Wednesday, 21 November 2012

I haven't talked about university for a while so here goes.

Originally I was sure that I wanted to go into Media and felt that was the career path I wanted to follow, I couldn't think of anything I wanted to do more with my life. So I went to university but on a whim decided to do joint honors with Criminology as I had always loved cop shows and am quite an academic person. After the first year I dropped media from joint to minor because I felt from the course that was offered that I hated it and discovered that I loved Criminology. Now in third year a new tutor has arrived and has said that we haven't been taught the things we should have been. So today we did a tv studio session where the small group of us that attended got to have a go at every role that it was possible for us to do with the equipment we had to film and direct a live chat show. And.... was amazing.

It was everything I had wanted to do when I first joined university. But I dropped Media to my Minor and have majored in Criminology so the degree I come out with won't be a media one. I love Criminology and I am so glad I chose to do it as a subject but I feel like this is a splitting point in my life. One path goes one way and the other goes a different way. Actually its more like the paths have split and I'm on one looking at the other.

Is the police force really the right path for me- a highly macho, conservative environment that's about doing what you are told and not thinking outside the box? I know that's a very biased view of it, the positive view of it fits me perfectly but I can't ignore the bad and that's not me.

I am creative, I do love creating media for all the reasons that I love criminology but if I choose the wrong one now I don't think I will ever get on the other path again.

I commentate at the local companion dog show every year and I love it, I love the buzz. I love standing there in front of a whole crowd, doing interviews with the competitors and spectators, imparting knowledge while still trying to keep everyone engaged and the fun of having to think on my feet for 2 hours, talking non stop, sink or swim. And I want to feel that buzz for the rest of my life, whether it is as a presenter or as a director or as a writer. Mr N (tutor) always makes the joke that he looks forward to hearing a radio play produced or written by me one day. That was always a joke because to me it seemed so distant, like something I couldn't achieve in any world ever but now suddenly it feels real. Like there is an alternative universe where I will go on and be like John Finnemore and write a radio comedy that makes it onto BBC Radio 4 and do sketch shows and be creative and happy and brilliant. And I don't think I am currently in that universe where that is my future and I'm not sure I want to be in the one I'm in.

Yesterday I was looking at Masters courses in Criminology. Today I don't even know if I want to do Criminology ever again.

I'm a bit of a mess at the moment. I think I have nearly driven my flatmates to distraction/murder with my violin playing and I've picked the skin on my hands and lips raw. But on a plus note my violin playing has been the best its ever been, turns out to make me less mechanical in my playing I just need a complete and utter life crisis.

Monday, 12 November 2012

I am officially a Mr!

Good news! The university have agreed to change my title on the university system from 'miss' to 'Mr'.

 Turns out that the letter that I sent attached to my name change document got 'lost' somehow as they have no record of having it and so were completely unaware that I wanted to change my title. I thought I was going to be in for a big struggle with them again and that they were going to insist on a gender recognition certificate before they made any more changes to my details. They were very apologetic, which may be slightly to do with the fact that they were responding to an email about my title that a tutor sent.
What I should be worrying about at uni

I think this shows just how much of a difference it makes  having help and support from tutors. I have two tutors who have my back on this issue and  it makes such a huge difference to my life for the better. I can go into university and not have to worry about it being me against the world, I don't 
have to worry that if something goes wrong that I will have to get myself out of it on my own. I now can sit around and worry about the things that everyone else worries about; essays, assignments, seminars etc...

I have no idea how I will show my appreciation to my tutors (Mr N and Mr D - for the sake of anonymity) who have gone out of their way to help and support me. I only wish I had confided in them earlier, I would have saved myself a lot of stress and anxiety.

 Due to negative experiences in the past and stereotypes learnt from hearing stories of other peoples bad encounters it is really easy to misjudge people and assume that they will not be supportive. One of the things I am learning is not to assume that everyone will react negative until they go out of their way to actively demonstrate to me that they will not. It is a delicate tightrope to walk as I also can't forget that for many people following a similar path to me choosing to confide in the wrong person has had terrible consequences.

 There is always that fear there, that someone will react aggressively, even though I know most people would never react violently or negatively - yet those who would look identical to those who wouldn't. Everyone is like Schrodinger's cat in this instance - they are both negative and positive before I open my mouth and talk to them and find out first hand if they are supportive or not. 
We have the same poker face

Sometimes it feels like a too much of a risk to assume that the person in front of me will react positively (even if that is what is statistically likely) as what I risk loosing if they turn out to be negative and non-supportive is too much of a gamble. However, I am glad that I made the leap of faith with these two tutors, I guess sometimes in life when you take a gamble you come out on top.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Inner ramblings of a bored student

Today was one of those lectures where the tutors dedication to interacting with the students was only matched by the students dedication to not. My stamina for enduring long silences is sadly lacking. I seem to only gain any enjoyment from people if I feel that they are gaining satisfaction from my presence, this is probably the route of my intolerance of awkward silences.

 The pressure from the student body to not break ranks, to remain silent or be seen as a know it all and teachers pet is quiet compelling. While on the other hand the rudeness of leaving a single person standing to confront a wall of unfriendly silence always seems to win over the former causing me to break ranks. By the end of the lecture I am sick of my own voice and am extremely stressed by the conflicting pressures to conform to opposite ideals.

I do not consider myself a conformist, but perhaps I am, the stress I feel when not being able to conform to the expectations of everyone in the room is testament to that. I do in general side with the minority, maybe that is individuality shining through, a feeling of solidarity with the underdog born out of my life experience, or maybe I am siding with the dominant figure of authority, the tutor, which is conforming. 

What people think of me, how to conform to their expectations of me as a boy and how I can be categorised does play heavy on my mind, but perhaps not in the way it does for most people. My main concerns lie with convincing people that I am human, a person, a person as worthy of respect and life as them. This has been a fight that most do not feel they have to engage in but I seem to fight and loose on a daily basis. Many a friend has said that they did not originally want to be my friend because of the way I look, that they did not even wish to speak to me or sit near me, and these are the kind people who do not go out of their way to voice their distaste at my existence.

I would love a slight more victorian look maybe? 
 I have cultured my image to be as inoffensive as possible, despite my occasional longings for a more unique style, have maybe gone to the point that I have removed too much that is human about myself, achieving the opposite of what I intended. Again I hesitate to talk about this due to the gender stereotypes placed upon such discussions of ones image.

Yet even my plain and conforming image does not shade me from causing offense to the casual passerby, today while walking down the park I passed three teenagers “Look at that guy on his own, loner guy, or is it a girl? Oi are you a girl or a boy. Girl or a boy? Loner guy. Loner girl. Loser” But I carried on walking and it didn’t bother me, I felt no fear from their calls or shame at their judgement. 

What’s the point? There are much more interesting things to see and do on a walk than worry about the narrow mindedness of people. Sometimes its just nice to stop worrying about how to categorise myself in the wider ideas of society, or in the minds of strangers and instead enjoy walking through the park as the light fades enjoying the sights and occasionally the view of people living their lives in houses on the outskirts of the park. I’m changing as a person, two years ago I would have been shaken by the name calling but now I am finding an inner confidence that is exterior to others and I like this new me. 

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Never throughout history has a person who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering.

Today I got my name legally changed. I am now officially Kaye Eugene. 

It took a lot of thought; I was torn between keeping my initials the same KE (which I chose in the end) or having my initials as KT so that if someone dropped the birth-name-bomb (Katie) I could claim it was a shortened version of Kaye Tony. However, I felt that Tony didn’t really suit me, but Eugene did even though it is quite a quirky and old fashioned name, because in some ways I too am quite quirky and old fashioned. 

Mum was brilliant about it and toasted me at dinner. Dad wouldn’t even look at me and made a disparaging noise in his throat – I guess he has a long way to go to accept this but the problem is he won’t admit that he isn’t 100% happy with it. Whenever I try to talk to him about it, all I get is this fake bravo about how fine he is with it. My sister also disapproves and said I would regret it. I think both of them really dislike my middle name, and think I am calling myself Eugene after Gene Hunt. This isn’t the case, I looked through a whole list of names beginning with E and Eugene was the one I liked the most and that sounded good with my first name. I am happy with the name so I will not let their attitude bother me too much, having my Mums support makes all the difference and I am of the age where I don't need my families approval to do something (although it would be nice).

Kaye means happy and Eugene means born lucky/well. I guess that is true, I am now very happy to have a name that fits me and I have been born lucky to have such a wonderful and supportive Mum and to have such a good life. As cheesy as it sounds I do honestly believe that, it is easy to get caught up in all the bad and difficult things and forget to realise how lucky I am to live the life I have.

Cheers from my Mum and I

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

What is in a name?

I have an appointment booked with the solicitor to get a change of name, however my problem is that I have yet to decide upon a name.

My birth name was very posh, I was named after two grandparents with exceedingly British names and I will be keeping my initials the same (K.E.M). Trying to keep the middle name as posh as my birth middle name I think I will be going for Eugene. 

However,  I have more of a problem with the first. There is nothing that is posh that can be shortened to Kaye. My parents made a big deal about both my sister’s and my name having a posh long version and a shortened nickname, which makes sense.

The options so far are:

  • Kayden – sounds a bit chavy and is very masculine (not something I am overly keen on) and is a very modern name, it wasn’t popular when I was a baby.

  • Kaye – short and not posh but it is my name

  • Kaelan – gender neutral which is good but it doesn’t feel like me, but then neither does Kayden or my birth name. 

Maybe I should just keep it to Kaye and then if in the future I feel that not having a posher name is holding me back in life I could change it again. 

I just wish I had someone to talk to who knew more about this kind of thing.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

In memory of Smokey Joe; a truly fantastic cat.

Today my cat, Smokey Joe, had to be put to sleep, so I would like to take the time to dedicate this small part of the internet to him.

This is the first picture we have of him. He was a stray kitten when he turned up on our door step looking for a home. After some gentle persuaison with Dad (just let him have some milk….and maybe some food….and maybe a bed for the night…okay forever) he became part of the family and always will be.

This is him derp facing. We grew up together, he was a kitten when my sister was only a few months old and he grew old while we grew up.

He was always my special little buddy and would walk me halfway to school (untill we got to the road) and be there to walk me back at the end of the day.

This is my favourite picture of me and him. We always had time for a cuddle and I always felt safe having him guard me in my sleep. The cuddle tradition never changed, even as I grew up, -I would come home from university every weekend and he’d come into the house to sit on the sofa with me and watch comedy programs.

Here he is pretending to be one of my stuffed toys, I hope we gave him the best life possible, I assume we did, if cats don’t like you they leave and he stayed with us for 17 1/2 years. He was loved by everyone, even the dogs. Millie the eldest dog was so distressed when she saw that he was no longer with us she lay beside him trembling. He was the boss of all the dogs and used them as body guards. When a particulary nasty ginger tom moved into the neighbour hood and chased him, he ran straight to our garden and straight into our dogs who let Smokey past and chased the other cat away.

I think he would like me to mention that he was also a fantastic hunter and a BAMF. He brought home many kills, and had a particular knack for getting rare and protected species, as you can imagine this didn’t always go down too well with a house hold full of vegetarian animal lovers. But I think he would like me to mention it, he was a brave, bold adventurer who survived many fights often with cats, once with a car. He nearly died after being run over when he was only a few years old and I am so glad that he got to spend so many more years with us.

Here is me and my sister now with him. He was always too interested in cameras to get a good photo of easily, so we sneak attacked him with this camera when he was having a lay down.

I started this post with the first picture we have of him and so I will end it with the last picture I have of him. This was taken this morning, before we had our final goodbye. It was a difficult decision to make, but the right one.

So heres to you Smokey, I love you and hope I made your life a happy one, all my love to long ago.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

King of Sassyness

I think I have nearly achieved one of my life ambitions of being bad-ass and sassy. I am sure everyone can think of a person who they have known that, no matter what is said to them, continue on in a breeze of cool indifference. And famous people whose words you read when they are sassing someone and you feel the burn echo through the centuries (see Oscar Wilde). I have always wanted to be like that, and up until yesterday never was.

Yesterday, in front of my whole class of beginners who I was teaching at the time, one of the other trainers (which I have the misfortune of also teaching) loudly announced ‘You’re crap’. At some point during that direct and short sentence I transformed from the wimpy sensitive kid I have always been to someone of almost Winston Churchill levels of cool.

The conversation went as such:
Her: “She’s Crap’ (yes wrongly pronoun-ed)
Me: “If you’ve got anything to say to me say it to my face”
Her: “You’re Crap”
Me: “And you’re a bitch”
Her: “Yes, but you are crap”
Me: “Ah but if I’m crap I can improve, while you will always still be a bitch.”

I am going to have to eventually stop riding on my high of being one of those people that just doesn’t care (In my head I’m Douglas from Cabin Pressure at the moment) and have to address this problem like an adult. It was unprofessional of me to sink to her level in front of the whole class but what else can you do when a fellow tutor sinks to such a level to cause a scene in front of a whole class by spieling verbal abuse at me. The route of the problem is she is old school in teaching and I am new school, but I extended the courtesy to her to not state my opinions on her methods and the same should have been extended to me. I think I’ll write a letter of complaint to the committee about her, but I’ll do that later. For now I will concentrate on being cool. I might even start to wear sunglasses on indoors.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012


Ben-Addicts - The dangers of becoming addicted to Benedict Cumberbatch.

This is one of my final pieces for Soundscapes and Voice - Media Production (Audio). Enjoy.

The Adventure of the traveling shorts

Yesterday was a big achievement for me. I put on some shorts and walked down to town, all by myself.

This may seem ridiculous to you, but to me it was a big step and quite nerve racking.

To misquote Stan Lee: With great legs comes great responsibility. And my legs really are great, so great that they seem to cause quite a drama everytime I show them in public. Infact the last time the smallest fraction of them were glimpsed in public (I'd forgotten to wear socks) a facebook fan page appeared the same evening, from none other than the people I lived with (not any more though), with the wonderful caption of 'is it a boy or a girl?'. Other comments followed such as 'disgusting' and 'I think I am going to be sick'. This resulted in me having to lie and say 'no, those aren't my ankles', to a lot of people that I had trusted, people who I had thought were my friends. I suddenly became very aware of the fact that being open and honest about myself was always going to be dangerous, that I could not extend the same blind trust that most people my age could do to the people they happened to live with. (Note: these were my second lot of flatmates, the original group had tried to smash my head in on a brick wall, shouted abuse at me at 3am in the morning while a group of guys tried to break into my room and had rotting meat left all over the entrance to my room).

You may be wondering what I had done to trigger such a negative reaction. The answer - I do not shave my legs. Okay, it is slighty more complexed that that - I identify as male/gender-queer (I'm still not quite sure where on the spectrum I fit, but as time goes by the more I feel I am most probably male).

 The offending limbs

To feel the sun on my pasty white legs is quite unusal, due to the amount of negative attention it gets. Once I had met up with my friends in town, I did notice the one odd glance but nothing was said. I did get shouted at by a group of young men outside KFC but beyond that it was a really great experience (I bought an easter egg!) Maybe by next year I will feel confident enough to turn up in shorts to a lecture. However, the whole experience did make me very aware of male priviledge, I could not imagine doing that while presenting as female. My safety net is always, that untill I speak, I appear male or atleast androgynous. If I didn't  look male and looked and dressed female - I honestly would be terrified and the abuse experienced probably ten times worse.  So to all the unshaven women out there, I take off my hat to you, you are far braver than I will ever be.

Enjoy the sun everybody!

About me - A Longer Introduction

Greetings fellow bloggers. I am what you might call a prolific blogger. I have had many blogs in my time, all focusing on many differing, small aspects of my life such as one for university, one for hobbys etc. These havn't really worked out - probably because its such a small snapshot of my life, with this one I intend it to not be so niche and to truly be open and honest about everything that is happening to me.

I am currently majoring in Criminology as well as doing a few Media Production. It's just coming up to the end of second year, so I'm starting to think about dissertations and what I want to do with my life after university. I am hoping to do a Masters Degree if I get a good 2:1 or a 1st so the pressure is on! I've also just turned 21 and am slowly getting used to being an adult, in the loosest sense of the term 'adult'.

I have the travelling bug. In my gap year I went to South Africa to work with big cats and predators which was a childhood dream come true. I'd previously been to Malawi on an aid giving trip and so Africa will always have a place in my heart and I can't wait to return one day. However, I do also want to see the rest of the world aswell, speciffically the Amazon rainforest.

I'm a geek and proud of it, with one of my life ambitions being to publish a paper on Sherlock Holmes one day.

This is a big turning point in my life which is why I want to blog about it. Many of my friends, some of whom I am living with, others not, are moving on to pastures new - one of my best friends is even moving out of the country. I'm starting to work out my identity and who I am as a person, as well as starting to get a rough idea of what I want to spend the rest of my life doing.

Me in a blizzard