“You must be rich to study in Hong Kong”…

Well, this is another opinion piece about Chinese people I have met during my stay in Hong Kong (disclaimer, *the ones I have met, I am not generalising at all). I cannot count the number of times I have been asked how I ended up in Hong Kong and how I must be rich to have made it in Hong Kong. I am tired of explaining my “African” presence to Chinese people who know nothing about Africans and their work ethic, but I will try in this blog (sigh).

So I am African and I must come from a “noble” family to be able to afford to study in Hong Kong. Granted, Hong Kong is a very expensive place to live and to study and I get where these sentiments may be coming from, but forgive me if I note a bit of condescending in this too. What makes you (Chinese people I have met) think that an African cannot afford to study in Hong Kong? That they must have some “royal” blood to be able to secure a place in a Hong Kong university? I mean that just sounds ridiculous and insulting.

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Image credit…bitmoji app

 

Africans have been studying in so many other cosmopolitan cities for years and how they do it, in my opinion, is purely hard work and dedication. You think I just woke up one day with a ticket to Hong Kong handed to me? You insult my intelligence and qualifications. I blame the narrative that has been put out there about Africans as these poor, down-trodden beings who cannot amount to anything unless they are royalty. I mean what royalty? Do you even know if there is a royal family in the country I am from? Oh, I forgot…you think Africa is a country. (sigh)

Let me clarify…I am in Hong Kong because I worked hard to be here. I got the place at my university on merit and how I can afford it is really not your business.  You should be asking me how we can work together to motivate others to chase their dreams and work hard, not spread the myth that for Africans to be among you they must be rich. That is ignorant!!! I absolutely hate it when human beings stereotype other human beings just because they are different and put them in these messy little boxes.  Yes, I wish I came from a rich family and that was the reason why I am in Hong Kong, because that would fit right into the box you want to put me in. But, truth is, I don’t come from a rich family. Now you can scratch your head wondering how it is that I am here breathing the same air that you are breathing.

*If I sound angry, it is because I am!!

GG

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Image credit: bitmoji app

 

Child, what is it that you seek?

meaning

 

I realise I have been searching for something…I don’t know what exactly.
I have probably been searching for it my whole life. I just know it…
It’s a feeling I get, that something is missing. A gap, a hole…that needs filling.

You feel lonely in a room full of people, you feel misunderstood because everyone you meet just can’t seem to fill the hole, the space. It just seems to grow bigger each time.
There are times when you meet someone who makes an honest attempt to complete your existence. You acknowledge their effort and hope that the feeling of nothingness will go away…
But it remains…
Maybe, just maybe…you begin to realise that you are the only one who can make you feel whole.
The search will go on forever if you are not complete on your own before attempting to interact on a deeper level with another.
It’s a tough job to try a complete a human being, you would have to know completely what made the hole appear in their life. It is a mammoth task.

The search for meaning? The search for fulfillment? The search for purpose?
As long as I or you are searching, depending on whether we look in the right place…which is not in the world or within others…but within ourselves
Maybe, just maybe…we can both find what we are searching for.

Just don’t drive yourself crazy in the process #notetoself

 Reflections

A day in the life of a PhD student

 

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Credit: bitmoji app

 

8:30 You know life is real when you wake up in the morning to get your first cup of coffee before attempting any heavy lifting; which for me includes any mental/brain activity; then try to decide if you should shower first or check emails first. It’s a tough decision because usually once I check emails I am stuck at my desk for two hours at least; dealing with this and that…it just never ends. So today, I went with the shower option, because I really was feeling sluggish already. I thought maybe the shower will wake me up so that I can get back to work. You see, I slept at some few minutes after 2 am last night; and that was only with the help of a sleeping tablet….I know, I know it’s unhealthy but I had to force myself to sleep.

Anyway…back to the shower. I lazily remembered that I need to send a text to my cousin and that one friend I haven’t said hey to in a long time. I promised myself I will do it as soon as I get back in the room, but of course I forgot again.

When did I become this person who forgets to text people?

I make a mental note to do better.

After the shower I decided to take some Vitamin C because I really needed a boost. The coffee didn’t work. I sat down to check emails and true to form, I spent a good two hours on that because one of the emails reminded me of a campus report I need to write and submit by tomorrow. I recently got a position as a Junior Research Partner in the Division of Graduate studies at my university (as if I don’t already have a lot on my plate). It’s good experience since I will be working side by side with a Professor on a research project which is a plus. But, it is extra work!!! Oh, back to the campus report…

11:00 So I finished the campus report and got started with my literature review chapter. I have been writing this chapter since January and, yes I will be writing it for the next 2 1/2 years. I worked on that for a while because I had to send the edited version to my Supervisors in preparation for our appointment on Thursday.  When that was done, I felt relieved that 2 of the tasks on my long to-do-list were done.

2:30pm Time to take a break and I realised I hadn’t eaten anything since my cup of coffee and some crepes I had for breakfast.  I prepared a quick meal: chicken soup since I really wasn’t feeling too good with rice on the side and lots of mixed veggies.  Proud of myself that I only had one cup of coffee today, but I guess that is also because I couldn’t really taste it. I think I am coming down with a cold or something. Or its just fatigue.

I noticed some sunshine streaming in from the kitchen window, and since I hadn’t ventured outside today I decided to soak up some sun from there. This made me feel even more tired and sleepy. I decided to nap for an hour and convinced myself I will be more energetic when I wake up…

4:00 -I have a fieldwork presentation for the study I am doing on “The social and academic adjustment of African students in Hong Kong”, on Monday next week. I started working on that  so that I can edit it throughout the week. I will blog more about that project and why I decided to do it. It is separate from my PhD project but I feel it is an important study.

6:00 Dinner time …made some steak with rice and mixed peppers (sorry I forgot to take a picture of my food). No glass of wine with my dinner today, I still have a lot of work to do although I really wish I could just quit and go on holiday forever.

7:00 After dinner I came back to my desk to look at some papers for my presentation. I just remembered I need to practice my Mandarin since I missed my class today. Good thing I now have an app that I can say things in Mandarin and it plays them back to me until I get it right. Another mental strain I got myself into, but its fun to try.

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9:00 Still staring at my computer reading academic papers.  Confirmed my appointment with the supervisors for this Thursday. That means I have to prepare something for that meeting. I will do it tomorrow…

The say procrastination is what PhD students do best.

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As I am blogging right now, I know I am also procrastinating but I needed to update you all about what I am up to. I must say, the one thing I love about doing a PhD is that I can pretty much plan my own schedule and work at my own pace, although setting deadlines is good because I do need to be able to complete the PhD on time.

11:42 I am hoping to sleep early tonight. I finished all my tasks for today and even managed to blog so today was a good day.  After I publish this, I will close this laptop and try to relax so that sleep will come. Tomorrow is another day in the life of a PhD student…

 

 

Blogging honesty

I realised just now as I lay in bed, tossing and turning, waiting for sleep to come, that I haven’t been blogging with honesty…lately.

I will be the first to admit that I have not been living up to my blog’s name More To Getty. Why?

I thought about it and I think I have been censoring myself too much. I don’t know when I started thinking about and caring what readers would say or think about my life if I write about everything on my mind. Well…that kind of defeats the purpose of a personal blog doesn’t it?

A personal blog is just that…it’s personal. It is like a diary or journal and when the writer starts to censor themselves and only write what is “politically or morally correct” or only write the good without the bad, then it is just as bad as people who lie about who they are on social media. It becomes more for the readers and serves no purpose for the writer.

When I started writing, my blog was therapeutic. I felt good when I wrote, it was my escape. But then I started retreating into my shell again. I am normally a very private person, so even having a blog was a novel idea and a growth moment for me. This was back in 2012 and now, 5 years later I seem to have lost my voice. I have not been blogging with honesty because I shied away from sharing anything too personal.

That is all going to change now that I have acknowledged it. Its 1:07 am and I guess this means the Diary of an insomniac overthinker is back 😊

Food for thought…

As a budding sociologist, I found the above article very interesting and thought to share on this blog. Consider the quotes below, from the article…

They say when all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. And the risk is that when every policy adviser is an economist, every problem looks like inadequate per-capita gross domestic product.

Shouldn’t we consider other views, such as sociological views on what is going on in the world, in Zimbabwe, in the US?

Economics is only a piece of a broader, societal problem. So maybe the people who study just that could be worth listening to.

One comment I liked on this post in NY Times:

Mathivanan India March 18, 2017
It’s true. Economy is a social institution. Therefore, economic problems are part of social problems. When economists look into economic problems they generally miss the woods for the tree. Sociologists can see an economic problem in a wider perspective but are not specialists. What we need is multidisciplinary approach.

What do you think?

Remembering Ireland…in pictures

I have always wanted to do a pictorial of the time I spent in Ireland…that was a beautiful place which I will always remember. In the true sense of the word “pictorial”…I will let the pictures speak for themselves:

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Weekends at Woolshade supporting Manchester United…
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That one time it snowed..
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Canty’s Bar
 

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Bar hopping in Cork City

 

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Youth Christian Group
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Christmas 2014 with friends
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Christmas 2014 with Magatte Faye
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University College Cork campus
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Castlewhite Apartments…

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Castlewhite Apartments

 

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The Lough…
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Halloween 2014
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Apartment 51 Housemates

Whew…I just realized there are just too many memories to pack up in one post. In a nutshell, my life in Ireland was fun, I had friends who brought sunshine and laughter into my life and the best housemates anyone could have asked for. I also had new experiences and met new people. There was a time I thought I would go back to Ireland in a heartbeat just to relive these experiences again. The ultimate product of my time there is below and I am grateful to God for the opportunity.

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Masters in Social Policy
I always thought I would go back to Ireland one day…but I think this post is my final goodbye. My time there will always be on my mind but its time to make new memories in Hong Kong…

PS: if you have a pic of me when I was in Ireland that I didn’t add here, please inbox me.

 

Am I doing a Ph.D. or A Ph.D. is doing me…

It was during my daily dose of binge reading articles and other serious academic stuff that I came across an article on dating Ph.Ds and why that may not be a good idea. I am not going to comment on the dating part(story for another day).  One thing the author mentioned was how she felt lost in her Ph.D. and that everything around her started to pale in comparison. No matter how much she tried to balance a social life and her academic work, she just ended up finding herself on a date and her topic of discussion would be…guess what…her thesis!!!

This got me thinking,  I am 6 months into my P.hD. and this lady’s story bitmoji-20170208101100struck so many nerves, you can find it here The perils of dating a PhD student .

So where does the academic life start and end? Where do you draw the line?

Back when I was a social worker, I found it hard to balance my social work identity and my own personal identity. I wrote once about how I would at times, talk to my friends and loved ones as if they were clients The Social Work Dilemma. Now as a Ph.D. student I find myself trying to balance my social life with my academic life. Where does one begin and the other end?

At times I find myself still up at 2 am, thinking about my topic (sigh…yeah it’s that bad). Some of my nocturnal ideas are useful, most are not. At times I just want to talk about other things, with other people with more interesting lives than mine. But most times, I end up talking about my topic or something related to academia. In all honesty, there is always a fear that if I talk about other mundane stuff, maybe I am wasting time that I could be reading another paper or researching that other angle.

Before I started, I told myself I would never be one of those stuffy, boring academics. Now, I wear glasses (well, I do have an eye problem for real) which make me look like the serious academic type even if I am not trying to be.

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I guess my blog remains the one place where I can still take a break, but hey…look what I am blogging about today. That same Ph.D stuff(LOL). Well, it’s only six months in, I might get better with time but as of right now, guess this is my life.

If you have any tips for me, please drop me a message.

Till next time,

GG