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.

All my friends are engaged, married or pregnant and I am over here trying to poach an egg.

For all of you who are not engaged, married, or pregnant. Trying to adult. You are not alone.

Just so you know, this isn’t my poached eggs. Stolen from the internet. Food porn.

So I rolled out of the hospital last week after three nights surrounded by 3 ladies drugged up just like me. I came home with discharge notes, medical certificate and a prescription. As soon as I got home I realised in my haste to get out of there (I don’t like hospitals) I had left my teddy there. Yes laugh, my teddy. His name is teddy and he has been with me since I was born. Knitted when I was still in the womb he means a lot to me. Jamie brought it up to me on day two of the hotel from hell to soothe me through morphine doses with a dash of tramadol. So I had to be an adult, ring the hospital and ask them to find my teddy.

Hospital 1, Seren 0.

Now I am 20… 21 is October. Young, sassy and still growing. I was scrolling through my Facebook when another one of my friends was now pregnant.

Thoughts?

  1. No.
  2. Yep.
  3. 13 weeks.
  4. January.
  5. No drinking for you.
  6. Do we have cider in the fridge still?
  7. No alcohol for two weeks. Doctors notes.
  8. A tiny human.
  9. ALIEN.
  10. Baby tracker is kinda gross.
  11. Babies.
  12. Why?
  13. OH SHES ENGAGED TOO.
  14. What?
  15. When?
  16. Scans Facebook profile.
  17. TO HIM?
  18. No.
  19. Yep.
  20. Wow.
  21. We went to primary school together.
  22. I thought I was on track.
  23. What is life?
  24. What am I doing?
  25. Should I be worried?
  26. Yes.
  27. You are well behind.
  28. I don’t want kids for a long time though.
  29. I am 20.
  30. Biological clock though?
  31. IM TWENTY.
  32. Lots of time.
  33. 15 more years at least.
  34. I still haven’t seen most of the Disney movies.
  35. I am still a child.
  36. No young adult.
  37. I couldn’t handle a poop machine yet.
  38. Adult, that I am.
  39. I lost my teddy.
  40. Not even close to taking care of another human.
  41. I want a cat.
  42. Yep.
  43. Kitty.
  44. Could I get a cat in my apartment.
  45. No.
  46. Random cat flap that goes out to nowhere just 6 floors down.
  47. Right.
  48. Okay.
  49. F**k.

*scrolls newsfeed more*

  1. ARE YOU F**KING SERIOUS.
  2. YOU ARE MARRIED TOO?
  3. YOU WERE JUST ENGAGED
  4. THAT WAS A SHOCK.
  5. Cute dress.
  6. Only one photo for me to cry at?
  7. Why?
  8. You are my age and married.
  9. Have you seen the world?
  10. Who is he?
  11. Oh yes.
  12. He was with your friend for a while.
  13. Never liked him.
  14. Good luck.
  15. No I am being sincere.
  16. Adult Seren.
  17. SH*T, GOD DAMMIT.
  18. Why?
  19. Where are you going?
  20. What is your life plan?
  21. Do I need to be engaged?
  22. No.
  23. HA.
  24. No.
  25. Thank you.
  26. *Hisses at screen*
  27. Should I save for a house?
  28. I haven’t left NZ yet.
  29. Need to finish my degree.
  30. Oh lord.
  31. I am not at uni next year.
  32. Out and about.
  33. LIVING.
  34. Thats okay.
  35. How do you adult.
  36. I can do it.
  37. I am doing it.
  38. Eggs.
  39. Poached.
  40. How?
  41. Googles how to….poach eggs.
  42. Heck yeah I can do this.
  43. Poaching like a boss.
  44. TO THE KITCHEN AND BEYOND!

*quietly sings to self about not being married, engaged or pregnant. With a dash of freedom*

Just saying I can poach eggs. They were delicious. Two of them.

I have so many questions. Why is everyone engaged, married or up the duff? This is the new normal. There seems to be a wave of people I know who are advancing and ticking of the appropriate adult things. I mean my ex is now married to a girl 6 months older than me. When I found out he was engaged to be. I laughed and almost made a t-shirt saying “dodged a bullet”. Almost. But now he is apart of the normal and I am over here eating avocado and eggs on toast trying not to get it on my white shirt.

Truth of the matter is growing up so quickly freaks me the f**k out. Bills, food shopping, cleaning and maintaining the life I have with my significant other is stressful enough. Throw in University, work and the fact that our elevator is not working again makes me anxious. Just so you know, I now own a blazer, blouse and two sets of dress pants. TWO. I also have business cards. WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT FROM A 20 YEAR OLD?

You are being silently killed, sweetie.

So it was late at night and I had just finished another long shift at work when the regular debate of “if we watch a movie; what should we watch” comes up. Jamie a sucker for a horror and me who can’t get enough of documentaries compromised and we settled on. FED UP. A documentary about te obesity epidemic in America. I know what you are thinking. Here we go Seren we know why they are over weight and sick: bad food and no excerise. You and I friend are both wrong. So so wrong.

I must tell you now I fell asleep before the end of the film and am currently writing this not knowing the end of the film. But what they present to you is so compelling I can fault them. Sure two sides to every story but mate this is a crazy story.

Here’s the kicker you are being slowly killed by your food. Just one ingredient. Sugar.

Though this film is based in the USA. It does present statistics from NZ. Ding dong we are not excluded.

So I knew sugar was something our bodies don’t actually need. It’s not like salt which we do need and minerals, sugar is the natural cocaine that we gourge ourselves on.  That it’s bad for your teeth and it’s in our soft drinks. That it should be a treat like substance and that we are lucky to have it. Boy, was I wrong. I don’t meant to be crude but blunt because SUGAR IS THE DEVIL.
There I said it. Done. Wow. Shit that feels great.  Fun fact in America tomato paste is classed as a vegetable. Don’t believe me then look it up!

So after a quick chat ad a soild thought about the whole topic of sugar I have decided to go sugar free for 10 days and see how I go. It’s currently days two and I’m feeling good. Coffee is strong.

What I am also excited to announce is my 3 month transformation thanks up Ruby! A person trainer and a babe from waaaaaaaay back. I have offered my body/soul to her. 5 days of training and clean eating. I will do a proper mol post later on, so hold on to your hats.

My advice/opinion is to check out the film and come to your own thoughts. Your health cannot be bought by money and you only have one body. But 10/10 would recommend. Sugar companies are crazy as f**k. Scratch the surface and you will be surprised. I am super excited about the next 10 days!

P.s I’m scared too and coming out of a horrible cold.

P.p.s I really want a holiday.

 

Lessons Death Has Taught Me

It is the end of the line and one of the few things we are never taught to deal with. It takes those around us, quickly like a cold wind or slowly like a flower blooming without the same affect on our heart. It is the conversation of death and how we should approach it.

I have to apologize for my lack of entries as the real world has taken over. A busy end of semester, a full on internship and the news that my partners grandfather had taken a fall. But I come to you with vibes of positivity.

I have never really had to deal with the brunt of death. The idea of losing someone so close. Yet I have always been one person away. My last nana passed away when I was young but I do remember watching my dad break and cry because we lived on the other side of the world and he had never felt so isolated in his life. He showed me that parents do have a threshold and that was too much to bear. My other and close passing with death was when a friend committed suicide. This was heart wrenching. I still to this day do not understand why he did what he did. He was the best friend of the gentleman I was seeing. We weren’t together. I had meet his mother once. The second day I ever met her she was crying over a stove and she was broken. He was silent and crying into his hands surrounded by men who had fallen against walls staring off into the abyss.

So what does happen when you are dealt the card of death? What do you do? What do you talk about?

Jamie’s grandfather passes away on Friday and I was once again left to deal with what was left. What I can tell you as I write this at Jamie’s mum’s house is that men and women do often deal with death differently.

Here is what I have observed in my brief encounters

  • Both sexes do either one of these things: become extremely practical, remain the same, emotional.
  • At some point you will have to talk about what is going on.
  • Tea can do a lot of healing but so can whisky.
  • Saying you are sorry can make people angry. Say you are here if you need anything.
  • Give everyone time. Time to sit and reflect and time to sit in silence for the process of healing to begin.
  • Death takes the filter off many things in life and reveals what is important.
  • Men do cry, shake and sob. The do sometimes need a shoulder to nestle into.
  • A warm place with friends is a good place to talk about how everyone is feeling.
  • Even a year later it still hurts.
  • Funerals are also places to celebrate, laugh and smile.
  • You will at some point cry.
  • Some people cook everything is sight.
  • Others will sit and cry.
  • People are stronger than they think.
  • Sleep. Is. Needed. Always.
  • Your memories of the person are your treasure to keep.
  • What ever happened they are now at peace.

I will wear a black dress tomorrow and offer my shoulder to those who need it. All suits are ironed and all the details have been made clear.

I write this to tell people that death will have some sort of relationship with you and you will have to deal with it at some point. You are human, strong and you will get through this. I write this saying that each and every death is different. I write this because tomorrow I will watch as we lay to rest a man who I only met once but didn’t give up till the very end. It is without saying that if you ever need to talk I am here. We must be there for one another, death is just a sober reminder of that.

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.