Posts tagged study

Back to the Books

After much tail-chasing I finally have confirmation that Griffith Uni will give me credit for 15 subjects, leaving me with nine to complete. This is fine by me – I’d need to do at least eight anyway because I need a literature and composition major in order to get into the teaching course.

Really, though, they do love to make it difficult. The university has a long list of requirements for establishing an entitlement to credit. You can’t just give them a transcript. Oh no, you have to provide subject outlines that show the level of study, contact hours, method of assessment, textbooks used…

And of course my old uni does not keep that info at my home campus so a few weeks back Hunter and I made a FOUR HOUR round trip to the Richmond campus to make photocopies from the archived handbooks. It goes almost without saying that the handbooks did not include half the required information and that, indeed, that information is not archived anywhere at all.

So a couple of days ago I emailed Griffith with a list of completed subjects and an overview of my dilemma.

And yesterday someone emailed back to say that since I was only applying for elective credit, I did not, in fact, need any documentation other than the transcripts.

Gee, guys, thanks for not mentioning that anywhere on your website, the OUA website or the application for credit forms! I have not had anything better to do recently than to chase after non-existent documentation that I don’t even need!

Anyway, at least it’s sorted – almost. I still have to formally apply for credit, which I can’t do until I formally register in the program, but I am planning to do that today.

I’m still undecided on how to spread the study load. I could finish in a year if I take on a full time load, then I’d have another year (or is it 18 months) to go with the teaching degree. That would mean I’d be done when Hugo was about three and a half. Or I could stretch it out a bit and finish up when he’s five and at school.

I’m finding my current job hard-going (hard to make enough money without really killing myself and I am constantly stressed about it) so the idea of finishing sooner is appealing. On the other hand, I really need time to work so maybe a lighter study load will be better.

Decisions, decisions!

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Update update

This update is going to be a collection of smaller updates. Are you excited?

 The renos

We heard from the builder today, just checking in, I guess to see if we’re still alive since it’s been so long since he heard from us. He had told us a few weeks back that he give us a recommendation on an engineer since we’ll need some additional certification but he hasn’t come through with that yet. That seems to sum up the renovation process. People tell you they will do things, then they simply don’t.

Compacting

I think we’re doing sorta okay. Definitely not being strict adherents but not abject failures, either. We haven’t bought much new stuff this year (though we have bought the occasional new thing) but more importantly we haven’t really bought very much ‘stuff’ full stop. We’re definitely spending less time worshipping the god of materialism.

We actually did buy a big armload of (secondhand) clothes at the markets on the weekend but it was all genuinely needed. Hunter’s winter pants from last year are all at least an inch too short, some of them closer to three inches. Even her dresses from the summer just gone are so short we can no longer let her wear them without leggings underneath because they’re just indecent.

So we bought a stack of leggings that will work under her dresses as Autumn outfits and will also work over tights with long sleeve tops and jackets in winter. We also got her some jeans and a denim jacket.

I am planning a brand new purchase, too. I saw on tv the other night this nifty gadget that turns a single flush toilet system into a dual flush. Our two toilets are both single flush and they waste so much water. This thing just screws in and saves nine litres every time you choose the half flush.

We’re also doing better at not buying so much overpackaged food. We’ve always bought potatoes and rice in 10kg bags. Now we’re also buying 1kg tubs of yogurt to spoon into our own smaller containers for lunch boxes, and we buy 5kg bags of flour. There are other things too, but you get the idea.

Meanwhile, I actually can’t remember the last time I bought something from Myer or DJs. I’d love to say I don’t miss it, but it would be a lie. Leigh is far less materialistic than me and I probably would have fallen off the wagon in spectacular fashion by now if she wasn’t along for the ride.

The veggie patch

It’s done much better than we anticipated. We’re still hauling in truckloads of tomatoes and we’ve been eating lots of silverbeet and rainbow chard. The other things are still growing merrily and in due course we expect cucumbers, eggplant, peas, onions, leeks, rhubarb, zucchinis and a LOT of pumpkins. I think I am forgetting a couple of things but they’re the main ones. We also have a stack of herbs outside the back door.

The kids

Hugo went through a very fussy phase last week where he barely wanted to breastfeed at all. He wasn’t eating much either, but that’s usual. I was starting to get worried by the fourth or fifth day of just-wet nappies, then suddenly yesterday they were full again.

Apart from that, the boy’s mostly his usual obliging self. He is starting to be clingy and it gets frustrating when I can’t go two steps without him crying and lunging at me, but he’s generally still pretty easy going.

He’s saying a good handful of words now (‘that’ just started today) but my favourite is “Hunter” (huh-duh). It is just too cute.

And speaking of Hunter…where do I start. We’re having behaviour issues again the past few days. She has realised that I don’t actually have any real control over her and if she chooses not to do as I ask, there’s not much I can do.

If she is being naughty (you know, like 75,000 times a day) I might ask her to go to the naughty chair/clean up the mess/say sorry etc etc. Lately she says no. If I try to institute some alternate discipline she says no to that too. Today I asked her to stay in her room and have a rest. She said no. Then she said “I am going to cough on you”, which she did. I told her to go to the naughty chair. She refused. I carried her there and she immediately got up and ran off. I told her she was going to go outside and she said “Fine, if you send me outside I will ride my bike and play and won’t care”. Which is exactly what she did.

Anyway, it’s not as bad as it was a month or so ago so I am hoping this is just a blip. she’s being pretty good at preschool and has lots of good days at home, too. She just makes me feel completely inept when she wants to.

The study plans

I’ve done a lot more thinking about what I want to do since I first stumbled on the idea of some more study. The more I have thought about it, the more I have realised that what I really want from my career is enough money to pay the bills and a whole shitload of holidays.

So my current plan is to get out of PR and into teaching. I intend to take my time and hopefully be done with study and ready to get a full time teaching job around about the time Hugo starts school.

The prospect of all four of us being on the same timetable is very appealing. I could make more money doing what I am already doing but there’s just no way I’d be getting 11 weeks off a year.

Leigh’s MS

I could sum up this update by just saying that it still sucks. We think she’ll do the injections on a Thursday night rather than Saturday as originally planned. It seems the side effects are not going to be as bad as they might have been (touch wood) so we kind of like the idea of making the injection part of the drudgery of the week, not a low point in the weekend.

The nurse actually suggested Friday night but leigh really looks forward to Friday night because she has a couple of drinks with her colleagues after work and just gets to take a breath and relax. I really think it would spoil it to know she has to come home and inject herself, especially since it’s probably going to continue to be really difficult for a good while yet.

She thinks this week she wants to go off by herself and do the injection in her own time. I have no issue with giving her the space she needs but I am a little bit worried about coming in to find her passed out. I guess we’ll see what feels right at the time.

Meanwhile, people are coming out of the woodworks with their own stories about their friend’s friend’s friend with MS and the miracle cure that worked for them. Some guy that did prac at leigh’s school gave her some dumb book that purported to have the cure for, well, everything. We didn’t even glance at a single page. We figure if there’s some actual scientific evidence favouring any of these theories then the MS Society will clue us in.

(I just want to add here that I know two people whose partners have MS and while I have been generally unhappy with everyone else sticking their oars in with assvice, I have been very grateful to them for sharing their firsthand experiences)

Right – I’ve been typing for ages and Hunter’s been occupying herself by doing a big poo. She’s just come in with her dress bunched around her waist and an invitation for me to do some wiping. Who could resist?

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Because I have so much spare time

Over the past few days, in between feeding the baby and putting kids to bed and trying to edit documents at 10pm because I am too busy in the day, I have been thinking….maybe I should take up some study.

I keep thinking I should actually finish one of my several almost-complete qualifications. The problem is that I really and truly don’t have time to attend classes. I just can’t be away for hours at a time when Hugo’s so young and still breastfeeding. And I can’t do distance education because I can’t go away for residentials.

And on top of that, everything I look at will take so long to complete part time that it doesn’t seem worth it.

But on the weekend I had a flash of inspiration, and checked out the Open University website. There is a post grad writing program that links a postgrad certificate through to a postgrad diploma and then a masters.

I have just emailed to see what advanced standing they would offer me – I am hoping they’ll say I can skip the certificate subjects all together and take advanced standing in the grad dip and complete that then the masters (everything in the program is so well within the realms of my professional experience that they could probably just about hand me the masters but I suspect they won’t go for that!)

If they agree with my suggested path, then I would probably only have to complete about six subjects for the masters. I have missed the cut off already for the first study period but could start in July.

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