In 2013 I went to Haiti to volunteer at the Sai Baba Centre which provides nutritious meals to over 2000 children living in camps in and around Port-au-Prince. When it was time for me to leave after a month – I knew I would one day return to volunteer again!
So when I was elected as UAL ACS President (University of the Arts London African Caribbean Society), I took up the opportunity to fundraise for myself and members to volunteer in Haiti this summer. We successfully raised £650 of which £267 was sent to the centre in December to organise a festive party for the children (click link for pics http://wp.me/p53GGa-Wm). We’ll be taking our skills from Art School to the camps of Port-au-Prince to give children arts and crafts workshops. It doesn’t stop there! Many of the children left homeless from the 2010 earthquake do not attend school. The designs the children make will be produced into merchandise (hand-printed tote bags, mugs, note books etc) which will be sold and the money goes towards school fees. It’s our way of using art to make a change! Continue reading
It’s exactly 2 years since I got a phone call that would change the my fate, particularly in education. When UAL admin called to tell me a “mistake” had been made – I couldn’t carry on with the second year studying BA Journalism, because I’d “failed” my first year, I thought my world would come crashing down… Continue reading
Reblogged from The Educationally Frustrated Student http://wp.me/p48e4z-1bu
Thought I’d share this with you… I’m running for Student’s Union elections to be Vice President of London College of Communication (LCC)! Here’s a video with messages from friends and family around the world showing their support and encouraging students to vote for me!
Please join my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/KaiLutterodt4VP/
and you can make a short vid too if you want 😀 x
I’m humbled, I’m blessed and I’m more motivated t
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I’m going through that all too familiar phrase of starting a new blog. If feels like it was just yesterday that i was procrastinating about starting this one. Anxious about what people would think about my posts, and who would even read them? It was a daunting experience… but well worth it! I got connected to you amazing guys!
So I’ve decided it’s about time I stopped mixing business with pleasure; my student life and travel experiences. From now on they will be separate!
I’m taking the advice of the pros who told me tirelessly, find your niche and stick to it. Thankfully there is no rule about having more than one blog to cater for various niches!
I’ll still be needing your support so please check out my student blog The Educationally Frustrated student (basically the efed student)!
When things are looking a little dry on Travel Making Kai, you know where to find me… In the Lecture room!
Stay turned for my wrap of November…. Finding Autumn sun and learning how olive oil is made, in Palermo Sicily.
Be the first to know about my Winter get away plans!… Just one more week to go with University and I’ll be done for the Christmas 🙂
It’s a hard thing to do- turning failure on its head. It demands great skill mentally and often phsically too. At some point however, we have to stop and realise… There are blessings to be counted.
I’m quite surprised about my speedy recovery from the ‘unsuccessful pass’ rate (that’s a ‘fail’ from the exam board) granted to me earlier this term. Technically I should still be suffering from failure symptoms by dwelling in self-pity, spiralling into depression and convincing myself I’m no good. Afterall, if the 19 year olds who were ‘claiming’ to write their essays while still high on drugs and alcohol could pass the 1st year, why couldn’t I?
I’ll confess counting my blessings is not an exercise I often par part take in. I’m my own worst critic and at times, my own enemy. Who would see the blessing in failing a year at university? Another year which will bring me closer to 30 and still be in a class full of 19 year olds. But like my aunt says ‘education has no age boundary’. So what? I ‘unsuccessfully passed’ the year- the world hasn’t stopped and the ground hasn’t swallowed me and spat me out. Guess I have to move on.
And that’s exactly what I did. With a little motivation… (Who am I kidding?!) A lot of motivation, I picked myself up and searched for the next available opportunity.
They say when one door closes, another one opens. I could have allowed myself to be shut in a dark room without switching on the lights to find a window or indeed another door open.
I woke up this morning thinking how blessed I am. This time tomorrow I’ll be on a flight to Brazil with endless opportunities awaiting me that no lecture room can offer. A new langauge to learn, culture to experience and friendships to be made (try failing me on that unit Mr Exam Board!) Don’t ask me where this new found positivity is coming from. I have a feeling my yoga sessions have something to do with it. ‘Be concious of every breath…’ ‘Thank your body for it’s hard work…’ are amongst some of the calming words the instructors use. So mind is in a good place… and my beach body is in progress!
No hard feels towards the tutor that ‘unsuccessfully passed’ me or the exam board that agreed… I would however recommend they give yoga a try. It can ease a lot of tension. Namaste.
A few weeks ago, or even months ago, I read about a graduate who tweeted she was looking for a job. And guess what- she got one. A highly paid one mind you.
Today, just a few hours ago, Taryn, my uni mate whatsApped me saying she tweeted that her dream job is to work for Lonely Plant. And guess what. No, she hasn’t got a job with them (yet) but they tweeted her back a response (along the lines of no vacancies available, but still- its a response)!
So, no, I’m not going to pretend to have got the hang of tweeting, because I haven’t. So no tweets from me asking for work experience let alone a job. However I am happy to put it out there in the comfort of my safe haven (this blog), that yes I am looking for work experience (or even a job) in my field of studies- Journalism (including my passion if possible- travel). Travel Journalism. There. I wrote it!
I have a few months off from my studies so its the perfect opportunity for me to get a heads up by getting some experience. The first place that came to mind was Ghana. To write for a magazine like EnjoyAccra or TimeOut Accra. But then I thought; ‘why not get out of my comfort zone and learn another language’ so naturally Brazil came to mind!
I’ve been meaning to go back to Brazil since my last visit in 2009. So why not now? I would make my stay worthwhile by volunteering, experience carnival, and perhaps teaching english. Not to mention learning Portuguese. I was surprised by how few people spoke English. And it was frustrating for me to not be able to communicate fully with the people as I found them so expressive (but I did become an expert in sign gestures)!
Where ever I decide to go in the following months- be it Ghana, Brazil or else where, I know I have to make sure I gain a fulfilling experience.
So maybe I should stop thinking about it and just do! Book the fight and get the experience.
…Don’t think- just do it!
Now there’s something they don’t teach you in school.
How do I make a career out of my passion for travel?…
I picked up the latest edition of Robert Kelsey’s What’s Stopping You? at Heathrow airport on my way to Addis Ababa this summer. My eye caught the attention of a sunshine yellow book with a very up front title. It questioned me as I hadn’t dared question myself in a long while. If anything was going to get me motivated for the coming academic year, this was the question I needed to ask myself to get the answer.
As much as I come across a free-spirited, confident, independent person, I often question my past and wonder how it shaped me in an unconvensional way. I celebrated my 20something birthday recently (lets just say I’m nearing 30)! Although most people say I’ve still got a lot of time, frankly, I don’t feel that way. Most of my friends from school have their careers, marriage and kids. I’m not saying I’m ready for all those things. However the main quality I feel I lack stability. What’s stopping me from pursuing my passion, my dream to travel the world, and make a career out of it?… A Travel Journalist?
I started questioning my potential in secondary school when I received the highest grade in the year in a mock english SAT’s test. All eyes were on me as never before. The pressure in surpassing my mock test grade for the actual SAT’s was too much for me to deal with and this could possibly have been my first High F-F (fear of failure) experience academically. So I failed all expectations and got a very average grade… The girl with ‘so much potential’ as my teachers reported each year, left school with just 4 GCSE’s. ‘Fear of failure’ as Kelsey puts it, was installed in me.
Never the less I still manged to leave college with 3 A-Levels (photography, Film Studies and Performing Arts), and an AS in Critical Studies. University should have been at the fore front however I pursued other avenues such as acting and modelling. I was also trained by 3x winner of Best Model Trainer UK, Francis Mathew aka Catwalk Professor. I went on to do pageants, shows and editorials. But fear of ‘judgement’ made me leave the modeling world. So, what was next?… Perhaps my true calling- Travel!
I’m now studying for a BA Journalism. It took me a while to realise it’s a tough world out there for a woman without a degree. But, the life experiences I’m gained from my travels have been vital in shaping who I am today.
So the best way to conquer my fears is to question myself. What is stopping you Kai? Would I really be satisfied doing anything else other than Travel Journalism? No? Then get on with it!
So, now I need the skills to help accomplish my career. I’ve got this new blog which I’m using as a haven to write. Constructive criticism is always welcome (actually please be nice because I am technically still sensitive to F-F). Work experience is very important but perhaps the most difficult to gain. This will forever be a catch-22. Employers are looking for applicants with experience however how are you to gain experience if you’re not given a chance?
I’m open to any companies in the media industry that would be willing to offer me some work, internship/work experience.
Thanks to Mathy (whatthejobisthis?!) for the encouragement to write!
I guess the question I should really ask is ‘Is a degree worth fighting for?’
A few days a go I would have said yes. Despite a very difficult and challenging first year of my BA Journalism course, I was really looking forward to getting back into my routine of study. In less than two years I could have a degree to my name. A chance for better job prospects, better understanding of Journalism in general and hopefully some fulfilling student experiences (I won’t hold my breath! Question- Why, Why, why aren’t there any other mature students besides myself and Taryn on this course? Ugh! Answer- Because they don’t beat about the bush la-di-da-dling around until mid 20’s before they think ‘shit! What what am I gonna do with my life?!!’)
I went in to enrol feeling quite nervous. I hadn’t received an email from the university about enrolment so in the back of my mind I’m thinking I was such a bad student they don’t want me back! But of course that’s me being pessimistic (nothing new there). Positive thinking doesn’t come naturally to me unless it has anything to do with finding a cheap flight ticket.
During the enrolment process I was asked at least twice if I was repeating the year. Why would I want to do that??! I was finally relieved when I was told that I was enrolled and that was it. Phew. But still. I wouldn’t be satisfied until I see my name on the list of 2nd years.
I cycled into uni on thursday for our briefing. Funny but most faces looked new to me but they seemed to know the familiar faces from last year. Maybe I didn’t pay that much attention to the people around me. My peers. 18, 19, 20 year olds who write silly things on the facebook BAJ1 group such as declaring their love for certain lecturers… Hmmm each to their own I suppose.
I took note of the briefing-mentally. I did curse myself for forgetting to bring a pen (some journalist you are!) however I later found the pen tucked deep in my bag as I was so sure I threw one in. Then I waited patiently for my name to be called as out tutor called the register… Shit! They buggers didn’t enrol me! Hold your horses!
My name was called. I responded with a casual ‘yes’ but in my head it was an enthusiastic ‘YES! I’m here and I won’t let you down!! I’m gonna work haaard this year.’ I caught up with Taryn, my closest peer, and opened up to her about my fears of not being put on the course. Silly me. Always being so negative.
Well, I get home and get a call from the university. The lady that enrolled me said there’s been a mistake and I should be repeating 1st year…
I don’t know if I have the energy to fight. Maybe this isn’t for me. Maybe I should just book a ticket to Brazil and teach english. Maybe I don’t need a piece of paper to define my intellect. Maybe I’m just not cut out of this. Maybe. Maybe I’ll know tomorrow. Monday I go in and fight my case.
Q) How do you know you’ve passed the academic year? A) You’ve either revised so darn much you’re confident as you walk out of the exam room, or you simply wait for results day. Well, I did neither, at least not the latter.
I’m still trying to workout what made me so confident I had passed my first and extremely difficult (for me at least, the younger ones made it looks so easy) year at university. Perhaps it was my tutor’s words of encouragement as I handed in what I thought would be my last essay of the year ‘well done Kai, you’ve caught up nicely.’ Ok, so those words didn’t say you’ve passed so go book a ticket somewhere for three weeks, but i guess in my mind, that was enough.
So I was in Spain, preparing for my flight to Italy the eve of results day. I had in fact forgotten about the date until notifications were sent every 5 seconds to my phone as my peers posted on the Facebook BAJ1 group wall- sorry, timeline. I didn’t have my student ID number with me to check the results anyway so I was happy to go along with my theory that I had passed home and dry… Just carry on with my holiday!
But of course I hadn’t! I knew there was one essay to be handed in, but i was hoping my marks would average out and I could possibly pass… Wishful thinking! Anyway it wasn’t the end of the world it just needed to be done once i got back- fine. But what the hell? Re-take short hand?! Thats an exam I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy! When I did the exam the first time, despite not feeling at all confident, I managed to pass. In fact if it wasn’t for Taryn, encouraging me to just get it over with, I wouldn’t have gone into the exam in the first place. So thanks girl- I owe you a drink!
After sending emails to my tutors to clarify if i had to re-sit the exam and getting no response, the day of the re-sit came… Today! So I went in (a little late) but sure it was all just a mix up. Of course in the back of my mind I was wondering if it wasn’t… and the exam board had decided i hadn’t done enough to pass… Naaa!
And, so it was all a mix up. As smart as examiners are, they mistook my attendance as not attending the exam (my attendance was worse than the exam, just as well i wasn’t being marked on that)! A pass is a pass and thank you God that I’m out of that one!
The moral of the story is just pass the exam in the first place… and revise enough so you’re confident you’ve passed incase some cock up like this should happen, you know its all just a mistake!
Now, where was I… Back to my summer…