Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Finished Uni

Well, it's almost closing on 2008 and what a fantastic year it has been. To end on a high note I have received my Uni results for 2nd semester and a distinction for each topic! I am so surprised by this, I only expected 2 distinctions at the most. So to end my first year at Uni with 7 distinctions and 1 credit is fabulous. Not only have I got a great result but I've thoroughly enjoyed it too.

I'm looking forward to starting more studies in March 2009, and I've booked Womens Studies as an elective, I'm sure to be able to get my teeth stuck right into that.

Stephanie is all booked in for her new school too. We've decided to go private for her, so it's Woodcroft College she'll being Reception in February 2009, she's so looking forward to going, she's got her uniform already and she's met her teacher, Ms Nagle, who is getting married soon so will have a different name next year, so I'm told.

I've booked myself to do Lifeline shift on Christmas Eve 6 - 10pm and then again on New Years Day starting at midnight through to 6am. I'm looking forward to them as well, it will be interesting to see how they go. Wondering what is happening with other people over the festive season, perhaps a call to Lifeline will help them get their Christmas and New Years into perspective.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hi-5 Birthday Party!

Well, after many, many months of planning and expectations by Miss S, we finally had the Hi-5 birthday party! We did well. There was hand clappers, Hi-5 plates, cups, placemats, party blowers, hats, serviettes, and Hi-5 Party Street DVD constantly playing. David got some totally fabbo gas balloons, pictured here is a very large Unicorn and a Happy Birthday balloon. He also got about 20 others filled with helium too. All the kids had a great time, with one mother commenting it was the best birthday party she'd been to for kids.

Stephanie totally loved her day. I can hardly believe she's 5! She got some great gifts including a Baby Alive that wets it's nappies! Oh, how wonderful. But Miss S is into all those types of things, she's very caring and mothering type, she doesn't take after me at that age!

I think she was a bit disappointed it was all over, considering how long she'd been planning the Hi-5 theme! Oh, and the Hi-5 cake was a smash too.

She's currently planning her 6th party now, it's to be a fairies one.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Why is this news?

Today, the Daily Telegraph's reporter Kelvin Bissett He's Not my Kid reports that one man who paid $71,000 got ripped off. A further story Paternity Tests Prove Hundreds of Men Duped gives some more details, still by the same reporter that 18 women have orders of about $171,000 against them to pay back wrongful paternity money paid, and that 300 women have had DNA checks of their kids and the wrong father has been cited. So why is this news?

Kudos to the reporter for his tenacious digging into finding these obscure numbers and stories. But surely, there's a much bigger, more newsworthy story in the number of $6 BILLION in unpaid child support? Surely, that's bigger news that's more interesing, no? What about the 6,000 men who have defected to New Zealand to avoid paying child support? Is that not a bigger story? Why didn't the reporter track down the one man who's fathered kids to seven different mothers and has never paid a cent in child support? He just keeps on forgetting to keep it zipped up and carries on regardless of his consequences, goodness knows how many terminations may have resulted from this one man's irresponsible lifestyle.

Why are women singled out as folk devils in the media? What good does it do society to think that incorrect accusations of false paternity are rife? When they are not. 300 is a piddling number in the grand scheme of things. It wouldn't even be comparable to the number of men who have falsely denied paternity. I wish I had that number, now, that would be newsworthy, yes? We could probably add a few noughts to the 300 number.

Good on ya, Kelvin Bissett, are you going to set the record straight and print the opposite side of this gender story?

However, getting to the heart of the story, is that with the Child Support Agency 'forcing' women to pay back will only disadvantage the child/ren in their care. In all of this, it's the kids that are the losers, as well as their Mum's and those who thought they were the Dad. The winners? Perhaps the real fathers that walked away scot free.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Australia Lagging Behind in Protecting Women

This is an excellent article by The Age on November 3rd in regards to how we are doing, as a nation, to combat violence against women.

The article compares us to Albania, with similiar statistics on the domestic violence front, and looks at the campaign they initiated in 2005. Scotland has a "Zero Tolerance" program and it mentions how Norway, the Netherlands and Denmark have a "whole of Government" approach. What the article doesn't state is that those three countries have the highest reports of rape than any other industrialised nation. It is not yet been established if the percentage of reporting of rapes is higher. On that subject, did you know that in 2003 in South Australia there were 786 reported rapes. South Australia stipulates that 25% of sexual assaults are reported, but globally, it is estimated that only 15% of sexual assaults are reported. But anyway, we'll go with South Australia's anomoly of 25% which means that approximately just over 3,000 rapes occured in 2003. Of those, 100 made it to court, and 12 were found to be guilty as charged.

That's quite a pitiful effort, so it is worth looking at other nations to see how they handle their judicial systems for a higher conviction rate, thus, more protection for women.

The link to The Age article by Kate Gilmore is here: Australia Lags on a System to Protect Women

The Murder of Prostitutes is not all that important

I've been wondering for a while which direction to take this blog in regards to my current interests. After completing a Literature Review on Community Attitudes of Violence Towards Women and how the Research Reports and Media perpetuate the myths, I figured I'd start pointing out some media reports that do just that.

Here's one. It's about Jeremy Clarkson, as reported by the SMH, saying that calls for his dismissal are being made by insulted truck drivers from all over the UK. He said, on the show, Top Gear, about a day in the life of a truck driver, "Change gear, change gear, change gear, check mirror, murder a prostitute, change gear, change gear, murder. That's a lot of effort in a day," added the 48-year-old.

Earlier this year a former lorry driver, Steve Wright, was convicted of murdering five prostitutes in Ipswich, southeastern England, in a case which attracted a huge amount of publicity.

Although someone from the Labour Party who governs the community where the murders were done, does make a point of saying that to "make light of the murders is a dismissable offence" but it appears that the general consensus is that the biggest thing that Clarkson did wrong was to insult truck drivers.

It's another media story with the message that the systemic slaughter of women is unimportant.

Here's the link to read the full story: Clarkson Faces Sack

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Almost finished 2nd semester

Gee, the time really flies by, I can't believe I've almost completed 8 Uni topics. The last time I was Uni it took me 3 years to get as far as 8 topics completed, including the foundation year. Exams are during the end of November.
I've qualified as a telephone counsellor at Lifeline now, and I do a regular Sunday afternoon shift. I continue to keep up with additional training, such as a Mental Health Workshop I attended for a full weekend, and this week I'll be going to more training about Youth As Perpetrators of Abusers in families, and then another presentation of the Impact of Toxic Stress on Young Children's Brain Development. Coupled with my Uni studies in all things social, I'm on a big learning curve, and loving every minute of it.
Stephanie is coming along really fine. Her speech has leaped ahead, her stutter has gone, she's not as anxious as she was before and her confidence is up. She's adapted to the routine of living at Mummy's and visiting Daddy's. It seems to be working well with David too, he's seems to be appreciating his private time.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, and I'll soon start putting up some posts about violence within our community when somethings of interest come along. I have a literature review to do for Sociology and that has taken my reading into some very interesting places. Domestic Violence, Violence against women and social justice has become such a large part of my life now that not posting about my findings would be remiss of me.
That's about it. Life is really good, I am actually doing a bit of scrapping here and there. I have an album that only has 5 pages left to do and I really should finish it.
Stephanie's fringe has started to look back to normal after her friend chopped her hair earlier this year. Here's a pic with her best friend and neighbour - Lilly.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Life is still fantastic

Well, although there is nothing new to report, I thought I'd update with the latest. I just got my results for my first semester at Uni and I'm totally stoked with my marks. I got a Distinction for three topics, Introduction to Social Work, Introduction to Social Planning and Australian Politics - A Comparative Study which has surprised me as I didn't think I would enjoy Politics at all, but this particular course, I did. I got a Credit for Aspects of Psychology, which is something that I'm pleased about but the exam was multiple choice and I'm not very good at those, plus the topic contents I found boring, such as areas of the brain, the only section in the course, Childhood Development, which I found of incredible interest wasn't a large component and that was disappointing. Still it took my reading to lots of areas of interest.

Lifeline - I've just come off supervised shifts, having passed all the criteria with comments such as "good use of skills".

I've been enjoying the school holidays, Stephanie is continuing to blossom into a lovely pre-5 year old, which has it's challenges (such as every sentence that starts with "I want" tends to drive one nuts) but other than that she's growing into a young girl who's speech has continued to improve, as has her confidence, particularly with talking to adults.

Life is good, life is great, having fun enjoying it and making the most of my time.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Life is still full of good news

The fantastic stuff just keeps on happening. The latest for April is the appearance of Stephanie's first school report that came in the mail last week. The general comments read:
"Stephanie is a cheerful, polite, chatty and friendly girl who has settled into kindergarten routines well."
It goes on to desribe what she does with crafts, puzzles and cooking. There's also a picture of her included in the report and everything that is listed in the Learning Outcomes is very, very positive.
I'm so pleased the pre-school has done this, I didn't know they did, and to receive such positive feedback about her has brightened up everything! (especially given my concerns about her previous environment)
Uni continues to be 'the best'. I'm totally loving all my subjects, even Politics! Would never have thought that possible. Getting to know some really nice people too.
Halfway through Lifeline Counselling training, that is going well too.
My social life is perfect too.
I love being single. Have no idea if that will ever change, it's just not on the agenda.
Everything is going well, what more can I say? It doesn't get much better than this.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Some more Jewellery

Here's some more jewellery that has sold very quickly. I've been experimenting with beading.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Sold some jewellery

The good news for March is that I've actually sold some jewellery, which I'm really pleased about. I made 5 more necklaces the other night and have listed them on Ebay too, so hopefully the majority of them will go. I'm looking forward to my jewellery making class on March 29th.

Everything is coming along nicely. I've done the first week of Uni already and I think all the subjects are good for me, so I'm pleased about that. I'm really looking forward to getting stuck into them as the semester progresses.

Today my girlfriends daughter cut Stephanie's hair by cropping the front fringe. Her friend is only 5 and we're all glad that she didn't progress to around the back. An emergency fix up by the hairdresser may have helped but I think overall we'll just have to wait for her hair to grow! Never mind.

Things are progressing well, and I'm looking forward to seeing what good news April will bring.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Jewel of the Tides

Discover nature's vanishing gems.
Natural seaglass.
This is what has been keeping me occupied recently. Over the past 6 weeks or so I've become an almost professional beach-comber. After seeing someone collect some seaglass at a recent visit to the beach, out of curiosity I wanted to find out how old the pieces are, particuarly the really round and worn ones and was blown away with the fact that some pieces could have been made in the mid-1850's! I've found that red, orange and yellow seaglass is rare world wide. Black is rare everywhere except Australia and is probably our oldest glass, it is really a very, very dark olive green when held up to bright sunlight. Blue is common in other places but very rare in Australia. I've found 4 blue pieces and 1 red piece. The red is likely to have come from a boat light. I've also found out there are almost 800 shipwrecks off the South Australian coast.
Seaglass is disappearing. As pieces get worn down to nothing, or people collect them, or they become buried forever under deep piles of sand the glass is not being replaced as people are more wary of litter and plastic has taken over as the preferred container to hold liquids as opposed to glass. So seaglass really is nature's vanishing gem.

The more I read, the more interested I became in the different types of seaglass and I started collecting it. I found some sites that make some gorgeous jewellery with it. So since then I've also embarked on teaching myself how to make jewellery!
Here are my first creations. I've sourced some itty bitty bottles and have filled them with teeny tiny seaglass and I've experimented with wire wrapping.
I've also incorporated my scrapbooking too! As I've done some off the page items for my seaglass storage and my jewellery findings.
Life is still as fantastic as ever!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

It's all go, go, go!

Everything is happening! It's all positive.

Stephanie started pre-school and she loves her 'kindergarten' as she likes to call it. I think her first day was a bit un-nerving for her, not knowing what was going to happen because on her first day she had to go to day care and they do a 'kindy run'. It's a great system, they walk the kids up through the back gate, through the primary oval and in through the back gate of the pre-school. So she had to do that on her first day and she told me later she was a bit scared. But after that, well, it's a breeze now! She goes for 2.5 hours 4 days per week.

I'm all enrolled and registered for lectures and tuts at Uni. Got my ID card and also bought my books too! The elective (Psychology) subject had over $150 in books alone, good job the other topics I've chosen aren't all expensive books. That starts on March 3rd.

I'm also fully registered to begin Lifeline training on Feb 11th.

So it's all go, go, go and go some more. The future's so bright I gotta wear

Friday, February 1, 2008

Lifeline Telephone Counselling Training Coming Up

And the good news in my life just keeps accumulating! 2008 is shaping up to be a tremendous year. Boy, January and now February have already realised some goals. Can't wait for the rest of the year to see what good stuff is in store.

I have been accepted to start Telephone Counselling Training for Lifeline. What an opportunity! I can hardly wait for the weekly sessions start, well, they're not long away, Feb 11th is the first.

This is the stuff that silver linings are made of. After 6 years of a lot of 'crapdom' that I had no control over being dished out on me, finally, I can use my experiences (with some training) to help others overcome the obstacles in their lives. What a wonderful opportunity.

I'm excited! Do I sound excited? I sure feel it.

Monday, January 21, 2008

It's University for me!

It's official, I've been given a main round offer for enrolling into Flinders University. I've applied for a double degree 4 year programme of Socal Work and Social Planning. I plan to attend full-time but I'll have to see how that works with Stephanie etc. She'll be needing to go do day care a bit more often, but I don't think that will be a problem as the day care do a pre-school 'run' twice per day to drop the kids off and pick them up again. So that means she'll be going to pre-school with the same friends she attends day care with. I think she'll be ok.

It's just me and Stephanie on our own now. I've separated from David and while we still have some details to sort out all seems to be going well, which is good.

I'm excited about University, I hope my grey matter isn't too 'matured' in that it will forget how to retain information, but it's a new career change for me and the future looks pretty good.