Monday, November 23, 2009

Slip, slop, slap

My bags are packed, flu shots have been administered and I've raided the chemist for every drug known to man in the event of any illnesses along the way.  What I didn't account for was that the pesky little freckle I asked the doctor about on Friday and which was subsequently partly removed, would turn out to be a little more dubious than first thought. 

Yes, the Queensland sun strikes again.  My jaunty little walk stopped in it's tracks this afternoon with a phone call from said Doctor that I need the rest of said freckle totally removed.  After an assurance that it could indeed wait until my return from my holiday of a lifetime, somehow I have to push it to the back of my mind. 

 It is ironic that the freckle in question has not seen the sun for probably a good twenty years, given that it's so far up my leg.  The only way it could've seen the light of day would've been by way of toned legs, flat tummy and the self-assurance of the nineteen year old who had them!  The damage I've inadvertantly caused to myself was done in the days before we knew about the danger of UV rays.  These days I'm the complete opposite - I won't venture out until I have on my big hat and have drenched myself in sunscreen!!  Not to mention the fact that my toned legs are no more and my tummy is fat rather than flat!!

If anyone's contemplating visiting this great country of ours - remember to slip, slop, slap.  Slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen and slap on a hat.  As for me, I'm going to slip on a big warm jacket, slop in some lovely London puddles, slap on a beanie and deal with this pesky little freckle when I return!!  I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Christmas and New Year!!  XX

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The heat is on

Well, having endured 38 degree temperatures AND an exam - I'm certainly glad yesterday is over and done with.  I ensured I arrived early (3 hours!) and sat in the stinking heat mulling over my lecture notes in preparation for the in-class essay.  By the time it was due to start, I was ready to go home for a nap! 

At least the invigilators weren't nazi-like as I had heard they can be.  Once we were hearded into the exam room, had our instructions read to us and our books and belongings checked for any contraband, it was heads down, butts up.  Now, as all of you students will know, three hours seems like a long time - if you're sitting in traffic or a dental chair but when you're expected to write three 500 word essays, it's amazing how fast time seems to fly.

Having read the topic questions during the 10 minute perusal time, I felt quite confident seeing as the topics of themes, character types and structure had been discussed continually during the last 14 weeks.  However, with the ticking of the clock echoing in the background, my mind was a blank!  Not to mention the fact that my brand new white out roller thingy wouldn't work, I couldn't remember if I was supposed to write in double lines or single AND as time progressed, I became increasingly aware that I was running out of paper (which was provided and we were given strict instructions not to bring any spare)!!  To say it all felt like a nightmare would be an understatement.  Before I knew it I had 30 minutes to complete and half the class had disappeared which only added to the sense of urgency.  As a result, I'm fairly sure I was way under the required 500 words on the last question but I couldn't wait to high-tail it out of there.

On the way back to the car, I had all the usual feelings of failure, questioning myself about why I was really doing all this and contemplating on the three hours of my life I will never get back!  What am I going to do with this degree?  Should I just do something a little more practical and do a Teaching Degree?  Why is it so hot?

On the bright side, this time next week I'll be on a plane heading far, far away to a land where it's much, much cooler and where I'll have plenty of time and space to ponder about my future prospects (I think!).

Monday, November 16, 2009

The exam

Having had no lectures for the last three weeks, swanning around enjoying the sweeter things in life, Uni has seemed very far behind me for the semester.  However, way back in the depths of my mind has been the knowledge that I have one last exam to worry about.  'But it's so far away, you don't really have to think about it yet', my mind said. 

Well, that day is tomorrow and although I have been aware all weekend that I'd better do some revision, I allowed the events of the weekend to take precedence and now I feel like Mr Bean in 'The exam' episode - where once I was sure of myself, now I feel panicked.  I've read the books and know the questions will be of a comparative nature, however, now the day is upon me I'm not so quietly confidant.  I sometimes find it very hard to articulate what I want to say and knowing I have to write 500 words per question, on top of being nervous, I have visions of handing in 3 - 4 pages of absolute rubbish.

So, it's time to stop putting it off and finding more important things to do (like reading your latest blogs, emptying the dishwasher, catching up on emails...) and hit the lecture notes.  After all, I want really great end of semester marks to look back on.  I'll keep you posted!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wind beneath my wings

Today I spent the day with my oldest and dearest friend and I was reminded of a  recent post by Student Mum who talks about the support networks of us mature age students. 

I've known my friend, Jukes, since we were 15 (that's 26 years!) and through all this time, we've never had a bad word to say to each other.  We've known each other longer than we've known our husbands and you could say, we've become the perfect married couple ourselves!  We listen to each other, finish each other's sentences, support each other through the good times and the bad and most importantly, we make each other laugh so much we cry.  She is one of the very few people in my life with whom I can totally be myself, without fear of being judged.  I can see us when we're 80 sitting side by side with our knitting on our laps, still talking and laughing.  I feel so blessed to have found her in my lifetime - for the joy she brings me and the history we have. 

Here's to all the 'Jukes' in our lives who propel us forward and give us the strength to fly.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Carpe Diem

As yet another year draws to a close, I am forced into quiet contemplation over the events of the past 12 months which have brought me thus far.  I...
-  had a major operation
-  decided I wanted to be a library technician and started college
-  found a half brother I never knew I had
-  decided I didn't want to be a library technician and applied to university
-  got accepted into university
-  started a blog
-  organised an end-of-year holiday adventure and
-  did very well at university
All done while riding the roller coaster of life as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, granddaughter, daughter-in-law and friend and all the responsibilities these roles entail.

To all you fellow mature age students, mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, granddaughters, daughtes-in-law and friends who left encouraging comments and for your equally encouraging and inspiring blogs - thank you, thank you, thank you. Knowing you are all out there reinforces my desire to continue in my pursuit of knowledge and self-development.  X

Friday, November 6, 2009

The sweeter things

I've just read the recent post "All work and no play" by Older Non-Trad Student and feel quite relieved that I've finally got time to do the things I love (apart from attending lectures).  With lectures and tutes for the semester finished and all assignments done, it feels so strange to be able to sit down and actually read for fun!  Better still, I've pulled out a cross stitch I started over a year and a half ago with the intention of giving it to my niece for her birthday (which has come and gone - twice!).  Apart from an exam in two weeks, my time is now pretty much my own.  To all you mature age mamas in the northern hemisphere - take heart.  The hard slog you're going through at the moment will be worth it in the end and your reward will be an appreciation for the spare time you'll have to enjoy the sweeter things in your life.

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!!!