Seven hours ahead of Helsinki

My time zone is 7 hours ahead of Vantaa, where the girls are officiating in WWC2013.  That means that a 4pm game is shown on the internet at 11pm our time, and an 8pm game is at 3am.  At least the updated on social media are coming in thick and fast, so there are lots of photographs and other types of news.

I could tell that the officiating crews were focussed, as I slept really well last night and only woke before the 3am game in time to decide whether to wake up the household or not.  I think I have more chances of watching the next game day, although I should have tested it last night, to be sure.

On Wednesday this week, I hope to meet my supervisors about my thesis progress, as I need to sort out where I stand for next Semester.  They probably want me to keep the PhD enrolment as an option, with part-time study for Semester 2 of this year.  In any case, I am completing my counselling course part-time, so it’s not as if I will be short of things to do.

This morning I discovered that Helsinki is a bit like Toronto, I think it is, with part of the city underground, especially heating plants.  Although Helsinki looks very open to the wind and snow in Winter, having swimming pools and bicycle paths underground adds a whole new dimension.

Oh, well, I suppose I had better return to my coding exercise while working out how to explain the huge impact of the results on my thesis!


Skillset complete and polished up a little

Yesterday the phone rang at around 8:30am.  They wanted me to teach at a nearby school with minutes to pack and go.  I was wearing jeans with a long-sleeved shirt and light jumper and just had time to tidy up, pack some lunch and leave the house.

It was a great opportunity, as I was able to test my community mental heath skill set, just completed.  The children were very cooperative and I learned a lot about reward systems in the classroom because that is how the teacher had arranged the day.

In the morning when I checked my e-mail, there was a message from my lecturer in community mental health to say that I had passed all my assignments at a very high standard.  It is lovely when lecturers take the time to send an individual message to students.  That was another thing that cheered me up this morning for the day ahead.

In the afternoon there was a message on my telephone from a publisher asking when I was going to publish my manuscript.  Considering that my thesis rewrite is still underway, I will have to check with my supervisors about a publishing schedule.  The plan includes three papers, for which I have the abstracts ready.

Today is another day.  There are two days left before school holidays start.  I expect it will be a good time to write my thesis in the upcoming holidays.


Writing, Running – check. Workouts – duh!!!

Over the last three months or so, I have managed to go jogging with Max most days and write on my blog most days.  The aim was to be able to write technical papers and the like by developing a writing habit, and adding some jogging to keep my circulation going.

That has been a great success.  I discovered a great basic recipe for an oat slice that can be varied with fruit, ricotta and other delicious things.  I have increase my daily drinks of water and added an extra coffee in the mornings – making two coffees a day.

There is the online training in nutrition which I have yet to start, but it is on the back burner, so to speak.  My technical and further education (TAFE) course is an elective for the Diploma in Fitness.  That’s the working in community mental health settings, for the case management and counselling side of things.

So now, I will really have to add some workouts which target legs, upper body and core, in different sessions.  My oaty slice can take protein powder and eggs if I need to adjust that.  My chicken soup recipe can take frozen spinach, tinned mushrooms and tinned tomatoes, if required.  I have some green, seaweed powder in the cupboard…..yum!

So the next thing after the BIG writing project for May/early June is definitely workouts.  I have to start planning NOW!


Study group at Liz’s

I arrived a bit early at my class this Friday but found only six students and a transcription Aider person there.  Ann Marie did not arrive at all, so I had to e-mail my assignment and put it in the post when I got home.

We decided to go to Liz’s unit for a study group to tackle the Job Description assignment which is due in less than three weeks.  Mandy, Kay, Liz and I all discussed the questions and read through the Community Support Worker and Case Worker job profiles in detail with lots of stories and questions.  We worked through lunch and finished at 2pm.  So it was a good day’s study.

I felt inspired to complete the assignment early, which I hope to do either Saturday (today) or early next week.  There are a couple of other papers and reports to write, though, so I will be busy.

Mandy has lived in South Africa and Kay’s family is from there, too.  I have visited my Uncle in Johannesburg, so we had a few things to share. 

When I arrived home, I made an electronic copy of my assignment, saved it to Dropbox and sent the links by e-mail to Ann-Marie.  I also posted the hardcopy, which fitted in an envelope, so it was easy to do.

Then I went to the chemist to look for eye drops, as I have a vein that is showing in the white of my eye.  However, she said it would clear up on its own and not to worry too much.  I have had it once before without any problems.

Oh well, it is Mother’s Day tomorrow week.  I have a card and gave my Mum a trial set of A-F33, the new Avon wrinkle cream which has been on the television in current affairs and morning shows.  Hopefully, we will take a before and after photograph to see if there is any effect on extreme wrinkles. 

In the meantime, I will ask her to stop by the garden shop on the way to pick up our Pizza oven today.  I might find some nice flowers growing in a small pot that she would like.


Search for the counter narrative

As usual, I am up early, about half an hour before dawn, making coffee and catching up on the news.  This time, it is not fb and e-mail, but the American news.  It’s all about Boston.

We sat enthralled yesterday as the drama unfolded and Boston was in lock-down.  The evening news had the updates.  In the morning, our time, early evening in Boston, the analysis was well underway.

It was the strangest thing.  In between going out for a jog with Max and my normal routine, all of a sudden my little world was part of the bigger picture.  Jogging, watching inspiring Nike videos online, watching the Junior Nationals Gridiron Championship online, catching up on assignments… it’s all part of my information net that suddenly grew very large.

It seems the bombing was part of an initiation rite for a Caucasian-related group.  The separate bombs were the signatures of two separate would-be initiates.  The cost of study without scholarship and family support led them to want athletic scholarships in wrestling…. The prestige of Harvard beckoned.  Being an unrecognised minority did not help if there was an FBI record of past activities.

Is my thesis really on international students?  Am I really studying career counselling? Do I really go to my Certificate IV in Mental Health classes on Fridays?  How can this be?  There seems to be an “altro polo”.  The academic as against the chaotic and watching a movie last night with Dan Akroyd in “Ghost Busters” seemed all so relevant.  Even the 1980s hair on Sigourney Weaver seemed somehow appropriate.

Too much connection for one day….


Study Group

This morning I met with Julie, Toni and Sandra for my study group in Psychology.  They were full of interesting stories about their backgrounds and Julie was very kind to allow us to use her place for the meeting.

Now I am motivated to research my original topic for the literature review in Counselling.  Although I had hoped to start it today, I expect it is better to have a more interesting topic that is relevant to general child development, rather that a specialised area.

So now, I am looking at social cognition related to system justification and social equality.  The broader picture in this focus is
more the way that children copy what they see without thinking of whether it is kind or fair.

This approach seems to lend itself to less retelling of government agendas and more exploration of how children learn
to manage their own behaviours with help from teachers and counsellors.


Teaching Rehearsal Underway

Yesterday morning I was talking to my Mum about a project I am doing.  It involves teaching a session to at least three people and having them fill in a feed-back form.  This might seem like a simple task, but not at first attempt.

Social media is hopeless for recruiting people as most people I know are only on the internet every second or third week.  Neighbours have their family events, like new born babies suddenly arriving.  Friends have “life” events like the sudden passing away of grandparents and others.

Surprisingly, by the afternoon there was a solution.  Kit had called to say that Jim was in an accident.  They had been driving home from a lunch with friends when he fell asleep and drove into a telegraph pole.  Mum took Kit to the hospital to see him, as she could not drive there.  While she was talking to Kit, Mum told her about my project.  Strangely enough, Kit and her granddaughter are waiting around for news of Jim’s operation on his ankles and would like to fill in some forms and take their minds off the accident.

Mum called me when I was on the bus, coming back from an appointment in the CBD.  I was stunned at how quickly things had fallen into place and shocked that Jim had to suffer so much just for falling asleep.

Jim needs plates in his ankles.  Another candidate for rehabilitation!!! I can see this being an opportunity born out of calamity!  He is a very social person, past president of the local Irish Club and active in the local Parish church.  He has also tirelessly certified the photocopies of my documents for job applications over the years.

25 January 2013

The rehearsal went well and I finally have my three feedback sheets and even some worksheets from the mini-lesson.  It was fun to do and I met Jacqui, Kit’s granddaughter.  Mum and I dropped Jacqui off at a local college and took Kit to her physiotherapy appointment afterwards.  They don’t have a car at the moment due to the accident and Kit doesn’t drive.  Jacqui did not renew her licence as she has been teaching overseas.

Yesterday evening I sent off my assignment papers by e-mail and this morning received acknowledgement from Romy.  I was so thankful to have finished that one!  I also sent off some other papers that I had been working ahead with, so this course is allmost finished.  Finishing the last paper is really something to which I look forward with great anticipation.