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. ;)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

contradictions and dreams

As a (cough) *mature* student I was invited to attend a pre-semester warm-up plan for old bastards. This is known as the "Jump Start" academic skills program (though the moniker puts me in mind of old rusty vehicles growing weeds in a paddock...which is kinda how I feel)

Having accepted the offer of a metaphorical kick in the pants to get things rolling I duly trotted off to Officeworks to indulge in some (justified!) splurging on stationery...Bic Retro pens in their orange and black plasticy loveliness! paperclips in rainbow colours! a stapler with a satifying 'thunk' to it! notebooks in all sizes and colours! a laptop cover! shiny things! little tiny useless bits of frippery!

Sorry...where was I?

Ah, JSAP. A week of well-meaning, though often contradictory, advice.

I left most days feeling more confused than I had on arrival. *sigh*

No-one seemed to know exactly who I needed to see, which made things more difficult. I dragged my trendy book-transporter (i.e. nanna-trolley) hither and thither across the length and breadth of the campus, up stairs and down, and through the hallowed halls and all to no avail.

I required guidance on applying for exemptions or credit for previous studies I have completed. A few hints on courses to complete to get me to where I want to be wouldn't have gone amiss either.
It felt like everywhere I went I was greeted with a smile and then a shaking head and a finger pointing to the furthest corner of campus... "Oh you want X" (bright smiley smile)"X is over there, down past y, round z and about a bazillion floors up. Good luck!" (Beam)


A week and a half of this and I have to say I have more or less managed to cobble together my own version of the info I needed, in addition to getting to know the campus really, REALLY well.

My 'Plan' has been lodged - Philosophy Extended Major with a Minor in Logic & the Philosophy of Science.

That's a LOT of Philosophy. *beams*

Somehow along the way I have managed to pick up another course to sit in on, despite not technically being enrolled in it (yet - stay tuned!) so at present we have:- (cue Drum Roll)

  • Phenomenology & Existentialism
  • Crime & Punishment (Issues in Legal Justice)
  • Power, Politics and Society: Passionate Encounters
and then maaaaaaaaaaaybe
  • Logic
but maybe not.

Logic is a necessary evil if I am to (one day) progress to Honours. The jury is currently out on whether I need to actually do the course or whether I can sit in on lectures to cover gaps in my existing knowledge base (thereby missing out on 2 horrendous examinations. a terrible shame, no?) Associate Professor doing the lecturing is twinkly-eyed paternal sort with a wicked sense of humour - opening his lecture with a Monty Python skit. Methinks Logic might actually be FUN. (maybe)

The 'dreaming' part of the title of this post refers to all the pipe-dream planning aheadness of Honours and Post Grad certificates in Applied Law (only 6 months!!! Hoorah! Medical Law! w00t!)

In reality I now have to get on with the mastication at hand, so to speak, having bitten off a substantial amount to be going along with...

Wish me luck!

the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step...

I am 37 years old/young.

My grey matter has been atrophying through the years; sometimes at great speed, swept along on a torrent of chemicals both licit and illicit.

Recent years have embraced the calm of sobriety and a growing desire to retrain the decaying muscles of the mind.

A tentative start was made in 2006. The tiniest dip of a toe. Determined to fill the cravings for substances with something more substantial, words rushed in to fill the cavernous abyss. Who would have ever thought that writing academic papers could provide a greater high than drugs?

Surprisingly, the powers-that-be in their ivory towers of academia nodded their heads sagely in agreement. I was in.

For four years I have devoted every spare moment, and some that should by rights have been devoted to other things (like food, exercise, friendships and sleep) to maintaining an implausible grade average from my loungeroom. Philosophy is a strange world to study in isolation but somehow pyjamas seemed to suit the subject matter. For a while at least...

Which brings me to...now.


I have plunged from the cliff of the known. Of comfort, stability, routine. I am hurtling towards the new, the unknown, the scary - from the tranquility of 5 acres of rainforest to the chaos of a campus to which 50,000 people head on a daily basis.

This is my journey as I begin full-time on-campus studies to (finally) complete my Bachelor of Arts degree.