Thursday, 27 February 2014

Where Creativity Rains...

Hands are clammy, I'm sweating & my body is hunched over this computer. "How do I do this?" I ask myself, wiping the sweat from my forehead and breathing deeply. And I begin writing my essay about Christopher Columbus who sailed the ocean blue in 14 hundred and 92.

Well, damn.

Recently I was sitting in class and my TA brought us up an example of an assignment we did. It was a comparative essay. There was something really off about the piece my teacher brought up for us to read. It was good. It was enjoyable to read. No academic jargon. No stiff "According to Chapter 8 of Obama's text.." Nothing like that. Hell, the girl even made a joke in her paper. Saying something along the lines of, "While reading this I felt the need to adjust my Victorian monocle.."
I laughed.
I read an example of an assignment. And. I. Found.It.Interesting.And.Funny.

It was a school assignment that wasn't written like a school assignment. This system of schooling I go through has such a way of moulding your thoughts & actions. Making you think & write a certain way. We all know the difference between academic writing...and not-so-academic writing. We're born into a system that syphons creativity from our blood.

My TA was genuinely distraught to hear us open up her about how stifled we felt in this system. How as creative individuals, the system has all but sucked us dry of what made us stand out from the next guy. How hard it is to fight for that "unique" voice when no-one wants to hear it.  She told us creativity never hurts, and to never lose that voice. I loved hearing that. I loved hearing that I didn't have to be a plank of wood in my essays. But, similarly I know the reality. I know I can't do that in my essay about Columbus.
I replay her words, "Keep my voice.." over and over in my head as I continue to write my thesis about the discovery of the new world, by a man we praise as an adventurer rather than accepting he was a massive douche bag.

Where creativity used to rain, now drizzles with hope.

x Leah Symonne x


Tuesday, 25 February 2014


"This is the reality of history. This is just the reality of how all these countries came to be." False.
"There just isn't any records of anyone else who built the country." False.
"History sucks." *ding, ding, ding* True.

Recently, I dropped history class. That doesn't mean I can eliminate it's everlasting voice and presence in my life, but nonetheless I don't have to study the conquests of a bunch of old dudes, remember dates & regurgitate pointless information onto a exam sheet. So, it's still somewhat of a win.

It's important to know your history. It's important to know your past, and where you come from. But, something in me doesn't believe the things I'm being taught. I don't like how glorified these people who "discovered the new world" are. Actually I hate it.
Let's talk about this. How can Christopher Columbus "discover the new world" when every where he "discovered" had people ALREADY LIVING THERE. Why do we praise this man for discovering places that were obviously clearly inhabited. Why don't we teach about how he barbarically killed the previous inhabitants of all these places, rather than calling the previous inhabitants the "barbarians". How do we justify calling the groups of people that NO LONGER EXIST the barbarians?

Recently, I was also learning about the history of Canadian journalism and my professor says, "I know I've been teaching you about a whole bunch of old white guys, but that's just how it is." Before he proceeds to show us a slide with a few women who made contributions to what Canadian journalism is today. Admittedly, I'm no expert on the topic, but I'd still like to call bullshit.

Like all other parts of history, the "achievements" of "old white guys" is all that was documented. It's all we have records of. I can't say for sure any other groups of people had a huge influence on Canadian journalism, but I strongly believe there are other groups that did. Not only history of journalism, but history in general.

I guess I'm just sick of the invisibility of so many people. Sick of feeling as if I personally know the people who had stories to tell, but never got the opportunity.

If a tree falls in the forest, and no-one is around to hear...I guess it doesn't make much of a noise.

x Leah Symonne x


Saturday, 15 February 2014

An Open Letter: For fourteen year old me

Hey You!

How are you feeling today? I know, I know. Things aren't as easy as they used to be. You thought running away from your problems was more productive of a solution than it amounted to be. Shh, don't cry. You're young. I can't imagine any fourteen year old doing anything different.
You're feeling really weird. You're not in your normal headspace. Suddenly talking, expressing and being the bubbly care free twelve year old you once were isn't easy anymore. You're quiet, you're shy. You're trying so very hard to change, but it's not easy. Your shell is thick.

You're so scared. You're scared of so many things. Things that...even to do this day I'm not sure if they're going to work out. I still can't tell you if you'll ever be on TV, or write a book. I still can't tell you if you'll ever get married. I still don't know if you're going to have kids, or 30 dogs... or neither. I don't know. But, what I have learned in these past few years is that we need to chill the hell out sometimes. The world isn't quite as scary a place as you're making it out to be. One day you're going to muster up the courage to put yourself out there more & more & it's going to be rewarding. You're going to be happy you did it, and wish you'd started sooner. Nonetheless, you did it when you were ready.

You're going to grow apart from a lot of people who were once really close to you. It's going to suck, but it's going to be okay.
You're going to cry, a lot, over a weren't even really dating. You got stuck in a weird halfway situation. It sucked, I know. Learn from it.

You're going to do stupid things, you're going to regret. You're going to be mad with yourself about it for a long time, but just like all emotions...time will subdue that anger.

You wish you were braver and you wish you had the "balls" to go out, or party, be a normal teenager. What you've got going for you is far more special than you can even see. The relationships you have with your friends now is so much more valuable, than the shallow "drinking buddies".

Stop talking to yourself the way you do. You're beautiful, and you deserve the best. People that fail to see that, well fuck 'em.

P.S. Your aversion to cursing...that will go away.

x Leah Symonne x