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Will This Post Make Sense?

I paid for this domain, I should probably blog once in a while…..-me

So. It is Friday, December 8th 2017 11:00PM, and I guess I felt that now is the time to return to the blogging world.

I don’t think this post will be comprehensive or invigorating in any way, but my week has been riddled with anxiety, and I haven’t done much about it, so why not write something, yeah?

A quick update would tell that I have completed my Masters thesis! Which means that I have (hopefully) completed my Masters degree! Yay! So……..now what, lol? The answer is a big, fat, whopping I DON’T KNOW. BUT, the year has a couple of weeks left to go, I have a birthday coming up, and plans to spend some time focusing on myself and my goals, so I have faith that come 2018, I’ll have some fun things in store (and to write about)!

Now, I can say that I’ve spent a lot of hours “researching” some things that I may be interested in. I’ve started like 3 books, a couple podcasts, watched a few movies, taken a liking to some new tv shows, started keeping my eye on a few peoples’ whose careers I *think* I admire…. Essentially, I have a lot of things I’m interested in, but I haven’t quite got to a point of focus (much like this blogpost, lol). I’m just a girl with a lotta big, fat ideas rn, and I have a lot of hope that this girl with a lotta big, fat ideas will get her life together real quick and have some quality content to share with ya(:

On that note, I think that is the extent of my my writing capacity at this hour……this is the most comprehensive thing i’ve written in the weeks since completing my over 25,000 word thesis, which still blows my mind, and I’m having flashbacks, so I think I’ll quit while I’m ahead.

If I don’t come back before 2018, happy holidays to everyone! I look forward to some fun content and interaction in the months coming. Much Love.

Moriah Camille (aka Dj Momo)

**we’re gonna work on this signature, too. #consistency**

Disney Channel, Come THROUGH–I am in Love with Andi Mack

My childhood and adolescence took place in the lovely late 90s/early 2000s, so I am no stranger to the nostalgia that is “old school” Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. I pretty much tuned out after 2006, but since moving back home (to my parents house that has cable), I found myself flipping through the channels and landing for a little while on the Disney Channel, and let me TELL you–I am here for it!

It started off with my noticing that Raven’s Home (the much hyped That’s So Raven Spin-off) was in the programming, but I ended up staying for my girl Andi Mack. I’ll tell you a little bit about the show down here, but I am going to leave most of it up to you because it is so cute and worth it and I need for you all to experience it on your own.

“Andi Mack” is a contemporary, coming-of-age story about a girl who’s trying to determine where she fits in and the many amazing ways she can live her life. When her free-spirited older sister Bex returns home with a revelation that changes everything, it sends Andi on an uncharted course of self-discovery. –Via IMDB

The show basically follows 13 year old Andi Mack navigating the “complexities” that come with becoming a teenager, including school, friends, boys, and family dynamics; pretty straightforward. What stands out to me most about this show, though, is its commitment to portraying everyday situations that are familiar and resonate with a more diverse viewing audience. For example, in one episode Buffy, Andi’s beautiful natural-haired BFF, is called into the principal’s office because some student referred to

andi-mack-friendship-trailer
Andi and her two best friends, Cyrus and Buffy (via JustJared Jr.)

her hair as a “distraction.” Subsequently, Buffy feels the need to straighten her hair, which confuses and disappoints her friends, because they love and embrace her natural curls! Also comes the (spoiler alert!) conversation of teen pregnancy and secrecy, wherein the show addresses the issues and questions that come with the controversial upbringing of Andi in a wholesome, kid-friendly way that does not ignore the truth.

Among many other examples, these conscious efforts to present a scenario that many of us are familiar with (and others who are not) are key in bringing issues in which minority groups may experience to a wider audience. In addition to the diversity in the show (which I might also add, does not try too hard), I should mention that I absolutely adore the character of Andi and her strong-willed and true-to-yourself personality and attitude towards all challenges that come to her. She is creative, yet shy, adventurous, yet reluctant, and completely capable of standing up for herself. These are all qualities which both humanize and compliment Andi as a role model which I would love to have looked up to at this age (hell, I’m 23 and I’m still inspired).

The adults on the show are also present and likable. Andi’s parents aren’t overzealous in their roles as head of household, and there are no extremely-apparent stereotypes applied to them outside of any that could be present in all parents.  These elements and more contribute to a feeling that this family could actually be your next door neighbors.

This show definitely reads more of a Boy Meets World, Lizzie McGuire (which, I should mention, was created by the same woman who developed Andi Mack), Even Stevens-like child/family television show, contrary to something a bit more flashy, like Hannah Montana, or any of those other shows where the kids go to some special performing arts school and/or are popstars themselves (or rich, or something). Not to knock those shows, but I am definitely partial to something I can laugh at AND laugh with.

With all being said and done, clearly I recommend this show if you have the free time to watch it. It’s just so incredibly cute, and a positive step towards diversity and inclusion in children’s programming without trying too hard.

Andi Mack can be found on the Disney Channel, Disney on Demand, the Disney Channel App, and probably the 3rd party website you use to stream your shows you can’t watch elsewhere because you don’t have cable.

Let’s Talk About the “G” Word

If you’re like me and pretty tuned-in to the likes of social media and online shopping, you’ve more than likely come across the word “gypsy” when referring to a specific fashion trend or lifestyle. Maybe it’s become synonymous in your mind with the ideology of being “bohemian” or “nomadic,” or maybe you’ve watched this show on Netflix, described as a “psychosexual drama,” which I’ve just discovered through a google search. Whatever your connection to the term, what you and I may not share is the knowledge of  the negative, derogatory, and historically disenfranchising use of the term in reference to the Roma population–straight and simple, the “G” word is a racial slur.

Who are the Roma?

Admittedly, I did not know of the Roma population prior to my study abroad travels to Prague, Czech Republic in the Summer of 2015, and then subsequently took an entire course on Roma Rights during my graduate studies in Budapest, Hungary this past year–so if you’re reading this and also from the states (or another place where the ins and outs of European society are not common conversation), I can understand if this is new information for you. Regardless, the Roma are a people with an origin believed to be in a region of India who have a long, rich history, dating back to thousands of years genocide, persecution, and exile.

Currently, it is estimated that anywhere between 10 and 12 million (or more) Roma live in the European Union. The Roma are also referred to (according to the World Bank) as the most vulnerable minority group in Eastern Europe. Centuries of systematic, social, and economic oppression and depression have led many in the community to have a negative stigma associated with them. From what I’ve learned in courses as well as through my own research, it is apparent that discrimination against Roma is not unique to any one specific region of Europe. Across borders, children are subjected to lower qualities of education (oftentimes being placed into separated classrooms or “special classrooms,” for those deemed to be mentally incapable to participate in classes with the other schoolchildren), men and women are subject to high unemployment, access to water and proper health facilities are lagging, and lack of adequate housing are only some examples of unjust and prolonged inequality experienced by the Roma.

In spite of all of the odds stacked against them, the Roma community warrants respect and a long-overdue commitment by European nations (and others abroad) to ensure that equal treatment and relief of poor living conditions be a top priority for this large population. Negative stigmatization combined with limited, if not impossible, access to political power and robust educational opportunities makes for an overwhelming amount of literature almost exclusively dedicated to exposing injustice and commentary of (usually ineffective) ways to improve these situations instead of highlighting the achievements and positive stories within the Roma community. It is my wish that the term Roma be associated with more positive and time-telling cultural histories and stories of these people in way which can be appreciated.

Where does this term come from?

From what I have been able to gather from my own research is that the “G” term has its origin similar to that of the word “Indian” in the context of the Native populations in the Americas. It is said that when the Roma moved westward from India, they were mistakenly thought to be from Egypt due to their darker complexion. Consequently, the term “gyped” also became synonymous with the racist idea that those of the Roma community were not to be trusted and prone to stealing or cheating you out of your belongings (like the ridiculous idea that Roma women steal babies, for example). The term is even used in literary classics, including F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, quoted: “We had over twelve hundred dollars when we started, but we got gyped out of it all in two days.”

Over time, the term has followed the Roma community around and used in justification for their mistreatment. Throughout all of the major devastations of the world, including both World Wards, the Holocaust, Depressions, Reconstructions, and the like, Roma have largely been invisible. Perhaps not widely known, Hitler executed somewhere around 250,000 Roma during the Holocaust, and following, those communities directly and indirectly affected were left worse off with no additional support after the end of the conflict. This is only one example of a long history of persecution.

What do I do with this information?

My hope is that by allowing yourself to get to this point (the end) of my post you are well informed now to the point that you will be more conscious of your own personal use of this term. Of course, in an ideal world, it would also be neat if you would take it upon yourself to correct those close to you when you find yourself in a situation where the term is being used.

Personally, I have had the pleasure of meeting and befriending with people who identify with the Roma community. With Hungary being home to the European Roma Rights Centre and one of the largest populations of Roma in Europe (also not to mention my entire major being human rights), I have had the opportunity to educate myself on the issues revolving around the Roma population along with identifying the misinformation that is often circulated concerning the Roma way of living. With that being said, I take it upon myself to educate whenever I can, mostly because I love to learn and value the conversations I can get from the sharing of information. In addition, I tend to avoid commercial brands or “lifestyle” type communities which mis-appropriate the term, but this is just me. In any case…

For more information about the Roma community, I recommend utilizing the resources of the European Roma Rights Centre, whose website can be accessed here:

http://www.errc.org/

Additionally, for supplements in this post, I consulted these following two articles:

http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2013/12/30/242429836/why-being-gypped-hurts-the-roma-more-than-it-hurts-you

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/word-racial-slur

and this MTV Decoded Video:

And, if you are interested in a paper that I wrote about concerning access to healthcare by Roma Women, you can find that at this link:

https://www.academia.edu/s/0da476c1d8/on-the-discrimination-and-inequality-experienced-by-romani-women-final-exam-for-roma-rights-ceu-legal-studies-spring-2017?source=link

I hope you found this post to be informative at the very least, and as always, feel free to comment or contact me to keep this conversation going!

<3Moriah Camille

I’m Trash

#mybad and other sayings I’ll leave in 2016.

Happy New Year! I’m still alive.

I know I have not been keeping up with this blog as I should have been, but let me TELL you: grad school is no joke. I could go on and on about the issues, the stress, the illness, the tears, the just straight up laying on the floor like what am I DOING….but I wont’t do it. As a matter of fact, I’m leaving complaining behind in 2017. It’s annoying, and it’s exhausting, and if you know me, then you know I don’t like doing things if they make me tired, so….bye bye whiny time.

Moving forward, though, I’ve had a really productive first day of the new year, and it’s only 2:30 PM EST at the time of this writing. I’m coming in with a new perspective. I’m fresh off of a birthday (my Jordan year, turn up for 23!), I’ve had some great conversations back home with friends, family, and some new people who have inspired me to really take the reins and be in charge of my own life and my own future and what I want to get out of the decisions that I make. I know that my studies will only get more rigorous and time consuming, but I know that I will reap so much reward, and the effort I put into my remaining time in school will really determine the quality of what I get out of this.

When I started writing this post, I thought, “I should probably include some sort of list outlining my goals for the year,” or something like that…but, you know what? Why limit myself? Why give myself a list of things that Moriah on January 1, 2017 wants? What if Moriah on January 2, 2017 wants something else? What about April 4, 2017 Moriah? July 23rd? The point is, I feel well enough within myself in THIS moment that I feel like a list of resolutions is unnecessary. So. With that being said, this new perspective should mean (a little) less stress, which will hopefully correlate into me keeping up with this blog and keeping you all updated on the ins and outs of what I’m doing over in little ‘ol Budapest (and beyond! I graduate in 6 months, mind you).

I hope you all had a great new years day and will continue to have a fantastic year! I know I plan to.

Peace and Love,

DJ Momo

 

Self Doubt and Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

***The writing of this blog was disrupted by 3 hours of me trying to figure out what the hell one of my assignments was asking. That’s basically my grad school experience so far in a nutshell. #imtrying***

So. I realize it’s been a minute since I’ve updated this thing, but let me TELL you: Grad School is hard(er than I thought it would be)! I’m just coming off of my first exams (yes, I have exams even though I’ve been in school for literally 7 days), and I am nothing short of exhausted. But, work aside, I’ve been having to dealing with a lot of changes (as expected) in my almost three weeks in this country, which has made it hard for me to find the energy to do anything outside of school (like this blog). Let’s talk about it.

Some of you may be familiar with the term Imposter Syndrome. If you’re not, it’s basically where you feel that you’re inadequate at something that you’re supposed to be good at. In my case, I feel like my performance thus far in school has been very underwhelming, and that’s not such a fun thing to think about. I’ve had many thoughts go trough my mind, from “I’m not smart enough to be here,” to “There was definitely a mistake in my admissions process,” to “Someone else deserves this spot more than me,” and then some. I’ve found myself in courses with people with really impressive resumes, and it makes me feel that I haven’t done enough to deserve a spot within such a strong cohort of people. Not only that, but the workload is beyond anything I ever thought I could be able to handle, but thus far I feel like I am scraping by (although I have yet to receive any passing marks, so we’ll see). And while I still feel very nervous and like I have a lot of work to do, I can list some things that have helped me feel a little bit better so far, just to show you that I CAN be positive (or try to, anyway):

1.Talking it out helps

If I have been comforted by one thing, it’s that I’m not alone. I’ve shared my doubts and fears with other people in my life (classmates, friends, etc.), and the general consensus is that there is nothing inherently wrong with that I am feeling; it can actually be quite common. It’s also not super surprising that I am feeling this way right in the beginning of this very new and scary process for me. Things may very well get better in time, and I can vibe with that.

2.Don’t compare yourself to everyone else

Of COURSE someone who’s older than you and with more work and school experience is going to be more experienced than you. That’s a given, Moriah, come on. Yet, me being me, I always think WAY too much about what other people think, and I can tell you it’s not the healthiest thing for me to be doing. The most important thing that I can do for myself is know that I am trying my best, and doing the best that I can do. With this mindset, I have already taken the time to reflect on some things that I have already done in such a short amount of time. Hey, I’m impressed with myself! That’s cool, Moriah, you’ve proven that you can do a thing that you haven’t done before. That’s great! Thats progress! Even the small wins prove that you are capable of something, and celebrating them in my case have made a great difference to my self esteem.

3.If all else fails, fake it ’til you make it

Hey, no one has to know that you don’t really know what’s going on. This is not my first time in the rodeo. I’ve experienced similar feelings during my undergraduate career, specifically when I was an engineering major and conducting my own research (another story for another day), and REALLY felt like I had no idea what I was doing. But I lasted a good while and presented posters to people who really expected me to know what I felt like I didn’t really know. I made it, tho. And I can make it again. And the good thing here is that I know that I am in the right place, pursuing a degree in a discipline where I know I really want to learn, work, and hopefully make a difference in this world. I know I will make it, and if it takes me having to hype myself up every morning, telling myself that I can do it and that I will make it (even if I don’t necessarily believe it), then so be it.

I’m kind of anxious putting my feelings about my experience so far out there, but I am really committed to being transparent on all aspects of my year abroad, and this is a part of it. But, writing it all out really helps me to reflect on the growth I have already made, and of that which has yet to come. I hope to update you on my progress, hopefully with good news of passing grades and a positive attitude towards the rest of my academic year! With that being said, I will try to update more frequently, but my work will always take priority. Maybe I’ll get good at this whole time management thing soon (and maybe blog it?!). That’s all for now.

 

Love love,

DJ Momo