May 17th every year marks a very important day- International Day Against Homophobia. This day is quite significant this year to the international community given the passed legislatures in Uganda and Nigeria. It is an important day to reflect about the injustices done to the minority i.e. LGBTI community.
ALA has started early on the mission of curbing homophobia and the Sexuality Discussion Group (SDG) started a campaign called LoveIsLove campaign, where people share how they overcame homophobia.
Some of the stories that have been shared are:
“I always found it easy to be in a social space and come with my significant counterpart and be boldly introduce them as my girlfriends/boyfriend and not be afraid to face any judgement or hatred, but the day a close friend of mine told me that they were gay I realised that I was fortunate because they would have to think twice before introducing the partner. That’s how I overcame homophobia”
“I overcame homophobia when someone really close to me came out and told me they were gay. The fear and prejudice I had towards LGBTI people was something I wouldn’t be able to inflict on this person”
An event should not always have to occur for one to overcome homophobia. It starts with simple things. Avoiding comments like “#ThatsSoGay” could help you to overcome homophobia, giving gay people the respect they deserve as human beings is a good start.
Homosexuality is not a condition, it’s an identity-just like being Black, Arabic, Asian, American, Hausa, Yoruba, Berber, Zulu, Male and Female.
Celebrate IDAHO daily through small acts of kindness.
With the CIEs flow already on the move and with first years preparing for their internal exams, it is important for people to have a few tips on productivity and keeping themselves focused on the tasks ahead.
- Eat well
Think of your body as a car. Cars don’t work without petrol. Neither does your body. To be productive you need to eat your three daily meals with fruits and vegetable. To perform well, Sodexo has to be your friend!
- Study with light music
Studying with soft music like jazz or soul helps concentrate better and for longer. Rather than listening to fast-paced pop music which easily distracts the mind, you should listen to soft music. There are different forms of music for different activities, but if you want your studying to be effective, listening to slow and soft music would help you a lot.
- Take breaks
As much as it is important for people to study hard, it is also important for them to play hard. During this exam period it is advisable for you to leave your books and go for a quad walk or a jog. It would help you release your brain cells for a few minutes and would help you concentrate better when you return to studying.
- Sleep well
Sleeping also gives the brain its downtime with little processing work to do. After studying for a very long period, it is really important to sleep, hard. Our bodies react to stress in different ways which could affect our performance negatively. And you definitely don’t want to wake up late because you studied too long at night.
- Find a chill spot for yourself
One thing you really need during the exam period is a place where you can be away from any sort of disturbance to simply chill or study!
Good luck guys x
It’s safe to say I have a new favorite song. It’s just so happy sounding but then the lyrics are deep and emotional. You could listen to it in any mood. This song is called “Hero” by a band called Family of the Year. It came out in 2012 but I, with my tendency to live under a rock, am just hearing it. And in the past day, I have ‘heard’ it multiple times. And in a move that would make ALA proud, I began to reflect on the lyrics. And guess what came out of it? An EL Lesson.
The Chorus goes:
Let me go
I don’t wanna be your hero
I don’t wanna be a big man
Just wanna fight with everyone else
I don’t wanna be a part of your parade
Everyone deserves a chance to
Walk with everyone else
This man is basically saying he just wants to work with everyone else and not be the ‘hero.’ He doesn’t want recognition, because everyone deserves to get equal recognition. Apart from thinking this guy was just really awesome, i realized he reminded me of Level 5 Leadership, something we learnt about in entrepreneurial leadership class. Level 5 leadership is a blend of personal humility and intense professional will (wanting the whole business to succeed). I think this song really sends that message, at least after 40 listens. Maybe after I play it a 100 times, I’ll see how it’s the cure for the common cold.
What songs do you like with not so obvious messages?
Here’s the link for the song
ALA tries by all means possible to foster the sense of community, unity and comfort for all parties in the school, one of the means it uses to achieve this is the weekly community assembly. The assembly is focused on the ALA community and one segment of the gathering that is always exciting is the “My Story” segment. ‘My Story’ is an opportunity to listen, learn, laugh, empathise, share, admire and wonder. To be honest, sometimes it is a good chance to have a great laugh after a long and dreadful start of the week.
We all have preconceptions, judgements and questions about people and often their ‘My Story’ answers those questions. It is an opportunity to learn how someone survived a war, or lived in a refugee camp, or why some people value their religion so much, or prefer certain things over others. It is an opportunity to empathise with those who have suffered a great deal of hardship. Out of those stories, there are lessons learnt. As a community we learn from each other.
Opening up is not an easy thing, but at ALA you are guaranteed a safe space to feel secure and the weekly assembly’s ‘My Story’ series goes ahead to show the safe and secure space that ALA is. Besides sharing about one’s life, its an opportunity for a speaker to practice public speaking- a fear many have. We all have a story to tell, too often we think other people have better stories than us but a story is a story- and all stories are worth telling.
With just about 5 weeks left until graduation, we’re all beginning to think about what it will be like not seeing the faces we have gotten so used to anymore. It’s so potentially depressing. We’ve gotten to know and actually like people, and now life and its annoying full-of-change-ness wants to place us miles apart from each other. It sucks but it needs to be accepted. Yes, the 2nd years will graduate (not a bad thing. Do you want them to not graduate?) And the first years will still have one year at ALA. It can’t be stopped unless you have invented some time pausing remote. The more feasible thing to do is plan how you’re going to keep your relationships alive over longer distances. It’s not easy but nothing worth anything is, so here are some tips to help with keeping in touch.
1. Send updates. You don’t have to wait till something huge happens in your life to tell your friends about it. Don’t make them have to find out from your profile picture that you dyed your hair green. Quick little texts or emails are nice. Your friend will feel included in your life and will be more likely to keep you in the loop of their lives as well
2. Know what your friend’s days look like. If you and your friend know when you’re both free and awake (time differences, people. Acknowledge them!) then keeping in touch will be much easier. Knowing just how busy your friend is also helps you judge whether or not calling them at a certain time could lead to you talking to a very agitated, grumpy person or not. Agreeing to sit down and catch up at least once every month, week or even day (if you must) could also be helpful so when you miss your friend, you always have that time to look forward to.
3. Do not get mad. Don’t get emotional. If your friend doesn’t call you when they said they would, or cuts a conversation short, or replies you every 2 days, try not to take it personally. As amazing as you are,and as much as they love you, none of your friends are just sitting on shelves waiting for you to call. They have things they are doing. Avoid attacking them and telling them they’ve forgotten you. It will just upset them and make things weird. Instead, just be there for them when they can and do want to talk. Don’t spend the conversations you do have being angry at them for not being available 24/7.
4. Something that will really help with number 3 is this: live your own life. Wherever your friend is, you are somewhere too and don’t let that place pass you by. Enjoy being around the people who are nearby and doing things where you are. Be happy and don’t become dependent on a message to make your day good. Friendships that are meant to last will last. No matter what you do, the outcome is the same (#obscure literature class reference.)