[Video] Here’s how my #PhD is going! | #phdupdate #phdlife #phdforum #musicology #theology #feminism #womanism |

Hey hey hey!

Below is an update on how things are going! Click the tags at the bottom to see more of what I’ve been doing in my PhD!

FYI my twitter handle is @CatherineW_A. Hands up if you love my subtle editing! 🙂

Ciao!

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HOW I LEARNT NOT TO GO TO TOWN LOOKING SHABBY

Dear Friends,

Let me share with you the cautionary tale of how I learned to not go to town looking like I just got out of bed. 

Before that, if you missed my last post and you are interested in taking up the Flute, Alto Sax or Clarinet in Bb or you are looking for a composer for your project please follow this link.

Now back to the story!

The year was 2009, I was in my second year of my degree BA (Hons) Popular Music and Record Production, at Southampton Solent University (I graduated First Class btw then went on to do my Masters in Music Composition at The University Of Southampton, there’s two universities in Southampton). To encourage/motivate myself to get my work done, I created my own reward system for the means of positive reinforcement. So I did things I needed to do, then I would reward myself for it 😛 . Often, it would include buying a DVD, cake, going out somewhere with friends and going to town to buy purfume/chocolate/cupcakes/milkshakes lol. I didn’t usually dress to go to town I just went as is, unless I was going with friends.

Now, one day I had an essay due. I spent all night finishing the essay because it was due the next day and like a typical student, I had left it till waaay too late to start. Eventually, I finished the essay very early in the morning on the submission day. As I had been up all night I was knackered, I was soo knackered that I didn’t even want to shower, which is a big thing for me because I ALWAYS SHOWER EVERYDAY AND SOMETIMES I EVEN SHOWER TWICE A DAY, living in England I am in the minority when it comes to showering habits lol… (to be fair that extra layer of dirt is what’s keeping you warm).

Anyway, I decided for my own self respect to shower even though I was soo tired. (Sometimes, my peers would go to university on submission days in their pyjamas because they had been up all night working on essays and couldn’t be bothered to wear clothes because you didn’t go to lectures on that day you just went in and handed in your work). Anywaaaaay! So I looked in the mirror and thought,

“I’m just going to hand in my work not a lecture, no need for makeup no one’s going to see me and no one in the queue cares lol”.

So I decided not to wear makeup. I then looked at my hair and said

“I’m too tired I can’t be bothered people need to just be happy that I’m wearing clothes, showered and am handing in my essay forget that!”

So I slicked my hair back into a ponytail, no parting or anything just back lol. I found some clothes, bell bottom jeans and a plaid pink/red/blue t-shirt and some trainers. So basically I looked like I had just come off a farm mucking out stables 😀 . I walked the short walk to university carrying my essay and a handbag, got to the hatch and handed in my essay. After that I felt very relieved and decided, lets go to town! I wanted to buy the latest perfume of the day, I can’t remember what it was Estee Lauder or something like that!

So I started walking to town, massive weight off my shoulder knowing that I had finished said essay and my time was now my own. I walked down the high street, which led to the massive mall, fun fact the architect who designed the atrium of that mall was the father of one of my ex bf’s. Moving on. I was walking down the high street nearly at the mall and there were charity people there as usual, trying to get shoppers to give to charity. These people always catch me and always speak to me, I always get them! I don’t know why? Maybe I have a friendly face?

Begrudgingly I walked up to him and then when I got close.

         “Oh. My. Goodness.”

He was the fittest thing I had ever seen with a clip board and there I was, looking like a farm-hand. The horror! Thank goodness I at least showered! This is why you must always shower lol. He was named after one of the disciples, tall, intelligent, loved the environment, was politically and socially aware, personable, buff ting, a tiny bit older than me, basically everything I would ever want in a guy. He had a degree in something like Environmental Science and I could actually have an intelligent conversation with him. I kept on trying to run away because I felt like I didn’t really look that great and I was embarrassed BUT he didn’t seem to notice. He kept on prolonging the conversation way beyond trying to get me to sign up for charity. I was thinking to myself “why is this guy still talking to me I look awful?”. He was so nice and intelligent and I really enjoyed talking to him. I was thinking “yeah we can get married and have an eco friendly house, grow our own vegetables and our car will run on solar power and our love 😛 “. I wish I had been more confident and gotten his number, he might have given it to me, we did talk for an awfully long time, I was beginning to get a bit embarrassed and I’m pretty sure people were watching lol.

Eventually we finished our conversation and I went into the mall feeling demoralised because I just couldn’t be bothered to make an effort with my appearance. In general around that time I literally used to dress like a dude:

Now I dress like this:

Still loving the red and much more feminine! There’s nothing wrong with jeans but there is something wrong with wearing them when it’s not always really the appropriate occasion to do so, like I used to. There’s also something wrong with wearing jeans to hide your body, like I used to do as well. I just had a lot of self esteem and self image issues at the time that I have been working on and still am working on with Jesus.

Learn from my experience! Do not go to town looking like you belong on a farm. I can’t stress this enough, you might meet a fit guy/lady. It’s not worth it. The memory of that experience still upsets me to this day lol. I couldn’t have dated him anyway because I promised God that I was going to university to get a degree not a boyfriend. I promised God before I went to university that I wouldn’t have any boyfriends whilst I was doing my degree, consequently, I was deliberately boyfriend-less for 3 years. I regret nothing, as I said earlier I graduated First Class. I’m still boyfriend-less, not deliberately this time but even so I’m still having quite a good time exploring who I am, who Jesus is and what Jesus wants out of my life and where we are going together.

The next day I decided that that experience was never ever going to happen to me ever again, I put on my slap foundation, blusher, eye shadow, eye liner, mascara the works, so full war paint lol, I also put on a dress and a necklace and went to town looking for the cute charity guy again 😉 and he wasn’t there… and he never was ever again… and I felt so stupid, even more stupid than I felt the previous day.

For those of you who have read to the bottom of this blog post, well done to you, your reward is the following nuggets of knowledge:

I felt like the experience was God showing me that I am beautiful and I don’t need makeup or nice clothes to get nice, attractive, intelligent guys to talk to me, it was really my personality that kept him talking to me because I had already agreed to give to charity and we were literally just having a conversation after that about the news. 

However, what I also learnt from that experience is the importance of being ready, for anything. The problem was not that I wasn’t dressed and didn’t have makeup on, the problem was that I WASN’T READY FOR LIFE BECAUSE I COULDN’T BE BOTHERED and therein lies the crux of what I am trying to teach you. I didn’t appropriately deal with something in my past (the essay, I started it to late). I then allowed this thing in my past to effect my future (I allowed my tiredness and lethargy from writing the essay to dictate my actions instead of my brain and heart). This in turn left me unprepared for my future (I was embarrassed in front of the attractive charity guy). Always be ready to face life’s challenges always and never assume that your destiny is going to happen tomorrow it might just creep up on you today! This story isn’t about the guy or makeup it’s just about doing whatever you personally need to do to be prepared even if it’s tiring. The guy just represented anything that I wanted but wasn’t physically, spiritually and emotionally ready for because I just couldn’t be bothered because of something that happened in my past. Don’t let that happen to you. I say this metaphorically:

DON’T GO TO TOWN LOOKING LIKE RUBBISH, ALWAYS BE PREPARED!

Apply that principle to whatever situation is going on in your life and just make sure that you don’t go to town looking like rubbish, please.

 

Lots of love

Catherine x

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Off somewhere to do things!

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#time #Christian #university #prayer #kindness #travel #Kent #Essex

Hey guys,

I believe that God never wastes our time. We waste His time frequently but God in His mercy and diligence does not do that to us. In fact, it says in Psalm 103:13-16 [NLT]

[13] The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. [14] For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust. [15] Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. [16] The wind blows, and we are gone- as though we had never been here.

Off the back of that, last week I felt God telling me to not bother to wear makeup to my meeting with my PhD supervisor, which was supposed to take place this week. So I went with it! 

I went to Kent this week to see my supervisor as planned. When I got to university I saw these young people walking around with stuck on nametags looking lost and they obviously didn’t go to the university. I carried on to my supervisors office and to my surprise he wasn’t in his office! I’m like gah! I’ve come all this way! (I live in Essex btw).

So I’m standing in the hallway waiting and hoping that my supervisor would turn up and I see a guy sitting on a bench eating his lunch in the green area outside. It was actually sunny that day!

I thought, that’s funny, most people eat inside in the canteen or the cafe or the students union. I noticed There was a peacefulness about this guy. 

I thought “That guy had the right idea, sitting outside right now is a good idea!” So I decided to go out and sit with him, I also felt a little sorry for him bring by himself, as he was obviously a visitor to the university, as evidenced by the fact that he wasn’t eating in the canteen like everyone else. Also, I thought it would be nice to email my supervisor outside in the sun instead of inside.

So I went outside and sat on the bench under the tree with him. Having been to university not once, not twice but three times now, I know what it’s like to go to a university campus, get lost and not know anyone. So I couldn’t help but talk to him because that’s what I would have appreciated when I was a Fresher. I just wanted to double check that he wasn’t lost and so on.

Turned out he was one of the people with the sticker nametags that I saw earlier. He was an A-level student, Asian and his name was Abraham. Turned out he was a Christian and I’m a Christian and he was there for an interview. He also went to an Asian Pentecostal church in South London. My church is in South London! I was telling him about what my PhD is about and He was telling me about what he wanted to do. We talked about the modern church, women in leadership and current trends in worship and liturgy. It was great! All of this was happening whist I was supposed to be having a meeting, which I rescheduled with my supervisor, who had gotten the wrong date.

In the end I prayed for Abraham for his interview and after praying for him he went to his interview and I went back to the station.

Now, I don’t believe that that was a wasted journey. God took me all the way from Essex to Kent just to pray for that young man then go home and if that was what God wanted them so be it.

I am personally relived and thankful that God used me in that way. It shows trust. Think about it. Could God not have gotten someone closer, who actually lived in that county to pray for Abraham? God wanted to teach me something and Abraham something.

The lesson is:

BE USABLE, BE AVAILABLE AND BE HONORABLE IN THE SIGHT OF GOD. 

I had to be those things in order to be there spiritually for another person when God needed me to be. I’m still a work in progress like everyone else though.

Those traits, like talking to lonely people, come from relationship with Jesus. You take on His personality traits, the more you spend time with Him. This can be in the form of simple things like reading your Bible every morning before you get out of bed and every evening before you go to sleep.

Building a relationship with God with the same diligence as you would with a boyfriend or a girlfriend, makes God begin to use you. I am guilty, like everyone else, of wasting me and Jesus’ bonding time. I repent and in Gods mercy He makes good use of my time doing things like the above. 

My journey was not a waste of time because whenever you do what God wants you to do you grow as a person and are more useful to society because of it. Life is just about doing what God wants you to do.

So don’t waste anymore of your or Gods time because as it says in 1 Chronicles 29:15 [NLT]

[15] We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.

So we have no time at all to waste!

Love

Catherine x

p.s.

My makeup is expensive and it would have been a waste to wear it to a meeting that didn’t happen!

#travelling #studying #doctorial #kent #london #christian #evangelical #womensrights #worship

Hey guys!

So sorry I didn’t do a post last week I was ill!

Here’s what I’ve been up to lately!

Travelling!

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#London #underground #Tottenhamcourtroad #northernline 🙂

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I’ve been going from Essex to Kent quite a bit, that’s because I have finally started my PhD in music.

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#stratfordinternational #hotchocolate #chocolatetwist #treat

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I’m going to be studying female worship leaders like myself, looking at what, if any, impact they have on congregations attitudes towards women, women in leadership, women’s rights and just looking at gender inclusiveness within the Evangelical church.

I’m totally excited and I’m going to take you, the readers, on this journey with me!

Watch this space!

 

Lots of love

Dr. Catherine Waithe-Arnold elect (hehe)

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#trippy lol catherinewaithe-arnold.com

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