Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Good Moaning... Welcome to my busy life!

I'm back at my desk. I didn't go to Uni all of last week, and I was on Burwood Campus for much of the previous week - so blogging has been a bit erractic.

Last week was CRAZY busy - hence not getting to Uni. By 10am Monday morning, I had already managed to forget an appointment and realise I had to squeeze even more into my week than I had anticipated. Things didn't get better after that!

Monday I had to make sure all the school transition papers were filled in for Ari, as well as submitted forms for the Artist Camp Fair Exhibition where I will be exhibiting these four paintings...

Tuesday I went and saw my psychologist - who has also been treating Erik's Autism - she was shocked at how the Paed had out of hand dismissed Erik's diagnosis without actually assessing him. So, we have decided to go with another Paed because the psych and the speech therapist (who do not know one another) both actually tested Erik and definitely agreed he was on the spectrum. The new Paed has experience with people of all ages on the spectrum, which we suspect the first Paed does not.

I had to also pick up some spray varnish to varnish my brother's 'Perfect Man'.

Wednesday, I had an appointment with the Disability Liaison Office here at Deakin. I explained that I was concerned the new limit on printing for PhD students would impede my ability to effectively review and edit my work. I also told them I am not at all happy about being at Greenwood campus, and having to navigate a busy stretch of road to get to Burwood campus where I need to be to do a lot of my work, meet my supervisor and so on. They are going to look into other options for me. Honestly, I don't care if I'm stuck in a closet, so long as I am on Burwood or Elgar campus.

Wednesday was also parent teacher meetings for Erik. I had the opportunity to pass on the psych and speech therapist reports to his mentor, who passed them onto the student wellbeing officer, who photocopied them and will pass them onto Erik's various teachers. The mentor was not particularly engaged with the reports (this is the only way I can think of describing his reaction). He had previously told us he could not believe there was anything 'wrong' with Erik, because Erik is such a delight in his classroom. During last week's meeting I asked what Erik excels in most in his class (Science) and it came to light Erik excels at the pracs. It also came to light the teacher runs through the pracs in a hands on manner, then asks the students to duplicate his own actions. Well, of course, Erik does well with this - it is hands on, concrete, repetitious and does not ask Erik to initiate thought or use his imagination.

We met his math teacher, who is about 12, but thoroughly delightful and seems to be bringing out a willingness to work in Erik.

We also met his new history teacher, who had noticed Erik hangs out at the noisiest table in the room and may or may not be playing computer games instead of working - we suggested she keep him at a desk closer to her during class.

Wednesday night we had the iPad information session for parents at the primary school. I think the people running the session thought they were going to impress parents with how awesome a 1:1 iPad ratio would be for their kids. I don't think they were at all prepared for parents who already had misgivings about having to buy or rent iPads at their own cost for multiple children, or having their children exposed to iPads throughout the day, or even the choice of iOS over other platforms such as Surface and Android.

I was the first to raise my hand and ask a question, which was to ask them to explain further how moving from a 3D environment to a 2D environment would be beneficial for kinaesthetic learners. At first the researcher said she didn't believe learners were only visual, auditory or kinaesthetic and therefore it shouldn't be too difficult for students to adapt, she asked if that answered my question. I said it didn't and explained that I do believe people have a dominant mode of learning and that some students would be dominantly kinaesthetic, and how would working in a 2D environment be beneficial to those learners. She said, she believed that kinaesthetic learners needed to develop visual and auditory learning skills. She said they needed to move from the concrete to the abstract. I don't disagree with this, however, as most 5 years are quite concrete, I have to wonder if struggling with the basics of learning because of the 2D environment, won't create an unstable basis for future learning, thus undermining learning right from the start. She knew, and the staff who were in attendance, knew, that this had not been given enough consideration.

Mostly, I was unimpressed with the information session, it was a lot of smoke and mirrors with several bits of footage of our kids to melt our stance (which wasn't overly successful because so many parents held grave concerns about this new direction).

One parent asked about the safety to our children's health being exposed to wifi all day long at such a young age - the researcher and staff had to admit they had not even considered this; they actually asked parents to research this for them and forward any findings. Brilliant.

On Thursday, I spent the morning varnishing Danny - my brother's 'Perfect Man'. The spray varnish was a fail. it caused the layer of paper mache to become translucent, it also did not cover the entire mannequin, which I didn't realise until Friday.


Friday was insane!

In the morning we had to get the kids ready for school and kinder while also putting wire on the back of Erik's painting, putting affirmations into George's crocheted heart, vanishing Danny with water based paint on varnish, then dropping the boys off before heading out to drop off Danny and George.

George in the display window at Malvern Artist's Centre on High Street, Malvern.
After dropped of Erik's painting, Danny and George and our submission forms. We headed over a friend's house to pick up some candelabra and candle holders she had picked up on hard rubbish for me.

This needed a good scrub, but was otherwise fine.

There were in perfect condition!

I am constantly shocked at what people will toss on hard rubbish!

Friday night I went to another friend's house for a Chef's Toolbox party - and didn't order anything - and was treated to an amazing chicken and mushroom risotto, cooking in 8 minutes in a pressure cooker, followed by the most scrumptious self saucing chocolate puddings serves with fresh double thick cream - yum, yum, yum!

On Saturday, my parents came over to watch the kids while the Grumpy Old Man and I went out to do birthday shopping for Ari and grocery shopping for us. Then had to drop Erik off at a friend's birthday party for a sleep over.

Saturday night I went to birthday and post graduation party for a friend's partner. Then I came home and blew up balloons and wrapped presents for Ari's fifth birthday.

Sunday, the Grumpy Old Man and I were woken up to squeals of delight over the carpet of balloons in Ari's room!

We rarely allow the boys to have balloons because they become so excited playing with them, but as we ended up not giving Ari a birthday party this year (as planned) due to lack of fund, we decided to relax the balloon rules this week.

Then it was present time. Since the move to the new house, and having to give away the back yard toys due to a lack of room in our new back yard, Ari has been a bit unsure of what to do with himself outside, so we decided to remedy that this birthday...

His very own soccer ball - no more nicking Luey or Bryn's!

Ooops, this is a bit blurry. It's actually a rubber dog toy shaped as a pig and it snorts. Ari just loves how Peppa Pig's family snorts, so this was a bit of a novelty prize.

Soccer goals to kick his ball into!

A kiddie golf set which can also be used with the goals. 
Totem tennis!

This Cranky the Crane had been on lay-by for weeks, Ari was so excited to get it!

The big surprise present was this trans-temporal sonic screwdriver. It makes 8 different sounds and lights up. Ari had previous had a 5th doctor sonic which made a sound but did not light up and he was constantly 'borrowing' one of the other boys sonics because he loves the light so much.

After presents we set out to pick Erik up from the sleep over before driving down to the Malvern Artist's Centre for the Brushes with Life exhibition on High Street in Malvern!

I had my 'Light' photo exhibiting and Erik had his untitled cube earth on exhibition as well as the two mannequins by my brother and I.

There were some really loving pieces being exhibited. Mostly realistic landscapes, flora, fauna. Some photograph, but only one piece I would really call abstract. This might reflect the average age of the painters, I don't know. I'm such a huge fan of abstract, but it often doesn't make it into exhibitions, I have noticed (or maybe I'm just attending the wrong exhibitions). Anyway, this was my favourite piece in show...

I'm obviously referring to the abstract at the top of this photo. I love the vibrant colour and the lines and the hint of something indecipherable written behind those lines. I found myself repeatedly coming back to this piece - if only I had had the $500 being asked for it!

Monday I was determined to head into the office, but I woke up feeling completely wrung out, so I stayed home (today I realised I'd missed a doctor's appointment as well as a writing seminar, d'oh!). I wasn't a complete sloth though. In the afternoon, I tackled cleaning my studio (a.k.a. the kitchen nook with its gorgeous lighting)... I had managed to get paint splashes all over the floor in there over the last three months - and also in the dining room, and while I had washed the floor in the meantime, the paint really needed to be scraped off, so I spent a good two hours sitting on the floor with a spatular and a magic sponge getting all the drips up. It looked great - if boring - by the end... Last night I started painting again, hahaha!

Finally, that brings us to today. Here I sit at work, having realised I left all my work at home. Don't worry, there is stuff I can get on with, but seriously my brain is up on blocks at the moment, out to lunch, in a coma, what have you - it is not working!

Next weekend is the auction of the 'Perfect Men' to benefit Impact for Women and the closing event for the exhibition. The following weekend is our primary school's fair; where I'm exhibiting the four pieces mentioned above, followed by the Deakin Uni Mature Age Student Club (MASC) Ball.

Before the fair and the ball though, I still have to write 2000 words towards my literature review and pump out a few more stories as well.

And that's me life at the moment. Not that I'm complaining, I love being busy - I just need to make sure to squeeze in some down time here and there...

1 comment:

Bonnie said...

Whew! You definitely need some down time. I am worn out just reading about your busy days. Wishing you a quiet corner, and peace.

Good Job!