Deferring uni

I’ve been thinking for the last few months about what I want to do with myself. Obviously I have to work because bills have to be paid, so full-time work will need to continue, but the other biggest thing was my uni work.

To give a bit of background, I started uni again because I didn’t enjoy the work I was doing and so was looking at it as an investment in a career change. But now, I do enjoy what I’m doing and the company I’m working for and so it’s more of a hobby now; something to do because it interests me.

University as a hobby is a huge investment, in terms of time and effort and it’s also an added layer of stress because of the assignments and deadlines. I can’t help but feel it’s being a bit wasted on me because I’m not taking it seriously.

In addition to uni, I also want to volunteer at Monarto Zoo one or two days a month, of course there’s still pole dancing and the gym which I haven’t had much time for lately, and I want to be able to take my kayaks out. That’s just all the things I want to do without thinking about seeing family or friends, so quite a lot on my plate!

The one thing I feel that’s really holding me back from investing in all that or doing it as much as I wished I could is uni. Purely because uni takes up so much of my time in the evenings and on the weekends, I don’t often feel like I have time for much else.

So having thought about it long and hard, I’m going to defer uni next year. I’m not sure if I want to give up my position in the course yet, so deferring at least gives me some wiggle room to see how next year goes, I can do all the things I want to do and then decide if I really want to give up my position.

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Throwback Thursday, 12 November – The Mad Scientist

1017500_10151546113398170_150558799_nIt’s me! Years ago I was doing some external study with Open Universities Australia and one of the topics I was doing happened to be chemistry. At the end of the lab we were playing around, by that I mean we added too much of one chemical to make the fluid turn pink, so that we could take pictures with brightly coloured substances like the one in the picture.

Why? Because this was a novelty. It was the only interaction I ever had with the students…It was two days of an entire semester.

It did make me realise that studying externally wasn’t really making me feel like I was getting value out of doing a science degree. I wasn’t getting that level of interaction with students or teaching staff and wasn’t getting experience working in a laboratory. I ended up taking a year off after that to reassess what I wanted to do with my study. If I should continue doing it, and whether I should just suck it up and do it online or if I should see if I could physically attend university.

Fortunately, Flinders University offers a sort of compromise. Their lectures are available online, which means I don’t need to go into university say three times a week. There are of course lab practicals and tutorials, but for the most part the university provides ones that are outside of work hours, or are close enough to that I only need to leave work half an hour early.

For me this is a perfect fit. I haven’t had to reduce my working hours at all, and I’m able to physically attend those important practicals and tutorials because of the times uni makes them available. Win, win!

Have you had to manage this sort of a juggling act? What compromises have you made for it?

Take care,

Jas

Friday Favourites, 6 November – I got promoted!

It has been incredibly full on week for me this week and I have a few highlights to share, one that includes a promotion!

Seeing my grandparents. My uni field trip was based about five minutes from my grandparents how, so I stayed with them for the duration of the field trip. It was really nice to be able to spend some time with them for a few days.

Lizard scat. Ok, so how many people would say that poop is a highlight of the week? One of the activities on the field trip was to clamber over a rocky shore looking for lizard scat because we wanted to analyse the difference in diet between adults and juveniles. Sounds gross, but it was actually fun climbing up and over things and being all sciencey.

Bird catching. This was a more relaxing activity on the field trip. We walked around in scrubland and put up some mist nets and then wandered back and forth checking them out to see if we’d caught any birds. The idea to check their health and see if they had any ticks. Geez birds are fascinating, if you’ve never been able to hold wild ones in your hand and look at them up close, they are amazing little creatures.

Uni’s over. For the year anyway. As much as I love uni, I really do look forward to having holidays. It’s a big three month holiday and at the end I’m normally chomping at the bit to get back to my studies but at the moment I’m happy to be on a long break.

The promotion! Within twenty minutes of returning to work on Thursday I got a call from my boss offering me a promotion to Manager. It’s effective 1st November and I’m officially managing 5 people across 2 teams. I’m excited and overwhelmed and it all seems a little surreal at the moment.

Hope everyone else has been having a lovely week, what have the highlights been for you?

Take care,

Jas

Uni ecology field trip

I missed doing the Motivational Monday post yesterday, oh no! I have been at, and am still at actually, a university field trip for the ecology topic I’m doing at the moment, and it has just been full on. Good fun, but just so jam packed. I left home at 7:30am and wasn’t back till just after 9:00pm and was just too tired to do anything but shower and head to bed.

Yesterday we went looking for lizards and lizard scat, basically we wanted to see whether we could find any evidence to support the hypothesis that as lizards get older, the composition of their diet changes to be primarily herbivorous, rather than primarily insectivorous. So off we trundled down to a beach which was all rocks, and I’m not talking little rocks, I’m talking big massive ones that you had to climb over, and rock faces that you literally had to climb up about 3 metres to get to the top and then smooth rock on the other side with just jagged rock poking out, so you had to be careful trying to shimmy down. It was intimidating and exciting. Then of course onto the shitty business…all very scientific using GPS points and measuring from the points, lots of labelling and sketching. Then hauling arse back over rocks to get back to the camp to measure and weight the scat and then leave it to soak for a while so we could pull it apart and tell what they’d been eating. It was stinky business, but in the end we found that there wasn’t really much difference between what adults and juveniles were eating.

But wait…there’s more! We also had to put together a presentation for the group…and we were told to have fun with it. So we did a bit of a narrative and role play, did some scatting – not shitting on the floor, but the musical version of scatting, just thought I should clear that up there! We had the group stand, sit, kneel to represent a “people” histogram, or pistogram as we called it. And just added in puns about poo basically. It was quite funny, we had people, including us, rolling around in fits of laughter.

Today was a bit more relaxed because I was bird catching. Well, not me per se, I couldn’t just snatch them out of the air, but we set up mist nets to catch the birds in, and then the demonstrators would get the birds out and band and measure them and all that. So today was a lot of trekking around in scrubland, setting up mist nets and walking around to periodically check them and help with the banding and data collection. We did get to hold them and release them though so that was pretty cool. The purpose of this study was to check the birds over for ticks, the hypothesis being that birds in a smaller conservation park will have more ticks that contain more bacteria harbouring pathogens that can kill birds and/or humans. We didn’t find any ticks though, but the conservation park we were in was relatively large so I don’t think anyone was too surprised by that.

And just like yesterday we had to do a presentation to the group. Whereas last night the groups were quite different in terms of presentation, today, three of the groups did quizzes! The other group did well I guess a normal presentation of reading boring information to cards, it wasn’t very “fun”. Our group, I wrote a short story to talk about how a Honeyeater we caught was crying to its neighbouring birds for help, regardless of species and they responded to the call, having recognised it. So the short story was about that from a birds perspective. Then we also did a haiku and added in a couple of serious questions and observations in between chapters of story. The story we did was a funny one so again we had the group laughing which is always good.

Hope you guys have been having an enjoyable week so far!

Take care,

Jas

Friday Favourites, 30 October

I didn’t get a chance to post this last night as I fell asleep on the couch…at 8pm. Makes me feel just a bit like a nana! It has been a big week, and not all in a good way but here are a couple of highlights I have to share.

Lunch with a girlfriend. One of my work friends and I went out for a quick lunch to get out of the office. It was nice to catch up as it’s been a while since we’d had a one on one lunch date at work.

Lunch with a few friends. Given the week we’d had at work we decided it would be a good idea to unwind at the local pub and have a bevvie over lunch which was nice and relaxing, and probably why I fell asleep so early last night!

Face masks. I signed up for the Beauteque Mask Maven monthly subscription and I got my first bag of masks last week and used two of them this week which felt like a nice indulgence!

Uni has finished. Well for the year anyway which is nice, I have been looking forward to the break. This means I’ll be able to do some reading for pleasure now too!

Extra days leave. Now that I’ve been at my company for over three years I get an extra five days of paid annual leave per year, so I now get 5 weeks annual leave a year, yay!

I hope you’ve all had a lovely week, let me know in the comments below what the highlights of your week were.

Take care,

Jas

Photo An Hour, October 2015 – Just a lazy Sunday

I didn’t really get up to too much today, it was mostly just a day around the house doing some chores, some uni work and of course my pole class. Below are a few pictures from my day.

9am – Woke up a little while ago, still a bit sleepy, haven’t done anything with my hair or makeup yet

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10am – Making brunch, well part of it anyway. I was on pancake duty while my partner was out cooking the bacon and eggs on the BBQ.

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11am – All ready to head to my pole class. It’s an exotic pole class so I like to add to the sexy feels by doing my makeup.

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12pm – So it appears I forgot to take a picture for this hour, whoops! Anyway at 12pm I was just rocking up at the studio to do my pole class.

1pm – Cos I’m not going to be at the class next week which is the last one for the term, I took a video of my instructor doing the routine, and below is a snapshot from the routine.

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2pm – Copying some files over to my hard drive. My phone has virtually no storage on it so I need to keep transferring files over to the hard drive pretty much as soon as I’ve taken them.

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3pm – Attempting to do some studying while Bathurst is on, to prepare for the week ahead.

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4pm – But I fell asleep so I’m still going with the studying. When will there ever be a textbook that doesn’t put me to sleep? Or is it just that my brain gets so full I have to sleep in order to convert it to my longterm memory?

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5pm – Late afternoon tea, enjoying an apple and a cup of green tea.

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6pm – Trying the studying thing again while watching Falling Skies…like that’s going to end well for my study!

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7pm – Putting away the laundry in time for the working week ahead.

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8pm – Being a good dog mother and feeding the pooch.

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9pm – Signing out for the night. I’ve had a shower and enjoying a home made iced coffee. Probably not the best thing to have before bed, but meh.

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I hope you all had a great weekend. If you have anything you’d like to share about your weekend, post it in the comments below!

Take care,

Jas