Why I Almost Didn’t Go To University

It’s something I didn’t really tell people and when I do it just kinda falls out. Like a confession or something. I am about to graduate and go on to do another year but in post graduate studies and in reality I question what the f**k I may be doing if I didn’t end up in Auckland. (Side thought am I a Jafa now? Do I need to apply to be one? Do I get a medal?) So why did I almost not go to uni? Well there are a couple of reasons.

  1. I actually missed the deadline for my applications. The day the applications closed I realise and freaked out. Lord I lost it. My stunning mother came to my rescue and saved my ass. Also  the man I spoke to at Auckland Uni calmed me down and said it should be fine. (I didn’t trust him but he had a soothing voice). I had to get my photo taken, see a JP and get everything back in time. It wasn’t a pleasant experience and I keep a very close eye on the deadlines. Lesson learnt. Cheers mum.
  2. I wasn’t sold on studying dance. Honestly my 18 year old self was thinking “you are going to be broke for life”. Seriously no one in Nelson makes money from dance unless you run a dancing studio. Teaching your 5 year old kids for the rest of my life didn’t see that amazing. And this is where it gets interesting, I was going to become a paramedic. Ha, gotcha. Give me blood, gore, broken bones and chaos and I find a very strange calm in it all. It was halloween and myself and a few friends were heading up to a friends house for dinner, a swim and many beers when we rolled back from Kaiteriteri to his private gate. The damn thing wouldn’t open. (you should know he has a lot of money). So sitting in the back seat I saw something on the driveway. A bike and what looked like shoe. Thinking it was a practical joke I jumped out then yelled at Jacob who’s house it was because there was a body and a lot of blood. No practical joke here. All real and a 3 meter fence between us and this kid. Every one in the car thought we were in on the joke as we threw ourselves over the fence. He was in and out of conciseness and it was Jacobs nephew. He was in shock and all our phones were dead, so as Sumer raced up to call 111 Jacob and I assessed him. I couldn’t figure out why the gate wasn’t opening and then the blood trail told the story. He had come down the hill on his brand new race bike that wasn’t even installed with brakes when he had come down the hill on his sandals and smashed his body into the gate instead of making the turn to go up the side track. A broken collar bone, wrist, ribs and a fractured skull. Really a good job all round. It was reflecting upon this when I though I would go and study to become a paramedic.
  3. I really really really wanted to go see the world. I was a tumblr girl and lord when someone binge posts on overseas images. You want to go. To run. Im 21 and still haven’t been out of NZ. (Im freaking out that I will never leave.) The wish list is Canada, Greece, Egypt, North Pole and a few others! I could of worked and gone but I guess I am just waiting.

Its been a three years, and I only have one week left. Still have stupid summer school but lets be honest its the most chill 6 weeks ever. I have shows which you should all come to because that would be nice and I would love not to be a loner. You know I am still not sure if I should of gone to university and I am still not sure if I enjoy it or if I want to do postgraduate. But I would be shit head if I dropped out now. I mean I made it this far and didn’t kill myself with my cooking or lack of sleep so clearly I can do another week.

So I am just going to be writing my last written assessment tonight for my general education paper that 50 fucking percent. I would like a wine but tea will be fine. Still trying to adult.

21 Ways To Deal With Stress.

It is almost the end of the year for me. I graduate next May. October for the past two years has been a nightmare waiting to happen. You see I don’t have exams. I just have cute 30% assignments all through the year, but in October my assignments means show, essays, videos and a never ending battle with university. Soon it will be over, thats all that keeps me going.

This year I have been an adult more than previous years and honestly I’m tired and mostly stressed. I got an apartment, took on an internship, upped my work hours and committed to more things than ever before and if anyone wants to take me on a vacation for my 21st which is in 10 days I am all yours.

You know when your becoming an adult when birthdays are just a pain in the bum. Im turning 21 and feel 82. Black little pits I have for my eyes. Help.

So with all this going on how do I deal with stress?

  1. Lie down and cry.
  2. Make food, what ever you want. No one can judge you. It is a hard time right now.
  3. Sleep.
  4. Take a few deep breaths.
  5. Go for a walk.
  6. Make a very specific to do list.
  7. Clean your room.
  8. Lie down and cry.
  9. Text your best friend.
  10. Hide in a cafe and pretend your okay.
  11. Disappear into the internet.
  12. Get really angry.
  13. Make a cup of tea.
  14. Have a dance.
  15. Just do the thing.
  16. Try do some yoga.
  17. Have a cider.
  18. Eat some cheese.
  19. Make yourself pretty.
  20. Online shop.
  21. Lie down and cry.

Honestly dealing with stress isn’t easy. Hence why Hidden Under The Covers has been so quiet. Sorry.

I may or may not be lying on my couch in my underwear thinking about all the things I need to do. Whilst I write this.

This list is:

  • Find time for choreography
  • Plan an ending for said piece.
  • Email development notes for Cell by Cell
  • Production form for “all the lies I have ever been told” (ATLIHEBT)
  • Description for programe for said piece.
  • Choreographer statement for the same piece.
  • Hand in LUMINA final essay.
  • Pack kitchenware and bedding in apartment.
  • Email landlord about bond form.
  • Clean house.
  • Buy milk, toothpaste, bread, other items.
  • Sort watches out, replace batteries.
  • Pack rest of bedroom.
  • Clean house this weekend.
  • Move house this weekend.
  • Organise clothes for front of house work. Saturday.
  • Make some sort of plan for my birthday.
  • Redirect mail.
  • Give date for shutting off power.
  • START assessments for fine arts paper.
  • Attend meeting for stage management for postgrad show.
  • Email Molly.
  • Lighting design for Cell by Cell, ATLIHEBT, Peace Keeper.
  • Develop Peace Keeper.
  • Do another blog post.
  • Sign up for summer school.
  • Sign up for postgraduate studies.
  • SORT OUT BOND.
  • Do the video assessment.
  • Not die.

3 weeks till freedom.

A love like this.

I have been asking lately what I should write my blog about and a lovely creature called Renee told me to write about Dance.

Like that thing in my life. That I am studying. Yaaaass that thing. That Big ‘O Topic.

I don’t know why I have never written about dancing. It has shaped every part of my life for the past three years. I guess I find it a very sacred and special topic for me and I don’t want to be shot down for talking about it.

Heres the thing. I love what I do. Honestly. I love it. Heart and soul. Outside skin to heart. All of me. Dancing, its the damn best thing. Now you may be a student who is studying science or law or social studies. Well Done. Good on you. The world needs people like you. The country needs people like you. I am not being rude or nasty but I am thankful you exist. You might be a mother who takes care of her children. Go you, you educated them everyday without knowing and have the best anger management that even money cannot buy. You might be a guy working in retail. Shout out to you. You have a calm exterior and know where everything is.

But I am a Dancer. Yes I am an artist too. I am an advocate. I am more than you could ever think of. What I ask of you is respect. Do what I have been taught to do in this society and to respect me for the job that I DO. I create art. And guess what I BLOODY LOVE IT. 

I am never going to call myself lucky. ‘Lucky to do what I do.’ I am brave. Yes brave. So do not shoot me down.

I work part time in the hospitality sector because study link doesn’t cover my rent or the food I eat. I have work part time for three years. I work part time whilst studying full time. Now the one thing I can tell you is that people like to talk and chat and give an opinion. Often I get asked what I do other than my job and I say ‘study’. This is how the conversation flows.

Customer: So what do you study?

Me: A Bachelor of Dance Studies at the University of Auckland.

C: Oh wow, what sort of dancing do you do?

M: Mostly contemporary.

C: Do you like it?

M: Absolutely. I love it. (Thinks in head, why else would I spend 20,000 on it??) 

C: You look like a dancer. So what do you actually do during the day? 

M: I don’t roll around on the floor all day. Its half practical. 

C: So where can you go with it all??

M: I could get my PhD if I wanted to but the industry needs me so I must go to them. So I might do that later. 

(I then leave to do my part time job which they think will be my full time job because its dance.)

What hurts the most about this conversation is the raised eyebrows when I drop the line of what I do. You know as someone who studies human movement staring into someones eyes with raised eyebrows when they tell you that they are achieving their dream hurts. Remember that.

So why am I writing this? I am here to answer some questions. By giving answers I am hoping to remove the stigmatisms.

Let us begin and dive into this stunning life I have.

What do I study?

  • Contemporary technique (Stage 1,2,3)
  • Kapa Haka and Theory
  • Pacific Dance and Theory
  • Dance Education
  • Dance History and Context
  • Kinesiology and Somatics
  • Dance Choreography (Stage 1,2,3)
  • Dance Writing
  • Dance Interplidiscnary
  • Stretch and Conditioning
  • Community Dance
  • Safe Dance Practice
  • Psychology 109G
  • Anthropology 106G
  • Dance and Technology
  • Professional Practices

I have missed a couple I am sure but these are paper I have taken and/or taking.

Every single paper has a written form to it. Whether it be a 2500 word essay, lesson plans, Pecha Kucha (shout of to Sarah Knox for those little devils), injury prevention plans. I write. We write. A lot. What people don’t understand is that dancers are pretty damn good at referencing. APA STYLE ALL DAY EVERY DAY.

What does a normal week consist of for me?

Well that depends.

First semester is normally pretty easy going.

Monday: 3 Hours. Two papers.    Tuesday: 2 hours. One paper.     Wednesday: 4 Hours, Two papers.       Thursday: 5 Hours. Three Papers.      Friday: 2 Hours. One paper.

16 Contact Hours. 8 Outside Hours.

____________________________________________

Second Semester 

Normally the same ish.

16 Contact hours but then theres is this.

Up to 40 hours of dancing. In class, rehearsal, making choreography, in the theater, between classes in corridors because there is not studios.

In second semester my average amount of sleep is 6 hours. 4 hours when we are close to shows.

What do I eat?

Mate. Everything. Different semesters require different diets. First semester is lots of brain food that is slow releasing. Nuts, grains, root veggies. Second semester is carbs. 60% of my diet is carbs. Carbs=Energy. Simple math. No food is the worst torture. Hiss and run away.

Why dance?

I was told by a lovely lady “do what you love, let that be your career.”. It made a lot of sense to me. So I applied to come to Auckland. Where I write to you today.

What’s your back up plan?

Rude to ask. I will always find something to do in this industry. I am apart of a family. Always creating jobs that didn’t exist two years ago. However if I couldn’t do what I loved due to something. Though where there is a will there is a way. I would become a paramedic.

What do you want to do after university? 

Well you might be one of my employers reading this. If so hello. Thank you for being here. And doing what you love too. But I want to create and share. BROAD. But details are for me to know.

What do your parents think of this?

They are incredibly proud. They have always known it would be something creative. They are supportive and since they were the first of their kind (COMPUTERS) I will be the first of my kind to make dance as normal as computers in our everyday lives.

What do you struggle with?

Ignorance. I would like to see you enjoy a world without dance. Without people who make it possible. My own thoughts of being a tall dancer. Always think I am taking way too much room. So I never feel I am dancing to my ‘full’. I am 6ft for your information.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Really I could talk about this all day. I mean I am going to talk about it all life long.

In reality I don’t keep company of those who do not understand what I do.

Its a love like this that is so intoxicating that it cannot be left alone. I keep sipping from this damn cup and I am not going to lie when I say its the best.

If you have any questions about what I do honestly I would love to hear them and help you get some more information. These are my few 1300 words. However this is my passion and career so lets chat and I might even show you a few moves.