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Welcome!

This little corner of cyberspace came about after I went on a rather lovely holiday, and had the time and inclination to write about my adventures and share them via social media–which reminded me that I actually like to write.

This is essentially a personal blog, but will have a regional/South Coast (NSW) focus, because that’s where I live and work. I may sometimes link to my two existing academic blogs, Shapeshifters in Popular Culture and Autism Spectrum Disorders in Higher Education, both of which have been hanging in a kind of frozen stasis not  unlike Agent Scully in those pod things (yes, there will be lots of geeky pop culture references), because I’ve been focused on my day job, and writing in order to publish, not perish.

And on that note, opinions are my own.

Progress Update: on Passports and Position Papers

This WordPress Wednesday (she writes, as though she were still doing this weekly) comes to you from regional Victoria, where I’m once again ensconced in the spare bedroom. Most days the soundtrack to our mornings has included the detonation of devices at the nearby Army base, which is arguably still better than the muffled loudspeaker noises which my Wollongong-based colleagues are enduring in light of the UCI event.

Personally, I think UCI sounds like a medical complaint and have been referring to it as “the stupid [expletive-deleted] bike race,” like many people I know. It may do well in terms of getting Wollongong an international profile as intended–that remains to be seen–but my goodness, it’s inconvenienced a lot of locals in the process.

Speaking of deleted expletives, I’m starting to think that the F in DFAT doesn’t stand for Foreign, after all.

The Golden Ticket

Australian passports are supposed to be processed and returned within about six weeks, but I’ve had a few in my time and I don’t recall it ever taking more than two. Enter COVID. Now, way more people than usual are applying all at once and the system is failing. Spectacularly.

I had my interview at the post office and handed in my paperwork on July 25. For those playing along at home, that is 8.5 weeks ago. It is still showing as “Under Assessment.” One wonders what could possibly take so long to be assessed, given that it’s a renewal and literally nothing has changed since last time.

Putting the rotten thing in was stressful enough in itself. The local PO guy–the PO is under new ownership–had taken the photos for us, after first telling my husband he couldn’t take his photos because he didn’t know the dimensions for a British passport. Again, we’ve had a lot of passports at our advanced ages, and it’s never been an issue. But the Spousal Unit went away, googled, and then returned to offer proof onscreen of what we already knew ie that they are the same size.

Then I rocked up for my booked interview and I was told that my original birth certificate was no good because it was foolscap and his printer wouldn’t scan it. I did point out that a great many Australians were born in the foolscap era, but to no avail. Apparently I should have somehow known that that particular post office had a printer/scanner that frankly, isn’t fit for purpose for most of us–Gen X and the Baby Boomers are all likely to have inconveniently sized paperwork. So I drove home and found the A4 version I’d paid to have reissued a few years back when I momentarily couldn’t find the original and panic-bought a replacement, and then I hightailed it back within the original booked timeframe. PO guy was most impressed that I had a differently sized version, and no wonder–most people wouldn’t.

Then he told me that he couldn’t accept my photographs. The ones he’d taken. He told me I shouldn’t have had my referee write on them the exact sentence that the passport office says to write on them–he needed an unmarked one. He kept repeating this with increased agitation, even as I kept pointing to the remaining photos, because you get SIX in a batch. Eventually, I got through to him that if he wanted an untouched photo, they were lying right in front of him. I’m not sure why I was the calm one when I’m the traveler and the one with diagnosed anxiety, and he was merely the guy doing the processing. “But they’re not cut,” he said. So I asked to borrow his scissors and hey, presto–virgin passport photo for the application.

So you can see why the delay in processing might be making nervous.

He then used those same scissors to cut through my previous, unexpired passport, meaning I’m now without one altogether. I still had eight months on the old one, which I also wasn’t able to use for more than two years because of the pandemic. A ten year passport is just not looking like good value for money right now.

The APO has confirmed by email that they have the application in the system and everything is there. So I do have that in writing. What I don’t have is evidence of any progress. At all. And I’m wondering how or when to try to escalate this, because honestly, with family overseas, I don’t like to be without a passport for any period of time. And I don’t see why I should be, given that I took steps to make sure it was renewed in plenty of time.

Meanwhile Mr-I-Never-Got-Around-to-Doing-my-Australian-Citizenship-Stuff got his British passport back in under two weeks. From the UK.

We have flights booked in eight weeks–heading for a brief beach break with my faux-niblings and -sister, under whose roof I’m currently lodged. Unfortunately, I have no confidence that things will be sorted out by then. According to the FB page for folks like me, the backlog seems to be being cleared for those who’ve submitted recently. But for those of us who submitted April-July–lining up in the nearest Passport Office within three days of your flight seems to work, sometimes. Not always. And my nearest Passport Office is quite a long way from the South Coast.

Back when I was enthusiastic about travel and believed in things like passports being processed, we booked accommodation for our big trip UpOver for the baseball and family Disney shenanigans. It’s hard to be excited, though, under the circumstances. Booking flights and sorting visas is significantly harder without a passport, so planning for that adventure is currently on hold.

One day.

Between now and the totally-booked-and-paid-for-holiday-I-can’t-get-to-without-a-passport in November, there is a mountain of work to be done, including landing a strategic framework. Landing a strategic framework also involves significant consultation around a recently redrafted position paper, itself a substantial piece of work. But I just watched my mate submit a full draft of her thesis (the reason I came down to distract the adolescents this week), and my co-editors and I sent The Vampire Diaries manuscript off last week. So sometimes these big milestones get met.

Time to party

Fingers crossed.

For now, it’s time for our leaving-night tradition (superstition?) of KFC before I make the long drive back tomorrow.

Ring of Steel

Have you been impacted by the great Australian Passport Debacle of 2022? Let me know if you have any tips on how to expedite the accursed process!

A New Normal (again)

This morning I received an email asking if I knew how to find one Dr Roslyn Weaver. Well, yes, as a matter of fact; I’d just been chatting with her over Messenger a few hours earlier. Oh yes, and I saw her a bit over a week ago, right before she went on her honeymoon and then moved to the UK (again–she moved there several years ago, and then to Canada, but now she’s back in England with her freshly minted husband, who resides there). And so we’re back to the future, still on different continents and in different time zones, but it’s somehow also very familiar.

The author of the email is trying to get in touch with Ros to send a copy of a publication that in her words, has been a long time in the making. This was also apropos because we’d been commiserating over publications that have disappeared into thin air once all the work was done. Notably we once both wrote chapters for an edited collection on Glee that has never seen the light of day and now, twelve years in, we figure the content is pretty well out of date!

But, just 24 hours before the aforementioned email, I received another one, saying that a co-edited collection on which I’ve been working has passed peer review.

My chapter within it was first written nine years ago. Then in 2019 one of the other contributors reached out to ask if the publication had ever happened, and after some sleuthing and checking that the original publisher was no longer interested in the long (un)dead project, we decided to take it on ourselves.

This was my motivational screensaver for quite a time, there.

And so, just like that, I go from not having any research projects on the go, to really needing to prioritise reading and acting on the feedback and getting it back to the publisher in as timely a manner as is humanly possible.

To add to the timeline crunch, we have another (our last!) SAL period coming up and I’ve also been asked to “reduce my leave liability,” which means effectively heading to regional Victoria in a few weeks to hang out with one of my favourite adopted siblings and my faux-niblings, only this time I won’t have to log on remotely and work while I’m there.

And I also decided to take a small step towards something we’ve been planning since April of 2021. For the first time in my life, I’ve worked somewhere long enough (and not as a casual!) to qualify for Long Service Leave. I’d pretty much ignored that milestone for a couple of years, because COVID hasn’t been conducive to travel and we had our bonus unpaid three weeks each year to use up as well as annual leave. But, luck permitting, next Easter we will head Up Over for what I am officially calling baseball leave.

Anaheim,CA/Los Angeles. Oct 29 2016, The main entrance of Angel Stadium, a major league baseball team in Anaheim,CA.

Apparently it will be a new manager at the helm after the canning of Joe Madden overnight. It was only a matter of hours between me putting in the paperwork and his shock dismissal.

All I can think is, my boys Jared Walsh, Shoei Ohtani and Raisel Iglesias had better still be there in Season 2023.

Milestones

It’s been a busy few weeks.

Our SAL (Special Additional Leave) block overlapped with the NSW school holidays this year, so those of us still actively affiliated with the Uni (one as a student, one as staff) tacked on an extra couple of days in order to facilitate a border-crossing adventure.

Now, before you get too excited, it was just a domestic/internal border, but even that has been a challenge for the last couple of years.

So when we were trying to figure out the best way to get to Queensland to see my in-laws, and to celebrate our son’s 21st the same week, he came up with a solution: we’d all go to the Sunshine Coast to visit Nanna and Grandpa, and then we’d stop by Movie World on the way home to mark his milestone birthday.

Ever optimistic, we also planned a couple of fun stops on the way home, including a visit with my Aunt and Uncle and going to see The Phantom of the Opera on Sydney Harbour.

Just before all that kicked off, though, I spent my Saturday in Batemans Bay with our team at the launch of the Wattle Walk, a community art project to mark the beginnings of bushfire recovery; which has somewhat ironically been been delayed by another large scale disaster, Covid.

So on the Friday I went to the launch of the Southern Shoalhaven Country University Centre in Ulladulla, then headed to the bay to help plant 7000 woolen wattle branches, and then finally we headed North.

with Mayor Amanda Findley at CUC Southern Shoalhaven
Planting time

The Wattle Walk was a big hit locally. We ran craft workshops on Saturday, and were pleasantly surprised at how many people came out, despite the ongoing rainy weather we’ve been experiencing. The installation was actually extended by a week at the request of the Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden, who were finding they were getting lots of new visitors and lots of positive feedback.

Heading North was a bit of an old-school road trip, with two “kids” in the back, ie my son and his partner. My daughter and her partner joined us at the Sunshine Coast. We had a nice little reunion with The Scottish Grandparents, but unfortunately Nanna was carrying the coronavirus and was not yet aware. We had the most amazing accommodation at Twin Waters, with plenty of rooms and living areas, including a great covered area on the ground floor where we could host the mobility-challenged for our Good Friday lunch.

The resort pool was slightly warmer than the unit’s one, and also boasted a lovely view of one of the eponymous Twin Waters.

All the Colemen and Coleman-adjacent people

Blissfully unaware of the virus hiding in plain sight, we enjoyed the random Good Friday fireworks (theologically speaking, that’s not a day of celebration, organisers!) and the Easter bunny arrived with chocolates and dorky pyjamas for all.

Easter Sunday was largely spent in a car, most of us contorted with knees around ears in order to accommodate 6 people and luggage, after several iterations of the travel plan were changed and/or abandoned.

Our Gold Coast accommodation was laid out like a rabbit warren, which fitted our pjyama theme, and quite dirty, which was horrifying. But hey, it had lovely views, so I guess they catch a lot of people once. I actually wrote a review to this effect, but it seems to have mysteriously disappeared from the website. Go figure.

Rob had a pre-birthday dinner and cake to accommodate his sister’s flight on the evening of his actual birthday, which we topped off with a visit to Holey Moley.

We headed to Movie World as planned, and discovered that while the number of visitors was back to pre-pandemic levels, the number of operational rides and the staff on deck probably weren’t. Tony and I went into the 4D theatre and had lunch, and spent the rest of the day sitting on a park bench. The young people were in queues from park open to park close, and made it onto two rides.

By this time, however, Tony was starting to feel very ordinary indeed, so it was possibly a good time to be sitting quietly by ourselves.

Right after we arrived in Coffs Harbour–meant to be Step 1 of our leisurely journey home–Tony got a positive Covid result, joining his parents, 13 others on his mum’s ward, and his sister among those who’d got an unwanted Easter bonus. Our daughter and her partner would soon join those ranks.

We could only look on this from afar as we regrouped in our room and made sure not to have contact with anyone else.

So long story short, it was a long and unexciting trip home, after dismantling and cancelling all the fun activities. Followed by disinfecting every surface in the car (twice!) and a week of offering room service to the patient, who was confined to his bedroom.

The return to working on campus was equally eventful. Day 1 was setting up for Shoalhaven Graduation, Day 2 was Shoalhaven Graduation, and Day 4 involved traveling to Wollongong for the first on-campus and in-person graduation in over two years, where the student I supervised was awarded her PhD.

Dinner with the team

Special times, indeed.

New Habits

So here we go: two weeks in a row. It’s a new record.

Well not really, but it sure feels like it.

There was a time when I had WordPress Wednesday in my calendar and it was sacrosanct. Now, it’s in there but I move it around other things and sometimes to other days and then it gets to the end of the week and I just delete it rather than have it taunt me. Et voila, that’s how we get to the end of March with nary a post.

Now, I know that I do better when I have a morning routine, and morning pages, and daily exercise, and a sleep routine. I have even read evidence to back it up, and I’ve blogged about it. And yet somehow I have once again slipped out of my good habits. Part of it is to do with my battered old body, which gets very grumpy in multiple joints when I go for a walk or other exercise–my Physiotherapist will be able to put her kids through expensive private schools for life, if she so chooses. Part of it is the appalling weather–flooding rains are not conducive to morning strolls–and part of it is just trying to get back into a going-to-work routine after a working-from-home routine for so long.

So: baby steps. I’ve done the morning page two days running. I’ve done WordPress Wednesday two weeks running. I’m trying to use the email answering half hour at the start of each day and the setting up half hour at the end of each day exactly as they are intended. And I’ve tried to follow Kristina Karlsson’s idea of reviewing the quarter and planning for the next one, albeit somewhat half-heartedly, since she advises thinking about your dreams and I was focused on work goals because the “dream” list was at home and I was in the office.

Like I said, baby steps. Faltering ones, from someone with a dodgy neck, hip and knee (at last count!).

Mea Culpa

Bless me, Reader, for I have sinned. It has been several months since my last “weekly” blog post.

In that time the world has gone to Hell in a handbasket, with continued COVID outbreaks, a war in Ukraine, floods, the Chris Rock/Will Smith saga, and Married at First Sight.

Not me. Just very near our home.
Perhaps most heinous of all …

There’s been some pretty cool stuff, too. With restrictions easing, UOW’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Trish Davidson, was able to come and visit all our campuses, including presiding over graduations in Batemans Bay and Bega. I believe it’s the first time a Vice Chancellor has come to a Bega or Batemans Bay grad. My brand new boss also visited, making it to Shoalhaven campus in his first week on the job, and the others soon after. This feels like a recognition of the importance of the less well-known campuses, and has really buoyed spirits.

I was invited to sit in on a HDR review panel, which necessitated delving into the world of Outlander, which I’d been avoiding out of fear of how long the books are. It’s an adaptation project to boot, so the Spousal Unit and I started watching the telly version together. It’s not bad, and it’s caused some very amusing moments where he (born in Scotland) has turned to me (Scottish by heritage, but never set foot in the place) to ask questions about things like the finer points of the battle of Culloden.

Will my Scottish husband look like this if I convince him to wear a kilt?

I once again attempted to attend the Long Wet Autumn-ish Long Hot Summer Tour, this time in Berry, and we were once again absolutely drenched. That’s the third time, in three different locations and in three different months. We even thought about purchasing tickets to the Kiama version this weekend, but since most of NSW is currently building arks, have held off.

Yeah, those clouds don’t look ominous at all.

As for me, I’m currently in regional Victoria where there’s not a cloud in the sky, working remotely and being an extra adult family member for a little bit. This has some pretty big advantages–four feline ones, for starters.

Cutest co-worker ever
Then the cuteness factor doubled.

So yes: doing OK. And hoping to get back into a good blogging routine … after all, it is almost April!

REBLOG: Why we’re scared as the ‘let it rip’ tide of COVID hits NSW, Australia

A local perspective on the inherent ableism of NSW’s current policy settings with regard to COVID. Shawn, Gina, Mac and their extended family are friends of mine, and live in the next suburb over, so this is very close to home.

Disability & Media Matters

Here’s why we are so scared for Mac and why we are desperate not to be caught in the ‘let it rip’ tide of COVID that’s hit NSW and Australia.

Thanks to vaccination, we are now less worried about the disease than we are about the potential treatment and/or lack of it he would receive in an overwhelmed hospital and health system as a very young adult with severe disability. Mac, Gina, and I are triple-vaccinated and we have done everything possible to follow the health guidance of the likes of Dr Kerry Chant for two years. We have been significantly isolating for the entire time. Even when I returned to face-to-face teaching for a brief time at the start of last year, we did it without fully embracing the ‘return to normal’ we were encouraged to do. As those who know Mac know, he does not talk or walk…

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O, Christmas Tree

I had a perfectly timely plan that centred around WordPress Wednesday and December 1 (traditional lights-on day) aligning this year.

But life got in the way, so welcome to Thursday, December 2.

At the moment I’m working 14 hour days because of HSC marking at night (and on Saturdays), so very little is getting done at home. This is not good because it’s Christmas lights time.

So on Monday, Miss Almost-23 and I both took a day’s leave and worked on decorating the house. Because it’s the most industrious time of the year.

According to my Facebook memories, her enthusiasm kicked in approximately eight years ago. In response to her sudden self-promotion to Head Elf, her brother apparently announced, “Now there’s two of them everything should get done faster, Dad!”

Now, I know some people have beautifully curated trees and decorative themes, and while this is something to which I’ve always aspired, in reality we’re a little bit closer to the “Christmas threw up on our house” end of the spectrum than I’d like.

This isn’t ours.
Nor is this.

And as much as I annually check out the Balsam Hill site and sigh over pre-lit flip trees, I just don’t feel, as a proud owner of a mortgage or two, that I can justify it quite yet.

Aforementioned Head Elf and the Spousal Unit, however, have both acted as the devil on my shoulder, telling me I need one. Child the Younger, who has thrown to the Grinch side of the family, tried to convince me to instead buy a very economical and pre-decorated one from the discount store where he works. The very concept baffles me, if I’m honest.

Then the Spousal Unit had a moment and told me that he likes “our” tree. I told him I was looking at an additional tree, not a replacement tree, and suddenly he was on board again.

(We have two living areas: a family room and a formal room. If that’s not a recipe for two trees, I don’t know what is!)

You see, the reason we can’t have a beautifully curated colour themed tree like the ones above is that our tree’s “theme” is pretty much the history of us. There are the decorations made by the kids when they were in preschool. Sure, I tuck them away at the back, but they are there. There’s even one that my son made in Science a bit later on.

This isn’t bad, all things considered.
It’s a Santa hat. With crystals on it. He grew the crystals. He was very excited.

There are the decorations made by my friend Jody and my late bonus-mother, Sue.

There are even the clay present tags my niece and nephew made several years back.

But mostly, there are the “special” decorations chosen each year to represent something that’s happened in our lives. The idea is that the kids will eventually take “their” decorations with them, but we don’t seem to be there yet. Possibly because they have a curated, colour-themed tree at the flat. In fact, they also have a matching garland after I stopped in at Bredbo on the way back from a conference two years ago and the lovely staff dutifully went searching for a white garland, which the Head Elf/Child the Elder had, up until then, found elusive.

Significant appreciation for that garland is required. It took effort.

Some of our special decorations date back a long time; others have come a long way. Courtesy of multiple trips to Disneyland, we’re heavy on the Disney decos. That Cheshire Cat was the best surprise though … the smile glows in the dark. Magic.

Each trip, I would ask the kids to pick a decoration. This ranged from the ridiculous (“Really? You want a plastic M and M guitar ornament as a memento of this trip?”) to the sublime (“Well, yes. I do think Baymax tangled up in Christmas lights is the coolest thing ever.”) to the downright dangerous (“Sure. If we wrap that huge, fine, spherical Jack Skellington bauble very, very carefully, we can get it home on the plane in one piece. Probably.”)

Other times, we’d pick something that represented their year: Jamie’s obsession with Cinderella, Robert’s with Angels baseball, Jamie’s “graduation” from high school.

And then there was the time when Rob and I travelled to the States for Ellyn’s wedding. In New York, he found a Minnie Mouse-as-Liberty decoration and asked, “Mum, do you think this would be a good gift for Jamie?”

Why, yes, Son. In fact, it’s perfect.

Speaking of Ellyn, she’s represented, too. Back when she and Jamie were concurrently undertaking dance lessons, I bought some absolutely heinous (in my opinion) pink, glitter, ballet slipper decorations. They both love pink. And glitter. And dance. One slipper hangs on our tree; the matching one was sent to El.

For her part, she sends us representative ones from her state.

Because that’s another thing: when I travel, I try to find a decoration. It started with my Vancouver lights bear. Ros was with me when I bought him, and has of course been on many conferences with me in various places so she knows about this little habit of mine. Which means I have a lot of bonus decorations from when she’s visited Christmas markets in far-flung places.

We also have some matching ones, from joint trips. Matching Texas stars, for example. And also these matching paua shell angels, a personal favourite. Picked up in an airport after believing that perhaps I had missed my chance to find something on that particular trip, and look at her. She’s beautiful.

There are a bunch of decorations from our family travels. We’re missing South Africa and Antarctica, but all the other continents are represented, which is not bad going from our little regional Australian outpost.

It’s pretty much the history of us and our family, both biological and the ones we’ve claimed. And family times – the positive kind! – is what Christmas is all about. And so, from our family to yours, and to quote one of Ellyn’s gifted decorations: Merry Christmas, Y’all.

Another Online Ceremony

This week, our graduate will be admitted as a lawyer.

Once again, the process is not exactly what anyone intended.

Owing to a fixed date in her timeline and the Christmas shutdown, Child the Elder couldn’t wait to see when in-person admission ceremonies would come back. And owing to the changed HSC dates, I’m in the middle of night-marking season, so a trip to anywhere, let alone Sydney and back, is pretty much a non-starter.

Oh, and it’s her Dad’s birthday that day, too.

So: on Friday I will finish my day-job and then race home to watch her get admitted online, while her Dad will interrupt a flex day with his brother to get to the same location so we can watch together. We’ll then retreat to our separate corners.

Her brother has been tasked with transporting the physical gift we got to mark the occasion.

Then on Sunday (the only official day of rest from Marking!), we will get a chance to congratulate her in person, and to mark Tony’s birthday as a family.

And then she and I are taking Monday off, to hang Christmas lights on the house. (Well, take the day off from the day-job, anyway). Because otherwise, it might never get done.

So, it’s all happening in Chez Coleman.

Now, can anyone explain to me why, when I googled “lawyer images,” the above was the only option that wasn’t a bloke in a suit?

Hmmm.

When Roadmaps are Ridiculous …

NSW has hit its next milestone on the “Roadmap to Freedom” – 80% double-vaccinated.

Unfortunately the published freedoms associated with 80% have changed a few times and so we now have a certain amount of ridiculousness baked in. So some people who had most definitely heard that at 80% we could travel to Greater Sydney but didn’t hear the subsequent update of “actually, not until November 1” may have been popping up to Shellharbour to the shops.

And on the same day that I’m allowed to travel the 90-odd kilometres to Wollongong to see my kids, other folk will be landing in the International Arrivals Hall to see theirs. Which is fine, but hardly the hallmark of a carefully staged return to normality.

We are finding other anomalies as we attempt to un-secure the campuses that were in secure mode. For example, we know we are educational facilities, which means we have to follow the 80% roadmap and not admit unvaccinated people. TAFE, with whom we share sites, are evidently NOT educational facilities because their staff and students don’t need to be vaccinated unless they’re visiting a facility that requires it. Like a preschool, because it’s an educational facility.

Also, because we are an educational facility we are under the pre-existing mask rules ie wear them unless you are in your office by yourself. Because even though we have whole wings of offices, we aren’t in office buildings.

Still with me?

In non-COVID times my son lives in Wollongong half the week and home with us in Nowra the other half, because he has Uni in Wollongong but his main part-time job in Nowra and frankly, no one would want their young person having no option but to commute that distance at night, when tired and/or on freshly minted P plates. He is not allowed to cross between regional and metro except for work or compassionate reasons. He has to cross into regional NSW to take his job back up, because the government support is disappearing because it’s not needed. It’s not needed because you’re meant to go to work now. He worked both days this weekend. We still don’t know whether he was or wasn’t allowed to stay here in between, given his two addresses and the anxiety his mother would have felt about him going back and forth for no reason other than we didn’t know whether or not he was technically meant to sleep in the room he’s slept in between the ages of 6 and 100-odd days ago.

He was allowed to come down here to go to work on Saturday but our daughter wasn’t allowed to be here on Thursday night for her (online) graduation ceremony. They have the same address as each other up there, and the same address as each other down here.

It’s going to be a long few weeks until December 1, when we will once again throw open every door to every person because vaccination status will no longer count.

As for how the first day back on campus went, let’s just say: migraine by dinner time, and I’m working from home today. Will try again Friday.

Anyway, here is a story on the aforementioned graduate, along with some bonus pictures from her shoot with UOW photrapher, Paul Jones. Hopefully in November we can get some with her – and ones where she doesn’t have to be searching for her on brand “Why” and can smile naturally!

HSC Time … or is it?

All my Facebook memories at this time of year seem to have been me giving last minute advice and messages of good luck to my former tutoring students (including my own offspring … yes, when they were in Year 12 they dutifully turned up each week to the tutoring centre I’d worked in pretty much their whole lives, much to the amusement of their peers in our small group sessions).

This year, of course, the start of the HSC has been delayed. Consequentially, so has HSC Marking. We now won’t start marking until close to the time we usually finish, and it will continue into December. As a result, and because of the compressed timeline to get the results processed and through UAC in time for University offers, NESA is doing an unprecedented (there’s that word again!) second call for applicants. So if you have recent HSC teaching experience, jump on board, jump online and join us for an educational experience that is quite literally like no other. In my experience, you won’t find a better bunch of people with whom to work.

More details here

In keeping with my HSC-styled musings, this morning The Chicks’ “Wide Open Spaces”–all about letting your daughter go and waving her goodbye as she begins adulthood–started playing in my Spotify list. This also seemed kind of prescient since Child the Elder is graduating this evening. It’s a postponed and online event and for a few brief hours last weekend we thought we were going to be allowed to sit on a couch in the same location to view it, before state pollies “clarified” that no, metro and regional areas wouldn’t be allowed to cross the streams for day trips just yet, after all.

So instead we’ll be sitting on our separate couches 92 kilometres apart. Hopefully it won’t be too much longer before we can get together and have a properly celebratory meal and take some frame-able photos for what is actually a pretty significant moment in her life.

#UOWgrad2021

Congratulations, Jamie. We love you, we miss you, and we’re very proud.

If you need help with getting organised for the HSC, you can contact me on https://www.kimberleymcmahoncoleman.com or send me an email via kmcmahon_coleman@hotmail.com