Sunday, February 28, 2010

Things that make you say, WTF?!!

It’s almost time for my nap and I can’t get my mind to settle down, I just saw the most gut wrenching image ever and now I can’t get the picture out of my head!!

With everything I’ve learned about people, I still can’t understand why people do such evil deeds; Betrayal? Misdirected anger? Gossip? Lies? I get it (do not condone it but if it were to happen, I wouldn’t lose sleep) but to torture and maim another human being is beyond me.

On the Lagos-Benin expressway (this express way is infamous for its armed robbery attacks) a group of armed robbers stopped a bus full of people, robbed them, raped their women and as if the torture wasn’t enough, they ordered the people who didn’t have any money to lay down on the ground then rode the bus over their heads. I can’t stop thinking of what went through the victims minds before they died.

I know people can be mean but this is pure evil… Link to the picture. This image is very graphic!!

As you read this (if you read this) I don’t want you think that this is just something that happens in Africa. Unfortunately, it happens all over the world. The butchering of albinos in East Africa, the serial killers in North America and South America, the slayings in the Middle East… you get where I’m going with this.
This horror just hurts to the core. How does one explain this to their children? There has to be a way to stop these perverse acts. Then again, this has been going on for decades the only difference is we have the internet and it’s making the world so much smaller-its bringing focus on all sorts of “dirty laundry” that countries have been hiding.

Another thought just came to mind… I’d like to have children someday but it seems like things keep getting worse with time. Am I selfish for wanting to bring innocent souls into this crazy messed up world? No joke, I am really asking this question…Any thoughts?!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lessons from the battle...

Good evening!
First things first, thank you so much for the comments and words of encouragement. I really appreciate it, at first I thought I was being a bit stubborn but your words let me know that I was on the right track.
So guess what happened today? I spoke to her (the teacher) again, this time in front of the class, and she told me she now understands where I’m coming from and that I’d get my points for the assignment and if I’d like, I could still write my letter of protest.  After class, she pulled me aside and apologized for being unfair and she’d been a bit biased after reading the other plagiarized documents. That apology felt great, not because I won this “battle” but because my instructor understands how important my name is to me- if you have a tainted reputation, your credibility and your “word” is shot to hell, that’s no way to succeed in life.

I thanked her for the apology and then went back to lab. Then I took the time to drink in that moment and after that I thought back to how things went down in class that afternoon….

We’d all settled down to listen to the lecture for the day but a feeling of uncertainty still loomed over the class. We weren’t sure if she still expected us to get that essay in to her, so one of the guys, let’s call him Ralph, asked if she’d be okay with a bibliography instead. It would have all our works cited and cover any questions plagiarism. The instructor refused and insisted that the essay be turned in. The class got quiet, I was waiting for someone to say something – earlier in the day, a couple students said they wouldn’t stand for the injustice and they would fight this. Basically, they gave me the impression that they would actually say something in class- after a few seconds (felt like hours), I decided to make my case.

I spoke up because I wanted her to know that if I had to give up my points, I’d be doing so unwillingly. I wanted her to know how unfair this situation was and because I’d feel better knowing I went down fighting. It’s like the weird analogy my boyfriend uses every time he fights me on something he knows will never change, he always says “I am like the chicken that screams and kicks as its being dragged to the chopping block. The chicken knows it can’t change the situation but it wants everyone to know he’s not happy with it and the butcher will know the chicken fought a good fight till the end” he usually says it in Ibo (he’s trying to teach me how to speak Ibo) - I am paraphrasing and a few things probably got lost in translation but you catch my drift, yes?

So like the chicken, I went down fighting and waited for the final verdict. The funny thing is, as I made my case no one said a word to back me up, there were a few whispers from Ralph and a couple students in the back , telling me to, hush up and be quiet…..

When the instructor said, “You’re right, I understand.”  They all perked up, got their voices back, smiles went back on their faces… they’d won the battle J

I suppose they missed the part where I kept reiterating to the teacher that I was arguing for myself and not for anyone else.  True, it would’ve been nice if they’d helped but in the long run it didn’t really matter to me.

Let me share a story with you, going off on a tangent but just hang in there with me! My dad always told me this story whenever I’d get in trouble trying to fight for other people (he eventually stopped – I finally got the point) When he was younger he got a job with a bank and got along with everyone. He was very outgoing and people were drawn to him. One day, his fellow co-workers got together and complained about the issues they were having with management. He got riled up and suggested they sit down and talk with their boss. Everyone agreed and voted him in as the spokesperson because he’d do a better job of communicating the issues they were dealing with. He agreed, went in to speak to the boss. He explained the situation to the manager and the guy smiled and said, “if you can get everyone to sign a petition today asking for these changes, I give you my word, all the changes requested will be implemented.”  He left the office excited with the progress he’d just achieved, grabbed a pen and paper and went looking for his colleagues. At the end of the day, he went back to the boss with only one signature on that paper – Akpan, the messenger, had gladly stepped up to the plate. His boss smiled, got up, gave him a pat on the back, and then said, “I hope you learned your lesson. People will always disappoint you and some people have no problem sacrificing others for what they want. If you ever plan on fighting a battle make sure you’re fighting something you’ll be proud of."

Now, the old me would’ve been hurt and probably refuse to speak to them but at this time, I really believe my classmates did what they had to do; and I did what I had to do. I fought hard for my grades and that’s all that matters.

Wow, I really need to start making my entries shorter… Thank you for the prayers. See you at the next entry!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Picking this battle?

 I planned on putting up an entry earlier but got swamped with school work and then had to deal with some ridiculous bull shit with school. Forgive my use of an expletive; I am just so angry with how we’re being treated over here. Check this out….

In class on Friday, the instructor announced that a few students in class were guilty of plagiarism and if they wanted to get their points for the assignment, they’d have to read a packet on what plagiarism was and what they’d have to do in order to avoid this situation from happening again.

She then went on to give everyone back their papers. Everyone, well, almost everyone (I was accused of this horrible deed as well) was accused of plagiarism and would have to hand in the essay. At first I was stunned, so I sat in my chair trying to understand what the hell was happening and then I noticed how most of the students had the shocked look on their faces, went on to shrug their shoulders and then walked out of class- accepting their fate. A couple students stayed behind to argue and the teacher was adamant about her position… at some point, I got up and went back to my apartment. I wouldn’t take this lying down, I just needed to get my head together and figure out what my plan of attack would be.

You see, plagiarism is a very big deal especially since I’ve worked in a field where it could cost you so much. Having someone steal your work is a very scary thing- it’s happened to me and it’s no joke, you feel so violated (I know, I sound a bit melodramatic but my creations are like my babies). Now knowing what I know, why would I steal some else’s work and pass it off as my own?? !

When I got home, I ran my case study (the assignment the instructor accused of being plagiarized work) through 3 plagiarism checker sites and it came up as 0% plagiarized work, all three times. I printed the reports and went back to school to meet with my instructor. When I confronted her, she said she didn’t have any real problems with my work, it’s just that I repeated some information that she didn’t feel comfortable with and then pointed them out. I thanked her for showing them to me and then I made my case- tell me what you think of this- the question had asked for me to identify the findings that supported my theory. The findings were a part of the case study she’d given to us. So in my assignment I listed out the data that was given to me to help support my theory. Then I asked how can giving data- a fact- back can be seen as plagiarism? It’s like hearing a meteorologist say,” the temperature for today is 60 degrees”  then someone asks you what the temperature is, you say “it’s 60 degrees” and now you’ve officially plagiarized?

After my argument, she said she understood what I meant and I was right. She then went on to say that there were 2 students in the class who had plagiarized and I wasn’t a part of it but she didn’t want to single them out. She insisted I still go ahead and turn in the plagiarism essay and we can all put this behind us. Before I continue, let me clarify something, I don’t believe my instructor’s an evil malicious person looking to accuse innocent people of academic misconduct but I do believe she is highly misinformed and is trying to catch the culprits in a wrong way. I walked out of her office mad as all hell and then went home to work things out in my head.

Here are my thoughts…. Plagiarism is a big deal and one can get kicked out of school for it, I am so close to achieving my goal and I will not let anyone or anything mess this up for me. Secondly, there’s a rumor going around the community about the black nursing students- the rumor is that we are cheating in school (I’ll give you details on that story later). Most of us are doing really well and I guess the only way we could actually beat the locals would be by cheating. Yes, I know that statement was full of anger but can you really blame me? Again, details will be given later.

Now back to the case at hand, I could just roll over, write the essay, and just take the points- this would make things easier for me and my grades (I am obsessed with making good grades)but I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. I have decided not to write that essay, writing the essay would be an admission of guilt to something I was not a part of.  I am going to file a report of some sort with the school or with ACLU, keep record of everything that happens to me here and just pray that I leave with what I came here for.

I have an exam tomorrow, so I am off to study! Pray for me J

Friday, February 12, 2010

This is just SAD...

It’s official... I have SAD.

That’s right! I am now a SAD’ian. I wish I were lying… I really do.

I’ve been in denial for a while, ignoring all the symptoms that I’ve been exhibiting, but it’s time to face facts, I have SAD and it’s all your fault, International Falls!! I am going to pick up a light box and I better get this as a tax write off!

Seriously though, for the past few weeks I’d been feeling a bit sluggish, my craving for sweets and carbs has intensified, felt like my instructors were beginning to pick up the Charlie Brown sound effect (if you don’t know what I mean…then I have nothing to say to you!) And I can honestly say my patience for stupid people has gone down, drastically.

Hence (I love this word) I decided to talk to someone about it. Well, it’s more like, I decided to bitch ‘n moan to the only person at school who has to listen to me, my advisor!  He told me that I might have SAD. It’s a common thing (ailment?) that occurs during the winter. The lack of Vitamin D (from the lack of sunlight) in our body can cause one to go down this torturous spiral of “blahness.” The cure for this ailment is really quite simple; I just have to stick my head in a light box!

This morning, I hit the snooze button 13 times… I kid you not, 13 times! Then, I had to give pep talks to every muscle in my body all day (to get out of bed, to move during clinical, to eat a donut,  to drive) - I think I’ve reached my limit. Light box, I’m coming for you.

Don’t mind me, I am just being melodramatic. I haven’t had sleep in days and I think it’s finally getting to me.

Again, on a serious note, SAD really is a serious disorder and it can range from mild to severe. Some people can mistake the “winter blahs” for SAD or SAD for the “winter blahs.” Before you start self-diagnosing, do some research and talk to your doctor about it. SAD

I am off to sleep, my bed’s calling my name… well, I think it is. Who is Lisa? J I know, I am corny!


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

No longer a blog virgin..

It’s taken me about a month to work on my blog. How sad is that? Well, I am determined to make this happen... so here it goes

Close to end of 2009, I found an old journal I’d kept for 4 years (apparently, my entries were not detailed enough) and I was excited to read all I had written… rehash past memories (good and bad), see how far I’d matured over the years. Hell, I was just feeling a bit nostalgic.
Every page I skimmed through made me feel sad, turns out that I’d spent most of my life hating what I saw in the mirror. Every day, I talked about losing weight, being the perfect size, working on every single thing on my body. In doing this, I missed out on enjoying the lessons life had to offer- I stopped seeing the blessings God had given me. No wonder I’d been so angry and so distant from the people that loved me (that’s a story for another time).

So guess what I decided to do? Keep another journal! This time online- I doubt anyone will read it but it will make me feel better and that’s all that counts J
In this blog I plan on sharing all my thoughts... Seriously, all of them... Yes, the stupid thoughts, the mind blowing thoughts (can’t promise much), the angry thoughts, the sad tho… you get my drift.

 I cannot and I will not promise entries free of typos and grammatical errors but I promise to be completely honest. Oh, and have you noticed I love “…” and “!” What can I say? I am odd like that.
With everything I’ve experienced in my twenty ”ehmmm” years on this earth- the heartaches, the wonderful times spent with loved ones, great encounters with strangers, the betrayal from friends and business partners, the financial issues, having to rethink or walk away from dreams (temporarily!), having to start ALL OVER again- I believe I am now officially jaded.

Being jaded isn’t always that bad, some might call it being pessimistic, others might call it being realistic. I say… it’s having a different perspective on life and if you’re lucky you’ve learned your lessons and instead of being bitter, you’ve actually acquired wonderful coping skills.
Well, I have to get some sleep. I plan on putting up a new post soon!