Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Update...2011...the lost year?

Ok, so it's been a while...

First semester was an uphill battle at school mainly due to relationship issues taking up the lion's share of brainspace...but ended incredibly well with two 7s (for Political Philo and Communication & Rhetoric) and a disappointing 5 in Medical Anthropology. I think it safe to say I am no social scientist! hahhaa! The essay criteria and style are very different to my modus operandi in Philosophy and there were some not insignificant communication issues with the lecturer regarding clarity of requested content...But I passed with an intact GPA and a Dean's Commendation for my 7s!

Between semesters I ran away to France for some much-needed respite in the bosom of my family - unseen for 3 years so it was very good to catch up.

Semester 2 was all Philosophy and also ventured into third year territory for the first time...
Epistemology and Metaphysics was my only 2nd yr course, combined with Contemporary European Philosophy (think Arendt, Hegel, Derrida etc) and the Rise of Modern Philosophy (basically the links between enlightenment philosophers and science - think Leibniz, Spinoza, Locke, Hume, Berkeley etc)

Epistemology and Metaphysics was the pre-req for the Rise of Modern, and I am no analytical philosopher, so to do them concurrently was a massive ask for me...there were times when I truly felt I was losing my mind, and I have NEVER read so much and so widely - from religious texts to the theory of special relativity - I covered a LOT of ground, constantly feeling like a retard.

Continental philosophy was its usual enigmatic and poetic haven and even Derrida was a relaxing alternative to the analytic onslaught of the other two courses!

Results came out last week and miracle of miracles, two 6s for E&M and Rise of Modern, and a 7 for Contemporary European. Hoorah! GPA remains steady at 6.33. Such a relief!

Am currently reading over summer semester for a Special Topics thesis on moral issues surrounding euthanasia - specifically considering the idea of the body itself as a form of life support at this point and how this view can collapse the dichotomous positing of artificial v natural, passive v active and so on. Very interesting stuff. Surprisingly (to me!) the metaphysics is coming in very handy when considering issues arising from mind/body dualism and causation, and also the continuity of personal identity and issues of personhood.

Next semester begins in February with a brand new course that, for me, is nothing less than a dream come true: a third year Bioethics course in applied philosophy INCLUDING AN INTERNSHIP AT A HOPSITAL!!! Wooo! Getting to see how an ethics committee functions in the field is going to be fucking awesome. Can't wait.

Bioethics will be joined by a more historical slant on ethics in 'Ethics and the Passions' and a bit of light relief in the form of an Art History course on Fashion, Culture and the Body. Yay!

I'm on track for graduation in a year's time, possibly to be followed by a move south to NSW to complete Honours studies at Macquarie Uni in Sydney (they have a devoted ethic centre) but the idea of such a massive shift for just one year is daunting to say the least...Time will tell I guess...

So yeah...that's what's been happening...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Environmental Philo result.....

Got my result from Summer Semester's course on Environmental Philosophy:

A '6' (equivalent to a Distinction)

which is great for keeping my grade point average at 6 overall, but really it should have been a 7...

once again my procrastination monster took over.

actually this time was the worst EVER, as I actually didn't even CARE about it (at the time)

of course, I do NOW hahaha.

Both essays were late (one was even late after an extension. NEVER done that before)
Also the criteria on Reading Responses was changed as a result of the chaos after the Brisbane floods, and I ended up doing only 3 of the 4 required (frankly because i couldn't be arsed travelling 6 hours to the last lecture)

so yeah.

Not very pleased with myself...

Next semester begins on Monday.

I have books on order for Communication and Rhetoric (and have already purchased a 2nd hand copy of Machiaevelli's The Prince.)
Medical Anthropology text book arrived this morning, and as essay questions were provided in the course profile (LOVE when that happens - more thinking time!) I have already begun research for that.
Started reading intro notes for Political Philosophy too.

Semester plan done and prominently displayed, work schedule adjusted to suit impending deadlines, etc etc

So yeah - now I just have to pull my finger out and DO THE WORK.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Officially Official!

ok, so I PASSSSSSSED Logic! Thank fuck for THAT!

(only a 4, but still, it's a vital box ticked)

I got 7s for both Phenomenology & Existentialism and Crime & Punishment, so that brings my GPA up to a very respectable 6 for the semester.

I am relieved and pleased.

Had first day of Environmental Philosophy yesterday - this is going to be good! Really interesting, wide-ranging and challenging.

In other news: I have been falling out of love somewhat with my job over the past few months (I've been there on and off for 6 yrs, the 'offs' usually just extended periods of travelling). It's gotten to the point where I dread going there all week. I'm not even really sure why... I mean, I have many regular customers I love seeing, I get paid well, I like my colleagues (for the most part, one or two give me the shits, but hey the feeling is mutual. it happens, no?) but lately I just do. not. want. to be there.

I started scoping out other (non-hospitality) avenues. Getting up at 5am to get the train to uni is hard as hell as it is, without putting a 1am finish in the night before, so I have been checking out daylight hours. I have a trial on Monday morning at my all-time favourite clothing boutique in Noosa (not that I own a scrap from there - I could never afford it!!!) and am thrilled at the opportunity. It's all yummy black European designer stuff in the most awesome fabrics. Love love love! The owner seems very efficient and straight-up and to the point, I like the cut of her jib, and she seems to like me, so we'll see. It's only a couple of days a week, but she seems open to being flexible around my uni schedule which is a bonus :)

I feel incredibly positive about trying to make changes in my life, and allowing myself to prioritise my studies whilst not excessively compromising where and what I do for a crust. I hope it all works out...a change would be invigorating right now :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

cause for pre-emptive celebration

unofficial grade for Crime & Punishment course is a 7!!! whooo hooo!

(official grades released Thursday)

of course, in reality the greatest use this will actually be is to drag my GPA back up out of the gutter where it will be lying after my disastrous Logic debacle. ;)

in other news:

i have enrolled in 3 courses for semester 1 2011:

Communication and Rhetoric (part of my Logic & Philosophy of Science Minor)

Political Philosophy (part of my Philo extended major)

Medical Anthropology (an elective - on cultural attitudes to illness, treatment and death, so I felt it fitted well with my interests/plans. It's a totally new course, never offered before, so fingers crossed enough people sign up for it, there needs to be at least twenty for it to run)

Will update results (officially!) on Thursday :)
Thanks to everyone who has dropped by, and much appreciation for your supportive comments :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Update - end of semester

so i finished up my first semester at UQ last Friday.

results due on 2 Dec.

the crime & punishment essay I was gnashing my teeth over ended up getting a 7- ( at the lower end of the HD bracket/ around 85% - i think that covers all marking styles!)
So yeah - I pulled it off! (eventually - it was very very late and pretty stressful)

i have two essay marks still pending (Phenomenology - on Heidegger and guilt [a theme here?], and Crime & Punishment- on protective sentencing) but i think they were ok.

final Logic exam was written in some other bizarre language in which I am far from fluent. that was a nasty two hours and i am holding out hopes for a credit, but a pass is far more likely.
i did discover a potential job opportunity for when i am old and (even more?) curmudgeonly: being an exam invigilator. all bossy, snippy menopausal* women with control complexes.
sound familiar?

* this may be TMI for a study blog so switch off now if you like, but i got my first hot flash the other day, and have been undergoing hormone investigations for a while now, so it's looking like the sands of time have slipped through that particular hourglass whilst i was having fun with life.
upshot of this is my study and prospective post-grad and future (meaningful) work is now my *footprint* of this lifetime.

"when i grow up i want to change the world" or something like that.

On a lighter note, Summer Semester begins 29 November.
I am sooooo looking forward to it. There's been a void this past week or so that does not sit well with me.
I've be doing some self-directed research/reading on Neuroethics, and am finding it fascinating...all about the ethics of brain enhancement (with psychopharmacology) or memory *dampening* (like in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). It all sounds sci-fi I know, but it's not all that far away - healthy people already use drugs like Ritalin to aid study. (yes i did consider it momentarily hahaha, but decided i feel like it is somehow *cheating*...)

Over Summer Semester I am doing a course on Environmental Philosophy which is ethically-based (animal rights, political policies on the environment, etc) so I am looking forward to that. I have an awesome (and well-organised!) lecturer too which helps enormously!

Thanks for all the support for my last couple of posts, it was really appreciated.
Hopefully I can keep the ball rolling a little better this semester.
Ha! I say that every time ;)

Sunday, October 10, 2010


i am in a hole.

deep and dark and damp.

i'm doing what i can to climb out...assistance has been sought...but i just can't move right now.

i have an essay due (on extension) on Wednesday. Since researching it has sat untouched.

ironically the subject matter is guilt and punishment.

in my mind i think about sitting down and working on it. i think about paragraph ideas; about things i have read; about intros and conclusions. but i just cannot bring myself to begin.

and the sands slip through the hourglass.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

stuff and thoughts about stuff

ok. so stuff has been happening.

  • i dropped Political Science to do Logic. On the day of the first EXAM. (so my marks would count)
  • was warned that sub-75% scoring would render the rest of the course pretty much useless as there would be little chance of keeping up. this exam was BASIC, peoples.
  • i passed. just. scary times... i get it, i really do, for the most part - it just takes me a reeeally long time. maths-type language has always been that way for me.
  • i have been mega-stressed to the point of visual disturbances (seeing double etc) i have come to the conclusion that this is due to a number of factors:-
  1. i relate more to the post-grads in my classes than the under-grads, mainly due to their similar age. However i am TOTALLY not in their thought-process league and thusly feel horrendously intimidated by those who are, in so many ways, my peers.
  2. 4 yrs of studying in isolation had the benefits of no crowds - i am not a great fan of crowded places. i am tentatively scoping out *quiet* spots in which to hide and concentrate on the matters at hand. this is proving time-consuming and draining.
  3. 4 yrs of 5 diff unis and now a new one...what do they want to see? how do they want to see it? and so on...made the mistake of reading the Philo marking criteria. yikes. my previous High Distinctions would barely merit a Credit grade under those rules. that makes me very very very (irrationally) anxious.
  4. splitting up my life into two totally separate worlds is taking a toll. 'Here' is rural, here is work, professional-in-control kinda stuff; peace and quiet, solitude, opposite body clock. 'There' is the city, noise and people, no rest, no reprieve, the inferiority complexes and competition, up-and-at-'em, but also 'There' is learning and expansion and growth of knowledge.
  5. I barely have any energy for 'relationship maintenance'. and it shows.
  6. i am not running nearly enough.
  7. no yoga for almost 2 months...have so far been unable to find a suitable class at a suitable time for my crazy schedule.
I am pushing on with everything as best I can. The alternative is not an option for me now. I have come way too far to throw in the towel. It's just a steep learning curve I guess.

I'd better be off. I have study to do. ;)