Day 3: Language and Communication

On day 3 I was at home the entire day but this did not change the outcome of my experience. I chose to speak in Afrikaans for the entire day because half of my family speaks the language frequently, but I do not. I prefer to speak in English due to having a higher vocabulary and being able to express myself in a clearer manner.

On Scholarworks there is a quote by P. Imberti: “Language is the key to a person’s self-identity. It enables the person to express emotions, share feelings, tell stories, and convey complex messages and knowledge. Language is our greatest mediator that allows us to relate and understand each other.”

This quote describes any human, with regards to the way they communicate with others. We prefer to speak in a language which we understand most and when we are put in a situation where we can’t communicate in that language we feel uncomfortable or have problems getting our points across to another person. Due to my vocabulary in Afrikaans not being extremely terrible, I was able to express myself, but not always in a way which I wanted to.

In the beginning it was really difficult because I didn’t know some words, but I searched them or asked my mother, if it was possible to explain what I wanted in Afrikaans, for the word I wanted. By the end of the day I could express myself quite easily and my language wasn’t too bad. But I still couldn’t talk as fluently as I can in English.

My messages took longer to send because auto-correct on my iPhone wanted to change the word to an English word. This caused an issue as it was using more time than it needed to. Time which could have been used on things such as work. My girlfriend still spoke to me in English even though I was speaking in Afrikaans because, like me, she is more comfortable speaking in English.

The day wasn’t too bad, I actually enjoyed speaking in Afrikaans, I just didn’t enjoy typing in the language (probably because of time and spelling issues). This morning I kept wanting to speak in Afrikaans and I thought in Afrikaans a lot because I had been speaking it for so long. But by this afternoon I was thinking in English and almost all urges to speak in Afrikaans have vanished.

The experience was interesting and I think I have enjoyed this challenge the most out of all my challenges so far, as it helped me to feel a better connection with, and understanding for the Afrikaans side of my family.

Advertisements

Day 2: Race

So yesterday was day 2 of my 7 challenges. For this challenge I chose to do Race. What motivated me to assess the topic of race was everything that is happening in various government universities around the country, as well as a comment which I saw on Facebook. The comment said something along the lines of: “Black people can’t be racist because they are only making up for what happened during apartheid. Only whites are racist.” This made me want to reply to this in a sarcastic manner, and so came my idea to put duct tape over my mouth, write “RACISM” on it and stop talking altogether for the entire day.

On News24 we see headlines such as: “Free State cops went after black students, left whites alone“, “#colourblind campaign takes off after racial tensions at Tuks” and many more. I am not a racist, and to hear and see these things offends me, as people often generalise about others. I don’t want to be seen as a racist, nor do I want to be categorized with those types of people.

The actual challenge was interesting, to say the least. My main concern was what would happen when I had to stop on my drive where there were a lot of taxis and black people around, since people often jump to conclusions about things before asking what it is about.  Luckily I got all green lights through that area.

Next came university. People were staring a lot and were probably wondering what it was about. A lot of people did ask but, of course, I couldn’t speak and so they started guessing, only to be guided by my hand gestures. Often people asked me questions even though they knew that I was not allowed to speak and there was no way of answering them unless I were able to speak. So once again those questions had to be ignored.

Something, which I found interesting, was the debate which were caused between others due to my statement. It started a debate, between two lecturers and a few students, and although I was the cause of the debate, I took no part in it for the obvious reasons. No talking not only effected my communication with others but also caused difficulty for me to interact in lectures. It felt as if I was lost, almost not to be seen by others, as I didn’t make a sound and their conversations formed around me.

My Copywriting Craft session was really quiet when I wasn’t the one talking, so it is obvious who causes the conversation most of the time in that tutorial.

Overall, the experience was fun, but I love to talk and so I would prefer to not do it again.

 

I took pictures throughout the day. Move your mouse over them to see a description and click on them to view them properly and read the longer descriptions.

Day 1: Vices

For day 1 I chose to do Vices. I swear a lot in general sentences and this has therefore cause profanity to become a bad habit of mine. When I came up with the idea to not swear I wanted to find alternatives such as writing swear words on my hands and lifting a hand instead of swearing. I then decided against this as it would be more challenging for me to try and stop altogether without any replacements.

On World of Psychology, John Grohol talks about the different reasons why people swear and in what environments they swear in. He says that using swear words can be cathartic, and that swear words can also be used in a positive manner, such as using a word to express how great something is.

I use profanity for both cathartic and positive reasons. I often swear at other drivers while I drive, to free the feeling of frustration or anger I have when they do something stupid or unusual on the road. On the other hand, I use profanity in general sentences to express things in a more intense way.

The actual challenge was difficult and frustrating. Since swearing has become a habit, it was very difficult to stop and I made a few mistakes throughout the day.  I decided to get a friend to take video of me rapping the song: “Rap God” by Eminem.

In this video you can see that, when I don’t swear in places in the song, it throws me off for a few words, as I am used to saying the swear words in those places. At one point, I even leave out the word: “gay” because I was trying to be careful with what I was saying and this part of the song caused confusion, as some people call others “gay” as an insult, even though it isn’t profanity.

This video represents how my entire day went with regards to the struggle to not swear. I had to focus more on what I was saying and, sometimes, reconstruct sentences to avoid the words which I would usually use.

Over all it was really difficult, especially when I wasn’t thinking about not swearing. But I managed relatively well and am happy that it is over and I can return to not worrying about what I say and how I, comfortably, speak.

Process for Flash Mob

Sooo.. this is the first post on this blog! The process which I did for the flash mob started out with the location. We started trying to decide on a location and came up with a list. The three main areas which, I thought, would be the best were: The beach, La Lucia Shopping Mall and Gateway Theatre of Shopping. The area which we chose as a group was Gateway.

The next step of the process was to decide what message to portray through our flash mob. We came up with a few things:

  1. Acting like robots – to show how people in society act like robots and follow routine.
  2. Walking around and looking at our phones, bumping into people to show how cellphones disconnect us from our surroundings.
  3. The cellphone idea then evolved to everyone dropping down into a ball on the floor and staring  at our phones.
  4. It then evolved to everyone lying on the floor at the same time and looking at our cellphones.image1
We all met and practiced outside the cafeteria and then went to Gateway and the plan was put into play.