Friday, August 20, 2010

Brain strain

I've just returned from my World History class where I handed in my finished-at-long-last assignment.  As usual, I wasn't totally satisfied with the finished product, but what's new?  My tutor is about my age, with children the same age as mine and I can't help but feel a tad embarrassed at our differing intellectual abilities.  Is this normal?   Most of the time I feel as if I've been living in a bubble all my life and I can't help but feel self-conscious about it.

I left yesterday's lecture on the Mongol Empire feeling as if my brain was about to implode from learning and desperately trying to retain all of this information.  I truely love learning and I really want to know it all, but unfortunately it's just not possible to know everything (though my kids will tell you, sometimes I think I do!).

On the bright side, I'm learning to use Movie Maker in my Communications Technologies class and have made my first "movie".  I didn't have sound on my lab computer, so asked the tutor if I could play it on the big screen.  He obliged and when he'd seen that I'd imported it onto my USB, said "Good girl"!  Again, he's about my age!!  I'd attach it for you all to watch but again, I'm extremely self-conscious about my amateur movie making abilities!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I spent way too much of my study time yesterday, once again, trawling through databases for relevant journal articles.  As a result, I've had to make up time today but that's okay because I've had absolutely nothing on today (apart from washing and cleaning - that can wait!) 

I dropped the kids off at school and after coming home and running off some steam on the treadmill for half an hour, my head was clear and I've pretty much finished my World History brief - in only three hours!  The research was done, it was just making it into something coherent that took the time.  Isn't it a great feeling when you've completed a challenge you didn't think you could?

It's all thanks to my new schedule.  I was a bit worried about becoming anal about timetabling every hour of my day. And now I've got two daughters working part-time, I've got more driving hours that need to be accounted for. But because I've even tabled in down-time, I don't feel stressed or anxious at all.   Hopefully, it'll stay that way!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Paranormal technology

Last week at uni, I met a lovely young lady in my World History class who told me she was studying to be a secondary teacher.  She studies full-time, works 38 hours a week and lives on her own!  When I asked her how on earth she managed to work and study full-time, she said every minute of her day was timetabled and if it wasn't, there's no way she'd be able to fit it in.

Now that I'm doing three subjects, I took this on board and decided it was exactly what I needed to do.  Each week I've been writing up absolutely everything that will take up my time, including regular study.  So far, it's working really well and friends and family have finally accepted my study hours during the week.  As a result, I'm keeping up with all my homework and reading AND I feel less stressed!

My World History assignment, though, is causing me a bit of frustration.  Trawling through databases trying to find journal articles about medicine in the 9th century Frankish Kingdom, was proving to be a bit difficult.  I felt like ripping my hair out yesterday afternoon as whatever I put in the search engine seemed to either produce 1,000 articles or nothing really relevant at all!  Thank goodness for Supportive Husband!  Somehow by typing "ninth" instead of "9th", he finally found something I can use.  Although I'm trying not to stress too much (it's only worth 5%), I have to make sure my information is accurate.  Unfortunately, I've always found searching through databases daunting but I suppose I'll eventually get the hang of it.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The crypt keeper

I literally feel as if I woke up one morning and my babies were suddenly teens and pre-teens and my once supple face and body were turning hagged and heading south!  It's just like Freaky Friday - the Jamie Lee Curtis/Lindsay Lohan version - when Jamie Lee Curtis, whose body has been inhabited by her teenage daughter, looks in the mirror and wails, "I'm like the crypt keeper"!!!!!!

I hate being middle-aged. I don't even know if I really am middle-aged - I'm only in my early, early, forties.  Surely fifty is more middle-aged???    I hate the fact that every year seems to go by faster and faster and two of my babies are now teenagers with part-time jobs.  I hate that I have a middle-aged spread which no amount of pilates or half-hearted running seems to get rid of.  I hate the wrinkles around my eyes and don't see them as signs of a "life well-lived" or as "laugh lines"; I see them as wrinkles and a constant reminder that I'm getting old.  And I don't like Demi Moore with her 46 year old, size zero body and her 25 year old husband hanging off her well-toned arm!!!!!!!  Seriously, how many hours of the day would she be working out and how much Botox is she using?

Okay, okay - if it's one thing I always tell my children, it's not to use the word "hate" - but this is the exception!!!  I know what you're all thinking - it all comes down to attitude.  I should be grateful that I even have teens who are reasonably well-behaved, responsible YOUNG ladies; and I am.  At the end of the day what I REALLY hate about ageing are the physical signs.  It's time to throw vanity out the door and be happy that I have lived this long and accumulated so much along the way.  I have made a truely wonderful family; I'm able to continue my education without having to worry about what it's going to cost me; and the BEST thing, I think, about getting on is the wisdom I've gained and the ability to be able to share it with anyone who'll listen.  Even if I do look like the crypt keeper!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Heathcliff Vs Edgar

I'm over halfway through Wuthering Heights and I have to say, I absolutely love it!!!  I especially love discussing the characters at the tutes and annoying everyone with my preference of Edgar (apart from the all seeing, all knowing Nelly) to Heathcliff.  I don't know if it's an age thing but Heathcliff and Catherine's passion seems SO melodramatic and immature!!  Has age made me a realist in my preference for the supposedly weak, yet inwardly strong and level-headed Edgar?  I'm sure on my reading of it when I was a teen, I had a definate preference for H, although I also can't remember him being so cold and calculating!  His reaction to Isabella when Catherine tells him of her infatuation with him, made me want to squirm as much as Isabella!!  Great writing.  It's quite Gothic and I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I am.

World history on the other hand might prove to be a little more than stressful.  When it comes to learning/remembering facts and technicalities, I seem to struggle a bit!  I felt like I wanted to hide in a hole when I received my latest assignment due in two weeks.  I have to imagine I'm an advisor to the Premier of Queensland, who will appear on a current affairs program, and provide a "briefing note of the fundamental characteristics of early Islamic culture and society".  My first thoughts were, "The poor Premier's going to look like an absolute idiot"!!!!  It's all based on readings which I have done but trying to cram 1500 years of early history into a couple of readings isn't easy and hasn't made me feel very confident about the whole thing!  That's the key with me - confidence!  I don't have it and I'm not sure how to get it.  No matter how well I do, my confidence remains the same.

My daughter on the other hand...just entered a modelling competition.  She had to walk down a catwalk in the middle of a shopping center with hundreds of people watching and did it with such ease.  Although she didn't get into the finals (I thought she was the most beautiful, poised young lady there!), she told me she had lots of fun doing it!  I'm so proud of her and her attitude can teach me so much.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Am I invisible?

Have you ever felt invisible?  Whilst sitting on the deck in the morning sun catching up on my reading of Wuthering Heights, I received a phone call from TD's school informing me that TD No. 2 wasn't feeling well - could I go and pick her up?  I got straight in the car and drove up to the school. 

As I walked to the counter, a tall woman was standing in the office with her back to me, however she turned and clearly saw me standing at the counter but proceeded to ignore me.  She walked over to a desk, which I couldn't see, but at which I could hear another woman talking on the phone.  The tall woman stood at the desk, looked over at me once again AND IGNORED ME!!!  The woman on the phone finished the conversation and hung up, at which time the tall woman started loudly pondering the illnesses currently doing the rounds in Brisbane, whilst STILL IGNORING ME. 

Finally, absolutely exasperated by this blatant show of indifference, I searched the counter for a bell, which I found and proceeded to ring, whilst calling out sarcastically "Hello?  Hello?".  Once again, she looked at me AND IGNORED ME.  The woman behind the desk, however, quickly jumped up to serve me.  By this stage, I was shaking with rage and felt like asking if I was invisible.  In the mean time, the tall woman walked away and it was all I could do not to ask who the hell she was.  I have a habit of becoming so angry I get upset so I asked for my daughter and as we walked out, asked her who the tall woman was.  "Oh, she's a teacher" she replied.  "Well, she totally ignored me when I was standing at the counter", I told her.  "Oh, she doesn't work in the office", was my daughter's response.  And I'm sure this "teacher" felt the same way - maybe it was a little bit beneath her to attend to the counter.  A simple "Hello, someone will be with you in a moment" would've sufficed. 

I've worked as a secretary/receptionist for the last 20 odd years and when I get my degree and become a teacher, librarian, administration assistant or whatever the hell it is I'm going to be doing, I still wouldn't dream of treating a customer in this way.  Not only that, this is a school.  I could've been a prospective parent enquiring about the school, in which case I would've turned on my heels and walked straight back out the door.

It doesn't matter if you're a teacher, a lawyer, or a doctor, is it really beneath some professions to show some respect and acknowledge another human being?  Glad I got that off my chest!

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!!!