Saturday, 28 August 2010


Yesterday afternoon I was by my computer when I looked over on my Journalism papers and realised I am registered for all the wrong classes.

Imagine my surprise, after a whole week of going to classes and my already stressing out about the assignments. (I even wrote a blog about it.) Right after discovering this factor, I immediately went onto the school website in an effort to try and switch some things around. Ultimately, I found out that the last day to drop a class was in fact Thursday, and because I am already registered for 15 credits, I would need an override to add anything else.

In the midst of my haste, I managed to drop--or what I thought was drop--my Mass Media class only to look at my schedule and grades to see a nice big W. Although it "does not" affect my GPA, I was informed that a W in a class means you are still required to pay for it. Needless to say, I had a fit. I grabbed my things, put on my clothes, and headed straight to campus.

Not only was yesterday the last day to add a class, but it was also the last day to use the school's Finaid opt-in program to buy books at the bookstore. After my 9 am class I went to the bookstore and got all the books I needed. (Two of them were not there so I had to special order them.) Would you like to take a guess which book was the only one I actually got? Mass Media. Therefore, in my frenzy, I also grabbed the book and the receipt just in case I had to take another trip to the bookstore to return it. (It also happened to be the last day to return books. Go figure.)

For such a big campus, I am slightly annoyed that we are only given four days to buy and return books and switch around our classes. I literally broke down in tears as I stood before the woman in the Registrar's Office and tried to explain what happened. She had a bit more sympathy than the woman upstairs who kept telling me what I already knew. ("Swapping classes ended yesterday.") I cried my way from Milican, where I was sent to reverse the Withdrawal, all the way back to Communications. By the time I returned to my Journalism advisor, my nose and eyes were red, and my schedule looked the same as it did when I first walked in--minus the W of course. (She was the most comforting, as she handed me a tissue and printed out my Degree Audit to show me that it is not that bad.)

This is what happened.

After I was admitted into the Journalism program the curriculum changed. It used to be that you had to choose a specialisation, for which I decided upon Editing. I attended a meeting last Spring where I was informed that since I have not started taking classes yet, I can still switch over to the new curriculum, which is just a general Journalism program--no specialising. At the meeting I was given three papers. The papers told me which classes to take for editing, which to take for news writing, and which to take for the new curriculum.

Shortly after said meeting, I registered for my classes. (Yes, I have been registered since April.) The basic idea behind our Journalism program is that you cannot take more than 40 credits of JOU-related classes. The standard requirements for both the new and old curriculum are 18 core credits. If you decide to specialise you also have to take 12 credits that are specific to that major and then you get to choose two 3-credit electives. Under the new one, aside from the 18-credit requirement, you get to choose the other 18-credits from a list that they give--which is basically a list of all the Journalism-related classes that are offered. (In essence it is the same amount of credits for either curriculum, but the new one gives you more freedom to choose the classes you want to take.)

Silly me, I thought the standard 18-credit requirements were the same no matter what. It just so happens that I was using the new curriculum guide to choose my classes, and three of the four JOU classes I am taking this semester are from the pool of electives. They do not count towards my editing core. Hence, I feel like I am wasting my semester. Granted, I would have had to choose two electives eventually anyway, but I only took these classes under the misconception that they were required. If I had the choice, I would much rather have taken a Magazine class or two.

The frustrating part is that four out of the six required classes for editing are also required for the new curriculum. This means, I only had a one in three chance of choosing an elective instead of a required class, which is exactly what I did--twice.


Thursday, 26 August 2010

Once and For All

Courtesy of P.J Fray
Don't take it too seriously.
Based on recent events in my life, I find that it is totally appropriate to address this ever-annoying debate about where I am from, and inevitably, who I am.

Let me begin by saying no I was not born in Jamaica. Twenty years ago, my mother and father were up here visiting with my grandmother. Mother dearest went into labour and had me at South Miami Hospital. (Yes! That makes me an American citizen.) After I was born, we went back to Jamaica and lived in Montego Bay. I attended Mrs. Weatherburn's pre-school--where I met my best friend--and then Mount Alvernia Preparatory school, also known as Al V. I went through Kindergarten, Intermediate, and grade one at Al V, after which we migrated to Florida. (I love Mr. Mac!)

I ask my parents all the time why they chose to leave so early, but it makes no sense arguing over spilt milk. At the end of the day, brother unlucky and I are first generation Americans.

Nonetheless, I still claim Montego Bay as my own, and for those of you who know me I go back every chance I get. Most of my family members and friends live in Jamaica and I simply love it there. Throughout my childhood, I spent plenty of time in Westmoreland and Saint Ann (Ochi). Now that I am older, I still make time to go to Westmoreland whenever I am in town, and I also frequent Trelawny and Hanover--not so much Ochi anymore. Most of my time in Ja is spent in Cornwall, but on occasion I go to Saint E and enjoy the delicious Pepper Shrimp from Middlequarters, as well as the Lobster from Little Ochi in Alligator Pond Manchester. (My father and brother unlucky do plenty more exploring than I do when they participate in Bird Bush activities.)

On another note, no I do not go to Kingston. Have I been there? Of course. We don't ride asses in MoBay. Do I make it a priority to go? No, I don't. When I am in Jamaica, I expect to see people who I miss--from MoBay--not the same old faces from the parties in SoFla. Furthermore, Kingston has nothing new to offer me. In fact, it is overly annoying having to defend myself whenever I tell a Kingstonian where I represent. Why should there be a big issue anyway? Is it intimidating or something? If you want MoBay to be "country" that badly then fine; it is country. That certainly does not make it any less great.

For future reference, though, please keep your anti-MoBay comments to yourself. I've heard them all already. (And they only make you sound like those ignorant people who believe we still live in trees.) We are all Jamaican, and as the slogan rightfully says, "Out of Many, One People."

Perhaps the most noteworthy and amusing recent event was my being informed that I "push" that I am Jamaican because I am "really not." This blog goes for all of you who thought I was an illegal immigrant, a resident,  or here on a visa. My birth certificate says Miami, Florida. Both of my parents, who were born in Montego Bay, are American Citizens as well, and my brother and I also have dual-citizenship for Jamaica. I am thankful that my parents thought ahead and decided to have us here, because it saves me a lot of the problems I see other's having. Because of it, I was able to travel all across the world during my childhood, and back. Not to mention I can go to Jamaica as often as I want for as long as I want. (And the lines at the airport are so much shorter for US citizens.)

Indubitably, I have absolutely nothing to prove to anyone and I will continue to represent for Jamaica all the days of my life. If that part of me bothers you then I apologise on behalf of your ignorance.

Monday, 23 August 2010

You Have to Start Somewhere

After my first day of class, I can confidently say that there is a huge difference between the first two years of college and the last two.

All the lectures I received in high school by teachers who swear that college classes are the most difficult classes ever come in to play right now. I have decided to take five classes this semester in an effort to ensure I graduate in Spring 2012, and they are not the easiest classes in the bunch. (Those of you who know me know that is a huge sacrifice for someone who absolutely loves free time for sleeping and going to the gym.)

Nonetheless, I felt slightly undermined by the freshman M&M major who I interviewed today. His excitement to be taking 16 credits was overflowing.

Speaking of interview, I thought I would share my stress with you. Since I am finally in the Journalism school, that means I am officially taking Journalism classes. (Yay!) However, the first class on the list is what I would like to call the "Weed-whacking" class. (And I am not the only one to notice this.) The teachers are especially hard on students in this class because they want you to get it. Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. There is no room for error. One spelling mistake and you fail. Factual error? Forget about it. Misquote? Just drop the class now.

We are required to write six articles, one of which must be published in a local newspaper, and we will attend several Writers' Meetings for said newspaper. In all honesty, that is far less articles than I had anticipated--but I am not complaining.

On another note, I am all moved in and settled into my new apartment. My roommates are delightful and my place has come together quite nicely. There is still room for one more person upstairs, but all the merrier if no one shows. I also have to mention that the staff at this place is awesome. They are extremely accommodating and friendly--coming from my old apartment that is quite refreshing.

If you are wondering about the people I was supposed to live with--Prima Esposa and Applebee--they have both decided to do what is best for them. Kudos to them for doing so because I know they are both happy, and that is all that matters. There are no hard feelings, just a bit of sadness in regards to Prima Esposa who has left the school all together. She transferred to a school back home and moved back in with her family. When I visited her over the summer she was glowing, and I am happy for her, but I cannot say I won't miss her quite a lot this year. In fact, it is her room that is empty right now. It is open and waiting for you, for now, if by any chance you change your mind. =)

Despite the pressure from the weed out Journalism class, and the 8-10 page paper  required for Diplomacy, I feel very good about this semester. I feel like I am heading on the right path and that I will gain some very valuable life skills from all the tasks I plan to take on.

And one more thing; no more room for sadness. Happy days ahead!

You can quote me on that.

Sunday, 15 August 2010


This is my formal renunciation of my Blackberry phone.

I got the wake up call a few weeks ago when I went to watch Grown Ups. The two little boys who played Adam Sandler's children were stuck up technology-dependent brats who knew nothing about the outside besides the fact that the grass is green. They used their phones to call people who were in the same house as them just so they were not forced to get up off their asses behinds and talk to the person face-to-face. (It did not help much that they were too busy playing video games to take a moment to pause.)

If you ask me, that was a hidden message--and I am almost certain not everyone caught it. I've yapped about it before and will continue to as long as it keeps getting worse. These new generations are too anti-social. I wish someone could send a worldwide memo to let people know that social networking sites are not equivalent to having an actual social life--with real people. These days you go out to a social event or party and everyone is looking down at their phone screens. Since when do we go out to use cell phones? For what it's worth you can certainly stay home and do that. When you are out, you are out; put the phone away!

I wish my "Rules for Blackberries" came with every new purchase of the phone. I wonder if I can make an agreement with T-mobile and Cingular?

What's funniest to me is that my brother used to tease me about my cell phone and how often I sent text messages and now he has gotten so annoyingly addicted to his Blackberry that it drives me insane. Whether he is driving, sleeping, eating, cleaning or showering matters not. The blackberry has become a part of his vitality.

Being a blackberry veteran I can safely say the BB craze has gotten completely out of control. I was always unique when it came to my phones and now I go out and everyone has the same phone and is trying to add me to their list. (Not that they have any intention of ever speaking to me on it or anything.) I started out with but five people on my Blackberry Pearl two years ago and now I have well over 60--and that's because I delete people as often as I can.

I can't keep up.

I really wish I could go back to a Nokia 3310, but to find one of those now and make that transition would be horrendous. So where do I find my middle ground?

Well, considering the fact that email has taken over, it would only make sense to get a phone with internet. Which one you say? Just to go out with a BANG, i'm thinking I will cross over to the dark side and get myself an iPhone.

Call me a sell out if it pleases you, but as soon as the kinks are worked out, that iphone 4 is MINE!