It starts off unhurried, a toe dipping into the ocean of student life. Introduction lectures, icebreakers, course readers, textbook after textbook, excitement? Cape Town: the city of dreams, beaches, revelry.
Fresh new students fill up the streets of Claremont at night and sprawl across Jammie stairs all day. Skin starts to grow coarse and pink, sweat collects in the nape of necks and slowly slides down spines, sending a salty warning. Tutorials, tests, assignments and essays wriggle their way in.
It’s always been a secret ambition of mine to say a Dumbledore-style welcome back to school speech. This seems like the best chance I’ll get – in this newspaper distributed around the Hogwartian grounds of UCT 2014.
So, fellow students, welcome to another year at the continent’s finest institution of witchcraft and wizardry (I mean learning and research).
So, what did you miss these holidays?
Well, on the eve of South Africa’s 20 years of democracy, the father of our nation went gently into that sweet goodnight and no one registered to vote.
Hi, my name is Katy and I am studying an odd assortment of subjects because somewhere along my academic career I confused my passions with percentages.
That excellent mark for that obscure subject in high school deluded me into thinking that I had a desire to further my studies in it. That course I did badly in made me “realise” my interests lay elsewhere. I let my aptitude define who I was and what I wanted to be. Nice to meet me? Nice to meet you too.
What if I told you that you can change your mind? Physiologically. Surprisingly enough, scientific research supports the notion that mindsets are not unchangeable. Yes, that’s right! YOU can change your brain (not just your thinking, but your brain’s physiology too!).
Paris Fashion Week along with the Spring 2014 runway season wrapped up last week. Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel No.5 robot sculpture and the fountains, carousels and elevators that formed Marc Jacob’s Louis Vuitton swan song runway got me thinking.
Now is the perfect time for a little (procrastination) fiction: what kind of over-the-top runway show would I produce if I were a designer? Here goes.
By the end of the day, I was a nervous wreck; I had been invited to join my paramedic friends on one of their Friday night shifts and my adrenaline had been pumping all day. After rushing home from varsity on Friday afternoon to grab some food and change into the required blue jeans and white t-shirt, I was very tempted to cancel – I had no idea what was waiting for me at the base in Hout Bay. When I arrived, and was being shown the relevant contraptions and what my duties as an observer were, I was in a complete state.
The whole visiting-Home-Affairs thing is really quite terrifying. With the recent move into Maynard Mall, however, I was interested to see how and if the typical South African experience, of acquiring identity documents had changed/improved.
I had been putting off this task for weeks, ever since a home burglary relieved me of both my passport and my identity (documents). But today, able to get off work before the office closed at 3.30pm, I had reluctantly accepted that I would be wasting my afternoon at Home Affairs.
Although there are many clichés that I could fill this space with about the VARSITY experience – the crazy, stressful, entertaining, enriching, cat-wallpaper-obsessed VARSITY experience – instead I am going to leave you, Reader, with the pet peeves of the resident Grammar Nazi.
“There”, “their” and “they’re” are all different, non-interchangeable words (so are “your” and “you’re”).
“Irregardless” is not a word and neither is “alot”. It’s just not.
“Lose” is the opposite of win. “Loose” is the opposite of tight.
Over the past two years I have found myself becoming less patient and distracted. I find it difficult to recall the last time I actually thoroughly enjoyed doing something. Where I used to relish in watching a good film, these days it’s impossible to participate in anything of the sort without someone criticising it.
The one no one has been waiting for. The one that will happily send me on my way, never to return to the gallows of VARSITY ever again. I could easily do the usual episode of goodbyes and good lucks, but I fear this page will end up on the sidewalk, like the ones before this, or land up as cleaning tools for shining windows and not have any other impact besides that.
Why do we indulge in things like Photoshop, Facebook, make-up and fake lions at the Chinese zoo in order to make ourselves feel more real and appealing?
Is the inorganic look the in thing right now? Is the shaving of a Tibetan mastiff’s fluffy coat into a lion’s mane what really gets people going? Why do girls feel they need to fake orgasms?
An obsession with appearances and pleasure is what is transforming our natural earth into a Photoshopped ball floating in mid-air with its face covered in brown, Mac base whilst spinning on the Capitalist stripper pole we call an axis.
This past weekend the VARSITY National Newspaper Conference (VNNC) took place on our own UCT turf. The conference saw student journalists from around the country gather in the Arts block for workshops with the likes of ex-columnist for Daily Maverick Jacques Rousseau and Editor of the Cape Times Alide Dasnois.
There were also two interesting panel discussions about hate speech versus freedom of speech and politics in the media. Panellists included Tony Weaver from the Cape Times, SRC President Lorne Hallendorff and VARSITY’s own Katy Scott.
I finally managed to watch The Great Gatsby this holiday.
Having read the book in matric as a setwork, I already knew what it was about. I loved the book. Read it three times in fact, made scrupulous notes and watched the original countless times. Yet there was something about the new movie that I really despised. Perhaps it was executed so well that it hit a little too close to home. We all have our dreams, but will our realities ever come close to them? Will our innermost hopes ever be realised? Unlikely.
It seems pretty natural to me, like, as if my parents taught me how to do it. Food comes from supermarkets, electronics from electronics stores, and clothes from the second-hand store.
No, it doesn’t really ring true. But should it? If the second-hand market for car dealerships and electronic appliance stores are prosperous (from where we could only really buy one or two products); why should it be any different for clothing?
If it isn’t for visiting a sibling who fled to start a new life in Australia, or an aunt and uncle who pay you (every third year) to visit them in London, or some crazy wedding in Hawaii which drags everyone to a point which is no closer to any one invited party than another – why do we travel?
In first year, I joined the Virgin Active gym in Claremont to avoid the terminal disfigurement of first-year spread. Little did I know that it wasn’t simply a gym that I was entering in to, but another society; a high society.
As I pushed through the silver turnstiles of Virgin Active, I was suddenly transported into a world that oddly reminded me of a setting that I had once known three years ago: the high school quad.
This past week has seen a rush of activity and it has been utterly emotionally and physically exhausting. It is a time of year where I find most of my crucial decisions have to be made.
Whether or not I want to apply for certain committees, run for the SRC, and/or focus on academics. Sometimes I want to completely remove myself from the pandemonium and do what most people do – go home, work on some tuts and watch series.
Being a particularly ambitious person, I’ve always been a big dreamer. Although I’ve always realized in the back of my mind that many of these dreams are vastly unreachable, what I didn’t know was the bitterness of a lost dream.
Did Robyn Rihanna Fenty actually endorse the title of my column? No, your honor. Certainly not.
Recently, Rihanna won a legal battle with clothing retailer Topshop over a dispute about a Topshop T-shirt bearing her image. I had hoped that Rihanna was merely accusing clothing stores of stealing her image, much like the Native American and Mayan historic belief that cameras have the ability to steal souls. If only. It appears that it was a little more complicated than that.