07 December 2010

How could I be so stupid?

I said in my last entry that I can now call myself a BSc.

Well I e-mailed the uni for conformation and they got back to me yesterday. Seems I should have read the course rules better. Even though I have enough subjects up (24 of them) to get a degree, not enough of them are at 300 level (third year).

Now you're probably thinking, how did you get that wrong? Surely you do your first year subjects first, then your second year subjects, etc. Well, yes ideally that's how you'd do it, especially if you're a full time student studying on campus. I started off part time, external, so my subjects have been all over the place. I actually did three first year subjects this year.

"Just do one more subject and get it out of the way", I hear you say. Well it's not as simple as that.

As I mentioned two posts ago, I have a good chance at a new job next year. That job would involve Donna and I moving to Melbourne for ten months, starting in March, while I do my training. This means I'm a bit restricted in what subjects I can pick, as there are residential schools and exams to take into consideration. My best option is a subject that has a res school in January/February and no final exam. It happens to be an interesting subject too. There are two minor problems with that option. Accommodation may be a bit hard to get then, as it's during the school holidays, that's the main problem, the other is that the subject isn't part of a zoology major. That means that, although I'd still qualify as a Bachelor of Science, it'd be without a major.

My next best option is to apply to do another subject at a different uni, like I did this year. I'd have to take time off for the exam, but there's no res school.

I haven't been camping in a long time, looks like I may be spending a week in a tent next year.

03 December 2010


It's been a long time coming, but finally the exam results are out and I can now call myself a Bachelor of Science.

To think, that back in my school days the thought of going to university never entered my head. That was what the smart kids, with middle class parents, did. We were working class and I was going to have a working class job, so I did the technical stream at high school, rather than the academic stream. In fact, I didn't even finish high school. I left at the end of year 11 and went to technical college to study electronics, where I lasted about two and a half months before I dropped out, because I was having too much difficulty with maths.

Years later, as a qualified telecommunications technician, I decided I wanted to turn my hobby of writing into a job and so started a bachelor of arts degree majoring in Journalism and English. Well that cured me of ever wanting to be a journalist and I never finished the degree.

Fast forward to 2003. Donna and I had just got engaged when I told her I was going to do a science degree part time. The first four days of our honeymoon were spent in Armidale while I did a biology residential. The last seven years have meant trips to Armidale in April and September each year for res schools, and Donna driving me into the city each July and November for exams and sitting in the car with a book waiting for me to come out after each one.

When Michael Caine and July Walters did "Educating Rita" back in 1983, it was still a bit of a novelty, the idea of an older person going to university. Well I might have been the oldest person in some of my classes, but I certainly wasn't the oldest in all of them. You're never too old to learn something new.

I even did pretty well in maths this semester and it was at a higher level than the maths at college.

30 November 2010

Hello? Is there anyone there?

It's been so long since I last posted a blog entry (January 5th to be exact), that I'd be surprised if anyone other than followers or subscribers will be reading this.

What have I been up to that's stopped me blogging all year? Well it's mostly been uni, which I finally finished a couple of weeks ago. I'm just hanging out for the final results for this semester, then I'll be able to call myself a BSc.

We're still looking after wildlife. Remember Tosh, the baby lorikeet we were raising? We still have him in care along with Posh, another lorikeet that we hand raised. The two of them rule the roost in the aviary. They'll soon be joined by Errol, who came into care this season at two weeks old and is now flying. We're now mentoring a couple of new carers, which takes some pressure off of us. ne of them is getting most of the baby Tawny Frogmouths in the area now. She raises them to a certain age, teaches them to feed themselves, then they come to us for their final stage before release in the big aviary.

Workwise, I've pretty much been working six evenings a week since exams finished, filling shelves in a supermarket. It's only three or four hours a night, but it's physical work, so it's keeping me in shape. It beats sitting at a desk all day, that's for sure. There could be a new chapter starting as far as work is concerned too. I've reached the third stage of getting a job as a trainee observer with the bureau of meteorology (I always have to slow down to type that word). If I get the job, it will mean a move to Melbourne for training, then I could be posted anywhere in Australia, or even Antarctica. Considering it's the first job I've applied for in over 20 years, I'm amazed I've gotten this far. Don't let anyone tell you age is an obstacle.

There's lots more I could tell you, but I think I'll save them for future blog entries. I have a bit of a backlog of things to blog about now.

05 January 2010


As you can see from the first two pictures below, Tosh has grown. He's still got some of his grey, downy feathers under his wings and his eyes are still black rather than red, but he looks like a grown up bird now.

He's now at the stage where he's trying to fly. I let him out of his cage in our spare room each day and he tries to fly toward me. He flies about a foot, then runs the rest of the way. Then he stands in front of me and flaps his wings like crazy. It's quite pleasant on a hot day, having a little fan like that.

It won't be long before we put him out in the aviary with the bigger birds, where he'll be able to fly whenever he wants. Then once he's ready he'll be released. Going on past experience though, I don't think he'll go far.

We've had a bit of rain here just lately, which has made everything nice and green. In fact I can hear one of the neighbours mowing their lawn right now. On Sunday it absolutely bucketed down. We'd just got back from visiting Donna's parents and this is what we found near our back verandah.

It's a wild one, but could be one that we've had in care before. He just sat there looking up at the sky the whole time the rain came down. It was almost as though he was praying to the rain gods. He wasn't the only one either, there were several more sitting in one of the other trees, all looking skyward.