Monday, October 26, 2009

Home stretch

We awoke this morning to a burst water main, so I'm all deodorised up for my last week at uni. I have a 1250 word essay due in two weeks and a 1500 word, in class essay in three weeks but I'm already in holiday mode!  I'm not really sure how to tackle the in class essay as we're not even allowed an essay plan and I'm not really good at thinking on my feet - I need at least a week to create anything half decent.  Hopefully my last, last lecture this morning will shed some light.

Meanwhile I'm busy creating intineraries for our family adventure in four weeks.  It's all getting very exciting but I really have to try and keep my head in essay mode.  I don't want to let myself down - I'm on the home stretch but it's very hard!!! 

Monday, October 19, 2009


Today was my last lecture for Great Books before the exam!  I can't believe how fast the semester has gone.  I completed my group presentation for Social Enterprise last week and am glad I overcame the hurdles that come with group work!  Biting my tongue when dealing with an overbearing team member was the biggest hurdle. All in all, I'm feeling quite proud of myself.  I got over the loss of motivation of mid semester and the end is in sight.  Having said that, I'll be itching to get back when the time comes, I'm sure.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Captain, My Captain

After much emailing back and forth to the Education Convenors, I think I've finally worked out what subjects and how many credit points I need to teach middle/secondary school at the end of my degree.  Who would've thought subject selection could be such a headache?  It's just that the BA has such a diverse range to choose from, I want to do all of them!!  I have finally decided I want to teach English & Film and Media studies when I graduate.  It means another four years instead of three and I'll be 45 by the end of it.  I think I should be mature enough by then to handle a bunch of 6 - 12 graders!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mummy's boy

Boys definitely mature slower than girls.  This has become plainly obvious to me, having had two girls followed by a boy.  Looking back, I expected so much more of my daughters at the age of ten than I know my son is capable of at the same age.  The girls were able to organise themselves, do their homework, bath themselves and if they had to put the toilet seat down before they left the bathroom, I'm pretty sure they would have!

After my disastrous "holiday" a few weeks ago, I breathed a gentle sigh of relief when it came time for them to go back to school.  I ironed everything the night before, got up early and made lunches, got breakfast organised while they all got themselves ready and was sure that on their first day back they would leave on time.  And that's how it would've been if No 1 Son had had two laces in his pair of shoes, instead of just one lace in one shoe and none in the other.  To the screams of the girls yelling, "Hurry up, we're going to be late", I ran upstairs where I had a spare pair - a spare pair of rugby laces.  After frantically lacing the shoe, I realised they were ridiculously long and I had to race to the corner shop.  There I found they had brown shoe laces but not the required black shoe laces.  I bought the brown, laced up the shoe and realised he looked just as ridiculous. I then remembered I had an old pair of school shoes at home, scooted home, unlaced, re-laced and drove to school with a few minutes to spare and without giving myself a coronary but only just.

Since that disastrous first day, it has been two weeks of similar, unforetold calamities but this afternoon takes the cake.  He came home WITH a split lip, but WITHOUT his wet swimmers which he left laying in the street, WITHOUT a brand new pair of rugby socks and WITH somebody elses trumpet!  We then had to turn around, go back to the school to look for the missing clothing.  We returned WITH the wet swimmers but WITHOUT the brand new pair of rugby socks.  The trumpet we'll have to deal with tomorrow.

And Supportive Husband No 1 wonders why he finds me sitting in a corner dribbling and incoherant when he comes home from work!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Social Enterprise

Social Enterprise is a core subject of the Arts degree and covers global issues such as human rights, social justice and the environment and it's a subject I've particularly enjoyed. These issues become quite confronting when you're learning about them on a weekly basis.  I was a little annoyed that it seems to be aimed purely at Arts students and have always felt that law, education and business students would also benefit.  Broken into two parts, we're now looking at ways we can be part of the solution to these issues and become social entrepeneurs.  We are to undertake a group project and presentation on a social enterprise issue and my group decided to investigate homelessness.

After having grand plans of filming a documentary, we decided the implications and procedures involved concerning ethics wouldn't leave us an awful lot of time.  We decided to volunteer with an organisation who run nightly food vans and offer tea, coffee and snacks to the local homeless.  Now, I have always been a helper and when the kids were small, I couldn't wait to volunteer whenever I was needed and have always loved volunteering.  Now that my kids are older (as am I), I have felt an increasing need to give back to society because I am so fortunate.  After my recent volunteering exercise, I now realise how easy it is to swan around and declare, "I want to help those who are less fortunate", than it is to actually do it!

I have led a relatively sheltered life - private school girl, good job, lived in good neighbourhoods - and I was completely unprepared for what I saw on the streets.  The organisation is an outreach, which involves giving support and friendship to the disadvantaged, so it wasn't just a matter of giving them a coffee and saying, "see you later"!  I arrived on the first night, a complete bundle of nerves and felt so out of my comfort zone, which I expected but what I didn't expect was how like you and I these people are - they just have no support.  No family to help them when they need it.  I also didn't expect the impact this experience would have on me and two weeks later, I'm still thinking about all the wonderful people I met, who tonight are probably sleeping under a bush.

I truely enjoyed my experience and hope to become a permanent volunteer.  It troubles me though that in a country like Australia,  a society of such wealth and advantage, we think it's okay to have people living on the streets without the basic needs of life.  Don't even get me started on Africa.  

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Okay, I admit it.  Since the events of my week long 'break', I have been feeling tres unmotivated.  I have been wondering why I'm doing this when my family life takes up 99% of my time.  What am I going to do with an Arts degree?  What do I really want to be when I grow up?  Well, today I feel like I'm ready to jump back in with all the gusto I had when I started -  I got a high distinction on my last essay!!!  I had to stop myself from jumping up and down in the class room!!!  It's amazing how my spirits lifted and suddenly, I had hope.  Hope that maybe I really can do this university stuff.  Hope that it really will lead me to something I'm good at, other than being a Mum!!!  I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up but I know the persistence and effort it takes to get this degree will certainly lead me somewhere good.  If only they gave out distinctions for parenthood, maybe it'd give me the confidence and reassurance I need to deal with my "troubles"!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Holiday? What holiday??

Well, it's back to school for the kids and uni for me on Monday and I can honestly say that this last week just about killed me.  Having to contend with two teenagers over various teen issues and a 10 year old boy who won't be quiet or sit still, just about did it.  I'm a woman on the edge and I'm counting on returning to uni to give me some semblance of normality in my life. 

When my daughters were babies, I used to hear the stories about teenage girls and always thought they were far fetched.  I'm now contemplating studying Youth and Society or a Psychology elective to get my head around the phenomenon of the teenage brain!!!  I'm surrounded by them at uni but when they're your own children, I guess it's a different kettle of fish.

I did intend to spend the week relaxing with as many trashy magazines as I could and I've ended up mentally and physically exhausted!  I didn't even catch up on my Social Enterprise project for which we've got a presentation in two weeks.  On the positive side, I enjoyed working with the homeless and am considering changing majors and I finished reading The Tempest (and it's worth noting that in Shakespearean, the word "teen" means trouble!!!). 

I've only got about 4 weeks to go until the end of my first university semester, then I'm on holiday for the whole summer.  Hopefully things on the home front will settle down so I really can have a holiday. In the mean time the kids are in bed, the hubby's gone out and "Lost in Austen" beckons (as does a glass of red)!

I've done it!!!

Well, I've finally done it!! Got accepted into Uni AND created a blog!!! After searching for insightful websites to help me tackle my journey into academia at my ripe old age and coming up with nil, I decided to start one of my own. I hope this blog will encourage anyone who has ever doubted their own abilities, to put one foot in front of the other and achieve their ambitions, desires, matter what they are. If anyone has any inspiring stories to share, I would love to hear them. I love an inspiring story!!!