Archive for the ‘University studies’ Category

Well, I wrote this (voice to text on my iPhone) on the way to Brisbane last Monday morning. And I finally get to post it today – one week later! I guess that’s just an indication of how busy life’s been! LOL

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Hello, everyone! Yes, I am back! Sorry that it’s been such a long time… it’s just that, since my new job started, I have been really busy… in fact, I’ve been the busiest I have ever been – in my life! I haven’t had time to even scratch myself, let alone eat properly, or sleep! At least, that’s what it feels like…
That being said: no, I got to bed before 11pm last night, and didn’t wake up again until 5:30. That’s more sleep than I had over the last few weeks, so I’m feeling pretty good today!
Which means that today, I am able to find the headspace, and the time while I drive, to blog again!
So. Yesterday, I drove down to Brisbane for the first day of the New Librarians Symposium (NLS6). I figure that I had better start attending professional development for this ‘Library’ sphere I’m aiming to enter one day. It was pretty brilliant!
And not only for the teaching and learning that I received, but also the amazing networking opportunities. I went, knowing that I would meet, in real life, people I have been interacting with, over Twitter, for the past 18 months or so. People whose blogs I read. People who read, and sometimes even comment on, my own blog! Seeing them there face to face, realising that they are real people, that they actually do exist, was such a surreal feeling! I went, knowing that I would see three familiar faces, people that I had met before. I left last night, feeling that I had met about a quarter of the entire number of delegates!!!
So today, I’m driving down to Brisbane, ready to do it all again for the second day of the same conference. I must admit, I’m quite looking forward to it!
Have a great day, dear readers! 🙂

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So – that was spoken into my iPhone as I left home, 6.30am. Finished by the time I reached the highway. And well before I hit the traffic jam that started just after Caboolture. The traffic jam that lasted ALL THE WAY to Brisbane, meaning that I didn’t arrive until 9am.

Yes, that’s right – 9 am!!! Two and a half hours for what normally takes 1 and a quarter! (With traffic!) Needless to say, I wasn’t happy when the homeward journey that night was just as bad… 😦

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I am an Apple convert. Ever since my frst purchase of a MacBook Pro back in February 2011, and an 8Gig iPod Touch (as part of a Uni student deal that the Apple store was making at the time) I have been impressed. I also bought myself an iPad2, about a week before the announcement of the creation of the iPad3 and its release date. (Oh well!)

So as my cherubs got bigger, and the peer pressure was on for them to have DS’s (it was pretty incredible for me to realise just HOW MANY families bought one of these handheld gaming devices – for EACH child – at a cost of around $300 for the device and then $50 per game!!!) I knew that these would never be an option for my family. I mean- seriously! Who has a spare $900 lying around – and that just for the devices!!! You’d need to then buy games for them – and at around $50 each??? No way. Nope. Not going to happen. Not just for gaming, anyway!

I was glad then, that I’d paid that little bit extra way back in February 2011 and had the Apple experience. Had an iPod experience (my last foray into personal music devices had been the Walkman, back in the 80’s!!!) I was glad that I now knew how iPods worked, how iTunes and the App store worked, and just HOW MANY apps you could get out there that were educational as well an=s gaming ones – and HOW MANY were absolutely FREE!

So, for me, the decision was made. Why by a DS at around $300, and games for $50-odd, each, when you could buy an iPodTouch for less, and the games were free? (and educational!) And with an iPod, they also have access to a camera, a videocamera, a clock, a calculator, and music / media – and even FaceTime?!!! To me, it seems a bit of a no-brainer.

Yes, some people are surprised that my children don’t have DS’s, and that Miss 8 had an iPod Touch before her seventh birthday – I guess these are the same type of people who believe that iPods and the like are for grownups (and teenagers) and who would probably spend the money on DS’s for younger children. The way I see it, an iPod is cheaper and will have a much longer shelf-life in their lives. And they KNOW that it’s a ‘grownup’ device. For my kids, they have to earn it. I tied it as a reward to their reading skills. Once the then-Miss 6 read me ‘Robert the Rose Horse’ (by herself) then she’d earned it. And her younger sister is well aware of the arrangement, and practises her ‘homework’ (reading) every day, knowing that she’s getting closer to earning her ‘own’ iPod Touch – even though she hasn’t started Prep yet! (Not til next week, anyway – although Vacation Care went well this week…)

So anyway, that’s my thoughts on the matter. No, my children don’t have iPads. I don’t think they need them, anyway – they’ll use them at school, and they have mine to use when I’m not using it – and I’m not one of those mums who will just ‘give’ my kids iDevices or other electrical items ‘just cos’ (I’ve seen families where the children all have iPads – and they’re aged 7, 5 and 3, and I sure didn’t see too many educational apps on there!!!) but I think that what I’ve done is appropriate and fair.

Plus, it’s also market research! This way, I can get my kids to check out and play with apps that I plan on using in my classroom this year, to see if they’ll like them! LOL!!!

Have a great day, dear readers!!!

LOL I crack myself up sometimes!

This is probably going to be a bit of a crazy blog post because it’s 12.16am and I’m not sleepy. So I thought I’d write you all, about the job I’m starting in 10 days time.

I’m a teacher. Qualified in English and Music, but have taught Dance, Drama, Geography and History, Christian Education, Sex Education (NOT fun! Not when they’ve split the cohort into girls and boys and you’re given the boys class. The Year Ten boys class.) Leadership, Core Skills Test skills, Life Skills, and probably a host of other forgettable bits and pieces. I’ve taught mainly Years 7 through 12, but have also experienced Preppies through to Uni students. My last permanent stint was as Head of Middle School at Caloundra Christian College, which I resigned from at the end of 2007 because I was due to have our second child in January 2008. I’ve since done some contract teaching work, Music Preppies to Year 9 at Coolum Beach Christian College for a year, and Preppies to Year 10 at Glasshouse Country Christian College for a couple of terms, and relief teaching at a number of schools, but I haven’t really been looking for teaching work, what with our youngest not yet 4, and autistic.

So it was rather a surprise then, to find myself suddenly the owner of a teaching position again. The classroom music teacher at St Paul’s Lutheran Primary, Caboolture, announced her imminent departure on the last afternoon of school, leaving them in rather a tight spot. I was called, offered the position, and within a number of hours, had the job. Just like that!

It’ll mean quite a few changes that I hadn’t planned for. The biggest will be Mr Not-yet-4 attending a mainstream Kindy for three days a week. Three full days. That’s going to be interesting! but things are hopefully going to be working out, in that St Paul’s will have their Kindy operational by the 29th of January, and that the funding will have come through so that he’ll receive the assistance he needs to help him cope…

The second biggest will be my ‘other’ job. The one I love! Bloxham Marketing, which I was hoping to grow this year, seeing as Miss 4-almost-5 would have been going to Prep, Miss 7 continuing on into Year 3, and Hubby taking the both of them to school… but now I’m down three days a week, so that’ll take a bit of wise delegating and working smarter…

The third biggest will be my studies. Unfortunately, they’ll have to take an even bigger back-seat than what even *I* had anticipated! I was thinking of only doing one course (of the two I have left) – but now it would appear that I won’t even be able to do that! So that’s something I’ll have to broach with the powers-that-be, over at the Uni, when they start back later this year…

So yes. Some huge changes on the fast-approching horizon. Lucky I like change, huh?!!

I’ve blogged before about my TV watching habits. Well, on the recommendation of @joeyroo1, I watched Grimm last week. And again last night (taped from Wednesday night, when I was busy trying to get my bomb-site of a kitchen in some semblance of order). So. Grimm. Not bad, I must admit. Pretty witty in places too, which I wasn’t expecting! A lot darker than I’m used to, but I like the premise. Hopefully the storyline will get a little deeper though – the three episodes I’ve watched to date (this week’s was a double episode) have been rather similar, and I can see it getting old rather quickly, if it remains this repetitive. Not when you compare it to “Once Upon a Time”, which also started last week and which has quickly become my all-time favourite TV show. The script-writing is clever – to drag the ‘Snow White’ story into a second season, it would need to be! But even this show, with the introduction of Mulan and Lancelot in the second series, is becoming rather predictably far-fetched. I mean – how many extra characters do you need to add in here?!!

Be that as it may, I was thinking about Grimm as I fell asleep last night. And something occurred to me. They mentioned that “Marie”, the protagonist’s Aunt and ‘mentor’ in the area of ‘fighting evil creatures’ was a Librarian. Which makes sense, in that she needed to research the huge variety of evil creatures, in order to know how to kill them; and then pass this wealth of knowledge onto her nephew. And so yes, research and keeper of information, seems to go hand in hand with the occupation of Librarian. So far, so good. But you add her moonlighting (haha) as a sword-weilding killer of evil fantasy creatures, and then her character becomes enviable. I mean – who *wouldn’t* want to be that kind of a secret hero? That’s what all the comic books told us when we were kids, right? That to be good, and fight evil, and protect the innocent who were unfortunate enough to not have any super-powers… that’s what we’re all brought up on, right? So here she is, a little old Librarian, all the more pitiable because she’s little, and (apparently) frail, because she’s dying of cancer and keeps slipping into and out of comas at the most inconvenient of times, so that her nephew who is new to all this killing werewolves etc has to turn to  a ‘good’ werewolf for help, and then she calls on super-human strength to wield swords, daggers etc and overpower people trying to kill her, and kill them instead. I mean – how cool is that?!!

And it occurred to me that I – me – am studying to be a Librarian. Yes, now that my Application for Advanced Standing was approved just a few weeks back, now I have just two courses and my 100 hours Prac to do, and I’ll be fully qualified to stand behind the desk in a Library and help people. By day. And maybe be a superhero by night.

Hopefully I won’t end up frail and weak, dying of cancer. Maybe I’ll be a Librarian like Superman’s mum was, or along the lines of Batgirl?! Or maybe I’ll just getthe qualification and keep on keeping on with Bloxham Marketing, and be a SuperHero marketer?!! Whatever happens, I guess, remains to be seen. Which do *you* think I should opt for?

Image credited to IMDb at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1830617/

What the opposite to sinking? Floating, right? But if I titled this blog post ‘floating’, that would be rather misleading, I think…

A few weeks ago, I posted about my Masters studies this semester. I was due to complete an elective (the only option available to me if I was going to study this semester) and had discovered the course “INS040 Advanced Standing”. Where you could apply for your Workplace experiences to be recognized towards your degree. So after chatting with both the Course Coordinator and the Head of the Faculty, I finished and submitted my application just a few weeks back. 7000 words (well, they had said 3000 words or more, and you would know me by now, dear readers,
I can tend to be rather long-winded!!!) and then I sat back and waited. (And yes, that’s an expression only. As if I would ever sit down; I’m far too busy for that!!!)

Last week, I received an email from the Head of Faculty. My application had been approved!!! But it’s been a week, and it still hasn’t sunk in. I guess, in a way, the idea of ‘floating’ is, strangely, appropriate. When I think of where I’m at in my studies solar, I *do* feel as though I’m ‘floating on air’!!!

Yesterday I met more of my PLN – hooray!!! I had met @fionawb a couple of weeks ago, and she had graciously invited me to her birthday party – so I cajoled Hubby into meeting new people (he’s spent the last four weeks in a CPA-exam induced cocoon, only emerging on Thursday, and to be honest, prefers the hermit life to the social butterfly one), dragged the kids with us, and drove down to Brisbane.

I must admit, it’s rather strange meeting people in real life that you’ve already gotten to know a little via social media. Even Fi surprised me with her “Shall I introduce people by names? Or with their twitter handles?” question – but I have a feeling that that question is one that gets asked more and more, now that social media is becoming so prevalent throughout all cultures, all societies, even all age groups! But it was *so* good to just fall quite easily into conversation with @rachwray (and of course, have some cuddles with #babywray!) and @jzgarnett – it feels a little like you’re ‘starting’ a friendship kind of half-way in! But it’s great. The ‘ice’ is already broken, so to speak!

So yes, yesterday was a good day. Apart from my three cherubs terrorising #twoboycats and wanting to eat all of Fi’s chocolates, I was immensely happy to have connected IRL with people who inspire me in the twitterverse.

Thanks for a great day, my friends! And thanks SO much Fi for inviting me!

Effusive

Posted: October 12, 2012 in Random thoughts, Technology, University studies, Work

So I’m feeling in a festive mood this morning. If you asked me how I was, I’d smile and say pretty good, thank you! And I’d be happy. Because I’m happy about a lot of things in my life right now. I’m happy for:

My God

My husband

My three gorgeous children

My job

Sunshine

My house, with its awesome views out to the Glasshouse Mountains (the photo above is what I see when I look over my front gate).

My friends

My parents

Good schools for my children and an excellent speech therapist for Mr 3.

Friends online, and tools such as Facebook and Twitter to meet with them there.

Tools such as email and WordPress, Google Drive and DropBox, HootSuite and IFTTT, which make life so much easier.

The fact that I’m 3/4 of the way through my M.IT.

And, of course, hands-free and that little microphone button on my WordPress iPhone app so that I can blog while my hands are busy doing other things!

I’ve just caught this tweet:

and I’m guessing that Semester 2 has just started. Which is cool; it marks two years since I started this Masters in IT. When I started, I had 12 courses ahead of me. Now I have just 3 left. Two of which are core courses, only offered in Semester One, and the third of which, an elective, I’m *doing* this semester. And by *doing*, I mean ‘applying for Advanced Standing’. So I’m pretty stoked about being able to do that!

Actually, when I think about it, I’m pretty stoked with how my studies have gone to date. Considering that, prior to July 2010, my last stint at ‘hitting the books’ was November 1995, I’m done pretty well. In this Masters, I’ve received 4 High Distinctions, 3 Distinctions and a Credit (and I must emphasise that the credit was for an elective I took – foolishly, in hindsight – from a different faculty, with rather different standards, and we just didn’t seem to get along too well.) So at present, I’m pretty happy with my GPA of 6.375, and last year I accepted an invitation to join the International Golden Key Honor Society – something that I never knew existed, but am now a part of! (To save you googling it, like I had to, it’s a group for University students who are in top 15% of achievers. They meet, do charitable works, that sort of thing.)

So I have three courses – 2 cores, 1 elective – to go (and professional practice to complete, which will make up the final 12th course). And this semester, I’ll be writing up a 3000 word application for ‘Advanced Standing’, which, if approved, means that it’ll take the place of the elective, and I’ll only have the two courses to go. It’s such a head-spin to think that, by this time next year, I may in fact be a fully qualified Librarian, and able to add ‘M.IT.’ after the ‘B.Ed.’ after my name. How COOL is that!!!

I’ve decided that I really like studying for my Masters. From taxonomies to organizational structures and hierarchy in the informational architecture of websites, from database design to the uses of twitter for professional networking – it’s been a true stretch of the mind for me! And that’s what’s been really enjoyable.

So why a Masters in Information Technology? What’s IT got to do with becoming a Librarian?

Well, I’m a trained teacher. Since I started in classrooms, back in (cough) 1996, I’ve taught in State, Catholic, Independent, Lutheran, and Christian schools. I’ve taught Preppies through to Year 12. In Uni, I majored in English and Music, but I’ve also taught Drama, Dance, Film and TV, SOSE, QCS Test classes, Christian Studies, Independent Studies, and Sex Ed. I’ve been a Music Coordinator (x 2), a Head of English, and a Head of Middle School.

But I like challenges. I don’t like remaining in a position that I’ve been in before. Maybe it’s something to do with my claustrophobia, but I particularly dislike being ‘stuck in a rut’ – which, in my opinion, is remaining in a situation where there is little to challenge me. I love new experiences, and have never yet racked up enough time in any one position to earn ‘Long Service Leave’. But that’s okay for me. I’ve only got one life – I want to live it.

So 9 weeks after Mr 3 was born, I met with some web developers about my ideas for a social network for Seniors – and GoodOldTalk.com became a reality. Less than six months after its launch, I was thinking about my eventual return to teaching, and decided that it didn’t really interest me. But as a bookworm, the thought of returning to the classroom from within the four walls of the School Library made a great deal of sense. Step One was to look into how I could get qualified. A few phonecalls and I had a decision to make. To become a School Librarian, I could study a Masters in Education, which would qualify me for a School Library – or I could study a Masters in IT (within a Science faculty) and I would be qualified for School, Public, Academic and Special libraries. And seeing as I’d never studied a ‘Science’ degree before, I thought “why not?” And I’m very glad I did.

The Science faculty at QUT does the ‘student experience’ pretty well. Blended learning options, and podcasts made of all lectures, makes study-around-kids possible. (Believe me! I swapped to the Business faculty for an elective last semester and was NOT impressed with the resulting experience…)

So although study has its ups and downs, I’ve been ecstatic at (the majority of) my results, and the brain challenge has also been excellent. And I’m learning to code in html this semester, so that’s pretty cool (?!!) too… I think!

The plan, when I commenced, was to graduate as quickly as possible and then to be a Teacher Librarian. Graduating quickly isn’t an option for me any more, and my scope has broadened. Having friends on twitter who are Youth Librarians, Electronic Services Librarians, Medical Librarians, Academic Librarians, Information Managers, Historical Archivists and Library students, I now can see that my interests may be broader than the High School library.

So I wonder where my studies will take me! And I’m excited by the possibilities.

CC image courtesy cseeman at http://www.flickr.com/photos/cseeman/5938716870/

For the past few weeks now, I’ve looked forward to Monday nights. As a “Big Bang Theory” enthusiast, the idea of new episodes each week has been exciting. In fact, I’m so hooked on BBT that I’ve even blogged about it for work!

I started my Masters in IT in July 2010. The majority of my classes have been on a Tuesday  evening, and since I teach violin Tuesday evenings, I have been unable to (virtually) attend classes, and so instead I generally listen to the podcasts, later in the week. This semester however, my INN530 unit has been on a Monday. And it took me until after I had missed three classes, to realise that I had a clash between the two. (Whoops!!! Sorry, Kate! “Confession via blog?” That must be akin to “Death by misadventure”?!!)

So – last Monday, I was DETERMINED that I would not be distracted by the latest BBT, and that I would DEFINITELY attend class. Especially seeing as this lecture was the biggie for me. Coding. And I’ve never written any code in my life! So I teed up Hubby to feed, bathe, and put the kids to bed, bought a headset, and went. And I’m so glad (cough) I did. Kate, in her usual incredible manner, simplified the basics for dummies like me, to such an extent  that I – almost! – managed to keep up with her pace. And I was also able to keep my brain from exploding until after I had left BlackBoard Collaborate.

So. Ceridwyn the coder? I hardly think so! Rather, I think that learning to code at the ripe old age of 37 is going to do my head in. Oh well. At least I’m going to go down trying…!

CC Image courtesy calixto at http://www.flickr.com/photos/calixto/6005872093/