Thursday, March 31, 2011

The witching hour

Occasionally I have these sleepless nights - they don't happen often any more (maybe it was the coffee I drank and the essay I was working on before I hit the sack) where I lay awake, tossing and turning - my mind jam packed with all sorts of thoughts:

My essay - does my argument answer the question?
My day - Did I allow everyone else the opportunity to answer questions or did I take over the tute?
My kids - what have they all got on tomorrow?
Past loves - what if?
Future loves - will there be any?
Dad - where is he now?
My husband - does he still find me attractive?
My body - what will it look like when I'm 50?
What am I going to wear tomorrow?  When will I do the shopping?  Is there enough petrol in the car?  What shall we have for dinner tomorrow?  What time should I get to uni?  Does my argument answer the question?  What have the kids all got on tomorrow?...

Yawn...did I put you to sleep? 

Monday, March 28, 2011


I'm seriously beginning to question the wisdom of  taking two literature subjects at once.  Not only should I be reading three books at the moment, as well as half a dozen selected critical readings, I now have two essays due within a week of each other.  As such, I've decided to work like a dog and get both essays completed well before time.  I got quite a lot done on one of them today but have had to pull up stumps, as now it's all beginning to sound like gobbledy-gook!!

On reflection of my previous post, Balance it's become obvious to me that at the moment, my one true passion is my family.  At one stage in my life, poetry was my passion and I was going to be the next Elizabeth Barrett Browning or Pam Ayres (loved her!).  At another stage, work was my passion and I was going to make it to the very top of the corporate ladder.  At this stage, they are my passion and each chocolate cake I make will be damnwell perfection for them!  Once upon a time, I never would have dreamed of admitting such a thing, thinking it would put me in an unfavourable light with women more ambitious than myself. How absurd!  I've come to realise that as much as I complain, I actually like being around for my family.  I like looking after them; making sure they're fed, clean and safe.  I also appreciate how lucky I am that I can always be here for them, even if it means I don't always get the time I want to be able to write.  But one day, I will have the time and one day my passion will change, but for today it's them.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Now that I'm down to two subjects - Romantic and Victorian Literature and Ghosts and the Gothic, I feel a little less stressed but almost just as busy.  I'm amazed at these lecturers and tutors who are seemingly able to devote their whole lives to their one true passion.  How does one do that?  At each and every lecture, I'm reminded of my love for literature but my world seems to be constantly filled with white noise - all the other stuff going on constantly in the background - the kids, the chores, the relationships...I would love nothing more than to one day lecture or tute or write but how do I find the time to do that?

How do you devote your life to your one true passion without losing sight of everything else?

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Anyone who makes generalities regarding one's GENDER, RACE, RELIGIOUS OR SEXUAL PREFERENCES, you're a DUMBASS and I'm boycotting YOU.  I know IGORANCE is bliss, but please keep your IGNORANCE to yourself.

I shouldn't even dignify you with a response but I will not tolerate ignorance and prejudice.

To all my regular readers, please excuse my outburst.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Slow and steady wins the race

After much angst over the weekend, I have decided to drop my elective Italian course.  It pains me to do so but I really need to accept my limitations!  Any student, whether mature-age or not, can understand the stresses involved in balancing a uni workload on top of a life workload and at the moment my life seems to be tipping the scales.  So it is, with disappointment, that I let this subject go but with a sigh of relief that I can now concentrate on my two literature subjects - my shoulders feeling considerably lighter.  My only consolation is that I may be able to pick up the Italian during summer semester enabling me to devote the time necessary in learning this beautiful language.

I've also resigned myself to not having any time constraints as far as finishing my degree goes.  I'll be finished when I'm finished - said the tortoise to the hare!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Early days

I'm still trying to get back into the swing of uni life and swing it does!  I seem to be constantly swinging from the house to uni, to one place or another, to the house and back to uni again. 

I had my 'Victorian Millinery' presentation yesterday, which the lecturer deemed 'stellar' and I was quite happy with the outcome, although I think he looked favourably on us because we were the very first group to present!

This is one class I'm as yet not too sure about.  Not the content of the course - I love everything about this period and the lecturer is quite brilliant...he's just extremely unorganised - a trait that never seems to go down well with me.  It's only been two weeks and he's been late to the lecture both times, which means that instead of getting a quick 50 minute lecture, we get a rushed 40 minute lecture.  Last night, he actually asked us where the tutorial was being held, then when all 50 of us arrived at the seminar room, it was being occupied.  This meant that our 4.00pm tute actually started at 4.25pm.  Add to this somewhat controlled chaos the fact that myself and my group were supposed to present at the beginning of the seminar; a usual tutorial group contains about 25 people (if that), and you can just imagine how jangled the nerves were.

After our 7 minute presentation, we got down to looking at one of Wordsworth's sonnets.  Now, don't get me wrong, I do enjoy poetry although admittedly, I rarely fully understand it.  But isn't the ability of appreciating the meaning of a piece of poetry and literature dependant on your background knowledge of the poet/author as well as the history of the period?  Doesn't our perception and the subjectivity of a text change according to our knowledge of these factors?  Basically, I feel as if the foundations of the course are a little wobbly, mainly due to time constraints and tardy teaching but maybe, once again, it's up to me to conduct my own background research before the lecture.

I'm not feeling as confident as I would like and I was really looking forward to this class!  Anyway, it's early days yet.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Top that

My crude attempt at Victorian millinery

I've been back at uni for a week and I already feel like I'm snowed under.  The reading seems to be never- ending - which is what I should be doing now but to say I'm lacking in motivation is an understatement. 

On top of the novels I have to read for both literature classes, we also have selected readings - some of which are 27 pages long.  And that's digitalised!  Why they can't be given to us in a dossier is beyond me.  The last thing I want to do is sit in front of the computer and read for 12 hours!  Having said that, I have read the first two novels already but feel I should read them again before tutorials start.

Plus I already have a short presentation to give next week.  In our Romantic and Victorian Literature class, we had to get into groups and find a topic from the Victorian era we'd like to research and share.  I just happened to be sitting next to a pair of 18 year olds and for some reason I came up with 'hats'.  Each group had to choose a week in which to present and, of course, no-one wanted next week but before I knew it, we were up to week 10 and I just couldn't put my hand up quick enough.  I finally convinced my partners that to do it next week would be great because we'd get it over and done with!  As usual, I've decided to do everything to the 'nth' degree and have spent the last two days researching Victorian Hats for a 5 minute presentation!!!  Nontheless, I found a craft store which sold top hats and together with some some netting and a long silk ribbon, I've managed to make something which vaguely resembles a Victorian Riding Bonnet - did I mention we had to make it 'theatrical'?

And last but not least, there's Italian.  I am so enjoying this class but don't feel I have a lot of time left to practice which is a must when it comes to languages.    

By the way, on a totally unrelated subject, can anyone tell me how I can stop following myself?  In my effort to try and send someone a message, I've inadvertantly started following my own blog!!!  Technology and I do not a happy couple make.

One week down, 12 to go.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

Thankyou Studentmum for nominating me for a Stylish Blogger Award and thank you for your support in my blog!  You were my first follower!!!  As far as the four rules go i.e. 1.  Thank and link nominator;
2.  copy and paste the award; 3.  share seven things about yourself and
4.  nominate 15 of your favourite bloggers and tell them - some of these rules may be a problem, as you will see.

These are some of my favourite blogs - some I've been reading for as long as I've been a blogger, so I apologise in advance if you've already received an award!

Rantings of a Middle-aged College Student

The Secret Life of an Unknown Housewife

The Non-traditional Student Blog 

College Mummy

Back to School at 40 (or41)

Diaries of a Neurotic Non-trad

Going the Distance Three Credits at a Time

Seven things about me -

1.  I'm not really 'internet savvy' - hence the inability to copy and paste the award.  It won't work!!!!
2.  I don't have a lot of confidence
3.  I procrastinate regularly
4.  I love chocolate
5.  I can be extremely lazy one day and extremely hyper the next
6.  One day I hope to live in a foreign country for at least two years
7.  I'm obsessed with the zodiac and need to know everyone's sign when I meet them in order to suss them out!

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!!!