Friday, April 27, 2012

It's Friday already

Hello everyone and a huge happy Friday to you. I can't believe this week has gone so quickly! It feels like it was only Tuesday yesterday. Last time I wrote I was feeling a little over whelmed with my Essay writing, annotated bibliography - well you will be pleased to know that I am now no longer over whelmed. I gave myself a break from it and went on and did my other two modules (prep and  computing) and have come back to it with fresh eyes. And surprise surprise it all makes sense now. I actually think it may of been one of those OOOOHHHH DUHHH moments as it really makes perfectly reasonable sense now hehehehe.
Anyway I have started researching for my two problems and I am going to spend some more time on it this weekend so hopefully by Monday I will be on top of the AB (annotated bibliography).

I must say that I have not been overly motivated this week - I even used the folding as a distraction one day - so things must of been bad. Although once I got really into it, I have been fine. I have been learning all about Excel this week in Computing - and don't I love it!!!!!!! I have played with Excel once or twice before but I never knew how to apply formulas - so I am very excited now.

Then with my new reading and listening skills that I have learnt in Prep - I'll be unstoppable hehehe. Seriously though I am thoroughly enjoying myself and I am so glad that I have undertaken this challenge in my life!!!!
Ok well I am off to go close the house up now - it is freezing here today (well almost anyway) actually it is 18degrees celcius so I shouldn't complain. Especially compared to all my lovely blogging buddies (big wave hello) in the UK - I'm sure you would find 18 positively tropical (quoting my lovely cousin John in Nottingham).
Ok talk soon
x joy 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Post number two for today

Hello everyone again,
It is now Tuesday afternoon and my day hasn't gone as planned. I said in my last post that I was going to start with my EWU first off today to get it under way but I got a little over whelmed with it. So have popped it aside for now and will go back to it. I am thinking that maybe I just don't have my essay writing hat on today. Really I am probably being a big girl and I am letting it be bigger than it actually is. But anyway I think a fresh, clean mind tomorrow will give it a new lease of life.

So today instead I have begun my PSU and this weeks module is all about active reading and listening. I have written a little list of tips about how to read selectively and it is:
  • Write a list of what I need
  • Check reading lists provided
  • Check dating of material
  • Check authenticity
  • Look at and read back cover, contents list and indexes.
  • Keep word limits in mind.
According to the evaluation lists in Cottrell (2008, p. 116-118) I am not a very smart reader. And that is no surprise to me. I often find myself reading and reading information and not being able to take it in. So I really enjoyed this exercise to give me some strategies in this area. I will start breaking my reading down into smaller more manageable chunks (there is that strategy again for reading - it seems to keep popping up- breaking things down into more manageable chunks - I think it might be the key to life itself lol hehehehehe). And I will also start to summarise more. I already use high lighters and pencils for marking important points but I will go one step further and use more colours and different marking patterns for easy identification.

The next part of this module is the SQ3R strategy and this was a bit confronting to me because I have covered the SQ3R technique for EWU but I couldn't remember what it stood for - urgh how frustrating. Maybe I just don't have my brain attached today - or I left it somewhere hehe. Anyway I now remember (after looking it up) it stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recite and Review. This is a very valuable tool that I should keep in mind for all of my studies. I especially need to ask questions and try and answer them and review again and again. I often put my notes away - never to be seen again but I have really taken this on board as a way of remembering and linking to newer information that I gain. I already know that if I read my study materials again within 48 hours that they stick in the old gray matter better.

Ok well I am off to go cook some dinner for residents of Smithville oh how I hate cooking!!!!!! I think it will be chicken tonight.
 ok talk soon
x joy

Week 8

Hello, it's Tuesday today and  I am a little bit late starting this week. This is not an ideal situation in my books - I usually like to get right into study first thing Monday morning however I have just had a combination of being busy and not being very well.
 My busy schedule started last Friday with my oral presentation and morning tea with my lovely paper crafting pals - which was lovely. Then I had to take hubby over to Barcaldine to pick up another Ambulance for his busy weekend schedule. At the moment with my health issues, me and the car are not getting along very well, I think it is all the bounce, bounce, bounce. Anyway I ended up in bed Friday afternoon and night in pain. Then the next two days were busy including a return trip to Barcaldine to take the ambulance back on Sunday. Then on Monday there was a car rally in town and Tania Kernagan and John Paul Young were in it, so I just had to go and have a little look didn't I. Well that was the end of me - I spent all afternoon yesterday in bed in pain. OMG I am so over this body, the sooner I can have surgery the better!!!!!!!!!  

Anyway I am feeling better today, so here I am. Now I have abit to get through this week so had better get into it. I have my annotated bibliography for EWU, spreadsheets in CSU and active reading and listening and my information literacy for PSU. I think the annotated bibliography is the most daunting so I am going to tackle that one first.

I have also got a few things on this week including the kids home from school tomorrow for ANZAC day then I have a hair cut on Thurs and Doctors apps on Friday. So I have to juggle the study in between these things. Ok well I had better go and get into it and stop procrastinating.

Have a great day,
talk soon
x joy
Thought I would share a little photo that I took of JPY yesterday - he is very charming and charismatic.
I was singing 'Love is in the air la la la' all after noon hehehe 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Reflection for week 7

Hello and happy Thursday to you.
I am having a good week - I have got all three of my modules wrapped up today. I just have my oral presentation from last week to do tomorrow. So today I am going to do a little reflection on my essay writing. Boy this is a daunting task - not the reflecting but assessment 3 and 4. I understand it but it is still daunting. I have done my first two 'Let's go' activities and have narrowed down my choice of two problems and I think they are waste and water usage (I think - anyway). I am looking forward to stretching my boundaries with this first assessment. You know I never even knew what an annotated Bibliography was until yesterday when I looked it up in the dictionary hehehe. I kind of knew but not properly. Anyway I really like how this assessment is worked into really simple steps to follow cause that is just like me and my to do lists that I write. I work things out into smaller more manageable pieces and then at the end it becomes a bigger piece. 

I have loved Edward de Bono's six hat thinking as well - it does the same thing really - looks at things in smaller pieces rather than the big picture. I can see it will be really useful in all aspects of life. I am looking forward to putting it into practice with the essay.

Here is my own little hat - a pink hat not like de Bono's but a little tiny paper one, measuring about an inch and a half across. I made it a couple of years ago to wear for a best decorated hat competition. Maybe I should make ones in de Bono's colours to remind me of the thinking skills associated with each colour.

 Ok well that is about all for today. It is home time for the boys from school - so I will go and do some Mothering duties. Plus I need to cook some goodies for tomorrow's morning tea.
Have a great day
talk soon
x joy

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

No crazy distractions today

Hello, happy Tuesday to you,
 I hope you are having a great day.
Mine is running along smoothly unlike yesterday. It is just after 11.00am and I have studied all morning and have completed my Prep module for this week including the information literacy unit 3. So now I can move on to either EWU or COIT. I have an assignment due for COIT on Friday so perhaps I should get that one out of the way first before EWU. Although I think I have completed my power point but I may need to just fine tune it a little. 

I got some more results yesterday and this morning for my Prep and Computer skills and got High Distinction in both - whoooo hoooo, very happy girl again here in Smithville (the happy dance was here again). Remember that Computing Assessment that I uploaded wrong and was stressing over - well that was it - and I still got a HD, mind you I only just scrapped in by the hairs on my chiny chin chin (I don't really have hairs on my chin - I just quoted from the Three Little Pigs). I got 86% so I made it by 1% PHEW.  I made a few errors in both but the feedback I received was really good, so I know what I need to work on.
Added note to say I may only of got a Distinction in Computing - I have just noticed a discrepancy in my marking sheet - so I have emailed my Lecturer. I am still a happy girl anyway - cause I thought I had  stuffed up big time so 84% is still way more than I thought I would get.
(still doing the happy dance)
Ok well you have a great day
talk soon
x joy

Monday, April 16, 2012

And back again

It is now nearly one o'clock and I still haven't done nearly as much as I would of liked. You see the boys left at 8.30am then I ran around and did a little bit of housework before I started study at 9.00am then hubby has been home twice today already. The first time was at 10.30 for morning tea and then he was home at 12.00pm for lunch - URGH. And funnily in between his two visits the phone rang once, I had to chase the dog around the yard because he was going pyshco at another dog, I had to visit the the ladies then I had to go and get a glass of water and a couple of panadol for a headache that was creeping up. How is a girl supposed to get things done?

So now I am not going to get interrupted until 2.30pm although when I think about it - that is only one and a half hours away. Still not enough time to achieve all that I wanted to. But I will stop whining and get on with it hehehe.
Ok well I have travelled back in time and reread my first posts from module 1 and looked at the things that I thought would be hurdles for my study and going by first paragraph some things haven't changed hehe. The things that I thought would be troublesome were procrastination, self motivation and computer Internet problems. I have solved the Internet problems and have upgraded to a new usage plan and gone wireless - which is great. But the old procrastination and self motivation are still showing their ugly heads - although not as much as they were.  I still need to set study time aside - set myself up with water, snacks and panadol, take the phone off the hook or put the answering machine on and tell hubby not to come home as much! That should fix the problem hehe - wish me luck!
I loved the video on procrastination - it is so me.  I do exactly what that little man does. I'll just do this before I do that hahaha. I have so gotta get that under control! Maybe I could use a positive affirmation to help - I can sit and study while ignoring all distractions hehehe. Actually I love positive affirmations and have used them for years. I even made a huge poster full of my favourite ones - but now I wonder where that poster is - it used to hang on my craft room wall, I must have a look for it.
Some techniques that I currently use to relax are unwinding in a lovely bubble bath (ahhhh nothing nicer) and when I am fit and healthy (not just yet) I love spending time working in the garden although at the moment I find just sitting in the garden near my water feature reading is a great way of relaxing. Another technique is putting things into perspective and setting priorities by making lists. I find this really helps - it breaks things up into smaller more manageable tasks. I love crossing things off as I go to see that I am achieving something.

HAHAHAHA best laid plans go astray again. I was all set to study till 2.30pm and now the CQU site is down hehehehe that is good old Murphy's law for you isn't it. So I am going to be super resilient and swap my day around and pop to the shop for some fresh fruit and some dinner now and finish with the study when I get back (if the site is back up again).

Talk soon
 x joy
p.s. Why doesn't Mr Blogger think that my hehehe and hahaha are words - he keeps asking me to change them in spell check - get used to it Mr Blogger - I speak the language of hehehe and hahahaha

Module 7 - Stress management and resilience

Hello again, I'm back as promised. I knew I was going to be journaling and reflecting today - I had a sneak peak at this module last night so I knew what I was doing today. So here we go:

The stress quiz was very accurate for me (at the moment anyway - I wonder if I had done it last week with the video uploading, if it would of come out differently hehe) anyway I got a score of 37 today and it said that I had a good balance which is most of the time for me. I do think that I can cope with stress most of the time - it is just the odd time when things get too much that I don't. So really I think the test was very accurate.

I love the images of 'first world problems' - talk about putting life in perspective. They made me giggle but really when you think about it, we all do it to a degree and it may not seem like it at the time but a majority of our problems are 'first world problems' - just like my 'my video won't upload to youtube' moment.  Really I am lucky that I have a video camera to play with anyway and the computer to try and upload it on and then the electricity to run the computer and the money to afford the electricity and and and . . . . . . . . . . .  I should be thinking of all the things in life that I am grateful for and the learning opportunities that are ahead of me instead of whinging that I can't get something to work for me!

I love the table of managing stress - I think that I will photocopy it and put it above my desk. Don't sweat the small stuff is one that I really like. I have the book Don't sweat the small stuff. . .  and it's all small stuff by Richard Carlson (1997) and I read it all the time. It is a great little tool for putting life into perspective - it's just hard remembering it all when you need it most. I really like the idea of putting  strategies into your everyday life that way they are already in place for when you need it. I think I need to do that - perhaps I could include some quiet listening to  music time each day. I also need to set realistic goals for myself - sometimes I expect way too much.

This then brings me to the the Stress is making Australia sick article - very interesting reading. As a society we tend to push ourselves further and higher constantly - this article emphasizes that it is not good for us. We need to take control and find measures to keep our stress under control. One person is only capable of achieving so much within each day and although we need to limit procrastination and time wasting, we need to limit how much we take on in life.

Rather than make this a marathon blog post I am going to finish this one here and start a new post. That way if I am rambling on a bit you can take a break from reading hehehe. Also I need to go back and look at module one now and reflect on what changes that I was going to put into practise and see if I have followed through with those changes.   

Can you hear that noise?

 Well that may be because there isn't any! 
I have peace and quiet here in Smithville!
(doing the happy dance) 
AAAAHHHHH how I have missed my peace and quiet.

Hehehe the boys are back at school today yippeee!
That was the longest school holidays ever. I do love having them home but them home and me studying doesn't mix. Although really I did manage quite well. We just changed our routine and I studied in the afternoon instead of the morning. However we still had a few moments where tensions were raised - like when I couldn't upload the videos and the boys kept coming in to ask me questions   like "Mum can I have an apple". GRRRRR Oh course they can have an apple - I was so frustrated that they could of asked for a family block of chocolate and I would of said yes - just so they would of left me alone (don't tell them that though - cause they will remember it next time I get cranky hehe)
 Anyway here I am sitting quietly just about to start my week 7 studies. I am all prepared and ready and raring to go. I'm sure I will be back with some further reflecting today.
I hope everyone had a good holiday.
Talk soon
x joy  

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Best laid plans go astray

Hello and happy Saturday to you.
 I hope you have had a good couple of days. I have been having fun. I have filmed my oral presentation and was going to upload it to YouTube  to get feedback that way for something different  - but it hasn't happened - URGH. I have done a great deal of talking in front of people in my life so thought that I would try it this way for a change. But here I am on Saturday and I haven't managed to upload it - so I am giving up on that front and I am now going to organise an oral presentation with some friends (look out girls - the invites will be coming - run for the hills hehe).

I am dissappointed with myself and technology but I can't get upset I just have to get on with it. You see I have been very organised and finished each module on the Friday of that week but this week I am going to be late.

I filmed the presentation with no problems, uploaded it to the computer with a few hiccups then it all went down hill from there. This is a new video camera and it is a little trickier than my old one.  It took for ever to understand the instructions on how to upload to the pc then I realised that I had to change the format into a readable one for YouTube. Which I did using a trial download but the video  ended up with the company's watermark in the middle of the screen. I also had to downsize the file which I did several times and that took 40 mins each time. Anyway I soldiered on and tried uploading but it just isn't gunna happen at this stage. Each time I tried uploading it took over 120mins and then at the end told me it was corupt or aborted ARGH major frustration - I can tell you!!!!!!!!!

So I have given up for now and will do a proper oral presentation. Serves me right for thinking out side the box and trying to do something different. Usually I am a strictly inside the box girl so I was trying to expand my horizones hehe. I think I would actually prefer to do the presentation in a class on Uni - I am envying the internal students as they don't have to gather an audience - you have a audience already.

Ok well I am off to go get some housework done as this place looks like a bomb has hit it. With the boys being on school holidays and here all day and me not doing anything other than study or working out this stupid camera - it is soooo bad. So -  high ho, high ho, it's off to do housework I go

talk soon
x joy

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Reflecting on my progress

Hello and happy Wednesday to you.
 It doesn't feel like Wednesday - it feels like Tuesday,  with all these Easter holidays I am all over the place and I am having difficulty remembering which day it is.

Anyway today I am doing a little bit of self reflecting on my journey so far. This morning I posted my Research paragraph for Essay Writing away and now as part of that module I need to look back over the last 6 weeks and look at the progress I have made. And really when I think about it - I have come an awful long way. I was thinking that it would be interesting to look at a paragraph or an essay that I wrote before I started all of these Essay writing modules and compare it to the paragraph that I have just completed. I did write a couple of pieces for my entry into the STEPS program that I must drag out and have a look at.

I think that not only my writing style has changed but also I have changed as a person with each module that I complete for all three of my Uni courses. But when I look at the Essay writing skills I have acquired - there is a big change. I am definitely a more critical and active reader and I do enjoy the process of note taking and note making  - it is a really useful tool for extracting important information relevant to the topic from your readings. I am finding that I also like to make a concept map or cluster of my topic - being a very visual person - I find it helps to see it all laid out in front of me, so I will continue to do that. I also like doing things in stages and the graphic organisers help in this process. It helps me to take my notes that extra step and start to formalise my main points and begin to get my paragraph going. With this last paragraph I actually just copied and pasted my graphic organiser onto my paragraph page and then just worked over it to establish my actual final piece. I polished it several times to make sure I was happy with it. Really that just involved playing around with it until I liked how it sounded. I hope it is ok.

Now - How confident am I using the Harvard referencing style system? Hmmmm well I will say I am feeling fairly confident however I will not say that I am 100% confident because there is always room for improvement in anything. I get the concept and have read my book several times and I hope I have done everything right in this last assessment - but it will be good to get the feedback to make sure that I am understanding it properly. I would hate to think that I plagiarised unintentionally. I would rather be over referenced than under referenced - hehe I wonder if you can over reference something?

Then it's on to how my world view has expanded - well it certainly has expanded that's for sure. WOW I am looking at and seeing the world through brand new eyes and it is fascinating. I am loving every minute of it. I am exploring and investigating all sorts of things. I understand the term looking through rose coloured glasses now - the world seems all shiny and new to me. I am actively thinking about everything and I am loving it. I have always believed that we are never to old to learn and have tried to enjoy life and stop and smell the roses, but this is different! This is deeper!

Who has inspired me? Well can I say everyone that I meet, whether it be in person (at the Big day in) or via emails or video presentations. I have never come across such an inspiring place. Everyone is so helpful. I have watched lectures given by people who have also gone through the journey of being a mature aged student, who are just amazing and inspirational. I have received emails that give feedback in such a nurturing helpful way. Absolutely everyone within the CQUni environment is positive, helpful and inspirational. How could anyone not grow and become a better person when they are involved in such a positive learning environment!

Ok well I am off to go and get stuck into my Prep Skills module 6 - Oral presentation skills now. I am looking forward to this - I am one of a few people who does not find oral presentations scary. I was very lucky in one of my employment roles to get extensive training on speaking in public and I have also read (many years ago) - Feel the Fear and do it any way by Susan Jeffers - and I have had no trouble getting up in public ever since.

The is a little quote of the front of Module 6 that is by comedian Jerry Seinfield, it says
"According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy."

I love it - give me the eulogy any day - I'm not quitting this life for anything - I have got too much fun and learning to be done!

ok well you have a good day
and remember if it isn't a good day - make it one
talk soon
x joy

Monday, April 9, 2012

Back into it

Hello and happy Monday to you.
 I hope you all had a lovely Easter - ours was lovely - very quiet and restful but lovely. The Easter Bunny came to everyone here is Smithville - so we must of been good again (although I do wonder sometimes hehe). Although on a very sad note we had to have one of our pussy cats Shiraz put to sleep on Saturday - she was 20 and she had gotten very old very quickly in the last month or so. She lost a heap of weight and was constantly hungry, then on Friday she lost control of her bladder and bowels - very very sad - we had no choice in the end. I wonder sometimes if it is worth having pets - cause you love em sooooo much and it hurts sooooo much when something happens to them. My other pussy cat Sabrina is missing her as well and keeps looking for her. :(

Anyway it is time to get back into study mode today - I have continued to potter over the week off but have not put my full time hours in - so I am ahead but I want to stay that way. I need to prepare my powerpoint assessment, finish my essay writing assessment and get on with Prep which involves an oral presentation next week. So it is just after 9.00am (actually 9.19am) and I intend to spend the day in my little study nook. The kids are going to pop down to Hubby's work and watch a couple of movies on the big screen, which will keep the house quiet, so I can get into it. Ok well I will catch you soon - I know I have to do some reflecting for Essay writing and that is on the agenda for today.
Well have a good day - and if it isn't a good day - make it one - life is too short to be unhappy
talk soon
x joy 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I'm a happy little vegemite

Just got some results back from my assessment for Essay Writing and I got a High Distinction - whoo hoo - what a relief - I think I have rewritten both paragraphs about 500 hundred times in my head so I am glad the ones I ended up with were ok.

Although I am now thinking I had better do a good job on my next assignment due next week - otherwise I will be disappointed hehehe  - I will make sure I do a good job on this one as well (that is some positive self talk happening there hehe)
Ok well you make sure you have a good day
talk soon
x joy