Archives de Catégorie: My every day life.

AUI Confessions: What’s the big deal?

I’m a freshman student and this is my second semester. After all the excitement that comes with the newcomers’ ceremony and welcoming, I’ve come to meet people, deal with them, understand their motives and then tolerate them. There are no « bad » or « good » people. There are « bad » and « good » experiences that nurture psychological and behavioral patterns, and the more we’re going to emphasize the fact people at AUI are superficial and shallow, bad/good, the more accentuated these aspects would be. We all have defaults we’re ashamed to talk about, avoid to show or let people realize, and it’s not a terrible thing to admit. Yet some people wouldn’t even admit that to themselves. So let me ask you: how can you be able to forgive other people if you do not forgive yourself first? Once you’d forgive yourself, you’d open the door to change and you’ll open yourself to love. And then now I get the point where I ask myself “What is love?” and I find an inner voice whispering inside: “It’s like an iPhone game app. Once you unlock the first stage, you’re ready for the next.” In this case, the first stage is accepting oneself and then getting ready to welcome other people –and eventually the one- in our lives.

Saying this pulls me up to the major “click” that triggered my willingness to write.

Every once in a while, I used to go through the posts on the Facebook page “AUI Confessions” (Al Akhawayn University Confessions). Reading those confessions makes me think AUI is all about love. Oh, let me correct myself; but permit me the word: Sex. (Of course, this does not apply to everyone as I have met a couple of amazing people whose interests are significantly shifted away). Pretty sad though. Girls wanting to either have fun or fall in the arms of their sweet Charming Prince in University, guys wanting to screw around like fools under the pressure of their teenage hormones. Where is the love in all that, tell me? Love is not about waiting to hear a couple of stones thrown up to your windows, it’s not like a savior that is coming to deliver you from the chaos you’re suffering from, for what are you looking forward to flee or avoid? What is there that pressures you so hard as to think love is the only remedy?

We have been too much indoctrinated by the classical cultural portrayal of romantic love in the media. All the fairy tales we read, all the Titanic-like scenarios we watch unfolding before our dazzled eyes… too perverted I’d say. Pervert in a way that it perverts the brain, as it is self contradictory in its very essence; because not only do we tend to remember that “they live happily ever after” but we also unconsciously miss the fact that those very protagonists burst out of families that are torn apart (“divorced parents”, “cheating mother/father”, etc.)

Now I am not aiming to overwhelmingly smash down the theory of love itself, but what I am saying is that we ought to be rational about it and think it through carefully.

Love is both a biological reaction & a social construct. The biological reaction we tend to call “love” is scientifically not intended to last. Like all emotions, love has a biochemical and physiological component (mirror neurons). The heart palpitations, the little butterflies in the stomach and things alike. But these are just immediate reactions on the short-term (longer terms for some types of brain structures) that lead to irrational, emotional and drama-filled scenarios, for the problem is not in starting the relationship in this case but rather to sustain it, which wouldn’t be rather difficult if not impossible.

For the social construct aspect, one can clearly see from the works of Foucault how much of a concept of love was missing in the Classical culture. Before Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliette”, there is nothing such as two people falling in love and ending up living as partners or marrying (and of course, eventually “living happy ever after” *giggles*).

In the Greek period, getting attached to a woman was a sign of weakness (in Homer’s work women were seen as trade, in Mythology, Gods were fond of rape… you could only read about “true love” in Ovid’s work, yet at the time he was considered as a freak).

The ground for love was being set in the West during medieval era.  Starting from that time, the concept of love, how it works and governs changed over time. Love today is even getting even too commercial, sometimes even used as a type of propaganda; a random exercise to practice, actively promoted by power: media, state and capitalist classes.

To make long story short (I just looked up what I wrote and realized how much I’ve been dwelling on these facts), love as what everyone seeks (I don’t like to use the terminology of “seeking” as it implies expectations and therefore potentially deceptions), is what is called by the prominent psychologist Barbara Fredrickson as a rather “micro-moment of positivity resonance”. It is that connection, that flow of positive emotions which you share with that other person, and this brings me to my very first founding: You cannot share positive emotions if you do have none. That’s why you have to get yourself prepared to cultivate them in order to spread them around.

And how does that happen? I cannot tell you a magic recipe, as every one of us is different. But if you permit me to share my experience with you, I never feel so much balance within myself the way I do when I look forward to understand the motives of my own self, and this only happens when I let myself dig in the realm of spirituality or knowledge. A dear friend of mine used to tell me “Knowledge is power”: the more I think of it, the more I realize how deep and meaningful this is on so many levels.  And the tight connection between this and that (love) may not make any sense to you unless you try it out. The more you know, you more you’re equipped with the appropriate tools to  understand yourself and people around you, the more you’re ready to forgive yourself and people around you, the more your heart unfolds to love yourself and the people around.

And remember, when I speak of love, I speak of that one which you get to share with your parents, with your friends, with the “randomest” person ever. It’s no big deal not to have a boyfriend/girlfriend. What is it that a boyfriend or a girlfriend adds up to your happiness if you’ve finally reached your balance? It’s a complementarity, it’s something you think about when you’re hundred percent sure you’re done with your inner stability and that you’re able to handle with great maturity and honesty (yes, values are another topic but I don’t want to make this any longer).

So much hatred I see in AUI, so much blame, so much deliberate decisions over who’s right and who’s wrong, who’s good and who’s bad, and the flagrant consequences of depression, self-effacement, social withdrawal… and even more hatred, apprehension and contempt. I read so much bullying on the AUI confessions page I even get indignant and sorry for both people who write that and the others who have to cope with it. Why? WHY?

This is not the way things should be done. As a parent, you don’t educate your children by bullying them, but by showing them why what they’re doing is wrong. And you don’t go around embarrassing them in front of their friends, you take them aside and explain the reasons of your assessment. One thing I know is that behavior nurtures behavior. Hatred leads to more hatred. Behave well, and nothing less would you get in return.

You and I know that Moroccans are great pioneers in having prejudices and creating false judgments/falsehoods. What strikes me most is that everyone complains about everyone being this and that, this and that…. Which means that, ironically speaking, none of them could be accused of such. Self-explanatory right? Yes, each one of us has a part of guilt. Yes, myself, you, our friends… etc. And it’s not, again, a terrible thing to admit. Confessions are a first step to self-alteration, and on a larger scope, community change.

Thank you AUI Confessions, if the confessors’ goal is to remain as constructive and pure as your intentions.

Week-old Kindle screen crashed.

So I woke up this morning, happier than ever because of my philosophy teacher who’s just decided to cancel our exam. I reached out for my lovely Kindle as usual, hoping to read my Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield story. As usual, I lay there a couple of seconds admiring the ad, before i finally realize that’s not the point (man that’s just me, i appreciate anything). Anyway, i switch it on, and i have this sort of crashed screen over there that’s just so flagrant you’ll first think that someone sneaked into my room last night, dropped it and went out (excentric? no, evil).

I kept turning it off and on expecting it would soon be fixed, but to no avail. Then i had this wonderful idea of reseting the device. wooooow, guess what? when it rebooted i could see half of the screen displaying a home tree; guess the other half decided to rest for a while. Let’s say it’s gone, basically looks like someone pressed it so hard that there are black and white patches on the top. And the on the top right, there are still bribes of the ad i was admiring in the morning (last ‘paysage’ i was allowed to see).

When i talked about it to Izzy, he said someone could have dropped it or something, but the kindle remained in the drawer, wasn’t exposed to heat or cold, and last but not least, it’s only a week-old! I got really pissed at Amazon’s alledged sophisticated technology and started dropping (on the bed) and punching my kindle, in the hope that it would boot normally again, just like what i used to do with my 2005 moroccan computer.

Anyway, nothing worked. I started looking for a resolution to the problem on Amazon, but there was no allusion to it (guess they didn’t want to scare purchases), then i decided to do a little tour in youtube. And here you go, found someone who got exactly the same problem as me, and complaints kept drooling in comments: Said they asked for a replacement but most of them had the same problem after a short period with their new Kindle. In someone’s words « It is obvious their e-ink technology is defective ». Period. That explains everything.

The problem now is that, even though i wanna request a replacement, i’ll have to wait for my brother to go back to the states, cause i’m in Morocco remember? don’t really expect something to be shipped here, or at least arrive safely. I’m speaking of experience. And another problem pops up by itself; dude i was in the middle of my book!

Interestingly enough, i told a friend about it a while ago, and his response was: « wow, it’s crashed? cool, i didn’t really like your kindle » Well thank you.

That’s approximately what my kindle looks like right  now.
That's approximately what my kindle looks like right now.

10 things Summer taught me.

I hate to say this. But for the first time in three months, I got bored. Simply because I got all depressed by that 1st September I saw when i dragged my mouse on the date. Done! No more sun, beaches, bikinis, parties.. Kills me. Travel agencies got bankrupt.
So what I did, I tried to remember in what way this summer ’10 helped me build my personnality. Yes, I came up with ten facts.
1. First off, Betrayal of J. Anyhow this is something I don’t feel like talking about, but it taught me not to talk about religion with people who cannot discuss issues without being prejudiced. For God sake, I’m not willing to convert you into my religion! To be honest, it’s better off without people with a critical mind. So yes, as I like to lead intelligent conversations, i don’t mind talking about everything (and when i say everything, it means everything), as long as you have the required skills for communication. I really enjoy talking to people with an ability to convince me, regardless to their ethnicity or beliefs. I dislike people having random statements not even based on logic. But most of all, I abhor thinking I am THAT close to someone, and then realizing I was only being befooled.
2. Realizing that time is precious. Thanks to my brother and my friend D. who exhorted me all the time to stop complaining so much about nothing to do. I was a real pain in the ass. I mean, really, about six months ago, I think I was the dumbest of all. Those two are the people that had the greatest impact on my life.
3. Uninstalling MSN. This is something I always cherished but never had the strengh to do. Hell, it’s much of a waste of time. This is a typical conversation between people.
A: Hey!
B: Hello.
A: How are you?
B: Doing good, you?
A: Great thanks. Wassup?
B: Nothing, you?
A: Same.
(After 30 minutes, be sure A just got bored; that’s why they talked again, don’t get your ego slightly inflated because of that)
A: So?
B: What do you mean so?
A: Whatchap you?
B: Not much. You?
A: Same. Listening to music.
(An hour again,..)
A: Anything new?
B disconnects.
That sort of conversation is what makes people more and more distant. I mean, 10 years ago, summer would look like ages, and we’d look forward to meeting our buddies when classes start. What the hell happened? That ol’ same story. Technology is a double edged sword; gets you closer to your friends, let’s say physically-virtually, but emotionnally, give me a break. You get sick of them all.
So yes, uninstalling msn is more of a process to miss my friends, because I don’t see any means now to properly get away. Everything is so linked in the world. Sometimes I just want to disconnect. (I got back to MSN recently though, due to a friend’s request. I didn’t really want to turn her down, but I’m soon getting back to my plans.)
4. Widening my knowledge in various fields, especially in religions and history. Hopefully I made acquaintance with enough people from Latin America to tell me about what affected their history the most. People generally wouldn’t talk to you about the whole history (except a friend from Brazil I’m really grateful to). As for religions, Chritianity intrigue me. It’s so split into branches and all, kind of confusing, but to be honest, there is no big difference between them all.
One religion kills me though, it’s scientology. The first time i saw it, headed to Wikipedia, and then read « Scientology is a body of beliefs and related practices created by pulp fiction writer call-… » Wait… What? Okay, close tab, this is bullshit.  Holy crap! A fiction writer making up a religion and then all the sheeps follow the shepherd. Good God! It didn’t deprive me from reading about it though. Interesting in some ways, but it’s just common sense. So, good luck, and keep practising it because Tom Cruise is doing so.
5. Learning German. Ich lerne Deutsch, ja. Aber nicht gut genug, ich suche nach Menschen zur Praxis! Oh yes, I did. Even though I only started around three weeks ago now, I say I’m able to hold conversations now, no kidding. I need some practise though, and more to learn. Tenses and all, takes time. Now that I have school, it’d take me longer. I have a weak vocabulary but the trick is: always keep a notebook beside you to pencil down every single word that’s caught under your eyes. Also, make friends speaking the language, comes in very handy.
So yeah, that’s an exploit I’m proud of. I used to think about German a lot, but guess what, I was always putting this off to university: « I’m going to take classes in German & Japanese when i go to college.. ». Believe me, that’s a very bad insight if you’re ambitious. College is not going to teach you anything. You do.
6. Getting my first penpal letter from V. in Vilnius. And a month later, I get a penpal letter from M. in Argentina. I bet that’s way too exciting than getting an email in your inbox, isn’t it? Feeling the warmth of that letter, being touched by human fingers on the other corner of  Earth, exhaling that person’s neighborhood or socks. Everything starts to be so beautiful. You only have to make an effort.
7. Reading The Catcher in The Rye by JD Salinger. Hm, I don’t want to tell you what I read beside that. Trivial. But I really enjoyed this book. You ought to check it out sometime. It’s one of those books that hook you up from the very first sentence. So, yes, definitely.
8. Learning how to shoot. Thanks to George C., I’m impressed at how I’m a very good shot, seriously. I shot the Coca Cola can 4 times in a row, I’m an ace! (Although i really raped my nail, badly, trying to charge the pellet gun and pulling the trigger unconsciously) Sometimes you ain’t just got the chance to discover yourself. I’m not trying to show off… Okay, if you want to know the truth, I’m very bad at whistling, at cooking, at writing poems, at flirting.. etc -If you want a list of those, you pay me two bucks each, I’m not going to belittle myself for nothing!-
9. Going to America. This is the best place ever. Best people ever. Best buildings ever. Best activities ever. Best brains ever. Bes..Worst food ever! Hamburgers make me so fat. I don’t want to put on too much weight, sorry guys.
10. Realizing that I’m an asshole, and that I should pull myself together. School starts soon!
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