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Results | GCSE

Posted & filed under Lifestyle Edit.

I wanted to do a post on this subject matter for a while, but I’ve spent the last 6weeks or so just trying to make sense of it all in my own mind.

I’m going rewind to the beginning so that you get a better understanding of where I’m coming from.

I graduated as an Architect whilst working for big skincare company 5years ago, both very different but extremely creative. Whilst studying I did some work exp. in a firm, not really enjoying it and decided to try my hand on different things whilst maintaining a part time job with the skincare company. I think working there made me into this passionate, target driven person. It also helped that I genuinely loved all the products. I somehow made my way into teaching. Left my skincare job aside and immersed everything I have into my teaching career. If you don’t know already, I teach Graphics, resistant materials (better known as CDT or woodworks?) in a secondary school. And despite how challenging it can be at times, I honestly love what I do.

But it isn’t just about going into school and teaching what you love. There are targets to be met. And as with any job, you look at some individual targets and question ‘really…?‘ But as a teacher you never stop trying, or stop believing that every young child will meet a target grade which was set for them when they were 9, because hormones have nothing to do with a child’s developments and their life will continue for them at the same pace as it did when they were a child.

As a realist, I know that out of the 26 that choose Graphics as a GCSE, most will probably not take it further into A levels, but I want them to learn skills that they will enjoy and take forward with them in life.

Having target driven attitude driven into me at a young age meant that I was going to do everything in me to ensure that they were able achieve their target grade. I was lucky enough to be working with students that were hard-working and determined and fed off of my passion for the subject, which resulted into 95% pass in coursework. Successful? Not quite, that was 2/3 or their final grade. Students also had to pass a written exam to pass their final GCSE.

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Let’s see the bigger picture here, most of these students had very weak literacy skills. The entire exam is a written exam. Do you see the dilemma? As a team we worked hard. After school revision, Saturday sessions. It was an intense 6months. Result? 50% out of that 95% didn’t make it. Result day, I was shattered. All that hard work we put in, 2years of work. Gone. we could say, perhaps the students didn’t try enough, revision should have started earlier. But I know they tried, we went through revision material several times. So where did it all go wrong?

Evaluation is probably the key to success, you see what you could improve on, focus on that and try harder second time round. But what do you do when these students don’t have a second chance? It makes me question the system. Is the examination system fair? A student who is able to produce an amazing product but unable to write in exam conditions, but when spoken to is very good at explaining. Do they not deserve a pass mark?

I was left feeling demotivated and basically really crappy. And it made me question the worth of an exam…does it really show the capability of a student? Especially when it comes to a creative subject. I questioned myself, because ultimately it’s me who is delivering, perhaps my methods need to change. I’m currently in the process of changing up revision material. Hoping it will make a difference. Whether or not it changes anything I’m sat here thinking, does the system need to change?

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New Beginning II

Posted & filed under Lifestyle Edit.

‘I must not cry, I must not cry, I must not cry’…. 10:53pm – 5th August, those were the words running through my mind. This was the day I got married and my life was no longer going to be the same.

 

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Pakistani (and most Asian) wedding are very different to English weddings. There are a lot of strict traditions, and the wedding can last up to 2 weeks. Normally a weeks worth of singing and dancing, known as a Dholki, which is kept at both brides and grooms maternal homes, followed by a Mehndi which happens a couple days before the big day. Next is the Nikkah which is known as the Muslim Islamic wedding and is normally near the brides home, she is then sent off with the groom on the same day. Finally a Valima which a party from the grooms side to welcome the bride into his family, normally a day (some do it a week) after the Nikkah. A wedding can easily set you back £45,000 min. Dresses can range from £1,500 to £4,000 or more. Make-up, hair and jewellery, venue, food, dj, everything which an English wedding would probably have too.

I didn’t want all of these functions – just one day – a day to celebrate me getting married with all my loved ones – it was a personal preference which both I and the other half wanted. We set a date to the 5th August.

Referring back to the quote in the beginning, the night came to an end and my parents were about to send me off and I kept thinking, ‘am I never going to see my parents again?’ sheer panic. I started crying and hugging my mum and dad. I couldn’t care less that 100 people were staring at me or that my eyelashes were probably half way on my face.

I got into the car with the husband, and saw my parents standing outside, crying, waving me off – and it hit me. Life will never be the same again.
Pakistani culture, (or maybe just my family) has nurtured me and kept me safe from everything. Living with parents and not having to worry about day to day things like bills, rent, savings. Knowing that I’m coming home to 5 crazy but funny people. No matter what time of day/night someone will always be up for a chat. Waking up crazy night time phone calls from Pakistan because they have no idea we’re 5 hours behind them…all these things and more. I never really appreciated till now.

I loved my upbringing and without it I wouldn’t be who I am, however I have found it so hard to live away from my family, and not because of bills or the other things I’ve mentioned But I miss my family. Growing up in a joint family, and going to being just two is really difficult to deal with in your mid-20’s.
I didn’t think it would be as hard as it is, I’ve lived on my own abroad for a month, abroad always feels surreal though doesn’t it? In the back of my mind, I would know that I was going to go back home.  Now I know, that I can’t go back the way I used to, I can’t cosy up in my own bed like I used to… I have responsibilities now.

I married an awesome guy, who is probably going through the same feelings as me, he too has moved out of his family home. It makes me wonder – why doesn’t Asian culture allow a couple to live together so they can adapt to the new life style before the wedding. Wouldn’t it help young Asian couples to spend more than just 8hours at a time with their other half so they can get to know them a bit better?

I am a modern Muslim, living in England trying to follow Pakistani culture and I do understand why there is a stigma that a man and woman can’t live together before they’re married – however if a Nikkah was to be done before – a quiet event between two people, they then move in together and adjust to their new life – and then have their party, wouldn’t that make life a lot easier? I just can’t help and think, if we adapt to English culture, why can’t society accept this? This is all hindsight, food for thought and abit (a lot) of waffle.

Being a newly-wed and having to deal with the feelings that I have atm has had an adverse effect on our marriage. Like I said, Mr is awesome and super understanding. So when I have my moments he knows I’m trying to adjust. But I wish the restriction on Asian culture were removed.

I put it out there to YOU. What do you think? Should a Muslim couple be allowed to live together before having their ‘wedding’ (note I say wedding, and not the marriage as marriage can be a small Nikkah with two people as witnesses and wedding is more like the Valima which is the party.)

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Expectations |

Posted & filed under Lifestyle Edit.

It’s 12.34am on a Saturday morning and I am trying really hard to sleep but its one of those nights where you have a million and one thoughts rummaging through your mind. I’m just going to write – won’t edit either, and maybe post it? I’ll see how I feel. 

I wanted to discuss with you all the topic of ‘Expectation’ and how much of it controls what we do. Being an Asian girl living in an Asian community in a western part of the world, I was expected to follow the traditional educational pathway and become either a doctor or lawyer. I was then expected to get married as soon as university would finish at 23 (I believe a doctor degree is about 5 years) then at 26 I should at least have a baby (maybe 2?) and live happily after.

Did that happen? Hell to the no. I decided very early on, (I was 8) that I wanted to be an Architect, I couldnt even say/spell the word, but I knew I wanted to design buildings. I was intriguied with everything about space/design. I kept it a secret from my parents until I was 18, when I enrolled they accepted it but my mum till this day feels a sense of resentment that I never became a doctor. 

I got a job as a part-time beauty consultant at the age of 18 and loved my job. Based in Central London meant that I was often watching street fashion and felt so inspired, my dress style changed massively. I began to reflect my personality through my clothes. This helped my confidence! When I told my parents that I wanted to pursue beauty/fashion, maybe intern? They told me it wasn’t a ‘real job’ and I should focus on Architecture. To be fair I didn’t blame them, it wasnt anything that was heard of in the Asian community. And I enjoyed my degree so I let my beauty/fashion remain as my part-time job/hobby. Biggest regret of my life. 

After finishing university I was expected to go into work straight away…my parents were oblivious to the recession. I decided that I wanted to teach, I tutored before, worked on a project with youngster and felt that I could be creative at the same time as having something socially acceptable. I joined teaching and have been teaching since. I love my job, love where i work and what I do. But if I had a penny for every time someone questioned/commented why I didn’t work in the fashion/beauty industry, I could probably put down a mortgage.  

There are times that I feel like most of my life I have pretty much done what was expected from society. Even my parent’s expectations ultimately derive from what society deems to be right. This post may come across as a dig towards my parents, please rest assured that is not the case. I love them to bits and think every decision they have wanted for me was for my own benefit. 

However there are times where I sit and wonder ‘what if…’ It’s a horrible feeling. A lot of young Asian girls have the same issue and I see it on a daily basis because of where I live. Parents actually say ‘what will u do by going university/working? You will only end up getting married and having children’.

I don’t think this will ever stop until the generation changes. If I have children I know I will let my daughter/son become and do what they want (with in reason) and fully support them.

I think this post is basically trying to say, dont follow society. You were born as an individual so why follow the crowd? (I’m pretty sure that is a quote from somewhere…)

Expectations isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can allow you to set goals, but there’s a very fine line from where it begins to control your life and take away from your dreams.

There are probably a lot of you who perhaps don’t go through the same shiz that I did. But if you feel the same pressure/expectation from society then my advice:

Once/if you have just finished college/school and are unsure of what you want to do – try interning at a place that interests you! Take a break, give yourself time to breathe and think. An issue with being in London that everyone is constantly rushing, there is no time to stop and reflect, sometimes reflection helps you to make the best decision. There will be a lot of people who will frown upon your dreams, but they are worth pursuing because you dreamt it. Every amazing thing in this world came from an idea, a thought.

Be pro-active, make things happen for yourself because if you dont, you will only be left to wonder on the “what-if?”

Homehaul

New beginnings

Posted & filed under Lifestyle Edit, Video.

At the tender age of 26 I’m finally moving out of my parents place into my very own. In Asian (Pakistani) culture, it’s not really the norm to move away from your family unless you’re married. And even then you move away from your family, you end up going into another, still never actually being on your own. However we (me and the Mr.) are moving away from both families. Just the two of us. In our little flat. It’s massively overwhelming for several reasons;

  1. I have never lived away from home ever. I’ve lived an extremely pampered life (here’s where you will begin to hate me…) my bed is always made for me when I come home, I always have a fresh meal every day, washing is always done, ironing is always done, break-fast is always served. Yes. It’s been a good life.
  2. I have never lived with the Mr. ever! It’s just not the done thing in our culture. Which I guess why some Asian marriages end up in resentment because you don’t really get to see what the person is like 24/7. That in itself scares me to death.
  3. Going back to point no.1, because of my sheltered life I don’t know really know how to use simple appliances like the oven/washing machine.

It’s definitely going to be a life-changing and maturing summer. I am looking forward to it, but very anxious at the same time. One of the many plus sides of moving out is furnishing your humble abode the way you want. I like my current room, but I haven’t changed it since I was 12? Wow, that’s a long time ago. So home ware shopping suddenly has become my new thing.

I present my huge home haul – going for a shabby chic/Parisian vibe here.

Home sense, Ikea, Next Home were some of the first places I have hit – where else can I find good home buys?

 

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6m+ discoveries

Posted & filed under Lifestyle Edit.

After just over 6months of blogging I want to review things.

Stuff that that I didn’t expect to find during this little hobby and what is useful to know. They (the unknown) say that 6months is the make or break and if you give up – it will most likely be after 6months. As it stands now, I’m enjoying it a lot!

  • Originality is rare – the main reason I started blogging was because I wanted to share my favourite lipstick/foundation – however what I failed to realise that there are 6566332432 number of bloggers who are also loving the same lipstick and given their opinion – so how do you stand out? Does your opinion really matter? I find myself asking these questions on a day to day basis. Before I started actually blogging and getting really involved in the blogosphere I only read a handful of blogs. Once you delve in you begin to realise that there is probably a new blogger being born every 3mins. Looking at google stat’s it showed that my lifestyle posts are a far more popular than beauty – maybe because they’re probably the most original pieces and it’s directly linked to me. Plus people (inc. myself) are nosey. It also turns out that I really enjoy writing lifestyle posts and if you had told me 6months ago I would be blogging about my life as a teacher/trips to countries. I  would’ve said ‘ha’ very loudly and sarcastically. I am a changed lady. Not only do I prefer writing LS posts, I also enjoy reading them far more now then I did before!

 

  • Socialising is key! Whether that’s through twitter chats or Instagram messages. I do feel twitter is far more powerful then Instagram as you get to have direct conversation with other bloggers. I usually take part in 8pm-9pm #bblogger chats on Sunday and Wednesday – there are a lot of chats that happen through-out the week but that’s the one I make use of most…see you there?

 

  • If you are talking about a brand in particular, include them in a tweet – they aren’t going to come looking for you – just @ them so that they know you’ve talked about them. They may even retweet it and increase your view stats.

 

  • Scheduling – both posts and tweets are so important. I tend to schedule two or three posts beauty posts and have a couple impromptu lifestyle/outfit of the day posts. For tweets I use an app called Hootsuite which is linked to my personal facebook and twitter. When scheduling tweets I tend to think of when people might be free, so 12-2pm for lunch hour, 5pm-7pm when people are travelling home and then 10pm-12pm when people are getting into bed and just checking their last messages. Of course this is just an outline as people all over the world use twitter and have various time zones – I’m only trying to put some logic behind my thinking.

 

  • Word of mouth people! At first I was so sceptical to tell anyone about my blog – mainly because I was so embarrassed about what people might think, some may say it’s pointless. Others won’t get it. The aunty down the road will say ‘that girl is on the internet’ *in an Indian accent* (no offence) so I kept shtum for a while. One day I happened to mentioned it to someone – who told someone, who then told someone else. And turns out I gained quite a few followers. and yes the Indian aunty did tell my mum that I am on the internet. However my mum knew and all is well. Be proud of what you are doing, preach, let it be heard. Let’s face it, before inter-webbing social media, that’s all there was – good ol’ word of mouth.
    The best social media tool there is.

 

  • Comment on other blogs & reply to your comments. I fail to do the latter – I must read 50 blogs a day! But don’t leave a comment on any. Bad habit. You need to let people know you appreciate their work – they will love it, other bloggers will notice you – its win, win. And always leave a link below so everyone knows where to come find you. Vice versa, if someone has commented on your blog – they have taken the time out and the etiquette thing would be to reply. Even if it is a mere thank-you. Acknowledgement is always appreciated.

 

  • Do it because you enjoy it – if you don’t enjoy it then there really isn’t any point. I blog to get out of my daily life and it’s a hobby which I love and feels fulfilling. Even if it is just writing 300 words every day. It means something to me.

I haven’t been blogging long at all – I am sure I will find more things along the way and I may rewrite a new post of my discoveries. What have you found in your time of blogging?

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Friends & Thai Square

Posted & filed under Lifestyle Edit.

Part of being a grown-up means you have to work. Which then results to having little social life. Well, for me, that probably isn’t the case for everyone else. But with teaching, blogging and family time, I tend to spend less time with friends. Once a year, maybe twice if we’re lucky? It also doesn’t help that we live miles away from each other. This has started off as a moan.

Let’s start again, I met up with my university friends who were really my first set of real friends. You know the kind that even though you may not speak/see each other for months on end, you just know that they’re always there for you. I have a friend from college who is absolutely amazing, and one from secondary school. *totes not a loner.* I have few friends but I’ve never wanted 100’s of friends. Just a few who are super close.

Anywho, it was time for our annual meeting and we went to a really cool restaurant called Thai Square in Covent Garden (for future reference; it’s actually much closer to Leicester Square than Covent Garden)
There was live music – when I say live music I mean, one lady playing something that resembled a xylophone but sounds a lot more elegant.

 

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We ordered starters – Dumpling, Spring rolls and Tempura – all which we ate instantaneously, we were absolutely famished! Mains was a green curry (I think that’s what it’s called) I let my friends do the ordering for me. Food was incredible. And desserts were a little disappointing. Presentation was nice, but it was just a scoop of ice-cream and some fruit.

The best thing about this restaurant was that we didn’t feel rushed. Normally, on a Friday night with central London so busy, demands for tables is high, this means that waiters try and shoo you out quick. But we sat and talked for hours. It was a 3 hour dinner.

When walking to the tube station at 11pm, I saw the amount of people walking out and realised that life doesn’t end at 10.30pm when I’m fast asleep. The world is still alive and buzzing – and I thought to myself, am I missing out on life essentially? I work, come home, work more, spend time with family, eat, sleep and repeat. I was onto a trail of thoughts…until I got on the tube and was surrounded by 100s of drunk people. To be fair I think it was everyone returning from Lovebox.

I realised – I’m not missing out on life, I’m living my own, which I have created and absolutely love.

I hate London Underground.

I hate drunk people on the London Underground.

I hate the London Underground during a heatwave.

I hate the London Underground during a heatwave with drunk people.

See a pattern?

Apart from that, I do need to make a conscious effort to see friends more often! But it’s always nice to have a big catch up session!

And there’s a final picture of my that my sister took of my when I returned – I stopped to talk to one of my oldest school friends who also happens to be my neighbour. 

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How do you all manage your time with friends/family/work -  what is the secret?

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Hindsight | Weight

Posted & filed under Lifestyle Edit.

So I really want to blog about beauty stuff today, I have loads of lip products and eye liners that I’ve trialled, ready to give my 2pence. But my brain is only focused on one topic. And that is weight. I have an umpteen of random thoughts sprinting in my mind that I figured if I sit down, write out whatever is in my brain will then be out of my system. Then I can focus on the real shiz. Beauty.

DISCLAIMER: if you’re looking for a ‘how to lose weight post’ this is really not it, I would probably stop reading right now.

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Class of 09′/ 11′

Posted & filed under Lifestyle Edit.

For some of you graduation may be coming up – even if it its not – it’s always nice to have a sneak peak at what everyone else wore. I had two grads. One for my Architecture BA and then my PGCE. When I look back on the photos my makeup was very similar – a no makeup, makeup. Super simple – it makes me think, is my skin worse now because I trial more products as opposed to when I had a simple routine.

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Teachers Attire | Prom Edition

Posted & filed under Lifestyle Edit.

As I write this post, my feet are absolutely aching! I hardly ever wear heels. In my head I walk like a VS model. In reality I stumble like some drunkard. *no offence* tonight was a special night. Saying the final goodbye to the year 11s. We seem to have done farewells several times. Just before study leave, after their exam, leavers day and then today. Prom. I never went to my own prom, I was never interested in getting glammed up and was too busy with my nose in some novel. I was totes into murder/mystery books. Anywho, 10years later I am now in a position where I get to go to a prom every year. This year was probably my most emotional one. I’ve been with this group for 2years and naturally you begin to develop an attachment where you feel so responsible for them. Its slightly overwhelming letting them go and then seeing them go into the big bad world where you can no longer guide them. They have to make their own mistakes and learn. Create their own paths.

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kitchebar

Unexpected

Posted & filed under Lifestyle Edit.

I went to a launch for the 4th edition of P-oint magazine . I really didn’t know what to expect as I didn’t know anything about the artists but my friend knew the people there so I went along. P-oint is a visual arts media that finds and showcases unique talent around the world through their magazine. There were 5/6 artists who were exhibiting their work at the Trip Kitchen and Bar studio.

Each artist had two/three pieces exhibited (in the coolest low-key café.)

There was a particular piece of work that caught my eye and the work which intrigued me was an intricate written piece. It’s somewhat abstract yet very logically thought through. Thousands of words typed up and placed together.  I can only imagine how long the process might have taken. Try to read the picture below;

 

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Did you stutter? Did you see a theme? Was there a reoccurring letter?

Hidden within all those words, the mumble and jumble, there’s a simple message.

We often get caught up in the hustle bustle of life. Forgetting to take a moment out and just saying what we feel in the lamest terms.

Are all the words around us necessary? Perhaps we should just simplify things and take it right to the beginning. Cut out the crap in the middle and say it how it is. Doing so requires us to be fearless. But what are we afraid of? Where has the fear derived from? Rejection maybe? Isn’t rejection a part of life. Doesn’t it help us to become stronger? So many questions started unravelling in my mind.

This one piece of art work had me thinking for days and left an imprint on my thoughts. I’m definitely going to make more of a conscious effort to be clear in what I say/want/mean. In todays world with all the media around us and the external influences we have lost the ability to say exactly what we mean. Instead there’s a tendency to beat around the bush. Which I for one am truly guilty of.

 I loved that this was such a simple artwork with a strong message which is universally applicable.

art exhibition

 I can’t remember the artists name – but I just wanted to say thank-you, a work of art which has enlightened me completely unexpectedly.

You can check out the artists involved with the Point magazine here.

Have you been to any events which unexpectedly had an affect on your thinking and ultimately – you?