Category Archives: Postgrad Study

The Question Is…

One of the things which contributed to my Very Bad Day yesterday, was a trip into uni to pick up some student submissions for marking. Ten minutes after picking them up, Finn spilled water all over the back seat of the car, and the papers. Aaargh. They weren’t harmed much, so unfortunately I still have to mark them. Damn :giggle:

This whole thing, this marking, has been an experience I’d rather not repeat. We refer to it here as ‘my volunteer work’, due to the pittance which I am paid (the hourly rate is actually perfectly satisfactory. The problem stems from the unreasonable and unattainable time limit which is imposed on us to mark each assignment – regardless of how long it actually takes, we are paid only for the given amount of time). But, you know, volunteer work is supposed to be enriching and valuable in other ways, right? Ha.

Anyway, I decided early on that to make myself feel better, I would spend what I earned on stash. Technically this order came from some of my earnings. So now… the question is. What do I go and blow the rest on? A Silkweaver’s Trick or Treat bag? 25% off ‘almost everything’ at the SB&B Ooky Spooky sale? Any other sales on I should know about?

In other uni news, I decided officially today that paying through the teeth to wear a mortarboard and gown and sit through the endless hours of boring drivel that comprise Graduation, is not for me (again). I’m having my degree conferred in absentia. It should arrive sometime next month 🙂

Preggo Brain

Ok, now as a (former) scientist, I know that n=1 is a totally unreliable sample size, but I am here to declare that “Preggo Brain” officially does not exist! My reckoning is this: Of the twelve units I completed for my Masters degree, I sat exams for 5 of them while pregnant. Not all just recently – this is over two different pregnancies – I was pregnant with Finn when I began, and I sat two exams at 33 and 34 weeks gestation respectively. More recently, with Small, I’ve sat exams at 6 weeks, 7 weeks and 22 weeks. The respective grades for those 5 units are as follows: 94, 99, 91, 85, 90. (That 90 was the final unit, I just got my grade on Friday 🙂 )

So there, you see! Obviously it is possible for one’s brain to continue functioning while pregnant. Of course… ask me to remember what I’m supposed to be buying for dinner, and then it all just falls apart completely!

That 85 up there is the thorn in my side, lemme tell you. It’s the only sub-90 mark I have on my record. There was a thread recently on the Wagon BB discussing group projects. That 85 is the result of my only group project in the whole degree. It was a nasty experience that I have no intention of ever repeating, and the source of all my stress over the second half of last year. By some miracle, we managed to pull it together enough in the final couple of days to score 75 on the project. For some weeks, I feared that we’d fail it completely 🙁

Anyway, that’s enough blowing of my trumpet. The point I was getting at is that… I passed the last unit! It’s definitely all over now. And my stitching thanks me for it :giggle:

Thank You

I didn’t get around to this yesterday, because I was so full of ‘I’ve finished’, and also so very, very tired (I did stitch for a couple of hours before bed though, which was nice). But I needed to say a big, big thankyou to everyone who’s been around for me lately. Whether you left one of the many lovely comments on my blog, or whether you ezInbox’ed me, or emailed me, or whether you were my Mum or FIL or OtherHalf, who have looked after Finn while I gallivanted off to school, I appreciate every single good word and good thought and good deed that has come my way.

I’ve done so much thinking, thinking, thinking over the last week, and not just about secure servers and firewall architecture, either. I need to switch my brain off for a little while, I think! I’m looking forward to stitching a square for Laura’s quilt when my charts get here. I’m looking forward to spoiling my Secret Stitcher ‘victim’, and taking part in a few stitching exchanges. I’m looking forward to reading a book or three. But beyond that, my brain will be asleep… so don’t ask me any tricky questions for awhile, OK?

Stick A Fork In Me, I’m Done


There is a seriously anticlimactic feel to this day. Partly because I finished on an easy unit and not a difficult one (brought about because I had Finn and took a leave of absence, and then did things a bit out of order). Partly because the exam was a bit… odd, in parts. Not that it was particularly difficult – I only needed about 90 minutes for the 3 hour exam. But there were obscure questions worth more marks than they should have been, and poorly worded questions where I felt it necessary to state my assumptions just in order to answer. And the lecturer came and read over my shoulder for a good five minutes, which I found terribly distracting, until I actually had to ask her to leave!

Anyway, it’s done and gone. I felt quite overwhelmed as I left. Relieved, yes, definitely, for the shedding of all the stress. A little bit sad, for the leaving behind of a big part of my life these last three years. Proud of myself, for having set my mind to do this, and having done it well. And just a pinch of “Well, what next…?” :giggle: As I said to a friend a short time after the exam – this is officially the first time since starting primary school that I have been neither employed nor studying! Not sure how I’ll adjust to that, but I’m sure it will be nice for a while.

So… in case you’re wondering… although it isn’t official until about April when I get the bit of paper (and technically, it’s not even slightly official until next week when the results are out)… I have just completed one of these:

Master of Technology (Internet and Web Computing)

(or, for less of a mouthful, an MTech(IWEB))

Whoohoo! 😆


Well… um…

No comments on the last post! At all. That kind of reminds me why I don’t lay my heart out very often. I’ll just pick it back up off the blog floor now and go back to ‘safe’ posts. Or maybe I’ll just pretend you all forgot the way here and no-one read it. Yeah. That’s it.

OK, no more feeling sorry for myself, I promise. After I finished writing that post and went back to bed (yes, it was really that time here… not sleeping well of late), one Small person decided to have a party in my belly and remind me in her infinite wisdom that in the eternal cycle, life follows death just as certainly as death follows life.

Her! Yes, I said her 😉 ! See, you knew I wasn’t going to keep that secret for long, didn’t you? Yes, Small is a she-Small. She in fact has a name now, but in the interest of keeping something for later, I’ll keep that to myself.
(Also in the interest of just-in-case-the-sonographer-is-wrong… in which case we will of course name him ‘Sue’!)

Check out the mugshot… check out that huge head! Yes, just like both of her parents, she needs a giant head to keep her giant brain in :giggle: Anyway, as the measurements came through (at 20 weeks, measuring about 21), my hopes of having a ‘normal’ birth began to fade. Either way, I will of course be happy, as long as she’s OK, but I really was hoping to avoid a second caesarian.

In other brief news, the three 2½ day cram is about to begin. I haven’t been able to focus on studying effectively for Monday’s exam, so tomorrow I’m running away to Mum’s place, sans family, to stick my head down and get it under control. You won’t notice I’m gone, of course… not because no-one visits my blog anymore (sob!), but because I have a fascinating post lined up to auto-post itself while I’m gone. Apart from that, I shall report back on Monday night.

PS. Ahh, now, you see, I look silly. I just get through posting this, then Annette left me the most lovely comment on the last entry. Thankyou Annette, I am humbled by your appreciation.

Ten Days and Counting

It’s officially Official. The summer exam timetable is out, and I will be finishing my Masters degree at 5.30pm on the 13th of February 🙂 Whoohoo! Wish me luck…

Flipping a Coin

Reverse psychology is a funny ol’ thing, isn’t it?! Let me ‘splain. I received a job-offer yesterday. It caught me completely off guard actually. I went to have a lecturer of mine sign some paperwork associated with a big administrative nightmare I’ve been undergoing at Uni this last couple of months. And she offered me a sessional teaching position for Semester 2 this year – Head Tutor for Usability Engineering 😮

Last time I took a position it was also for this lecturer. Evidently she has a lot of faith in me. Faith that I’m not sure I have myself, but hey. I tutored in Java for a semester, and it was a valuable experience for me to have.

But let’s recap. Baby – due June 20. Semester 2 – starting July 24. Hmmm… seriously short interval there, doncha think?!

Anyway, because I was taken by surprise, and also quite flattered by the offer, I didn’t say NO immediately, even though that was my initial reaction. Then, after I told a couple of people, their reactions of “Ooh, that’s a bit soon, don’t you think?” started making me examine the possibility and thinking perhaps it might be doable after all.

The driving concern behind that thinking is that I worry I will have a gaping hole in my CV between graduating Masters and a possible return to the workforce. And if I don’t return to the workforce, then what was the point of the Masters in the first place? I’ve always had some difficulty with being ‘just’ a stay-at-home-Mum, even though I know it’s such a valuable gift to give to my children.

Ok… moving on. Looking for some additional feedback to help me decide, I posted on the Wagon BB that I was thinking of saying yes, and did everyone think I was crazy? Well, apparently no-one thought I was crazy to think of taking this on when I will still be counting weeks since the birth on one hand.

Which is the point at which I made up my mind to in fact turn down the offer. See… reverse psychology! Or something. I compared it to that magical way of making a decision – flip a coin, see what the answer is, and if you don’t like the answer then you’ll know what you wanted all along :giggle:

I started remembering those early weeks. Though I recovered quite quickly from my caesarean, the sleep deprivation kicked me for six. And Finn was a relatively good sleeper. What if Small is a rotten sleeper? Or I have a second caesar from which I don’t recover quite so quickly?

I’ve been pretty much stressed out for most of Finn’s life while I’ve been completing this degree – remember this post? I owe it to Finn, to OtherHalf, to Small, and most of all to ME, to take it easy for a while. If and when I decide to start my next career, I’ll just have to struggle with ‘the gap’ and finding the right job when I get there. And if I don’t… well, my education will still not have been in vain. The enjoyment and self-satisfaction I’ve gained from being back at Uni have been worth the stress and hard work.

Yes really!


Ahem. Hello! Remember me?

Sorry. I seem to have been in a bit of a blogging-minislump lately. Coinciding with a stitching-minislump, unfortunately. So what have I been doing? Well, sleeping, shopping, studying, and stuffing my face, mainly 😆

New Year’s Eve, aka Finn’s Birthday, was quite something. The hottest NYE since… well, ever! In Melbourne the temperature eventually climbed to 42.9C (that would be 109.2F for some of you). In the part of the state where we were – somewhere north-west of Bendigo, it was somewhere close to 46C (that would be oh, about a million in Fahrenheit terms, I think). I say “somewhere close”, because opinions were varied between those who had thermometers attached to their cars, and we had no other measuring device. Suffice to say, it was Not Good. Much like an oven, really. We managed to summon enough energy to sing Happy Birthday for Finn (He’s THREE… OMG!) during the afternoon at some point, but mostly we just sat around in my Father-in-law’s half-renovated, non-airconditioned house and melted into people-puddles. The point where the power failed and our one little pedestal fan was no longer, that was really, really Not Fun.

At close to sunset (temperature still v.high 30s, at least), we drove up to nearby Melville Caves, where we ate prawns, drank champagne (though neither for me 😥 ), and watched the sun set. Well, kind of. Visibility was a bit poor due to the bushfires raging across the state in Stawell.

We had plans to stay the night with my FIL and drive to Mum’s (about an hour-and-a-half away) in the morning for another mini-party for Finn. But at around 11pm, with one grumpy boy on our hands, temps still in the mid-to-high-30s, little hope of restful sleep, and no shower to be had in the morning, we decided to pack up and drive across the state right there and then. So that is how I came to see in 2006 as the only person awake in the car in the middle of nowhere. (After saying the obligatory “White Rabbits”, I woke OtherHalf to wish him Happy New Year :giggle: )

The change in the weather didn’t come through until mid-afternoon on the 1st, but how blissful when it did. I celebrated by burning the wagon! Yes… that’s right. I SHOPPED FOR STASH! I’m glad I managed to last out the year, but heck, I’m not doing that again :giggle: I headed over to Stitching Bits and Bobs and reduced the size of my wishlist by 8 charts, some beads and sparklies to kit out Mermaids of the Deep Blue, and a few other bits and pieces (or bits and bobs, I guess!) My package should be here any day now, I’ll be sure to take a picture for you!

Christmas and NYE (and shopping) having taken the wind completely out of my sails, I pretty much slept through January 2nd and 3rd… and then I went back to uni on the 4th. Eeeek! I have been immersing myself in the exciting 😐 world of web servers ever since, and that’s what I’ll be doing for the next few weeks, oh joy. After that…… FREEDOM! Free, free, free as a bird! No more studying for me, for at least… err, well, let’s not make any promises we can’t keep now, shall we?!

Anyhoo… here’s a couple of NYE pictures for you. These were taken up at the caves. 1) Happy Birthday Finny Banana! 2) Happy New Year to 3 generations of boys 🙂


It’s Still October

In case you’re wondering where I’ve been, just remember this post. I’m just taking a breather while I try and survive the rest of October. Of course, it’s not helping that every time I do have a little bit of time online, I end up thoroughly irritated by some-little-thing-or-other. I just don’t want to blog about that stuff right now. I could blog about uni, but you don’t really need to hear about how dreadfully my exam prep is going, I assure you!

There are other things going on in my life at the moment, too. Good things, mostly. Things that deserve blogtime. The house… and other stuff. Which will come to light at the appropriate time, but not now. Right now, I just need to get through the next four days, and then… sleep and sleep and sleep. Oh, and stitch a little, too – I’m just going to be able to squeak my Redwork exchange into the mail on deadline day, I think.

‘Til I resurface, hope you’re all having fun 🙂 And Laura… mondo congrats on the house-signing 😆

I’m All Grown Up

Happy Birthday Me 🙂

Finn decided I was in fact turning 88 :giggle: So sweet.

I feel that at 30, I should probably feel like an adult. Normally, no, but this week, with pressures from all directions, I think I do. Reached my goal of no grey hairs though!

Because of said pressures, there will be no big celebrations. I’m not a big one for parties even on a good year, but this year it’s just impossible to stop and breathe, let alone party. I’ll be spending this evening writing sql and php, and if I get a chance, a Usability report. Joy :yuk:

However – once the next few weeks are a mere memory, I plan to sit down with my brand new Will & Grace DVDs (Seasons 1 & 2)… and STITCH! That will be sweeeet 😆

PS. I decided I was not allowed to be miserable and stressed on my birthday (well, not all day anyway), so Finn and I trundled up the street for coffee and cake. Orange flourless cake, to be precise. Ooooh. My body, having become accustomed to high protein, low fat over the last 3 months, has a little bit to say about that kind of abuse. But heck, it was worth it! Now… I hope Mum doesn’t decide to bring cake over later :giggle: