Let’s live in the moment baby!

As young people, we spend a lot of time worrying about the future. We think about our dreams and what it will take to get there; the jobs we wish we could get, the college we hope to get in and all that stuff. But, then it’s Monday morning, you have an economics test, you tried hard to study for it but after all your efforts, you are almost certain you failed it. You then begin to ask yourself questions about your dreams. You wonder if they are really valid. Will you really make it in this life? Will you really become the awesome person you want to be? Will you get the grades required by the college that would supposedly mold you into that person?

The funny things is that, the only reason we worry and think we are failing is because we ignore the value in living in the present and focus too much on the future. We tend to forget that no one can predict the future precisely and there is no need to worry about what will happen next. We must all learn to live in the now.

Imagine if you do get into college and find out it’s not that great. The people, location and classes aren’t all they were cracked up to be, and then you begin to miss ALA and wish you had enjoyed your time here to the max. It would suck. Hopefully, we will all love our lives after ALA, but let’s try to avoid regrets about our life at ALA. Don’t lock yourself in your room worrying about the things you can’t do, the opportunities you’ve missed, or the mistakes you’ve made. Spend that time doing the cool things only possible at ALA. Think of Explore Jo’burg, sign up for it. Don’t wait until it’s too late to realize how cool the people around you are. Do it now. Spend your dinner creating memories with people. Don’t snooze off on every Friday B; come out to play sometimes. If you want to have fun, do so now.

You and I have no idea what will happen tomorrow. What if the world ends? What if graduation catches us unaware (yes it is in the calendar, but just go with it :P) ? Forget your fears, and lets live in the moment baby!

The Halloween Party: A Recap

Hey people! We hope everyone’s weekend is going fine, even with the SATs having popped up once again.

About a week ago (exactly a week ago, but one must never not use that line), Tamasha threw an excellent Halloween party, and in case you missed it, or want to relive the moment, here is a quick recap of how it all went:

The memorable night of the 1st of November began with groups of students, in their costumes, being led into a spooky room where they watched a nerve-wracking clip from a horror movie. As if this was not enough to put everyone in the mood for Halloween, right after the clip, students were scared by a cast of ghosts and monsters who had been hiding in the room. There were more than a few screams.

Next, everyone moved into the next room to watch two dance groups at ALA perform.  The first to display their well choreographed moves was Vogue. Their performance started with slow and meticulous movements before  erupting into an explosive spectacle of spontaneous movements. After Vogue’s dazzling performance, the masked sinister men of the dance group Legion took over the stage. These masked men displayed an amazing exhibition of dance that left the audience oscillating between emotional awe-filled screams and stunned silence.

With the strobe lights flashing, both groups gave truly amazing performances.

After, students were led to their final destination–the dance floor. The Halloween party! This is where the students showed off their perfect dancing skills (or attempted to) to celebrate this dark and mysterious holiday ( and generally let off steam.) After hours of moving and shaking to the great playlist put together by Tamasha, the party came to an end. Students left in a tired, happy daze, knowing fully well that their legs would probably be hurting in the morning. Overall, the Halloween event, as one first year put it, “was a night to remember.”

 

Why We Love Halloween

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That time of the year came once again. Halloween is the one day of the year when you’re free to dress up as that favorite cartoon character or movie hero that you obsess about constantly. From Catwoman to Chucky or even Cleopatra, there are no limits. October 31st (or November 1st if school comes before holidays) is the day when you can walk around looking like some ugly, freaky creature but instead of attracting gasps of horror, you get gasps of approval and plaudits.

This year, people took costumes to a whole new level.

A makeup booth was set up where people were not afraid to splash on the white baby powder or go crazy with the black eye liner and MAC ruby woo lipstick. Others spent hours in their rooms working on their costumes in secret.

From Adaeze’s gory makeup to Haitham’s joker face to Ibrahim’s skeleton suit, the fashion statements were made, loud and clear.

We love Halloween  because there aren’t any ‘fashion rules’. No need to feel self conscious about colour blocking or messy hair. There’s no fashion police out there waiting to catch you (this time). If anything, the more daring you are, the more praise you receive.

Halloween has come and gone, but it shall be back! So get ready!

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Look out for info about the   awesome Halloween Party of 2014!

Wellness Wednesday: More on Grit

Hey guys,

You’ve made it through half of the working week already! Look at you being all gritty and what not! Kudos to you on that! With just Thursday and Friday to go, here’s the link to an article (with a video) from edutopia.org talking more on grit.

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/grit-help-students-overcome-inner-obstacles-vicki-zakrzewski

Have a great gritty rest of the week!

When Song Lyrics Get You

For many of us, the music we listen to goes with our mood, and sometimes some songs apply a bit too well to your life. Here are six moments at ALA where song lyrics seem to just get you:

 

1.  When the internet is super slowtumblr_n0fm6z0jIS1s2usi4o2_500

 

2. When people compliment your appearance (and you’re actuallly really tired/stressed)

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3.  On Sundays ( it’s most likely to be sleep)

Grown-Woman-I-can-do-whatever

 

4. When it gets closer to the end of the year/term

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5.When school work begins to pile up

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6. When you order food

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So that’s it! What other songs do you find yourself relating to your life?

Seminal Readings Term 1

A few things make ALA the peculiar school that it is– Entrepreneurial Leadership (EL), African Studies, the diverse community and so much more! One of the things under “so much more,” is the Seminal Readings.

Yhuup, seminal readings! One week of each term in the academic year we drop everything to read (some) really interesting texts. Schedules get freer and bags lighter as all school related items are replaced for a big seminal readings booklet.

The discussions students and teachers have during this time are known to be thought evoking and address critical issues in Africa. They help us begin to think about what we need to do to really be the next generation of African leaders.

For those outside the academy, here’s a list of the readings for this term!

Year 1

Theme: Founding Beliefs (in relation to ALA)

1. Statement from the Dock at the Opening of the Defense Case at the Rivonia Trial – Nelson Mandela
2. Speech from the Founding of the Organisation for African Unity – Kwame Nkrumah
3. Getting to the Heart of the Matter; An Interview with Wangari Maathai – Wangari Maathai
4. Entrepreneur as Hero – Candace Allen and Excerpt from Nobel Lecture – Mohammed Yunus
5. The Talented Tenth – Du Bois
6. Letter from The Cathedral of Milan – Bill Shore

Year 2

Theme: Resistance and Oppression

1. Animal Farm – George Orwell
2. Message to the Tricontinental – Ernesto “Che” Guevara
3. Letter to Thomas Auld – Frederick Douglass and Letter to Birmingham Jail – Martin Luther
King
4. Enfranchisement of Women – Harriett Mill and The Masters Tools Will Never Dismantle
the Masters House – Audre Lorde
5. Pray the Devil Back to Hell – Gini Reticker
6. Address to the General Assembly of the United Nations – Haile Selassie

Have you read any of these? What did you think?!

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