Some lessons learned from the (academic) year that was

November 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

I handed in the last of the final essays on Monday, the big thesis two Mondays before that. Now the course work is finally over. All we’re waiting for is grades and graduation, and we’re free. Okay, we’re free now. But before I’m incapable of any intelligent thought from the copious amounts of sheer stupidity I plan to drink in from different media, here are some things I’ve learned…….

But first…! A photo of my first-born.

On to the lessons…..

1. It’s not always as painful as you think. Sure, for most people, just the thought of statistics and data analysis is enough to send shivers down one’s spine. And sure, at times, it was as boring and confusing as it sounds. It made my eyes glaze over and my head pound, all at the same time. But here I am, after a 10,000 word thesis, still with a smile on my face and a song in my heart, with a working knowledge of SPSS that may or may not come in handy on this job hunt I’m currently on.

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How you can’t even begin to understand.

September 29, 2012 § 2 Comments

When I was young and didn’t know any better, I had very strong opinions about people and just exactly how they were fucking up their lives. Upon hearing a random15-year old get pregnant, I tsk-tsked, shaking my head at her sheer stupidity. I was of the ‘you make your own bed, you must lie in it’ persuasion, until my grandma taught me that I couldn’t judge someone based on one fact alone (maybe not even dozens of facts), because there is just no way to understand the circumstances behind a certain situation.

It didn’t make sense at the time. I continued judging. Now that I’m older (hopefully a little bit wiser), I still have strong opinions, yes, but I like to think that they’re a little more…compassionate in nature.

I’ve grown to understand exactly what she meant – that we have absolutely no clue, not a one, about people and the different situations they find themselves in.

Let it not be said that Pinterest is good only for wedding ideas.

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“Hi, I’m ambivalent. Nice to meet you!”*

September 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

ambivalent – (adj.) having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone

I have mixed feelings about this thing they call growing up. Depending on a number of different factors such as cloud cover, amount of rainfall, wind speed, and current temperature, how I feel about it all changes- sometimes once every few days, at other times once every few hours.

There are days when I’m absolutely ready to conquer the real world, get out there, and experience how the other half out there (out of school*) lives. I get excited about the idea that after the 5th of November after the last sentence has been dotted, cover sheets and plagiarism declarations signed, and all the final essays are handed in, I am absolutely free to do whatever I want. I could get a job, start a career, stay in school to do a PhD, be a bum and live off my parents’ kindness for a little while longer, hold off on growing old for as long as I possibly can.

I walk the cobbled stones of the University of Melbourne these days wondering where I’ll be in a few months’ time. Will I stay and tread these uneven steps again? Or will I be somewhere else in the world, trying something new, something different?

The Old Arts corridor that I’ve walked (almost) every day these past four years.

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Falling in love with academia

September 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

Apologies for hiatus upon hiatus upon hiatus. Sometimes it feels as if this blog’s predominant setting is on break! (are people still reading out there?)

Tha dust settles and I’m now back in the world of the living. Week 7 of second semester has come and gone, and with it-

– 4 matlab assignments for cognitive modeling,

– a half hour social psychology oral presentation on pronoun priming and culture,

– a fifteen minute discussion on another social psychology paper on dehumanization and objectification

-countless hours of data collection for my thesis (we’ve got a sample of 170 participants so far, and counting!)

– a required presentation on my thesis at this mini-conference we had last Thursday. Imagine the difficulty of trying to condense a whole paper (and the work of over 7 months) into a quarter of an hour!

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Seoul series Part IV: Beyond the sea

August 18, 2012 § 1 Comment

Okay, technically these photos aren’t really of Seoul anymore. We took a two hour drive to Yang Yang province, I think it was called, to stay at Sol Beach resort for a couple of days.

Extremely mediterranean, but absolutely still in South Korea.

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Seoul series Part III: The last of Seoul

July 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

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Seoul series Part II: New places, new faces

July 19, 2012 § 7 Comments

This is Day 2, or really, full Day 1, of touring around Seoul.

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Soul series Part I: Seoul by starlight

July 17, 2012 § 4 Comments

As people who know me already know, I like to talk. So for this series of posts, let’s try a different approach….

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My Brother, the (accidental) Taoist

July 9, 2012 § 3 Comments

On rare occasions, my brother makes a good point. In this case, a damned good point at that. Who knew that what he’d been telling me all along was so incredibly enlightened as to have its own ancient tradition?

I’m talking about the Taoist principle Wu-Wei.

I came across a list of book recommendations on optimism, positive psychology and the like, the other day. Since I had heard of the title before, I got my hands on a copy of a book called The Tao of Pooh (just so you know, I considered calling this post The Tao of Pao). It’s a short book that explains the principles of Taoism through Winnie The Pooh and vice versa. Pooh, as anyone who’s ever read/watched him, is a self-confessed Bear of Little Brain, from whom there are a million lessons to be learned.

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Things I learned from crying through half a movie

July 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

Yes, I have been neglecting my blog. And yes, I come to the part a little late, seeing as the movie I’m talking about was released last year, but hey! Trust it to put things into perspective and mirror yourself back to you in unexpected ways. Tonight’s movie was ‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’ based on Jonathan Safran Foer’s book of the same name.

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