living the international (house) life!

1 Oct
Showing you my preparing for Sunday Supper, amateur techie style

Showing you my preparation for Sunday Supper, amateur techie style

Somewhere between my tiny little room at I-House, the New York City subway system and ten thousand assignments, I have had almost no time to do a blog update, which I find terribly sad.

Not that I have much of a real clue of who’s reading. HELLO? IS ANYONE OUT THERE? CAN YOU AT LEAST LEAVE A COMMENT?

(Not directed at those who have commented, you guys are super!)

Though I wasn’t able to post an update, I was able to grab a midnight interview outside a jazz club in the Harlem’s famed Sugar Hill, visit the Apollo, go upstate for a leadership retreat, cover a murder on the Upper West Side, speak to Mrs Astor’s private librarian, cover bullying at a bilingual school in Crown Heights, suffer five painful drills under the hands of our masochistic lecturers, and go to the gym. OK. Only twice.

Even though I wanted to be anti-social through all the chaos, I couldn’t be. I-House is filled to capacity with hundreds of events that even though inside you doth protest, you have to attend. A) Because they generally have free food, and B) Because this is substitute family!

Zee (Pakistan), Bradley (SA) and I rock it for the Sunday Supper

Zee (Pakistan), Bradley (SA) and I rock it for the Sunday Supper

One of the events attended was Sunday Supper, a fancy dinner that takes place every few months with performances by artists in the residence and featuring a keynote speaker. This time we had the Commissioner of Parks & Recreation in New York, Adrian Benepe, who I automatically pounced on for a possible future interview (it never hurts.) Interestingly enough, he is a graduate of Columbia J-School and even won the Pulitzer Fellowship after finishing his Master’s. Guess he liked parks more than journalism, why I’ll never know.

In a fit of madness I also signed up for the I-House Tutorial Program, announcing manically that I had “no problem taking on difficult kids!” … “give me the young’uns!” … “The ones with difficulty adjusting!” I don’t know what was wrong with me. I was hoping they forgot, but they didn’t and I have been placed with a 4-year old girl who I have no doubt will be beautiful and tons of fun to play with. Her parents live in I-house so that’s a relief as I know they will be supportive. Thank goodness I don’t have to do any 8th Grade Math.

Thoughts from home on my noticeboard to keep me going ...

Thoughts from home on my noticeboard to keep me going ...

Over the weekend we were upstate for a Women’s International Leadership program retreat weekend. I had almost forgotten what fresh air smelt like and was truly grateful for the two day excursion at the Clearpool Education Center, a retreat center set on hundreds of acres of beautiful land in Carmel. We did the Mayer’s Briggs and I found my personality type to be pretty spot on. See if any of you can recognise me in this:

“Base decisions on personal values. Warm, empathetic, responsive, and responsible. Highly attuned to the emotions, needs and motivations of others. Find potential in everyone, want to help others fulfill their potential. May act as catalysts for individual and group growth. Loyal, responsive to praise and criticism. Sociable, facilitate others in a group, and provide inspiring leadership. Energetic, enthusiastic, very aware of others. They listen to and support others but also have very definite values and opinions of their own, which they will express very clearly. Socially adept, they also have a strng need for authentic, intimate relationships. Like their lives to be organized and will work to bring closure to ambiguous relationships or situations. They will put people first.”

I’m an ENJF in case any wants to know! Feel free to lambast the Myer’s Briggs Type Indicator if that description is inadequate, but I think that on a whole, it’s a pretty good description. Let me know if you disagree.

The 8th Floor common room gears up for another all-floor party

The 8th Floor common room gears up for another all-floor party

Well now that I have completely bored the hell out of everyone, I’ll leave on this note. It’s been a frantic time in the States and I’ve been equally chaotic, keeping one eye on the presidential race and the economy here, and another eye on the same subjects back home. It is, without a doubt, one of the best times to be in the States, and that’s something that only a self-serving, story-hungry  journalist could say. When things fall apart, true human nature appears, and this is particuarly true of the upper and lower echelons of American society. The elite may want you to believe that the economic bailout and a new president will fix a failing economy, but it is my opinion that the only thing that will help an America in despair right now is the will, entrepeneurial spirit and determination of the American people. No president is going to change that. I hope I can say the same for SA.

And on that completely vague and abstract note, I must depart. Next time, cross your fingers for a more eloquent and concise post. Until then,



15 Responses to “living the international (house) life!”

  1. Frouse October 1, 2008 at 5:28 am #

    Good post 🙂 That pizza looks delicious. Keep the cool pictures coming!

  2. jax October 1, 2008 at 5:34 am #

    Thanks Frouse, you’re a sweetheart.
    At risk of being massacred by some New Yorkers, I would venture to say that South African pizza tastes better …
    *she didn’t say it, did she?!*

  3. alex3000 October 1, 2008 at 6:16 am #


    One thing: you’ve far too many vowels other than i in the post. We all know you can’t say the other four but very seldomly, and I think it’s unkind to mislead your loyal readers like that.

    Otherwise, great.

    SA Pizza? Sweetlordjesusmaryjosephandtheapostles, w.i.t.f.h. are you talking about?

    Pce out. Be good.

  4. Kenyon October 1, 2008 at 7:02 am #

    Hey Jax!!!!!!!

    Ok So i’m sorry I haven’t commented before. Yup my Bad!
    I really enjoy reading about your antics! Sounds like you are doing fantastically.
    Proud of You!!!!

    P.s. Now i know its a small world. I was at Wits with Bradley.

  5. Archie October 1, 2008 at 1:32 pm #

    Yo Jax,
    You do all that – and blog?
    Goeie fok!
    What energy and stamina.
    I remember you always wanted to get to the Big Apple (and I thought it was Elgin!).
    I see John McCain has got Tina Fey as his running mate. Good choice.

  6. Claudia October 1, 2008 at 2:17 pm #

    Hi Jax,

    It looks like you are having an awesome time.

    Things here are also hectic, life with the twins is taking some getting used to.

    Missing you and bookclub.

    Chat soon, love Clauds, Thomas and James

  7. David Bischof October 1, 2008 at 5:23 pm #

    whatever.. only leaving comment cause you forced me to! Later deckhand!


  8. Lukas Bischof October 3, 2008 at 2:33 am #

    Hi Jax, I am rss-feeded your blog and am always checking for new posts. Sadly it seems I won’t make it to NY.. your holidays are over (right?) and I am beginning the possibly most interesting most certainly most challenging period of my student life as I will coordinate not one but three projects of my student union. And in november I will be going to attend THE conference on quality management in higher education in Budapest, Hungary.

    So know that I am always with you and yours posts!


  9. Michelle October 3, 2008 at 1:34 pm #

    Now David be nice to your little sister!

    (From your other little sister)

    And Jax…had some Debonairs pizza yesterday it didn’t seem to taste of anything….Romans pizza is the best!


  10. Miliswa October 3, 2008 at 2:16 pm #

    Looks like you having a blast…..missing u lots…take care


  11. Kim October 4, 2008 at 12:21 pm #

    Can’t believe how one human being can fit so much in, you amaze me!!! Glad you are making the most of it 🙂

  12. Dad October 4, 2008 at 12:44 pm #

    How nice to know you are busy and so enjoying it .Invoice before the Rand goes completly to hell.Do the Republicans really think the bailout is socialistic?what are Obahamas chances?I think good but what a mess he is stepping into.What was the weekend really like besides the fresh air and countryside? Assesment correct.Miss you .Love you.

  13. Delphine Hesters October 5, 2008 at 12:38 pm #

    Yes, this one is reading as well. And enjoying your writings a lot! Tx!

    (the one from Brussels/Belgium 🙂 ).

  14. Tiffany October 5, 2008 at 1:09 pm #

    See Jax, all you need to do is say please comment and we all comment! Remember about the all work and no play thing, but it’s good to see you are getting to play a bit. We miss you terribly… sniff….sniff…..

  15. Lyn October 6, 2008 at 10:58 am #

    Hey Jax! You look so beautiful. I think the NY lifestyle is really suiting you. Sorry I haven’t skyped or emailed lately – it has been crazy here at home. But will talk to you soon.
    Love you lots and lots.

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