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Invitation To The Voyage

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Month

May 2014

Get Fit for the Summer

England is not the best place on earth to get fit throughout the year. Especially when exam times are coming up and that it’s easier to find some comfort with cupcakes than with a treadmill at the gym.

However I managed to get fit for summer and lost a little bit of weight by doing very simple things that are doable for everyone, the most important is the motivation. If you’re not motivated at 100 % you won’t achieve your goal. Keep in mind that you want to look like a goddess for the beginning of the summer to show off on the beach with your brand new bikini if you are a girl or with your brand new surfboard if you’re a man.

Here are few tips you can follow, and if you stick to it I promise you will notice the difference. But this is not a diet at all; it will help you to modify your habits to have a healthier lifestyle.

First of all, try to avoid junk food as much as possible. If it’s possible, ban fast foods of your life for few months. Instead of spending money in such places, take the habit to cook yourself! Cooking can be really fun especially if you’re a student. It will help you to relax and have good times with your friends. Even if you’re not the kind of person to be patient, recipes are made especially for you. Sometimes it takes just 5 minutes to get an outstanding dish. After all you efforts, you will be rewarded by eating food you set your heart on making instead of taking the easy way and going to a random fast food to buy junk food that will hurt your body. Also when you’re hungry, instead of eating snacks take the habit of eating a carrot: it’s much healthier and better for your body.

Another tip is to keep it light in the evening. You can have a substantial dish for lunch but something but try to have something light for dinner. Because as you won’t make any more effort, your body will accumulate the fat instead of burning calories like its the case when you are active during the day. I would advice you have a salad with some cheese and some piece of fruit as dessert. You can have some tea too after dinner.

And my last piece of advice would be: try to walk as much as you can. When you can avoid to take the bus or your car, do it : to go to uni, to do your groceries, to go into town. It’s better for your health and also very respectful for the environment. Don’t be lazy and go out to the park for example. Take a ball and go to the park with your friends, flatmates or siblings. Summer days are finally here after endless rainy days, so make the most of it to share them with people you like before going home for the summer!

My summer as a florist in Paris

To be published on studentcom

Florist 1

After my study, I’m planning to go backpacking in Asia. Though it involves sacrifices, like not going on holidays, be careful no to spent too much, I’m sure it’s worth it. So two summers ago, I decided to stay in Paris and look for a summer job. I was not 18 at that moment so it was a bit of an issue to find one. After many attempt I found a kind florist that was happy to hire me for the summer.

I didn’t know anything about flowers. I have flowers in my garden but my only contact with them is when I see them through my room’s window.
Not only did I found a way to fund my project, I also developed a new passion.

The shop was located in the middle of Paris, in the ‘IXeme Arrondissement ‘. It was in a very lively area of Paris, the shop was right behind the ‘Boulevard Haussman’ where are the two biggest malls of Paris ‘Les Galleries Lafayette’ et ‘LePrintemps’. Though it was aFlorist 2 small shop, it was always busy because of its location. All the employees of the shops around and the shopping centre around came to buy flowers.

At the beginning I was not doing bouquets, I was doing handling and cleaning. But little by little I was given more responsibilities. I have learnt a lot from this job.

Firstly I have learnt about what it involved to work and have duties: e.g. be on time every morning ( I had to be at 8:30 at the shop), be focused ( careless mistake could be costly, for example putting some weed killer instead of fertiliser. It may seem funny but all the bottles look the same).

I have also learnt a lot about flowers obviously, to inform customers in need. I don’t claim knowing all the name of all the flowers but I know quite a few. And it helps me to stand out sometimes during interviews, it highlight the fact that I’m versatile.

I also have met very interesting people. I remember the first time I saw this man entering in the shop; he had a particular style, quite fancy. He was very passionate about flowers and we had quite a long talk about it. Actually he was a fashion designer, as the Fashion week approached he was looking for flowers to use during his runaway. We talked about different topics, he noticed my interest in journalism and told me he had friends in the press industry and offered me to forward my details to them. I’m still in touch with him and I promised him to have a drink together the next time I head to Paris. I also remember that other man that is selling diamond in a very famous brand.

The florist I was working for had partnerships with different brands: jewellery, clothes, cars, photographers etc.. . Each week my colleague and I delivered flowers to these brands. I was always nice and trying to talk to customers in charge of the flowers. Nonetheless one brand particularly appealed me: I can’t name it, it was a luxury diamond dealer. While delivering the flowers I was dreaming for a while imagining which ring my future husband was going to offer me for my proposal. And I think the diamond seller noticed it,; once he told me to come back after I was done with my work. I had no idea of what he wanted from me but I went anyway. He made try a ‘Diamond Rivière’ worth of £10 000. Can you imagine, I had one year of my tuition fees or my backpacking trip in Asia around my neck.

Above all, I felt in love (again) with the city of Paris, the city of love. Thou I have left it I’m still full of admiration and I would never be bored of it. I was often going to Paris during the year, but Paris in summer is another city than Paris during the rest of the year. All the agitation and the stress of the year are evacuated from the city; to leave their place to the calm and to give all its charm to the pretty capital.

Learning a new job in a different city was such an unforgettable experience. I got the chance to meet amazing people, to discover new places, new skills. If you are looking for a job or a placement and you can’t find something related to your field of study, take anything that comes. Don’t refuse a job on the pretext it won’t be useful. Each work experience will be beneficial as it will bring you something new and you will learn from it!

Cabinet of Curiosities ( Part2)

 

Here is the second part of cabinet of curiosities, composed of object which I noticed the worth throughout the year.

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The first object is my notepad: I bought it two years ago but I only used it properly this year. As a journalist, I have it with me all the time, it is always in my bag. I am never without it. I think this should be a journalist’s best friend to write anything he witness, and in order not to forget anything.

I use mine when I have interviews to make, to prepare the questions I am going to ask. When I visit a place and something overwhelms me I write it down in it, or when I have a special feeling about something special that happened and I don’t want to forget it. Because time flies and we easily forget things as we see a lot of people and a lot of spaces.

I know that we have iphones and tablet etc.. equipped with notes app but I’m old-fashioned and I like having my notepad with me .

Regarding ethics, it might not be ideal because a journalist must protect his sources so if a jour no’s notepad (with sources details) falls into bad hands it can lead to problems.

 

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The second object of my cabinet is my library. I used to be very sad and I wasn’t really keen on going out and I used to read a lot in order to forget my sorrow.

 

It’s thanks to all  the books I read I acquired my general knowledge and I first broaden my horizons.

It’s also through reading that I forged my personality, indeed by reading about different ideologies and philosophies made me realise what kind of people I wanted to be and also how and what to think about society and the world that surrounds us.

My books are very precious to me however I don’t mind lending them to my friends because knowledge is the most precious asset to share.

 

This is my piano. My love, he (yes I consider him as a person) taught me loIMG_4530ve; through music.

I shared so much moments with him,  together we went through different states of mind : happiness, sadness, exhaustion, anger. Thanks to him, I have developed my sensitivity. I am not the kind of person that can be easily touch however there is an exception when it comes to music. I have faith in music, more than in humans. Because it’s difficult to trust them and also because they are not going to be here forever, everyone leaves one day. Although music will be always here and even when a composer dies he carries on living through people playing their master pieces.

Music also taught me to be persevering, to fight and not to give up. I have spent hours on my piano playing a music piece all over again, with different nuances because it had to be perfect.

 

Final reflection

Here we are, the end of uni.

When writing this post two feelings overwhelm me. One the one hand I’m happy to leave and go back home with my friends and my family and the sun especially. Yet on the other hand I’m a bit sad to leave, I know I’m going to be back but I have met a lot of people that were here only for one year and I might never see them again. Though we all said we would keep in touch and we will try to see each other again, we never really do it.

Anyway, for me uni was such a big change. I was told uni was going to be different from high school but I never thought the gap would be that deep.

to give you an idea, this is how I felt in high school :

berger troupeau

 

A little sheep among the cattle, with a shepherd guiding me through the path I had to take. He was behind me to help me with my choice, to give me piece of advice for my future and my work. He was there  all the  way to help me moving forward by securing each of my movement and making sure I wasn’t going away and that I carry on walking straight that I was taking the right path.

 

 

And this is how I felt at uni :

Caspar_David_Friedrich_-_Wanderer_above_the_sea_of_fogI felt like the man in Friedrich’s portait, Wander above a sea of fog.He is on his own contemplating a sea of fog, the fog here represents  what is unsure in other term the future.  He is starring at the unknown, indeed we know that something is going to happen, but we don’t know what.Though he is at the foreground, he is surrounded by the fogs, we can’t see his face meaning that he is too preoccupied by what is in front of him to address a look backward. We can also see that no one is here to help him to know what he has to do or even just to make a sign. The decision is entirely his, it’s man vs nature. For me it was the same :  it was literally me; me vs uni. When I first arrived I had absolutely no idea how I was going to cope with it. When  I arrived during the fresher week, it was like facing an ocean, the uni offered a lot of things, it was so wide i didn’t know where to begin. Lots opportunities were offered to me, I had to look deeply, take my time and chose wisely not to fall because I wanted to take the best of it and make the most of it by the same occasion.

So like the man in the portrait, this post will be my reflection of my year as a Fresher at Coventry university. I’m going to share with you my ups and downs and all the progress made during the academic year, what I could have avoid and what I could have done.

Journalism! yeah I said it, so far I haven’t regretted my choice. Journalism is everything I love : meeting new people, talk to them and create a relationship in order to have new point of views or share stories. This is amazing, actually it’s what I aim at in life! It’s the third time I change the city I’m living in, some people might  think that not having a stable life, a stable place to stay (because I live between France and England) is not ideal. Indeed in three years I went to college in three different city : Ormesson, Chichester and Coventry. Actually it’s everything but annoying. I got to meet new people everywhere I go.  It’s by travelling to these places and meeting all these marvellous personalities that I realised how big the world was that it was way too big only to stay in one place.  I still don’t know which career I would like to pursue in journalism however  I know I that i would like to be in this industry. Before coming to uni was not sure 100% what I wanted, I picked journalism because it seemed to be something wide. 

The course was not really what I expected from journalism. I was expected something very wide yet the only modules we had were about journalism and media. Said like that you may think : ‘What the hell are you expecting from Journalism and Media if it’s not journalism and media?!’ and  ‘French people are always complaining!’ But if I want to be a journalist one day, I  must have general knowledge and know about wider topics like politics or business or art etc.. I can’t be a journalist if I am not an expert in any other field. Indeed nowadays most of journalists  haven’t done any journalism school; they have politics or geography degrees :as long as they know their topics they don’t need any formation to write. You can write or you can’t, you can’t be taught how to write, lecturers can help you improving your stories but they are not here to teach  you root of the job because it’s something innate which flows in your vains. 

Skills: the course also helped me to develop different skills, from communication skills to technical skills. Now I am able to use  a vast array of softwares : Adobe audition, premiere pro, photoshop, final cut pro etc..  Master the technical side of the media industry was not easy, though we were told how to operate it was up to us to succeed or not. It’s how uni was different from high school,  lecturers were not here to make sure we trained, the choice was all ours. You can find all the different work I have done on my vimeo and youtube accounts . Now i feel quite confident for editing, what misses in my work and in my portfolio is deep stories about people and not just music or sports reviews. 

Coventry, to be honest at the beginning of the academic year I was wondering ‘What am I doing here?’. Though it’s huge city there’s not much to do, no actually there are some lovely parks (Coventry War Memorial park) when the weather it’s clement. IMG_2304

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Organisation: my biggest failure in life has always been my lack of organisation. As far as I know I have never been able to be organised but this has change since this year. Indeed this year I managed to do my uni work along writing for 3 student websites ( Studentcom, Student365, Studentlifeblog), work as a retail assistant, have a radio show, write my two personal blogs (this blog and my cooking blog) , read and also hang out with my friends.  I was tired of being unorganised so one day i decided to change. I only failed once for an essay I hand in  an essay 10 minutes before the deadline. Having reflected I’m glad I have changed and I know I am able to be a person very organised person when I want. 

A new culture: I wasn’t born in England, I moved there two years ago. In my college year I was hanging out with French speaking people but for uni I told myself I was not going to make the same mistake because there’s no point travelling to another country to speak its own langage. The first moments were a little bit tough, but being with english people brought  me  so much.  I discovered things I didn’t know, I ate things I never ate before. OMG Porridge, that is so good it’s not very popular in France; since I have discover that I would have it every morning. God bless lemon curd!! a little spoon of this precious liquid will be enough to make someone smile. What else … GRAVY! I always have my granules in my cupboard. And something I would have never imagine, tea mixed with milk. The first time is proper weird but when we used to it it’ good. Hanging out with English lads also taught me new vocabulary, indeed in France schools we are taught very academic vocabulary and not everyday voc so it’s very handy when being with English people. I also discovered new bands like Haim, the 1975, the Neighbourhood, CHVRCHES. 

When I left France I had an utopic vision of England, but after having travelled I realised  everywhere was the same. You can find good and bad people everywhere, I still love England though don’t be mistaken. Actually one thing may be different from France, courtesy. People queuing before getting on the bus or the tube, we don’t see that often in France. 

I enjoyed writing this post because it was like a review of my first year of journalism at Coventry University. During this year I acquired experience and technique regarding media production but also regarding the human side. I’m still learning and will learn forever . I’m sorry if this post might seem long and tedious to read but I needed to take the time to express myself  and all the feelings. To conclude, I would say that I have taken all my time to settle down at uni in order to avoid loosing time and I’m happy with all the choices I have made so far. 

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