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Showing posts from February, 2015

Loaves and Fishes - Our Government thinks it's Jesus now...

So, the other day 4 Corners did a piece called The Jobs Game, where they pretty much exposed a lot of Jobs Services Providers for being downright crooks! Not all JSPs, but certainly too many, are forging positive results (i.e. that they're getting unemployed clients into employment) to receive payments from the Government so they can stay in business and then defraud the taxpayer some more.

Of course, there has been a big outcry about this! Many believe JSPs are not doing their jobs properly, they are selling false hope to job seekers, while keeping them busy doing job training courses which will not lead to work. All because the Government wants to see job seekers jump through hoops to earn their income support payments.

As well as this, the Government will tomorrow, release information on its plan to restructure income support payments in response to a review led by Patrick McClure AO - you can read about it here...

So, there is a possibility 22 different pensions will be strea…

Making people uncomfortable...

I was reading an article about the smartest woman in the world (she doesn't subscribe to IQ theory, herself) and how, one day, while answering a question about a puzzle she drew inordinate amounts of ire from people who thought she was an imbecile, and were more than happy to point this out to her.

The slant of the article is that she was being unfairly harassed because she was a woman, but there are famous cases in history of men being subjected to the same sort of treatment.

Take, for example, Galileo, who spent most of the last decade of his life under house arrest because he dared to suggest the Earth and all other planets in our solar system travelled around the sun, instead of the universe travelling around the Earth.

Or Ignaz Semmelweis who was committed to an asylum, where he died, because he argued that surgeons had unseeable bugs on their hands, and should wash their hands before doing surgery.

These people all have one thing in common, and that was that their understan…

Summer School...

So many thoughts! All competing for me to unpack them first.

Maybe I need to go for a walk?

Maybe, that's a good place to start! We had two workshops and two reading groups to attend this weekend. I attending a workshop on creativity and the exegesis, and another on structuring the exegesis and both were very informative and thought provoking!

I also attended a reading on embodied creativity and one on the supervisory relationship (they had much longer, more floral titles, but I'm stripping that all back to a more pragmatic description of the subject matter).

The one on embodied creativity is where I'll start. Our 'teacher' for lack of a better word, Rhea, broke the mould of a readings by getting us to all take a 10 minute solo-walk (so we weren't to walk with someone else), to just get into our bodies and our mind and become aware of our environment and the connections we made with what we experienced sensorially and our thesis. We were to just let the sensory…

Challenges of trying to 'get ahead'...

I found out this morning I missed out on tutoring work for the coming trimester. I'm pretty disappointed, even though it means more time to pour into my own research (and dogs know I need that time as well). I can't help but wonder if I'm ever going to get work. Admittedly, I've chosen a very competitive field and I've very much starting on the bottom rung. I know I need to publish more, I need to meet more people and put myself out there. I know it's a matter of work and time and a good relationships and a bit of good luck (right time, right place sort of luck). I'm just feeling a bit desperate.

I have my name on a research assistant registry, but I know a lot of RA work goes to known students and former students, and that is reasonable, because they are a known quantity and in research there is never time to waste training someone up. Still, I'm concerned I'm chasing up a dead end.

There is nothing to do but keep on keeping on.

So!

I have just fin…

The writer's notebook...

Over the years I've read many books and articles for writers that recommend a writer keep a notebook on them at all time and always on their bedside table. I have never subscribed to this practice.

Mostly, I haven't bothered because it means remembering to carry something else with me. As a person with dubious short term memory, I find it hard to remember essentials like my keys, or purse, let alone 'optional extras' such a a notebook or pencil.

Also, I tend to have so many ideas for writing that I never suffer from writer's block (I do suffer from blogging block, but that's another blog post - if I remember)...

Just recently though, I've been plague by late night writing inspirations. Particularly in relation to this doctoral work. I have just finished up one section of creative writing, and now am moving on to something which is quite different in flavour. I'm moving from writing third person, past tense, to writing first person, present tense. The id…

Pass the Wine!

We had our first rental inspection this morning. You'd think after sixteen years of rental inspections we'd have become a bit more blasé about it all, but there is just something about a stranger walking through your house, scrutinising your furnishing and making a value you judgement about how clean and neat and careful your are that puts a person on edge.

As well as this, I had my first supervisor meeting with my primary supervisor in seven months, today <--- awkward="" beyond="" but="" demands="" editing="" frankly="" hmmm="" i="" m="" of="" p="" quite="" sentence="" that="" the="" today.="" was="">
Anyway, I think we were both a bit freaked out by my seeming lack of ability to settle on an underpinning theory. I really wish I could be one of those people who could know which theory best applies to my…

The Wrong Shoes...

Six months without my primary supervisor has taken its toll, I think. I wasn't really noticing it because I was busy preparing for my first conference presentation and eventually also doing a bit more creative work, but over the months I must have lost focus.

As it is with this kind of work, a researcher is constantly exposed to new ideas. New ideas are a lot like new shoes. They look so fabulous, you feel if you don't possess them, you life will somehow be diminished. So, you go into the shoe shop and try on a pair, and maybe they don't fit quite right - they still look great - but they pinch a bit. You try to convince yourself they'll grow around your foot with a little wear and they'll look fabulous and you'll look fabulous wearing them. So, you squeeze your toes into them, and if you''re particularly desperate, then ugly-step-sister-like, you might even consider cutting off your own heel, just to get the pretties on.


The new shoes are all the rage, …

Sing it out!

I've written before about my love of singing. I find it very relaxing. I sing as much as possible, but there is a big difference between singing to the radio and singing in a choir.
The latter is something I've done off and on since I was nine or ten, and I have always loved it. The last time I was in a choir was fifteen years ago. Over the past fifteen years, I've often considered finding a choir to join, but being agoraphobic and not driving, I've shy away from joining another choir.
At Christmas, mum, s-dad, and I went to the Swedish church to hear their choir sing. This was the choir I had been in previously. We enquired about possibly joining the choir again, and were told we would be very welcome, and so on Monday night we drove down to Toorak and rejoined the choir. We were two of five new members, which was great, and they were still singing the same songs we sung with them fifteen years ago, so it wasn't too challenging.


That said, my voice is so weak now…

Low Carb, High Fat...

In the middle of January, I mentioned that the Grumpy Old Man and I had embarked on an experiment for the month of January.

We have both struggled with our weight for as long as we have known eat other, and I am not one for dieting. I find it generally demoralising and obsession creating, and it just never works for me in the long term because of the sense of deprivation I end up having.

That said, I have long been worried about the amount of pain the GOM has been living with due to osteoarthritis in his knees. The man doesn't walk so much as hobble. Part of the problem is, of course, the pressure on his knees cause by the extra 40kg he's carrying around. He also has had a long struggle with ankle pain having many times rolled his ankles quite severely. We put this down to the excess weight as well.

So, last year a friend of mine Kelli, gave low carb, high fat eating a go, and lost 46kg! This wasn't the best bit for her though, she also reported that her fibromyalgia pain …