Friday, December 11, 2009

French connection

Having been away from home for two weeks, I'd completely forgotten about my Uni results until Supportive Husband No.1 reminded me.  I literally threw myself out of my chair when I remembered to check - High Distinctions for both subjects!!  It felt so good.  So good in fact, that I've decided to start back full-time next semester and do four subjects instead of two.  This does have the potential for disaster and means I will be at Uni every day.  I'd like to give it a shot though and I guess I can always drop a class if it gets to be too much. I'm feeling very jour de vie - could have something to do with my location!

Well, I am on holiday but this blogging/internet thing is really becoming addictive! I've had so much contact with my Mum, it doesn't really feel like I've been away and has made the whole trip so much easier. I have, however, had no internet coverage for the last week and this is when I noticed my habit!

Now I'm back on-line and my addiction to blogs, Facebook, Skype and checking The Courier Mail online for news back home is in full swing.  As well as coming in handy for checking Uni results no matter where you are, the internet is also useful for translation of tricky foreign words if they can't be found in the dictionary.  I can totally see why Teenage Daughter No. 1 can't pull herself away from it!  Still it's not quite the same as the sights and sounds of a foreign city!  Until next time - au revoir!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Slip, slop, slap

My bags are packed, flu shots have been administered and I've raided the chemist for every drug known to man in the event of any illnesses along the way.  What I didn't account for was that the pesky little freckle I asked the doctor about on Friday and which was subsequently partly removed, would turn out to be a little more dubious than first thought. 

Yes, the Queensland sun strikes again.  My jaunty little walk stopped in it's tracks this afternoon with a phone call from said Doctor that I need the rest of said freckle totally removed.  After an assurance that it could indeed wait until my return from my holiday of a lifetime, somehow I have to push it to the back of my mind. 

 It is ironic that the freckle in question has not seen the sun for probably a good twenty years, given that it's so far up my leg.  The only way it could've seen the light of day would've been by way of toned legs, flat tummy and the self-assurance of the nineteen year old who had them!  The damage I've inadvertantly caused to myself was done in the days before we knew about the danger of UV rays.  These days I'm the complete opposite - I won't venture out until I have on my big hat and have drenched myself in sunscreen!!  Not to mention the fact that my toned legs are no more and my tummy is fat rather than flat!!

If anyone's contemplating visiting this great country of ours - remember to slip, slop, slap.  Slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen and slap on a hat.  As for me, I'm going to slip on a big warm jacket, slop in some lovely London puddles, slap on a beanie and deal with this pesky little freckle when I return!!  I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Christmas and New Year!!  XX

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The heat is on

Well, having endured 38 degree temperatures AND an exam - I'm certainly glad yesterday is over and done with.  I ensured I arrived early (3 hours!) and sat in the stinking heat mulling over my lecture notes in preparation for the in-class essay.  By the time it was due to start, I was ready to go home for a nap! 

At least the invigilators weren't nazi-like as I had heard they can be.  Once we were hearded into the exam room, had our instructions read to us and our books and belongings checked for any contraband, it was heads down, butts up.  Now, as all of you students will know, three hours seems like a long time - if you're sitting in traffic or a dental chair but when you're expected to write three 500 word essays, it's amazing how fast time seems to fly.

Having read the topic questions during the 10 minute perusal time, I felt quite confident seeing as the topics of themes, character types and structure had been discussed continually during the last 14 weeks.  However, with the ticking of the clock echoing in the background, my mind was a blank!  Not to mention the fact that my brand new white out roller thingy wouldn't work, I couldn't remember if I was supposed to write in double lines or single AND as time progressed, I became increasingly aware that I was running out of paper (which was provided and we were given strict instructions not to bring any spare)!!  To say it all felt like a nightmare would be an understatement.  Before I knew it I had 30 minutes to complete and half the class had disappeared which only added to the sense of urgency.  As a result, I'm fairly sure I was way under the required 500 words on the last question but I couldn't wait to high-tail it out of there.

On the way back to the car, I had all the usual feelings of failure, questioning myself about why I was really doing all this and contemplating on the three hours of my life I will never get back!  What am I going to do with this degree?  Should I just do something a little more practical and do a Teaching Degree?  Why is it so hot?

On the bright side, this time next week I'll be on a plane heading far, far away to a land where it's much, much cooler and where I'll have plenty of time and space to ponder about my future prospects (I think!).

Monday, November 16, 2009

The exam

Having had no lectures for the last three weeks, swanning around enjoying the sweeter things in life, Uni has seemed very far behind me for the semester.  However, way back in the depths of my mind has been the knowledge that I have one last exam to worry about.  'But it's so far away, you don't really have to think about it yet', my mind said. 

Well, that day is tomorrow and although I have been aware all weekend that I'd better do some revision, I allowed the events of the weekend to take precedence and now I feel like Mr Bean in 'The exam' episode - where once I was sure of myself, now I feel panicked.  I've read the books and know the questions will be of a comparative nature, however, now the day is upon me I'm not so quietly confidant.  I sometimes find it very hard to articulate what I want to say and knowing I have to write 500 words per question, on top of being nervous, I have visions of handing in 3 - 4 pages of absolute rubbish.

So, it's time to stop putting it off and finding more important things to do (like reading your latest blogs, emptying the dishwasher, catching up on emails...) and hit the lecture notes.  After all, I want really great end of semester marks to look back on.  I'll keep you posted!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wind beneath my wings

Today I spent the day with my oldest and dearest friend and I was reminded of a  recent post by Student Mum who talks about the support networks of us mature age students. 

I've known my friend, Jukes, since we were 15 (that's 26 years!) and through all this time, we've never had a bad word to say to each other.  We've known each other longer than we've known our husbands and you could say, we've become the perfect married couple ourselves!  We listen to each other, finish each other's sentences, support each other through the good times and the bad and most importantly, we make each other laugh so much we cry.  She is one of the very few people in my life with whom I can totally be myself, without fear of being judged.  I can see us when we're 80 sitting side by side with our knitting on our laps, still talking and laughing.  I feel so blessed to have found her in my lifetime - for the joy she brings me and the history we have. 

Here's to all the 'Jukes' in our lives who propel us forward and give us the strength to fly.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Carpe Diem

As yet another year draws to a close, I am forced into quiet contemplation over the events of the past 12 months which have brought me thus far.  I...
-  had a major operation
-  decided I wanted to be a library technician and started college
-  found a half brother I never knew I had
-  decided I didn't want to be a library technician and applied to university
-  got accepted into university
-  started a blog
-  organised an end-of-year holiday adventure and
-  did very well at university
All done while riding the roller coaster of life as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, granddaughter, daughter-in-law and friend and all the responsibilities these roles entail.

To all you fellow mature age students, mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, granddaughters, daughtes-in-law and friends who left encouraging comments and for your equally encouraging and inspiring blogs - thank you, thank you, thank you. Knowing you are all out there reinforces my desire to continue in my pursuit of knowledge and self-development.  X

Friday, November 6, 2009

The sweeter things

I've just read the recent post "All work and no play" by Older Non-Trad Student and feel quite relieved that I've finally got time to do the things I love (apart from attending lectures).  With lectures and tutes for the semester finished and all assignments done, it feels so strange to be able to sit down and actually read for fun!  Better still, I've pulled out a cross stitch I started over a year and a half ago with the intention of giving it to my niece for her birthday (which has come and gone - twice!).  Apart from an exam in two weeks, my time is now pretty much my own.  To all you mature age mamas in the northern hemisphere - take heart.  The hard slog you're going through at the moment will be worth it in the end and your reward will be an appreciation for the spare time you'll have to enjoy the sweeter things in your life.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Home stretch

We awoke this morning to a burst water main, so I'm all deodorised up for my last week at uni. I have a 1250 word essay due in two weeks and a 1500 word, in class essay in three weeks but I'm already in holiday mode!  I'm not really sure how to tackle the in class essay as we're not even allowed an essay plan and I'm not really good at thinking on my feet - I need at least a week to create anything half decent.  Hopefully my last, last lecture this morning will shed some light.

Meanwhile I'm busy creating intineraries for our family adventure in four weeks.  It's all getting very exciting but I really have to try and keep my head in essay mode.  I don't want to let myself down - I'm on the home stretch but it's very hard!!! 

Monday, October 19, 2009


Today was my last lecture for Great Books before the exam!  I can't believe how fast the semester has gone.  I completed my group presentation for Social Enterprise last week and am glad I overcame the hurdles that come with group work!  Biting my tongue when dealing with an overbearing team member was the biggest hurdle. All in all, I'm feeling quite proud of myself.  I got over the loss of motivation of mid semester and the end is in sight.  Having said that, I'll be itching to get back when the time comes, I'm sure.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Captain, My Captain

After much emailing back and forth to the Education Convenors, I think I've finally worked out what subjects and how many credit points I need to teach middle/secondary school at the end of my degree.  Who would've thought subject selection could be such a headache?  It's just that the BA has such a diverse range to choose from, I want to do all of them!!  I have finally decided I want to teach English & Film and Media studies when I graduate.  It means another four years instead of three and I'll be 45 by the end of it.  I think I should be mature enough by then to handle a bunch of 6 - 12 graders!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mummy's boy

Boys definitely mature slower than girls.  This has become plainly obvious to me, having had two girls followed by a boy.  Looking back, I expected so much more of my daughters at the age of ten than I know my son is capable of at the same age.  The girls were able to organise themselves, do their homework, bath themselves and if they had to put the toilet seat down before they left the bathroom, I'm pretty sure they would have!

After my disastrous "holiday" a few weeks ago, I breathed a gentle sigh of relief when it came time for them to go back to school.  I ironed everything the night before, got up early and made lunches, got breakfast organised while they all got themselves ready and was sure that on their first day back they would leave on time.  And that's how it would've been if No 1 Son had had two laces in his pair of shoes, instead of just one lace in one shoe and none in the other.  To the screams of the girls yelling, "Hurry up, we're going to be late", I ran upstairs where I had a spare pair - a spare pair of rugby laces.  After frantically lacing the shoe, I realised they were ridiculously long and I had to race to the corner shop.  There I found they had brown shoe laces but not the required black shoe laces.  I bought the brown, laced up the shoe and realised he looked just as ridiculous. I then remembered I had an old pair of school shoes at home, scooted home, unlaced, re-laced and drove to school with a few minutes to spare and without giving myself a coronary but only just.

Since that disastrous first day, it has been two weeks of similar, unforetold calamities but this afternoon takes the cake.  He came home WITH a split lip, but WITHOUT his wet swimmers which he left laying in the street, WITHOUT a brand new pair of rugby socks and WITH somebody elses trumpet!  We then had to turn around, go back to the school to look for the missing clothing.  We returned WITH the wet swimmers but WITHOUT the brand new pair of rugby socks.  The trumpet we'll have to deal with tomorrow.

And Supportive Husband No 1 wonders why he finds me sitting in a corner dribbling and incoherant when he comes home from work!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Social Enterprise

Social Enterprise is a core subject of the Arts degree and covers global issues such as human rights, social justice and the environment and it's a subject I've particularly enjoyed. These issues become quite confronting when you're learning about them on a weekly basis.  I was a little annoyed that it seems to be aimed purely at Arts students and have always felt that law, education and business students would also benefit.  Broken into two parts, we're now looking at ways we can be part of the solution to these issues and become social entrepeneurs.  We are to undertake a group project and presentation on a social enterprise issue and my group decided to investigate homelessness.

After having grand plans of filming a documentary, we decided the implications and procedures involved concerning ethics wouldn't leave us an awful lot of time.  We decided to volunteer with an organisation who run nightly food vans and offer tea, coffee and snacks to the local homeless.  Now, I have always been a helper and when the kids were small, I couldn't wait to volunteer whenever I was needed and have always loved volunteering.  Now that my kids are older (as am I), I have felt an increasing need to give back to society because I am so fortunate.  After my recent volunteering exercise, I now realise how easy it is to swan around and declare, "I want to help those who are less fortunate", than it is to actually do it!

I have led a relatively sheltered life - private school girl, good job, lived in good neighbourhoods - and I was completely unprepared for what I saw on the streets.  The organisation is an outreach, which involves giving support and friendship to the disadvantaged, so it wasn't just a matter of giving them a coffee and saying, "see you later"!  I arrived on the first night, a complete bundle of nerves and felt so out of my comfort zone, which I expected but what I didn't expect was how like you and I these people are - they just have no support.  No family to help them when they need it.  I also didn't expect the impact this experience would have on me and two weeks later, I'm still thinking about all the wonderful people I met, who tonight are probably sleeping under a bush.

I truely enjoyed my experience and hope to become a permanent volunteer.  It troubles me though that in a country like Australia,  a society of such wealth and advantage, we think it's okay to have people living on the streets without the basic needs of life.  Don't even get me started on Africa.  

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Okay, I admit it.  Since the events of my week long 'break', I have been feeling tres unmotivated.  I have been wondering why I'm doing this when my family life takes up 99% of my time.  What am I going to do with an Arts degree?  What do I really want to be when I grow up?  Well, today I feel like I'm ready to jump back in with all the gusto I had when I started -  I got a high distinction on my last essay!!!  I had to stop myself from jumping up and down in the class room!!!  It's amazing how my spirits lifted and suddenly, I had hope.  Hope that maybe I really can do this university stuff.  Hope that it really will lead me to something I'm good at, other than being a Mum!!!  I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up but I know the persistence and effort it takes to get this degree will certainly lead me somewhere good.  If only they gave out distinctions for parenthood, maybe it'd give me the confidence and reassurance I need to deal with my "troubles"!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Holiday? What holiday??

Well, it's back to school for the kids and uni for me on Monday and I can honestly say that this last week just about killed me.  Having to contend with two teenagers over various teen issues and a 10 year old boy who won't be quiet or sit still, just about did it.  I'm a woman on the edge and I'm counting on returning to uni to give me some semblance of normality in my life. 

When my daughters were babies, I used to hear the stories about teenage girls and always thought they were far fetched.  I'm now contemplating studying Youth and Society or a Psychology elective to get my head around the phenomenon of the teenage brain!!!  I'm surrounded by them at uni but when they're your own children, I guess it's a different kettle of fish.

I did intend to spend the week relaxing with as many trashy magazines as I could and I've ended up mentally and physically exhausted!  I didn't even catch up on my Social Enterprise project for which we've got a presentation in two weeks.  On the positive side, I enjoyed working with the homeless and am considering changing majors and I finished reading The Tempest (and it's worth noting that in Shakespearean, the word "teen" means trouble!!!). 

I've only got about 4 weeks to go until the end of my first university semester, then I'm on holiday for the whole summer.  Hopefully things on the home front will settle down so I really can have a holiday. In the mean time the kids are in bed, the hubby's gone out and "Lost in Austen" beckons (as does a glass of red)!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Over the hill

After thinking I had two weeks holiday with the kids, it works out I still have a week of uni while the kids are home - help!!  It's impossible to get anything done and the stress levels are rising.  When you're a mum, I don't think it matters what you endeavour to do whether it's work, study or travel, you always have the kids at the fore front of your mind and attention.  I always feel as if I'm trudging up a steep hill with three pairs of hands pulling on my shirt tails.

While I was trying to finish an essay on Sunday (due on Monday), it was a case of where can I go to hide!  After trying to work at home, I packed everything in the car and headed to the library only to get there and not find a park.  The whole time I was driving around I could hear the "tick-tock" of time running out.  I finally came back home and shut myself away in the bedroom only to have the bedroom door open every five minutes with each child having something extremely important to tell/ask me.  I finally lost it and told them all to pretend I wasn't here and unless there was a fire, I didn't want to know! 

I left Teenage Daughters 1 & 2 at home on Monday while I handed in the assignment and went to my lecture.  I got home to the smell of burning biscuits to find TD No 2 watching Sponge Bob Square Pants and forgotten biscuits in the oven.  I think the whole house could've burned down around her and she would've been oblivious!  It's my own fault for thinking she would remember to put the timer on, seeing as that was what I told her to do!!!  I awoke on Tuesday morning panicking that my assignment wasn't up to scratch.  Oh, well, too late now.

Now I just have to try and finish my social enterprise project and finish reading The Tempest.  It is such a short play but trying to do it all in between, "Mum, we're bored" and "Mum, there's nothing to do", is insane!  I have come to the conclusion that I will just have to put in some late nights.

On the up-side my six weeks of eating properly finally seems to be paying off and I'm starting to feel as if I'm losing those extra kilos, very slowly.  If I had done this five years ago, I would've lost six kilo's by now instead of one or two but that's age, I suppose.  I also got to hit the treadmill yesterday with the kids yelling and screaming at each other in the background.  I love my MP3!

Anyway, I can't wait until this semester is over.  The hill's getting steeper, the trudging's getting slower and the hands are getting stronger!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Motivational procrastination

Well, I was told it would only be a matter of time before I started losing motivation.  I have an essay due on Monday, missed a lecture this week due to illness, am behind on my reading and was up late last night volunteering with the homeless for a uni project (definately a confronting experience)!!  I suppose I haven't really lost motivation - I'm just tired!!! 

While the family are watching the footy grand final, I thought I'd hop into bed with my lap top and catch up on my essay and I knew it would happen - I'm in bed and I'm doing everything but work on the essay!!!!  Basically catching up on all the blogs I've been missing.  I know I'm procrastinating - it's one of those essays which just keeps changing every time I do a decent amount of work on it.  My theme keeps going off on tangents.  I just can't face it at the moment.

No, I'm definately not unmotivated, I'm tired, tired, tired!!  Looks like it'll be an all dayer at the library tomorrow.  I've never not had anything finished the day before it's due (what the??) And I was thinking of going full-time next year!  How do people manage it?  I think my head will be clearer after a good night's sleep.  Night night!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine

On a totally unrelated topic to University, has any mother out there ever had the feeling that her possessions are all of a sudden a free-for-all to everyone in the family? Like all mothers I am selfless.  I don't mind sharing and if anyone needs anything at all, I'm more than happy to give it to them.  However, I've recently realised that the older I get, anything that is actually mine has become quite sacred.

My daughters over the last year have commandeered MY hair straightner, even though they have a perfectly good (albeit cheaper) one of their own.  I bought a new pair of sunglasses on Sunday only to have Daughter No. 2 borrow them for a school play on Monday and they came home in pieces; then last night Supportive Husband No 1 asked to use MY laptop when we have a perfectly good computer downstairs. I felt like a right heel but I said, no!

As if it's not enough that I can't shower, toilet or read without interruption, now everyone wants to use my stuff!! It's time to stop this selflessness and have a few things that really are MINE.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ego is a dirty word

I finally got my very first essay back yesterday.  After spending two weeks trying not to think about it and imagining all sorts of scenarios from getting the highest mark in the class to the lowest, I can proudly say I received a distinction.  Not bad, right, for my first essay?  Then why was I disappointed??

I must have sat there for a good 15 minutes wondering why I couldn't possibly get a high distinction for my first masterpiece.  Flicking through the essay, I expected to see red marks all over the place but instead I saw many ticks and the capital "G" in the word "Gods" crossed out!  Anyway, once I came home, I went over it thoroughly and re-read the comments.  Apparantly the structure, expression and writing style were "v. good" but unfortunately I needed more analysis of the text I was critiquing!  A warranted comment seeing as I was so concerned with the look and flow of  the essay and less with the overall content.  This is the secretary in me.

I realised this morning that my massive ego was injured and a distinction is a great result for a first essay.  At the end of the day, I'm at Uni to learn and I need to enjoy the experience.  However, the perfectionist in me will continue to achieve my best - my ego needs to learn to take it easy and go with the flow!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Desperately Seeking Approval

Remember when you were going to school and there was always one teacher who inspired and encouraged you?  For me there were a few but the most memorable was Mrs Marsden in Grade 1.  Well, I was so looking forward to today's tutorial as I always do but today even more so because my lecturer was giving the tutorial. 

I really love literature and I have such respect for this lecturer because he's so good at what he does and I couldn't wait to actually share my ideas with him. However, it seemed that whenever I put an idea forward, he totally disagreed!  That's fine, not everyone has to agree with me but literature is so subjective - surely it's possible to provide an insight that's not "wrong"? The tutor is very positive and accepts all opinions and so up until this morning, I thought I was on the right track!

I was determined not to be one of these students who gazes up at these Professors like they're Gods (in a strictly student/teacher manner) but it's very hard not to become overawed (in a strictly student/teacher manner) with someone who is so knowledgeable in a subject you love.  So this morning, I felt my confidence deflate as he seemed to systematically reject most of the suggestions I put forward.

Maybe I was trying too hard; maybe I'm too sensitive...I know, maybe he thinks I'm very clever and he doesn't want to let on!  No...maybe not.  I felt as if I was back in grade 1 again, desperately seeking approval from one I admire and respect and I'm so annoyed at myself!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Spring has Sprung!

For all of us lucky people living in the Southern hemisphere, it looks as if Spring is here at last!! I don't know about everyone else but although we have such a short winter, I'm always so glad when it's over. I feel low and gloomy (and I think my family will vouch for that!). Being a typical Aussie, my blood obviously craves the warmer weather.

So it was with great joy that I jumped out of bed this morning full of life and vitality and with a spring in my step that I handed in my very first assignment! Perhaps the weather added to my sense of optimism but optimistic, I felt. However, as I walked back to my car after the lecture, with the heat of the sun bearing down on my unprotected head and the persperation slowly making its way down my back, I got into the stinking hot car and my optimism turned to annoyance. Annoyance that very soon it will be Summer and swelteringly hot and no matter where I go for a reprieve, it's going to be sticky and sweaty! I don't even want to THINK about trying to get into a bathing suit!!

There is no doubt the weather affects our moods and emotions - is there anywhere I can go where it's just Spring all year round?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Meaning of Life

For the last couple of weeks, Teenage Daughters 1 and 2 have been making their own way to school and this morning, as I took out the bin, I watched them walking off down the street together. As their checkered little figures got smaller and smaller, I remembered a photo I have of them both when they were in years 1 and 2 at school - their arms wrapped around each other, kissing each other on the lips - smaller, chubbier versions of who they are now and it dawned on me that my babies are growing up! Somewhere in amongst the blur of mortgage repayments, jobs, babies, sports days, illnesses and school activities, my little girls have turned into adolescents and I thanked the universe for allowing me to create happy, healthy, well-adjusted little people.

As I lovingly picked up their dirty laundry, their wet towels off the bed and washed their cereal encrusted breakfast dishes with a tear in my eye, I realised again what the true meaning of life is - it's not stressing about lectures, exams, assignments or how much I have to read - these are merely gap-fillers for the truely important things - my children and the adults I am preparing them to be. As the gap widens at an ever increasing rate and I know the next couple of years will become another blur of graduations, weddings, births and deaths, the image of my babies walking to the end of the street, becoming smaller and smaller, will become another image etched in my memory.

Now, I'm not stressing but I must get back to my reading!

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Well, I'm one week down! My first day proved to be quite emotional - as I sat in that tiny little lecture chair, I almost cried! It was almost as emotional as getting our passport applications lodged.

First lecture - Great Books. First great book - 'Odyssey' by Homer. Yes, I was aware Homer was a Greek bard as well as an ever popular contemporary cartoon character and if I hadn't done this course, there is no way I ever would've picked up a piece of Greek literature - 18th and 19th century are more to my taste - not c800bc!!. Be that as it may, once I came to terms with the concept of the mortal and the immortal world, I am actually really enjoying it. The workload seems to be pretty intense, even after one week. Eight chapters of the book to read before next week which is no problem but on top of that, about 14 questions per chapter!! I'm still not entirely sure if they're for us to actually answer or to dwell upon! Second lecture - Social Enterprise. An extremely interesting concept and more reading! This I have been doing for most of the day and I'm still not done. Thankfully I'm only doing two subjects to start with!! It's going to take time to settle in but hey, it's not nearly as hard as applying for a passport.

Has anyone ever NOT had trouble applying for a passport? I have been trying to get passport applications processed for the kids for about 4 weeks and correct completion of the application alone surely requires completion of a Degree or two. After getting together relevant birth certificates, name change certificates and marriage certificates and obtaining about 20 copies of these certificates; correct sized photos (no smiling, please); signatures witnessed and just about every other piece of identification needed to prove who we all are, save fingerprints, I headed to the post office yesterday for the 4th time only to be told I needed an appointment (which nobody had been kind enough to tell me the last time I went in), upon which I could've jumped across the counter and put my hands around the clerk's neck! However, being the mature age student that I am, and in my new-found rationalism, I calmly made an appointment and returned later in the afternoon and, thankfully, had it all lodged. However, it all seems too good to be true and I'm waiting with baited breath from the Passport Office to tell me something's not right and asking for our actual fingertips!

All in all, a great week. The housework has gone on the back burner, the kids are on a rigid roster and Supportive Husband No. 1 is happily on shopping duty. Yes, I know I'm lucky - Marge Simpson, eat your heart out!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Woman on Wire

When I made the decision to go to uni, I thought my family would just have to fit into my new schedule, you know, like they tell you when you bring home a baby for the first time - they have to learn to fit into your life, not the other way around. Well, judging by my experience this morning, being my first day at school, I think uni will have to fit into my family life and the balancing act is about to begin.

After spending the best part of last week preparing for No. 1 Son's sleepover birthday party, having zero sleep because of said party, getting two hours sleep the next night after collecting Teenage Daughter No. 2 from a dance and dealing with No. 1 Son's sleepless night because of the headache he had from the night before - I awoke early this morning almost refreshed but not quite. After trying to rouse everyone up to get ready, I felt like a tightrope walker balancing my way across the wire, precariously, trying to get to the other side (not quite as graceful as Madonna, but with almost as much dress sense) without falling, to the thrill of an expectant crowd below.

By the time I had had my liberating first morning coffee, pulled my moaning, Monday-itis children out of bed, made lunch, straightened my hair, worked out what to wear, made sure everyone had breakfast, I was well and truly starting to suffer from first day jitters and even beginning to wonder how on earth this was going to work (and I haven't even had to deal with exams or assignments yet!). Lucky Supportive Husband No. 1 offered to drive them all to school. Upon sitting in traffic for 20 minutes and having to navigate my way through the city to get to the other side of town, I felt well and truly nauseous.

After finally finding a park and doing some well deserved deep breathing, it all went pretty much up-hill from there. I found the lecture theatre with some time to spare, made a friend (a grandmother no-less who doesn't look that much older than me) and am back to feeling the confidence I felt when I first enrolled. However, I have a tutorial tomorrow and I know the wire is at the ready and, oh look, here come the clowns!!!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mutton-dressed-as-lamb to the slaughter

As the beginning of the Semester looms ever closer, I am faced with my biggest decision so far. No it's not, How do I actually do an assignment or Do I need to raise my hand when I want to go to the bathroom - it's, What should I wear? There are a few dilemmas to be taken into consideration. If I dress age-appropriately e.g. as I would going to work or for a parent/teacher interview, I risk being mistaken as one of the lecturers (or somebody's mother). However, if I dress to blend in with my fellow students, I risk looking like mutton dressed as lamb. Then my mind wondered to the Madonna. How does this mature-age material girl decide what to wear? Whether she's scouring orphanages in Africa, doing pilates with Gwynneth or doing whatever she does with Jesus, I think she always looks pretty cool. This is a woman over a certain age who actually sets the fashion scene. As Teenage Daughter Number 1 recently said, "Be youself, Mum". Great advice, Daughter. Strike a pose!!!

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!!!