Category: Uncategorized

And I almost gave up…

Three months have passed since I last wrote a post. This is not the first time it has happened – I have to admit I am not entirely sure why. Is it writer’s block? Is it me being so caught up in everyday life that I don’t take time to write? Or it is the old feeling of worthlessness coming back to haunt me and make me want to almost give up everything?

Clouds of thoughts… Lack of confidence… Uselessness…. Mists of doubts…. Feeling nothing

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Clouds of thoughts… Lack of confidence… Uselessness…. Mists of doubts…. Feeling nothing

And I did almost give up, though I didn’t let anyone know the feeling was growing inside me – give up my dissertation, my writing, my painting, my caring for anything and anyone. I almost gave up living altogether. I had forgotten the feeling – like a hand blinding you, choking you, silencing and stifling; so when it crept back, I was overwhelmed. How could I possibly deal? All I wanted was to disappear – to become invisible and to stop being a burden for everyone. And I didn’t tell. I didn’t tell because it would have been bothersome to others, wouldn’t it? I was so ashamed of myself. The blame kept pounding my head relentlessly. I could hear them, and I could see them and they were everywhere. The voices, and the eyes and the hands. I could not tell. This is crazy.

Instead, I focused on my family, my beautiful, wonderful girlfriend and my friends. I concentrated my thoughts on the love I could give and that I kept being given. On the luck I had to be working in a field that makes me feel passionate and stimulated. On all the things that I can do and all that I have accomplished. I faced myself. I looked my fears in the eyes and loosened their grip so my throat would not feel as constricted and my heart as tight.

I painted a mental picture of my dreams come true – a life with the person I love, painting or writing while she was playing the guitar and singing. I saw us working or reading or travelling. I heard us laugh. I took a deep breath and invited these heart-warming thoughts to settle; their soothing warmth scared away the numbness and negative doubts. Now, I am sitting down at the desk writing and my heart is full of love, gratefulness and passion and all I wish is for these feelings to shine on through.

 

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Thoughts about teaching :)

It’s been a long time that I haven’t written. I was too busy working and worrying about how my students are progressing or not. I also had some time to think about my own way of teaching and TEACHING in general. I came to the conclusion that was is important in teaching is WHAT YOU […]

via SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT TEACHING — WELCOME TO OUR ENGLISH CLASS WORDPRESS

To anyone interested in teaching, I strongly suggest you read this beautiful manifest of love from a teacher (who I love dearly) to her students and herself!

A specific intuition

A specific intuition

Trust intuition
Trust! She has spoken!
Easier to ignore
Oh, granted – for sure.
But she comes back more
And if she tells you
Repeatedly
Specifically
Then maybe you
Should hear, listen to
The little voice meant to
Save you
And protect you,
Here to guide you.

Not sure I want to see

     Not all of us feel intuition the same way. According to the Myers-Briggs test, some personality types rely on intuition to make decisions and others don’t, but in all things linked with research, creation and feelings, I cannot help but think that it plays the most important role in guiding us and leading us to the right path. Sometimes, I just have a sense of things and I know, deep down, no matter what my logic and reason tell me, what I have to do and how I must do it. It applies to human relationships, but also to the choices I make in research for my PhD and to the way I teach my students or handle them in class. And I am not the only one.

William Wordsworth wrote: “Faith is a passionate intuition.” 

Albert Einstein said: “The only real valuable thing is intuition.”

      A poet and a man of science who agree on the power of intuition – what could be more beautiful than that? It not only resolves the mind/sensation conflict, but also the ridiculous separation we force ourselves to make between art and science. Even psychology accepts that intuition must be used as it creates a link between our reason and our unconscious and our instincts, making us more aware of ourselves and probably happier in many ways.

       Lately, I have been overwhelmed with a very powerful intuition and gut instinct about a number of things and somehow, every time I went against it, I felt sick. Now that I have embraced it, I feel more at peace with myself and perhaps it is the best thing I had to do, along with avoiding self-deception.

I hope you all have a wonderful night/day!

Love,

Sacha ⭐️

Teaching, Studying and Living Feminism

Part 3: Living Feminism

Some time ago, I started a three part series devoted to feminism. I did not want it to take that long before I actually completed it, but it is never too late!

The first two parts were about teaching feminism and gender equality in high school and about ways to study feminism. Of course, they were just my personal experiences, but they  were both very interesting to write as they enabled me to see how much could be done in the classroom (from experience) to improve gender equality and to realize how much more can be done still.

This is when part 3, living Feminism, comes in. It is one thing to read about feminism and gender equality; teaching the subject is another – in both cases, you are making steps towards equality. Even if both these experiences can be painful, as you may very well be discouraged to discover how sexist the world still is or to hear students tell you that feminism is for angry, ugly women, they are enlightening. There is also something intriguing about searching “feminist” on Pinterest and finding pictures like this one, which rings very true:

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Only to find that one as you scroll down:

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Don’t get me wrong. I love fashion and I am always impressed by the creativity of some pieces, but how do you go from searching “feminist” online to being shown images of fashion, jewelry and makeup? Is that because feminism is about women, and just because it is about women it must lead to what we are all told women like: shoes, dresses, mascara, diamonds (a girl’s best friend for sure ^^) and pearls? And in that context, is it really possible to live feminism?

Some people will tell me: yes, it is. Of course, it is! I do not disagree… But there is still a long way to go. A little anecdote will serve as my example.

I know a girl who studies feminism; she does not study it as I do – it is actually her field of study. She rages and revolts when she hears sexist jokes; she is very independent and she lives her life like a pro. But then… love comes in and everything seems to disappear. We are back on the same old tracks. All of a sudden, it is alright that the guy she likes has sex with her whenever he likes, but will not be there when she is the one who wants some affection. He will go, take what he wants, and refuse to sleep next to her. And she finds excuses for him – and she will say that it is normal that he did not agree to be with her when she wanted to because he was busy and she was being tiresome, as if she had forgotten that she, too, could say no and that her body was not his object. That he should treat her with respect.

Of course, in real life, things are a little more complicated – there are issues of self-love, trust and commitment on both the boy and the girl’s sides. And I am not saying that the boy is an ass, only that my friend sometimes forgets about all the values she defends so fiercely when she is around some men, as if male presence muted her.

The sad part is… it is true of many women who believe in equality. How many times have I seen very outspoken lady friends fall silent when around men? How often have I noticed that in a group composed of both men and women, men usually speak the most? They just direct the conversation. Then again, not always. Not all men. Not all women. But the pattern can be observed everywhere…

Such observations make me wonder if I am quiet because I am girl and not simply because I am quiet. They make me ask myself if I like cooking and a clean house and being a good, nicely dressed hostess because, as I often jokingly say, I was “raised to be a housewife” or just because I actually do enjoy these things and would still like them if I were a boy. They make me wonder where I would be right now if I had been born male.

Because of such observations, every time I see a girl wearing a lot of makeup, clinging to a boy, I wonder if she is happy or if she does everything FOR the boy because that’s what magazines have told her she must do ever since she was a child. If she’s happy and she loves makeup then it’s awesome. But what if she is afraid the boy will not like her anymore if she does not wear it? What if she is actually really self-conscious because other girls are mean to her because of her looks? Then it is a sad situation.

In a weird way, I think maybe that’s what living feminism is: rather than just trying to live by a set of rules, it is questioning the world around you. Always. And questioning yourself, your habits, your thoughts, your prejudices and preconceived ideas, for we all have them, and taking a close look at the way you treat women, but also men.

As as Maya Angelou would say:

“I think a hero is any person really intent on making this world a better place for all people”.