End of September

Here we are at the last day of September in Australia.  It is also the first month of Spring and the day on which I tidy up my thesis.

Although it was very warm Spring weather last week, this week is perfect for writing. 

It is also the second week of the mid-Semester school holidays, with school returning next Monday. 

My counselling interviewee did not arrive as promised yesterday, so I am thinking of other people who live locally for an hour or so of interview on camera.  The main thing is to find someone from a suitable target group that could benefit from career counselling.  Uma, my friend from the post graduate student meeting, lives on the other side of Brisbane, and I hardly ever travel to Brisbane at present.

I am thinking I could use the interview to help with the Youth Music Ministry in my local parish by asking a musician who might be interested in developing her skills in music scheduling and developing the local talent.  Our seminarian has put a notice in the weekly bulletin about helping out buskers.  We could certainly use some of their talents at mass, as our organists are moving away to retirement villages.

There will be lots to keep me busy this week, that’s for sure.




Really feeling like a day of fresh air and sunshine

I had a day of tidying up the house – floors, bathroom, washing, putting stuff away.  After that I really felt like doing things and seeing places.

Mum had mentioned going to the recycle station for one of the Council collection points, so off we went for a quick walk around the grounds.  It wasn’t as busy as their first day of bargain hunting, which was the day before, but still there was a lot to see.  I found three books, two with children’s stories for school and one on narrative therapy.  They were in good condition, so I decided to pick them.  I was very pleased with my find.

On the way home we passed some industrial estates, what looked like the new Costco warehouse and a tent city for a Christian annual convention attached to a local Christian school and community.  We also popped in to Woolworths where I found a 2kg tub of yoghurt for improving my calcium levels, as per doctor’s orders.

We were back in time for lunch and then I changed for football.  There were two games, one on the north side and one in Logan city.  As Riverfire was on in the CBD and the roads in the area were closed, it was fun working out how to get there, but Tim helped out by driving in front of my car.

During our first game, there were four helicopters doing a flyover, two of them came nice and low to get a good look at our game and to show off their helicopter, no doubt.  How awesome!  I loved it.  They passed over several times and the last one was seen heading in the direction of Townsville on its own.  We always see the flyovers for Riverfire during our Saturday game in September.  No doubt half of Brisbane does, too.

The second field was amazing.  It boasted perfect lights, a great area for noisy games with not too many close houses, nice steps to sit on and a club house with high stools and an opening wall of doors to take in the game from under cover on the chairs. 

I was pleased to be out and about, and even more pleased that I feel OK with my iron supplements and the rest helping recovery and concentration.  All in all, it worked out just fine.



Iron tabs

This week I started taking dietary iron supplements, increasing my dietary intake of iron, calcium and vegetables and increased my time out in the sunshine for Vitamin D exposure.

My doctor had the results from my blood test and cancelled my Red Cross blood donations for a few months.  She has scheduled me for blood tests in a month and has told me that I will be sent for more tests if things don’t improve.

To me, this proves that I have given my all, both to the Red Cross blood donation service and my studies.  It was also a revelation to me, as I had often improved my general diet for health reasons, but never with those specific deficiencies in mind. 

I checked the epidemiology of low iron and found that it is a common problem in developing countries, particularly for pregnant women.  Apparently 40 million people in rural China have this problem, which is almost twice the population of Australia. 

It was a bit surprising for me to find that a combination of donating blood and working with lots of different schools where children had Winter viruses had such profound affects.  However, I am feeling much better now and have been these last two weeks.

When I was at university, I lived in four different places, where I rented a room.  At the end of that time of living on a very limited number of calories per day, I was probably also deficient in those nutrients, but did not specifically add iron supplements.  Looking back to that time, I think it would have been better for me if I had.

At least I picked up lots of recipes for using vegetables in interesting ways, so it seems easy now for me to come up with novel salad dressings, vegetable dishes and relatively low cost ways of increasing haem iron intake.

My doctor seems to have come up with a thorough diagnosis and plan for getting me back on track.  I am so lucky to have found a good doctor.


First Aid

Recently, I attended a First Aid course where I learned about Anaphalaxis and Automatic defibrillators.  It was a full day of training, and covered Senior First Aid and Resuscitation. 

For some reason, everyone was very quiet.  We were all keen to stay alert through the sessions and finish as soon as possible, I think.  During the lunch break I went for a walk to the seafront.  It was a beautiful day and far too nice to be indoors, even if it was about helping save lives. 

The presenter is very experienced, so we soon picked up on the main points.  I felt as though I learned how to present such as course as well as how to perform First Aid.  It was strange not talking to other people, though, as we usually have a chance to interact a bit more.

The whole day proved to be very restful and a nice break from my hectic teaching schedule of the last few days. 

I am now ready to finalise my major projects, such as my thesis.  That starts today.  I am taking it in small bite-sized pieces and have started collecting the relevant forms and papers and noting the guidelines and requirements.

I will be applying my own brand of first aid to my thesis and hoping to have it all sorted out during these school holidays.



Many pupils, many schools

It has been a real blessing for me to be teaching these last couple of weeks, as I was keen be out and about in Education and pay some bills.

Although it would be interesting to develop a teaching relationship with a particular school and the students, I do quite like the variety of going to many schools.  I have enjoyed the Primary Schools, Special Schools and High Schools that have afforded me this opportunity recently.

There is even a challenge for me, as I am thinking of converting to a Master’s in Educational Guidance and Counselling after this Semester.  A particularly challenging Year-level cohort of students has given me lots to think about.  I would love to find the best careers and counselling approach to set them on the path for next year, while there is still a Term of school remaining.

Last week I also started to feel better after my flu-like virus that has persisted for several weeks.  My triple antigen seemed to kick start the immune systems in my body to fight off something, and I am feeling like going back to choir this weekend, at last!  I am following up with my doctor for all the checks and feel better about sorting it out with her, too.

Today is also the start of a flurry of assignment completions…. so may things to write and so little time.


Off to school this morning

I have been very fortunate to be called in on supply teaching assignments these last few weeks.

I love the variety and meeting new people.  It has been very interesting to see how well prepared the teachers are and how the day is structured for different combinations of students. 

Yesterday my class joined with another for a history lesson and in the afternoon we borrowed their water measuring table and tray for outdoors maths on comparing volumes – more and less.

This morning, I found yet more updates to the government policies on my thesis topic.  Some had been hidden for years due to other policies being written.  It seems that the lawyers work very hard behind the scenes to put together the policies, standards and frameworks which wil support the general national strengths and economic direction.

All in all, it means that I have lots of work to do, some of it paid work.


Stories are helping me to think

There is a story in the news at present about a Danish medical doctor who is married to an Australian and has four children.  At least they did have, until a recent car crash.  Now they only have one.

The story is so sad and so shocking that I had to think about it and read the article slowly through.  Strangely enough, it led to me thinking about my thesis in more detail.  I then set of on another trail of finding evidence to support the current theories about accountability.

So even though the even that triggered my search is massively tragic, somehow it led to a fruitful search for answers.  It is strange how a crisis or tragedy can help us to use and appreciate what we have.

This morning I received an e-mail from C. telling me about a film release and asking me to produce a music video based on still pictures.  I have been preparing for this for a while, so hope to do so quickly.

This month is a very eventful month for me.  It gives me the opportunity to sort out my priorities and work hard on my research and writing, as well as teaching and fitness training.  I feel challenged in several areas, mainly to help bring people up to speed with strategies and helpful ways of looking at difficult problems.

Sometimes I need divine help more than other times.  It is really only through faith that I can keep trying my best when so many opportunities present themselves in such a short period of time.