“Someone will come along. Someone who understands that you get jealous and anxious. Someone who knows the fears you have rooted deep in your past and holds you when you’re feeling scared. Someone who can’t dance, but dances with you anyway. They can’t sing, but they’ll sing to you anyway. They’ll love any gift you give them, even when it’s the wrong size and they’ll love anything you cook for them, even when it’s burnt. They’ll make you laugh until you cry, and know exactly what to say to make you smile. They’ll leave you feeling helplessly, unapologetically happy as you fall asleep at night. You’ll wonder how you ever got so lucky. Just be patient. Someone will come along.” – Word Porn.
One of the saddest things in life is when your friends stop tagging you in memes… That is how you know the friendship has died. And I can’t help but feel overwhelmingly lonely.
“It is a beautiful and delightful sight to behold the body of the Moon.” -Ptolemy.
So often we hear about the worst of retail but what about the positives? Here are 10:
- For shy people, retail often forces you out of your shell and ‘teaches’ you how to talk to people despite being nervous or without getting nervous at all.
- Retail also ‘teaches’ you how to smile. Before working in retail I never smiled and I was basically like Daria.
- The thrill when you actually recognise regular customers.
- Actually having a good/ interesting/ intellectual conversation with a customer. (It’s rare).
- Flexible hours and the ability to swap shifts with coworkers.
- Working with awesome people
- Feeling responsible for something important and learning initiative.
- Improved numeracy
- Exercise. (Think: stairs, heavy lifting, constantly moving hands while either scanning or packing, etc!)
I initially applied to volunteer at the Miss Fisher’s Costume Exhibition at Old Government House because I was seeking museum work and I thought volunteer experience would look good on my resume. I was a bit apprehensive before my first volunteer shift, knowing I would be working a long day without getting paid. I was wrong to feel this way because what I received back from my volunteering was better pay than money: friendship and knowledge.
Old Government House is the oldest public house in Australia; originally built by convicts in 1799, it is located in modern-day Parramatta Park, and was the ‘country’ residence of the first ten Governors of the Australian colony. The house is particularly known for the transformations made to it by Governor and Mrs Macquarie, which are retained in its current appearance. Rooms are furnished with pieces from the National Trust’s collection of early colonial furniture in such a way as to recreate a somewhat authentic set up reminiscent of how the house would have looked when the Macquarie’s lived in it. (However, most of these furnishing were taken out during the Miss Fisher’s Costume exhibition period meaning I was unable to view them for myself.) Governor Fitzroy was the last Governor to occupy the house. After this, the house became a boarding house for St John’s School (in 1900) and later for The King’s School (1910-1967). Management was handed to the National Trust in 1967 whereupon the house underwent some restoration (however, not the first time restoration work was completed) and the House was officially opened as a museum by Queen Elizabeth II in April 1970.
This is the second time the House (FYI this is my short way of referring to ‘Old Government House’) has hosted the Miss Fisher’s Costume exhibition, the first time was themed on Seasons 1-2 and this years exhibition has been themed on Season 3. I, myself, have never seen the TV show though I have heard from quite a few people that it is worth watching and my personal opinion is that the costumes are beautiful!
[My favourite dresses, below]
Things I learned~
This semester at uni I have been studying an introductory subject on museum practices. I chose it because firstly, as aforementioned, I wouldn’t mind some museum work, but also because I didn’t know how museums operate and since I love history I wanted to understand museums a bit better. I found that volunteering at Old Government House reinforced so much of what I was learning at uni as I saw the theoretical concepts in practice. For example, the use of white light instead of yellow light because white light is less damaging to organic materials. I also came to understand what the various museum officer roles entailed and how they were different from one another: the director, the curator, the tour guides etc. Furthermore, I got to see different ways in which to engage visitors: audio effects (*cough* super annoying sound loops), tactile samples (not always effective but definitely more so than nothing as people would often attempt to touch the costumes), and complementary artistic displays, such as a backdrop of a ballroom, which gave the effect of the time period and a full energetic atmosphere.
Yet, this wasn’t the only knowledge I gained from volunteering. I also learned life skills: humility, kindness, and patience. I learned not to judge a book by its cover and that everyone has an interesting story to tell. I learned that sometimes friendship comes from the most unexpected places (meeting a girl, finding out we take a class at uni together, and becoming friends). And, from the conversations I had with my new friends, I learned some interesting tips. One tip that stood out to me was to study MOOCs. These are free Massive Open Online Courses. They are great for extra knowledge (some people, such as myself, are weird and like learning new things) and if you’re willing to pay for a certificate they also look good on your resume as an employer can see that you have put in extra effort to acquire new and relevant skills. Another life tip that stood out to me was the option of staying in hostels while overseas. At first, I worried about safety but after talking to a lady I was volunteering with, I looked forward to the option and after further research it became a more enticing option. There are other tidbits I have gleaned but if I begin to list these, you might be stuck reading this all day.
I have watched the first few seasons of Downtown Abbey (I highly recommend it, by the way) and there are some common elements between that historic house and this one that I loved seeing for my own eyes and learning about, which I want to share. Firstly, two words: servant bells. They’re a really cool and clever invention. Servants often did not wait in the same room as their masters (though, there are exceptions) so if the master wanted something done, he would ring a bell. There was a line of bells in the servant’s quarters and based on the sound of the bell, the servants knew which room to attend to and what was wanted. Genius. Moreover, according to a permanent volunteer at the house, shutters were used by the main doors, in the place of curtains, to protect whoever opened the house for the day from bullets of mobs or raiders.
Historic houses also had particular architectural styles (just like now). However, since Australia lacked the necessary building materials at that time (being a brand new colony and all) the convicts/ architects had to emulate certain styles with the materials they did have. Examples-
- The House is made from brick but it appears to be made from concrete because of the way it is painted.
- The door looks like oak but, again, that’s just paint.
- Greek Columns? Naa… That’s paint, my friend.
Okay, so basically paint is a really handy tool in architecture. Who knew?
If you’re considering volunteering because it will look good on your resume, well, you’re probably right. But, it’s about more than that. Volunteering will enrich you as a person. It will fulfil you. You will learn whether or not that ‘thing’ is for you (whatever area you choose to volunteer in), you will learn a lot of interesting stuff, and you will make new friends. And, if you’re unsure? There’s no pain in trying volunteering and seeing where it takes you.
[P.S: The creepy girl from the portrait in the bedroom, below]
The death of Harambe was undoubtedly a tragedy, yet one that will hopefully highlight the need for change in order to address better safety measures in the future. It saddens me that people are calling Harambe’s handlers callous for deciding to euthanise him as this must have been a very difficult decision for them considering his species is not only endangered but he was a precious member of their ‘zoo family’. Yet, they made a wise call. Imagine the repercussions they would have faced had the gorilla fatally injured the child. While Harambe was not necessarily aggressive, he had the potential to kill, even unintentionally, possessing the strength of ten men. Some argue that his pose over the boy was protective but professionals say that his posture and tight lips were a clear sign of agitation. While no one can know what would have happened, the decision to euthanise the gorilla, while difficult, was probably the wisest decision that could have been made.
While people argue that Harambe could have been tranquillised instead of shot, it seems that they do not consider 1) the amount of time it would have taken for the tranquilliser to take affect (particularly since he had such a large body mass); 2) the gorilla’s agitation after being shot with the tranquilliser; and, 3) that Harambe could have fallen on the boy and either crushed him or drowned him in the moat. If neither tranquillising nor euthanising the gorilla, what other option did the zoo therefore have in order to save the boy?
Yet, this does not mean that Harambe’s death could not have been prevented. Many are quick to lay blame on the childs’ mother, suggesting her not noticing that her son had slipped away indicates irresponsibility and neglect. Rather than blame the mother, what if we acknowledge that children escape their parents and instead brainstorm ways to prevent their falling into danger? Many look down on parents who walk their children on leashes as if they are treating their child like a dog but, in reality, this is an incredibly humane idea for the future if it will prevent children from meandering into the exhibit of a male ape, from the perilous clutches of paedophiles, or from wandering in front of a speeding car. I cannot find blame in the mother in this particular circumstance- she is human and cannot 100% watch over her child- but if she had had something that could have prevented her child from escaping her then Harambe would still be alive.
Moreover, we must question: How did the child get into the exhibit if it was adequately enclosed? Some people will list the obstacles the child had to overcome in order to enter the enclosure as if listing these will defend the zoo from fault. (These obstacles are: a one meter fence, moat, and a twelve-foot drop.) But, in reality, the zoo should have built an enclosure in which neither an animal could escape nor could anyone enter. There are risks to animal enclosures: wandering children, idiots, vandals, and thieves. The obstacles the zoo had in place were clearly not enough if it was not ‘childproof’.
Let us learn from our mistakes in order not to repeat the past. R.I.P Harambe.
I’m not a professional, I don’t know much about narcism, but I do know one thing: Narcissists are wrecking balls.
But, how do we recognise narcissists in order to understand our own place in their self-indulged “fake make-believe world”?
I believe the first step in the process of recognising a narcissist is knowing what the term means. The DSM-5 defines Narcissistic Personality Disorder as “…a pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy” (2013: 645). Secondly, knowing and understanding the symptoms is vital in order to identify (though not diagnose!) a narcissist: (DSM-5, 2013: 669-670.)
- Has a grandiose sense of self-importance.
- Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
- Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).
- Requires excessive admiration.
- Has a sense of entitlement.
- Is interpersonally exploitative.
- Lacks empathy.
- Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.
- Shows arrogant, haughty behaviours or attitudes.
Side note: If you just read that and thought it sounds like you (and were disturbed by that), you probably don’t have narcissism. Narcissisms are proud to be narcissistic unless they think others will view it as a character flaw. But, if you’re still unsure, here is a quiz you can take (totally inaccurate but it will give you an idea of whether you have Narcissistic Personality Disorder or not): http://personality-testing.info/tests/NPI/
But, what is our place in the narcissists’ world?
- Narcissists are people who only care about themselves. They will use you in order to achieve what they want.
- They will bring you down in whatever way possible but they do this is on the ‘down low’ (like snide comments, bullying, etc.). They bring you down in such a way because they don’t want other people to suspect their evilness but they want you to feel subservient to them since they think that it’s “all about me.” Newsflash: it’s not.
- They will do whatever they can to ‘hang you on a line’. They are charismatic and they like being liked. They think the world revolves around them.
- They are IN LOVE with themselves. You know those people on instagram or other such sites who not only ONLY post photos of themselves but also caption them with every synonym under the sun to describe their beauty: “cute”, “kawaii” (*vomits*), “hot chick”, etc. This is because these people are image-orientated and everything is about how they are perceived by others (whilst also being a reflection of how they view themselves).
- Yet, they are also incredibly insecure: they are terrified people will not admire them the way they admire themselves. The biggest insult to a narcissist is not liking them.
Fun fact: The term ‘narcissism’ comes from an ancient Greek dude, Narkissos, the beautiful son of the river god Cephisesus and nymph Liriope, who loved his reflection so much that he couldn’t tear himself away from it in a pool of water and ultimately died in this way.
Anyway, the best thing you could do in reality is recognise the narcissistic traits and act around those but if you’re concerned you should talk to a psychologist for advice or to vent, and read up on the topic.