UK coast
  Research shows that staying too long in Bradford can significantly influence your mental health. It is recommended to get away from this place when opportunity is given, even if for a short while. My chance came up last week when I had a weekend off from work (yes, I do have weekends off every now and then). I have targeted lovely Durham, Tynemouth and South Shields. Aim was to get more than 5h of sleep per night, chill, not check emails from work, walk and breath fresh non-Bradford air. To be completely honest, I was just after a very long week at work which was both the best and the worst week. Wise people always say that there are two sides to each story, guess that can apply to my work sometimes as well. I came back rested and happy, mainly cos I went to the coast and walked…Continue Reading
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This awkward moment when you invite your friends from Uni to your own country to show them how to PARTY LIKE YOU ARE POLISH but they actually can party more than me… Not much to say, 10 people all together, from different nations went to Poland for 5 day and invaded my parents farm after a short but eventful night in Poznan. It is one of these trips when you know you will come back more tired than rested. So it was drinking, staying late at night and just enjoying Polish cuisine, weather and landmarks. Turns out that all my non-polish friends are more Polish than I am, they enthusiastically embraced their Polish names (Ashley-Aldona, Jolien-Jola, Isabela- Iza, Mijke-Majka, Rosa- Róża, Olaf-Olek, Sirio-Szczepan), drank a lot of vodka in a variety of tastes, stayed up all nights and ate a lot of pierogi. First day is the day when everyone…Continue Reading
Keep-calm-and-3500-words
Did you keep calm and 3500 words? Well I tried. Some of us were losing it a little. But last Tuesday on the April 28th I could see Facebook was taken over by a wave of relief from Peace Studies students who have just submitted their papers. Some of us pushed till last hours, not sleeping and definitely not having life, but buying energy drinks and jus pushing through. Some of us finished a day or two before (yeeey, that’s me! Taking a week off from work and going to my parents in Poland in the deadline week was an awesome decision). Some of us finished a week before (come on Maren and Mijke, we all know you did). The last week before deadline was probably the worst. We all know the pain of firstly choosing the essay topic, then having no clue how to write, what to write so…Continue Reading
Hope for Justice
And yet another brilliant workshop for Peace Society have taken place at the Uni! This time we had Hope for Justice coming to train us on human trafficking. This charitable organisation started its work 6 years ago as a small group of people and now are having offices not only in UK but also USA and Cambodia (handles mainly sexual trafficking cases). They exist to end human trafficking and slavery in our generation. What is human trafficking? Workshop was given by Abby who works for Hope for Justice, she described human trafficking as crime that has 3 elements:   WHAT? The act -> Recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons. HOW? The means -> Threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, deception, fraud, abuse of power. WHY? The purpose-> The type of exploitation suffered by, or intended for, the victim.   She then described to us different forms of…Continue Reading
Mediation
One of the occupations you can do after taking degree in Peace Studies is becoming a mediator. On today`s workshop we could have learned from an experienced mediator what this job is about and what it takes to be a good mediator. We all know by now as the second workshop about mediation took place, that Claudia has it all that it takes to be one hell of a fierce mediator in the city that needs it the most- New York! And I know I would make a terrible mediator. The main point that Claudia started with is to admit the conflict is a natural thing. However, how to settle a conflict is not such a common knowledge: Litigation (has many cons as: it might be expensive, long, sometimes an outcome won`t be determined and there is no space for relationship recovery). Therefore it is good to have Alternative Dispute…
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Infront of Castle
If you are English you probably shouldn`t read this as I will praise Scotland over England… An average international student taking their degree in England will at some point feel the urge to visit Scotland. To see what is the fuzz about- are they gonna check my passport on the border? (LOL, no border bro) Will there be a different language (well dialect I guess, kinda hard to grasp at first) or different currency? (Still pounds but with different graphics on them). There isn’t a better day in February to discover what the love-hate relations between England and Scotland are about than the Valentine’s Day. Joking, it’s my brothers birthday and this trip was a celebration of him crossing over to the dark side of 25… 26 (And good bye all kinds of discounts like euro26, isic, railcard…). Getting to Edinburgh from Bradford is quite pleasant and at some point…Continue Reading
Komm Frau (Come Here Woman)
Before I joined the Gender Day and the discussions that took place during workshop, about “Masculinity and Violent Nationalism”, which inspired me to read up about using rape as a weapon in conflicts- I thought that the rape is mostly sexually motivated.  I changed my mind after reading up on the topic and learning that actually “(…)rape is not an aggressive manifestation of sexuality, but rather a sexual manifestation of aggression. In the perpetrator`s psyche it serves no sexual purpose but is an expression of rage, violence and dominance over a woman”(Rittner&Roth, 2012:20). During workshop, questions were raised about the influence rape has on a community. It was interesting to see that all the students already understood that such sexual assault is not just an attack on an individual person, but it is a social issue. Even though the horrifying topic, I was drawn into reading about it and these…Continue Reading
What is wrong with being Polish?
What is wrong with being Polish? («Hva som er galt med å være polsk?»[1])   Stranger: Where are you from? Me: I`m from Poland. S.: (enthusiastically) Oooh Holland! Great! Me: Oh no, I ment Poland S: (LESS enthusiastically) Aaa, I see. Awkward right? The change in voice is always so apparent. I find it funny, many people might find it confusing. And this is just a starter to my post of how it is to be an immigrant from Eastern Europe. Don’t take me wrong, I have almost never met anyone who would be offensive towards me only because I am from Poland. Well OK, to be honest maybe not anyone from Western states, more like far east, so far you would call it Russia, but it might have been a coincidence 😛 After living for 3 years in Norway I must admit I have covered it all, especially when…Continue Reading
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Today we had first event organised by our society and it was a presentation about Patterns and Alternatives in Conflict carried out by Claudia Maffettone. 20 people turned up and it was a great outcome for a Society that is just starting. I enjoyed the presentation very much, especially that just yesterday I attended a 7h course on Lone Working and Deescalation, it was a good one as well but the one from today grasped the essence of topic much better without unnecessary dragging it out. Below you can find what I learned from Claudia’s presentation, I hope you will find it encouraging to join future events organised by Peace Society. Claudia’s presentation took us through basics of identifying patterns in conflict and evaluating our alternatives. As an experienced mediator she explained by using case studies and her own knowledge as well as drawing on different resources, the biggest mistakes…Continue Reading
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I never thought that by moving to England I will be able to enjoy Thanksgiving Day. Just to be clear: it is an American tradition. How to make it happen? Become an international student and get to know nice students from USA. There is one more and probably the most important condition: the students you know need to know how to cook and be willing to lock themselves for 3 days in a kitchen in order to cook delicious American food! I always thought it is all about burgers and KFC, now I know there is much more to American cuisine! It is about juicy turkey, full of flavour stuffing, delicious corn bread and yummy YUMMY pies! I was not sure what should I be thankful for last Thursday, but after getting stuffed with all the amazing food, I know I am thankful for such nice friends who will use…Continue Reading