By Jude Haddad and Sofia Ladak
Editor-in-Chief and Sports Editor
The Pawprint had the chance to interview Ms. Jardine, a former teacher from DAA. She gave us some great insight into her life after teaching and her experience in her career as a freelance journalist in Dubai.
On her decision to leave teaching:
Ms. Jardine left DAA at the end of last year and planned to move back to California, USA in order to embark on her career there. She initially wanted to be closer to her family, but changed her mind when she decided that she did not want to be that “geographically isolated” from the rest of the world. She said, “You fly Istanbul to London, you’ve covered all of Europe in three and a half hours…[In America] we’re still in Texas.” She says that she was, “confident that I was ready for something new, but I didn’t know what it was.” After seeing a career coach for creative people, she found that she was extremely interested and passionate in, “writing, expressing my opinion, and wanting other people to read my obviously very correct opinion”.
On what it’s like being a freelance journalist:
“When you’re a journalist you have two choices; you can work in-house, so you can work for a company…and you work within their company as a journalist. Or you can do freelance, which is what I decided to do. Freelance means that you work independently.”
As a freelance journalist in Dubai, Ms. Jardine writes often for a variety of outlets, however she doesn’t “write as many articles now. When [she] first started, [she] was writing a lot more, but now [she writes] about 5 or 6” a month. When it comes to writing, “it’s not about trends per say, […] it’s what people are googling [through search engine optimization]. […] It’s a really critical part of being a part of an online news source. It’s making sure that if someone is going to read an article about blank, blank, and blank, that your article comes up one the first page.” There are websites available where you can “find out what people are searching.” This way you can “pull some of those” keywords into your article.
At the very beginning it was very hard to adjust to the new lifestyle. Come November/December, she started to think “is this the right decision?” Because she “was not feeling motivated.” There were times where she did “second guess it but that’s the moments where you have to think about the things you like about it and then do more of that.” To be frank, “any career, any trajectory is going to have its highs and lows. […] There isn’t necessarily an easier time for it, it’s really do you have the drive and the passion in that moment.”
Few people may know that both her and her sister are journalists now, however her sister took a bit more of a “traditional path. So she graduated with a degree in film studies […] and then she got a masters in journalism. […] Basically what happens if you do more traditional route, is you’ll work for small papers or organisations and then you eventually make your way up to working for the big dogs.” It’s been a crazy ride for both of them with a lot of doubt along the way, however it has been worth it. Some may even know that her sister “interviewed Zayn Malik for Paper Magazine.” How cool is that?! [PS: she says he’s really “funny, and nice, and kind” ;)] Her “sister now is a video editor for Buzzfeed.” Just imagine that!
On her family life:
As many of you may know, Ms. Jardine has a young daughter named Scarlett, and it’s good to know she is doing well without her mother at school. She says, “the biggest problem I have is she doesn’t like school. So I don’t know what to do as a parent, like she’s bored in class, she doesn’t like arabic, the only class she likes is PE.” It is a big change to adjust to for both of them and she says that “sometimes [she does] miss being at the same place as [Scarlet], but [her] schedule is so flexible now. […]” For example Ms. Jardine can now “literally work sitting next to her,” something she couldn’t do before. Sometimes, it’s those small things that matter.
On her new look:
If some of you saw Ms. Jardine around school the other day, you would’ve seen that her hair is shorter now… much shorter! As expected, there is a story behind the new hair. This is her story:
“So, I was going to this one lady, but then I was going to this one place for facials, […] and she was saying how she does hair as well in the salon, but she was looking to expand freelance. […]” Of course, Ms. Jardine offered herself up as her first client! “She came over to my house and she was really nice. And then she started doing my hair and I don’t know if any of you guys have had a salon disaster, but there’s a moment where you’re like OH NO, this is not going to end well. […] So she had the foils in and she started washing the foils out and then my hair started coming out with the foils, and so all of my hair that was in the foils […] melted off. It was awful! I started crying, and then she started crying. And then Scarlett comes in!!” Her hair had completely changed, for the worse at that point. However, “it gave [her] a lot of empathy for what it means to have […] a non celebrated type of hair.” Even the texture of her hair was very different. She was later convinced that she had to cut her hair, and she did. “Short hair is cool, but it was the fact that it wasn’t my decision, you know. And I suddenly didn’t feel attractive or feminine in the way that I was used to feeling, and then I remember when I came home, Scarlett was like ‘Mom, you look like Ellen.’” However, the good thing is that she doesn’t “harbor any anger” and she knows it wasn’t intentional.