Monday, February 25, 2008

Master of all he surveys

For me?, originally uploaded by Rosemary Grace.

Not satisfied until reclining across my work space. Lets see if he can resist attacking my pen.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Small strokes of genius

not really a leftie, originally uploaded by Rosemary Grace.

1 - Figure out a schedule that gets me to work with minimal traffic and leaves actual time for the gym between work and evening classes on Tues and Thurs.

2 - Find an independent cafe (not s*bucks) near home with wireless internet and a decent breakfast menu. Declare new weekend ritual of coffee house study time.

3 - Tidy desk. Remove mystery objects that have been cluttering it, stuff them into a cardboard box for later sorting. Focus on reclaiming work space.

On Thursday I made it to work earlier, as planned, then got from work to the gym, and got changed with a few minutes to spare before pilates. The class made my achy back feel much better, though my lowest abdominal muscles are still wondering what hit them. I was so pleased with myself, getting to class on time after a workout, and discovering the added benefit that I was more energized than usual and felt I was paying better attention. I hope this effect also works on my Tuesday Biostats class, It is very hard to stay focused on biostatistics from 7pm till 9.30.

Yesterday we tried out a cafe in the next neighborhood over, Matt and I claimed a squishy leather couch facing the window and worked on our respective studies for several hours. It was a nice treat having a slice of quiche for breakfast, and somehow much easier to focus on work in the cafe than at home, with the cats being cute and the chores looming. The only potential fly in the ointment is that the cafe is surrounded by antique shops, boutiques, a bead shop and a knitting shop. I bought hand dyed sock yarn after four hours of biostatistics problems. This cannot become part of the weekly routine.

As this photo shows, I also cleared off the desk, so it can be used for desk-like purposes. I'm not actually a leftie, photobooth does a mirror-image thing with it's photos, that's really my right hand brandishing the trusty bic ballpoint.

All of these little changes make it easier to integrate my studies with work, and still, hopefully, keep my life running. I have yet to discover a trick to getting the laundry folded and put away the same day that it's washed and dried. Unfortunately I think the "trick" to that is rather labour intensive and involves folding my own knickers. Horror.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

How I learned to stop worrying and love to plan

Four weeks in and the cracks are starting to show. My back aches, my hips hurt, my shoulder is stiff, I had a migraine on and off all week last week, I'm irritable, stressed out, and having trouble concentrating on reading, homework, anything at all. I left my gym bag at the gym this afternoon.

I have not done any real exercise since I started classes in January, then I had a week of zoning out in front of the TV instead of getting to bed on time (by 10 - not too hard to achieve), Thursday I was off work because I woke up at 6.30 with a migraine, Friday I went in to work, but took it easy and left early. This weekend my parents have been visiting with us and I have taken it easy, no homework, taking full advantage of the unexpected two week extension on the larger assignment I currently have on the go. This afternoon we all (Matt, my parents ant I) went for a swim at our gym in Mission Beach and I got thinking that I need to make myself a schedule, and schedule in a workout class, or swim time, because this graduate school and work thing is starting to kick my ass, and I need, absolutely need, to be exercising to maintain my sanity and health.

So I have futzed about with iCal and, after blocking out my classes and work hours, blocked out the Tues/Thurs pilates session at my gym as totally doable. As long as I get to bed consistently and get my ass out of bed 8 hours later. You know what? I managed to get myself into a graduate program, I think it would be a little ridiculous if getting to bed, getting OUT of bed, and making it to a pilates class I've already paid for proved too complex for my abilities.

I have my little schedule printed out now. It includes approx drive times, 8 hour work days, class times, and the pilates classes. It's just like when I was in school. "High school" I mean, my homework diary in my pocket with the weekly schedule on the back, constantly consulted to tell my where my brain needed to go next...

Next, my brain needs to go back to the living room and hang out with my family. They just started talking about Dr Strangelove, I have to join in!

Monday, February 11, 2008

like falling off a...

As I type, there is a cat chasing his tail on the other side of the laptop screen. I give it about 40 seconds before he either gives up, or falls off the coffee table.

Marble is loving the table cloth on our dining table a little too much. She got so carried away lolling about on it that she rolled right off the edge of the table. The surprised look on her face was almost as priceless as the fact that it was a few seconds after I commented to Matt that it would be funny if she bought it.

Tali tailchaser has given up and is staring at me over the screen. Time for bed.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

I can't work like this

I can't work like this, originally uploaded by Rosemary Grace.

Tali is demanding love. He is in my lap, flopped headlong across my right wrist as I try to type a discussion post for my Chronic Disease class. He didn't even twitch when I scooped him up to give the webcam a better view.

I did manage to get a decent first draft of the paper written, and research diabetes in adolescents for class tomorrow. Matt and I made a stew using the vegetables left over on a party platter from my birthday party yesterday, I even made progress on my sweater. I'm glad it's a cropped length one, I have real hopes of finishing it some day. I suspect there will be a lot of capture-the-moment photobooth shots of me on this couch, with the Holyrood Tartan blanket behind me, it's my favourite place to sit while working on my laptop, and I will be working on my laptop a lot until May. It's nice to also have Matt right next to me, working away on his laptop. There's a sort of camaraderie in sharing the work-plus-school boat.


I must stop reading blogs and work on this paper on student health services! Marble is sleeping between me and Matt on the sofa while we both do uni assignments, her occasional snores are making me want to join her in a nap!

If I get my work done soon enough I'll actually be able to do some knitting tonight. That's a good incentive, I'd like to finish my first sweater before the weather's too warm to wear it.