braindribbles

Posts Tagged ‘study

I’m sorry to say it, but I am going to have to take down my Postaday 2011 banner.

I’ve been quiet this week.

Not on purpose. I still have lots to say.

But Life™ just stepped up a gear.  And I really can’t blog every single day any more.

Why is this? I hear you ask.

Well, part of it is trying to do more exercise. Once you make a commitment to exercise three times a week, and you take into account travelling to and from a class, and possibly settling a baby into the creche, or queuing outside the studio because if you don’t there won’t be a space for you, it can be rather time consuming.

I’m not complaining.  I feel one hundred times better.  (And for the Fatchecker readers among you, it’s still going in the right direction, just about: 12 st 0.6 lb yesterday).  I don’t feel an overwhelming urge to nap the moment the kids go to school. Well, not so often, anyway.  I don’t get the wall of fatigue hitting me at 4pm.  When I’m home, I’m actually getting stuff done instead of frittering away time because I’m too tired to do anything. (I can still fritter, mind you, but it’s through choice these days.)

There’s the other thing. I came off time out back at the beginning of May. And somehow, I kept the blog going in spite of returning to training and having many, many things I needed to do study-wise.  I’m not sure the quality was quite up to scratch though…you’ve all been very polite and not said anything, but I know that at times I could have done a better job.

Now, I’ve got a course coming up in the next couple of weeks.  In the long run, when I’m qualified, this shouldn’t take up too much time, but right now, while I’m trying out different ideas and activities, there’s an awful lot of planning needing doing.  Even now, as I type away, my eyes keep flicking over to the bookshelf I should be bustling around, looking at what activity to put where. I love this blog. It helps me achieve peace of mind, and balances out my thinking, and it shouldn’t be making me feel guilty… But right now, I do.  There is actually something more important I have to go and do.

So, the banner has come down.

image courtesy of www.zimbio.com

image courtesy of http://www.zimbio.com

I will still blog regularly – at the absolute minimum one post a week – and about the same stuff.  And maybe at some point I’ll be able to blog daily again.

But right now, it is the fallout from just a few too many things going on.  I looked up the definition of ‘fallout’, and it talked about fallout being the tiny particles of dust, ash, or indeed radioactive by-product from some kind of explosion or eruption.

Don’t worry, I haven’t exploded or erupted.  But I do sometimes think of this blog in that way.  I think about stuff a bit too much.  My head tries to explode.  Blogging vents off all the extraneous thoughts that I can’t deal with elsewhere.

Blogging is a kind of fallout.

In a good, non-toxic way, you understand.

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It’s Monday and, having been on a study/work related trip to Manchester, I have so much to ponder about.  I’ll see how far I get.

We had an amazing study day. This was a chance for me to get up-to-date with new procedures in maternity services or changes in NHS policy, as well as just getting my head back in the game; it’s been four years since I first did my compulsory study in this area and, my brain being rather sieve-like, I’ve forgotten a lot of it.  We had a quiz to look over and, whilst I knew at least half of it, the fact that there were several questions I’d never even heard of was rather intimidating.  Clearly I need to get more familiar with a midwifery textbook at some point…

Image courtesy of patient.co.uk

What took up most of the day was a detailed look at a partogram. (What’s a partogram? It’s the document that the midwife fills in during labour to keep a record of what’s going on.) It was absolutely fascinating. I hadn’t considered it in so much detail before, but it very soon became clear that every single little mark a midwife makes on such a chart has so much significance. Our tutor for the day is well known within the NCT for her gentle, approachable expertise, and I soaked it up like a sponge.

We also looked at some problems people can have during pregnancy – pre-eclampsia, morbid obesity and gestational diabetes – and looked at how it can affect their hopes and plans for labour and birth. How realistic is it for a morbidly obese woman to have a home water birth?  Well, easier than one with pre-eclampsia, if she’s prepared to challenge the hospital’s normal practice.

What I got out of the day most, though, was not the top-up and refreshment of knowledge,  but a chance to talk to other antenatal teachers (though I didn’t meet a single other student). I chose this training because the subject is so fascinating, and to talk to others who are equally interested can lead to some amazing conversations.

The study day was six hours long, but for once I didn’t lose concentration – it was just too interesting. And in the breaks, we’d talk about it even more. Amazing stuff.

More on the second day next time – watch this space.

Manchester UniversityIn a week or so, I’m going up to Manchester. Without children.

It’s for a good reason: there’s a study day I need to attend, and a national mini-conference for NCT workers that I’m supposed to attend once every two years, I believe. But I can’t help of thinking of it as two days off.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love being a mum. I love my children to bits.  When I’m not stressed out, I love the mundane little tasks that make up my daily life.  I do, however, miss being an adult in my own right.  (Somehow conversations with loved one don’t seem to stimulate in quite the same way.  Probably because we’re both dog tired by the time we have an opportunity.)

image is a postcard for sale at zazzle.co.uk - look out for their beautiful stationeryI get to have conversations with real grown-ups about grown-up stuff.  I get to learn stuff.  I get to find out what my charity’s been up to in the last year while I’m at it.  I even get to vote in the trustees and approve the annual accounts at the AGM.  I’ll be exhausted by the time I get home.   But I shall enjoy my time away immensely, simply for the sake of being myself for once, and not ‘just’ a mum.

I managed about three days of earlybird study in total.  Then I couldn’t hack it any more.

Burning the midnight oilActually, I got the bulk of the work done by doing an almost-all-nighter last Saturday.  I was in a not-in-the-mood-to-sleep frame of mind, and it was niggling at my conscience.  So I just did it.

Somehow I also managed to be a reasonably useful person at Sunday School the next morning, too.

I write this post on the eve of my tutorial when those three pieces of work need to be presented and/or handed in.  And I write guilt-free, since I have DONE IT ALL!

Particularly pleasant has been finishing off my presentation tonight with a friend round on a study date.  We’re not doing the same course, but we both need to study.  It’s so nice to have company, both plonked on the sofa, laptops tapping away, books strewn all over the place, and in my case weird circles of semi-transparent coloured plastic, and a bunch of handouts that didn’t quite print right the first time.  Or the second time.

Funny how when you need to get something done, even if you don’t manage to do it in quite the way you planned, it all works out in the end. Admittedly it might not be that good.  I haven’t dared proofread the essay written in the middle of the night, but I am at that four-fifths-done stage of my course where I don’t care if it’s any good, I just want it over and done with.

And by this time tomorrow, I’ll have delivered the presentation and that’ll be it for a while, at least till I teach in early July.  Then it’ll be all systems go again for the last two essays after that…

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.netMy phone has a special wake-you-up-gently alarm.  It sounds a bit like the relaxation music you can tune into on long-haul flights.  After five minutes of that, if you’re not already up, it will then give you a proper alarm.  I recently found out it could talk to me if I pressed the right buttons.  I quite like the idea of a phone saying, Good Morning, Sacha. *Six O’Clock*.  At a time when any intrusion on my sleep is unwelcome, it seems quite civilised.  I wasn’t unable to un-programme the alarm sound itself, but I did at least make it as unobtrusive as possible.  After all, I want loved one – who cherishes his sleep and does not need to get up at 6 a.m. – to still be talking to me by the evening.

I forgot that my phone’s speaker would be impaired if I put it under my pillow. (I often do this as it prevents my phone from being catapulted off the bedside table when I turn over in my sleep, earphones still attached both to it and my ear). As a result, the first thing I heard this morning was a gentle twinkling of bells with a muffled electronic voice saying, Goof-Mor-Nif-Fa-fa. Fif-O-Flof.

Actually, it was fine, though I’ll remember to stick my phone somewhere slightly more audible next time.  I dressed quickly and quietly out on the landing where I’d put my clothes the night before (I am planning on doing evening showers for the duration of my study extravanza, or else the children will wake) and crept into the study – now also smallest one’s bedroom – to get going with the work.

Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.netI reckon I got about thirty minutes of work in before smallest one woke and realised I was there.  I looked round from the desk to see a big grin bobbing up and down from behind the cot bars.  Of course, there was no way I was going to be able to work after that.

We cuddled.  I decided not to be quite so black-and-white about not nursing her any more and snuck back into bed with her so she could have a feed.  Which I actually quite enjoyed.  That’s a whole other blog post, though.  Since I was dressed already, the morning went quite smoothly and we were just about in time for school with no stress.

I think that if I can handle it, this is working well.  I had hoped for a full hour of study, but half an hour is pretty good if it’s uninterrupted, especially if it sets the day on the right course.

Now I feel I can blog happily (with input from smallest one, of course – she is particularly good at adding + and – signs, I have discovered) and without guilt. Next work session begins at nap time.   As long as I’m still awake, anyway. Where’s the caffeine?

This evening, trying to sell our house has had an interesting consequence on my posting.  Allow me to explain…

In order to make the rather small bedrooms look bearable, we removed the bunk bed from one of them.  This required putting middle child into smallest one’s room, and relegating smallest one to the study.  Which is where I am now. Typing on a black keyboard (why are they always black these days?) in the dark.

nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Needless to say, spelling mistakes are frequent, though I hope to have caught them all before posting this.   Actually, I could easily be using my laptop in a different room, but loved one is away, leaving his nice large screen handily available, and the small breathing sounds drifting across from the corner are just too delightful to miss.

I do wish we had a blackout blind in this room, though.  Now the nights are shorter, smallest one has a tendency to wake earlier.  I heard you can get blackout coating you can paint on blinds, which sounds really weird, but I’m tempted to check it out all the same.  (I would have got a blackout blind for this room in the first place but for two reasons – one, they’re all boring and ugly, and two, I don’t want mould to start growing if we forget to raise the blind every so often, a problem that has occurred in other rooms in the past.)

So I’m posting in the dark.  It’s nice, once you’ve got your fingers on the right place on the keyboard.  Makes me realise that to be an accidental touch typist (I never actually learned) is still considerably handier than loved one’s fast two-finger typing, no doubt he would be struggling right now.

But then he’s the sort of person who would bother changing the light bulb in the discreet little desk lamp so he didn’t have to type in the dark.  It all evens out in the end, doesn’t it?

I was going to leave it at that, but with perfect timing one of my two cats, fed up with me not being downstairs slouching on the sofa with an empty lap, has made a point of sitting between the keyboard and the screen, silhouetted beautifully against my typing (which I can of course no longer see properly).   He patiently waits for me to finish, unaware that I’d be done by now if he hadn’t made himself into such a work of art.

Purring from the silhouette in front.  Tiny snores from the cot behind. And an awful lot of spelling mistakes.  That’s tonight’s post: ironic, yet fantastic.