Political scientist in the making. Amateur ballet dancer. Enjoying the absurdity of my existence.

How Sojourner Truth’s Legacy Became Untruthful.

If you have heard of Sojourner Truth, you’ve probably heard of her famous speech “Ain’t I a Woman”. The speech has been performed and cited on numerous occasions. But the speech you’ve heard is not really the speech Sojourner Truth held.

It is the iteration that was devised 12 years after she initially held her speech and her words and way of speaking were altered so as to untruthfully present her as a Southern slave woman.

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Wikimedia Commons: Sculpture by Artis Lane Bronze 2009 Emancipation Hall, Capitol Visitor Center

Who Was Sojourner Truth?

Sojourner Truth’s story begins at the end of the 18th century (circa 1797) when she was born into slavery in New York State as Isabella. Her family was the property of Colonel Johannes Hardenbergh and, after his death, his son Charles. …

If you’ve been struggling with remote learning, this one’s for you!

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Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

Last year brought on a lot of struggles for a lot of people, and one of them is remote learning. There has recently been a lot of discussion on the drawbacks of remote learning. NGO “Save the Children” is estimating that over 34 thousand children will drop out of school in Italy alone by the end of the year because of poor internet connections and a general lack of focus.

Aside from the connection problems, children especially need extra support and structure that schools provide. There are many issues we can all think of when it comes to traditional schools: from the schedule being all wrong (kids should be allowed to sleep longer in the morning), the curriculum being too overwhelming (a problem that keeps coming up in Croatia), the schoolbooks being too heavy, to schools killing creativity, as sir Ken Robinson put it. …

On the juxtaposition of free will and determinism in the critically-acclaimed Netflix show.

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Photo by Geran de Klerk on Unsplash

A while ago I started watching Dark on Netflix. I have a love-hate relationship with this show. It’s beautifully done, it’s intriguing, it’s German! But it also left me feeling pretty disappointed in the end.

While watching it (especially seasons one and two), I kept thinking about is “why don’t they just do something differently?” When someone goes back in time, why don’t they just change how things turn out?

The reason I kept wondering that, the reason this show is so interesting to so many people, is the question we always get when we watch time travel. …

How the university crushed my self-image and why I didn’t give up.

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Photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash

When I was a little girl, I used to get told I was smart fairly often. It was a matter of pride for my family members to pronounce that I inherited my brain from them.

So, growing up I had built this image of myself as “not very pretty, but smart”. The first part weighed on me a lot. I developed disordered eating patterns and dieted all the time. I also felt a lot of shame for struggling so much with my looks. That shouldn’t matter, right?

Then, when I started university my “not very pretty, but smart” self-image started to crumble. There were people around who would always speak over me. My skin started to flush red when I spoke up. And soon even when I only considered raising my hand to speak. …

Here I’m sharing a few life changes and techniques that help me.

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Photo by processingly on Unsplash

I remember being an angsty kid who contemplated dark times. I remember crying for no reason while playing Solitaire on a Tuesday evening because I had already done all my homework. I remember how constricted my chest felt the first time I tried the 5–4–3–2–1 exercise when I couldn’t name any five things I saw. The thing that holds our other things? The thing we sit on in public transport. The things with other pointy things that are attached to my body? I use them for holding things? What are words?

I have periods in my life when I really think that I have finally got a hold of things. I’m on top of everything. I keep super calm and I have a handle on everything. I’m happy and I have inner peace. Until something completely unexpected happens. And I freak out. …

Looking for something great to read? Look no further! I’ll bring you new book recommendations every month.

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Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

In this ongoing series, you can expect new book recommendations every month. At least one of the recommendations will be a fiction book and one a non-fiction book. The recommendations will be influenced by my personal preference and may not suit everyone’s taste.

If you do give the books a try, I hope you’ll come back for a short discussion!

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

“What we do is what we get.” Sonia Johnson

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Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

At the end of every year, I sit down and write out my goals for the following year. The goals are usually (preposterously) big (examples from previous years: draw four hours per week, become fluent in Swedish and French, do three unassisted pull-ups, deadlift 100 kg, etc.) and I never achieve most of them. So this year I decided to change my approach.

Developing Strategies

The past year was exceptionally difficult for all of us (see my frustrated end-of-the-year meltdown) and very few people managed to get through the year without any struggles at all.

Some people lost family members, some relationships ended, some people lost their jobs… some people experienced all three of those and then some. Whatever you went through this year, just remember you are still here and you have the power to do anything you want. …

What we do is what we get. And we need to do better.

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Unsplash.com by Gwendal Cottin

I wanted to end the year with a positive story. This one, as you can probably tell, is not going to be that. I wanted to, after all the bad things that have happened this year, look back and find good things. I even started writing that story. Then Croatia got hit by an earthquake. Again.

A twelve-year-old girl died. There may be more casualties.

So, I cannot write a positive, feel-good story today. Right now I feel as if I will never be able to write a positive, feel-good story again.

I’m tired. And sad. And afraid. This year made us all feel tired and sad and afraid. …

Your life is happening today.

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Photo by Isaac Smith on Unsplash

I am not here to bash on New Year’s Resolutions. They’re great and they can be very useful. There is something extremely comforting and revitalising about them. Just like most people, I like starting fresh on the first day of the new year. I just think we might need to tweak resolutions a little bit to actually get them to work.

Boiling Frog and Resistance

It takes about two months (a little over 60 days) to form a new habit and, depending on the habit, it may take even longer to reap the benefits of it.

So, let’s say that you decide to meditate every day starting in January. You will sit down on January 1st, or maybe 2nd, with some guided meditation you found on YouTube after you realised that you had decided to try this thing but didn’t do any research on it in advance, and you’re pretty hungover and tired, and all you really want to do is just stay on the couch and watch Home Alone for the gazillionth time… ahem, what were you supposed to be doing? Oh, right! Meditation. Maybe you could just postpone it until tomorrow. Or, like, next week. You’ll have some more time and inspiration then. Maybe you’ll do it after the movie, or after you check your phone, or after dinner, or after you brush your teeth, or…

Somehow we’ve completely internalised and accepted collectively this notion that creativity and suffering are somehow inherently linked. (Elizabeth Gilbert)

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Photo by SwapnIl Dwivedi on Unsplash

I have only written one story for Medium in the last month. It was a freakish thing. I just woke up and the story was there. I didn’t have to labour and sweat over it. The idea came, the words followed. All that was necessary was to write it down. If I’m honest, what I think are my best stories all come about this way. In a wild, hot rush of genius (genius as described by Gilbert).

Before I started putting my creative work out there, I read a lot of writing tips and tricks and advice. One thing that stood out to me was: “you should write every day”. Perhaps the best exchange between two writers I’ve ever seen is George R. R. Martin asking Stephen King how he writes so fast and King tells him that he just tries to get 6 pages down. …

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