I’ve decided to stick with uni

I’ve spent a bit of time thinking about how I can connect better with the kid, so he doesn’t feel like my sadness is overwhelming for him. And frankly, dropping out of uni isn’t the answer. I think that the key to being less sad around the kid is actually being less sad. And actually achieving something with my life that isn’t about doing something for Inigo (not that that isn’t fulfilling 😉 ) is ultimately going to be the fastest ride out of sadville.

I’ve also connected with another mum who lost a baby at 23 weeks. She is a few years further down the road than I am, so I am really interested in both her experiences of loss and how she survived, but also in how her elder child is dealing with things. She sent me an email telling me that my crazy “why not do a psychology degree” behaviour is actually pretty typical in her experience. She said that in her support group, a lot of the mums did something a bit crazy within about 4 months of losing their babies. Some moved interstate or overseas, some left marriages, some began to study, or quit study if they were already enrolled. She tried to cut all her hair off and move interstate, but was talked down by a kind hairdresser. So what I am doing isn’t abnormal, or strange for those of us “in the club”, it just looks quite mental from the outside. I can live with that.

Inigo is an awesome kid (who apparently prefers his name to be written in a serifed font), and I suppose there are just going to be more and more times when he outsmarts me. So the sooner I get that psych degree (with a major in child development!), the better.

Tomorrow I am off to the ABA conference, where I hope to see Dr James McKenna (click the link then scroll down to see his theory about limbic regulation, fascinating) speak about co-sleeping, and all sorts of other wonderful insights about boobs and how to use them. And then Thursday with the kid, then Friday to finish my essay for Environmental Peace (I am doing salinity in the Murray Darling Basin), the weekend to play with the kid and do a final draft of my essay, ready to submit on Sunday night.

And by then, of course, this shitty, shitty fortnight will be behind me, and I will be looking forward to my first High Distinction. Onwards and upwards!

Another “click”

I finally chose my second unit for this semester – Environmental Peace, so I enrolled today and looked up the blackboard to see what I could see.

After having a quick look around, I had a look at the discussion forums, and the first post I read was written by a dear friend, who has just transferred to UNE to finish her Human Geography degree as an external student. And she is enrolled in the same course. I have a study buddy!!!

That is such a relief, as I was a little worried that some of the language will make me a little stabby. Things like –

Students engage in finding a personal connection to green living and environmental responsibility by constructing for themselves a ‘green practice path’ to sustainability in order to effect real change through a willingness to act appropriately in their own spheres of existence while influencing wider changes in the world. They learn about: reducing harm to themselves and ecological systems; empathizing with environmental suffering; gaining inspiration from green thinkers and workers; and linking the green path of environmental peacemaking to living in harmony with nature.

So, the whole unit description, basically. But with Dionne there, I know I can navigate the stabby feelings, and find the useful stuff in there.

The bad news is that I have to use my old username, which is my “maiden” name. Also, I can’t enrol in the “computers for idiots” unit that I was going to do (because it is easy), because now my student record is linked to my academic transcript they can see that I have already completed that unit.

THe good news is that I might be able to get advanced standing for the three units I have already completed, even though they were completed more than ten years ago 🙂


I don’t believe in a higher power. I don’t believe in fate. I want to believe in karma, but I don’t. But sometimes, things fit together so perfectly, that you have to wonder if there is some crazy connection. Serendipity squared.

On Sunday night, I applied to study Psychology at uni. On Monday, I saw an offer on Freecycle of Psychology textbooks in Merrylands. I responded straight away, and the reply came back straight away with an address. Which was less than 500m from my front door.

I went to pick up the textbooks on Thursday afternoon. I met Ruth, who is a retired psychologist, and academic. She was lovely, and offered to help me with my homework! At this point I began to feel that this was really happening. I was going to go to uni – how could I not with such a positive “sign”.

And then I got home and checked my email. There was an email from UNE, and I logged in to my account to find out that I had been offered a place in the Social Work degree – and missed out on my first choice. Yes, a smart person would have thought a bit more about preferences, but hey, it was all very last minute.

But when I missed out, it just didn’t feel right. One of those “this isn’t the way this is supposed to happen” moments. Like when I went into labour with Archimedes. Not RIGHT. Not OK.

I couldn’t do anything to change the outcome for my beautiful Archie, but I could do something about this, so I did.

And in other news…


This is what happens when a small boy with good suction comes across a small Yakult bottle. Photographed in Hyde Park after Miriam’s birthday lunch.

When I was a kid, my maternal grandparents would collect spare change throughout the year in a big glass jar. Mostly copper coins, at the end of the year we would carry the jar on the train to Martin Place, where my grandmother would take us to the beautiful Commonwealth Bank Building. We’d meet Dad, who worked there, and he would put the money through the big counting machine and add it all up. It was then divided by two, Adam and I would each get half to buy ourselves a christmas present.

Then we’d have lunch (usually at the Woolies cateteria, or fish and chips that we would eat in the park). And then Nanna would take us to St Mary’s Cathedral, where we would light a candle. Nanna would pray, for Michael, for her mother, I never knew, but I knew it was a special place, and meaningful to her.

So after we had Miriam’s birthday lunch (at Bodhi, where Mark & I had our wedding reception almost 7 years ago), I took Inigo to the cathedral, where we lit a candle for Nanna, and one each for Archie and Aubrey.


A lesson learned. Or maybe two.

One. Never apply for university on the evening that applications close. You are bound to make a rookie mistake, like applying for a course you have no hope of getting into, and neglecting to make sensible choices about your second and third preferences.

I put “Bachelor of Psychology with Honours” as my first preference. Which I had no hope of getting into without an ATAR of about 90 (or equivalent in work experience, or study, etc).

Then I put Social work as my second choice. I got into social work.

Two. When you make a mistake, or don’t get what you want, ALWAYS ASK FOR FORGIVENESS. Or help, or a favour, or whatever. But always ask. Because if you don’t ask, you won’t get. And if you do ask, you might just get…

…offered a place in a Bachelor of Psychological Sciences!!!!

And if I can maintain good results, I might get to do the honours year down the track, and still become a psychologist.

So now I am choosing subjects, and trying to navigate my way around the uni web services, with a view to starting on Valentines day.


Just in case you’re interested, if I get in, I will be starting Uni Semester 1, 2011. That is in about 3 weeks. So I am hoping to hear back soon.

And UNE is the University of New England in Armidale. I will need to go to residential schools in Armidale about once per subject per semster. I’ll be studying part time, which means 2 subjects per semester.

An out of body experience

Apparently, I just applied for university.

On Friday, I found out that UNE applications close tonight at midnight, so today, Inigo skipped his nap, and went to bed at 5.30 so mama could scan documents and talk herself up.

Number one on my list is a Bachelor of Psychology with Honours. This is either proof that I am completely unhinged, or a great way to distract myself from the inescapable pain of everyday life.


And here is a picture of a small boy in a home made tutu.