What Are You Up To?

What Are You Up To?

I am currently finishing one research paper and will start working on the next one as soon as I am done with this one. Consequently, I don’t have time to write an actual post today so I wanted to ask you guys what you are up to. Hopefully, your situation is better than mine. Let me know in the comments!

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I Did A Dumb Thing

I Did A Dumb Thing

So you guys know how all my classes are online now? Well it finally happened- I did that cliché, dumb online classes thing where I left my mic on without realizing it and said something kind of embarrassing in the background 🙃

I don’t care that much since it’s my last semester and I’ll probably (hopefully) never see any of these people again after this semester but I’m still going to be extremely careful from now on. Life goes on I guess? Aren’t online classes just super great though?

On a lighter note one of my professors told me my write-up this week was “quite good” which I know doesn’t sound like a big deal but it kind of is. He is super nice and sweet but he’s also a very strict marker and I’ve had him for multiple courses and I’m pretty sure this is the first time he’s said this about something I wrote! I’m like genuinely happy and now I want to work even harder on next weeks!

Hope you enjoyed that recap of how my day went- it was weird to say the least.

Has anything like this ever happened to you?? Let me know in the comments below because I would love to hear your horror stories about online classes! Or if you have any horror stories about university/school in general! Or you can always just tell me how your day went or just stop by and say hi- I don’t bite!

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My Courses Last Semester

My Courses Last Semester

Courses I Took Last Semester

I realised some time ago that I hadn’t really talked much about what courses I took last year and my university experience last year. I have talked about it a little bit in passing but not on a post on its own and since some people have been asking me about it I thought I could write a post and talk about what courses I took, what I learnt and my experiences with online classes.

As you guys know last year was interesting to say the least. Due to the pandemic all my courses were fully online. This was my fourth year which meant that I would now focus on my major and did not have any elective courses. We have to take four fourth year history courses this year and up to two third year history courses. Since this was my first time doing online classes I decided to take only two fourth year courses last semester.

At Brock, your fourth year history courses have a seminar like structure. You don’t have lectures and instead the focus is on discussing both primary and secondary sources with everyone else in your class. It’s significantly more reading compared to the other courses since the emphasis is on sources so that was what mostly kept me busy for the last few months. The discussions are normally student led and we are encouraged to participate as much as possible.

I used to dread seminars in my first semester because as someone with anxiety speaking up in front of everyone is not really something I’m awesome at. However, I am so glad we have seminars and are forced to participate- we aren’t exactly forced but you need to participate at least a few times to get a decent grade. It really helped bring me out of my comfort zone and it helped me develop a lot of skills that will be super useful for me in the future. I am pretty comfortable speaking in groups now in this kind of setting, I have better leadership skills since we have to lead some seminars and I am a lot more confident about my thoughts and opinions. If you knew me when I first started university- my followers who have been following this blog since the beginning will remember- you would never expect me to be okay with this kind of thing. But thanks to my anxiety decreasing significantly due to CBD oil and meditation along with getting used to speaking up I have actually really started enjoying seminars. It helps that I get to be in my pjs for the ones that I don’t have to switch on my camera lol!

Anyway that’s just a little background information about fourth year courses at Brock and how the history ones generally work. Here are the courses I took last semester and my thoughts about them:

History Of Slavery

I have had the professor who was teaching this course for another course and he is probably one of my favourite professors because the stuff he teaches is exactly the kind of history I am generally interested in learning. I took an American history course with him last semester and really enjoyed it. He is just super chill and understanding and has a really great vibe. He is also super understanding and tries to make sure his courses aren’t too overwhelming so we did not have a lot of assignments and stuff which was amazing.

I have learnt about slavery before in other courses. Before this course I had learnt about slavery in Rome, Africa and America but that was about it. I had never taken a course that was specifically about slavery so I was very curious to see what we would learn in this one and I was not disappointed. I learnt so many eye opening things that I had never learnt about before.

I loved that he also had multiple classes on slavery in the Caribbean because that was something that a lot of courses do not really talk about a lot. We also talked about slavery that is currently going on which was a bit difficult to read primary sources about because they were truly heartbreaking. Most of us know that these things are happening but when you learn about them in detail its just different and much more difficult to digest. I’m glad he added that because it was something that was hard to learn about but also important to learn about.

Apart from that we did the general stuff that one usually thinks about when we discuss slavery like slavery in America. I think out of all the courses I have taken so far this was one of the most difficult one because of the primary accounts of slaves or former slaves. It’s really hard to read some of the things we did. I’m not going to share in detail what they were as some very extremely explicit and disturbing.

Overall, this course was amazing and I truly ended up learning so much.

History Of Food

As you guys know there are three things that I love- food, history and writing- and this course was a combination of all three of these things. Out of all the courses I have taken this was the one I was most excited about and I was not disappointed in the least bit. The professor I had for this course was really great and I had a really fun time with this course. She was also super chill which was amazing.

We do not often think of history and food together- at least most of us don’t. I mean some historical events such as famines etc. make us think about history and food together but when we think about general history we often do not think about food. For example, when we think about the Cold War the first thing we think about is usually not food. This course showed me that maybe we should think about food a lot more than we do when it comes to history because it plays an insanely large role in most of history.

The best part of this class was that we get to recreate a recipe from history as part of our assignment and we can base our final research paper on it to except obviously our final paper is much more detailed and about the topic in general not just the recipe.

The recipe I decided to recreate was from a cookbook written by a former slave called Abby Fisher and the cookbook was called Mrs. Abby Fisher Knows Southern Cooking. You can check out an online version of the cookbook by clicking here. This was the second- formerly believed to be the first- cookbook published by a freed slave and an African American woman. She herself nor her husband were able to read or write so the recipes were dictated and written by someone else.

The reason I chose this particular cookbook was because since I was taking a course in slavery as well I was already interested in slave food, eating habits and how what is now known as soul food is inspired by slave food. Therefore, I thought this would be very interesting to recreate and also her recipes were super simple and easy to recreate which was helpful. I personally chose to make her ginger cookies recipe and they turned out pretty good although slightly dry so I would recommend adding oat or coconut milk for anyone who may want to try recreating it as well. That’s how mine turned out:

This course really helped me thinking of food as more than just something we put in our body but rather as something that helps define who we are. What we eat says much more about us than we think it does. For some of us it allows us to connect with our ancestors and our culture, for others it allows us to reminisce about different times and for all of us it helps us create new memories.

Your Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed hearing a bit more about the courses I took last semester and my experiences with them. Have you ever taken any similar courses or are you currently taking any similar courses? Would you try historical recipes? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or simply stop by and say hi!

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My Week So Far

As you guys know this has been my first week back to school so it’s been a little hectic and even though I did have a post planned for today I didn’t have time to finish it. So instead of not posting anything I wanted to check in on you guys and say hi! How are you guys doing? How is 2021 going for you so far? I’m doing good and I’ve been weirdly calm about everything- am I getting used to university or is my anxiety getting better? Either way I’m good. I’m still having weird dreams but now I just try to enjoy them instead.

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5 Life Lessons I Learnt At University

What I Learnt At University

A while back I took a survey asking you guys what you wanted to see on lifesfinewhine and one of the things that was mentioned a lot was stuff about university. Someone suggested that I do a post about lessons I learnt at university and I thought that was a really good idea. By the way the survey is still open so feel free to leave suggestions by clicking here.
These lessons are not going to be about the subjects I learnt although in case you’re interested I’m a history major. Instead, I’ll be focusing on other things I have picked up after being a full time university student for the last three years. Since I study in Canada but I’m Kenyan my experiences may differ a little as international students do tend to have different experiences.
I also think that being a history major also helped me pick up on certain lessons I may not have learnt doing other courses. I think when you study history you just understand the present so much better because you see what it has evolved from and that helps you understand life better. Or maybe that’s just me…
Anyway, here are the main lessons I have picked up from university as a full time student for the last three years:

School Doesn’t Teach You Everything

As a history major in particular one thing that I have really picked up over the years is that school/college/university really does not teach you everything. A lot of what you need to know to survive in the world is stuff you are going to have to pick up on your own often through experience.
And about the things that university does teach you- every professor/teacher has their own point of view and their own opinions. They can and of course should try to teach in as much of an unbiased way as possible but at the end of the day they are going to teach you what they believe is the truth or what they think you should learn. The sources you use, the books you use, the articles you use- everything is going to have an agenda.
If you really want to learn something in an unbiased way make sure you do your own research and read about both sides. You don’t need to agree with both sides or even either side but just knowing that information will help you uncover the truth because there really are three sides to everything. Never fully rely on just one source of information or one POV/school of thought.

Grades Don’t Really Matter

Okay, that subheading is not entirely true. Yes, grades do matter but only to an extent. When it comes to work or other things your grades are going to be something that people will look at. I’m definitely not saying don’t work hard or don’t bother trying to get good grades because you should try the very best you can and try to get the best grades you can.
However, grades are not the end of the world and they are not the only thing that matters. It’s sort of like when you were in high school and you were obsessed with test scores or exams scores but when you entered university it sort of did not matter as much how you did in high school and suddenly how you did in university became much more important. Well, when you think about like your university grades sort of seem a bit insignificant. Again, yes they can help land you a good job etc. But there is also so much more to life than grades. Don’t forget to experience those things too.
And if you happen to not get the grade you want for a particular course don’t beat yourself up about it. It happens to everyone and most universities do let you redo courses or take different courses instead. It’s okay to mess up sometimes as long as you learn from your mistakes and try harder next time.

Always Be Proactive

I think this something that I REALLY learnt at university. The workload at university is no joke and you learn relatively quickly that if you do not start planning your self out ahead of time and doing what you have time earlier you are going to quickly find yourself in a downward spiral.
I think being proactive is a really important thing to learn as an adult because it not only helps you with university but with life as well. I talked about this in more detail in my blogging journey posts but one thing that really helps me stay regular with posting on this blog and maintaining this blog in general is being proactive. I try to plan myself out in such a way that I always have something ready to post in case I get busy with other things. And this has helped me stay active which consequently has helped me grow the blog.
Being proactive, knowing how to properly plan everything out, having a daily schedule and things like this are so incredibly important in life. It really helps you focus on your goals better and teaches you to make the best use of your time. If you look at a lot of successful people you see that they have the same amount of hours as you every day but they use them very wisely and make the most of what they have got.

Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

I think one thing that university has helped me a lot with is getting out of my comfort zone. Moving to a different country on a different continent can be a lot of change and it meant that I pretty much had to get out of my comfort zone and experience a lot of new things I otherwise never would have. Yes, it was quite difficult but it was also such an incredibly rewarding experience that if I had to I would definitely do it all over again.
As you guys may know I suffer from anxiety and all this change can be a lot even for someone without anxiety so you can imagine just how ridiculously anxiety inducing it was for me. But at the same time I felt like I had been stuck in a rut and was just doing the same things over and over again with no satisfaction.
That is why I forced myself to study abroad because as scary as it was I knew that I needed it for my own mental well being. And university also really made me get out of my comfort zone. It helped me get better at taking charge which was something I was formerly horrible at, speaking in front of people and much more.
I am so grateful to be out of my little box and now I have become a person who is so much more open to new experiences such as travelling, meeting new people, trying new things (not currently due to the pandemic obviously). I think of everything I could have missed out had I stayed in my comfort zone and I am so thankful I got out.

Do What You Genuinely Love

As you may or may not know depending on how long you have followed this blog, I did not want to major in History when I first decided to enroll at university. I was actually going to major in Psychology but decided to major in History later on instead. The reason I did not want to major in history was because I was kind of like- well what are you going to do after your done with the degree? I did not want to do law or anything like that. I just wanted to study History.
But I’m super glad I ended up majoring in History because as much as I loved and still love Psychology I don’t think it would have been the right major for me. I also don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much as I have enjoyed learning history. I think doing what your heart tells you to do or rather listening to your gut is very important because sometimes the universe knows things that you do not and is trying to nudge you in the right direction.
But basically what this situation taught me was that do what you love and everything else will fall in place. And honestly, I have seen that happen again and again with everything in my life. I freak out about something but the universe ends up taking care of it. It was like that with this blog too- I was stressed out and wanted to blog regularly but things were not falling into place. But then they did and just like that everything worked out.


Have you ever studied abroad? What were some of the lessons you picked up at university? Did you have any similar experiences or learn any similar lessons as those that I have mentioned above? What was/is your major? Do you work in the same field you majored in?

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Midterm Break!

So I finally have some time to relax since my tests are over and I get a week off university! Hoping to try out some stuff and have a bit of fun as well as blog a bit more!

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Also winter seems to be ending! Our weather is finally in positives and the snow is almost completely melted! It seems to have melted as fast as it was accumulated which is so fascinating!

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An actual image of me thawing as winter ends…

I also want to hang out with my friends for a bit!

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And do a bit of exploring!

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I also want to do some writing because I feel like I haven’t had any time to do any writing these days so I want to catch up with that!

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And of course I’m going to try to catch up with the blogs I follow!!

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Hope you enjoyed this post and don’t forget to like, follow, share and comment!!