The Real Reason the French are So Fashionable

20170509_203029As an ESL teacher, I work with all nationalities. I’ve recently begun to teach French students, both male and female. Everything the fashion magazines say about them is true, they are so stylish! Did I mention my students are 14?

They don’t wear a lot of accesories, or even wear a lot of labels. Honestly, they wear jeans and sweatshirts, or jeans and plain t-shirts. But somehow, they add little chic touches that turn an outfit that would look boring on me, into something that looks fashionable. For example, today one student was wearing mom jeans, and a very baggy t-shirt. Her hair was a mess, and her only accessory was a nose piercing. Yet somehow, it looked so cool!

Teaching these kids early in the morning, I can promise they put zero thought into their clothing. They do not think about their outfits, I don’t think the French style the conscious choice we non-French people assume. Rather, I think it is both bred, and SOLD into them. By this I mean, their parents dress in very simple, casual styles. So, they do too. And the stores in France sell more monochrome, structured, casual items. So, they buy them. I know this is true because I’ve shopped in French stores.

The whole nature vs nurture debate has established that who we are as people is molded by our parents and our environment. Applying that psychology to fashion, it means that the French teens wear the clothes sold in their shops and worn by their parents. Therefore, I purpose that French fashion is not a purposeful style. Rather, it is simply a look that is sold, and told to them.

This isn’t exclusive to France. In Washington, people wear a lot of North Face and polar fleece hoodies. Why? Because it is what the stores sell, and what parents tell you to wear to keep warm. In New York, stores sell edgy clothes, and parents tell their kids to dress in the latest NYC style. Breeding and location is what makes an intrinsic local style.

The French teens are chic casual because it is all they can know. So, I envy them a little less…but I also wish my stores sold me less bold prints and more perfect white tee’s.

What are your thoughts???

The UK and USA are BFF’s Again

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In a shocking turn of events, the UK and US are teaming up. Israel and Palestine are hot button issues right now. Palestine is upset because Israel took Palestinian land when it was created. Palestine got even more upset with the US moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem (a holy city for every major religion). The embassy move was the straw that broke the camels back for Palestine. People in the Gaza Strip began mass protests along the border.

If these protests had been non-violent, everything likely would have continued on normally. However, Palestinians threw trash and debris over the border fence, in the vicinity of Israeli soldiers. These soldiers took it as a threat, and they became violent. To date, the Gaza Strip protests have caused around 150 deaths (of Palestinian people). One of these deaths was an aid worker, which really got a lot of media attention.

The Palestinian’s don’t really have the means to defend themselves. As a state, it is extremely weak. Therefore, the international community view the Israeli attack on them as inhumane. Most countries condemn Israel. Israel has attempted to alleviate the blame by claiming the Palestinians are part of a terrorist group called Hamas.

It is widely accepted in the international community that if someone does something in the name of “fighting terrorists” it’s ok. Most of the attacks in the Middle East have been done in the name of terrorism, the violence in Syria is purely because of terrorism. Terrorism is the magic word to justify any action taken in the Middle East. But, terrorism hasn’t been nearly as big of a global issue as it was in the early 2000’s. Due to this, most countries don’t want to drink the tea Israel is selling.

Most countries…with the exception of the UK. Many European and Asian and Middle Eastern countries think that Israel is not killing terrorists in Gaza, it is killing civilians. But, the US disagrees. Why? Because the US and Israel are the best of friends. The US gives Israel weapons. And the UK is jumping on this band wagon. The UK has said it will vote against Palestine in the UN.

What is most surprising about this is the alliance between the US and UK. Donald Trump is one of the only American presidents who has not visited the UK during his term. He is so hated by British people that he can’t set foot on UK soil. Yet, the government is taking his side?

Read more about this issue here

Hoax Holidays

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As you all know, today is Father’s Day! A day to honor the men in our lives who have helped raise and shape us. Everyone is happy to celebrate Father’s Day and Mother’s Day every year.

But then, you get those people who don’t want to celebrate the other “made up holidays” (I would argue every holiday was made up at some point). The grinches who say they don’t want to celebrate April Fool’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day. The one that really annoys me is when boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, significant other’s, try and get out of Valentines Day.

Mother’s Day was created to honor the women who give birth to us and/or raise us. Father’s Day was created to honor the men who do the same, and only started 100 years ago. Valentine’s Day was made in modern times to celebrate the people we love in our lives. Yes, that can mean romantic love. But, when I was a kid my mother always got me Valentine’s Day chocolates. My siblings send me cards every year. Valentines Day is the same as Mother’s and Father’s Day. It is one day a year that we take out of the 365 to celebrate people we love.

I love any and ALL holiday’s. I wear green for St. Patty’s Day. Red, white and blue on the 4th of July, jokes on April 1st, turkey on Thanksgiving, gifts on Mother’s & Father’s Day, and cards on Valentines day.

So, anyone who likes to claim Valentines Day is a “Hallmark Holiday” or a “Fake Holiday”, well they can tell their mom and dad on their respective holidays that their day is Fake too. Otherwise, hush your mouth, and enjoy a day of love!

The Only Advice University Students Will Ever Need

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I started university earlier than most, I had my first uni class at 14 in China. I officially started studying uni in America at 16, three and a half years later I had my first degree. Now, I have 2 degrees and have attended 4 different universities all over the world.  I’ve lived on and off campus, taken out student loans, paid tuition, and pulled all night study sessions. Suffice it to say, I am an expert at university life. 

In all my experience at universities, I’ve been given massive quantities of advice. Don’t drink on a Sunday, hand write your notes, focus on studies, maintain a side job. The suggestions never end. And NONE of it has helped me in the real world. No one warned me that university is the easy part of life, that studying is for an exam is relaxing compared to job hunting. No one said student loans would make me suicidal. No adult has ever given me worthwhile advice about university. 

So, I’m going to do every student the favor I was never given. There are only 3 things you need to know about university. Live by these rules, and life will be simplistic. 

  1. Unless you are going to Yale, Cambridge, Harvard or some other Ivy League, NO job will ever care where you got your degree from. They WILL NOT care if you went to your local college or a state university. (Honestly, a lot of jobs won’t care if you went to an Ivy League either). So, DON’T take out more $$ and debt to go to a fancy private school across the country. Go to the school that is the cheapest for your chosen major. 
  2. Your grades/marks DO NOT MATTER. At the end of the day, on your resume/cv you will put down that you graduated from X university with Y degree. I’ve had dozens of interviews and an employer has never asked me what GPA was, they don’t care if I got honors. An employer cares if you got the physical diploma and THAT IS IT. Therefore, don’t drive yourself crazy at university to get the perfect scores. Learn what matters for your chosen speciality, enjoy sports, party with friends and experience life outside the lecture hall. I promise that your marks/scores truly will not matter once you walk across the stage at graduation. Literally, NO ONE GIVES A SHIT ABOUT GRADES.
  3. The real world and job market all rely on one skill. The ability to sell. If you can creatively interpret your skills and summer jobs on your CV so it matches for each position you apply for, then finding employment will be easy. Every job should have a personalised resume that uniquely sells YOU to that specific employer. This is all a nice way of saying, on your resume/CV and in interviews, YOU JUST GOTTA BULLSHIT. I’ve been hired for dog walking and teaching English, and my degree is in political science. How did I get those jobs? I sold the hell out myself. I am my #1 product. 

There you have it. These 3 things are the most important pieces of advice you will ever get. By following my words of wisdom, university life will be less stressful, you will get interviews, and most importantly, you will survive in the real world. 

(Please excuse my colorful language in this post, my goal is to get the point across as clearly as possible)

 

How my Side Hustle became my Career

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Does your ESL teacher look like this?

Staying in England, I have struggled financially. The cost of living is high all over the country, and finding a well paid position in my skill set isn’t easy. Around Christmas of 2017, I had a lot of people to buy gifts for and no cash to do it. I was desperate, and even though I already worked 2 part time jobs, I took on another. My parents taught English online, and suggested a company that had flexible schedules and decent pay. It was called Cambly, I applied, and was hired within 3 days.

I initially took the job as a way to get through the holidays, but, I was so good at it, and I made so much money that I never got around to quitting. I’ve been with Cambly 6 months now, and I work online almost every day. I swore that I would never be a teacher, but, I have a knack for teaching English. Just a few months into working for Cambly, I became one of the highest rated teachers, and I rarely have any open slots in my schedule. Sometimes my teaching hours are booked up weeks in advance.

Teaching English was my side hustle. I never thought it would turn into more. But, I was miserable in my day job working at a nursery/daycare, and was desperate for a change. The UK is a hot spot for ESL summer camps, and all of them were looking for qualified English teachers. I applied for 2 different companies and was hired by both. So, I immediately left my job at the nursery and NEVER looked back.

My side hustle was born out of necessity. I needed money, and I had the skills to teach English (those skills were a degree and understand of different cultures). But six months in, my side hustle is now my primary source of income. I make at least $100 a week and I only work 10 hours teaching online. I make around $500 a week teaching English at summer camps. My schedule is insanely flexible, I design my own classes, and am basically my own boss.

Will I always be an ESL teacher? I don’t know. For now, it pays the bills and allows me the freedom to write. Turning a side hustle into a career was never my plan. However, side hustles are usually things that people enjoy, are good at, and treat as a hobby. Like running an Etsy store or a blog. It only makes sense that something a person is passionate about would become more profitable than a job they despise.

If you have any questions about side hustles, making profits out of them, or about teaching ESL, DO NOT hesitate to contact me. I will answer any questions and happily lend support!!

 

Egypt is safer than UK in a Fantasy World

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As an ESL (English as a Second Language) I speak to many nationalities, and Egyptian’s are frequently my students. Today, the BBC published an article claiming that Egypt is safer than the UK and USA. A survey from Gallup Global claims that more people feel safe walking alone at night in Egypt than in the US.

Ask any of my students, they would all laugh and say that was ridiculous. Egyptians live in a constant state of fear, their leader is a dictator. Several of my students have had family members killed by this regime. In no way is Egypt safer than the UK. In the UK police officers don’t even carry guns, in Egypt, not only do they carry, but they use them as well.

I can only assume that people in Egypt feel equally UNSAFE at night as they do in the day. Thus, the survey results say Egypt is the 16th safest country in the world. As a traveller, I promise that I would not walk the streets of Egypt comfortably at night. And I am a fairly fearless person, I’ll walk anywhere alone at night in the US, even the ghetto of New Orleans.

This is the article that lists the safest countries. Unsurprisingly, China and Singapore were were very safe, while Venezuela was on of the most dangerous. Overall, I don’t think this survey is accurate. I mean, they suggest that Turkey is more dangerous than Myanmar. That Japan is LESS safe than UK (which is ridiculous). The survey is clearly flawed.

Race is a Black and White Issue

RacismI was recently visiting some family, they are an elderly British couple. At one point, the husbands brother came to visit. We were all gathered around a sitting room, discussing my visa situation. I can’t renew my visa because I don’t earn enough money and this upsets the family. The brother said “I’m not racist but…” It is always the “but” that means something bad is coming.
“I’m not racist but… if you were Pakistani, you would be able to get a visa no problem. One neighbour I know brought 5 of them over, and the NHS get them a car to drive to appointments. If you were from any other country you wouldn’t have a problem staying in the UK”
I struggled to maintain my composure. I HATE when people are racist, especially when they have zero understanding of the incredibly difficult and complicated process ANYONE goes through to live in the UK, regardless of skin color. Additionally, I took affront to this words because my best friend’s family originally came from Pakistan and they have done nothing but add to the UK.  I don’t understand why native British assume that any foreigner is detracting from the country rather than giving to it.  Most foreigners fill jobs that would otherwise sit empty. The worst part for me however, was them attempting to negate their negative comments by saying “I’m not racist”.
No. There is no way to be kind of racist, or semi-racist, or make racist comments and not be racist. Racism is a black and white issue. Either, you are racist (which this brother definitely was) or you aren’t. You can’t pick and choose how to define yourself when it comes to being insulting towards other races.
I also found it disrespectful that they attempted to minimize my situation by putting it down to the fact that I am American and/or white. My skin color has nothing to do with my visa.. The country and skin you are born in DOES NOT MATTER. We all have the same DNA design, the same body parts, the same ancestors. Race isn’t important to what country you should be allowed to live. Racism is simple not ok in 2018.