they suffered under the nazis.

how is that fair?  how is that right?  it's not. and it's no laughing matter.

i know that there are no easy solutions, and that violence begets violence, and everyone has claims, and all that.  but i get angry anyway.

Friday, 5 March 2010

delayed payday

i do not understand the way some places work.  that's most likely because they don't work like i would like, or they don't work in ways that i would think of as making the most sense. obviously they never asked me, but still. 

for instance.  i work for a month.  i turn in all my timesheets on the last day of said month.  i get paid at the end of the following month. 

so i have to wait at least 28 days to get any dough for the work i did ages ago.  that is a long damn time to wait for my hard-earned cash.  especially when i have bills and stuff.  right now, i'm living on £50 for the entire month of march.  that means no extra activities (like coffees or dinners with friends or bus passes to anywhere).  that pretty much means only the most basic of grocery necessities, like milk and eggs.  the long-life milk, at that.  and the cheap, not-free-range eggs.  it also means no rent for my flatmate til much later.  at least k knows i'm good for it, and isn't dying for the money. 

but still.  i understand a delay for pay--i'm used to two weeks.  but this is too long.  too damn long, university. 

not that they'll pay any attention.  they don't care. 

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

beaurocratic bastards

i got bad news yesterday, and i can't figure out what to do about it.  my visa situation is all messed up right now.  and i'm not happy about it. 

i either have to have my thesis done, my viva done, my corrections done, and the university saying i'm done in order to apply for a post-study work visa (which is what i want) by the end of april (which is pretty damn well impossible)


i have to leave the country. 

i don't want to leave the country.  but while they say they want me, a person educated here, to stay here and work, they are making it f*cking impossible for me to do that.  and that's just the paperwork and timing.  the cost is out of this world. 

i'm a student for crying out loud.  i don't have £2500 to my name, in any country.  how the hell am i supposed to come up with that much, to leave in a bank account for three months, and then pay another £500 just for you to consider giving me a visa?  you've got to be joking. 

so, i'm going to spend the next month writing-- no eating, no sleeping, no nothing but thesis-- and see if i can submit in a month, get readers to agree to do my viva over spring break (good luck with that, self), get the corrections done in a week or two tops, get everything okay'd and printed and bound and turned in and paperworked.  if i can, then things might work out. 

if not, i'm totally f*cked and don't know what i'll do about it.