Thursday, 31 July 2008

Odd times.

So I've mentioned how obsessed I became with the Stephenie Meyer series "Twilight", but I don't think I've mentioned that we're having a release party at work. The fourth book in the series, Breaking Dawn, comes out on Monday, so on Sunday night we've invited 50 customers who've preordered the book to a party for it. No other Borders store in the country is doing it and mostly it was due to one of the guys at work coming up with the idea for it and following through. I feel totally chuffed cos I'm on the party team (one of only 3 staff) and we've been deep into it this week as we only got approval for Head Office for the party on Tuesday. Silly beaurocracy! The good thing is that us party staff get to run the whole thing. Essentially it's our project and we have total control.

So I've now been neglecting my uni work to work on this. Not that I really needed an excuse.

Trent came up with the skeleton of the itinerary, but this is the one I created to give to all the guests:

Breaking Dawn Release Party Itinerary

6:30-7:00pm Meet and greet and Twilight Saga discussion
As you arrive you will be sorted into your Werewolf Pack or your Vampire Family. Grab a drink, mingle with your teammates and get stuck into the discussion! Also, don’t forget your raffle ticket – make sure you hang onto it until the end of the night.

7:00-7:15pm First Round Trivia – Twilight
Die-hard fans won’t have a problem with this part of the night as you split into groups of 5 for a round of trivia.

7:15-7:30pm Track Bella!
Now you get to know the exhilaration James felt as he tracked Bella cross-country… only yours is on a slightly smaller scale. All will be revealed…

7:30-7:45pm Second Round Trivia – New Moon
Settle back into your original groups for Round 2, this time with questions about New Moon.

7:45-8:00pm Cake Time!
Refresh yourself after a hard night’s fun, but don’t get too comfortable – there’s still more to come.

8:00-8:15pm Third Round Trivia – Eclipse
The third and final round, hopefully this book’s a little fresher in your mind.

8:15-8:30pm Wedding Dress Competition
What the- you say? In the spirit of Bella and Edward’s upcoming nuptials, using only newspaper and masking tape, make Bella’s wedding dress. Choose one person to be Bella and model your creations.

8:30-8:40pm Winners! Prizes!
Who won Trivia? Did the Vampires win out over the Werewolves? Here’s the time to find out. Oh, and even better than that, PRIZES!!! The winner of the lucky door prize will also be announced. P.S., the prize is AWESOME.

8:40-9:00pm Breaking Dawn Discussion
The evening is concluded with a discussion about the book to be released tomorrow. What do you think is going to happen? What does the cover mean? Share your thoughts and theories just in time to have them proven right (or wrong).

Yes, so cheesy, but I love it.

In other news, I need to madly write a 500 word story by Wednesday for my creative writing class as I am an idiot and volunteered to bring something in to be workshopped. I just felt bad because no one was volunteering anything. So now I have to do something. I have no idea. I'm such a terrible writer. Like, I could write for ages and realise that there is no actual plot and I don't have any clue what's going on. Plus, I get bogged down in individual words. Silly words.

Oh! I also have to bitch about a customer today - I've bitched about everything else. So she came in and preordered Breaking Dawn, and put her name down for the party. She then asked what was actually going to happen, so I started explaining how we were going to have activities and people would be split into either Vampires or Werewolves. Michael, my merch boy, then made a comment about werewolves sucking, and I said that people don't get a choice about which team they're in otherwise everyone would choose Vampires.

Girl (deadpan): Well it is predominantly a book on vampires.
Me: Well, I'm the leader of the Werewolves team, so I am a little partial. Plus, I always go for the underdog. *chuckle chuckle chuckle*
Girl (deadpan. Looking at me like I'm a SpEd): There's a very big difference between a werewolf and a dog.
Me: I made a funny... scuttles off.

Most random event EVER.

Us staff who were there were cracking up. Hello, it was lame, but my joke was kick-ass. Underdog, GEDDIT???GEDDIT??? Yeah.

So then she left, and I had to tell every staff member I saw after that, cos it was a funny moment, and I had just finished telling another staff member when I realised that the girl had been sitting behind a pillar about 6 meters away reading manga the entire time. I was absolutely mortified, as my voice is really loud and carries, and I was sure as hell not being discrete. Oh well. Meanwhile, I've decided she doesn't deserve to be on my team. Lol.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Fainting I follow

So not much has been going on. Had another Gossip Girls night on Friday night. Love my Borders buddies. They are good value. Worked Saturday. Went and saw the X-Files movie Sat night. FYI, it's a total made-for-TV-movie. Why bother bringing it out of retirement unless you've got something else to say? It was also too human. It needed an alien or a monster. The best they could do was a paedophile-psychic-priest. Lame. Sunday I worked. Yesterday I had uni. Today I have uni. Etc. It's all pretty nothing at the moment.

Oh, but yesterday I also wrote up my assignment due dates for this semester and freaked the eff out. Everything is due in August, two things in September, one in October and two in November. CRAP. I am now very worried and have to start doing stuff, even though I totally cannot be arsed....

Thursday, 24 July 2008

You are SO not helpful, you stupid mole.

So I decided to finally get off my arse this morning and call the two Sydney unis that I am looking at transferring to next year. Actually, I was still sitting on my arse when I was doing the calling - semantics!

Anyway, I called the Australian Catholic university and of course, today they have a training session so no one is manning the phones. Call back Monday. Of COURSE I will forget to do that. So then I called UNSW. The first lady in admissions was pretty helpful and gave me a bit of info, and then passed me through to the Education faculty for some specific info. Basically the lady in that department was all, "Yes, apply through UAC."

I was like, "Yeah, but are you able to tell me whether my courses will be compatible, seeing as I need to complete my degree within the four years because of my scholarship?"

"Well, we can't actually tell until you've applied."

"Would I be able to tell you the classes I've done this year, or email them to you, and see if they correspond with the classes that UNSW students have been doing? Like, I'm pretty sure that my 'Learners and the Learning Process' class would be the same as your educational psychology class."

"Well, no, our Psychology class is very unique."

Let's just see how unique it is, shall we?

UNSW Educational Psychology:

An introduction to the study of Educational Psychology which examines some aspects of development and of learning and instruction. Topics include: cognitive development, development of memory, the role of knowledge, problem solving and thinking, an introduction to instructional methods.

Learning Outcomes
At the completion of this course students are expected to:
Have a basic understanding of the area of educational psychology with reference to cognitive approaches to learning and problem solving, cognitive development, social cognitive learning and behavioural management
Understand the basic cognitive concepts of long term and working memory, attention, schemas, encoding and retrieval
Understand the problem solving and critical thinking process.

And the Newcastle Learners and the Learning Process:

Provides opportunities for students to develop knowledge and understanding of learners and the learning process and their implications for educational planning and practice. Introduces students to key concepts in relation to these areas and challenge them to develop both reflective and professional capabilities.

Course Objectives:
Students will be expected to: - understand the learning process - explain individual differences in human development and learning - apply learning theory and developmental theory to educational planning and practice.

Course Content:
1. Child and Adolescent Development.

* Development research
* Cognitive development
* Language and literacy development
* Emotional development
* Social and moral development
* A typical development
Emphasis will be given to current theoretical and empirical research in these areas and links with educational planning and practice will be drawn.
2. Learning Theory
The nature and functioning of the human information processing system will be covered in relation to such areas as human memory and cognition, metacognition and self-regulated learning, intelligence, motivation and beliefs about learning, self concept and self efficacy, knowledge and learning and the assessment of learning. Emphasis will be given to current theoretical and empirical research in these areas and links with educational planning and practice will be drawn.

I don't know, but it seems pretty damned similar. I will be damned if I do educational psych again. That subject damn near killed me.

Nothing new to report. Went to my other two classes last night. Much better than Tuesday's. I'm a bit worried about the creative reading and writing. I've never been that strong a writer, well, at least not in the sense that they want at uni - something existential or different. I'm more a ... well, maybe comedic writer? Like, my stuff just seems to end up a bit funny. Not good though. So we shall see how it ends up.

Then I had my Contexts of Learning tute. This tutor is SO much better than the woman on Tuesday. She speaks fast! She's self-deprecating! She doesn't take everything so seriously!! She gets what being a teacher is really like! I love her! She was talking about how she used to teach at a school in Mount Druitt and how most of the kids were third generation unemployed. She said that she scrapped the entire syllabus and taught the kids things that would give them the tools to break the cycle. She wasn't sure whether it worked, but if it had reached one child and make them realise that they didn't have to end up like their parents then she has done her job. She just seems so realistic and she really cares about teaching. She makes me want to be a teacher, and all this from one two-hour lesson! It almost makes it OK that her class finishes at 7pm. Almost.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.

And then some of us, like myself, eat a bit more than that.

Lame title, I know. I've just been flicking through the poetry book I'll be using this semester for my creative reading and writing class. First one is tonight. Looking forward to it.

So classes started up again on Monday. This semester seems like a lot more work than the last one, and it's only going to get harder. :( That's cool though. EXCEPT, yesterday I had my tutorial for my Professional Preparation 1B class and I don't know how I will go with another 13 of these tutorials. My teacher is the slllllloooooooowwwweeeeessssssttttt person in the world. She talks so slow that the lesson ran overtime and we still didn't finish what we were supposed to do because of the rate she speaks. I really cannot tolerate it. My knee was pumping up and down the entire lesson and I just wanted to finish all her sentences for her. Maybe she's from the country, cos I've noticed country people talk slowly, but that's really not an excuse. Watch television, and take careful note of the speed at which people should be able to function. Not only was she slow, she had absolutely no clue what was going on. People were asking questions about the first assessment and she had no idea of the answers, and kept giving the wrong ones. 13 more weeks. How does it make sense that the lecture is better than the tute? That is NEVER the case, yet this woman has managed it.

Oh, remember my printer dying on Sunday? Well, I called the store and asked them if I could exchange it, which they said I could, got there, returned it, went to pick up a replacement from the section, and Oh! They didn't have a replacement, even though the guy on the phone said they did. Yuhuh. So then I had to go to their store 20 minutes away and picked it up there. Not happy, jan. Picked it up, got home, started the setup process... and then it must have shorted or something because it switched off and refuses to switch back on. Tried it in many different plugs around the house. Nothing. I was ready to throw it through the window. I'm going back today to exchange it again, but this time I think I'm going to get a cheaper printer - something that just prints, screw the copy and scan option. I obviously cannot deal with technology.

I did my tax return this morning. I'm only going to be getting about $700 back. Not happy. Stupid scholarship. Lol. I have to pay tax on the $1500 allowance they give me, AS WELL as "fringe benefits tax" on the money they pay for my HECS - only, with fringe benefits tax you're not taxed on what they pay, but on what they pay PLUS 95%!!! WTF! So there's all this added money everywhere that I have to pay tax on. Grrr. I was hoping to get over $1000 cos in September it's time to pay my insurance and rego for my car, and I was hoping to be able to cover it all. I think I'll pay my registration and maybe pay insurance by the month, which is sucky, cos I KNOW I won't be able to afford that. I do have some money in "savings" (I say that because there's no such thing as savings when you have the credit card debt I have), but I was hoping to buy a Macbook. My laptop is shitting me and I just want something that works. My housemate and one of my friends both have one, and it just seems so good. Maybe I should just keep the money and use my craptacular laptop. Even though it sucks arse. I don't know. I'll see how long I can hold out this semester with things annoying me. Priorities priorities!

Sunday, 20 July 2008


Miranda gets back yesterday, suddenly the internet is slower than slow. Coincidence???? The rest of us connect to the modem wirelessly, but she connects using an ethernet cable (who knows why?! OH&S issue as it cuts out from under her door across the hallway). Last night Anne got the shits at the slow internet and pulled out her cable. Suddenly, the internet was at a normal speed. Miranda goes and plugs it back in. Back to slow.

Stupid mole. Uni starts tomorrow and I have so much stuff to download (lectures, readings etc.) and cannot do it at this stupid speed. If it continues we're going to have to have an intervention.

Also, I haven't seen her since she got back. Anne had her birthday party last night in the house and Miranda was invited. She stayed in her room all night. I find it soooo awkward. If you are anti-social, why would you move into a share house with 7 other people, especially a uni sharehouse????? We all have moments of anti-sociality (new word. Deal.), and during those times we just hang out in our rooms, or we go out. You don't just sit in your room in the dark all day. Actually, she's not in the dark. She has her light on. ALL DAY. Open your blinds, woman! Save electricity! I bet she never even opens her window. The one time I went into her room it stank so bad.

God I'm a bitch. 3 paragraphs devoted to highschool bitchiness. I need to get over this.

So Friday night I went down to Sydney for Rachel's early birthday celebrations. We had dinner at a Mexican place called "Tequilla's" and drank our fill of sangria. Then we went to the Fiddler and drank champagne all night. Too fun. Danced among all the 18 year olds. Good night. Lol. Then I had to speed back up to Newy to start work at two the next day. Then Anne's party last night. Then I woke up early for a stupid reason this morning, but ended up going to the markets so it's all good. Tonight I'm going to see The Dark Night with some friends from work so it should be good.

You are kidding me!!! I just went to print stuff for uni and there's a bunch of paper in the printer and the printer keeps saying, "Out of paper." Oh no it didn't. I'm now on the line to Kmart to see if it would still be covered by some kind of waranty so I could get an exchange. Do you think I'd get a new ink too, cos this one isn't very old. Why does it do this now, when I have so much to print for tomorrow's lectures?????

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Oh Really?

So, it's been a bit hectic. I worked all last week, then had work friends over for a Gossip Girls night, in which we managed to get through an entire 15 minutes of an episode. Too much talking. Just ended up drinking and playing games instead.

The next day I worked (duh - that seems to be my life) and then Rachel came up for the night and we went out to Finnegans and Fannys. We didn't leave until 11 and we only stayed at both for an hour each max. So dodgy. The funnest part was the busride home. =)

Then Sunday I had to go down to Sydney for my cousin Laura's 16th party. It was lots of fun.

Funny thing on Monday morning though. Daniel comes into my room and says, "Do you ever notice how Uncle Dino shuts you down when you're talking to him?"

Me (dryly): Oh really?

Dan: Yeah. I was talking to him about that family that's car got swept away last year, and I mentioned that the dad had been high, and Uncle Dino fully shuts me down and is all, "What difference does that make?" And I was like, "I'm just saying it," and he kept shutting me down.

At this point I just smiled and said: Welcome to my world. This is what conversations with Uncle Dino have been like for me since the first time I was able to speak. He's always has conversations with you and with Jonas, but doesn't have the time of day for anything I have to say. Now you're having your turn. Sucks. Deal with it. You'll be back to normal next week, but I still won't be able to say anything.

So yes, not happy Jan.

Oh, and at the party my Auntie Josie asked me how my uni results went and I proudly told her I got HDs in Shakespeare and Australian History, and uncle Dino laughs and goes, "Wow, that'll come in REAL handy," and I replied icily, "Yes, it will, seeing as I will be teaching Shakespeare and Australian History." Don't fucking rain on my parade.

So my full results for uni are:

Learners and the Learning Process: 64/100 P

Professional Preparation 1A: 83/100 D

Age of Shakespeare: 89/100 HD

The Australian Experience: 90/100 HD

I'm way proud of my results, but shitty at Learners and the Learning Process. That was the Educational Psych class I was having so much difficulty with, so I was just excited to pass, but 64???? Come on!!! One more mark and it would have been a Credit. Couldn't they find one mark anywhere on my final exam?? Lol. And my Shakespeare result means I must have gotten 38.5 on my final essay. I haven't been bothered to go into the uni to pick it up, so I'm wondering if I lost marks for it being so late...

Monday, 7 July 2008

This is the way the world ends

Haven't posted in awhile because all I've been doing is working. I had yesterday and today off and then I will continue the working cycle. Working fulltime sucks. Seriously. All you do is wake up, go to work, come home, then sleep. Sure, you sometimes have a Gossip Girls night thrown in for good measure, like I did last Thursday, but it's still a shitty cycle, cos when you do something on a night you have to work the next day, you bugger the system up. So for me, it begins again tomorrow.

So tomorrow I have to register for my tutorials, but I'm going to be at work, which is so bad! I've got Mel signing me up for a couple of classes when the system opens at 12 for those, but the education classes which open at 2 I think I'm screwed for. Goddamn. Plus, I've been working on my timetable and it is so bad. I'll be at uni on Mondays from 9am until probably 5 pm, then I'll be at uni all day Wednesday. I loved my timetable last semester, where everything was on 3 days and I wasn't rushed or anything. On Mondays I'll have to carry every single book I have, and have no time for anything. ARGH!

I'm stressing about uni because I realised I start up again in 2 weeks. I haven't even felt like I've had a holiday. It's so stupid. Plus, I can't figure out when the exam results will be released. Just checked my textbooks for this sem- it looks to be about $300. I can deal with that. Still have the money left from my scholarship payment. And it looks like for my Creative Reading and Writing class we'll be reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathon Safran-Foer, which I've read before, but I leant it to a friend a couple of weeks ago who is going overseas. How many years has it sat on my bookshelf, and then I lend it to someone when I will need it. Lol. Oh well.

So with my panic about not having any time left, I am running around today to buy my notebooks and things and then meet up with a friend for coffee.

I also have to share that I finished reading Twilight last night. Oh My God. Absolutely loved it. Cannot believe I'm reading Young Adult books again. Lol. Everyone at work is reading this series at the moment and is completely obsessed, which has got me hooked too. I can't wait until the movie comes out. I know this is so lame, but I'm kind of hooked. Love Edward Cullen. Lol.

So these holidays were supposed to be my reading holidays and I'm kind of disappointed. I've only managed to read four books: Breath by Tim Winton, The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova and Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. I'm going into work today to get the next book in the Twilight series, and hopefully I'll have them all read by the time uni starts, otherwise I will get nothing done this semester.

Man, this was such a waste of a post.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May.

So I'm down in Sydney at the moment. Came down on Sunday night and I'm leaving tomorrow night. It's been good, but my god my family annoys me. I love them, but geez, you cannot get a decent night's sleep, which, as we all know, makes me cranky cranks.

What has been really good though is that I've been catching up with Rachel a lot. A LOT. I've seen her everyday. Weird, but good.

Oh, and PUPPIES!!! Our dog had 8 puppies. So beautiful. I love Border Collies so much.

I met Jenni for lunch today. That was good. I have a bunch of friends that I could go weeks or months without seeing, as the case may be, and it will be as if nothing has changed and no time has been lost. Jenni is totally one of these friends and I love it. After lunch I met up with my uncle and my cousin in Richmond because I needed to give my uncle a form for my dad's centrelink thing. Stupid centrelink. Stupid uncle. Every time I see him I always leave with the impression that he hates me. It's as if he cannot stand me. He can have great big conversations with my brother, but when it comes to me, I'm just wrong and not worth listening to. At least lately we've been able to "bond" over books. I awkwardly ask him what he's been reading, he tells me, then I ask him if he enjoyed a book I got him, or if he's read something else. Yes. Good stuff. He was cranky at me today because I haven't gotten any of his text messages. I asked if he had my correct phone number, and he was annoyed that I always change my phone number. Seeing as I've had two numbers in my life, and this one since 2003, I was a bit peeved. Turns out he had my number but had added another one at the end, hence the me never getting his texts. Yes, my fault.

Nothing else new. Enjoying my few days off work. They want me to do extra hours this week too. It hasn't really felt like holidays because of all my extra shifts. Oh well.