Friday, October 30, 2009

Is the write-side-up wrong... 'me thinks not Sir!'

I chose write-side-up due to the fact that a friend was a member. I had little intention of being critical. However, having read and analysed the blog, I find it hard to even be critical. Every facet of the site appeals to me.

I love girlish pink, draw a flower and I’m content, write with humour...and I’m ecstatic. This blog manages to utilise slight degrees of humour to spin serious topics into readable postings. The amount of stray animals littering Grahamstown is undeniable but mundane. Yorke manages to make the issue real by talking of events that happen and describing situations Rhodes students face daily with beggars.

Furthermore, this blog has gone above and beyond the course call of duty. They have incorporated postings not just because they were required to, but because they felt it mandatory to be included.

The layout, unlike others I have read, is clear and consistent. The categories make finding an article easy as well as contributing an overview of the posting itself. In the contemporary, fast-paced, cyber world, this is necessary. Blog readers are in a rush, and these bloggers have revolutionised the reading of current affairs to be fun, fast, efficient and humorous.

The Write-Side-Up is a blog that I hope will continue. It stress’ the importance of sporting, political and social issues that concern South African’s on a locale and national level.


A crazy but sad goodbye

In many ways I find myself so strange and unusual, that there is very little outside of my comfort zone. I’m crazy, not in a cheerful zany way, but more like an “I’ll eat your children” way. So when confronted with this assignment, I just decided to go for bust and went completely out of my tiny little mind.

There are many things that have happened to me this week that were shocking and horrible, definitely setting me outside of my comfort zone. I was betrayed, I was thrown out of love and I cried, for the first time, over a girl who I had loved more than life itself. My heart was broken in the worst way and I still can’t get over it. How do you turn away from someone who’s been a part of you, that you have given your heart and soul to? I told you all in the beginning that I was not a serious person and ever the optimist. However, it’s in moments like these that you need to cry like an Emo and write with heartache, trying to scribble away the pain.

Still, I’ve been funny up to this point, so I guess I should explain myself in the photo. The picture shows me sitting on the fire escape of Joe Slovo right outside my subwarden’s room, just having had a shower and in my bath towel, wearing sunglasses, playing guitar, smoking and having “Eat Me” written across my chest. Now I never smoke, I can only play bass guitar, I don’t wear sunglasses in the dark, I shower (so don’t panic) but I don’t run outside afterwards and the marker normally goes on my arms. I was laughed at by pretty much my whole house and the girl’s res next door. My fellow Journalist who took the photo, smothered a grin, while his girlfriend turned away, clearly embarrassed of being within ten metres of an evident nutcase. My singing of an Elvis classic, Viva Las Vegas, didn’t impress my subwarden either, who told me to shut up or receive hours.

I am now officially the looney of Joe Slovo House and I couldn’t be happier. This exercise was my farewell to reputation and a release of Pure Unrefined Stephen Mina. In half an hour I freed myself from everyone’s opinion and was just myself, which made me immeasurably proud. Wouldn’t life be a whole lot better if we released our masks and showed the world the real us? I understand your way of doing this may not involve being half-naked and singing awfully, but give it a try. It might surprise you.

In closing I wish to say farewell my legions of fans (Oh I flatter myself!) and thank you for all your support and comments. It has truly been awesome brightening your day and if I could find another way, then I would take it with both hands and hammer it into you. All the best! Love your Mad Uncle Steve.

To BOLDLY go where no man has gone before.

The car slowed to a stop and the squeak of old dust on tyre breaks passed through my temporal lobe with a deafening volume. Every motion, noise and visual was amplified in my nervous, exhausted hung-over brain. I felt horrible, I didn’t want to go, but I had no choice. After all, this was not only an immersion exercise, it was my first attendance to a Digs Formal.

On Saturday night, a digs that name now escapes me had their last digs formal of 2009. My friend, Pooch, demanded over some rather suspicious looking residence food that I was invited and would be picked up at 18:00 - the theme, Las Vegas Formal. I figured this would be a novel way for me to broaden my horizons and meet new folk.

I believe that instead of teaching innocent first years about the dire woes that can unfold should they run out of printing credit for the printers, we would be much more equip to tackle all the dangers that university life hurls at us if we were taught about real, consequential dilemmas. For example, the concept of Baby Seal Clubbing (a Rhodes ritual whereby 1st year, intoxicated girls are manipulated into making out with an older student), the insane drugs scene within the small town, or the real events that occur within the confines of a digs formal.

Yes, I knew I would be expected to kiss my partner (whether I had any intention if fulfilling this expectation is irrelevant) but the rest even an un-gendered, promiscuous, Thai prostitute could not have imagined.

After an undisclosed amount of bottles of shooters each, we began the party. It soon became apparent that the poker, boat races, story telling and other seemingly innocent party practices all had sexual undertones. If it weren’t the dirty language it was a the punishments that the losers performed that made us live up to the student name that has been aptly dubbed to Rhodes students: Raucous Alcoholics.

In hindsight, I look back with a slight cringe festering just below the glimmer of a laughing smile. I enjoyed my evening. After the amount of alcohol consumed I think I have not destroyed, but rather preserved my liver and may in fact be immortal. Furthermore, I now know to avoid any future invites to a digs formal and have resigned the agenda of my own future formals to cheap cocktails, pretty dresses and cake with the girls.

I will not divulge names or actual events about my evening. I tried something new. I don’t regret it because now I know that I am not a ‘digs formal’ kind of girl. Now that the hangover has faded and the shame of not remembering my dates name has dissipated I have returned to the relative safety of New House and have decided that I like our parties just the way they are.

After my encounter, mainly the intense vomiting that ensued the next morning, I felt cheap and slightly dirty. Yes, I had loads of raucous fun. However, it was the type of fun my parents would despair of and Paris Hilton would applaud. I guess I must now salute my parents and once again admit whole-heartedly that their advice is sound, solid and really is possible to have TOO much fun.

Yes I may have embarrassed myself by describing this activity, but think of it as a farewell blog leaving present to all those who are contemplating going to a digs formal.

Viva la Revolution!

By Stephen Mina
Whether it’s for the reading, the revolution or the relevance, Rhodes students can sleep better, or stay awake longer, knowing that Revolution Readers, a strikingly original blog, is here. So get out your banners and reading glasses, because the revolution is in town.

I have been actively wrapped up in the fine art of blogging this past term and have learned a thing or two about how the blog is mastered (learned but not really done so). So it was to my delight that I was greeted with a visual feast of psychedelic colours and the painted face of Steve Biko. Most blogs all carry the same BlogSpot layout, to which I am guilty, but these bloggers really took presentation to a new level, a must when competing for visibility. There are no side gadgets or toys, but don’t let that fool you. This makes the content more relevant.

If you are a Rhodes student looking for rarely discussed topics, scenic pictures of the town and news outside the Grahamstown bubble, then heaven awaits on your computer screen. The bloggers run continuous poetry and picture series (Scenes from Grahamstown) to steal your breath. And just so we don’t forget SA, you have articles ranging from the Semenya debacle to Zapiro cartoons.

The blog is also about reading, another thing well lived up to. Whether through the lament of the sentence-destroying comma, fifty blogging tips and latest books being discussed too, these four bloggers made a mission statement and have lived up to it.

So why are you still here? Click my link and get carried away on the road to revolution. Viva!

sleepy head!

by Debra Chitadzinga

If there is one thing that I had never done was to sleep during the course of a lecture. I always felt that I would be betraying my teacher/lecturer who would have made an effort to come and share his/her knowledge with me. So when we were asked to do something that you had never done in your life, I thought this was an opportunity for me to try my little adventure.Though it was not an hour long, it was close enough (45 minutes) and i can safely say worth it an a lot more hillarious than I thought it would be. I was a bit scared that if I was to be spotted and called out of the crowd by my lecturer, that would be humiliating.I deliberately slept late the night before and made sure that when it was morning, I would be dosing all the way. My first lecture was not very long so I did not have adequate time to fall asleep but I could not succeed the second one and there I was on the desk. I had asked my friend to capture the moment for me and ooooh I loved the experience, the only problem is that I began to have sweet dreams and started snoring!!!! That drew many people's attention and resulted in a nick name "sleepy head."

Confessions or Opinions?

Debra C. Chitadzinga
I was looking at the blog named Confessions of a journ student The name suggests that the blog would look at confession from journalism students, sharing their joys and challenges. These were successfully and clearly laid out in their mission statements. A post by John Vries caught my eye as it clearly gives the reader a glimpse of what to expect. However, as more posts were made the blog was disappointing to me because it diverts from its main aim and begins to focus more on the news happening around rather than issues that “torture, the journ student”. Posts were made which I felt diverted from the main idea of bringing out confessions of journ students are about Michael Jackson, the police and races .

The blogs makes use of language that might be accepted by other readers such as "bull shit” “fuck all” or “kick their asses” but considering that the writers are not aware of who might read their posts such language can drive some readers away. However, the content has evidence of good research; there is use of hyperlinks which lead the reader to other sources. A big thumbs up is to the post about the University of Free State, though the post does not bring out any “confessions of journalism students”. The blog is neatly presented, characterised by purple on black. There is a good combination of colours and they give the blog a mature look that attracts readers and also make reading easier.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Try This On For Size

By Abbie Whelan

So, out of all the blogs I scanned through the one that struck me the most was “Put THIS on a T-Shirt”. The name caught my attention, and although the design of the blog didn’t jump out at me, the content sure did. To me, this is what a journalism students’ blog should be. The content covered stories that were up to date and in the news, and their opinion pieces were definitely opinionated and relevant to students today.

However, their content was rather sparse, and could do with a few more posts in order for viewers to get a good understanding of where they are as a blog and what to expect from future posts. After a bit of sprucing up, the layout could attract more people, or at least get those who are drawn in by the name to stay a bit longer.

Their name was a good choice in explaining their goals as a blog, which include showing serious issues in a “more humorous and sarcastic light”. This is a great stand to take, and I did read a couple of articles that did just that. However, it is obvious that serious issues are also taken a bit more seriously by the creators than I think they had first planned, resulting in the opinionated but not very humorous coverage of certain issues. This is great too, and still appeals to journalism students, but perhaps then the name should be reassessed to reflect this characteristic.

Overall though, great blog, well-written sarcastic stories that provided a good laugh and a great attempt at providing journalism students with what they are looking for in fellow students’ blog content. But don’t just take my word for it, check it out for yourself at